Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fast and easy chalk board!

I found this board at the thrift store. It had the little knobs already on it and a place for chalk at the bottom but no chalk board! I don't know what it was in it's past life, but it was screaming to be a place for family messages or a cute menu board, so I bought it for $4.99 and invested in some chalk board paint from Home Depot and here is how it went!
The little board that could!

First step...use painter's tape to tape off the area that is going to be the actual chalk board.
This is how it looks with the first coat of chalk board paint on it. I used a natural bristle brush that was about 2.5 " wide but you can use a sponge brush or a roller as well. I just didn't have one handy.

Here is the second coat. You can still see some of the board coming through so I will end up applying a third coat as well. I let dry on my deck in the hot Colorado sunshine about an hour between coats but drying time will vary depending upon where you are located, humidity etc.

Here is the finished product! It is so cute and ready to use. The size of this board is about 18" by 30". You could easily make another one with a pre-cut board of any size and some pegs. Just drill the holes, glue the pegs in and there you go! You would need a router to do the fancy chalk tray or you could find a small ready made tray and attach it.
Remember I found this discarded at the thrift store!!!! Happy Thrifting XOXO the thrift addict.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cute little muslin flowers...Here's how!

It all started with this lamp I saw at Pier1. It was a linen shade with cute little muslin flowers glued to the bottom with a crystal rhinestone in the center. I fell in love. When I discovered some discarded muslin in one of the fabric sections of ARC, I knew it was destiny! Here is how to make the little flowers. I put them on everything from lamp shades to journal covers to reusable shopping bags. SOOOOOOO CUTE!!
Here is the pile of muslin that I got at ARC for $3.99! It was about three yards!
First you cut a strip of fabric about four to five inches wide and 18 inches long

Next cut the strip of fabric into five pieces. Four of them square and sort of graduating down in size from 4" X 4" to 2.5" X 4" and then the fifth is only about an inch wide.
Take the largest square piece and fold in half. Then cut in a smooth curvy pattern from bottom to top so that you make "petals" around the edges. Unfold and it looks like the photo below. Repeat for all four square pieces of fabric. These are your layers.
Unfolded square piece after you cut the petal pattern around edges.
There is nothing scientific about it. As random as nature is...so can your layers be! The layer on the far left was more oblong than square so it turned out a little weird but the end product is perfect. You can't tell it was any different!
Start with the largest layer and take your glue gun to make a quarter sized circle of glue in the middle of it. Then take the next smallest layer and put on top. I like to pinch it together in the middle. It makes the layer curl up a little and gives a layered look to the final flower.
Repeat with the other two layers. You are building the flower.
Remember that skinny layer? It forms the center. Fold it in half to make about a 1/2 " wide strip. Begin rolling it from one end. Have your glue gun handy so you can dab some glue along the edge. Leaving one end open and curling all the way, dab some hot glue on the end to keep it from unraveling. Glue closed end into the middle of the layers to complete the flower.
SUPER CUTE!!!!! I love pinning these to t-shirts, hats, and bags. Smaller versions can go on gloves, journals, hand made notes etc. You can also do this same flower out of tissue paper and adorn gift bags with it.
All with muslin from the thrift store.....XOXO the thrift addict.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Two quickie before and after tables...SUPER CUTE!

Well...the good news is that those two little cabinets and the red chest that I painted last Sunday sold in the booth at A & J's Antiques! The bad news is that I needed more to put into the booth, so.....I rushed out this morning before 9:00 a.m. to pay $5 for this little antique telephone table. It was super cute and the results were amazing. I also had started a project about a year ago that I never finished. A little hexagonal table with a storage cabinet inside. So cute but could never get inspired on the color. Unless a project just speaks to me about what color to paint it then I leave it for awhile. Life got busy and a year later...hahahaha! Oh well. Here goes. Instructions along the way.. Here is the before:
I wasn't worried about the veneer being damaged on the top of the table because you can just pull it off easily and I was going to paint it anyway. Check out the next step.
Just pulled all the veneer off. Took about five minutes. Then I sanded the rough edges and the top so that any veneer glue was smoothed off.
I put a messy coat of robin's egg blue over the entire table. You can sort of tell from the photo that I left the original dark finish showing on the legs. I wanted this effect. It was such a cool contrast. Loved it.
Went back after the paint was dry and did a dry brush coat of denim blue paint to give the table some depth. I then did a light sanding along the edges and finished off with a coat of Polycrylic. Such a cute little table. It's in the booth at A & J's now waiting for a new home!
Another quick look at the BEFORE
You guys know how I love multiple projects...so here is the table that I had in the garage for a year. It already had the gripper coat on it. I painted it a celery green and then did a denim blue wash over the entire thing. I did a shabby chic coat of cream on the handles and then dry brushed some blue on them. I sanded off the handles to make them look worn....check it out. Here's the before.

