Outdated / updated Jewelry chest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 little ‘cook book’ shelf

P1220094I like this one much better than the first one I did a while back.  That one only had one drawer and a niche.  I painted this one aqua and distressed the edges, and decided to leave it ‘unadorned’.


This is the other one I did a while ago.  Not sure if it’s because of the French wording on it, or the white paint, but it has not sold yet.  Might have to bring it home and repaint it aqua!  We’ll see how quickly the new aqua one sells.

P1220043Not too bad ‘as found’, but I don’t like knotty pine.


And it was a bit worn along the edges.

P1220044Clean drawer innards? Check.


 It has little holes drilled in the back for mounting it on the wall.  I decided to leave those instead of fill them.  But you could easily fill them with putty, sand and paint over them if you wanted to.

P1220097I didn’t have any other knobs that looked better than the original ones, so I cleaned them up (were a bit greasy from being in a kitchen) and put them back on after painting and sanding.


Maybe I should have painted the knobs to match??

P1220096Some vintage dictionary paper in the drawers, just because, and it’s ready to go to my booth at Stars.

Ginormous spool of string!


I just like big spools of string!  I had one almost this big once before, but sold it.  This one is almost five pounds worth of string, and I had every intention of keeping it for ME when I tossed it into my cart at the thrift store.

P1220021To give you some perspective on the size of it,  the one in the middle is the ‘biggest’ one I have in my ‘collection’ right now and the one on the right is a ‘quilting’ size spool.

P1220133Alas . . . when I arrived back home reality set in and I realized that I do not have ROOM for it in my collection.  I’ve got two shelves full of spools and I have to get rid of several of them for this to fit.  And it’s really too deep to fit on said shelf. so off to my booth at Stars it has gone!


IF I had room to keep it, I might plop a big jar of threads like one of these, on TOP of it.

1-30-13-stars-projects-029vdfOr maybe set a big vintage wood bowl filled the thread and string spools on top.


Who knows when or IF I will ever find another one this big again.  It’s bound to get grabbed up quickly, so get yourself to Stars if you ‘NEED” it.

Stars is open 7 days a week; 11am – 6pm.

Food poisoning and cute vintage dolly

Nothing fun or cute about getting food poisoning!  bleh!  I was SO sick!  And I’m still not sure what caused it.  something I ate at home even.  Tossed out anything that I had eaten the day before and prayed that amongst it all was the offending food.

SO, that is why I’ve fallen behind on posts again!

P1220006I’m not usually a ‘doll buyer’, but it seems that I have been finding ones that I can’t resist lately!  Like this sweet thing!

P1220007She’s tattered and stained and her painted on face is running . . .

P1220010But there was just something kind of ‘endearing’ about her!

P1220009Wire attached legs; looks like she was hand crafted.

P1220014Cute little booties on her feet.

P1220017Sweet little hands.

P1220008And a BONNET!!!  She will be going to my booth at Stars in the very near future.

Another updated spice rack

P1220040Interesting old thrifted spice rack with doors.

P1220041AND with a full set of 12 glass spice bottles!  Although the bottles did have adhesive labels in assorted levels of deterioration that had to be removed.  A long soak in hot water and Dawn dish soap and the came off quite easily.  But some of the plastic parts of the lids were badly stained (paprika like color) so I removed those and soaked them in some bleach water.


Still stained.  Tried some Oxyclean and let soak overnight.  Still stained.  soaked in STRAIGHT bleach.  Still stained.  Gave up and put them back on.  The stains are barely noticeable in the photo.

P1220042With the lattice like doors, this was going to be a difficult piece to paint, so I opted for spray paint.

P1220072Hand distressed along the edges with some coarse sand paper.

P1220074Left the bottles plain.


Don’t forget to distress the knobs!


Distressing along the edges.

P1220078Distressing of the decorative ‘notches’ along the edges and the lattice.

P1220075Ready to travel to Stars in search of a new home!


Aqua painting binge


My first ‘binge painting’ in my new place is done, and everything is now stocked in my booth at Stars.


The three shelf spice rack.  I debated painting a design on the back, but nothing really ‘clicked’, so I painted it the same aqua as the shelf.  Lightly hand sanded along the edges to distress.

