Not all who wander are lost…

Not all who wander are lost...

We may have felt lost wandering down some Texas back-roads, but the moment we drove up to the Junk Gypsy World Headquarters we knew we were home. Located in Round Top, TX it’s the junkin’ home of Amie and Jolie Sikes, sisters from a “free-spirited family with an addiction to flea markets.”

When my daughter, my two nieces and I took off on an 8 day road-trip to Disney World over Spring Break we knew one of our many stops would have to be antique-row (AKA, Round Top, TX). We’ve loved everything about the sisters and their show “Junk Gypsies” since we first saw it appear on HGTV a few years back, and it’s been on our “Must See” list ever since.

The show and the family speak to our vintage hearts as we seem to all share a kindred spirit when it comes to junk! I love their whimsical outlook on life, their flare for country chic’ design and their willingness to just get in there and create as they use their imagination to turn trash into funky treasures. It’s exactly what my daughter and I set out to do every chance we get.

We loved our trip through Round Top, but we definitely didn’t spend long enough. Not having a trailer or room in our vehicle we refrained from too much antiquing this time around. We look forward to a return trip to attend the “Junk-o-Rama” prom one day and hitting this winding road of goodness during “Antiques Week”.

To be honest the picture above was a fluke. We were told the Wander Inn was located on the back of the property, but that it wouldn’t be opened for at least 3 more months. As we were leaving we took pics of all the little houses on the property (as we’ve seen them all made-over all their TV show), and continued to follow the winding road. In front of the houses there was a fence with a sign that read, “No Trespassing.” So, we abided and continued down the path to the Inn, the whole time I kept asking my posse, if they’d seen a sign that said, “Closed, Do Not Enter, STOP, etc.” They kept replying, “No.” So, we drove on, got out took a few pics and returned to our vehicle. As we were leaving, I saw a sign that said, “Employees Only.” Oops, the sign was small and white and looked like the letters had all about been washed away from the rain. Had I not been right beside it, I wouldn’t have seen it. So, I guess we got lucky. Sorry gypsy sisters, no disrespect intended. We promise! Beautiful place, can’t wait till it’s officially open and we can see the inside for now I’ll just replay the remodel on my DVR, lol.

Royers Restaurant

Fabulous Alert: We didn’t leave town without stopping for a mouth-watering masterpiece at Royers Cafe. Where they have world famous pie! It’s also, a place you must stop if you venture down that way

Bud the Pie Man

A junk gypsy chic’ multi-purpose dream…

A junk gypsy chic' multi-purpose dream...

A junk gypsy chic' multi-purpose dream...Call it a sideboard, a buffet, a dresser, a television stand, whatever you call it, it’s absolutely “junk gypsy” chic’ and my daughter’s first big project.

Sometimes, I think my daughter’s haggling skills put mine to shame. When she bargained for this piece last summer I was definitely surprised at how good she’s become. Her eye for junking is growing for sure. She was able to look past all the mess and see a diamond in the rough.

And, rough this piece was; the doors were about off and the drawers barely working. We removed all the hardware and functioning pieces, cleaned, cleaned and cleaned again and then we sanded all the rough surfaces down. After sanding we wiped clean with a damp cloth and painted with a latex paint.

The turquoise color just adds to that fabulous country style. A color, I’m so in LOVE with at the moment.

After the paint dried we used the palm-sander to give the overall piece a distressed look, wiped clean and finished with a medium stain (color: chestnut).

Last, but certainly not least, we added “new” rusty cast-iron hardware.

The carved details in this piece give it so much character and charm. It’s truly one of our favorites. It can be used in a living room as a television stand… You have to think outside the furniture box, and besides the cabinets will make for great storage for movies and such (That’s exactly how we use these pieces!).

Happy refurbing people!

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Not everything gold glitters…

Not everything gold glitters... Not everything gold glitters...Not everything gold glitters...

I found this not-so-cute little piano bench at a second-hand store over the summer. I guess secretly, I do love the 1970ish golden crushed velvet material. I mean, I could get behind it as a style choice, if it wasn’t in such bad shape that is.

