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!

Another do-over; QUICKIE!

Another sweet little table that I’ve ‘schleped’ from place to place without selling.  So simple, pretty soft curves; would go with ANY decor.  For some reason, it just kept getting overlooked.  time to haul it home for a make over.

I opted for the fastest and easiest re-do for starters, and just gave it a good once over with the sander, to shabby it up a bit.

We’ll see how it goes, and if it STILL doesn’t sell; I’ll rePAINT it my signature beachy blue, later on.

Right now, it’s nestled amongst the rest of the white furnishings I’m currently featuring at Stars; and priced at $32.00.

Newest pictures from Stars

The aqua dresser, coffee table and both night stands sold over the last week.  Did a ‘quick fix’ with a couple of new chairs.  Will be doing a MAJOR re-vamp of the space soon, now that the show is over and I have plenty of extra furniture to work with.













Spring show ~ Every Husband’s Nightmare Bazaar ~ Pictures of OUR area

Just posting pics of OUR area today.  Will post the rest tomorrow.  I’m still pretty wiped out from setting up so much stuff in 12 hours.  I slept for 10 hours last night.  Got up and fixed Michael’s breakfast and lunch, then went back to bed and slept for another four hours.  Putzed around the house for a bit, then took a 2 hour nap!!!  On to the photoshow:

I’ve been wanting to try this ‘enclosed’ (but still airy!) look for the spot we set up at this in.   Finally gave it a try this year.  The show owner provides the lattice dividers, and I just used two ‘three-part’ sections and folded them around one end of each table at the entry to our area.   Placed a board across the top and draped some tulle.  What do you think of the look?  Yea or nay?

Here’s what it looks like from farther back.  I hung vintage sheer curtains on the fronts of the lattice.  For the next show, I’d like to try hanging strands of little LED lights on the inside part of the lattice.  Creating this backdrop gave me a good spot to create 2 little vignettes, since I didn’t have a LOT of the pink or aqua stuff.  The effect is much more dramatic when you don’t water it down by blending it in with a lot of other colors.

Beachy blue on one side.   Some spiffed up old directors chairs with new seats/backs, and the word ‘relax’ stamped on the back.


And the pink side, with a little bit of green for contrast.

My wire mannequin with feather wings and a pretty handmade apron (apron made by another vendor)

Cool vintage pink shelf, vintage pink chenille spreads, old pink picnic basket.

Pink chair, vintage pink kitchen step stool and very rusty old pink three tire metal cart.

And below is what you see when you walk through the doorway:

This antique full size spool bed is in nearly perfect condition!  We opted to NOT set it up with a mattress, but to use the space for more furniture.


Little shelf along the back wall.

A little more of the back wall.  In this facility we aren’t allowed to hang anything on the walls, so I have to be creative!  Michael cut some big shutters in half for me, and we set those on top of our display tables; and can hang pictures from the shutter slats.

Looking down the left side.  These SIDE walls are ‘temporary ones’ that the show owner installs, so we CAN hang things on them.  I try to NOT place the big 8′ tables along the sides too much, so I can better access them to use for hanging thing on.  I always seem to have an excess of things that need to be hung.  Guess I got used to having lots of hanging space when we had our own store.

A bit of a better look across the back wall.  Still have a bit of primitive stuff left at this show, but it will probably be the LAST show that we bring the primitive to.  It’s just becoming too much work to keep up with more than one style.  Especially when the beach and cottage are ALL we sell at the antique malls.  There really seems to NOT be much of a demand (locally at least!) for primitive and folk art style furniture and decor.

Right side wall, black furniture and lots of signs!


My little hand stitched owls and kitties.


LOTS of monogram letters!  Had some fun and spelled out a few words with them.  “beach”

“home”  These wood framed monograms have an easel back and can also stand up.

“Sophie”, “nest” and “party”



“song’  These white frames have a pretty satin ribbon to hang from.

Lots of other monograms!

Handcrafted monogram tags’ just $1.95 each!   Great to tie onto packages as gift tags or enclose with a card as a little gift.

This big shabby white curio display shelf IS for sale.


This great shabby Paris chic chest of drawers is only $79.00!

The show continues, weekdays; 10am – 8pm through Saturday, 10am – 5pm.

Shabby chic glittery Easter egg wreath


Take a venture over to my Dollar Diva blog to see how I made this sweet shabby chic Easter wreath for right about $5.00.

And while you’re there, you might want to take a look at the Valentine category.  I just FINALLY got caught up on posting all that stuff.  (after being so sick in February)

This wreath is for sale at Camas Antiques.

