Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: Faux German Grain Sack Slipcover

I love antique German grain sacks with the fancy scripts, but they are too expensive for me.  One German grain sack can cost $150!  My youngest brother just left for Germany on a mission for his church.  I told him to be on the lookout for some antique grain sacks for me.  In the meantime, I decided to make a German grain sack inspired slipcover for an ottoman I picked up at an estate sale.

The ottoman's finish and fabric were in flawless condition, so I decided on a slipcover, rather than reupholstering.  I used a painter's drop cloth from home depot and dug through them to find one that was not gray.  The one I found was a pretty, warm color and I did not have to use any bleach.  I just washed it with regular detergent on warm and then dried it to pre-shink the fabric, before making the slipcover.

This is actually my first slipcover and it really was not as difficult as I expected it to be.

  I started by measuring the top and sides of the ottoman, cutting out the sections and pinning them together over the ottoman.  Once I had the pins in place, I removed the cover and sewed all the seams together, sewing the corners last.

After sewing all the edges together, I tried the new slipcover on the ottoman. I did not want the fabric to cover the whole top portion because I wanted to add a ruffle to the bottom.

I found a German grain sack stencil from Masion de Stencils.  I know that stencils can be expensive and I have successfully cut my own before, like this one, using a craft knife and freezer paper.  If you have an editing program, you could design your own grain sack and cut your own stencil too.

I mixed my red, white and black fabric paints together to come up with a charcoal gray color and then stenciled the grain sack design on the top, making sure I located the center first.

The trick to getting a really clean looking stenciled design is to go over the stencil several times using very little paint.  This keeps the paint nicely within the lines.

After letting the paint dry, I cut strips of fabric and made the ruffle to attach along the bottom edge of the slipcover.

I left the bottom edge of the ruffle raw to go with the rustic quality of my faux grain sack.  I also left the wrinkles in the drop cloth for a more relaxed look.

It is a perfect fit!  

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Country Gray and Old White Armoire

A few weeks ago, on a rare occasion that Mr. Rubbish went to an estate sale with me, we found this French provincial armoire.  I usually only buy inexpensive items at estate sales, but Mr. Rubbish surprised me and bought this armoire.  He said that it was his investment because he knew I could fix it up and sell it for more.  

 Mr. Rubbish called the estate "the barbie house".  Not only was all the furniture cream, gold and pink, but the woman who had lived there had hundreds of, what looked like, barbie shoes; all vintage, all size 5 and all in their original boxes.  If only I wore a size 5!

The armoire has a great shape and the insides of all the drawers are in pristine, like-new condition!  It is a Thomasville and is so well built and solid too.  I love the arched top and the metal wire in both doors. 

 I was not liking the gold and cream color scheme, circa 1970.  

So, I just updated the color scheme, but kept it two-toned.  I used Country Gray and Old White Chalk Paint, so it matched the dresser I just finished.  

The armoire went from French Provincial to Paris Chic!

Here is another before shot of the doors :

...and after

 I love that Chalk Paint adheres to metal too.  I mixed the Old White with water and whitewashed the metal wire and all the hardware.

I used a tiny brush to apply the old white on the trim and then applied wax over the entire piece to protect the finish.

The armoire has not sold yet, but a lot of customers commented on it in at Loot last weekend.  I hope it sells, so that Mr. Rubbish can make a return on his investment :)

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Country Gray and Old White Two-Toned, Vintage Dresser

I finally came across my first dresser (they are hard to find) at a yard sale!  The man selling it said it is from the 1930's.  Besides missing most of its hardware it was in pretty good condition.  

I should know better by now, but I started painting before I took a picture.  At least I caught my mistake before I got too far along.

I love the legs on this beauty and the carved wood detailing.  I wanted to use more of the glass knobs I used here, so I patched the indentations from the previous drawer pulls with wood filler.

The edges of some of drawers were missing small pieces of veneer, so I just patched the edges with wood filler and sanded them flat before painting.

