Sunday, September 15, 2013

a Trendy Teen Table that Travels

     Recently my daughter has been looking for a new bedside table with ample storage for all her collections. She, unlike me, likes everything new, trendy and hip. All of which ends up costing a pretty penny. So when I came across a vintage suitcase at the thrift store for $2 and a TV table for $1. I knew just what to do.
    I predrilled four holes inside on the bottom of the suitcase. I then attached it to the top of the TV table using 1" wood screws. I wanted to make the table portable so I made sure that the handle was facing on the top side of the table when folded down. I gave her a fresh coat of Satin Sherwin William paint in Overt Green SW 6718 and painted the handle a raspberry purple that complimented the colors in her curtains.  I added some garage sale dog bookends that got a fresh coat of turquoise Rustoleum spray paint.  IT was that simple!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Clients and friends of mine are always telling me their "want lists" so when my good friend Shey needed a petite sized desk for her daughter's bedroom without spending fortune I knew just what to do.

I had found the week earlier a curbside a desk and chair that fit the bill.  The desk was sturdy and in overall good shape with the exception of a small chip in one of the drawers.

I painted the desk with leftover white paint to match Shey's all white shabby chic decor. The chair was painted in Sherwin Williams Nurture Green SW 6541. I used leftover pink, red, and cream spray paint for the hardware. By lightly spraying the red over the hot pink the colors blended to make a beautiful coral color in the rug. After one coat, I pumped the cream colored spray paint to achieve a splattered look.

Then took discontinued fabric books and cut strips of the swatches so that I could mix up the patterns and still have it cover the entire bottoms of the drawers while keeping a cohesive design. I glued the fabric using Satin Modge Podge ( can also use watered down white glue). Let dry and then lightly distressed chair with sandpaper.

This whole project cost me nothing but my time... 4 hours + leftover supplies = one happy little girl ready for the school year.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Let's Fall In LOVE! Upcycled Heart Art

For some time now I have been enamored with vintage signs.  Tin, wood, plastic, neon, any material. I just love letters, quotes and shapes in general. I recently got a shipment of paints that came via courier on a wooden pallet. It just leaned against our garage door waiting for me to take it to the curb. I even put it in my car to bring it to a pallet recycling center. It never made it...

I used a crowbar to disassemble the pallet. The nails were long and the wood was tough. It was a serious workout! There's a reason why these pallets hold heavy weight, they're super tough.

I placed all the loose boards touching. I temporarily nailed a board perpendicular so that I could maneuver the pallet boards. Using a large piece of poster paper I folded kindergarden style a large heart. ( If it ain't broke don't fix it) . I still make hearts that way so that the are symmetrical. I traced the heart onto the boards and using a electric jig saw cut just inside the marker lines.

We flipped the boards over and nailed 1 by 1 boards to the back so that all the boards were attached to one another.
I used a yard stick and foldable ruler for the arrow. We nailed and glue them to the back.

It was then ready to be painted. I wanted to have this heart look old so the paint job needed to let the weathered wood show thru. I watered down some red paint and painted to entire red heart adding some pinker highlights to the edges. I then laid out letter and number stencils and spray painted the words "Let's fall in love 3-2-1". It didn't bother me that the spray paint went outside the stencil. I did all of this outdoors and with a mask on. I let it dry for an hour and brought it back inside and sanded it down to expose some of the natural wood color and further gave it a distressed look by rubbing a dark wax in areas and around the edges. If you don't have wax then show polish will do just make sure that you apply it with a rag.

Detail of the lettering and distressing. I especially love the drip mark on the V. To hang I attached 2-60 lb. picture frame hooks. Never hang a piece of art this large or heavy with one hook or wire. 

Total amount of time to complete -4 hours 
Total cost of project-  $24.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Upcycled Father's Day Gifts

 Last weekend my family and I finally made it to one of Country Living magazine's Fair. I have been wanting to go for a few years now but it has always been held too far away. This year it was held at the Duchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, New York so there was no reason to miss the event filed with handmade creations, homemade foods, informative demonstrations, captivating speakers and great antiques. We left Rochester at 4:45am and made it to Rhinebeck in 5 hours just as the gates opened. It poured the first day but that didn't dampen this treasure hunting family. We picked up a few items (well, a truckload and SUVfilled to the brim) and I had Father's day in mind for a few of my scores. These projects are super simple and need little to no experience with power tools....

Shoe last and vintage red Stanley level. 

Shoe last coat hook  I found this basket overflowing with them so I picked a bunch up for $5. each. I love them so much I have a pair on my fireplace hearth.
Shoe lasts are wooden forms in the shape of a human foot used in shoemaking to provide fit and style of a shoe.

