Little Jewelry Chest of Drawers Make-over

ReVamped and upcycled jewelry boxes and chests are always good sellers for me in my booth at the antique mall.  Finding the right pieces to make-over can be a bit of a challenge though.

The first thing I always do is look inside the drawers.  So many of the old jewelry boxes have that cheapo velvet fabric lining the drawers, and it’s usually stained and dirty and impossible to remove.  So I pass if the drawers (innards, as I like to call them!) aren’t clean.

The next thing to check for, if you are going to be repainting or re-covering your piece, is to be sure that the drawer pulls/knobs are removable.  On this piece that I recently made-over, I had already removed the drawer pulls when I remembered that I needed to take pictures!

A time or two in the past, I HAVE bought pieces that I could not remove the knobs from, and just painted the whole thing, knobs and all; but I avoid that as much as possible.  I just sand the paint off the pulls/knobs as much as possible in those instances.

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How sweet are the drawer pulls on this piece!?!?

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The insides of the insides of the drawers were clean and painted black, which was totally fine.  Except for the fact that I was re-painting the piece an off-white and the contrast was quite stark.  My solution?  Glue some paper to the inside bottom of the drawers.  I used old dictionary pages this time.  In the past, and on full size dressers/chests I have used; pretty wrapping paper, vintage wall paper, vintage sheet music, old road atlas pages . . . really, ANY kind of paper that you can cut to size will work.

I also added some of the same paper to the recessed bottom of the chest, just for fun!  Don’t forget to paint (or paper!) the BACK also.

Before and after.

*This piece has already SOLD in my booth at Stars Antique Mall in Portland, Oregon.

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Shabby cottage chic desk and dresser

Found this little desk and three drawer chest at a recent estate sale.

Of course, it was the color that first caught my eye when I saw this little desk from across the room.  Alas, the top was a real MESS!  Cheap plywood that had cracked, stained and peeling paint, but not the kind that you can leave ‘as is’.  Still, the price was right so I bought it.  (and the drawer innards were nice and CLEAN!)

SCORE!!  Another piece in ‘my color’!?!  woo-hoo!  Ah, but wait!  Once I put my reading glasses on I could see that it had been very POORLY painted aqua over a medium green pain; which still showed in several places.  Still, it was nice and sturdy.  The backing was in good shape and the drawers were clean!

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The chest was pretty ‘grimey’ and  required a good scrubbing; and those drawer pulls HAD to go.  The pulls were screwed on, which usually means an easy removal; but these had been painted over more than once, so simply removing the screws did not do the job.  I had to WHACK them really hard with a hammer to get them off.

Not all of the stain and grime came off when I washed it, so it was time for the orbital sander.  I was HOPING that I could ‘just sand it’ and leave it this color.  Nope.  This, and the desk were going to HAVE to be painted.  I opted to paint them both white.

The top to the desk turned out just perfect!  Just the right amount of each color, white, aqua and wood showing after I distressed it.

As I am in the habit of doing, I painted the backside also.  It really only takes a few more seconds to do this when you are repainting items; and it gives the purchaser a lot more flexibility on placement of the item, as they won’t HAVE to place it with the back to a wall.

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Distressing brought out just the right amount of the original aqua paint along the edges and ‘here and there’.  I recycled some old metal drawer pulls that I had on hand.  The insides of the drawers were completely painted the same aqua as the desk, but the bottoms were a bit scratched up.  I glued some pretty wrapping paper to the bottom of the drawers.

Distressing the chest was a bit more difficult.  Usually I can just ‘sand away’ and not have to pay very close attention and it will turn out fine.  However, the aqua color was a very LIGHT coat of paint, and if I sanded too hard of too much, I went clear through to the green coat of paint.  A little bit of the green showing through wasn’t too bad, but I wanted more of the aqua to show.  At one point, I almost decided to just repaint the whole thing turquoise!  But then I decided to ‘give it a shot’ at selling with the bits of green showing, before I went to all the extra work of painting it a second time.  I used the same vintage metal drawer pulls for the dresser and I did for the desk.

