Bibbidi bobbidi that’s not a pumpkin…

Bibbidi bobbidi that's not a pumpkin...I don’t know if it’s because the new “Cinderella” movie is coming out or if it’s my life long obsession with Disney, but for several days now all I’ve done is sang “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” and created all things princess-like, lol.

This last weekend’s project is case in point! Who says you need a Fairy Godmother? We created our makeshift carriage out of found and discarded items. A coffee table, broken mirror frame, vintage bicycle, old prom dress and some scrap wood and… “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo!”

I guess you can say, just about anything can be repurposed and it’s one of my favorite things to do. We took the coffee table (which was missing the glass from the top) and added some 1/2 inch plywood for stability for a base and then built a 3 sided box on top using scrap wood. Then we removed the rims from an old bicycle and attached to the table legs by drilling holes large enough to fit the hub hardware already on the bike. At this point we spray painted the base gold.

When the paint was dry, we took an old prom dress, cut it in sections and used a staple gun to attach the lace and fabric to the inside of the box. We also, draped the fabric across the front and sides and used the ties to make little bows for extra accents. Next we used the preexisting holes to screw the mirror to the front of the box.

Some anchors were created for extra support and extra fabric was used to line the box. We tossed in throw pillows to cozy the piece up and now it’s perfect for a princess photo-shoot.

This was a fun and inexpensive repurposing project. We were able to make use of several; otherwise, trashed items.

Now get to repurposing your pumpkins people!


Santa, please don’t wake the baby…

Santa, please don't wake the baby...

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but one of my favorite things to do with “junk” is to create funky photo-shoot settings. I like to take things with a vintage feel or something out of the ordinary and throw it together in some mismatched fashion, just for the fun of it. It follows one of my “Golden Rules” always reuse, repurpose, recycle!

For this photo-shoot we took a vintage bed frame to a field (used an air mattress to save on some of the heavy lifting) and used layers of creams, tans and shades of white bedding and pillows. We added an aged toy baby bed, since this was a newborn session and added a Christmas wreath, milk and cookies, and a note to Santa, also subtlety announcing the holiday season.

The Sullivan’s are always awesome to work with, they just show up and let me do my thing. This quote from “Alice in Wonderland” always makes me think if this is what my clients think of my ideas… The Mad Hatter: “Have I (has she) gone mad?” Alice: “I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But, I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” Hopefully, they get me, lol!

Wishing you a very vintage Christmas!

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!

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

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!

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

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!]

An old fashioned all-American cookout…

An old fashioned all-American cookout...There is no better way to honor our Veterans or to celebrate the 4th of July than an old-fashioned all-American cookout!

This was one of my most favorite family gatherings. Of course spending time with my kids is always my favorite, but throw in some extended family, potatoe salad, hot-dogs and some home-baked goodies and it’s a party!

This year, I decided to do our cookout a little old fashioned-chic’, which basically consisted of several mismatched found chairs (including and old piano bench), Mason jars and red and white striped paper straws. I avoided all other paper and plastic serving-wise, and used actual silverware and fine china. You should of heard the gasps in my kitchen when I started pulling out the china, lol. I told the ladies, “No, worries; all I have is pretty much two partial sets.” I went on to tell them, when my kiddos where little they pulled over a shelf that had all those dishes displayed, which resulted in many broken pieces. My mom then told me a story of a friend of hers that always used her “special” dishes. She said, the lady told her she could tell you where every chip and crack came from and which child was responsible. I hadn’t pulled mine out in awhile, but I agree. I know why my sets are broken and how little my children were when it happened. Oh, the memories!

So, out it went to be “used”… And of course, a Mason jar full of mustard was broken by my little niece Kylie. She was helping my daughter carry things to the table when she dropped it. She turned to Haley, not startled, instead she shrugged her shoulders and said, “Eeh, it’s what I do.” Haley laughed so hard.

Since, it wasn’t buffet-style we all had to talk and pass the plates. Later, my SIL and I stood side-by-side visiting while we washed and rinsed the dishes (That just doesn’t happen much these days with dishwashers and paper plates.). When returning the china to the cabinet after the cookout I noticed another chip, and it just made me smile… Another memory.

I hope you all are creating memories with your family gatherings this holiday season!