With the holidays just around the corner, a great deal of my time has been spent getting various projects ready to sell at a holiday craft bazaar. If you’ll recall from (about this time) last year, I jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon with my version of a rustic wood round/cookie wreath. Unfortunately, that particular version didn’t sell last year. So, the two lonely wreaths sat…just waiting for this year to roll around. After some moderate brainstorming, I was inspired to add a little greenery (we’re talking real greenery here, folks). With fresh greenery, that meant a green bow just wouldn’t do, so I decided to change the color of the bow as well. In reading various posts and trying to figured out how they actually attach the greenery, I noticed that some of the other wood cookie wreaths had used something called a craft ring as their base. After thinking about it a bit more, I figured a wider base would provide increased surface area upon which I could glue the rounds. I was able to find the craft rings I needed at Michaels and set to work dismantling all of the previous year’s hard work. I scraped and sanded off the old glue on the wood cookies and set to work re-gluing them on the wider base. For this step, I used my trusty wood glue once again. I then spent the next couple of weeks thinking about what type of greenery I would like to use AND (perhaps most importantly) where I could acquire said greenery. Conveniently, I was able to find many of the things I wanted to incorporate located all around me. I found the cedar at the base of some large trees on the edge of a McDonald’s parking lot. The holly came from trees which line the road on my way to the local Taco Bell (FYI: I asked the owner before I snipped off some twigs). The pine cones (which I didn’t use this time around) came from my very own backyard. Now, I’m not sure why I didn’t even think to add greenery last year to the wreaths last year…especially considering that I made 3 swags at nearly the exact same time. Perhaps I was just trying to keep the wreaths simple. Alas, I digress. With the wood cookies attached to the new base, I simply started laying the greenery on ’em. Add a little green floral wire to mix and you’ve got a very simple way to add so much flair to what started out as a basic wreath. As I mentioned earlier, a green bow just wouldn’t cut the mustard, so I did my best to recreate the bows from last year…this time, with the red burlap ribbon. I’m pretty certain the making of the bow was the hardest part of this whole project. For me, I found it pretty tough to get the bow to look perfect. With that being said, I was very pleased with the end result. In fact, the two wreaths I took to the bazaar were the very first items to sell. I suppose I better get started on making more for next year.
I figured it was about time to provide some updates on the progress of the vintage bookcase I’ve been working on. Probably close to a month ago, I was able to get the piece sanded. I actually ended up using more stripper on it, as there was still a sticky residue on the surface I had removed the laminate from. So, after far too much time sanding, I finally got it to the point where I felt it was ‘good enough’. I caulked a couple places, so as to prevent any gaps and such. Then, I was finally able to get it primed. Since all I had at that point was the actual bookcase frame, the priming was relatively painless. And there it sat.
Fast forward a few weeks, I took the existing orange shelf to the local ReStore to see if I could find some wood that would work to make two shelves out of. Believe it or not, I did find just the piece of wood I needed. It was exactly the width and thickness of the sample shelf I had brought with me and appeared to have enough to make two shelves out of. I’m pretty sure I paid something like 50 cents or maybe it was $1.00. Either way, a steal of a deal. The actual piece of wood kinda looked to me like a ‘built in’ cutting board.
And here we are. Just yesterday evening, (with plenty of help) I was able to get the two shelves cut for the bookcase. Luckily, I had enough sense to measure both openings where the shelves would sit. As it turns out, the second shelf opening is nearly an inch wider than the top shelf (which is where the ‘sample’ shelf came from). Yah, yah, the shelves still need to be sanded and primed, but every step moves this project forward a little bit more.
So there you have it, something that is actually starting to look like a bookcase. Now, I still need to figure out what colors I want to paint it. Until I make up my mind about that particular detail, we’ll have to consider this project ‘shelved’.
With yet another project complete, it is time for me to get started on the next one. After all, summer only lasts so long…I’ve got to take advantage of this beautiful weather while I can. Alas, I digress.
A couple of weeks ago, I acquired (for FREE on Craigslist) an awesome, vintage bookcase. It was left to its own devises while I finished the patio table. I must say, it was pretty eye-catching as it was. But, knowing me, I’ll strive to make it even more of a statement piece. The jury is still out as to what direction I want to go with the painting. I’m thinking of using one color for the inside and a different color for the outside. So, something similar to the record cabinet I finished a while back. With that being said, I have been able to get quite a bit of prep work done. This past Thursday, I got the entire piece stripped (which is never
a glamorous part of prepping any piece of furniture) and wiped down with paint thinner. I ended up taking the veneer off of the whole front surface…which
literally, ‘eh, figuratively came off like butter, so that was probably a really good move.
Next steps will include sanding the whole piece AND creating two new shelves for the inside area. I hope to pay the local ReStore a visit at some point this week to find some wood for the shelves.
