Thursday, January 12, 2012

Faux birch lantern tutorial...and the little green eyed monster

You know the saying 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery'?  Well in this world of blogging, you tend to see a lot of imitation.  Sometimes credit is given, but sadly, sometimes it is not. 

Given there are so many other important things in life (finding a cure for cancer being at the top of my list right now), I know it shouldn't bother me, yet I can't help but be irked when credit is not shared.

Trivial?  Perhaps, but I sometimes can't help feeling that little twinge in my bones when I see a project that I have created posted on someone else's blog with no credit to be found.  Yes, I openly share tutorials, but I do so hoping it will encourage someone to try something they may have otherwise been hesitant to try and feel the freedom art can bring.  But when a project is then re-posted and presented as their own, tutorial and all, I feel a little credit is warranted.

It's difficult for me to write this as I feel selfish for even having these feelings.  That little twinge doesn't come out very often, but tonight I can't seem to keep this little green eyed monster in its place.  Especially when I see this particular project that I'm referring to being 'featured', in one of my favourite sites nonetheless. :(  

I guess it's because I try so very hard to come up with new ideas and if my ideas are not my own, I give credit where credit is due.  Such is the case with these little lanterns... 

I think they are charming and perfect for the season and so after finding this picture, I ventured into my creative world in an attempt to recreate them....

Cardboard paper
Wall compound
toothpick or knife
Different size glass jars
Paint (courtesy of DecoArt) - Titanium White
                               Soft Black
                                Dark Chocolate
                               Celery Green
                               Dried Basil Green

Forming the lantern
1. Measure and cut cardboard to size of jar. Cut or punch a heart or several hearts as desired.
2.  With a putty knife, spread a thick layer of wall compound over cardboard. 
3. Do not smooth it out as you'll want the ridges and texture.
4. With a toothpick or any sharp edge, make lines and indentations into the compound.
5. Form a tube and staple back of tube prior to the compound drying.

Painting the lantern
I have tried to include instructions of the process I follow, but there are no rules as tree bark has various tones and textures; it can be as dark or as light as you wish.  But here is a tip: it's always easier to add paint than to take away. 

1. Use a 10:1 white paint to black ratio and sparingly brush onto tube
2. Brush some brown paint onto the tube and quicly wipe off with damp cloth
3. With a brush, dab a mixture of celery green and dark chocolate paint (4:1 ratio) and again wipe off with a damp cloth.

Keep playing with the colours until you are happy with the results. 

Allow to dry and gently remove the staples from the back of the lantern.  Place a candle inside the jars and wrap 'bark' around the jar.  With a hot glue gun, glue 'bark' together and......

I chose to display mine on my winter mantel, having simply removed some of the items from my Christmas mantel and replaced with pine cones, moss and white branches (sorry, the picture quality is not very good as I had very little time to take the photos) 

I also thought my filter roses would make
a lovely display for Valentine's day...

And here is a little fun picture - my hubby's
and my initials carved on the back...:) 
This would make a cute wedding centerpiece, no? 


I hope you enjoyed this little project and that you forgive my 'green eyed monster'.

Have a lovely day.

much love,

Linking at
 Carolyn's homework
Home stories A to Z
The 36th avenue
Someday Crafts
French Country Cottage
Tatertots and Jello
The girl creative
Chic on a Shoestring decorating
Finding fabulous
My Romantic Home
Simply designing
The Shabby Nest
I heart naptime
Today's creative blog
It's overflowing..
Ask Anna


  1. Oh wow Lucy, your birch lanterns are gorgeous! Thank you for sharing the tutorial. And giving proper credit whenever possible is always the right thing to do!

  2. Wow these lanterns are gorgeous! And I thought they were real birch - honestly...until I saw you painted them?! Amazing!!
    P.S. You should not feel guilty at all for being upset someone took your project, put it on their blog and didn't give you credit. No guilt on your part...only on theirs. You should quietly send them a note...