Restocked at Stars

Spent nearly three hours at Stars, tidying up, pulling stale inventory and adding lots of new ‘little things’.    Here’s pictures of some of the new stuff:

Brought in lots of small cloches; and displayed them all together, instead of spread out all over the booth.  Not sure which actually helps them SELL better; but it’s always a good thing to ‘switch things up a bit’.

BIG cake cover size cloche.  I put a little potted nest and a shabby bird underneath.

Lots of apothecary jars.

Big industrial size cones of yarn.


Awesome big and chunky candles in beachy blue, cream and pale yellow.

Little black lamp with music pages covered shade.

And it’s ‘not quite identical’ twin lamp.  Same shades, almost the same size, just slightly different ‘turnings’ on the wood part of the base.

Vintage crystal ‘snack set’.  Dishes are in PERFECT condition.  The box is a bit tattered.

And the recently painted little suitcase.

Matchbook notepads and pen sets.  I LOVE these little to carry around in my purse to jot down notes on.  And some blank seashell notecards.

More cloches with glass pedestals; crochet thread and more yarn cones.

Little tan shelf.

3 yard lengths of wire edged ribbon.  Lots of shades of aqua/turquoise/blue.

Assorted altered brown bottles.

BRIGHT cobalt blue vintage bottles, also altered.

The lids were in pretty bad shape, so I covered them with GLITTER!


Little bird collage box.


Little ‘stilletto’ leg table

Originally painted this little table light grey, to use in the re-vamp of our space at Stars.  It proved to not be that necessary, so I slapped a price tag on it.  After a couple of weeks though, the top was really scratched up!  Grrrr!  That’s what I get for ‘cheating on Ralph’ and trying a different brand of paint!  Never again! 

* But in my defense, at the time Home Depot had stopped carrying Ralph Lauren brand paint and I didn’t yet know that Miller paints had started carrying it.  So I tried ‘the replacement’ brand, Martha Stewart; which the paint guy said was manufactured by the same company as RL brand.   MS brand is NOWHERE near the good quality that RL is!  I’ll never cheat on Ralph with another brand of paint again!

Since the top was getting scratched up just from things being set on it, I went ahead and sanded and distressed it even more, so it all blended together!

If ya can’t beat ’em . . . JOIN ’em I say!

The ones that got away!

A couple of recent pieces managed to ‘escape my new papering addiction’!

Sweet, petite half-table.  I just LOVE these things!

The top was pretty bad, but the legs are in great shape; and it IS solid oak!  Had to sand the top quite a bit to get out all the scratches.

Then a good 2 coats of my trusty flat black spray paint!  The reason I chose NOT to paper this table is the top is curved, notched and beveled.    would have been difficult to get the paper to perfectly match that outline.

Oak is probably my FAVORITE wood to ‘hand distress’, using a sanding sponge, as shown’.  I just wanted to lightly distress this piece, so it was easy with the sanding sponge.  For MOST of the pieces I distress, I use an orbital (electric) sander.  With my bad back I can only do the super easy stuff by hand.  ***SPECIAL HINT:  I ALWAYS use COARSE sand paper!  Yes, ALWAYS!!!***

And there she is, all finished.  I may end up going back and applying a quick coat of matte varnish to the top.  But, again, this one was whisked away to the storage garage the other night.

This was the second escapee of the day.  Another little 3 drawer chest.

It escaped being papered because I wanted to use THESE fun knobs.  And the knobs are too white to go with any of the papers.  ***SPEED PAINTING TIP: Use cheapo $.99 a can flat black spray paint as your base coat.  It’s dry almost instantly and ready for the top coat.  Then you just need one, VERY quick coat of paint. 

I found these awesome knobs at Michael’s craft store!

WHAT KIND OF PAINT DO YOU USE?  I get asked that a LOT.  I ONLY buy Ralph Lauren brand paint on my furniture pieces.  I’ve tried a few less expensive brands and paid DEARLY for that mistake.  It may cost a little more to BUY RL brand paint; but it’s LESS costly to USE!  You need fewer coats, get better coverage and it goes on like ‘soft butter on warm toast’.  That difference you pay to BUY it, will save you a lot of TIME and EFFORT down the line.


Feeding the addiction. (old book pages and sheet music addiction, that is!)

I sure hope the BUYING public loves this stuff as much as I love making it!  It’s so much faster than just painting everything.  Here are the latest additions:

Funky little shelf with a drawer. 

 I’m thinking maybe this was originally used for a record player.  See the little hole at the back?  Just right for running an electric cord through.

This piece got a quick once over with the orbital sander, then flat black spray paint.

