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!

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’.


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.

Broken cherub wall sconce planter : upcycled into a shelf


Found this cute little cherub wall sconce planter a while back.  It was originally black, so I repainted her white.

P1180912And while I was painting her, and as happens quite often with these plaster pieces that have metal loops on the back for hanging, the hanger broke!  NOW what??? Pretty useless unless I can HANG it on the wall!!  But I really don’t want to toss it out!

P1180914My remedy?  Add a 1/2 round piece of wood, glued to the top (covering what was the planter ‘bowl’)  and turn it into a little shelf!  I’ll be able to hammer a couple of saw-tooth hangers into the wood to hang it from.

P1190516Worked like a charm!

A jar with no lid ~

This is the ‘front view’ of the half bottle I altered in the last post.  I wanted to show you how BIG the jar for today’s project is by comparison.P1180177

It’s a nice BIG half-gallon jar.  I LOVE the big gallon size ‘restaurant pickle jars’.  Like to paint the lids and use them as canisters.  Was thinking that I might find ‘just a lid’ some day for this half-gallon jar, OR convince myself to sacrifice one from a gallon jar for it.  THEN, I had this idea!

Add a wire handle and make it into a candle lantern!

P1180191I’ve seen this idea used on baby food jars with battery operated tea lights, hanging in trees for outdoor party decor.

P1180192And done with pint and quart size canning jars.  You can ever BUY the canning jars with the wire handles already on them!  I wired my own.  YOU just have to be sure your wire is SNUG, and below you lid ridges.


It needed ‘something more’ than just the wire handle, so I attached an old padlock and key.


And I always put candles in anything that is supposed to hold a candle before I put it out for sale.

P1180197And a burlap bow for good measure!

Trio of small chests


It started with this box.P1150075

Thrift store find cigar box; taller and better construction than your typical cigar box.

P1150076While the outside was a bit scratched up, the ‘innards’ are nice and clean!  I can easily ‘paper over’ the inside of the lid to cover up the wording.

P1150786I removed the broken hardware from the front and spray painted it a sea-foam green.

P1150823Perfect place for me to use this scrap book paper map to cover up the writing on the inside of the lid.


Decided it needed a little ‘something’, so I glued on a repro white skeleton key to the front.  Just right!

P1150789Then I found this box at the thrift store. Not terribly fond of the wood burned design in the top.  Not even sure I’ll be able to ‘sand it off’.  But I can always ‘paper over it’; which actually might look perfect with the raised trim around the edge of the lid.

P1150790Clean and divided inside.

P1150791  Fortunately my orbital sander fit inside the trim, and the design on the lid sanded off better than I’d expected.  A wee bit of the wood burned color still shows, but the top is smooth, so I can just paint over it.

P1150792Alas, I found a piece of trim in my stash that fit perfectly, so I decided to add it.

P1150824Used my lightest aqua acrylic paint on this one and hand distressed a bit.

P1150825I had removed the hardware on the front before I painted it.

P1150826Pretty easy to remover and reattach; one screw for the latch and an eye screw.

P1150827Decided to leave the inside ‘as found’.

P1150834Sanding detail on the wood applique.

P1150835And along the edges.

So, now I had those two individual pieces done;  but before I got them priced and stocked them in my booth at Stars; I found this:


On an ‘inspiration excursion’ to Home Goods.  It’s not at ALL the blue that I normally go for.


and it’s got a GLOSSY finish, which I NEVER do. (and which is impossible to capture in photograph!)


 But it was such a cute little chest, and for some reason it ‘spoke to me’.  And I listened and bought it!


The DARK inside was a bit TOO dark and dreary for me, so I added some vintage atlas pages (on the lid and bottom) to brighten it up a bit.  (the area was too big to use the same scrap book paper as on the first cigar box.)

P1150819I really didn’t NEED to do anything to the outside.  But I like to add my own little touches everything, so I attached a skeleton key.