  3. I feel for you Lucy! I really do! The blogging world can be so beautiful, but sometimes it can be ugly when these things happen. This has happened to me before...recently I found a new blogger had posted my pictures and used the same time for the post as I had, and presented the project as her own. On the same day, ,I found the same post had been completely lifted in it's entirety and posted on another blog. She did give credit to me, but did she really need to copy the whole darn thing? It was very hurtful. I used to just let this go, but I emailed them both, asking them to take the post down and I explained why. I asked them both to blog with integrity and honesty and to showcase their own creativity...that is the whole point of blogging after all. One blogger took the post down and apologized to me. The other blogger took the post down, but I heard nothing from her at all. It is such a tough issue to deal with....and I know exactly how you feel...hurt, betrayed, angry, frustrated. It is so hard! Have you considered watermarking your pictures? I just started doing that makes me feel a litte better. So if my pictures are pinned on pinterest, they are marked with my blog name. Look on the bright know that you have 'arrived' in the blogging world when your work is being copied/stolen. That means you are awesome and people want to be just like you!! I hope my words have given you a little comfort at least! Your blog is beautiful and your pictures are stunning! I wouldn't worry so much...your work will always speak for you! Angie xo

  4. I agree with Angie, your work does speak for you! Your lanterns are so unique, I would never have thought they were from anything but real bark! Your honesty is humbling! Keep up the good work! Blessing from Bama!

  5. Oh, these are so cute, Lucy, and they look just like birch bark. The one with you and your hubby's initials is so sweet.

    I don't like that saying that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." I've had people say that to me about a particular incident in my life that made me sooo extremely mad and, let me tell you, that only made me feel worse. Your work is beautiful and creative and you have every right to feel upset if someone uses your ideas and doesn't give you credit. Why don't you leave a comment saying how pretty the item in her post is and that you made something just like that too. She'll know what you're talking about, but no one else will.


  6. I have been staring at your pictures for a long time and I still can barely believe they are made with cardboard, joint compound and paint. Nice work! I'm not sure I could do such a good job, but since the materials are so inexpensive I might as well try!

  7. You are so talented. I don't even know what else to say. Just you are amazing.

  8. Your lanterns are beautiful! maybe I can do like:)) I greet Barbara

  9. You did a fabulous job...those look so real! I'm sorry you had that experience. So hurtful.
    You are so creative! Keep it up!

  10. Love your lanterns and yes, it is important to give credit where credit is due. I always do, and with my luck if I didn't someone would want me to make something that I probably couldn't do. :)

  11. The are beautiful! I too thought they were real bark. The instructions are splendid too. Etiquette says always give credit where credit is due, or link back to original idea, the 'right' thing to do. Sometimes, with thousands of craft blogs rolling, someone could think of a similar idea as yours and present it as their own, without even realizing, or seeing yours existed. But, that said, we all know when we've been copied, and that is very yucky. This happens all too often on Etsy. I love your work. Your tutorials are clear and concise. Keep it up!

  12. Lucy, sorry to hear that your work was not credited. That is just sad. I know all the love and effort that is put into creating a project and credit should be given. I am in love with your lanterns. Thank you for sharing these and if I am able to make these for my home, you can be assured, you will be given FULL credit.

  13. I know what you mean. I just posted a Family Rules project this week and everyone in the bloggy world knows that's not original. Buy, I linked back to where I first saw the idea and gave credit to it for inspiring my own version. It's becoming more and more difficult with things like Pinterest. Honestly, although I do Pin, if I ever use the photograph I always give credit. But, many do not and I can't even believe we're able to have things like Pinterest. I think it's copy right violation to the max - but what do I know?

  14. These are gorgeous. I'd totally believe that they were real bark! And the carved initials is an adorable touch.

  15. Thank you, thank you, thank you for adding that last picture! I have some very dear friends with a 25th wedding anniversary coming up, & I had no idea of what to make for them. Now I know! Thanks so much for the tut, Lucy.

  16. Holy crap Batman! I thought those were real birch! You did a most excellent job on them! I am totally blown away! I grew up with a paper birch tree in my back yard. It has become my favorite tree now that I live in an area were there are none. Thank you for sharing this project!

