Primitive mache boxes updated to shabby chic

This set of three distressed brown mache boxes have been around for years!  Originally in our shop when we were still predominately primitive.  Then blended in with shabby chic pink stuff for a while.  Just never sold!  After being packed away for some time, I finally decided on HOW to make them over.

Each box was a different shade of brown, which I liked; so I left the lids as they were and just repainted the bases my signature beachy blue.

Then I sanded to distress and allow some of the brown to show through that matches the lid.  And YES, I do use my electric orbital sander on paper mache!  Makes VERY quick work of sanding! 

The lids had been ‘stained’ and then varnished, but I didn’t want to ‘subdue’ the blue with any stain; so I just varnished the boxes.

I just LOVE this look. 

These are just in my ‘back up stash’ for now.  Probably awaiting the fall show; but might go to Stars if there’s room.  Just depends on how much ‘holiday’ stuff I get done to take in.  Some booths are ALREADY stocking their Halloween stuff!

Shabby cottage pedestal candle holders

This is how these came.  They’re OKAY, I suppose, but I felt they needed more OOMPH!  There were two sets of these three.

Gave them some prettier colors for starters:

Then decided the square based ones needed some more ‘weight’, so I added an additional base piece ( a beveled wood plaque)

That smaller black one (an orphan; not part of this set) needed some additional weight too.  It got TWO more pieces on the base and ended up being painted red.

I added some metal candle plates: some painted, some not.  Sanded and distressed them so some of the white showed through, and of course, added candles!



  ~ 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 ~

Rescued oval coffee table

This poor neglected coffee table!  It has been awaiting a makeover for YEARS!!!  (seriously!)  We picked it up at a yard sale a couple of summers ago, I sanded the top then couldn’t decide what to do with it.  Sometimes I just have to wait a while for something to ‘speak to me’.  Well, this table just wasn’t very talkative, or maybe it’s that other projects were screaming to me . . . I dunno!

Regardless, it remained un-re-done and in the way for so long that Michael got tired of it and put it up in the rafters of the workshop to get it out of the way and of course then every time I wanted to work on it he wasn’t home to get it down for me (and it’s HEAVY!). 

Alas, we had a beautiful sunny Sunday and I told Michael I was having a PAINTING MARATHON and to get that sucker down because it was getting painted!  Along with a whole mess of benches and shelves.

I didn’t know yet what I was going to do with those HOLES on either end, but figured I’d paint it anyhow and FORCE myself to come up with a solution.  It’s really a nice SOLID wood table; probably maple.  Looks like it had those little ‘rails’ on either end; or maybe wood buttons.

I painted on a light coat of black, and sanded to let the wood show through, then applied a coat of matte varnish.

For the holes I decided to attach little wood stars.

And here’s the finished product displayed in the store:


Michael’s time saver

Michael made me this great BIG rolling table to use at the store during the do-over.

The leg structure had been tossed in a dumpster, he just added the wood top for me.  It has come in SOOOOOOOOOOOo handy!  Several of the big cupboards in the store that were full of stuff needed to be moved.  I unloaded the contents to the rolling table, moved the piece, then rolled the table to where I wanted to put the product!

How clever!

And how VERY economical.  And how very green!  Check out this link for step by step instructions for making pots to use for starting plants from seeds out of newspaper.

Extreme Makeover: Store Edition

Folk Art Originals by AJ has officially closed it’s doors for good.  Time for the makeover to begin!!!  I decided to give the store makeover it’s own category in the blog, so it will be easier to refernece i the future.  But posts will also be cross-categorized.   Once the new store opens, (in about five weeks; early August) I’ll go back to putting posts in the assorted categories. 

Here are pics of the store the day the “Store Closing 50% off everything” sale began:

And here is what it looked like on the last day:

Today I’ll go in and pack up the primitive stuff that doesn’t fit in with the ‘new shabby cottage look’, and it will go to the shows we do in the fall.  Then I start redecorating!  I’ve got one trailer load (6×10) full of stuff for the new store stored at home already.  Hope to get that to the store and the old stuff out by the end of this week.  Then I’ll know how much time I need to spend over the next month ‘treausure hunting’ for more vintage goods for the new store. 

I’ve also ordered in some great stuff, which has already started arriving!  Here’s a peek at a few of the new things I ordered; and some of the items I painted last week:

Got so excited when we actually had a dry day and I could get some painting done outside that I forgot to take ‘before’ pictures of a lot of this stuff.  (WHY is it so hard for me to remember to take the before pcitures?!?!?!)  This was a light oak pressback chair; fairly well worn, but enough shiney varnish on it still that it needed to be primered or sanded before I could re-paint it.  I opted for the spray on KILZ.  Then spray flat black paint.  Then a good sanding!

This was a dark oak chair that I was able to paint directly over the existing stain.  This in one of those Ralph Lauren paints I got a while back.  A creamy soft ‘chamois’ yellow.  I also have a dark desk and dresser that will be painted to match this chair.

A small wall shelf painted the same color.  It was so bright outside when I took these piecutes that it’s kind of ‘washed out’ a lot of the distressing detail.  These all look much more distressed in person.

Oval wood frame and fence post topper that Michael brought home were both painted my new favorite color of blue:

And here are a few of the new things I’ve ordered for the store: