Friday, December 31, 2010

Thrift Store Decor + Spray Paint

Thanks for every one's suggestions on ideas of what to put in that wood planter box with handles.
I ended up storing all my little cook books I don't use regularly, and actually had Italian cook books I put in front.

So I've been spray painting a bunch of junk lately.
I have a few of these, so I thought I'd bunch them together in one post.

First, another lantern. 
This one was $1.00 and had plastic holly around the base that went right in the trash.
I was able to take out the glass, then use spray paint primer, then oil rubbed bronze spray paint to finish it off.

This vase was $2.00 and had the price tag on the bottom was from Target for $15.00
There was nothing wrong with the blue, but I just wanted it to be white.
So I used white primer, then white spray paint to make the change. 

Photo Boxes
These aren't actually from the thrift store, just gathered over the last few years and none of them match.
So same thing, white primer and white spray paint. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sideboard Refinish

My mom bought me this sideboard from a local online classified. She bartered her way down to $30, and this was my birthday present last month. The listing was only up 5 minutes and she snagged it.  When she was picking it up that night, the seller said he'd got over 40 more calls after she called about it. So you know your mom loves you when she'll drive over 30 miles to buy you some junk for your birthday. Actually, it's not too junky, it was in pretty good condition.

1. Strip
So the first step was to remove the hardware and strip the top.  I use a chemical wood stripper that breaks down  the polyurethane so you can just scrape it off.  After it was all scraped off, I poured mineral spirits on the top and scrubbed it with a scouring pad to get rid of the chemical stripper.  I also have a grout brush for the routed edges.  

2. Sand
I was using new hardware, so you can see the white holes in the drawers that have been filled with wood filler.
I started sanding the drawer fronts and body of the sideboard, but didn't do much because I hate sanding and I'm lazy, and was painting everything and decided it wasn't necessary. 

But I did sand the top, because I wasn't painting the top, but planning on staining it.
Despite hating sanding, it went pretty quick.  I sanded like you're supposed to, starting with 60 grit to get out the deep gouges and sand any last spots of old varnish.  
Then went to 100 grit, a round of 150 grit and finally 220 grit to make things really smooth and just raw wood.

3. Prime
I decided to prime first.  I used oil based primer for durability and primed the front of the drawers and the body of the sideboard.

**I use a small sponge roller for painting furniture.  It goes on smoother than a brush, and they are small enough you can use it on the majority of the furniture, and just fill in the cracks and edges with a brush.

4. Stain
I chose to stain the top straight Cherry.  One coat of Minwax Cherry stain was dark enough for me.  With stain you just paint it on with a brush, let it soak up to 15 min, then wipe it off with clean dry cloths.  I just cut up old nasty shirts I was going to throw away, or mis-matched lonely socks work well too. 

5. Paint
I used the same paint as the shelf backing: Behr's Waterscape in flat.
I painted two coats, having to wait 4 hours between to let it dry. 

6. Glaze
This is my least favorite part.  I think it's easier when you distress the furniture and then just use the same wood stain to age it.  But I didn't want the distress in this case, so I went with the glazing technique.
I mixed acrylic craft paint in burnt umber into glaze.  Using a paint brush, you paint a thin coat of glaze then wipe away anything you don't want.  So on these door fronts the glaze is thickest in the grooves.  The rest of the surfaces is just a thin wash of vertical wiping.   Maybe because I'm kind of a slob, I have a hard time making the glazing look uniform.  But then I keep going assuming no one's going to be looking that close.

7. Polyurethane
I only did one coat on the blue glazed body and drawer fronts of semi-gloss polyurethane.  But for the stained wood top, I did two coats, sanding in between like the can says, even though I hate sanding again when I'm almost done with the whole project.

8. Hardware
I decided to use more modern hardware than the flowery big handles it came with.  I bought the cheap $1.20 brass pulls from Lowes again, like I did on this dresser.  I don't like brass, so I refinished the handles.  It's super easy: just spray with spray paint primer, then 2 coats of spray paint in Nickle.  

Then you have to re-drill holes in all the drawer fronts for the new hardware.  This can be a major pain to measure over and over to center the holes, then have the holes the correct distance apart.
So this is my trick that made it quick and I didn't measure anything.

I first make a paper template by poking holes for the distance between the screws on the handle.
Then on the actual drawers, I used the old holes for my guide on centering the handles. These holes were filled really poorly, and so you can really see them, but the new handles covered them so I didn't care.
So I just lined up my paper template right between the old holes, and drilled away.   Obviously not a perfect technique, you can see these holes I drilled weren't perfectly between the old holes.  But all the holes were the correct distance apart to screw the handles on, and overall they were centered. 
Makes it quick and easy!

So now we have a place to store all our CDs, movies, and other things.  Because this is actually a sideboard/ buffet, the one drawer has dividers for silverware, and that is where we keep the remotes.

I was actually kind of nervous the silver cup hardware wouldn't work with the curvy style of the body.   But after it was all done, I decided I liked the mix of the old and new.
I also ended up really liking the two-tone wood and paint combo.  It's nice to have the actual wood grain on top.

