Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday: Galvanized Pots with Chippy Paint and Numbers

I got these three, plain galvanized metal pots at a thrift store for 50 cents each. I was not sure what I was going to do with them at the time. I have a lot of acrylic paints and I bought some crackle finish a while back, so I decided to give it a try.

Here is the tutorial:
First, tape off the inside of the pots and then paint them with a primer that can stick to bare metal such as Bullseye. Next, apply a base coat of acrylic paint in a contrasting color to the final coat. When the base coat dries, apply a medium layer of the crackle finish.

Wait for the crackle finish to dry to a tacky texture (not wet, but not all the way dry) and then apply the final coat. I chose cream for the base color and I mixed some acrylic paints to make an aqua color for the final coat. Then, if you want to add a stripe, tape it off to the desired width. I used cream paint and applied it with a stencil brush so it would not go on to heavy (I wanted the chippy texture to show through).

Next, print a design from the computer. I decided to use numbers to decorate my pots. I printed them, then blew them up on my copier to the desired size.

A while back I had an amazing find on ebay. I bought this vintage stencil book for $3 that has sheets of blank stencil paper. It is much easier to cut then the thick plastic ones from the craft stores. I love it! I have heard you can also use freezer paper from the grocery store. I have never tried this and, to be honest, I do not know what freezer paper is.

Tape the printed image behind the stencil paper or whatever stencil medium you are using and carefully cut it out with a very sharp exacto knife.

Position the stencil on the pot and tape it in place. Use very little paint when stenciling, so that the paint does not drip outside the lines. I get paint on the stencil brush and then tap it on paper, so that most of the paint is off and then apply it to the surface to be stenciled.

Voila! My chippy, numbered pots!

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Chunky Candle Holder Makeover

I found a pair of candle holders with gold and cream crackle paint gone awry. They looked tacky and dated, but I have always liked chunky, wooden candlesticks. These two candle holders are solid wood and have great detailing, so transforming them was not very hard.


Ugh! See what I mean?

I just needed to cover up that awful paint job with a coat of primer and two coats of creamy white paint. Then, a little all over distressing to bring out the details. I love the acanthus leaves and the round, scrolling feet. I think they are much more pleasant to look at now!


True Beauties!

Friday, August 27, 2010

French Gray Cabinet

I bought this beat-up cabinet from a garage sale for $10. It had ugly, brown fabric in the cabinet doors and it was dusty and run-down. I took it home and Mr. Rubbish helped me sand it with his electric palm sander. Then, I primed and painted it French gray (actually Martha Stewart’s Driftwood Gray). I sanded it so the white base coat showed through, although it is hard to see in the photo. I wanted really cute knobs for it and I thought the ones it came with were not that great, but when I went to look for them at the store (my first mistake) the cheapest ones were three bucks a piece! Well, a girl that looks for rubbish just cannot pay $3 for a single knob, so I cleaned them with water and vinegar. I was pleasantly surprised to see how sparkly and cute the existing knobs were underneath the layer of grime!

Mr. Rubbish had some leftover construction wire from a garden bed he built, so I used that for the doors. I could not find hinges to fit, so I just painted those gray to match the cabinet.

Here is my French Gray cabinet before and after:

I wish I had a better after picture of the cabinet. I took this at the shop one day, when I was busily setting stuff up, and when I got home, I realized I did not take a very good photo. I am going to work at the shop tomorrow and my plan was to get a better photo before posting about it, but they called and told me the cabinet sold today. Oh well, this picture does not do it justice, but you get the idea.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Painting Vintage Syroco

Did I mention that I have found quite a few vintage Syroco items at garage sales lately? This mirror is really unique with three parts connected by hinges, so it can be hung on a wall or stood up on a dresser. It came with a matching wood shelf that has, the signature Syroco, scrolling plastic underneath.

First I primered, then I painted and lightly distressed them. This is how they turned out.

It is amazing how much Syroco looks like wood when it is painted. Even in person, it is hard to tell it is plastic.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mid-week Design Inspiration: Wire Baskets

Yesterday I mentioned that I love wire baskets and vintage locker baskets. Today I decided to find some inspiration photos of storage solutions using metal baskets.

