Monday, June 28, 2010

Score at the Thrift store!

I had a few minutes to kill today and popped into one of my local thrift stores. This store is hit or miss. They have reasonable prices (unlike one of the chain thrift stores in town) and are always willing to bargain with you! I think the manager recognizes me now when I come in. They know I am going to look at frames and furniture!

Today I got this awesome little enamel cart with wheels! (I left it outside so I will add a picture in the morning!) for only $3.00. I also got a cute rustic shelf that is perfect for books in my son's room. It'll be getting a coat of black paint ASAP.

The manager told me someone had bought the contents of a storage unit at auction, picked out what they wanted and dropped the rest off on the sidewalk in front of the rescue mission thrift shop. I wish I had my camera with me. It literally looked like someone dumped a trash truck on the sidewalk! I felt bad they were having to dig through it.....someones trash is definitely not always anothers treasure! Sometimes it is just TRASH!

Anyway, I can't wait for a little sunlight to show you my new little treasures! I was so excited about the enamel table that I stopped at Lowe's on my way home and got the perfect color green to paint it! Guess you guys know what will be coming up on here in a few days! :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Etched Coasters!

My little project today is so simple, but I really love it! I have made lots of tile coasters with vinyl initials, fleur de lis, swirls, etc.
They look great and are quite useful for cold drinks. I have seen the vinyl ripple and curl if you put a really hot drink on the tile.
Yesterday I was in Lowe's and found myself in the flooring isle. I found these glazed tiles on clearance for 32 cents each. Immediately I knew I had to try using the glass etching cream to see if I could etch a permanent design into them.
I bought light blue, one dark. I wanted to see if one showed better than the other. They have these tiles in numerous colors, but only these 2 were clearance.Cut your vinyl design then take out your design (leave the negative space). You want to leave the surrounding to protect your tile. I should have left a wider edge on the vinyl, but I wasn't thinking. I put the vinyl onto the tile. Make sure you have no bubbles around the edges of the design.

Cover the tile with a generous coating of the etching cream. I used a q-tip to apply it. Don't be afraid to lay it on thick. You can scrap your etching cream right back into the bottle (as long as it hasn't dried out).

Here is the dark blue. These were just samples to see if this would work, so I didn't worry too much about getting the design on straight. I am normally pretty anal about that.
See how thick that is? That is how you want it.

Here is the tile after I waited the necessary amount of time and wiped it down.
You can see it has lost it's shine! I was excited to get the vinyl off and see how it turned out.
Off it comes.....Here is the powder blue after it has been wiped off. The edges are still damp, but the rest has dried. You can really see the fleur de lis!
The darker blue worked quite well too!
Here is another shot of the powder blue. Now, simply cut either felt or a thin layer of cork to line the back. This step isn't 100% needed, but it will prevent your tile from scratching the finish of your wood furniture and give your tile a little cushion if your children are as gentle as mine are. :)
So that is is! All you need is:
vinyl or contact paper with a design cut out
etching cream (i have had that bottle for over a year, it lasts forever!)
glazed tiles- I used 4x4 tiles
cork or felt to line the back
q-tips or a small brush to apply cream
This only took about 10 minutes start to finish! Package 4 together in a cellophane goodie bag and tie with a pretty ribbon and you have a great gift!

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Door Hanger from scraps

Tonight I was "cleaning" in the garage. This is the place where most of the creating happens in our house. I have been known to spread out at the kitchen table, only to hear later, "Why is your craft crap on the table again?" I should also mention at this point that I have craft amnesia. I forget I am in the middle of a project and abandon it on the table for ....oh....weeks! That is why I work in the garage. I can leave my stuff out and no one cares! And it is messy! (See proof below!)Here is a peak at some of my workspace. It is a mess right now! I love those old locker baskets. There is a story there on how I came to own them (and 7 other ones!), but I'll save that for another time. Hanging from the baskets are those black Ikea cups. They hold my knives, paint brushes, pencils, etc.
This is one of my closets! I found these at a yard sale and got them for a bargain! They are solid oak and are about 7 feet tall. This one holds frames, mirrors, tiles....things that are ready to have vinyl applied without any prep. When someone calls me to order a quick gift, this is my go to!

So...back to our project! As I was cleaning, I noticed 2 things:
  1. I need air conditioning in the garage. Summers in Alabama are not really mild.
  2. I had a lot of pre-painted scrap wood. I should make something!

My "cleaning" now abandoned, I grabbed a piece of scrap wood. These pieces are pre-painted b/c they are trimmed off of standard size boards I keep on hand for orders. I just chop off however much I need, leaving me with small scraps. This one was 8.5 by 8.5. There was one raw edge where it had been trimmed, so I painted that and let it dry. Next, using vinyl scraps from mis-orders or mis-cuts, I applied my vinyl to the board. I know most people have applied vinyl, so I won't go into any detail.

Applying the transfer tape and vinyl to the board Remove transfer tape after rubbing over entire surface. When I positioned it, I intentionally had it overhang the edge of my board Trim the overhang with a sharp knife. Apply second color of vinyl. This is a pale yellow and one of my new favorites!
Here it is with all the vinyl on and all the transfer tape gone! My plan is to hang this on a large wreath on my door, so I then drilled holes in the upper corners. I also distressed the edges. I love distressed edges.Next up is the sealant. This is my hands down favorite! We use this for all our signs and even our tiles for our shop. I nearly cried when I went to Michael's and couldn't find it. Luckily, they had just rearranged and it was 2 isles over. Add a little ribbon (which does match in real life).
I like to get the flame to my ribbon edge. Just don't grab the ribbon after you do this. Not smart. Trust me. Owie.
And there it is. I need to paint my wreath then get this on the door!

