Repurposing ’round the clock…

Repurposing 'round the clock Repurposing 'round the clock
It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for junk or the otherwise discarded. I just can’t stand to see things thrown away, especially if you can repurpose them in to some creative goodness.

Not sure how this idea popped into my head. I suppose like most ideas these days you think, “Eureka! I’m so darn creative!” then after a little research on Pinterest you find out a hundred other people have already thought of that idea, lol. Well, never-the-less, my mother has an old electrical spool out by her garage that she uses as an outdoor table and every time I’ve seen that thing my mind wonders with ideas. Most recently, the idea of creating another clock came to mind. (Been there, done that, see… “Refurbing ’round the clock“.)

So, the hunt was on for a spool. Oddly enough, they’re not that hard to find if you know your resources. My mom got hers for free at our local Lowe’s. Sometimes you have to put your name on a list and wait your turn, but worth it for FREE. Also, about a month ago I had seen that Habitat for Humanity had several dropped off for resale. I never mind buying discarded items there as the profits go to help give homes to those in need. And, lastly, check with your local electrical departments, often times you’ll find that City and private companies usually toss these.
Repurposing 'round the clock

Once we acquired the spool the work began. My daughter and I, both with wrenches in hand, tackled the demolition. The rods; although, they run all the way through the spool are actually only threaded about 3 inches. With her on one side (wrench in hand) and I on the other (wrench in hand) we started… I would hold my end tight while she spun off the bolts on the other. This took a lot of elbow-grease and sometimes we both had to apply torque in different directions as the bolts were very rusty, but eventually we removed them all. At this point the wooden spool just fell apart.

We did little prep work to the piece we had removed. I literally just took a broom to sweep off all the dirt and used a damp wash cloth to wipe it down. Next, we dry brushed it with white paint and used some homemade stencils and black paint pens to create the look we wanted. (Just look at our shabby homemade, FREE stencil, lol.)

Repurposing 'round the clock

After the paint dried I used a palm sander to age the look of the fresh paint and remove any splinter hazards, wiped clean again with a damp cloth and sealed with some paste wax.

Lastly, I had my son cut the rods down with a chop saw so we could return the rusty parts that make old pieces so fabulous. To do this we just hot-glued the pieces back in the holes.

Viola’ shabby chic’ art. Not for everyone, but perfect for me!

These spools come in all sorts of sizes, but if you decide to go with the mack-daddy one like I did (Quite frankly, I think the size makes it awesome.) make sure to use heavy duty brackets and lag bolts and attach directly to your wall-studs. This one weighs a whopping 133 lbs., and you don’t want that falling on anyone or anything!

A nod to the Junk Gypsies (whom I love) as I used one of their quotes “Home is wherever I roam” for this not so little project.

Refurb, repurpose, reuse… ALWAYS! Happy creating!


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!]

Hide it in a barn; NO, I’m gonna let it shine…

Hide it in a barn; NO, I'm gonna let it shine...It’s getting nearly impossible to pick up a good item at an auction these days, well, let me rephrase that… To pick up a good item at a “decent price…”. Auctions have gotten so over run with dealers your average Joe just can’t get a good deal.  This time; however, I did. I found this industrial metal light stand hidden in a barn at an auction a few weeks ago; a few flashes of my bid card later it was mine.

The light was quite dirty (Did I mention I found it in a barn?), had been painted with silver spray paint a few times, was rusty and had some mismatched flood lights.

I gave it a good cleaning and white-washed it with some outdoor paint. I figured the outdoor paint would stick a little better to the surface; although, I did just lightly dry brush the paint on so that I could still have a little of that worn rusty look showing through.

I replaced the flood lights with some antique replica Edison lights. The brand I used was Marconi and they cost $5-7 a bulb; that’s way more than you should ever pay for a light bulb, but the look is oh-so-worth it and they do last a long time. The lights are even more impressive in the dark, they have that cool vintage birdcage glow. I’ve also used these lights in a chandelier in my home, they’re quite lovely.

All in all, I have a new funky lamp, that’s suitable for indoor use now and the lights are directional, so who knows, maybe they’ll be lighting up a dark corner one day or shining on some feature piece of art.


I mustache you a question…

I mustache you a question...“I mustache you a question. Do you like my refurb?” Lol, shameless, I know.

Not all refurb projects are back-breaking. In fact, there wasn’t much to this little table.

I’d say the worst part was cleaning up all the filth. I found it at a garage sale a few weeks back. Now, normally the color of peach would make me feel a little yuck, but the color wasn’t the most nauseating part, this table was covered in ashes and grime. I still can’t get over someone actually offering something up for sale that had so much muck on it… But, then again, it didn’t stop me from buying it. So, I guess I’m the one off her rocker.

I cleaned the whole table with a degreaser (Windex is also awesome) to remove all the grime, tightened up the bolts on one of the legs, and gave it a good once over with ye’ole palm sander. I wiped the sanding dust off with a damp cloth and after it dried gave it 2 coats of white latex paint. After the white paint dried I drew on a mustache and painted it black.