I got excited and started painting before I took the "before" photo...oops!

Coated the entire table in that pretty celery green.
After it dried I applied a denim blue stain. The difference between a dry brush coat and a stain is that the stain is actually a watered down paint color and it is applied with a brush then wiped off with a wet cloth. A dry brush is solid paint applied with a dry brush so that there is space between the bristles and a streaked effect is accomplished.

Applied a cream color to the handles then denim blue dry brush over that. Let dry.
Sanded back off just a little bit to give the handles some character. Original dark brass shows through.
Distressed the entire cabinet with 3X sandpaper around all edges and top. Re-attached the handles and then put a Polycrylic satin coat over the entire thing. Let dry in the sun and took it up to my booth at A & J's !
Here's the final pic...

The most important thing to remember is that this is all THRIFT! I am addicted. When I can turn someone's throw away in to something so cool...I love it! It makes me feel really good and like a dog and a bath...the piece smiles back at me when I am done in gratefulness! I love it! Happy Thrifting! XOXO the thrift addict.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shabby Chic table and chairs!

I was strolling around Goodwill yesterday and spotted these gorgeous antique chairs. They had such character and were just so cute in stature that I had to have them. There were 4 side chairs and one arm chair. I wasn't sure what I would do with them since there was not an even number but as soon as I got home and looked around...I found a table and then it snowballed into two seperate projects...of course. I love to juggle. Here are the culprits that started the whole thing.
Isn't the carving just precious and they were only $7.99 each!

I had a table in my art studio that I really never liked that much. It was small and painted black with no drawer or anything. I had a ladies' type desk at Rick's dealership that I had put in the back office to work on when I was there. It had a drawer in it and was a little thicker all around. I had him bring home the desk for me and I planned on using the arm chair for my new desk chair. I took the table out of my studio that I didn't like and it went with the chairs perfectly! Look!
I was so excited that it was going to make the cutest little set that I went straight to the fabric store to find some cute cottage type fabric to re-cover the chairs. I found a Waverly that was 1/2 price that had a denim blue background with pale yellow and cream colored hydrangeas and celery colored leaves. It was perfect!
I have mentioned in my blogs before that I have never really considered myself a "blue" person but lately I have been drawn to the beautiful blue colors that are so popular right now in home goods. I decided to make the set mostly cream colored and wash and dry brush with the green and the blue. Here is what I did.
Lay chair seat face down on wrong side of fabric. Cut about 3" around each side. Using a heavy duty staple gun, staple all four sides of folded over fabric leaving little "corners" to fold over at each corner. You'll see.
After all four sides are stapled, pull the corner fabric tight and staple the little triangles down to the back of the board.

I painted the chairs a cream color. I had to double coat them to get good coverage but I did leave it messy since I was planning on sanding it back off. I then went back and dry brushed some celery green and then sanded back off. The final result was amazing! So cottagey cute!! Is cottagey a word???

Here is the "gripper" coat to cover the black. I did do the legs but just didn't get a photo of it. : (
I painted the whole table cream and then let it dry and then went back with a wet towel dipped in denim blue and "washed the table" I alternated coats of cream and blue until I got just the right patina letting each coat dry before applying the next.  Then I dry brushed some celery green around the edges of the top and down the legs.

You can see the cute hydrangea fabric I picked for the chairs. Look at the edge of the table. The blue and green sort of blended together to make it look as if the table had been painted multiple times. It added a timeless look to it.
Here is the set at my A & J's booth complete with floral centerpiece and romantic bunny. You can tell from the photo that there is a slight variation in the paint on the table top. I wanted it to look this way. Some people refer to this style as "milk" painting. I hand rubbed at least 7 layers of paint. It makes a smooth table top and gives it so much character. Below is the little basket of hydrangeas I put together today to replace the wreath and bunny. I wanted a theme to tie in to those cute little chair cushions.