So this wall is starting to look a lot better.  I'm still working on the loading the shelves.
That is got me at a stand still.  How hard should it be to put your crap on your shelves?  I don't know why it seems like such a big task to get right to me.
Scroll down to the post below to vote on what you think of that watercolor hung off the shelving...if you have an opinion about it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Need Your Opinion

I currently have this watercolor art piece of the Colosseum in the black frame hanging from the shelf molding.
I got this idea from this How To Decorate a Bookshelf tutorial.
But I'm not sure if it works.
My husband thinks it looks weird.
I'm in the middle and can't decide.

I know it's hard to tell someone it stinks right to their face, or in a comment, so instead you can anonymously vote in this poll.

Keep the art on the shelf moulding?

Thanks for giving your opinion!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mustard Lamps

My first project for the family room, branching out with yellow.
So I've been looking for two table lamps that match.  I found these ugly brass lampes at the thrift store, one for $4.00 and one for $5.00.  I know they obviously don't match, but they are the exact same height, and have similar shapes.  I'd been looking for a while, and decided they were close enough. 

1. Primed
spray paint--white primer. 

2. Paint yellow
None of the spray paints were the right color.
So I  found a paint color I liked, but didn't want to buy a whole quart of latex paint for a few accent items, so I ended up just using acrylic craft paint and a sponge brush. 

The lamps ended up being brighter than I had wanted, so I added a brown glaze.
I put a drop of brown acrylic paint in a glossy glaze, and it just added a slight brown to take the bright yellow down a notch, trying to get in the mustard realm rather than banana.

Here's the difference.
The left lamp has the glaze. 

I got the 2 lamp shades at Ikea for $10 each.  
My first addition of yellow to my house and so far I like it.

Family Room Ideas

We've lived in our house over 6 months now, and I finally got some inspiration for our family room. 
Since we've moved, I've had a long list of projects for each room, building furniture, decor, sewing pillow covers, slipcovers, etc.
But I never could think of anything for the family room.
But now I have a plan.  Here's my colors.

But now I'm excited and have some direction.
It all started with deciding I would like a sideboard/ buffet on one wall to act as a media stand/ storage.
From there, I decided on colors. I wanted to paint this piece of furniture some color, since most everything in this room is neutral right now.  Deciding on the color for the sideboard, kind of brought more ideas for the rest of the room.  Which is weird, because all the other rooms, the inspiration came from fabric.
Anyway, I taped over 10 paint cards on my wall and they were there for a week while I was narrowing them down.

Some things I wasn't going to or couldn't change.
Like our neutral khaki couches or neutral carpet.
Or the wall paint.
When we bought the house, the family room looked like this on one side:

We painted the doors/ trim white, and the walls a neutral: Glidden White Sand.

So I've got some projects brewing, already have finished adding the shelving backing some color with the Behr waterscape.  So hopefully this will all turn out alright.  Once again, I'm trying to use colors I normally wouldn't (like the yellow jacket), going with mustard as the accent color.  My comfort colors are greens, blues, and red.  So I decided I should do something different in this room and I'm awkwardly getting used to the idea of some yellowish mustard accents.  Still taking the safe side, as accents are easily changed if I end up not being able to handle the yellow. 
Hopefully some yellow in my house will be nice for a change and I won't hate it in the end.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas.  We celebrated a day early because my husband had to work Christmas Day.  It was our first Christmas with just our little family, and it was a good Christmas.  Santa blew my son's world with a Thomas train set, making my handmade gifts completely uninteresting, which is OK and kind of what I expected.  He was so absorbed in the train all day, he could barely take time to eat.

Just some things that have been on my mind:

Thanks to anyone who looks at this blog, and especially to those that comment.
I've been thinking how much having a blog to share my projects has broadened the variety of things I make, and gives me a lot of motivation to create.  So thanks for looking at these projects, it really helps me get excited about new things, and your interest/ input does really mean a lot to me.

So thanks for stopping by, and to those who keep coming back, I really appreciate it since I'm sure some of my projects are kind of lame.

I usually never give personal info on here, assuming no one really would be interested, and pretty much keep it to the projects.  But I thought I'd ask if people would want to know more about me.
Mainly because my best friend in St. Louis ran into someone who looks at my blog at a knitting club.  My friend said they were asking what I was like, and it got me thinking that maybe people do care to know more about me.
Hmmm.  So maybe if you are interested in knowing something about me, you could leave a question in a comment, as I can't really think of anything that interesting to tell you right now, and answering questions is easier.

Anyway, hopefully 2011 will have more junk on here to makeover, and other projects here and there you might like too.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Free Patterns

I just got this pattern for 5 different style baby shoes for FREE!
Go to HomeSpun Threads to check it out where you can "buy" any of her 29 patterns for free right now.
I'm not sure how long this will last, but I'm excited to make some of these little shoes!

Chenille Scarf from a Sheet

 I know it's probably too late to offer this as a Christmas gift idea, but here's a soft, upcycled handmade scarfc made from a soft vintage sheet.
This scarf uses the faux chenille technique.

Maybe you've seen the baby blankets Dana over at made created using this technique.
It's basically sewing lines of multiple layers of fabric, then cutting between the lines to allow the raw edges to fray and become soft texture.