Then vintage hymnal pages on the flat surfaces.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to distress this piece or not, so I sanded ‘just the drawer’ and mulled it over while I worked on other projects. STILL not sure if I liked it.  Got out the camera to take pics and the SECOND I looked at it through the lens I KNEW the distressing had to GO.  So I quickly repainted the drawer.  And promptly fogrot to take another picutre!  DOH!

My next ‘victim’ was this little 3 drawer chest.

You can see on this side where it used to have a DESK attached.  Desks don’t sell as well as little chests, so Michael just cut off the desk side!  This one needed a lot of sanding and the drawer fronts were especially scratched up; really DEEP scratches too.  Gave it a base coat of black spray, a top coat of black latex, and ‘papered’ the drawer fronts with hymnal pages.  Painted the handles black and re-used them.  No after pic of this one!  Sorry.  Michael got home from work early and we had to dash off to our storage garage to empty the trailer full of finished furniture; and re-fill it with the bins of product smalls that were in the garage.  Gotta sort through them all in preparation for the upcoming fall show.

I was almost tempted tp leave this table ‘as is’.  The colors are SO close to ‘my’ colors, just a bit brighter.  Considered softening the colors a bit by sanding, or adding some white detailing on the top.  Ultimately, my addiction got the better or me and it ‘got papered’!

Spray paint was definitely the way to go one these swervy-curvey legs!  You can’t quite tell in the picture, but the legs are notched about half way; apparently a middle shelf is missing.  But I kind of like the long legedness of it without the shelf!

And then the vintage song book pages applied with regular ole liquid starch.  Had one blog reader ask “Where or WHERE do I find liquid starch???”  I get mine at WinCo.  Which really only helps those of you in ‘my part’ of the country.  I’ve never seen it a Dollar Tree, or Grocery Outlet, Safeway or Fred Meyer.   And most ‘fancy’ food stores don’t carry it. I wish I could find some in POWDER form, so I could put together KITS, with pages and starch packets to sell in my etsy shop!  (do you think people would buy JUST the book pages, w/o the starch included???)

Next I want to get some more lamp shades covered to display on top of all these papered pieces.  Most of these pieces will go to the fall show in a few weeks.  Then what doesn’t sell will eventually make it’s way to our mall spaces.  IF you are interested in a piece, let me know; and I can take it to either mall for you to purchase.

Outdated pink and brown shelf

This is what it looked like originally.

I had an entire pink and brown section back when we had our store.

Close up of edging detail.  It’s actually a BIG old picture frame we used as moulding for the shelf.

Here’s the picture frame as we bought it:

It was big!  Too big to fit into my small SUV; had to send Michael back to get it.   And gaudy in all it’s black and gold splendor.

When I laid it out to start painting it, I noticed a few ‘peeling spots’.  It wasn’t just some PAINT peeling off.  It was covered with PAPER and the painted paper was peeling off.  So I had to peel the entire thing before I could start painting it!  aaaargggggggggghhhhhhh!!!  Whose bright idea was it to make this monster into a shelf anyway!?!?!  Oh, yea, that would be me!

But I did finally get it all painted up and Michael got it measured for the shelf and cut and sanded all the shelf components.

To make the painting of the shelf boards easier on my and my ever aching back, I painted the interior shelving pieces BEFORE Michael put the shelf together. 

Once all those were painted, Michael built the shelf and I painted the outside brown.

And off she went to be the cornerstone of our pink and brown section in the store.  She hadn’t sold by the time we closed the store, so we took her to Stars.  Didn’t sell at Stars, so we took her to Camas, and built up a whole pink room theme again.


This little table was just re-done in white, as mentioned in  the previous post.

Again, th pink stuff just wasn’t selling, so we put it all at HALF PRICE.  Most of it sold, but not the shelf.  sigh.  I was ready to be DONE with pink and one big pink shelf just looked so out-of-place with no other pink stuff, so we brought it home for a makeover.

And here’s how it looks now.  Very pale gray on the outside and the interior is a slightly darker gray.  Don’t say it!  I know!  It would have been better to make the interior lighter and the exterior darker.  BUT I have a very good reason for doing it this way.  It would have taken me DAYS and a lot of additional back pain to hand paint with a brush the insides of that shelf.  So I used spray paint, and the gray spray paint ‘is what it is’ and that is a medium gray.  And the only other gray I had was this lighter gray to use on the exterior. 

I think it will look just stunning filled with all white components.

I sanded the edges of the frame just a tiny bit to add some depth.  Still mulling over whether or not I want to add some glaze to darken the crevasses.

For now it’s in storage, but will be headed to Camas the next time we are ready for Michael to make a trip with the truck and trailer.