My favorite part is always the end of a project… You know the part where you take something old, paint it to look new and then distress it on purpose, lol. I guess it’s just what I do. I again, took the palm sander and went over the entire piece, mustache and all, paying special attention to the corners and edges, wiped clean and finished with a quick, wipe on – wipe off coat of Early American stain.

Now it can have a new funky life.

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

Refurbing ’round the clock…

Garage Sale Tabe After 2Garage Sale Table AfterGarage Sale Table BeforeTurning this old table into a faux clock is probably my most favorite refurb project of all time.

I picked this table up at a garage sale… It wasn’t in the best shape, as you can see in the before pictures, it had been the canvas to some kid’s crayon art and also had some water damage.

No worries, we scraped off all the yuck (and probably a little gum too) and used a hand-sander to remove what was left of the lacquer coating. Next, we used a cloth and some Windex to wipe the surface clean.

I painted the base black and top white with regular latex paint. The fun part was the lettering. To do this I enlisted my daughter and we went back to our grade school art memories, the old “pencil-rub” technique. First, we printed off the numbers and letters on plain copy paper (make sure to set the printer to fast/draft, no need to waste ink, also make sure to print in reverse so your letters won’t be backwards). Next, we aligned the copy paper and used painter’s tape to keep it in position. Then we used a dull pencil to scribble on the backs to rub the image off on to the painted surface. After we had transferred enough of the image for a guide we removed the copy paper and used a paint pen to trace and fill.

To finish this project we sanded the entire table, even going over the lettering to give the over all piece an aged look, wiped clean and applied a coat of stain. The stain added to the look, by bringing out the wood in the exposed areas and dulling the bright white to a more vintage cream color. Lastly, we added a coat of paste wax, ironically, to help preserve the intentional aging, lol.

The table came with 3 chairs, 2 were salvageable, so we painted them solid black and completed the same aging process as above.

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

I took something perfectly acceptable and tore it apart…

Sinfully boring; too much brown...This was not my average project, most times I rescue antiques or find a new use for something kicked to the curb…  But, not this time, this time I took something perfectly acceptable and tore it apart on purpose… WHOA!

You see, I have a pair of sinfully boring Queen Anne style chairs that I bought about 8 years ago. I’m sure at the time I loved them, and they have served our family well, easy to clean, easy to move from room to room for guests or pull up to the table, but lately I’ve been just looking at them and wanting to scream. They are constructed of tan suede Microfiber material with an Early American stain, they sit up against a tan wall next to a dark stained upright piano and when moved to the living room they rest on chocolate hard wood floors.  Blah, that’s just too much brown.

So, this past weekend it was time for a change. I made a trip to our local Hobby Lobby to purchase some fun prints (a faded Chevron and something Paris inspired) and to stock up on hot glue.  That was the easy part, disassembling the chair and pulling what had to be 500 staples was the hard part. I first pulled off the piping around the back piece, then I pulled off the fabric from the top; saving every piece to use as a pattern for the re-installation. Next, I took out the foam padding and set it aside and removed the back fabric from the top. A few screws from the base allowed the bottom to just pop off, finally something easy. Not to quick… I spent at least another hour removing staples that had pulled through the fabric and often times needed a small flathead screwdriver to pull the staple up enough to grab with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Step one down, I took the chair minus all the fabric to the garage and sanded down all the shiny parts (this removes the coating and helps the paint adhere better), a damp cloth removed all the dust and then I painted the chair turquoise (my current fave). While the chair air dried I used the old fabric pieces and cut up the new fabric. To the frame, once the chair was dry, I sanded it down quiet a bit to give it an aged look, wiped with a damp cloth and applied a thin layer of new stain, wiping off the excess as I went (oddly enough, also Early American, lol) and let dry again, preferably outside for proper ventilation.

Back to the fabric, once I positioned my fabric on the seat, I flipped the seat over and stapled 2 to 3 times and then pulled tight, straight across and stapled 2 to 3 times, went to the other two sides and did the same. Once I had all 4 sides tacked down, I continued this crisscross stapling pattern till all the sides met (this keeps the material from bunching and keeps it pulled tight all the way around). When the frame was ready, I repeated the same steps for the upper back of the chair, placed the foam insert back into place and repeated the steps for the front cover. With the front cover done I hot glued matching fabric around some piping and then hot glued the piping around the edge of the fabric insert and around the bottom of the seat before attaching it back to the chair. I found it best to just sit on the floor surrounded by all my tools.

It’s important to mention no antiques were ruined in this project, lol. These chairs were purchased new at a furniture shop in OKC. That being said, if you ever want to destroy something in good condition, make sure you can live with the outcome good or bad, there is no going back, and also remember once you paint your wood the process to get it back to stain grade is extremely tedious and sometimes impossible.

Overall, I LOVE the way it turned out; my old chairs, all though in good condition needed a makeover, but it was a little tasking, nothing too hard, just a little repetitive and time consuming. 

Items Used:
2 yrds. of fabric ($7.99 a yd., to which I added my 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon, so uhm… $5.50 ish a yd.)
Needle-nose Pliers
Small Flathead Screwdriver
Phillips Screwdriver
Hammer (For those pesky staples that need and extra tap)
Staple Gun
5/16″ Staples (Lots of them)
Hot Glue Gun & Glue