Showing posts with label upcycled. Show all posts
Showing posts with label upcycled. Show all posts

Thursday, February 17, 2022

DIY Vintage Suitcase Coffee Table

Vintage Suitcase Coffee Table

I have loved old chests and trunks since my childhood.  Now that I qualify as vintage myself, I take an even greater delight in finding, and transforming, items that have a story older than my own.  Perhaps it is nostalgia.  Whatever it is, I am always on the lookout for something with an interesting history.

This DIY project actually began in the aisles of my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore (a nonprofit I enthusiastically support).  As a rescuer at heart, I couldn't let a battered metal traveling case sit there abandoned and unwanted.  There was no doubt in my mind that an item with plenty of mileage on it had interesting stories to tell, that it had more than proven its worth, and that it should be given the chance to be useful once more.  I laid down my five dollars and started imagining what that chest could become.

These metal trunks were in use during the 1940s and 1950s.

Any search on Pinterest will show you that DIYers are pretty gung-ho about converting antique trunks, chests, and suitcases into all kinds of cool furniture pieces.  You can also find a number of these reclaimed treasures being sold on Etsy.  This is a popular trend with staying power.  I can't imagine these vintage pieces ever going out of vogue.

Top of Trunk - Mostly Surface Scratches in the Paint


Bottom of Trunk Had Seen Better Days


Inside of Case - Paper Lining - Perfume Spills

You can see from the "before" pics that I had my work cut out for me.  As is common with these old metal cases, there was a good deal of rust to contend with, and the inside paper lining was spotted in places (smelling, thankfully, of perfume).  The first order of business was to remove the surface rust with abrasive pads.  I didn't want to lose the character and patina of age, so I was careful to remove only the top layer of corrosion.  A person can ruin a good antique by doing too much restoration.


Removing Rust - Power Drill Abrasive Pad

Dremel Abrasive Buff - Perfect in Tight Spots

The rust had created a distressed metal effect that artisans work hard to achieve.


Trunk Lid Primed With Spray Paint

To deal with the minor stains inside the trunk, I painted over the paper lining.  I could have attempted to strip out the paper, but the likelihood of getting all of it removed without creating a bigger mess was too great.  I knew the primer would not only cover the stains, but would make the trunk smell clean and fresh.  Once the paint coats were dry, I sprayed a clear matte acrylic sealer over them.  


New Liner - Tissue Paper Decoupage

In determining a decorative finish for the interior, I considered several options: stenciling a design, applying a decoupage treatment, lining with fabric, using decorative stick-on tiles, or inserting a thin cork liner. I decided to go with a lovely tissue paper decoupage (using a matte Mod Podge finish).

Towards the end of the project, I changed my mind about the exterior finish. Originally, my intent was to simply sand the finish and leave it with a wire brushed finish. That would have worked for my rustic cabin decor. However, once I decided to sell this piece, I felt a freshly painted finish would be more appealing to potential buyers. I used Rust-Oleum Chalked Spray Paint (in a neutral linen white) and then gave the trim a light distressing with fine grit sand paper.

After Pic - Suitcase Coffee Table Transformation

I could see the finish line in sight as I attached four hairpin legs to the bottom of the trunk.  Because the metal skin on the case is very thin, I reinforced the bottom interior of the trunk (essentially creating a false bottom).  This provided the added stability and thickness needed to bolt the legs securely to the case.

Would I tackle a project like this again?  Absolutely!  It's not easy to walk away from a vintage item needing some TLC.  Besides, these chests are iconic and incredibly versatile.  Not only will someone gain a unique conversational piece, but this suitcase is a great place to store things like remote controls, or dreams of future travel.

This coffee table and I now share our own unique story.  Sometimes, in quiet moments, I feel transported as I imagine where it has previously been, what it carried, and who might have packed and unpacked it time and time again.  I find myself composing little vignettes about the Sisterhood of the Traveling Case.  Pretty good entertainment for the price of a five-dollar admission. 









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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Upcycled DIY End Table Pet Bed

Upcycled End Table Pet Bed

As a continuation of my DIY series on repurposed furniture projects, I present to you my latest pet bed creation.  These upcycled end table dog or cat beds are extremely popular with both fur babies and their pet parents.  I speak from direct experience.  My animals spend nearly all of their time in these beds.  

