DIY Up-cycled Furniture

Long Time – No Quest

So it seems as though I’ve given up on this blog. I really haven’t stopped making pinterest projects, but just forgot to tell you about them. Since it’s been so long, I’ll tell you about a project I did recently.

I’m sure you’ve seen people’s pins on renewing an old piece of furniture, often using the antiquing effect, or distressing. Upon research I discovered that there is actually a difference between the two. For my project I chose to distress. The main difference being: antiquing uses staining over a painted project to darken areas that would collect dirt and dust over the years, distressing is roughing up the surface in areas that would get the most use over the years. I wasn’t too concerned about antiquing since I liked the clean white look with some distressing.

I started with an old entertainment cupboard that I acquired from my grandparents. It used to house a record player and speakers.


As you can see, it’s a little rough looking. The right door isn’t actually a door at all. This is where the speaker would sit and play the tunes without looking obtuse.

So I took to sanding the whole unit first. I later found out that this may not have been necessary. Many older pieces have had a protective substance applied that can be wiped off with a wet cloth if you let the water soak in for a bit. If a drop of water makes the surface turn white, this is likely what is on it. So you’d just want to wipe/scrape this off. I’ll know that for next time at least!

Here is what it looked like after I took off the broken pieces and sanded.



Not bad right?

The next day I applied a coat of blue/grey paint/primer mix. I wanted my distressed areas to show the blueish hue so as to imply that it was painted over the years. I read a blog that said you’re basically writing this piece of furniture a story, and I liked the thought of that.

Then I painted it with a white chalk paint. Now, you can buy this product at the hardware store and have it tinted to the allowed colours, OR you can make your own. If you know me, you know I’ll go for that! All you need is plaster of paris and your desired latex paint colour and mix it together. This way you can make any colour and have extra to use for another project. Keep in mind that with chalk paint, even the store-bought kind, you have to keep mixing throughout use since the chalky parts settle.

I let that dry completely, then did my distressing. To do this, all I did was take sand paper and rough up the areas that would have gotten worn down over the years. Generally on edges from rubbing up against it and around the hardware from opening and closing.

After this I applied a matte clear coat to protect it. You should apply either a clear coat or wax (this will give a yellowish tint) to chalk paint or it will scratch very easy.

I added the finishing touches and voila! The finished project. It actually only took me a few days of working on it. Mostly because of the drying time.



DIY Cinnamon Ornaments

It’s time for one more Christmas post. I won’t promise it’s the last though!

I’ve seen quite a few pins related to DIY cinnamon ornaments and loved the idea so thought I’d give them a try. I was looking for something unique to use as gift tags for my Christmas gifts and thought these would be great. They smell great, look cute AND they’re re-usable! I’m sure they’d look great just hung on a doorknob or throw them into a drawer to keep it smelling like Christmas all year round. 001

I used a recipe from McCormick’s site, since the Pin I pinned didn’t actually direct me to one. Of course I didn’t use the brand name cinnamon but guess what! They turned out just as good. I also pressed my dough into molds instead of using cookie cutters. I wanted more of a 3D look to them. They were a little difficult to get out of the mold, I greased it first then used a toothpick to pry up the edges. I then etched in the names of people I’d bought gifts for and baked them.

One suggestion I’d make is to ensure that your dough is firmly pressed together. It tends to be a bit like pie dough, it doesn’t like to form together once it’s been separated. If this happens, it will likely come out of the oven looking a little cracked.

These were very easy to make so if you want to add a little flair to your gifts this year or want to put some on your Christmas tree, give them a shot! You’re sure to love the outcome.

Christmas Tree

032So I realize it’s been quite some time since I’ve posted. Okay, a very long time. I guess that’s what happens when you start a new job and get a puppy all in the same time frame though!

But here we are at that wonderful time of year again and I decided to take on our first Christmas tree; making majority of the ornaments by hand. What better place to find ideas than Pinterest right? I’m very happy with the outcome and I hope you will all like it too!


I started by pinning some images of trees that I wanted to take my inspiration from. I like the rustic, natural feel so then I went in search of ornaments that lent to that.

My first item was the garland. I loved the look of the scrap fabric garland posted by Buenovida. It was very easy and my husband helped me cut fabric and tie knots while we watched a movie. I didn’t end up with a long enough strand though and would have doubled or tripled the amount I made. So if you take on this garland, buy 2 or 3 times the amount of fabric you THINK you need. The knots bunch up pretty tight in the end.

The second items I made were the orange slices. For these you’ll need a dehydrator. You can buy a decent one at Wal-mart for about $50 if you don’t have one already, and you can make all sorts of things with one. I’ve used ours for banana chips and strawberry chips, I’ve had fruit leather from a dehydrator and of course beef jerky, so trust me, you will make use of it if you’re a do-it-yourselfer like me. Anyways, back on track. I just sliced the oranges, pushed in cloves and put them in for 3 days until I felt they were dry enough. I had to add dabs of hot glue to the backs later to hold in the cloves since the oranges shrunk in some places and they were falling out, but otherwise they were a success.


