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.


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.


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????


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.


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!)


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!)


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.


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.

What to do about cigarette burns on old furniture

This tall end table / lamp table with one little drawer was in pretty good condition, except for the badly damaged top.

A couple of VERY deep cigarette burns and several areas where the embossed gold design had worn down completely.  But it was plenty sturdy, had a lower shelf and a drawer (storage is always a big plus!) and it had ‘nice legs’!  I decided to buy it and see what I could to with it.

The CLEANEST vintage drawer innards I have ever seen!  Missing knob is no biggie since I usually change them anyhow.

The cigarette burns were not just ‘singes’ . . .  they were divots, burned clear through that top layer of wood; and just sanding them was not going to do the job.

I filled them with some wood putty, then sanded smooth once the putty was nice and dry.  The gold embossed border which was worn away in some spots was very inconsistent.  At first I thought I could just sand the rest away.  But it was very deeply  embedded in some spots and just barely on the surface of others.  So I just sanded enough to remove the surface sheen and painted as I usually do.


That little drawer was perfect for another one of the aqua ceramic knobs I have.

I went fairly light on the distressing because of the issues with the top.


I was concerned that the variations in the embossing would bother me, but it doesn’t.  And you can still see where the filled cigarette burn divots were . . . .  ‘a good distressing job covers a multitude of flaws’. (You may quote me on that!  hehe)


All in all, I an quite content with how it turned out.


Available for purchase in my booth at Stars for $79.00.


Oval pedestal table

I showed you this third oval table in the last post about the nesting tables.  Here’s the ‘how I did it’.

I’ve had this old pedestal sitting around for quite some time; pondering what to do with it.

This oval piece of wood was in a batch of stuff that was left behind at Michael’s house when I moved last summer; that I recently picked up.  It was the perfect size to use as a table top for the pedestal.  Since the pedestal was a dark brown, I did a dark brown base coat on the oval.  Two coats of aqua and lots of sanding.  I wanted his one SUPER distressed.


I painted the base aqua and distresses it to bring out all the pretty detail.  Once both were painted, it was time to put the two together.


Fortunately for me this pedestal base already had a cross bar for attaching to a top already in place.  (had it not come with one, it’s pretty easy to make and attach one)  First ‘found center’ on the underside of the table and marked it.  Then I glued the base to the top with e6000; and let that set overnight.  Then two screws on either side of the cross bar to.  Most people will JUST use screws.  I prefer to ‘glue and screw’.  (and if you’ve ever watched “Holmes Makes it Right”, Mike Holmes is a proponent of ‘glue and screw’!)

And here is the finished table in my booth at Stars.  I especially like that it is MUCH more distressed than the other two.


This is the current front view of my booth; the trio of tables is right behind this stuff.

Ugliest Trunk EVER!

Honestly, I think this is the ugliest little trunk that I have EVER seen!!


The latch is missing and I have NO IDEA what the ‘significance’ of the paint job is?!?!  Perhaps a Halloween decoration or party prop?  I really only looked at the price tag to see how much they were trying to get for it; and have a good laugh if it was more than a couple of dollars.


It WAS just a couple of dollars and the ‘innards’ were decent; so I bought it.  It’s good to challenge myself every so often.

First off I filled the holes from the missing latch with wood filler, then sanded that spot smooth.  I painted it aqua, then distressed it a bit.


It needs ‘something’ . . . . . but I wasn’t sure just what.  When that happens I just start digging through my boxes of supplies in search of inspiration.


This bird themed paper napkin was perfect.  Since a few tiny spots of the original red paint showed through when I distressed it; the little bit of red in the napkin tied it in nicely.  I applied it using ModPodge.

I didn’t cover the back with the napkin because the hinges were in the way.  NOW, what to do to take the place of the missing latch at the front???  I have some cute little padlocks and keys, but they didn’t ‘feel right’ with the birds.


Ah-HA!!!  Another perfect use for one of the aqua ceramic roses I have!  I drilled a little pilot hole (remember these are actually push pins so they have a tack on the back) and glued in on with some e6000.


Not bad!  Not bad at all.

It sold within a DAY of when I took it to my booth at Stars!

I had restocked my booth last Tuesday, in preparation for the five-day sale, Thursday – Monday.  Had to go back in on both Friday and Saturday mornings because large items had sold and my booth was a MESS!

ALL of the above pieces sold last week, as of Saturday. (Lots of small stuff sold too, I just can’t show it all!)   I’m very curious to see what my booth looks like when I go in tomorrow, after 3 more days of the sale!

I took a few new pieces in with me on Saturday, just to fill the empty spots.  Some of it may be coming back home with me.

Like this chest of drawers.  It’s a REALLY nice piece; even the INSIDES of the drawers are painted!!  It doesn’t NEED a make-over . . .  but it really doesn’t ‘go with’ the color palette I have in my booth.  I really LIKE this color’s used on it too.  So, I figured I’d give it a chance to sell ‘as is’.  You never know!!

And this little metal folding shelf, which I was going to re-paint.  But it kind of ‘works’ with the colors of the chest, so I went ahead and brought it in ‘for now’.

I have a carload of furniture pieces to take in tomorrow.  I have a feeling I’m going to be spending quite a few hours working on rearranging my booth tomorrow.  I’ll wait to restock ‘smalls’ for when I have less big stuff to haul and move.

If you want to be sure you are notified of ALL Stars sales and special events; sign up for their email list via their website.  They do NOT share the email addresses with anyone!!  You can also follow Stars on Facebook  and Instagram.

Upcycled beach treasure box

Just a simple, almost ugly, little wood box.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.)


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.


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.  


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


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.


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!


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.


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.)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


Perfect size for the crowns in my booth at Stars.


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


Upcycled soap box

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


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!


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!)


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.


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.


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!