The four-poster pet bed featured here can be easily completed in a weekend.  Here's a quick rundown of the process I used to bring new life to a vintage end table.  

Supplies Needed: 

  1.  Vintage End Table
  2.  Sand Paper or Sanding Sponge
  3.  Paint (I used Rust-Oleum Chalked Spray Paint - Chiffon Cream)
  4.  Bun Feet (optional)
  5. Finials (I used crystal drawer knobs; lamp finials are another great option)
  6. Clear Coat Sealer (I used the Rust-Oeum Chalked Paint Matte Topcoat)
Tools Used:
  1. Screwdriver
  2. Hack Saw
  3. Sander
  4. Drill
  5. Pliers
  6. Brad Nailer

Vintage End Table (Before)

I started with a quick shopping trip to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and the Goodwill Store.  This vintage end table was perfect for my project and easy on my budget (eight dollars).  It's nice to get a bargain while supporting a cause near and dear to my heart.

Step One: Flip table. Pull out drawer. Remove inner drawer supports to clear space for bed. I simply used a mini hack saw to cut the cross piece and then a screwdriver to remove the two side supports. 

End Table With Drawer Removed


Cutting Out Drawer Brace


Unscrewing Side Drawer Support


Step Two: Remove drawer pulls by unscrewing inside hardware.  Save parts for later.

Removing Drawer Pulls

Step Three: Pull off the plastic leg disks used for leveling and protecting the floor.  Discard.

Removing Plastic Leg Disks

Step Four: Cut off the back part of the drawer and reinstall drawer front (I cut it with a hacksaw leaving an inch of the drawer's side and then used a brad nailer to affix it).  As you can see from the second photo, the drawer takes up room needed for the pet bed.  However, the drawer face is needed for the front side of the cabinet.  I considered using the drawer to make a little step up into the princess bed.  That would be a fun option if you have a tiny dog that could use a boost.


Drawer Front/Side After Cut-Off


Drawer Inside Table (Before)

Step Five: Install supports and false bottom for bedding area.  The wood pieces will provide enough depth to drill in the bolts for the bun feet (from the other side). The veneer of the end table top was too thin for the bolts and bolt inserts, hence the wood blocks covered by a sheet of masonite.

Supports For False Bottom

Masonite Covering Bottom Supports

Step Six: Sand wood in preparation for two fresh coats of paint.

Paint Prep - Sanding

Step Seven: Prime and paint with two coats of Rust-Oleum Chiffon Cream chalked paint.

Chiffon Cream Spray Paint

Step Eight: Seal the paint with a clear finish. I used the Rust-Oleum matte topcoat.

Clear Topcoat Protective Finish

Step Nine
: Attach bun feet. This was done by drilling holes for the bolt inserts.

Bun Feet Installed With Threaded Inserts

Step Ten: Screw in finials atop the legs.  I love the rainbows that wash over the bed when sunlight shines through the prisms.

Crystal Finials Installed

Step Eleven: Reattach the drawer pulls after painting them.  I used the same creamy chalk paint.

Painted Drawer Pulls Back In Place

Step Twelve: Select fabric and make a cozy bed cushion/pillow.  I used foam cushions and two fabric selections: one is a fleece damask pattern in pink and chocolate; one is a super soft ribbed pink chenille.  Which do you like best?  

Damask Fleece Bed Cushion

Pink Ribbed Chenille Bed Cushion

So there you have it.  Upcycling is a fun way to exercise your imagination while feeling great about saving an item from a premature demise.  Why send something to the landfill when it has plenty of life left in it?  

I like to think this old end table is pretty pleased to be looking better than ever and to be enfolding the life of a beloved pet.  There's nothing like being needed and valued.  

Interested in more pet bed demos?  Check out my DIY upcycled dresser drawer beds.  My cats adore them.

Stay tuned for upcoming DIY demo projects.  Up next is an antique door hall tree and a vintage metal suitcase coffee table (recent Habitat for Humanity ReStore finds that I could not resist).