You can really see the green around the edges of the top of the chest.  That little ‘reddish’ mark near the center of the top of the chest had been a ‘blob of paint’ that had to be sanded down.  Apparently the top had been RED at one time, and sanding went down to that coat on this one little spot.  SO, I may well have to paint this chest a second time.

But for now, it’s in my booth at Stars Antique Mall priced at $59.00.  The smaller size of this chest make it perfect for a child’s dresser and/or a bed-side chest for an adult’s room.

As is the desk; which is $49.00.  That aqua cute bow back chair is also $49.00.

While I had the white paint out, I painted up a couple of wood slat picnic baskets that I’ve had for a while.

The smaller square basket with the BEE on top is $24.00.

The bigger, dark brown one with EAT on the top is $29.00.

P1320918The shabby apple basket is $15.00.

P1320951White metal birdcage (decorative use only; it does NOT open!) is $ 25.00.

Upcycled candle chandelier is $29.00.  Made using old white metal garden edge fencing; with five frosted glass hanging jars for tea light candles or battery tea lights.

I’ve recently added a LOT more vintage milk glass dishes!  Look at that adorable little espresso cup and saucer!!  I’ve got LOTS of regular coffee’tea cups and saucers and creamers and sugar bowls.  Perfect for an elegant bridal shower.  Lots of vases too!

I also just took in a nice collection of vintage Taylor, Smith and Taylor ‘Boutonnier’ dishes.  I had been collecting these for myself for quite some time; and finally decided that I just didn’t have room for them.  It’s not a complete set.  But there are a lot of cups and saucers and dessert size plates.

P1320947Stop by soon and see what’s new!!  Don’t let the construction on the side street scare you away.  (they tore down the boys and girls club and are putting is a high rise condo building!)  There is still plenty of parking; actually MORE than what was available before on some days!!

I finally have a sofa in my living room!!

Well, I have a sofa ‘of sorts’.  A daybed that will function as my sofa and that I can sleep on when I have overnight guests (whom I would of course give my room to!)  And it only took me 14 months from the time I moved in to ‘build’ it.

I really. REALLY wanted to find  a cool old day bed to use in my living room.

Something along the lines of these.  Aren’t they fabulous!?!?  Alas, I have not seen one single vintage day bed since I moved 14 months ago.  And actually, had I found one like the iron ones in the above photos, they probably would have been to short to actually SLEEP on.

I already had this old door that I had painted to use as my headboard previously in my room at Michael’s.  It ended up being too long to use as the headboard in my room here, so I just stashed it in the garage until I figured out what to do with it.

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So, a few weeks ago, an elderly gentleman who lives across the street from me came over while I was outside working on some projects, and introduced himself to me and commented on how I was ‘always out here working on something’!  He said he had an old door and peg rack that he was getting rid of, and asked if I’d like them.  Of course I said yes.  This is that door, and it is HEAVY.  It took both of us to lift it onto my wheely cart and wheel it over to my place!

Wasn’t sure WHAT I was going to do with it at first.  Michael has been working on some home improvements, and I thought he might be able to use it; so I offered it to him first.  He did not need it, so it was mine . . . all mine to figure out a use for.

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So I had the old panel door for the backing.  Could use the newly acquired ‘heavy’ door for the base.  Now I just needed to figure out what to do for legs????  But I wasn’t sure that ‘just legs’ would be sturdy enough, and I wanted to leave room for storage underneath, so I wanted it a bit HIGHER than a typical daybed would be.  So I designed the above wood boxes to use as the base to put the door across, and Michael custom built them for me.

I had even saved the wood support boards that we had used to attach the panel door to the wall when I was using it as my headboard previously.  I just screwed the boards back on using the same screws in the same holes; then screwed the door to the wall.  Most of the weight of the door is supported by the boards. Screwing it to the wall just keeps it from falling over.

P1280737And there you have a ‘naked’ make-do daybed!!  Now I just need a mattress or some kind of padding!!  Which proved to be much more difficult than I had anticipated!!  A twin mattress was too wide and not long enough.  So I  headed to Joann Fabrics (50% off coupon in hand!) and figured I could get a new foam pad at a decent price.  WRONG!!!  Even at HALF off, the foam pads were crazy expensive!!!  Forget that!  So I put on my thinking cap and started looking elsewhere.

