Cute little step-back cupboard

Found this cute little ‘Barbie-doll’ size step-back cupboard a few weeks ago.

P1240289Unfinished wood, so just a good dusting and it’ll be ready to paint.

P1240290Oops!  Okay, maybe a little bit of sanding inside the doors before I paint it.

P1240291The knobs are easily removable too.  This will be a quick make-over!

P1250077A couple of quick coats of my ‘new blue’ paint, and a little bit of hand sanding.  I re-used the original knobs ‘as is’ since I didn’t have any others that were small enough, and they suited the new look just fine.


I painted the insides of the doors, but not the entire inside as it was too small to get my hand and a brush into.

P1250135It has been taken to my booth at Stars, along with LOTS more ‘new blue’ items.

P1250095LOVE this color combination!

The kitchen and ‘dining room’ in my new place . . .

Well, what is supposed to be the dining room is finally done.  AND I actually have some kitchen counter space to work on now!

P1220609Yep, that IS my ‘dining room’; which is actually my ‘office’.  The computer desk and shelf in the corner were in my bedroom at the old place.  The tables under the window are old booth displays from Stars; a dining table and coffee table that I cut in half.  The ‘other halves’ of each piece are in my craft room.  The pile of clothes in the far left is actually my coat tree, which is right behind the front door.

P1220608The newly created kitchen counter work space was made possible by adding this aqua step-back cupboard that Michael custom built for me.

P1220606It was designed as somewhat of an’extension’ of the kitchen.  I’m not particularly fond of how I’ve got the toaster on top of the bread box, but for the sake of counter space and lack of cupboard space, it’s a necessity.

P1220607Before Michael built the cupboard for me, ALL my kitchen counter space was taken up from the microwave, toaster and bread box.  I had that small white shelf in this spot with my canisters on it.  My cake stand collection was on one of the shelves in the living room.

P1220605My ‘secondary’ collection for ironstone pitchers is on the top of the step-back.  These are the unique ones that don’t match the rest of my collection; which is on a shelf in the living room still.

P1220600And this is the kitchen.  Cozy, eh??  The left of the sink here is where the microwave and toaster were before, and the newly created counter work space, which is slightly bigger than the space to the right of the sink.

P1220604LOVE my red butter bell!!!  I have never seen them in colors like this, so I had to keep this one.  I stock and sell a lot of these in my booth at Stars, but they are always white; occasionally I find them with thin blue stripes around the rim.

P1220601These are the cupboards above the sink side of the kitchen, and these two little cupboards are the only space I have for pantry food storage.

P1220597I painted this thrifted wire shelf white to store my dish towels and cloths on; as there was no drawer or cupboard space for them.

P1220603Two very narrow cupboards on either side of the stove for baking pans.

P1220602Two more very narrow cupboards above the stove for spices, oils, coffee, etc.

P1220595Counter space to the right of the stove.

P1220596And to the left of the stove, just enough room to display my prized vintage turquoise Kitchen Aid mixer.

Soooooooooooooo . . . . .two cupboards above the sink for food, two small ones above the stove for spices etc; drawers for silverware, utensils, skillets, plastic wrap and foil, oven mitts and vitamins; two cupboards beside the stove for pans . . . . . .and that fills ALL the built in kitchen cupboards!!  WHERE do I put my dishes?!?!?!

P1220594I was actually prepared for this dilemma in advance and placed my two big shutter cupboards ‘back to back’ at the entry space to the dining room; dividing the kitchen and living room.  The white one faces the living room and is used for ‘office stuff’.

P1220593The turquoise one faces the kitchen, on the right of the stove and stores my dishes.  I have a LOT of dishes!


  Most of the dishes are thrift finds; and I kind of had collections of three different sets started.

P1220585The turquoise glasses and wine glasses I found at Dollar Tree!!

P1220588The first style I started collecting are these, and I was hoping to find enough of all pieces to make them the dishes I use all the time.  Alas, they have been harder to find than I had hoped.

P1220586But these vintage Johnson Bros. English Ironstone dishes that I had also started collecting also have become easier to find.  So now I am working on making these my regular dishes.

P1220589A few assorted ‘odd balls’, just because I like them; like these lion’s head ramekins that match some soup lion’s head soup bowls; some vintage and some found new at Ross.