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Thursday, May 20, 2021

DIY Cat Bed Fit for a Queen

 


The ruler of my household happens to be a cat of a certain age known as Miz Grizz.  She is The Queen, and as such, deserves royal treatment.  I noticed that Her Royal Highness is quite fond of the reimagined drawer beds I made for Gracie and Minnie (two Kingdom of Grizz subjects).  The time has come to honor Her Majesty with a cat bed fit for a queen.


I still had a drawer left over from my first foray into creating upcycled pet beds, so I claimed it for this project.  As I looked around the house for additional inspiration, and potential supplies, a theme quickly presented itself.  One of the first items I found was a metal honeycomb that I decided to use as a stencil for the sides and back of the bed.  Now that I knew I was going with a queen bee motif, it was time to get started.  First, I removed the drawer's hardware.  Then, I sanded all of the surfaces to prep for painting (and filled holes).  


Next, I primed everything with spray paint.  On the outside of the drawer, I used Rust-Oleum Chiffon Cream Chalked Paint.  The drawer's inside surfaces were painted with Rust-Oleum Metallic Gold.  Choosing to go with a metallic finish provided an unexpected, and very appealing, outcome.  How I love the way the underlying wood grain is highlighted by the shimmery play of light.




Following the application of the first coats of paint, I used the metal honeycomb sheet to overlay the creamy background with metallic hints of ongoing hive activity.  While working to evoke this effect, an additional idea came to mind.  If I modified the metal sheet for use on the front of the Queen's new bed, it could frame a name plate.


That is when I began to envision another feature: an acid-etched brass bee emblem.  Though I had recently experimented with etching copper, I wasn't sure if the same method would work with other metals.  I discovered that the technique worked perfectly with brass.  My new etching became the centerpiece of The Queen's nameplate.


In keeping with the bee theme, I used decorative jelly jars (think royal jelly) for the legs of the bed.  It was just a matter of painting the jars and then attaching the lids to the bottom of the drawer.


Finally, I added a luxurious faux fur mattress fit for a queen.  Miz Grizz works hard keeping everyone in line and has more than earned an extra measure of comfort.  I hope Her Majesty is pleased with my humble offering.  Though it is a small gift, it was made with great love.  She is the Queen of My Heart.

New Demo: Four-Poster Upcycled End Table Pet Bed




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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Fun & Fab Book Accessories and Gift Ideas

A page full of fun and fabulous book accessories and gift ideas for friends, family and yourself!

If you love books, you will love the fun and fabulous book-themed gift ideas and accessories that I have catalogued for you here on this Review This blog page. If not exactly what you are looking for, they are sure to be a great jumping off point for a gift idea for yourself or for a friend or family member who just cannot take their nose out of a book. All of these book-themed gifts are from Etsy, many of them are available in a variety of materials and patterns and some of them can be personalized with your or your loved one's name or initials. 

HOLDER

Wooden book holder frees your other hand to handle a mug or glass or whatever needs handling!

If you love to read while enjoying your favorite beverage, you will love this little wooden tool. It is designed to help you hold the pages of your book open with one hand thus freeing up the other to hold a mug of your favorite hot and steamy beverage. 

Reader Dickenson said, “I decided to finally read all the big books on my shelf, and my thumbs have been suffering. This thing is amazing! I will probably be buying ten of these as Christmas gifts later this year.” I think that is a brilliant review and I know exactly what it is like to try to keep the pages of a big, trade paperback book open! 

This device is simple and practical and small and affordable. It is something you probably have never heard of  before but once you have seen it you will surely appreciate it. You will find this little wooden book holder from Engaged Book on Etsy by clicking right here.

COFFEE MUG & SWEATSHIRT


It’s a good day to read a book coffee mug!

Did someone mention a steamy hot beverage? Now that one of your hands has been freed up by the book holder, you need a mug for the other hand!  Book lovers will want to consider this coffee mug that will make you smile. It reads “It’s a Good Day to Read a Book.” If you are a big reader, you know that rule applies to every day and you will therefore want to use this mug every day, too! 

Fun bookt-themed t-shirt reads "It's a Good Day to Read a Book."

