Upcycled beach treasure box

Just a simple, almost ugly, little wood box.

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With a very BAD paint job I might add.  The paint was kind of ‘curdled’.  Bleck!

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Not sure WHAT the deal is with the partially painted innards, or the raised parts on the sides???  But it IS ‘clean’ inside and paint will easily cover all of that.

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It took a LOT of paint to cover that bright red; so instead of a THIRD coat on the inside, I added some pretty scrapbook paper.

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And a white fingerling starfish on the top.  I HAD to leave this one ‘un-distressed’ due to the first coat being red.  I COULD have sanded off all that red paint, then repainted AND distressed.  But on a small project like this you need to be sure you aren’t spending more time than you can recoup in your selling price.

This one has sold already too!

UPCYCLED Little Treasure Chest

Little trunk style jewelry chest I recently found.

Nice clean ‘innards’? Check.  Paper peeling off?  I was probably going to remove it before I painted it anyhow.  Sold!

It was actually a nice finish under the paper.  It was a bit harder to get all that paper off than I’d hoped.  I peeled off whatever would easily come off first; which wasn’t much!  Then I soaked a dishcloth in hot water and laid that over the remaining paper.  After letting that sit for a bit, I used a paint scraper to get ‘most’ of it off.  finally had to use some ‘Goof Off’ to get the last little bits of paper off.  Then a little sanding before repainting.

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Aqua paint (of course!) and a bit of sanding to distress.

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A section of a pretty paper napkin decoupaged on the top for a little added ‘oomph’.

P1270083Done and already SOLD, at Stars.

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.

Second life for a Chocolate box (belated Mother’s Day post)

For Mother’s Day, my sweet son and precious daughter-in-law took me out to lunch on Saturday*,  gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a ‘carefully selected’ box of (my favorite flavor, salted caramel!) Moonstruck chocolates.

*You couldn’t PAY me enough to get me to go out to eat ON Mother’s Day!!  After working in the restaurant biz for 27 years, I KNOW it’s one of the WORST days to go out to eat.  

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Oh!  And a pair of hand carved salad tongs they bought in Fiji while on their honeymoon in February.

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Isn’t this the most beautiful floral arrangements you’ve ever seen!  Simple but elegant!  The roses are as big ans my fist!!  I don’t know what the purple ones are, the buds look a lot like rosebuds.  ALL of them are hanging to dry right now so I can save them.

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This little box that the chocolates came in was emptied pretty quickly.  Much too cute of a box to just toss into the recycle bin.  Time for a craft project!

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So I wouldn’t need to cover the WHOLE thing, I found some paper that worked well with the gold on the bottom of the box.  The paper is actually wrapping paper that I bought on-line, specifically to use for craft projects.

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After looking at the photos I took, I realized that the ‘seams’ on the box bottom were VERY noticeable.  I probably should have covered the bottom too.  Instead I decided to fill the box with some brown paper shred.  (but I didn’t get a pic of that.)

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I rifled through several different metal charms I had on hand in search of something to decorate the top of the box.  Settled upon a pair of gold tome arrows because they worked best with re-using the gold elastic bow.

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I love prettying up little boxes like this!  I think if I could make a living doing so, I’d spend ALL my time doing this!

 

Old shelf ~ New paint

Found this grubby black metal shelf in another booth at Stars.

Nice and big with lots of room for ‘stuff’, but it was very lightweight.

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You can’t really see it in this photo, but the black paint was chipping off quite a bit here and there; and I didn’t want to completely hide all that naturally occurring distressing with the new paint.  I opted to ‘dry brush’ paint it.

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The dry brush technique doesn’t completely cover the original finish; and it’s such a ‘light finish’ that the areas that had begun shedding the black paint, will more easily continue to do so naturally, over the course of time.

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Dry brush painting is pretty ‘fast and easy’ too!

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Perfect size for the crowns in my booth at Stars.

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And lightweight enough to easily place on top of another shelf to get the crowns at ‘eye level’.

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Upcycled soap box

Hello, my name is aj; and I’m a ‘soapaholic’. 

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If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ve probably already figured that out!  I must confess that my addiction goes further than that.

I can’t resist ‘sniffing soaps’ at the store.

No, not the soaps in the soap aisle at the grocery store.  The ‘fancy’ soaps that come in pretty boxes.  Marshall’s is my favorite store for ‘soap sniffing’.  But I don’t sniff just ‘any soap’!  No ‘floral’ fragrances for me (except Lavender).  Other floral scents make me sneeze!  And I only like ‘neutral color’ soaps.P1260297I I was attracted to this box of soap because of the pretty box.  When I opened it and saw that it was PINK, I quickly put the lid back on and replaced it on the shelf withOUT even smelling it.  Because I don’t like pink soaps!

Just as I was starting to reach for the next box to open and sniff; the fragrance from that box with pink soap gently wafted by and it was AMAZING!  It smelled like a fresh strawberry pie.  I could NOT resist a full on sniff.  I HAD to buy it!

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The soap itself went directly into my shower and the box to my craft table.  I especially like how the box was decorated with the baker’s twine.  (will have to remember that trick!)

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I love upcycling these pretty soap boxes.  Usually I have to re-cover the entire box; but this one was already decorated so nicely that I only had to cover the ‘soap’ information.