There are cute pink wispy little flowers as well as fake lavender in the denim blue basket. So cute. ..Remember that desk I had Rick bring home? I did a different finish on it. First step...you guessed it...gripper! second step, I coated it in cream colored paint. Third step... painted a messy coat of celery green over the top only. Painted the arm chair butter yellow, re-covered the chair pad with the hydrangea fabric and then dry brushed denim and celery green over the yellow chair and sanded off edges to make it look super vintage. Here is the result! Still not finished but had homework to do so I set it up in my art studio and I'll go back and paint it where it sits this weekend when I have more time!
This is inside my art studio. I am in the process of re-doing it so it is rather sparse right now, but I spend a lot of time in here creating and writing so I want everything in this room to be something I absolutely love. I absolutely love the chair and desk. They turned out so cute. The desk I had and for $4.50 in fabric and $7.99 for the chair and about $2.00 in paint, it is so shabby chic! Have fun thrifting! Comment me and let me know what your favorite find is!!! XOXO the thrift addict!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fun and quick before and afters!

If there is one thing that most of my friends will agree upon, it's my spastic energy. I am not really happy if I don't have several balls up in the air at one time. Who knew that being a mom of five, a wife of an entrepreneur and a thrift addict would also hone my juggling skills all while going to college. I am not superwoman...not at all and sometimes the balls drop and in my case THEY BREAK!!! But my personality lends itself to functioning very well under pressure...take a look. It all started with this funky little shelf thingy that I picked up for $4.99 at Goodwill. It was actually two shelf thingys put together but I saw potential here. I was out with my friend Wendy. She has seen some of the projects that I have done in the past and didn't even wince when I told her it was my find of the day! Both cabinets had built in cubbies. Perfect for little collectibles or gardening things. I took it home and unscrewed it so that it became two pieces and then I got to work. Here's how it went.
Here is what it looked like when I bought it.
Dusty but cute little cubbies inside.
I chose to paint the top one a sort of french blue. It had a curvy top which gave it a french look to me. The little one on the bottom was more rustic so I went for a country yellow. Below are the steps of paint layers I did to give them a nice new look and their own personality.

First I had to use gripper to cover up the disco dancers on the front. Gripper is a Glidden product that coats everything from wood to glass to metal to tile. It is water based and an amazing product. A little piece of heaven for those of us who re-purpose furniture. It dries quickly and you can begin to paint in about 30 minutes. Next I applied a fresh coat of robin's egg blue paint from Glidden.

Next I applied a little yellow to the edges of the architecture with a dry brush. Dry brushing is when you take literally a dry paint brush and dip it in paint then blot it so that when you stroke the paint onto your project, you can see the brush strokes from each bristle. It makes it look like it's been sanded off. This is the lazy re-finisher's way to make a piece look like it's worn. I love it. Three times as fast with almost the same effect.
The next step is super easy. You take some burnt umber craft paint and dry brush it with the grain of the wood. I wiped it off while it was still wet. The effect is interesting because some of the paint dries and stays heavy while the other part comes off and just warms the colors underneath. Look at the difference between the fresh blue and the new patina with the yellow paint and the umber stain....cool.

I repeated the process of the yellow and umber dry brush all over the cabinet. This is how it turned out. The photos just don't do it justice. It is so much cuter than this in person. I also forgot to take a photo of the cabinet after I put the knobs on. Purchased from Home Depot for $1.19 each. They made this little cabinet adorable.

I had to put several coats of this yellow paint on the brown cabinet to cover. I could have used Gripper but decided I wanted the dark brown to come through on the finished product.

I used the same dry brush technique with red paint and went against the grain so that more of the character would show through. I started around the edges like the left side and then filled in like the right side. Yes over the knobs and everything!

With this cabinet I wanted the red dry brush to show through more than the brown so I used a wet staining technique. I started with a watered down burnt umber paint and brushed it wet and heavy around the edges then brushed some in the middle of the cabinet. You have to take a clean cloth and rub this immediately to give it a nice warm glow. If you leave it too long then you will have streaks.

This is what it looked like after I rubbed the brown staining into the paint.

Nice warm patina. This is the finished cabinet. I love it! Both cabinets are in the Berry Booth at A & J's awaiting a new home! The little chest below was done at the same time. I love doing multiple projects because while one is drying, I can work on the other one or two or three.
This is the before. It was a hand me down from my parents 10 years ago. Has been through multiple moves and one of the puppies got to the corner. I had to sand them down but with the distress I gave it, you don't notice it in the finished product.

Didn't like the little metal emblem type crest that was on the middle of the top drawer so I took it off and plugged the holes with wood filler.

First a base coat of this beautiful red color.

I applied a thick burnt umber stain to the edges of the drawers and then wiped off with a soft cloth. The finished product is below. I love the way the dental molding came out. I finished this with a product called Polycrylic. It is a water based polyeurethane.
These projects took me about 3 hours from start to finish for all three of them. Anyone can do this! Get busy and get thrifting! XOXO the thrift addict.