Category Archives: Upcycling

One Hex of a Jewelry Box Makeover

One Hex of a Jewelry Box Makeover

A little background before I unveil the befores and afters – I no longer live in St. Louis.  One random day that pesky straw appeared – you know, the one that broke the camel’s back – and I couldn’t take my job anymore.  I struggled with my decision for a couple of hours, and then I went to my boss and told her that was going to be my last day.  She didn’t try to convince me to stay (which encouraged me to go even more), and just like that – BOOM, unemployed.  But at least I had a chance at remaining however sane I was at that point.

After a few months of desultorily looking for jobs in St. Louis, I decided to radically change my life.  I put my house up for rent, sold most of my possessions, and boomeranged back to Mom and Dad’s house!  My plan is to stay for a while and then buy a tiny house to put in my brother’s backyard.  I have found a wonderful job with less-crazy people, so I’m paying off some bills and making big plans.

And this has to do with a jewelry box makeover . . . how?  Since I made the decision to pare down and eventually go tiny, I have to remind myself not to buy makeover candidates at thrift stores.  One of the hardest parts of selling most of my belongings wasn’t parting with items I loved, it was saying goodbye to the basement full of future projects I’d never gotten around to.  It was really humbling to see all the great ideas I’d once had walk out the door with someone who might turn my great idea into a great finished project.

SO!  I’ve been avoiding “befores” at the thrift store, but I could not pass this one up.  I hope you’ll see why….

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It’s not particularly well-made or anything, I just really loved the simple lines of it and I knew I could give it a new life.  I had a stash of paper hexagons I had punched from some particularly awesome scrapbook paper (I couldn’t let them go in the moving sale!), so I chose a paint color and went to town!

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I couldn’t find the exact drawer pulls I had in mind, so I followed Melissa’s lead over at Polka Dot Chair and headed straight to the button section at Joann.  These little crystal-looking flowers were just the thing!  I wanted to make sure they didn’t flop around on the front of the drawers, though, so I picked up some semi-rigid tubing at Lowe’s and made little sleeves for the buttons to sit in.  Then I fed a wire through the drawer front and secured it inside.  IMG_5593

 

I’m really happy with the way this project turned out.  If it makes you happy, too, go on over to my etsy shop and buy it!  Thanks for stopping by!

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I Wish Everything Was In 3-D

I Wish Everything Was In 3-D

The title today is brought to you courtesy of my dad’s former coworker. Kinda makes your head hurt, doesn’t it?

I’ll tell you what made MY head hurt – spray painting this thrift store cabinet! I had it in a box so I could paint it in the basement and thought I could just shoot one side and then the other after I removed the back. Well, that was a pipe dream, my friends. I smugly “shot one side and then the other” and then I looked at it from another angle and realized that entire planes were still bare. There was a lot of leaning (the cabinet and myself) and spraying and leaning and spraying after that discovery….

The back of the cabinet was easier to deal with. I just turned to my trusty Mod Podge and adhered this fabulous fabric to the hardboard that was behind the mirror of the “before” cabinet. After a trim and a coat of Mod Podge over the top of the fabric, it was ready to get remarried to the shelf section. So much easier working in one dimension!

I almost replaced the knob on this one as I did on the gray and yellow cabinet, but once I got it all back together I found I actually liked the original pull. And saving a couple bucks never feels bad!

I hope you like this makeover – I never get tired of doing these cabinets because they’re small enough to maneuver without help but I think they make a big impact. If you’d like this kind of impact in your home, this cabinet is for sale in my etsy shop!

Thanks for stopping by!

Who’s Your (Fry) Daddy

Who’s Your (Fry) Daddy

I mean no patriarchal disrespect when I say this, but nobody needs their daddy around anymore. Not with all the bad news out there about the evils of cholesterol and deep-frying. Oh! I meant to say nobody needs their FRY Daddy around anymore.

I’ve never been much of a deep-fryer person anyway – every time I attempt it, everything in my house (clothes for work the next day) ends up smelling like a greasy strip mall Chinese restaurant. So I didn’t have a Fry Daddy to dismantle, but somebody did and this fry basket ended up at the thrift store.

I grabbed it with a light fixture project in mind, thinking I might stick something in those holes or hang something beaded off of them. But the longer I had it, the more its industrial vibe spoke to me and I decided to go a more purist route. All it took was some spray paint (of course), tin snips, and a light kit from Cost Plus World Market.


If you insist on keeping your Fry Daddy intact, you can purchase this light fixture in my etsy shop! Hope you like it and thanks for stopping by!

I linked this project up at:

DIY Show Off

Read more at http://diyshowoff.com/2013/11/10/that-diy-party-42/#zVc44gcySUZXJ3Zz.99

Reflections of the Past

Reflections of the Past

Geez, that title probably made you think you were going to see some kind of Lifetime for Women movie, didn’t it?