    Keep doing what you are doing, with the knowledge that you reap what you sow. The "stealers" will eventually get theirs in return. You help a lot of people, so don't worry about it! :)

  17. that's really awesome faux birch - beautiful job. Kudos to you for crediting your source of inspiration. I understand what you're saying. Copying just isn't right.

  18. I agree with you 100 percent! People should give credit where credit is due! It should be a given! Thank you for sharing!

  19. LUCY! I love this. How soothing and relaxing!
    Have a great weekend!
    Kerry at HouseTalkN

  20. Love your faux birch candles!!! Pinning it!

  21. These are FANTASTIC. I agree with you. I often seen things and copy them, but I always will give credit where it is due. I don't blame you for filling upset.

  22. These are so pretty! I enjoyed my visit to your lovely blog. Happy Pink Saturday! Hugs. P.S. I hope you will stop by and say hello and enter my Pink Poodle giveaway :-)

  23. Truly thought these were real birch... What a clever kiddo... Thank you so much for sharing the tutorial, especially with the paint ratios. That's a real time saver! I expect I'll make a few of these in the next few weeks. Imitation IS the highest form of flattery, but I'll be sharing your blog.

  24. Lucy,
    I love these! I'm so sorry you weren't credited. That is just so rude. I so appreciate you sharing your tutorials with us. ♥

  25. These are beautiful, Lucy!!! I am amazed that you made them!!!

  26. I am in "awe" that these beauties were made from cardboard. Genius! Bummer about your work not being's the sad side of blogging:(

  27. I hear ya! It isn't just the little blogs that don't give credit {I chalk that up to inexperience, so I let it slide} but now I am finding the bigger blogs are just posting rooms, ideas and places with NO credit. Urks me too! They are not my rooms of course, but I always think that if they were, I would want the credit. Not to mention, maybe I want to see more of what this person has to offer, and not having a link of the creator is frustrating. They are getting a free ride by using other peoples pictures to keep their readers coming back for more. I had an instance where another person was using my work for their site as their own, so I started watermarking my photos. They also say to use your blog link for the title of the pictures when you import them. I think your pictures and ideas are to DIE for, you should start watermarking them. I don't think there is anyway to stop what is going on now with Pinterest, and all the social media sites out there. Love, love your bark wraps, going to pin them of course! which will of course link to your blog :)

  28. What a stunning project. I gotta try it. I'm not going to excuse any copying behavior but sometimes I can't remember where I get an idea. There are so many beautiful blogs out there. Yours is so beautiful. I would never copy paste and use on my blog though. I love when artwork is watermarked then If I did a project I could give credit. Thank you for all your beautiful inspiration.

  29. Hi Lucy - you're a unique one/of/a/kind! I don't have an actual blog (just pictures of our adorable doggie) but they should not have posted your creations without your permission/and giving you credit ! oxox

  30. I don't know how I missed this before- I guess I must have been off in blond-land know what they say about blonds, right?;>) Anyway, this is one of the most adorable projects you have shared here. It is too bad that credit isn't given where credit it due...some people just want the accolades for themselves. Kind of sad, huh?

    You know what MY original idea was? I had 3 kids under 4 years old and when I was potty training I would buy a box of disposable diapers, sew them down the sides when I got them home...instant Pull Ups! lol Back then the diapers all had sticky tape that wrecked the diaper if you tried to undo it to "check".

    Fast forward a few years and Pampers made a fortune with PullUps! Hellllooooooooooooo? And where is my check? xo Diana

  31. Love this idea! I've already pinned it & will definitely give you credit if I make it and share on my blog!

  32. Hi Lucy-
    Love your version most of all. For real they look just like the "real deal" and I love the heart cut outs along with the addition of you and your hubbies initials. So very cooooool!!
    I've really had a hard time with people copying my designs as well, and take them as their own with no credit given back. For years it has irked me to no end, but just within the last few months, I'm starting to be less frustrated by it, and just keep doing what I do best. I found I spent so much time consumed and frustrated that I didn't always get to doing what I loved to do because of it.
    However, I've just been informed that 13 pages on a UK blog under the tab of JEWELRY are my last 2 years of blog posts totally lifted off of my site. I just don't know what this person can be thinking.... So this is what I'm trying to figure out what to do with now. To let it go, or contact her and ask it be taken down. Frustrating to say the least.

