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.