P1210781A reminder of how it looked originally.

P1210809In progress.  This is what it looked like after the first coat of paint.  You really don’t need ‘perfect’ coverage on the first coat.  As you can see, I removed the backing; originally because I was going to paint a design on it.  But even if I had initially planned to just paint it to match the rest of the shelf, I’d have removed it to make painting easier.

P1210810With the back removed you have far LESS little corners to paint and you can reach the shelved from the front and back.  And the backing takes about 15 seconds to paint with a roller.  SO, even accounting for the time involved in removing and replacing the backing; you have saved time overall.

P1210818The frame.


First I spray painted it flat black, then two coats of aqua brushed on.

P1210819I intentionally avoided getting the aqua paint down into all the carved details for some contrast.  Once dry, I hand sanded along the raised edges.

P1210817The little 3 drawer jewelry chest.  I gave it different knobs . . . thought about painting the knobs to match, but decided not to.  If it doesn’t sell like this I can always bring it home and paint them.  I used a turquoise spray paint on this one.

P1210764The before.

P1210815The ‘to paint or not to paint’ conundrum strikes again!  It was just TOO plain with nothing on the front.  These resin medallions were all I could find that would fit with the non-removable knobs.  Added them as an after thought . . .paint them?

P1210839After walking away from it and coming back later, I decided it was too much contrast o leave them ‘as is’.  Opted to dry brush paint them to allow some of the black show through.


Just what it needed!P1210853

The inside is fully painted too . . . .


Because it HAD to be!  If the inside had been white or any other complimentary color, I could have left it.  I actually PREFER the inside a different color . . . just not when it means MORE work for me.  (especially on such a small piece!)

P1210845This one ‘needs something’  . . . . but I failed to find that something.  We’ll see if it sells ‘as is’ and if not I’ll re-address the embellishment conundrum.

P1210911The top had a few flaws that were still visible after painting, so I stenciled a fleur design in a darker turquoise . . . and hated how it looked!  The contrast was TOO much.  Grabbed my paint roller and started painting over it and  . . . . . OH WAIT!!  It looks better partially painted over . . . kind of a faded look.  Old

P1210912Old dictionary pages glued to the bottom of the muddy brown drawers.

P1210828The before.  The designs on the front were ‘papered on’, but sanded of pretty easily.  The KNOBS were not removable unfortunately.  Had they been, I would have filled the holes and added new ones, centered on the drawers.

P1210844The doll clothes wardrobe;  just painted it, no embellishments.

P1210824Even though it was unfinished wood, it still required some ‘prep work’ before painting.  Raw wood will really absorb dirt and oils from usage, so if it looks dirty or grimey; give it a good sanding before you paint.  As with the spice rack, I painted the backing separately BEFORE attaching it.

P1210847The Cafe do Paris tray was a half-finished project from another time.  It had been base coated black, so all I had to do was paint it and stencil the design on.  The black ‘edging’ was done with the paint leftover on my stenciling sponge.

P1210836Not entirely sold on the color I used for the upcycled candle holder finial.  It’s one of those little free samples that Lowes has coupons for every so often.  It’s almost a periwinkle . . . we’ll see if it sells, if not I can always repaint it!

P1210790A quick rummaging through my stash of decorative curtain rod ends produced this piece which worked perfectly as a ‘topper’.

P1210791I just glued it on with tacky glue.  The candle well was deep enough that I didn’t need to remove the screw.

P1210989I typically try to put the ‘new stock’ at the front on my booth when I restock.  Reason being, most shoppers just ‘glance as they walk by’ as they walk up and down the aisles in the antique mall . . . until something ‘catches their eye’ and draws them in for a closer look.   And for those who come in on a regular basis, you want them to see NEW things every time they visit.

P1210991I’ve still got some white and cream color furniture pieces.  Some of those are grouped together down the back side of my booth.

P1210990I tired to ‘gradually’ phase into the new aqua pieces as you move around to the front of the booth.

P1210951Little gold grouping inside the doll wardrobe.

P1210958The little 3 drawer piece fit nicely tucked under a small table; the top piece in a stack of three.