P1150829Ah-HA!!!  This is why the biggest chest at Home Goods was speaking to me!

P1150833It wanted to come home with me and join the other two blue chests!

P1150832I LOVE it!  And I’m gonna KEEP them all to myself!  (for that big home redecorating project I have coming up very soon!)

P1150830Just waiting for me to fill with treasures!

Grubby, crusty, rusty old tool box.


Found it at Stars and HAD to buy it for myself.

P1170529Even MORE rusty on the inside!

P1170531And on the bottom!

So, what do you do with stuff like this when you want to ‘preserve the patina’, but don’t want the rust to progress and get rust dust all over your house and hands every time you touch it?  (Seriously, shedding rust is as bad as glitter, getting all over the place!)

P1170714First you need to remove all the loose rust.  That is actually the hardest part because every time you brush or wipe, you create MORE dust!  Use a soft brush or the dusting tool on a shop vac and get as mush of the loose rust of as you can.  Then gently DAB with a damp paper towel and let dry.

Then give it a couple of good coats of clear spray paint!

P1170715I personally prefer MATTE finish, but it can be hard to find.  Satin will do if you can’t find matte.  The clear spray paint SEALS the surface and stops the progression of the rust; and it sharpens the color a bit.

P1170718It makes the rust look a little darker too, but I’ll deal with that minor issue to NOT have to deal with rust!

I’m keeping this baby!

Upcycled card boxes

Some boxes are just too nice to toss onto the recycle bin once you’ve emptied them.


Like these boxes that contained blank notecards.  Oftentimes I even frame the pretty cards; but this post is about the empty boxes.

They both have ‘hidden magnetic clasps’, so they open and re-close very easily.

P1170361On this one I’ll need to cover the inside of the lid also, but the other one is ‘neutral enough’ that I could leave it ‘as is’ if I wanted to.

P1170372Here is how I cut one 12″ x 12″ sheet of scrapbook paper to cover the floral box.

P1170375First I glued the strips on the sides.  (used tacky glue)

P1170376Overlapping a bit on the front and back.

P1170377Then the big piece of paper I glued, starting at the front flap, covering the lid, the back spine and as far onto the bottom of the box and back up the lower front of the box.

P1170384I opted to leave the inside of this one ‘as is’ since it was so neutral.

P1170386A couple of little embellishments to the lid and it’s done.

P1170382On the shell box I used left over bits and pieces of scrap paper.  Old dictionary page on the bottom.

P1170381A combination of papers and a picture on the lid.  (I left the sides ‘as is’ on this box; since they were neutral)

P1170383Some sheet music paper inside the lid, and more dictionary page on the bottom.

P1170390And I ALWAYS add a little bit of paper shred inside my boxes.  For these I used some hand folded and hand cut vintage sheet music.  It’s just a little ‘extra touch’ that I like to do.


Found a little ‘love’ sticker in my stash that suited this box.


Done!  The smaller one in the center came from Dollar Tree, and I embellished it similarly to how I did the two card boxes.   It was all green except for the top, which had some kind of design on it that I can’t even recall right now!  I just covered the top and bottom of it, and added the embellishments.

Next time you get ready to toss an empty box into the recycle bin; pause for a moment to consider if it might be prettied up and re-used first.

And the winner IS . . . . .

Kim C. with this suggestion for what to do with my broken lamp base:

“Here is exactly what I would do…I would make a ‘crystal’ ball with Madam Leota from Disney’s Haunted mansion for a Halloween prop! Find a clear ball-shaped light fixture globe. (I’d try Habitat for Humanity first) Then a doll head that would fix through the hole, but not be too small. I’d glue the doll head to either a section of pvc pipe that would fit inside of the hole at the top of the lamp base or a section of a wooden dowel to do the same. Put the doll’s head on the stick/pipe then into the lamp base. Glue if needed. Then tease and back comb the doll’s hair to look crazy and mostly fill up the globe. Paint the hair with white spray paint and hand paint her face so that her eyes really stand out. (I’d add false eyelashes) maybe even paint her skin a creepy green color. When she looked really creepy, I’d glue the clear globe to the top of the lamp base and over the doll’s head. I LOVE Halloween so I think this one would be way cool and magical!”