P1220592Some vintage oval platters and boats; and more vintage ramekins.

And that’s the kitchen and ‘dining room’ in my new place.

UPcycled spice rack

It all started with a scalloped spice shelf I found at a rummage sale.

P1190117Try to visualize JUST the part shown above with the scalloped edges by itself and turned upside down from how it is.  Looked to be some sort of make-do spice rack, but I had BIGGER plans for it.

P1190113I envisioned it as the top of a petite step-back cupboard.  And thanks to Michael’s help . . . here it is!

P1190114He built the base for me, we attached the two and painted a soft putty color.  (my new favorite color, in case you hadn’t noticed!)

P1190115Added this little carved wood applique at the bottom.

P1190118Simple, cottage chic style.

P1190108In the process of figuring out ‘just the right size’ of a base to fit with that scalloped top, we ended up with a couple of extra base units.  So I just painted them up as little shelves.  This is two of them, stacked.

P1190107Painted the same putty color as the step-back; with different wood appliques along the base kick plate; and a stamped design on the backing.

P1190103Base of the larger one.

P1190105Base of the larger one.

P1190102And a better look at the stamped design on the backing.  I always (ALWAYS!!) build shelves withOUT the backing attached.  SO much easier to paint that way.  AND easy peasey to add a decorative element like this TO the backing.  I just used a foam stamp from the craft store and stamped away.  Once dry, I attached it to my shelf.

P1190703The step-back has bone to Stars; $84.00.  The two shelves will be headed there soon.

How cute is this?!?!?

I still have to decide what color to paint this darling mini stepback cupboard that Michael built.  It’s a little bigger than ‘doll size’ and a little smaller than ‘child size’.  I’m just liking the idea of ‘little things’ these days!  Now what should we build next???


And, what color do you think it should be????

Published in: on March 2, 2009 at 8:07 pm  Comments (2)  

Unique display for scrapbook supplies

This big ole ten drawer dresser has been sitting around in the shed for years!  Just couldn’t decide what to do with it;or even if it was worth trying to fix up.  Several of the drawer bottoms were DUCT TAPED together!  One side of the dresser had a huge gouge in it and I just couldn’t think of how to repair that.

See that big old gouge in the corner???

What we ended up doing is Michael just cut out that entire section and we ‘patched it’ with a piece of luan plywood.  You could see where it was patched even after I painted it, but you really don’t notice the sides of a dresser that much.

No knobs on most of the drawers either.  Michael replaced the bottoms of several of the drawers.  And the other side had several big dents in it that we had to fill with wood putty.

I decided to pair this dresser up with this hutch to create a step-back cupboard.

And here is the finished product, all filled with scrapbooking goodies!

Close up of the distressed drawer fronts.  I love the LOOK of the star shaped knobs, but I don’t think I’d use them again.  They are kind of sharp and ‘pokey’ whey you pull the drawer open.

Used clear glass jars to display lots of the scrapbooking supplies in.


Recycled old fence boards

Michael did an AMAZING job of interpreting ‘what I wanted’ when I described my idea for this recycled fenceboard stepback cupboard.  I just love how it turned out!  Great space on the top to show off your treasures, and a BIG storage area below for stuff you want to hide! 

Michael even commented that he wouldn’t mind making MORE of these!  (A lot of the time my ideas are a bit too complicated for him to ever want to tackle again!)

He started off with 8′ sections of old fencing.  The fencing place in town tosses the old stuff in a pile while waiting to haul it to the dump.  They are happy to have him haul it off for them!  The sections are big and heavy though and hard for one person to get on their own.

For the back and sides he just ‘cut the widths’ he wanted from the section, leaving the 2×4 supports in place.  Then he cut the rest of the pieces for the shelves and doors, and more supports from 2×2’s.  I ‘dry brush’ painted everything.  (see our tutorials for how to dry brush)  Here’s the back side of the back piece.

To add interest, he cut the side pieces from sections that were ‘worn at the bottom’ and put the worn part at the top.

We thought about adding a shelf to the inside of the base cabinet, but I decided against it so I’d have more flexibility as to what I could store in there.  Never enough storage space for back up product in the shop!

Kitty Spike takes a quick tour, but is unimpressed!  (He loves hiding in our kitchen pantry cupboard!)