Since we are nearing the end of summer, I thought perhaps I could find a box pad like the ones above (but for outdoor furniture) on sale.  Nope.  They were more expensive than the foam pads!  An actual twin mattress would have been the cheapest option IF it would have fit!  sigh.  WHAT am I going to use for the ‘cushions’ on my sofa/daybed????

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My propensity to think outside the box led me to purchasing TWO king size foam mattress pads.  I cut each one into THREE equal pieces; which gave me a nice and cushy SIX layers to sit or sleep on!!  I bought a plastic twin bed cover to ‘hold the foam layers together.

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I was really envisioning something that looked like this.  I LOVE the old pallets for the base, but NEED the storage room that a covered base provides.  But a cover similar to the one above might still look good with a skirted base.

But this is what I got . . .  for now at least.  The covering and pillows are temporary.  I just threw what I had on there for now.  I want to make a skirt (burlap maybe) and a vintage chenille bedspread and different covers for the pillows (feed-sack style maybe?) .  Oh, and now that I see it ‘almost finished’, I’ve decided that it NEEDS arms or SOMETHING on the ends.

I would LOVE to find some cool vintage corbels to use as ‘arms’.  They wouldn’t really need to go the full depth of the bed; just enough to keep the pillows from falling off.  And if I can’t find any old corbels, I can buy news ones, or maybe MAKE my own!  (I foresee a field trip to the salvage place down in Aurora!)

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So, the daybed is still very much ‘a work in progress’.  As is the living room as a whole.  I had to figure out where to move the dresser that was on the wall where the daybed is now.  (it’s full of craft supplies!)

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And I’m totally embarrassed to admit that I have yet to do away with all of this ‘pile of stuff’ at the back of my living room.  Although this is a picture from a year ago, and the pile is now about 1/4 that size.  A lot of it was product for Stars that has been taken to my booth and sold. Getting rid of this will open up the living room a bit more, but only in a ‘long and narrow’ way; not any wider.  And now that I’ve decided that I NEED to do the Junk Salvation show again in February; I’m going to have to start accumulating product for it.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m just going to have to upgrade to a bigger rented storage unit.  I have a 4’x6′ right now.

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These old suitcases that I have as the coffee table for now are too big for the space.  I actually have a really cute shabby white trio of tables that I had Michael build for me (before I even moved) that I had intended to use as the coffee table.

 While I was awaiting a sofa to put a coffee table in front of, I had put them on my front porch.  Remember my blue pumpkin display from last fall?  The two smaller ones ‘tuck under’ the bigger one.  These will eventually replace the suitcases as my coffee table.

So, the ball is rolling and I just MIGHT have my living room squared away enough to actually put up a Christmas tree this year.

SOLD!

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Well, the ‘odd-ball’ colored chest of drawers SOLD the last day of the five-day sale!  Kind of nice to make money selling something that I didn’t have to put a lot of WORK into.

With all the other big pieces that sold during the sale, I wasn’t sure if I had enough new pieces ‘ready to go’ on Tuesday when I went in to re-stock; soooooooo . .

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I decided to try my luck again at selling a piece ‘as found’.  And this one is REALLY different for my booth!  I just LOVE ‘little drawers’ and this was a crazy good price.  If it hasn’t sold by the time I get something to take its place in my booth; it just might be coming home with me!

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I could incorporate it with the red and turquoise I have in my kitchen!

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It sure stands out like a sore thumb in my booth, doesn’t it?  Priced at just $89.00 thoughm

Big eight drawer dresser

Rarely do I find big furniture pieces at Goodwill; OR they are TOO big to fit in the back of my car and too heavy for me to unload by myself.  This eight drawer dresser was ‘just right’!P1270595

I always keep a few old sheets in my car to cover furniture with AND to protect my car bumper when loading/unloading big items.  It’s difficult for me to LIFT the items like this to put in my car; so here’s my  ‘bad back method’ for loading big stuff in the car.

Well, first of all you have to have the right kind of car; a hatch that lifts UP and a LOW back end.  (and trust me, the PT Cruiser sits LOW!  Sometimes TOO low!!  I’ve had to ‘train myself’ to not pull all the way into parking spaces that have the concrete stops, because my front bumper will catch and scrape on it!!)  