Well, after nearly two years of off and on attention, I am pleased to announce that the wood slat patio table is done. I believe I mentioned in an previous post that working with oil based paints is not my medium of choice (in so many words). So, I dove head-first into painting this beauty. I had figured that since I was covering a dark green (except where it had been scraped and sanded down to raw wood) with a dark green, it would be a piece of cake. Silly me, when is anything as easy as it seems…especially when it comes to furniture projects?! The slats I had replace and primed took quite a few coats of the green in order to actual cover the white primer. Lesson learned (for now). The fact that the paint I was using was gloss also played a role in making perfect coverage a bit of a challenge for me. I had originally allotted two days to work on the painting aspect of this piece, but ended up spending nearly a week painting, re-painting, flipping and painting, a
bit more painting…you get the idea. Anyway, after all of the work and waiting and more work, I love the way it turned out. Alas, not too shabby for a free table and a $3.00 can of paint, if I do say so myself. Once again, I’m happy to have taken something that was very close to being on its last legs and transformed it into a functional beauty. As they say, another project done and done.
Now, it’s time for me to get to work on the next project. Stay tuned…
Well, I figured since it has been two years since I first acquired this wood slat patio table, I might as well get to work on it. At least a year ago, we had two replacement slats cut. I primed those some time back and have just been dreaming of getting this table together, painted, and functioning. I do believe I’m now down to ONLY three furniture projects. Since this project has been waiting the longest, it gets top priority (for now). Today, I removed the old slats we were going to replace. However, such a task was not as easy as it sounds, Many of the screws were all rusty, some of the tops of the screws were blown out, and certain sections of the wood was literally falling to pieces. With quite a bit of help, we were able to get pilot holes drilled for each of the holes. We used a little wood glue for good measure to hopefully help hold those slats in place along with the new screws I picked up at the local hardware store. All in all, it is starting to actually look like something. In re-doing these slats, we discovered that one of the cross pieces is totally toast. So, off that came. Now, we’ve just got to recreate a piece to replace that one. Like always, things are not as simple as they first seem. Lesson learned (again).
Once we get that piece created and in place, I’ll actually be able to begin the process of scraping and sanding this table…which I know will be quite a task. I do plan on using some oil-based paint (a similar green) that I got at the local Re-Store a while ago. Since it is dark green over dark green, I’m hoping that aspect will offer very little challenges (other than it being oil-based paint). Only time will tell.
A few weekends ago, I happened upon a FREE post on Craigslist (surprise, surprise) for some garage sale leftovers. Luckily for me, the post had a picture of the items available curbside. I looked up the address, added it to my route, and stopped by. Lo and behold, all of the items I was interested in were still up-for-grabs when I arrived. In addition to some odds ‘n ends, I scored a
fun mid-century-esque drop leaf table. It appears as if the previous owners made an attempt at painting it at some point. However, the paint job was not done well or very thorough, which makes it a perfect candidate for what I have in mind. The table seems sturdy enough with the leaves up as it does with the leaves down. However, due to the poor paint job, I’ll probably have to paint all sides of this project (gotta’ love all those extra steps). Then again, it wouldn’t be my style of project if it didn’t require plenty of work.
So, now I’ve got two tables that I hope to work on (and complete) this summer. However, before I move forward with any furniture projects, I’ve got plenty of picture frames in various stages of done-ness. I’ve got to get them completed before I will allow myself to even
dream, ‘eh, think about refinishing any pieces of furniture.
Well, here we are and nearly two years later. I am happy to announce that the 100+ year-old dresser that I’ve been working on is now officially done. I had some time just before the start of spring and was able to get the remaining painting done on the body of the dresser. As you may recall, the drawers have actually been done for quite some time, though I held off on adding the new drawer pulls until the entire piece was done. They’ve just been waiting for a place to hang out (as in, in the dresser). Being a very old piece of furniture, I was hoping to update it…color and strength-wise, while still keeping with its historic roots. It will always be an old dresser, so the drawers won’t glide as smoothly as dressers with more complicated drawer tracks. I am beyond pleased with the results (and actually love seeing it all back together). I’m hoping to get it posted on Craigslist, so it can find a new ‘forever’ home.
I realize that I haven’t shared much on what a true historical wonder this particular chest of drawers is, so batten down the hatches for a little furniture construction history lesson. Since I work with primarily wood furniture, I always keep an eye out for good construction. In furniture with drawers, that usually is seen in the form of dovetailed drawer joints. When I first acquired this particular piece, I noticed that the drawer joints were incredibly different. Thanks to the wide variety of ‘stuff’ on the internet, I was able to learn that this type of drawer joint goes by many names: Pin & Crescent, Pin & Cove, Pin & Scallop, Half Moon, and Knapp Joint. The word ‘pin’ is also interchangeable with the word ‘dowel’. This unique drawer joint started the Industrial Revolution for furniture and replaced hand cut dovetails. Handmade dovetailed drawers were very labor intensive and limited mass production of furniture chests. The Knapp Joint (invented by Charles B. Knapp; patented in 1867) is the first known mechanization for making drawers during the Industrial Revolution Age. By 1871, there was a Knapp Dovetailing Company. The presence of this type of drawer joints dates furniture construction to the specific period of 1871-1900. The Knapp Joint fell into lack of use by 1900. With that being said, my recently completed dresser is at least 115 years-old.
Needless to say, definitely a piece of history.