P1210957I LOVE this little white shelf with a drawer!  I have not idea what it is.  My best guess is that it was used in the kitchen for cook books and the drawer for recipe cards.  It’s been in my booth for quite a while.  Might be time to bring it home and paint it aqua.

P1210962Layers!  I always display in layers!  So if the Cafe de Paris sign and little  cupboard with doors sells; there is more product behind it so it I don;t have too much bare space.

P1210988More layers.
P1210960Come on by and check out  the new stuff!

The foot stools and the jars

P1210728The smaller of the two footstools (the one that had the needlepoint top).  This was my first attempt at stenciling on fabric, and I am pleased to say it worked PERFECTLY!  This fabric is kind of a cross between a muslin and burlap.  Large, but tight weave with a good amount of ‘body’.  (This fabric is actually a scrap piece leftover from a maternity top I made over 33 years ago!)  I ironed the fabric and starched it a bit with some spray starch.  Stenciled the design on the fabric BEFORE attaching the fabric to the stool, just in case I made a ‘boo-boo’.  Once dry, I used a staple gun to attach the fabric.

P1210783The wood frames on both stools was exactly the same (just different sizes) so I decided to make them in coordinated fabrics.


Black velvet with little gold crosses seemed ‘Parisian’ enough to me!

P1210802I spray painted the legs on both of them with flat black and opted to NOT distress them.

P1210804The undersides of upholstered items like this are typically a bit ‘unsightly’.  Being one who seems compelled to always looks ‘under and inside’ everything, I try to make those parts ‘pleasing to the eye’ as well.  On this one I cut the fabric long enough to completely cover the underside.

P1210784Much better than seeing THIS, don’t you think?

P1210805The finished pair; priced separately.

P1210808I’m quite content with how they both turned out.

P1210801On to the two little jars.  First I spray painted the lids with flat black, then a quick clear satin spray to protect the paint since the lids will be handled a lot.

P1210812These are the smallest of this type of jar that I’ve ever found.  Not really much room to add a label of any kind, so I went ‘quick and simple’.  A piece of tea stained ribbon and a repro skeleton key.

P1210814I always keep a stash of tea stained muslin strips on hand.  Which reminds me that I need to make a new batch SOON, as they dry so much better in the hot sun.

P1210635You can see some of the other larger jars with the same kind of ‘lids with handles’ that are currently stocked in my booth at Stars.







I’ll just tuck the newest smaller ones in amongst these.

P1210855I actually did this giant carved wood fork and spoon a while ago, and set them aside.   Now that I have some other black items to take in, I’ll take them also.  Items typically sell better when displayed with similarly themed items.

Stocking up for my next project marathon . . .

After quite an extended ‘shopping hiatus’ while I got packed, moved, unpacked and settled into my new place . . . . I’m finally at the point where I can start shopping for projects again!  Here are my latest finds:P1210763Small three drawer chest (about 12″ tall) probably for jewelry.

P1210764At first I thought the butterflies and flowers were decals.  Nope, just paint and fairly easily sanded off.

P1210765Another little one, about 7″ x 9″.  Little cupboards and chests of drawers always seem to sell well for me.

P1210766sigh.  I so wish the insides were not painted bright green!

P1210781I don’t think I’ve ever seen a ‘three shelf’ spice rack.

P1210811Gold frame.

P1210825This is the angle that I saw this piece at at a garage sale.  Unfinished, so easy to paint.  Add some backing and it would be a cute little night stand.

P1210824Alas, if I had bent down, even just a little bit, I would have seen the dowel rod near the top.  So, it’s actually a ‘doll wardrobe’.  Oh well.

P1210828Super icky . . . and consequently super cheap!

P1210829Apparently it had been used as a plant stand.

P1210830But the drawer ‘innards’ are nice and clean.  Painted even.  Albeit a very ‘muddy brown’ paint color.  A little paper on the drawer bottoms will take care of that.

P1210783I’ve got two of these foot stools; the other a little smaller.

P1210785This one had the top already removed, but it was a very FLAT top.  Gonna have to add some batting or foam pad to it.

P1210729The smaller one had this needle point cover on it.