This kitchen, featured in Country Home magazine, is so charming and bright! I like the open shelving above the counter, the skirted sink and the metal industrial baskets on the lower shelving.

My kitchen also has open shelving, both above and below the counter and I think it is functional and charming. I am currently looking for fabric to make a skirt for the lower shelves in my kitchen. When my sister was visiting me this month we decided that it would be really cheap to build a kitchen with this kind of open shelving instead of cabinets. Just a thought for anyone wanting to build or remodel a kitchen on a tight budget.

This kitchen, featured in Country Living magazine shows an entire wall of locker baskets set on industrial shelving. What a unique storage idea!

The bright colored ribbons displayed in the three-tiered wire basket make this craft room bright and cheery.

Photo from Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

This is the craft room/office I want. I like the mult-colored wire baskets and the hanging baskets. I also love the painted, caned chair and aqua desk.

Photo from Country Living magazine.

Vintage locker baskets can be expensive now days, but I like the challenge of finding them in other people's rubbish. I just picked up a cute one last weekend at a garage sale for fifty cents. The guy was trying to sell the hinges inside the basket and was surprised I even wanted it. The old saying is true: "One man's trash is another man's treasure".

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday: Burlap Basket Liner

I picked up two, large wire baskets at a garagle sale for fifty cents each. Living in a small home has made me appreciate creative storage solutions. I love the look of vintage locker baskets and industrial, wire baskets on shelves. These two wire baskets are not, however, in those categories and would look better hidden away in a closet or under a bed. I had to do something to bring these boring storage baskets out of hiding.

I decided to use burlap because the baskets are large and burlap is inexpensive at $3-$6/yard. I also happen to like burlap and since I cannot afford linen (unless I get lucky enough to find it at an estate sale), this is the next best thing.

This is how you can make a basket liner of your own:
First, measure the four sides and bottom of the basket adding 1" to each side for the seam and four inches for the top of the sides that will fold over. After cutting out the fabric according to the measurements and seam allowances, hem all four sides of each piece. Then, lay the pieces in the basket and pin them together. When you take it out of the basket, it should retain its shape being held together by the pins. Next, sew all the sides together removing the pins as you go. Before placing the liner in the basket, iron a crease where it will fold over to make it lay flat.

I was just going to leave it like this and possibly stencil on the burlap, but it looked a little plain and still boring. So....I did what I always do in this situation - I added a ruffle! I used vintage pillowcases to make the ruffles. The thing I love most about using vintage cotton sheets and pillowcases, is that I can tear it instead of cutting. This makes it much faster and the strips of fabric come out straighter than if I were cutting. Continuing the tutorial....Next, rip several strips of fabric for the ruffles. The total length of the fabric strips needs to add up to twice the perimeter of the basket because you are going to be gathering it. To make the ruffle, sew a straight stitch, the length of the fabric strip, about 1/2" from one side. I left the other edge of the ruffle raw because, let's be honest, that would be too much sewing. Besides, I think the raw edge fits with the rustic quality of the burlap fabric.

Oh, and if you have a cat, you might want to lock him in another room. Whenever I try to lay out my fabric for cutting, my kitty, Beau, likes to tangle himself up in it and then scratch me when I try to get it away from him.

I don't get it! Everything is a game to him or something :)

The last step is sewing the ruffle to the underside of the burlap.

No more hiding under the bed. Here they are on top of my armoire.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Kitchen Garden Day!

We share a garden with two other neighbor families and yesterday we had a dinner party in the garden in celebration of World Kitchen Garden Day. If you are wondering what that is, you are not alone. I had never heard of it either, but luckily my neighbor knew about it and planned the dinner. We each made something with food that we grew in our garden. The food was amazing and we had a great time eating with our neighbors in the lovely garden.

This is what the World Kitchen Garden website says about the celebration:
"Kitchen Garden Day is an annual, decentralized celebration of food produced on a human-scale. It is recognized each year on the 4th Sunday of August. It is an opportunity for people around the world to gather in their gardens with friends, family, and members of their local community to celebrate the multiple pleasures and benefits of home-grown, hand-made foods."


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