It was obviously in need of a rescue. I first took the seat off to start on the wooden base. Normally, at this point I do some heavy sanding, but all the varnish was pretty much worn off the bench; never-the-less, I used the palm sander to hit what was left of the coating. Afterwards, my daughter used a damp cloth to wipe off the dust and painted on two coats of flat black latex paint (Allowing time between coats to dry.).

After the paint was dry I used the sander to age. Ironically, I always take something old, make it look new and then distress to make old again. May seem like a silly little cycle, but the pieces always look so much better when finished. It’s always nice to preserve the antiques when you can, but some pieces are just old, not valuable or heirloom quality and they just need a makeover. Again, I wiped the bench free from dust and finished with a medium stain (chestnut).

Now, to the seat, some will remove all the fabric and discard, and that definitely should be done if the fabric is filthy or torn. This fabric was just old and had a few stains; so I left the fabric for extra padding (and to preserve some of it’s vintage-ness). First, I cut a piece of chevron fabric large enough to wrap around all four sides, ironed the fabric and laid the seat upside down on top of the fabric. I then pulled the fabric tight (but, not too tight) and used a staple gun to staple the fabric to the seat. I recommend going back and forth doing a few staples at a time on opposite sides until you complete those sides and then go back and forth with the other two sides. It keeps the fabric from bunching or wrinkling.

Lastly, I fastened the seat to the bench with new screws.

This bench is super cute. A nice partner for a piano, but it could also make for some funky extra seating, as I find it fits perfectly under a window or it would even be fun to pair with a vanity.

A great upcycle project!

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An ooh la la refurbished piece…

An ooh la la refurbished piece...

An ooh la la refurbished piece...My daughter and I wrapped up this project Sunday and brought it in from the garage. We normally have a pop of color in our living room, so I’m trying to adjust to the large white piece, but I’m loving the style.

I spotted an inspiration piece (a 1940’s French Provincial sideboard/dresser) on a vintage repurposer’s website out of Virginia and had to replicate. Our piece of the same era was picked up at a garage sale a few months back.

To achieve the look we first removed the hardware and took a palm-sander to the entire piece, at least enough to knock off the shine (sealer/coating), and wiped clean with a damp cloth. Then, we used our homemade chalk paint to paint the bottom (See the recipe here!). Once the paint dried we taped off the bottom, so the stain wouldn’t bleed on to the freshly painted white and stained the top with a dark stain (Color: ebony). We then, wiped off the stain and applied a second layer, to deepen the color, allowed it to stand a few minutes and then wiped off the excess with a clean dry cloth.

When all the paint and stain were dry, I used the sander again (on just the bottom white half) to distress and give an overall aged vintage look, wiped off the dust with a damp cloth and finished with a paste wax over the entire piece. Note: Make sure your stain is completely dry before the last sanding or dust will stick to the stained area.

Happy refurbishing people!

An ooh la la refurbished piece...

Mirror, mirror on that fabulously-chic’ vanity…

Mirror, mirror on that fabulously-chic' vanity...
How did you get so adorable, lol? There is just something about a little vanity that takes you back to childhood. Not sure if it’s the idea of a child playing in her mother’s makeup or her putting on a set of grandma’s pearls, but either way anytime I see one I just picture a little girl playing with red lipstick smeared all over her face.

I feel these old time vanities are making a come back. I think they would be perfect in a retro-chic’ styled bedroom or over-sized bathroom, or even repurposed as a desk in a shabby-perfect loft.

I picked this vanity up at a garage sale a few months back and decided this past weekend to give it a makeover. From the looks of it, it’s had several makeovers with too many piled on layers of paint and stain to even nicely remove. Instantly, I knew I wasn’t going to even attempt to take it all off; besides I like my painted furniture to be roughly distressed. So, with that in mind I removed all the broken hardware and the mirror, gave it a once over with the palm sander, so (yet) another layer of paint would adhere well, wiped it down with a damp cloth and added a new layer of paint (turquoise). After the paint dried, I sanded again to distress and finished with a coat of stain (ebony). The stain was a lot darker than I normally use, but I figured since I was going with such a dark pull it would work.