Probably my favourite ornaments are the paper mache stars (I made more than just stars but I like the stars the most). I picked up the forms at Michaels and bought all different shapes, some were wooden, some cardboard. Then took them home and mod podged pieces of a ripped up old book that I knew wouldn’t be read so re-purposed it. They were very easy and I LOVE the look.

I made a few different types of balls, all using Styrofoam balls but you could use old ornaments you weren’t wanting anymore too. I picked up some ribbons I     liked that looked nice together for the one type. I cut them in strips and started pushing them into the Styrofoam at the top and bottom, overlapping the layers. These were pretty time consuming. I didn’t use any glue, however I’m sure you could glue the strips down for extra security.

The next type were the twine balls. These ones were just as time consuming but a little easier. I used hot glue and just went around and around the ball until it was completely covered.

I then added some pine cones and cinnamon sticks wrapped into bundles for more natural accents. To add a bit of colour I bought some gold ribbon and tiny gold ornaments and metal keys from Michaels  as well (the only non hand made ornaments on the tree).

The final addition to the tree was, of course, the tree skirt. Anyone who’s looked at Christmas items will have seen the ruffle skirt (tutorial found on A Painted Nest) and I loved it from day 1. Many have pinned a no-sew concept, however I was concerned about the durability of a hot glued skirt, so I went ahead and sewed mine. It did take a few hours, but I am very happy with the end product. I simply cut the strips and sewed it around and around, bunching up the ruffles as I went. I would recommend to anyone who likes the look to try sewing it instead of glueing.

That’s everything! Yes, it takes a lot of work to personalize a tree, but in the end it makes it that much more special to look at, knowing that it’s yours and not the same ornaments other people picked up from the department store.

I LOVE my tree and if anyone else out there takes inspiration from it I’d be happy to hear it 🙂


Tile Coasters

This PinQuest was a lesson in following directions. Now that may sounds like a bit of a duh moment, but in the crafting world, there’s often substitutes and slightly different ways of doing things to get the same end product. This project however, was not the case.

After making my coffee table I decided I wanted coasters to go with it. I’d seen a Pin where you use 4×4″ tiles and black and white photos. I liked the look and so that’s the coasters I chose. However, there was 2 different tutorials on the same project, using different supplies. One used resin and one used Mod Podge. I found that resin would be very expensive for the amount of coasters I wanted to do. Great if you were making many for gifts, but there’s be too much left over for my small project. So I went with the Modge Podge way found at The Frugal
The way you’re supposed to do this is Mod Podge your photos to the tile then finish with a few layers of Acrylic High Gloss Coating Spray.
While perusing Michaels for supplies I found a spray on glue and was having a hard time finding the hight gloss acrylic coating spray so I found a normal gloss spray.
The results were as follows (and no, the picture is not blurry, the coaster is):
Not the best outcome. I’m not sure if it was the spray glue or the gloss that made it blurry. It also caused strange snowflake like blemishes, you can see them on the right edge of this coaster. I’m guessing the gloss spray, as it didn’t even smudge the photo, just seemed to react with the photo properties and blurred the image.
So I peeled off all the pictures, went and bought the proper materials and tried again.
They worked this time!
The tutorial is a good one to follow. One suggestion I would make is to make absolute sure that when you put a layer of Mod Podge over the photos, to smooth it out so there are no ridges once it dries. If there is, then these will not go away unless you do another layer of smooth Mod Podge before spraying on the acrylic gloss. I’ve also read somewhere that you can sand Mod Podge with a light sand paper, but I didn’t try that. Didn’t want to risk ruining it again!
Hope someone out there tries these coasters out. They’re really nice and it’s a great way to have photos around the house other than on the walls.

Cupcake Baby Gift

I saw this great tutorial on Pinterest of onesies and baby socks turned into cupcakes for a baby gift. Recently a friend had a baby, so I wanted to give it a try. The tutorial can be found at Club Chica Circle

It really is pretty easy to make these look cute and like actual cupcakes. The only thing I would suggest is to use only newborn sized onsies. I had trouble making the larger ones look nice or even fit into a cupcake wrap. As you can see below, there are 2 larger sized ones. I made them work, but it was very difficult.

Upholstered Wall Hangings

Well folks, this is by far my favourite pin thus far. Not because it looks better than any others I’ve done or because the end result was any better, but because of how easy it was!

If you’re one of those people who love Pinterest and all the great DIY projects but think you don’t have the skills to make it, then this is the pin for you! It took me 45 min from planning to install. That’s it. It really is that easy.