  33. Encantadora recreación!!!!!. Es triste ver cuanta gente roba ideas y las toma como suyas, desafortunadamente es un diario vivir. No te preocupes, tus fotos son inconfundibles, el mundo es tannnn pequeño que tarde o temprano tus ideas darán la vuelta al mundo, aun cuando no sea la mejor manera de hacerlo.
    Continua con este blog tan hermoso, que nos llena de alegría a muchas personas. Recibe un gran beso desde México. Tu seguidora fiel.

  34. These are beautiful! I cannot wait to make them for not only Valentines but for winter decor! You did an amazing paint job!
    New Follower from Crafty, Scrappy, Happy!
    ~Jen @

  35. Found these through pinterest & love them! I'm going to have to try and make them. Sorry about the situation you had with someone taking credit for your work...that's just so wrong.

  36. Your project is sooo beautiful - I love how you created it with wall compound, it looks so realistic. And you know, you have every right to be irked when your work isn't credited - aside from legal, copyright issues (which i know nothing about), it's just nice manners to credit someone's work and give them a shout out! Also, as a blog reader, I find it frustrating when a photo or project isn't credited because I want to check out the creator's other work. I'm sorry this happened to you :(

  37. I follow your blog pretty religiously, but somehow missed this beautiful post. The lanterns are simply extraordinary, both in execution and in the final result - not lightly said, considering how many wonderful ideas you post week after week.

    May I say, from a retired teacher's viewpoint, that your tutorials are simply the best I've ever seen, hands down. Explaining how to make the lanterns, even with the use of pictures, is not easy. Still, you made it understandable. Thank you for that.

    I understand your frustration. Go ahead and be mad. I would be too. There is something called intellectual property. Borrowing, means just that - you ASK to borrow something. Taking something is stealing. Hope you don't experience too much of this in the future.

    Again, thank you for posting the above work.

  38. Hello Lucy, Merci pour tes nombreux "Partages" si originaux et raffinés. Je découvre les sentiments que tu as éprouvés ! Réaction ô combien "Humaine" au vu d'une telle arrogance, d'un "Vol" ! Quelle malhonnêteté intellectuelle ! Je trouve que tu as bien réagi en t'exprimant .
    J'adore tes DIY ! (from ...Belgium !So, I 'm making great travels when I see you, (on your Blog) Yes ! I 'm dreaming , I know, it's not a serious ...illness ! Be happy.With sympathy. {sorry for my poor language. I need practice !} Vi

  39. Dear Lucy, horreur de Traduction ! Le "français" ...Non! La 1/2 du message était écrite en 'anglais' mais, la traduction n'est guère mieux! Excuse-moi. Enfin, je m'étais adressée à toi en 'anglais' ! Bon courage pour comprendre ! Sympathie belge. Vi J'adore ton Blog. Merci

  40. "vi tonne" = J'adore ton Blog ! Vi

  41. these are gorgeous Lucy! I love creative projects made to look like pricier products...I don't like projects that people copy and write tutorials for and act like it was their inspired idea! granted two people might make similar projects but not THAT similar! I'd be annoyed too! That's one reason I get annoyed at sights that are siply a rehashing of projects they liked from pinterest. They might be great ideas but that person is now capitalizing on someone else's creativity and hard work! You keep doing what you're doing! Your work is beautifuland you are one creative lady!

  42. Hello Lucy,

    I loved this tutorial so much that I will be sharing it on my blog (with well deserved credit of course!)
    I believe in total transparency, after-all it was your great idea and work that made it even possible to find.
    What a great tutorial- you are super talented and thank you!
    Danielle @ Candles Recharge


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