I lay a folded over sheet from the back of the car draping over the bumper.  This particular dresser needed to be turned on it’s side first.  Once on it’s side and scooted up to the bumper, I tip it over onto the sheet and then just give it a good shove (using my knees for extra push, if needed).  Gotta LOVE leverage!

This dresser was pretty heavy, so the gal at pickup helped me ‘shove it’.  So  I knew it was too heavy for me to re-load to take to Stars, after I refinished it.  Here’s how I handle that problem.  I leave the drawers out!!  Load the dresser frame, cover with a sheet, them the drawers on top of that.  For unloading at Stars, I take the drawers in first.  (I use my little wheely cart for loading EVERYTHING at Stars!)  Then the empty dresser, then put the drawers in once I have it in the spot I want it to be.

This is a good way to move heavy dressers around the house too.  Take the filled drawers out and it’s it’s easy to move the frame.

Okay, back to the dresser at hand!

Very clean drawer innards!!  Very UGLY metal knobs painted white.  Originally I was thinking of JUST distressing the existing white paint, adding new knobs and calling it done.  Alas, someone had spray painted it RED before it was painted white, so I HAD to repaint it.

I added some vintage style paper to line the drawers with, even though they didn’t really NEED to be lined; it’s a nice touch on a bigger, pricier item.  I really struggled with finding the right replacement for the ugly knobs.  The knobs it had are the kind that have a couple of BARBS on the back to better hold them in place; but whomever attached the knobs LET them spin around while being screwed on, which gouged a ‘moat’ around the hole for the knobs.  Which meant I had to find replacement knobs that covered the moats!  sigh.  I went shopping for new ones and left empty handed.  LOTS of really pretty knobs out there IT I wanted to double the selling price of the dresser to afford them!  Especially since I needed 16 of them!  sheesh!   I settled upon these cast iron ones I had ‘in stock’.

A bit more ‘simply’ styled than I had originally envisioned it with some new knobs, but knobs are easy to replace, so I’ll leave that to the new owner.

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Available for purchase in my booth at Stars for $149.00

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UPcycled 3 drawer chest

DRAT!!!  I could have SWORN that I took a picture of this ‘nasty’ three drawer chest before I started working on it!?!  Alas, apparently I did not; but from the looks of these drawers, I think you can imagine what it looked like.

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Layers of old paint colors, mismatched drawer pulls . . .

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Contact paper on the top?!?!?  (I REALLY should have looked at this more closely and with my glasses ON; before I decided to buy it!)  Fortunately, said contact paper was SO old that it was really BRITTLE, and scraped off with a paint scraper fairly easily.

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And MORE contact paper was covering this mess on one side!!  That ‘indent’ is far too big to just fill with wood putty.  Time to get creative.  (Just in case you are wondering WHERE that indent came from; this piece must have been the side drawers from a desk.  And this is the side the desk top and drawer was attached to.)

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The repair in progress.  I found a ‘strip’ of wood that was almost the right size; then filled the rest of the gaps with bits and pieces of bamboo skewers.  Sanded all that smooth, then filled any remaining gaps with wood putty.

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Sanding down the top revealed more layers of colors.

Lots of pink under the brown on the drawers.  Filled the holes from the previous drawer pulls.

A couple of layers of paint and lots of sanding with the orbital sander; purposely revealing some of the old pink and yellow paint on the top.

The side with the damage on the right; the good side on the left.

Good (right) and bad (left) sides again; but in better light.  My ‘repair’ job IS noticeable, but not very!  Most of the time, you don’t even SEE the sides of a chest when it’s in use in a home anyhow.

Found the perfect vintage drawer pulls for this piece.

Available for purchase in my booth at Stars.

Healing, House / Kitty sitting and My ‘New’ Blue

My hand is healing nicely, but I still can’t really DO much of anything with it.  Nearly impossible to write, but I can now hold my coffee cup with my right hand and eat with it.  Still can’t reach with it (like to open the frig) or turn it (like to turn a door knob or key in a door.)  Even have to use my left hand to turn the ignition key to start my car!  Stitches come out on Monday and I’m eager to find out how soon I’ll be able to really USE my right hand again.