Well, I’m happy to say that’s not the case (or sorry to disappoint, depending upon your feelings about Lifetime…it DOES have Project Runway going for it)!  This is a post about mirrors.  See what I did there?

I found a set of four Burwood pictures at the thrift store.  Only three of them would fit in the frame for these pictures, but rest assured, they all came out the same.  I LOVED the shape of the frames, but the finish on them was hideous, as Burwood/Syroco/Home Decorators vintage items usually is.  And the “artwork”…?  Ahem.

Can ya guess what I did?  Of course you can.  I painted them.  And, after nearly severing a digit while trying to do it myself, I had a glass shop cut some mirrors to fit and glue them in place of those sad, 70’s butterflies.  This all happened about four years ago and I still love them just as much!  I hope you like them, too.  Thanks for stopping by!

I linked this project up at

DIY Show Off

Read more at http://diyshowoff.com/2013/10/06/that-diy-party-37/#8tiwySeCxXhDtBoh.99

Around the World In a Briefcase

Around the World In a Briefcase

This little briefcase called out to me at the thrift store a while ago.  It reminded me of a vintage suitcase and I immediately knew what I was going to do with it.  I had a moment’s couple month’s pause about altering it because it had a vintage shoe company brand name on it (Wikler Shoes) and I wondered if it was a old salesman’s case or something.  Eventually, however, I just decided to dive in with my Mod Podge!

As I mentioned in my laundry room makeover post, I love anything travel-related, especially vintage designs of travel posters, advertisements, stickers, et cetera.  Knowing this, my parents have gifted me with two different sets of travel stickers over the years that were laying dormant in Craft Purgatory.

Sidebar – it’s so funny about things like these stickers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I loved them so much I didn’t want to use them on anything.  So instead, they were languishing in a drawer, gathering dust.  Strange way to show love, don’t you think?  I do this with scrapbook paper, too.  Arrggh.

At any rate, I stuck the travel stickers on in what I perceived to be an attractive fashion, Mod Podged over them and here is the result!

 

Hope you like it!  Thanks for stopping by!

I’ve been posting . . . Periodically!

I’ve been posting . . . Periodically!

This is an oldie but a goodie.  At one point in time a few years ago, I was in search of a new coffee table.  It struck me at the time how boring most coffee tables are, and the ones that aren’t boring are usually hideous.  Neither option appealed to me or my living room decor!

So I got to thinking about making a unique coffee table and I just couldn’t stop thinking “Periodic Table.”  I considered creating a coffee table with the standard-issue chemistry class periodic table, but then I stumbled across this GENIUS project:  http://azuregrackle.com/periodictable/table/, and I knew immediately what I would do.  I tracked down a super-boring but high quality oak coffee table and used paint, paper, and Mod Podge to transform it into my own Periodic Coffee Table of the Elements.  Behold!

And here are a few closeups of my favorite elements (well, not favorite ELEMENTS, because I love all the elements equally [doesn’t everybody?], but my favorite PRINTS of the elements):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the interest of education, I’ll leave it to you to discover what the more cryptic of these elements are.  Please visit the project website, too, for more information:  http://azuregrackle.com/periodictable/table/.  I believe they may even sell prints of certain of the elements.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Fall in Reverse

Fall in Reverse

There was a time in my life when I would have given up in the middle of this project. I wasn’t really feeling it, it was kind of driving me crazy, and I was tired! BUT I have finally learned to listen to that voice inside that knew what this could be, so I pressed on. Here’s where I started:

I think they may be vintage Ikea pieces, but I’m not sure. I say that like they’re so hoity-toity or something – “ohh, dahhhling, I luuuv your new Ikea pieces! Will you hang them next to your Picasso?” But I didn’t care if they WERE fine art, I was going to pimp them out! I seem to be on a paint chip roll lately, so I went with it. And here’s what happened!

They’re going to hang in my new office at work and the paint chips match the colors in my new fabric panels and the clock in the previous post. People at work are going to think I have stock in Valspar or something. Hmmm, now that I think of it, that may not be such a bad idea! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

I’m linking this project up at:
HouseofHepworths and Todays Creative Blog

Turn an end table into . . . a bed!?!

Turn an end table into . . . a bed!?!

Well, yes – a bed for your cat!  In the spirit of interspecies peace, you could make one for your dog, ferret, or iguana, too.

I didn’t even know I needed my cats needed a cat bed until I saw Ki’s creation at her blog, Junk Camp!  But once I saw it, I immediately set my thrift phaser to STUN and aimed it at every end table I saw.  Eventually, I came across a suitable specimen and hauled it home.  I dove in too fast to snap a before pic, but it looked a little something like this:

Spray paint, wood finials (Hobby Lobby has a good selection), thick foam and some fabric was all it took to produce my interpretation of Ki’s masterpiece.