When I was getting ready to paint the top, I noticed a couple of small bubbles in the veneer on top.  I have never dealt with veneer before and I was kind of nervous, especially since I had already spent the day painting the drawers and they looked so good.  I searched the internet and found information on how to repair veneer.  

I started by slicing length wise through the bubble with my craft knife.  Then I cut a thin strip out, so there would be no overlap and it would lay flat.  I first tried using contact cement, but it just did not flatten enough.  

I was starting to get frustrated, but I could not give up on this dresser.  I turned to Gorilla Glue super glue and it solved the problem.  I used a knife blade to apply the glue under small sections of the veneer and then applied pressure for thirty seconds until it dried before moving on to the next section.  I did this until the whole bubble was glued flat.

Then, I filled in the small gap with wood filler and sanded it smooth before painting.

This is how she turned out:

I painted the whole thing with Country Gray Chalk Paint first.  By the way, I adore this color!  it is so subtle and complex at the same time.  It is hard to figure out what color it is exactly and it changes depending on the lighting.  I got so many compliments on it at Loot this weekend.  I do not think it is one of the most popular Chalk Paint colors, but it is my favorite.  In fact, I need to order more already!  

I used a teeny tiny paint brush to paint Old White Chalk Paint inside the grooves on all the drawers and the side of the dresser.  I also painted the wooden applique in the center of the top drawer with Old White.  I lightly distressed the whole dresser, waxed the surface, and then put on the glass knobs.

I had a little trouble while painting the top of the dresser.  Spots kept showing through until I painted about four or five coats of paint.  At least it is pretty easy to paint the flat surface of a dresser.

This was not one of my easiest projects between the veneer problems and the bleed through, but it was worth it in the end.  I love everything about this dresser now!  

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Loot's Grand Opening

We had a fun-filled weekend at our grand opening of Loot!  Nancy and I had been putting in long hours trying to finish projects and getting the shop ready for opening.  We could not believe it was finally time!  Here we are in front of Loot before the opening party on Friday.  Nancy had these cute, matching, black & white ticking stripe aprons.  They came in handy for holding our calculators, receipt books and cash.

We had a wonderful time at the party and had a great turnout.

We had food, music and fun!

My awesome neighbors came and brought these sunflowers that they grew themselves.  Aren't the colors amazing!?

Now, I want to give you a tour of our little flea market boutique.  As you can see, it is a small quonset hut and has so much character.  We had tons of people stop in for our opening weekend just to check out the inside of the hut!

Here is Teddy, Nancy's standard poodle to welcome us at the door.

We set up the front room as our showroom and it became our "dining room".  We put the farm table, buffets, chairs and chandelier in and then accessorized.

The back room was our work/storage space until a few days before our opening.  This is what it looked like before.

We turned it into this in a couple of days!  I hung two drop cloths over the framed wall and Mr. Rubbish draped lights across the ceiling.  Then, we moved in the furniture and lamps and that became our "bedroom" area.  

We still had the far end of the hut to deal with, but Nancy worked her magic again!  This is what the back of the shop looked like before.

...and after!

This area became our "kitchen".  Nancy is even selling her old fashioned oven at Loot.  Isn't her vintage oven cool?

The landlord stopped by and brought us baskets full of freshly cut lavender from her garden.  I love lavender and it filled the shop with its captivating scent.  We bundled them with twine and put them out for sale.  Who can resist fresh bundles of lavender?

Let's step out to the garden!

We were fortunate to have a very talented gardener, Jackie, come all the way from her nursery in Gilroy and sell her plants in the back of the shop.  She helped us set up our garden area and her "pop-up garden", as she calls it, made the space absolutely gorgeous!

Nancy's daughter, Janiece, was so much help getting everything set up for our sale.  We had a lot of fun and on Saturday Janiece barbecued hot dogs and sausages for us and our customers.  Isn't she the most glamorous barbecuer you have ever seen?

On Sunday, we had two talented sisters, Colleen and Jackie, set up booths in the back.  They brought stunning vintage items and jewelry and set up delightful vignettes.

I am now resting for a couple of days before I get back to work and start getting ready for next month!


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