Friday, July 30, 2010

Before and After: Night Stand

This heavy wooden night stand was picked up for $5 at a yard sale a few weeks ago. It was obvious that someone had begun to refinish it by stripping off the white paint that it once wore, then staining parts of it with a very burgundy-colored cherry stain.

I felt a little bad, but I had to undo all of their work. I started by priming it white, then painting it with my custom mixed Robin's Egg Blue ♥.

It then got a heavy handed distressing so that the wood and the white primer would show, then a dark brown glaze was applied to age it.

The drawer pulls that came with the nightstand were not my taste, so I'd planned to replace them. But Hobby Lobby didn't have theirs on sale during this project and, being the cheap and impatient DIYer that I am, I decided to just use what I had. Here's what they looked like.

Too bright. Too white. Too new. So they got some glaze as well.


Glazed. Muuuch better.

Here it is all done.

I kinda love this thing. I wish I could keep it. For real.
It looks so good in my guest room, but I can't keep everything. I'm going to do this very same treatment to a dresser that I have. Now I'm excited to get going on that one!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Strapless Dress Revamp

I found this strapless dress in Old Navy's clearance section the other day and decided that for the price it was worth buying. Now, I'm not a "strapless" kinda gal, but I figured I could alter it a bit and make it more me.

I started by cutting off the bottom 6"...

... then another 6" above that.

I cut an inch off of the original hemmed piece, then hemmed the other 6" piece to match the hem on the other one. Confusing? Sorry.

New straps/ties came from the 1" piece I cut off. I folded it in half lengthwise (right sides together), ironed it flat then stitched down the long side. I turned it inside out with a little safety pin and tied a knot in one end. This knit fabric was a little tricky to work with because it's the kind that likes to curl to one side when it's stretched even slightly. This made sewing the straps a bit tough, but ironing them flat before sewing helped a ton.

The two hemmed 5" pieces were sewn together, end to end, then gathered to make a ruffle.

I decided to pin it to the dress with the raw edge showing to mimic the little ruffle at the top of the bodice.

The ruffle gets stitched in place and my new, slightly shorter dress now has a cute little detail at the bottom.

The ties were tacked to the bodice with a wide, short zig-zag stitch, and it's done!

The minute I finished the dress I threw on a white tee shirt and some flip-flops to go with it and the kids and I headed to the park for lunch.

I love comfy, breezy dresses for summer. I'm definitely a fan of the floor-length knit dress, but sometimes losing a few inches is a good thing, too. Now this dress is a little more casual and a lot more my style!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Before and After: Another nasty chair

A few weeks ago I gave you a glimpse at what today's "before and after" projects looked like when I brought them home. Here's a refresher.

Small handmade stool- Bargain Center, about $1
Nasty cane back chair- Goodwill, $3.99

And maybe you remember my inspiration fabric that I was planning to use?

Imagine the cushions upholstered with this fun, vibrant fabric and the wood painted in that pretty turquoise color. Wouldn't that have been lovely?! Well, there's a whole long, sad story about why I wasn't able to use this fabric. But I won't bore you with that. I just had to wait for inspiration to strike and lead me in another direction. Once it finally did, I wasted no time getting started.

The first thing I did was hose off the chair. Literally. After I removed the cushion I took it out to my lawn and sprayed it real good with the hose. It was GROSS.
This chair was not taken care of.
I'd even go so far as to say that it was abused.
Nothing was salvageable from the seat...
... so I bought some plywood and made a new one. Add to that some new foam and new fabric and a new seat was born.
For the stool I finally got to try out a technique discovered at one of my favorite blogs, Miss Mustard Seed.
I was really inspired by Kristine's chair/stool combo over at another favorite blog, The Painted Hive and thought I'd give it a try. I used some osnaburg fabric (I finally learned the name of that stuff!) that I had on hand, bought some blue fabric paint and darkened it to my liking, then taped and painted stripes to give the fabric the look of a grain sack.

Both the chair and stool were sanded, primed, then painted with a nice coat of Heirloom White. Doesn't that nasty chair already look new again?

I couldn't just paint them, so they both got some brown glaze as well to bring out all the details.

I think they look cute together, but I'm not sure I'll sell them as a set when they go to the shop. What do you think- together, or separate?

More good junk

My pile of "junk" in the garage is growing! The past couple of trips I've made to the Bargain Center have been fruitful. Here's some of what I found.

Each of these containers is cool in its own way. The wooden one with the snowflake cut-out will probably be filled with peppermint sticks and gifted to someone this Christmas. Found another one of those cool fruit baskets that I love, and the white wire hanging basket was just too cute to pass on.

But I really love the weathered, chippy paint of this blue basket.

This pencil box looks brand new, but reminds me of the kind we used to use when I was little.

This is a nice sized wooden piece, but I'll tell you right now that those plastic CD holders have already been ripped out. This will get a paint job and maybe some hand painted details.

I picked up the bread pans because they're in better shape than the ones I have, but the other items I grabbed because they have that cute vintage charm that I can't resist.

Just wish I knew what this was called, and what it's actually for. Anyone? Anyone?

I love this tarnished little silver spoon and the rose detail on the handle. I can't decide if I want to shine it up or leave it the way it is.

This woven reed basket is a neat shape and in good condition. It just needed to be wiped clean.

I also found a grape crate...

... and what looks like a stool with no top. This will be showing up in a "before and after" post very, very soon.

And how could I resist this adorable little thing? I hope I can get it to work, though toys found at the Bargain Center are notorious for not working even after new batteries have been installed. Crossing my fingers, though.

On a particularly rough day last week, my sweet friend called me up to tell me she'd found a 100+ year-old rocking chair for sale in a town not far away and asked if I'd like to drive out with her to see it.

She told me ahead of time that it was broken, but being that it was only $10 I decided it was worth trying to repair it. This will also be coming soon to a "before and after" post near you.

The man that sold me the chair had an entire yard and 2 sheds full of bins and tables and boxes of stuff that they were preparing for a yard sale this weekend. He was so nice and let us poke around and look through everything to see if there was anything else we wanted. And of course there was. :) I got this fruit crate...

... and a box made from an ammo crate...

... and another rolling pin for my little collection...

... and this vintage scooper.

Finally, here are just a few more things that I got at my last Bargain Center visit. These 3 ceramic jars will get a slight make-over (probably painted lids), but are in really good shape already.

From left to right, clockwise: A Longaberger-esque basket, an old camp coffee pot, two aluminum strainers that will probably get turned into hanging baskets, a wooden candlestick, a rusty little chicken wire basket, and a vintage wooden dry cleaner's hanger.

I also found this tin "welcome friends" sign, a pretty framed print and a wooden leaf and acorn garland.

But I think my favorite find that day was this: a cast iron grill pan.

Check this out. I knew this was a good brand, but I didn't realize that a new one of these would cost about $90.

Actually, I don't think they make round ones anymore (at least I couldn't find one online), just square. I cleaned it up and used it that very night to grill up some tilapia for fish tacos. It was perfect!

P.S. I'm linking this post to Rhoda's party here. Check out all the other thrifty treasures linked there!