Clyde seems to like it!

I hope you like it, too!  Thanks for stopping by.

Lameshade

Lameshade

It may be blog suicide to mention a craft fail this early on in my blogging life, but I can’t continue with this on my conscience – I had a lampshade catastrophe over the weekend.

It all began so innocently: a girl (me), a thrift store, a shapely brass lamp . . . but little did we know that the joy we all felt at stumbling upon one another in this crazy world would be short-lived. Oh sure, there was the honeymoon period during the priming and painting of the lamp – the lime green gloss spray paint behaved better than expected, the painter’s tape successfully sealed the forbidden zones, and no unfortunate paint-in-the-hair episodes occurred. Good times.

Next step was the lampshade. Oh, I found one easily enough – I tried Lowe’s with no luck but one more stop at Lamps Plus was all it took. I took that mother home, fantasizing all the way about how awesome it was going to look wearing the excellent fabric I already had on hand! I felt like the planets were lining up just for this lamp to happen! So with hope in my heart, I stood at my ironing board on Saturday night (yes, my life IS that exciting) figuring out how to make it happen.

It turned out I only had a fat quarter of the chosen fabric, so I decided to just do a stripe of fabric around the shade instead of covering the whole thing. That would have been great, except that I discovered, to my horror, that I DID NOT HAVE A DRUM SHADE. If you’ve ever covered a lampshade, you feel my pain right about now – the top of the shade was slightly smaller than the bottom, which meant that a strip of fabric would not go evenly around it.  As if that weren’t bad enough, the pattern repeat would not allow me to use the part of the design I wanted, and I didn’t have enough fabric for the stripe to go where I wanted it, around the widest part. But I was undaunted! I forged ahead and cut and pressed and sewed and tested and even though I had no idea what I was doing, I started sewing tiny pleats in the top of the fabric every so often until it looked like it would lay right.

It took some serious intestinal fortitude to continue at this point, but I was determined to see it through. So, armed with my trusty can of spray adhesive, I began to spray and stick the fabric onto the shade. After considerable maneuvering, I thought I had gotten most of the wrinkles out as I stretched that material to within an inch of its life and it finally met at the seam.

I popped it on top of the lamp and walked away. I was pretty sick of looking at it by then, and I wasn’t completely happy with the way it turned out, but I thought maybe if I “snuck up on it” its appeal might surprise me.

Yeah . . . that didn’t happen.  Then I opened the blinds the next morning and the wrinkles appeared in all their glory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I tried to fix the wrinkles and I tried not to swear.

But when I discovered that the ENTIRE lampshade was sticky, I may have let a few indelicate words cross my lips.

 

 

 

 

I guess it could be a Post-it lampshade or something.  But not if I burn it first.

That’s not trash!

That’s not trash!

It always scares me when I’m watching “Hoarders” and the people have a piece of what looks like trash to everyone else and the steeped-in-denial hoarder calls out from under a pile of used takeout containers and plastic aquarium plants, “I’m saving that to make a craft with!”  It’s frightening to me because I find myself thinking that on a regular basis and if I don’t monitor myself I could end up in that condemned house stuffed to the rafters with what looks like useless garbage to everyone else.  I come by it honestly – my family crest reads, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth OVER doing!”

In an attempt to actually use some of the stuff I’d accumulated with crafting in mind, I learned on the galactic interwebz how to make those rolled magazine coils I’d seen used as trivets, vases, and bowls.  I rolled and rolled without really knowing what I was going to use them for; I just liked the look of them.  Then inspiration struck!  I remembered this little cabinet I’d gotten at Savers.

 

 

 

I discovered that seven rows of five rolls would fit perfectly in the recessed part of the door, so I brazenly painted over the rose with bright green acrylic paint and glued those coils in place.  I had already coated each coil with a glossy sealer, and once they were secured to the cabinet door, I drizzled epoxy resin in between for a bit more of a finished look and a high gloss.  All that was left was to paint the little door knob the same bright green, and voila!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The end result was really neat if I do say so myself, and I listed the cabinet on etsy right away.  I attracted some hearts, but before I could sell the it, my parents came to visit, my mom fell in love with it, and she bought it out from under all those etsy-ers!  Etsyans?  Etsyites?  People who use etsy! I guess it’s true what all the signs in antique stores say – The time to buy it is when you see it!

I’m glad it found a good home – it’s hardly taken any time at all to tell you how I made it, but there are hours of work in this baby!  There are probably ten hours just in rolling the coils while fending off curious cats.  Luckily, this was one of those projects I could do in front of the boob tube.  An episode of Hoarders, anyone?  :0)

This project was linked up toMaking Monday Marvelous Linky Party