The pin came from a blog called The New England Southerner. Now being that I live in a rental we are trying to not put too many holes in the walls or hang heavy items, so I’ve been looking around trying to find things to decorate with that fit this criteria. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to decorate a small space without putting things on the walls. So when I came across this pin I thought it was ingenious.

To make these wall hangings all you need to do is pick out a great fabric to match your decor, pick up some foam insulation from any hardware store (I used 1/4 inch thick and it was $6 for the whole sheet which made all 3 of my panels) and have a staple gun on hand. Then you measure the space, decide how big you want each panel to be and measure your materials out. All that’s left now is to fold over the fabric and staple it onto the insulation. I took a picture to show you how I did it.

You’ll notice that I have quite a bit of overhang on the bottom. That’s because I decided not to cut the fabric more in case I wanted to use it someday for something else. The great thing about these panels is that because it’s just insulation and staples, if you ever get bored of the fabric and want to change it up, it’s super easy! Just pull out the staples and assemble new fabric.

In total these cost me $18 plus staples (like a few cents?). A great price for a great addition to any space that has a blank wall and needs a little pizazz!

Oh, and some of you are probably wondering how to hang something like this. Again, really easy. Because it’s simply Styrofoam and fabric all I did was poke a nail through the top and bottom, yes through the fabric and all, nail it into the wall behind it and then pull the fabric over the nail head so it’s not visible. Done! Use a nail with the smallest head possible and once it’s through the fabric you should be able to scrape your nail over the surface and move the threads back into place making the nail look like it was never there.

I honestly hope someone else tries this project. It’s fast, it’s simple and it looks great!

Crate Coffee Table

Well, my next project is complete! Below is February’s pinquest.

My husband has been wanting to get a coffee table recently and upon seeing retail price I decided that I didn’t want to pay that. So I thought I would just make my own instead of paying full price. I remembered something I had pinned once and thought that it was exactly what our living room needed. The original tutorial can be found at a blog by the name of Vintage Chic.


What do you think? I mostly followed the tutorial. I did however decide to use dowling for the frame and not L-brackets (my husband said it would be easier), it’s not! USE THE L-BRACKETS!
Another thing the tutorial missed what the measurements for the pieces used in the frame. This does depend on the size of crates you find though. I got mine from Michaels and needed 2-3 1/2″ X 6 ft boards of pine cut into 2-27″ pieces, 3-20″ pieces and 2-8 1/4″ pieces. The frame ended up being a tad small, but we also had it cut at the store and the pieces weren’t exactly cut to the right lengths, so that may have had something to do with that.
 All in all, the tutorial was great. I was able to follow it and make my own table without a problem. There are things you can customize as well, like the stain colour (don’t forget to clear coat if you don’t want your table ruined when something spills), I used legs instead of casters for my table, and I didn’t put images on the side of my crates though it does add a nice effect. In the tutorial she also filled the hole in the middle with a few boards and made it into a holder for stones, etc. I plan to do this in the future, but at the moment I put a bowl in it and that will do for now.
So if you like this idea and have seen it on Pinterest before, go ahead and give it a try. It’s actually quite easy and looks great!

Canvas Masterpiece

Well, this is my first post!
I’m backdating this project for my January project as I completed it in January but had not yet decided to start my PinQuest.
The following picture is what was posted to Pinterest from a blog namedVirginia & Charlie.
Her and I had two different takes on the project, but used the same medium. Puffy paint.
I didn’t use elmers glue because in my experience I knew that it didn’t dry as puffy as one would think. It generally flattens out after it dries. I may or may not know this from making glue pools in my metal elementary school desk and revelling in the experience of pulling them off as dried blobs. Don’t tell me I’m the only one??
Anyways, I decided to go with a white puffy paint. It’s a little more pricey than elmers glue, but if you want the pop up effect then this is my best suggestion. It had a tip perfect for the job, especially since I wanted fine details and small print. I did however go over it 2-3 times again, just to make it pop that much more.
I also decided to do my husband and I’s wedding vows on the canvas instead of just a design. Also, I did not paint onto wax paper and glue it on later. Instead, I drew my design directly on the canvas, made sure it was just the way I wanted, and then started to puffy paint over it.
The only problem with doing it this way is that if you do make a mistake in drawing the design, you will see that after you’ve painted because there won’t be puffy paint over it. I fixed this by doing a light coat of white acrylic paint over the entire canvas once the puff paint had dried. Spray paint would also work.
Another suggestion I’ve heard would be hot glue, and I strongly considered this, but decided against it. A hot glue gun would interfere with your ability to control what you were doing, as well as leave those oh so hated glue strings when you pull away. It would also require you to try and paint over it, which is also not an easy venture. So all in all, puffy paint (can be found at Wal-Mart and any craft store) is my suggestion.


The picture below is my completed project.

At the time I wasn’t sure where to put it so my husband walked over and put it on top of my antique type writer. I think he did well, what do you think?