And that’s it!  Lots of other variations are possible.  Wider, (although I’d probably make it a ‘two piecer’ if I went wider just because of the weight) open base, doors on top AND bottom…..

Sophie’s Cottage is located in Hillsboro, Oregon.  We sell vintage, handcrafted and new home decor and gifts at half off retail prices.




~ primitives ~ trash to treasure ~ shabby chic ~ cottage ~ Paris apartment ~ repurposed home goods ~ repaired ~ restyled home decor ~ reused ~ recycled art ~ handcrafted gifts ~ one of a kind ~ artist originals ~ second hand style ~ junk market style ~ flea market style ~ beautiful junk ~ beach cottage décor ~ unique home décor ~ vintage home décor ~ unique gifts ~ custom made gifts ~ custom made home décor ~ personalized signs ~ Sophie’s Cottage ~ grubby candles ~ how to craft books ~ Shabby Paris apartment ~ baby gifts ~ personalized gifts ~ AJ Finsand ~

Vintage green step back cupboard

Michael has rescued another poor abandoned chest and dragged it home for me to fix up and put up for adoption.

Sans drawer pulls and with three coats of old paint, this sweet thing needed a lot of love!  It looks like someone started to fix it up with the coat of dark green paint, but gave up.  The top and sides were just partially painted.

I tackled the drawers first (always the fastest and easiest part!)  since they only had two layers of paint to sand through.  I wish that dark green had not been put on the top and sides, because I kind of liked how the drawers looked partially sanded; light blue with a little soft yellow showing through.

BTW, if I was going to leave a piece ‘half/half’ like this, I would apply a coat of matte varnish to even out the finish and protect it.  The blue paint had a sheen to it so sanding it left it looking scratched, but not in a good way.

The new orbital sander made really quick work of the sanding process!  The flat dark green paint didn’t sand off as easily as the blue, so I just scuffed it enough for the new paint to adhere.  Then it was time to bring out that wonderful new Ralph Lauren paint!  I got one coat applied before dinner, and it was ready for the second coat after dinner!

Time to dig through the hardware box and hopefully find six handles that match the existing holes in the drawers.  Found these slightly mis matched ones:

they were in different stages of wear and rust, which I love the LOOK of, but not that crusty feel it leaves on your hands when you touch it.  So I washed them off, and once dry gave them a quick coat of clear spray varnish.

Had all next day at the store to ponder where and how I’d use the finished piece.  One of the old bookcases in the store caught my eye; and I’m thinking I can paint the case to match the chest and put it on top in a ‘step back cupboard kind of way’.  Some rearranging of the store ensued so that I could empty the bookcase and take it home to paint.

It had already been sanded when I first got it some time ago, but I had left the original taupe paint on.  I had Michael attach a face plate at the bottom to fill in the gap between the legs since it was going on top of the chest.

Two quick coats of that wonderful Ralph Lauren paint and the bookcase is ready to go to!  On most of the pieces I paint for the store I also paint the backs of.  Reason being that sometimes the way they are displayed the backs show (not a lot of wall space in our store) and it just looks better painted.  This gives me more flexibility as to where I can use the piece in the store since I’m not limited to just against a wall.

TA DA!!!!!  There she is!  All prettied up and filled up and ready to greet the world again; waiting to be adopted by a new family and brighten their home.

This is a brighter color than I am typically inclined to go with, but I like it.  It would look great mixed with shabby whites.  Pink and green are always a fun combination.  And it would even look fabulous tucked in a room filled with beachy blues!  I wish I had time to redisplay the piece in all those different ways and take pics!


Published in: on May 11, 2007 at 3:18 pm  Comments (4)  


When I brought this mustard buffet and hutch into the shop no one  suspected that they were totally mis-matched to begin with! 

I ‘almost’ forgot to take the before pictures again!  (as you can see, I caught myself part way into the primer on the hutch!)  It was a nice maple finish, but not quite the look I wanted for the shop.

Then Michael dragged home this dresser.  It was in good shape, but the light oak finish on a knotty pine dresser was just awful looking.  Wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it.  As I was pondering the fate of the dresser, the hutch top caught my eye and I wondered if it would fit on the dresser.  Perfect fit!

A good sanding of both.  A coat of primer and a couple of good coats of mustard paint on both and some new knobs on the dresser base and voila!  It was the perfect display for my red and white dishes in the shop.