Needless to say, I am not doing any ‘creating’ while my hand heals and I am getting VERY restless!!  It was nice to get out my house for five day and house and KITTY sit for some friends while they took a little vacation.  It was fun having kitties to play with again.  This is the first time in 25 years that I have been ‘pet-less’.  My new place is really just too small for even a kitty though.

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 In the weeks before my surgery I got as many painting projects done as I could; AND I switched over to a new shade of blue.  Trying to achieve more of a Robin’s egg blue this time.  In the picture above, the credenza is painted with the new blue and the small shelf on top of it is my old blue.

Whaddya think of the new color?

Published in: on October 10, 2015 at 2:06 pm  Comments (4)  
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Outdated / updated Jewelry chest

Small wood jewelry chests are an item that I am always on the hunt for.  They are fairly quick to make-over (IF you pick & choose carefully!) and usually sell quite well.

P1220303This was a great medium sized one!  I normally see a LOT of the small ‘2 drawer’ kinds and the HUGE ones.  This one is just right.

POP QUIZ:  What’s the FIRST thing you do when you spot an item like this???

P1220305If you answered ‘check the drawers’ you are a TRUE follower of my blog!  Probably 9 out of 10 jewelry boxes that I look at have ‘icky’ drawer innards.  And that cheap velvety fabric (usually bright RED or mustard yellow!) they line the drawers with does NOT come off and is impossible to clean!  I was absolutely delighted to find CLEAN and TURQUOISE drawers in this one.

P1220304The drawer pulls usually don’t come off, so plan for that in your painting options.

P1220314I used a small very stiff brush to paint around and behind the drawer pulls; then my regular paint brush for the rest of it.  Two coats then hand sanded the edges.

P1220317 Usually I’d stencil a design or word on the top of the jewelry box, but, I’ve decided to ‘leave things plain’ for a while and see if they sell better.  If not, I can always add to them later on.

This piece will be making its way to my booth at Stars very soon.

Another night stand

There’s no such thing as having too many night stands in my booth at Stars.P1190810I snagged this little pink number at a recent estate sale.  Drawers are always a plus!

P1190857It’s difficult to tell from this picture, but I added a back to it.  But DON’T add your back first thing!!!  The insides of those shelves (and the backing!) are much easier to paint SEPARATELY.  So measure and cut your backing and paint it and your entire shelf BEFORE attaching the back.  I just run a thin strip of tacky glue along the edge of the back, then nail it down with finishing nails.

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I love this vintage tarnished gold knob with back-splash.  I tried out several other knobs before settling on this one.  I tried a white ceramic knob, a crystal one, a wood one (that I would have painted aqua to match) and none of them were looking right.  I had NOT tried any gold ones because I really didn’t think they would look right.  Just goes to show you that sometimes you have to think outside the box.  This knob really set the ‘vintage tone’ for this piece.

P1200100I glued a piece of scrap book paper to the inside of the drawer to cover up a few crayon marks.

P1200098Did you notice that I didn’t distress this piece?!?!?  I didn’t want the original pink to show through, so it was either: A) Don’t distress it.  or B) Sand away all the pink paint before painting it.  With it being mostly flat surfaces and straight lines, sanding off all the original paint really would n;t have taken more than an hour or two.  But I would have never been able to PRICE it to recoup that amount of time spent on it.

You really have to always be thinking about your ‘bottom line’ if you are trying to make any profit on the items you make over.  You have to ‘choose your battles’ so to speak.  Don’t spend a lot of extra time working on a piece that won’t sell at a higher price point.

Itty bitty chest :: OUTdated – UPdated

P1180894Crackle and gold and roses . . .OH MY!

P1180895Just a ‘wee little thing’; but the painted on roses were NOT ‘raised’, so this thrift store find will be  fairly easy to make over.

P1190109A couple of coats of a soft white . . . .then pondered for DAYS trying to think of ‘what else’ to do to it’.

P1190111I finally decided that it was fine as it is.  (WHY do I feel like I have to ADD decorative elements to EVERYthing?!?) Just gave it a big sheer bow on the top!

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 It has gone to my booth at Stars.

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