Kim, you have won a $20.00 credit to my etsy shop!

To redeem your credit, just ‘go shopping’ in my etsy shop.  You can buy ANYTHING YOU WANT!  (you will have to ‘initially’ pay for the entire purchase; sorry that is just how I have to do it on etsy) 

When you process your payment, in the note to seller section, tell me you are the winner of my blog contest, and I will REFUND $20.00 of your purchase back to your PayPal account.  (email me if you don’t have PayPal and I’ll figure something out!)

Michael and I BOTH agreed that Kim should be the winner.  ALL the suggestions were ‘good ones’; but Kim went into the most detail.  I could really ENVISION her creation!  Not only did she go into detail about HOW to create her idea, she even mentioned WHERE to look for the globe for it!  The WAY she presented her suggestion was the most ‘aj-like’ of all the suggestions.  Since no one guessed exactly what I did with it, we went with what we thought was the most creative (as easily DO-able!) suggestion.  Congratulations Kim!

So, are you ready to see what I actually DID with that thing??

P1170012Here is what I started with as components.  I didn’t want to ‘mess with’ (try to change or re-do) the lamp base in any way.  I had already invested SO much time and energy into glittering it as a lamp base, that I really wanted to use it ‘as it was’ and just ADD to it.  I don’t have a glass drill so enlarging the hole was out.  The bottom of it is ‘open’ (I covered it with a cardboard base) and it has the hole in the back, so it wasn’t suitable for holding water or using as a vase.


I’m calling it a FINIAL.  But I suppose it could also be an abstract Christmas tree.  (but NOT a tree topper!  Far to heavy for that!


So I had my lamp base, a plastic tree topper (from Dollar Tree!) and a thrifted glass votive holder.  Glued (using e6000) the votive holder upside down to the lamp base first.  Once that glue set, I glued the topper to the inverted votive holder.  Let the glue cure for at least 24 hours.


I also didn’t want people to look at it and immediately be able to tell it was a lamp base.  But I DO like to ‘leave little hints’ for people to ‘figure out’ what it used to be.  So I did leave the cord hole at the bottom; just faced it to the back.  Once my glue had set, I started glittering.  This took a while because I could only do one section at a time, and each section needed 3 applications.  Mostly ‘waiting time’ for the glue to dry before I could add another coat.  I went with different colors of glitter for an ‘ombre’ effect.

P1170045Once all my glitter was fully dry, I added a ring of tiny seed beads at the base of the two skinniest parts.  Once that glue dried, I took it outside for a couple of coats of clear spray paint.  This extra step helps keep your glitter from ‘shedding’.  I recommend adding a clear spray coat to ALL your glittered items.

P1170040And now it’s ready to go to Stars!

P1170189The ribbon is just to tie the price tag on with.


So, what’s your opinion on ‘blog contests’ in general?  

Like them?  Don’t like that?  For a while it seemed like a lot of bloggers were having so many ‘parties’ and contests that they hardly ever had any good CONTENT anymore.  Would you like to see contests (with PRIZES) a little more often in my blog?  And if so, what kinds of prizes do you like to win??


I hope you all are ENJOYING getting ready for Christmas!

Little old step ladder

P1150090Remember this little guy from a week or so ago?  LOVE these little step ladders.  GREAT display pieces and always good sellers.  This one just wasn’t very grubby!

P1150112A little dry brushed aqua paint and some black and white splatters and blobs and it looks like it’s been used for years!

P1150113It literally takes FIVE minutes to dry brush paint a piece like this.  The splatters and blobs actually took longer!


P1150164On display in my booth at Stars and available to purchase for $22.00.


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