This project cost me nothing. I had everything on hand, and even used vinyl that would likely not have been used. I love the cherry blossoms and hummingbird! Go take a peak in your craft supplies, I bet you can make something pretty cute out of scraps and cast-offs too!

I am excited about tomorrows project. I just noticed it is blue again.....oh well! I love blue. Check back and find out what it is and how to do it!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Isn't she ugly!

In our first post, I gave a sneak peak at today's project:

Isn't she UGLY!

She may be ugly, but she is solid wood, is a great size, and has some real potential! Not to mention she was a pretty good deal. We found her Saturday at a local church garage sale. There wasn't much there to look at, and she caught my eye when I walked in. I have been wanting to find a smaller table for my entry. I love the table I have there now, but it is too big for the space.

At first look my opinion was that the piece was overpriced. It wasn't even 8 a.m., the church was trying to make money for a mission trip somewhere so I didn't feel like I could ask for a lower price yet. Suzanna and I talked about her and decided she was just too ugly for what they were asking! I wrote her off as somebody else's ugly treasure and we headed for the next sale.
I couldn't get her out of my mind as we shopped. Later in the afternoon, I had just left WalMart and saw a sign for that garage sale that listed the time as 7am-1pm. It was 12:45. I turned the car around and figured it wouldn't hurt to pop in and see if she was still junking up the place.

She was, I bargained and she came home with me for $15.00. Half of what they had asked for it.

Here she is after removing the doors and sanding. (FYI she fit in the backseat of my husband's Maxima....don't tell him)

The hardware had a nasty hue to them. I call it "20 year cleaning"

The hinges and handles were painted using one of my favorite paints for knobs and hardware:
American Accents Hammered Finish

Instantly it updates the hardware. I thought of replacing the hardware, but i kind of like the BIG chunky look of these knobs!

Here is the body after one coat of spray paint. I used Krylon Blue Ocean. It is the same color I used on the foam piece in yesterday's post. I took a break after this coat and went inside to get a drink. I heard something hitting the windows and looked out to find a torrential downpour! I made my 13 year old son come help me drag it back into the garage! Thankfully no damage was done!
After drying, I began sanding. There were LOTS of edges on this piece b/c of that thick molding on the doors. You can from the top I wasn't too even on the coat of paint, but I didn't care since I would be distressing and aging the whole thing.
Sanding these doors took time. It was 95 degrees in 90% Alabama humidity. I was one hot, sweaty mama!
I tried to make sure to get into the grooves with my sanding block. In doing so I also scratched the smooth back. I have to admit it bugged me a little bit, but I decided it didn't bug me enough to go back and repaint.
I haven't even gotten any glaze on it yet and already I am loving it!
Before I glazed, I put the hardware and doors back on. The sun was really bright, so you loose some of the distressing, but I promise it is plenty distressed!

Here is a shot of the doors and how I actually got them to line up! When I took all the hardware off, I made sure to not which hinge went on which door and in which spot. I learned when I painted kitchen cabinets that this actually does matter! The doors close smooth, line up straight, and are nice and even!

The door before I started glazing.
The color is very pretty, but too bright for me.
Ahhhhh! That's better. I do have five kids! This finish is much more in line with how things should be in our house. Four boys......need I say more.
On this piece I used Valspar Signature Colors Antiquing Glaze.I watered it down equal parts water to glaze. This gave me the coverage I wanted in a glaze that was wet enough to do large areas in 95 degree heat but was still thick enough that it wouldn't run and drip.
Here you can see about how thick I applied the glaze before I began wiping it down. Don't be afraid to put a thick coat on there. You can keep wiping till you get it how you like. If you remove too much, just throw another coat on.
I used a brush to get into the tight spaces. I wanted it really antiqued, so I left a good bit of glaze in the detailed pieces.
My husband came home just as I was finishing the front. He was skeptical when he saw what I had bought, but even he admitted yesterday the piece turned out nice.
Storm clouds were blowing up, so i did the top all at once. It left it a little uneven, but that was better than getting rained on and ruined! (The picture above is with the glaze waiting to be wiped down)
Here it is after wiping down the top and finishing the bottom. I think it looks fantastic and can't wait to move her inside! Um....I just noticed I put the handles on upside down! Oops! Isn't the change dramatic! The starting picture shows exactly why she was at someones yard sale. UGLY. The wood was dry and had that "splatter paint" stain finish on it. I am sure it was lovely back in 1973, but it wasn't cutting it for today! I have great plans for her! Plans that include an old wooden window and some vinyl!
I think she has definitely gone from UGLY to lovely!
Did you notice that white dresser the glaze was sitting on? That is my next project! That was a craigslist find, no make that STEAL!!!

Edited 8/11: This project was on Better After (one of my FAVORITE sites! how exciting!) today in " Lotsa Aqua"

Edited 7/13: I am linking to CSI Project's Yard Sale Makeovers

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Leave a comment and let me know what you think!
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