I drilled a pilot hole in the toe of the shoe last. It was narrow so I needed to use a small bit. I screwed in a small C hook and drilled a hole in the back for a screw. You could also use a simple saw tooth picture frame hook just below the metal heel. Its as simple as that.

LEVEL KEY HOOK- I measured out every inch and drilled a small pilot hole for the L hooks. If you don't have a drill you can simply nail a hole and remove the nail giving you a start for the screw. I placed saw tooth hangers on the back. The best thing was that I didn't need a level to hang it!
Too bad my father's name isn't Stanley

This could also be used as a tie rack.
TOOL BOX COFFEE TABLE- The tool chest was bought for $12. I added some legs that I sawed off from a desk (thats another project). I screwed the legs from the inside of the tool chest. The great thing about it is that there is storage inside. Storage and a table.. bonus!
This can be opened without removing all the items on the top. Thats a tiny hidden drawer at the bottom.

Stopping to smell the flowers... These oversized magazine banners were scattered all over the Fair.

Monday, June 10, 2013

PICTURE (not so) PERFECT- a decoupage tutorial

Last week I ran into a client friend at Home Goods an she mentioned that she loved seeing all my upcycling projects that I post on my Facebook page. She had just left the Goodwill store next door and couldn't find anything to to help accessorize her mantle. I thought to myself "She couldn't find anything?" So I left Home Goods and took her frustration as a challenge. I texted her a picture of my thrift shop score. So this ones for you Margot.  Hope you like the finished product. Just look for good bones and never mind about the color. You can always paint it!

My cute faded "little duck saying hello to a turtle" picture. You can see the price. I had big plans for this small investment. I loved the gold leaf frame but sadly my friend had to go....

I removed the faded image and began decoupaging tissue paper from a gift that I received. I first gave the frame a coat of old fashioned Modge Podge but any white glue would do.  The first coat of the glue adheres the paper and the second acts as a topcoat.

As I mentioned earlier I loved the gold leafing so I cut the paper with an X-acto blade knife very carefully using the dark ridge as a guide. This could be done with wrapping paper, fabric, wallpaper or any other kind of paper.

After cutting the tissue paper, I gave the entire frame a thick coat of Modge Podge as a sealant. I carefully used the brush to even out all the creases and air bubbles. It goes on white and dries clear.

I have had these cute bee curtain pins for some time now. I never really used them on curtains but I thought they would make great decorative nails. I made a bow and stapled it to the back and found a beveled oval mirror at Micheal's that I tacked in.

I grouped the small mirror with a collection of other neutral colored artwork.

Total time spent on project - 1 hour and cost is under $10.

Every week I will be posting a simple up cycling project. I will give the time spent and overall cost. Let me know what you think.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Super Hero's to the Rescue

Often a child needs a little inspiration to encourage them to spend time in their bedroom. This past week I had a blast painting a Superhero medley in a 6 year old boy's room. Danny art directed the entire room and let me know exactly who his favorite heros were. He was particularly inspired by seeing the Iron Man 3 movie and the filming of Spiderman 3 here in Downtown Rochester.  After completion he told me, "I never wanted to leave my room." Music to my ears... No villains allowed!

Marvel's Spiderman with city skyline 

DC Comic's Batman
Marvel Comic's Iron Man 
The Cartoon Network's Ben 10 Omniverse
Diamond head 

Heat Blast

Four Arms

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Minecraft Mural Madness

      Last week I was commissioned to paint a mural in an 8 year old boy's room.  At our first meeting, myself and the boy's parents gathered in the all white room to discussed what they wanted me to paint. They told me that their son liked Lego's and computer games. No problem. I had painted lego murals before... They told me that their son's all time favorite video game was Minecraft and that he spend hours upon hours creating his kingdom.  I had never heard of Minecraft before and they giggled. Hey, I have a daughter who's into fashion! It didn't take me long to figure out what this craze was all about.  I went straight to my 11 year old nephew and his friends for a Minecraft consultation and tutorial. He taught me how the Minecraft's images are pixilated (old school to me) and how it all worked.... Six days later with the help of my assistant the white room was no more. It is now "The sickest room ever!" according to my 8 year old client.... 

Detail of the wall behind the bed. My assistant and I taped off every square with Scotch Blue Painter's tape for clean crisp lines. We used Sherwin Williams Emerald Paints for easy two coat coverage. The Emerald line is excellent for low VOC.


Before: big white room

After; a portrait of the homeowner's house and front yard pond with fountains.

Up close image of the pond

                                                    A Minecraft Creeper and Wolf

I'm in love with Minecraft Steve and his trusty Duck.