P1210801Little glass jars.  One of them has ‘IKEA’ on the bottom.  I find jars with this type of lid quite often and in various sizes.  Spray paint the lids black and embellish with some pretty paper labels.  Always good sellers for me in my booth at Stars.

P1210786Initially I thought this was a ‘part’ of something.

P1210787Nope.  It’s a candle holder.  I’m sure I have something that I can add to it to turn it into a finial.

Vintage baby doll.


Isn’t she a cutie?!?!P1210772

Big vintage baby doll is one of my latest thrifting finds.P1210773Her hair was cracking and peeling off, so I glued some of it back in place.  (see the glue drips!?)  I can actually remember having dolls with these kinds of ‘curls’ when I was little.

P1210775One of her legs is ‘taped’ on.

P1210770And her eyes are a little ‘creepy’.  (maybe she was a prop for a horror movie?!?)

P1210774Her fabric body is very badly stained.

P1210771But there is still something kind of endearing about her, to me at least!


I love the shape of her mouth.P1210779I think I am going to have to KEEP her . . . for a while at least.

Now I don’t normally ‘brave the toy aisle’ at Goodwill.  Too many kids playing unsupervised, toys all over the floor, making it impossible to push your cart through . . . .and I’m just not that ‘into’ vintage toys.  The few times I HAVE looked at the toys, nearly all of them were ‘newer’ ones anyhow.

But THEN, at the store closest to Stars (which I have begun frequenting after I work on my booth) while in the check out line a few weeks ago I saw another lady with several ‘cool vintage dolls’ (like this one I just found) in her cart!  So of COURSE, now that I SAW what I was missing, I’m making it a point to peruse the toy aisle; at least at this particular store.

There was one other similar doll that I grabbed . . and quickly put back!  It was one of those with a regular doll head, and a stuffed animal body!!  ACK!  WHO invented those things and WHY!  They are just CREEPY!  Most of them anyhow, and definitely that one was creepy.  A fleshy tan color reclining body with a baby doll head.  Totally creeped me out!

For a split second I considered buying it ‘for the head only’ but the thought of decapitating it and disposing for the body made me a little nauseous.  So I left it for someone else.

Then I remembered, I actually HAVE one of those ‘fur body’ dolls!?!?!  But mine is very cute.

P1210838And her fur body is turquoise.  I gave her a crown and considered adding some little buttons down her front to make the fur look more like fuzzy jammies.  But I usually put her ‘at the back’ of a group of dolls so that all that really shows is her head.

So then I go to wondering about the history of these dolls with fur/animal bodies??? Were they originally manufactured like that?  Or was this something where people took 2 broken toys and put them together to make one whole toy??  I wish I had taken a picture of the one at GW to show you.

Do any of you know anything about the history of this style of doll?  I’m just curious.

P1210794Back to the baby doll for a moment.  Even with her wonky eyes, she is quite photogenic!

P1210799Now I just have to figure out what to NAME her!

Re-purposed curtain rod finials


Quick and easy DIY wood fence-post toppers.P1190816

Start with an unfinished pair of curtain rod finials.  (I found mine at the thrift store, of course!)
P1190815Rummaged though my wood stash to find two square 4″x4″ routed edge wood plaques (form craft store) and two smaller square pieces of scrap wood.  Glued the two together, and drilled a pilot hole in the center top.

P1190817Put a dot of glue in the hole, and a little around the bottom rim of the balls and screwed them down.


  I painted them both aqua and sanded a bit.  Decided to try a different ‘aging method’ on each one, as I’ve never actually compared the two side by side.


The darker distressing is from using the Ralph Lauren tobacco stain; brush on and wipe off excess.

P1200017The lighter colored aging formula is one of my own concoctions that I call ‘weathered wood wash’, which was invented back when I mostly did primitive style stuff.  W

I invented it because when I would use old naturally grayed wood fence boards, I hated how the freshly cut edges looked NEW.  So I formulated a water based ‘wash’ to brush on and make the new wood match the old stuff.

***This is just about the ONLY  ‘recipe’ that I do not share.   I’ve always hoped to someday be able to ‘sell’ the formula and ‘make it rich’!! LOL!!


Which color do you like best?



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