Sets make wonderful gift ideas. Why not make it a matched set? The "It's a Good Day to Read a Book" slogan is also available on a t-shirt or a sweatshirt. 

Reader Inbelding says, "I collect literary shirts and this one is my new favorite!" You will find the coffee mug, the tee and more book-themed items from The Harper House on Etsy by clicking here

It is definitely worth noting that The Harper House has many other book themed tees and sweatshirts with fun slogans like "Bookish", "Bookmarks are for Quitters", "One More Chapter", "Books and Coffee and more Books", "One More Chapter" and "It's Not Hoarding if its Books.

METAL BOOKMARK


Metal Bookmark Personalized with Your Name!

This bookmark is so pretty! I love the uniqueness of this personalized calligraphic bookmark with the little heart and a bead. Instead of a name or a word like mom or dad, Charlene also fashions bookmarks with other items on the top like a jigsaw puzzle piece, a bird or a wine glass. 

Reader Janet says, "I think so highly of Charlene! Her artistry and creativity has helped me make so many people extremely happy!"  

You can find these unique bookmarks on Etsy from kraze4paper by clicking right here.

SPOON BOOKMARK


Upcycled vintage hand-stamped bookmarks share a love of books and reading!

How about a hand-stamped bookmark? The text on these vintage spoons makes me smile and can be customized to whatever you want to say. I really like “Drink Tea. Read Books. Be Happy” because that fits me to a tea, pun intended. However, I will admit that “Fell asleep here” would be really appropriate, too. 

Reader Ziehr says, "This is the third spoon book marker that I have ordered. It fits snuggly on my book and it does not move around. It's a great personalized gift for any reader.

Find these fun vintage spoon bookmarks on Etsy from Stamped Frosting by clicking right here.

BIRD BOOKENDS


Attractive metal bird bookends will make you smile!

Bookends, anyone? If you enjoy displaying your books, a pair of bookends can be found to suit any interest. I love these bird-themed bookends and think they’d do a great job organizing the stacks of cookbook in a kitchen exactly as they appear in this photograph. 

Reader Fulkerson says, "These bookends look so cute poking out the sides of my open shelving.

Find them from Max Foundry on Etsy by clicking here.

TRAVEL BOOKENDS


A pair of travel themed bookends for the armchair traveller's books!

Those, like me, who are armchair travelers will love these vintage globe-themed bookends though because they are vintage, they are one-of-a-kind find. Once they are sold, they will be gone and you will have to look further afield to find a set that appeals to you. You will find these globe bookmarks on Etsy from Marchpuces by clicking here

You can also check out all of the vintage globe bookends on Etsy by clicking here.

UPCYCLED BOOKENDS


These upcycled bookends are sure to please any dog lover!

How about some dog-themed bookends? These ones are perfect for a dog lover. They are upcycled bricks painted by the artist in a variety of themes including this dog one.

Reader Bilhartz says that they are “Even nicer in person than I expected!! You’d think painted bricks are just painted bricks, but no! These are really well done. You can tell there is artistic talent, attention to detail, an eye for attractive color combos, and that very high quality, thick and vivid paint was used!” What a great review! What more can I say? 

You can check out these and a pair of cat-themed bookends from Brickends on Etsy by clicking right here.

PADDED BOOK SLEEVE


Pretty Watercolor Wildflowers padded book sleeve will help keep your book safe when you are on the go!

I will admit that when we travel, I put my book into a plastic bag to give it some protection in the car or in my carry-on bag. I never thought that there might be a more attractive way to carry my book around while at the same time offering it some protection. Enter this beautiful padded book sleeve. 

Reader Saelua says, "Beautiful fabric and well made! I got the largest size so I’d be ready to carry any book I need. Right now I’m able to fit one medium sized book and one small in it at the same time. Looking forward to using this for a long long time." 

Annette offers a few fun patterns that currently include this pretty Watercolor Wildflowers. You are sure to find one that best suits you or your recipient's interests. 

You will find them on Etsy from Fred 'N Polly by clicking here.

--------------------------------------------
 
Well, there you have it. A page full of fun and fabulous book accessories and interesting gift ideas. You will find all of them gathered together on my Etsy Favorites page. Just click here and then follow the Book Accessories tab.  Is there something here for you or the book lover in your life?