The baby blankets you sew the lines on the diagonal from corner to corner, because the cutting needs to be on the bias.  But this scarf is cool because your lines are straight, because you cut your fabric on the bias! Also, no binding and both sides are chenille!
I got the idea from LittleRedSaid here from her tutorial.  I saw her scarf the day after I'd bought a vintage sheet set for $3.00 at the thrift store so it was meant to be.
Other cute faux chenille scarves that are more like the blankets with one side chenille, the other having diagonal lines, and binding:

So here's what I did, very similar to LittleRedSaid.
Here I am wearing the scarf with my prego belly, no makeup, and my mullet hair that needs to be cut.
Scarf: Faux Chenille

1. Cut Strips
5 strips per scarf: 7 1/2" wide,  55" to 65" long  (or whatever you think is best and fits your fabric)
I used a vintage full size fitted sheet.  It ended up making 2 scarves.
You need to cut your strips on the bias. 
Using the fitted sheet, I first cut off the elastic and corner seams so it was flat.
I took two opposite corners and put them together, making the sheet a large triangle.  It was too long to fit on my cutting mat, so I folded the point of the triangle back up as shown.
After cutting my strips 7 1/2" wide, I put them together to determine how long my scarves could be. 
****To get 2 scarves out of my sheet, I did sew some shorter strips together to make them long enough, and just layered the pieced strips in the middle of the scarf.

2. Secure layers together
For this step, I tried 2 different methods.
I first tried to secure the 5 strips with the spray adhesive.  This was the recommendation in the blanket made tutorial.  Despite my best efforts, it really bunched up the layers and was hard to keep them smooth.

The next scarf I tried instead to make them stiff using starch.  Starch is cheap and you just spray the fabric, let it soak in, then iron it.  I worked on one half of the scarf, (since my ironing board couldn't fit the whole scarf) starching one layer, then adding the next, soaking it with starch, ironing it, then adding the next on top through all five layers.  Then flipped it and starched the other end.

You can see in the photo the starching made the layers much more smooth.  But starch didn't really adhere the layers together very well.  So the 5 layers were stiff and smooth, but could get out of line.
Where the spray adhesive was stuck together, but in a bunchy uneven layer.
After both scarves were done, I don't know that it made much of a different in the finished scarf, but I guess if you were really wanting smooth lines, you could starch the layers, then use a little spray adhesive to connect them together.  For a big project like the blankets, you may need the adhesive, but I found the scarf was small enough just starching and pinning worked fine.  Heck, you could probably do nothing and just pin and sew and be fine actually.
**After both were finished, you really couldn't tell the difference for the most part.  But I think I prefer the starch method, the spray adhesive gummed up my blade as I cut the channels.

3. Sew first seam down the center
Measure the center of your strips, or for mine, 3 3/4" from the edge.  I drew a line down to guide with.
Then sew your center line.  This will be your gauge for all the other seams. 

4. Sew Seams
Working from your center seam to the edges, sew your other seams.  You can decide how wide you want your seams.  The narrower the seams, the softer the finished chenille will be.  For this scarf 1/2" seamed too big, and 1/4" apart seamed like a lot of seams to sew.  So I went in the middle and sewed my seams 3/8" apart.  To guide, I have this  gauge that attaches to my presser foot that helped me keep them even. 

Once you get to the edge, stop when you have 1/4" to 3/8" on the edge.  My layers got a little off in places, so I did have to trim the edges in areas to make them even from the last seam.
I also used the blue contrasting thread on these. 

5. Cut Your Strips
To make the chenille, you cut between your seams.
But for the scarf, you only cut the top 2 layers on one side, then flip it over and cut the top 2 layers on the other side.  Then the middle layer holds the whole scarf together. 
**So you could add more layers than just 5, but make sure it's an odd number for your total to have the center layer to hold it all together.

Before I started hacking all my trenches, I did go through one end of each scarf to carefully, with scissors, snip only the top 2 layers on each side.  I just saw myself hacking through the 3rd layer not paying attention, so started each row so I wouldn't cut a hole in the scarf. 

To cut all the little trenches between your seams, you can use scissors.
I got this Olfa Chenille Cutter for my birthday last month. It's a cool little blade, you can watch this video here to see all it's options.
So once I'd already started each slit carefully with scissors, I could just shred through them quite fast with my little Olfa blade.

6. Make Fringe
If you want fringe, decide how long you want them, and sew across each end.  I put a piece of masking tape on the top to help hold the cut layers the flat.  I made my fringe 3.5" long.

Then cut through the center layer, up to your sew line.

7. Wash
Now all you have to do is wash your scarf, and it should start fraying up into soft layers.
Because my sheet was 50% polyester, 50% cotton, a single wash didn't fluff/ fray much.  So I took a bristled hair brush and brushed the scarf, and it helped soften the chenille.
Time also helps soften the edges with use, and future washings.

Seemed like a great way to upcycle something vintage, and have a unique, soft scarf.
Too bad I didn't make this in time so you could get some going for Christmas gifts!
I'm kind of getting things done last minute here.


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