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I found some print scrap book paper that coordinated with the paper on the box to cover the front label.

Used a piece of the same paper to cover the bottom of the box.

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There was a removable ‘riser’ in the bottom of the box that I wanted to leave in place because it SMELLED so good; so I added some of the same paper to it.

Easy peasey pretty (and fragrant!) little gift box ready to go!

Upcycled vintage candy box

Vintage wood candy box I found at an estate sale.

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The top was fairly beat up.

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Nice clean ‘innards’ though!

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I would have guessed that it was maybe a cigar box; but the label on the bottom tells otherwise.

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I sanded off the picture on the top with my orbital sander; then hand sanded the rest of the outside.  (it had a glossy varnish, so it HAD to be sanded before painting.)

Painted the whole thing aqua; then sanded.

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BEFORE I had decided how to decorate the top of the box, I decided to use this pretty turquoise glitter paper on the inside because . . . well because I just got it and was itchin’ to use it!  (probably should have waited until I finished the outside first though!)

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I selected this paper napkin for the top of the box.

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This particular design ‘opens out’ to cover the whole napkin.  (not ALL decorative napkins do though!)

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This was the napkin I wanted to use at first.

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Alas, this design just repeats, limiting how it can be used.

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The sheerness of the napkin allows the distressed wood to show though.  I used Mod Podge to apply the napkin to the box.

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Then I glued a reproduction skeleton key to the front.

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It’s available in my booth at Stars; along with several other upcycled little boxes!

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.

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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!

Old mop bucket Upcycle!

This rusty old mop bucket!  What do YOU think of when you come across something like this?P1210052Even thought this bucket is pretty rusty inside, it’s an ‘industrial’ model and much bigger and sturdier than the smaller ‘home models’.  There just HAS to be something unique and useful that I can make this into!

P1210053The wheels still work great, so a ‘rolling’ something . . .

P1210054The first thing I did was ‘deal with the rust’.  I didn’t want to cover it or remove it, but we all know that once rust starts, it continues unless treated somehow.

P1210055So I took a can of clear MATTE (you don’t want ‘glossy’ rust!) spray paint and gave the outside a couple of coats, and the rusty inside a good 3 coats.  The clear spray ‘darkens’ the color of the rust a tad, but it still looks very ‘naturally rusted’.

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Next, I had Michael cut a round piece of wood for me that fit the top of the bucket; and I painted it grey.

P1200969Then I rifled through my fabric stash to find fabric that would match,  Settled upon this blue, white and grey homespun to cover the foam round that I had.

P1210056This round seat cushion pillow form that I had bought was a ‘no sew’ style.  It has a deep slit on one side and you just ‘wrap and tuck’ your fabric into the slot!  How cool is that?!?

P1200970Put them all together and you have a rolling fool stool!

P1200972With lots of STORAGE space inside!

P1200968I was originally making this to sell in my booth st Stars, but then I thought about those ’round tool trays’ that they make to fit the 5 gallon plastic work buckets . . . .

313ZGKCDFRLLike this!  And I decided that it would be the perfect rolling tool storage seat for my new garage workshop!

P1200970How cool is that???

From ‘ick!’ to ‘Oo000ooo!’ Updated old birdcage

This old birdcage scored pretty high on the ‘ick’ scale when I bought it.P1200243Not sure WHY???  but at some point, its previous owner had decided that it would be a good idea to paint the base of it orange.  Not sure why they didn’t paint ALL the base orange?  Maybe they realized it was a big mistake?  Or maybe they just ran out of orange spray paint??  Very mysterious!

P1200259THIS was the ‘ickiest’ part!  At first glance (and without my glasses on to really SEE what it was!) it kinda looked like all these ‘blobs of goop’ along the edges of the base were, um, ‘droppings’!  (which I didn’t notice until I got home!)  I took it out of my car, doused it AND my car with Lysol, then washed AND sanitized my hands.  And I let it sit out in the rain for a couple of days to see if any of it would wash off.

P1200260After a good scrubbing with a sanitizing cleaner, I could finally tell that this ‘icky stuff’ was not what I had thought it was at all.  Rather a very bad welding job to repair what must have been lots of loose bars.  But STILL . . . . even after it was painted it LOOKED icky!

P1200255The rest of it, and from a distance even that icky part, looked great once it was fully painted.  I removed the base (it pulls out easily for cleaning) so painting the inside area was a breeze.

P1200256But HOW can I hide the ICK???  It sat on my clothes dryer for a few days  . . . hoping that if I looked at it often enough I’d come up with something.

P1200300The ONLY thing I could come up with was to glue some lace around the edge.

P1200301I also added some of my custom blend of paper shred inside the cage to help distract the eye from the edge.  (the glue was still wet in the pic; once it dried it looked much better)

P1200302And it’s ready to go to Stars!

P1200307It’s a BIG one too, as you can see in front of this door.

P1200305SO big, in fact, that it didn’t look quite right just sitting empty.

P1200336I tucked a few of my white bird pedestals inside to add some interest.

P1200337I decided that this little white wire conservatory needed some birds too!

P1200338The conservatory was just the right size to tuck beneath the end table that the big aqua cage was set upon.

P1200361Here is how the whole vignette ended up!

The big aqua birdcage is $99.00 at Stars.  The pedestal birds are sold separately.

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