See you
At the bookstore!
Brenda


 
For those who love their books, here's a page full of book accessories and gift ideas.




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Thursday, March 21, 2019

DIY Pallet Book Nook - Part One

Pallet Wood Feature Wall and Window Seat
When I purchased my current country home, many of the features that most appealed to me were the quirky, whimsical touches that made it so unlike all of the other cookie-cutter properties.  After moving in, though, I discovered a few things that were just a little too different for my taste.  Still, in renovating those oddities, I wanted to remain true to what had drawn me to this house in the first place: the use of character wood (weathered wood that captures your imagination).

In today's post, I am sharing part one of a two-part series focused on creating a DIY pallet book nook from a previously unused space in my upstairs bedroom.  We will start with the woodworking elements of the project and then finish with handcrafted decorating touches (a homemade cushion, pillows, rug, and other decor to cozy up the space).

Because I have poured so much of myself into my master bedroom renovations, it has become my favorite room in the entire house.  One last improvement remained to make this space visually and functionally cohesive.  There was a funky "hallway" in the room that housed my exercise bike (because it didn't lend itself to much else).  The thing that really bugged me about that long, narrow space was a weird, uneven application of drywall.  I couldn't knock that wall down because it housed my closet and was most likely structural (helping support the roof).  And, hanging, mudding, texturizing, and painting new sheetrock just wasn't on my bucket list.  Been there, done that.  Not my idea of a good time.  So, what to do?

Funky Drywall Before Renovation
Recycled pallets are the answer to most of the truly pressing needs in my world.  Seriously.  Pallet wood can right most wrongs.  It just requires a little—well, okay, a lot—of elbow grease.  I'm good with that.  The finished product has always proven worth it.  We'll just skip over the less than scintillating details of finding, hauling, deconstructing (pulling a massive number of ornery nails), and refinishing (cutting, sizing, planing, and sanding) a tall pile of pallets.  On to step eight.

Tape Marks Studs Where Planks Will Be Nailed
With the feature wall pallet planks ready for installation, I prepped the wall by finding and marking the studs.

Leveling Wall Sections With Lath
Next, I applied thin strips of wood lath to level the two sections of drywall, which will provide a more solid backing when nailing in the pallet planks.  The wainscoting pictured above consists of three framed pieces of corrugated metal topped by a chair rail.  It provides a nice contrasting texture, as well as adding a reflective surface to lighten up the space.

Oh the Tales This Wall Could Tell
When I nailed in the rows of pallet wood, I decided to alternate different widths and colors.  I left all of the wood in its natural state, as the original saw blade marks, nail holes, knots, and checking is what adds personality.  As I started working on this step, I got the inspiration to separate rows of planks with horizontally placed strips of recycled lath removed from inside the plaster walls of an old ranch house.  The definition of the chiseled edges of lath created an effect similar to the chinking seen between bricks.  Really, though, it is the history of that lath, and the story it tells, that adds so much value and interest to the feature wall.

Rustic Pallet Window Seat 
No book nook would be complete without a window seat.  Again, I used rustic pallet parts, purposely choosing planks with nail streaks, and then trimming the bench with pallet skids.  Where there was fresh wood from making the cuts, I applied chalkboard spray paint, and then sanded off most of it to blend the color with that of the naturally weathered surfaces.

Books Feed and Seed the Mind
Above the window, I created a decorative king post truss trim that matches the actual support truss on the front of my house.  I like the way it ties everything together.  While working on this truss, I happened to find the metal  Feed & Seed sign at Tractor Supply Co.  It seemed like the perfect message for my new space, as books certainly do feed and seed our minds.  When I got home with the sign, I was amazed that it fit exactly in place between the truss and the window.  That never happens.  I knew then that it was meant to be.

My Nook is Ready for Accessorizing
With the construction work done, I am now in the process of accessorizing my new nook.  I have selected fabrics and will soon start sewing the window seat cushion and pillows.  Stay tuned for part two of this DIY series when I post the final reveal.  So, what do you think?  Could you see yourself curled up with a book in this sunny space?













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