After the stain dried, I reattached the mirror and added new drawer pulls. I’ve been so obsessed with these “puppy dog” pulls lately. I found them at Hobby Lobby for $3.99 each (If they’re not on sale, wait a week, the pulls are 50% off just about every other week.). I just love the whimsy they bring to an already adorable piece of furniture.

Happy refurbishing people!

[This item may be for sale on our Facebook page!]

Step away from the cobwebs Charlotte…

Step away from the cobwebs Charlotte... Refurbed end-tables...

Sometimes I think if flea markets were designated a color it would be brown. Ugh! I’m all for rich woods; they certainly can warm a place up and make it look sophisticated, but also it can be BORING!

So, what do you get when you take brown wood, add years of neglect and add layers on layers of cobwebs? SINFULLY BORING and a little scary! Who needs that?

I purchased this set of end-tables at an estate sale a few months back. Sadly, the house was in such disrepair (And, mind you I think everything can be fixed!) that it was a wonder anyone even entered the house.

Typical enough, I didn’t hesitate; therefore, I gained a new refurb project.

I removed the hardware… Soaped, rinsed and repeated, degreased and left a day out in the sun to let nature heal these sad little pieces and then they were ready for paint.

I veered away from my normal turquoise and painted these “mint green”, with just plain-o latex indoor paint. The top I painted white, allowed to dry and then painted them with a black harlequin pattern.

To achieve the pattern: I used a pencil to draw horizontal and vertical lines 2-inches apart across and down. Then within each 2-inch box I penciled alternating diagonal lines. At this point, I erased the pencil marks in every other row of diamonds, these remained white and then proceeded to paint the remaining rows black.

After the paint dried I used a palm sander to heavily distress the whole table. I then wiped clean with a damp cloth and used a paint brush to apply a coat of Mocha glaze, which I picked up at Lowe’s.

When the glaze was dried I re-installed the hardware. Normally, at this point, I replace the hardware, but these were already so fabulously rusted out that I reused the originals!

So, there you go a new little funky life for these cobweb covered end-tables!

[This item may be for sale on our Facebook page!]

A vintage dresser that rocks…

A vintage dresser that rocks...A vintage dresser that rocks...I’m in love with our latest refurb project! My daughter and I had to dig deep for this antique dresser at an estate sale this past weekend; literally the poor old house was about ready to fall in, but the end result made the little extra trouble so worth it.

The vintage dresser was rescued and given a good soapy bath and a rinse (Make sure to dry quickly if you ever use water, or you can surely warp your wood. I wouldn’t even recommend it on particle wood.).

First, we removed the knobs and gave it two coats of latex paint (Turquoise, my fave!). Once dry, I used a palm sander to distress all the edges and wiped clean with a damp, then dry cloth.

Decoupaging… Who says it’s just something they did in the 50’s? This was our most fun part. My daughter had seen this idea on Pinterest, where else? In which, they used storybook covers, so precious. When I had my light bulb moment, I was thinking old record album covers. I had several I had picked up at garage sales over the years for .50 cents or $1.00.

We pulled out all our old albums… Mind you, it’s so hard for me to destroy anything old, even when it doesn’t have sentimental value, but I figured so many were missing records or in a less than average condition. So, let’s do it… Then, hold the phone! I had my daughter do a quick sweep over the internet before I made my first cut and found out a few of my old albums had value. Color copies quickly became our new plan. The biggest perk, being able to have an endless gallery of images to search through, picking out our favorite bands, favorite memories, favorite songs, etc.

So, I measured the drawers and divided it as close as I could by length to keep the end size a square (Remember, I’m thinking record albums, so a square was necessary.). I figured we needed about 4 per drawer.

I made a template using Photoshop and cropped each image to the size we needed. We printed them on plain copy paper, cut and used Mod Podge to adhere the images to the drawer fronts. After placing the images, we covered with another layer of Mod Podge and allowed to dry.

After the drawers were dried, we replaced the knobs and covered the entire dresser with a quick wipe-on, wipe-off layer of a light colored stain. Warning: If the images aren’t completely covered with Mod Podge you risk a little bleeding from the stain. A little of this around the edges add to the distressed look; however, too much could ruin all your hard work.

All in all, the project was so much fun and opened the door for creativity. I hope to do one with storybooks next. The options are endless.

Happy Mod Podging!

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