DSC_0542

A Decoupage Trilogy: Vintage Suitcase Number Three

I love vintage suitcases!  That may seem surprising coming from someone like me who doesn’t travel much.  The truth is suitcases aren’t just for “packing your bags”  They are also a wonderful way to store keepsakes and other items.  I was lucky enough to find three vintage blue suitcases for $5.99 at Goodwill.  This was an incredible deal, and I have not seen a suitcase purchase worthy since. My first attempt at restyling a suitcase, Travel The Old Fashioned Way I used fabric I purchased from Joann Fabric.  I chose a blue and white floral pattern, and it turned out great for a first attempt.   For the second suitcase,  Pack My Bags Fun And Easy Decoupage Vintage Suitcases I found a great pillow case with a floral red, white and blue color scheme that was perfect.  That left the smallest of the three.

decoupage vintage suitcases with fabric and Mod Podge

This suitcase is special, because inside the lid it has a built-in mirror.  The lining inside is also in perfect condition, another plus! (Please excuse the reflection of the mirror in the photograph)

DSC_0548

For this suitcase I decided to use blue and purple floral sheet that I found in a thrift shop.  I initially wanted to use a scarf, but the material was too thin and I was afraid the blue color of the suitcase would show through the material.

DSC_0533

To see a full tutorial on how to decoupage a suitcase Click Here

Now I have a wonderful set to use for travel or a decorative storage option.

DSC_0542

The search for more luggage continues….

On The Upcycle Restyle

on-the-upcycle.jpg

This weekend I decided to give “On The Upcycle” a much-needed reboot.  I felt the old blog layout was getting a bit stale. Last night I experienced an evening of insomnia, and decided it was the perfect time to explore new ideas. I hope you all like the new look!  Happy 4th of July weekend everyone!

 

DSC_0509

Thrift Store Surprise: Vintage Wood Sewing Box Upcycle

When I see something at a thrift shop that is unique and catches my attention, I will often purchase it even when I am unsure of what it is.  As was with the case of this little wooden box with legs. I imagined what it could have been used for. Perhaps it was intended to hold hats, gloves and scarves, or it simply sat by the door and was used to sort daily mail.  To me it didn’t matter, it was intriguing and best of all, priced right at $3.99!

DSC_0485

Sure, I had my smart phone handy, I could have googled the item and had my answer right away, but for some strange reason,  I didn’t.  I simply brought it home and stored it in my craft room.  It patiently waited its turn to learn its crafting fate until this weekend, I blew the dust off and decided to come up with a plan of attack.  I like to utilize materials I have handy as much as can. I tend to accumulate unused fabric scraps from previous projects and I prefer to use this fabric to the last thread.  One of my favorite designs was the black and white damask fabric I purchased at Joann Fabric.  I used this fabric on previous projects including The Broken Chair Challenge, and You had me at “Half Table” Yard Sale Rescue. I still had a rather large scrap piece left and decided to use it to upcycle this item.  I began by cleaning the item thoroughly.  Once the dust and dirt had been removed, I used a latex spray on primer and spray painted it white.

DSC_0496

I cut the fabric to fit both sides of the piece. I generously applied Mod Podge to the area with a foam craft brush.

DSC_0497

I then applied the fabric and repeated this step for both sides of the box.

DSC_0498

Once this dried, I applied three total coats of Mod Podge over top allowing each side to dry thoroughly between coats.

DSC_0499

I then painted the entire piece in a black and white scheme using acrylic paint.  The piece took about three coats of paint. I allowed the piece to dry over night and applied a final layer of Mod Podge to the entire piece to seal it.

DSC_0502

I am very happy with the final result;  However, I also want to share with you my mistake during this process.  Halfway through the project, I finally did what I should have done in the very beginning, research the piece online before you upcycle!  What you discover may alter your plans.  Granted in this case, I do not believe I would have done anything differently, but it really got me thinking about these pieces and how research plays an important, but often unspoken role in crafting.  A few pieces along the way, I decided to keep in their natural state, and some purists may have done the same in the case of this vintage box.  Turns out this little box with legs is a Priscilla style sewing box most likely from the depression era 1930’s to 1940’s. I saw a few online in various states, some painted and upcycled and others in their original condition range in price between $35 and $80 dollars on Etsy. My antique radar must have been working that day!  Despite having no clue about what this items’ purpose was I sensed it was something special.

What would you have done with this piece?  Have you ever had something special, but didn’t know it? Do you have crafting regrets? I would love to hear from you!

DSC_0509

Materials:

Vintage Sewing Box Stand

Fabric Of Choice

Mod Podge

Acrylic Paint/White Latex Primer

Scissors, Paint Brushes, Foam Craft Brush

 

 

 

decoupage vintage suitcases with fabric and Mod Podge

Pack my Bags! Fun and Easy Decoupage Vintage Suitcases

When shopping in thrift stores, I am always on the lookout for certain items on my personal wish list.   Many times I leave empty-handed as these items tend to be harder to find and that is why they remain on my list.  It is the search for these and other welcomed surprises that make thrifting so much fun.  Every now and again I get lucky, and it was truly my lucky day when I stumbled upon three lovely hard case, blue vintage suitcases reasonably priced at Goodwill.  I was also delighted to find the interiors of this cases in excellent condition.  For the larger case, I chose a blue and white fabric from Joann Fabrics, and decoupaged it onto the suitcase surface for my first ever restyled suitcase.  I wanted to make each suitcase unique, so I patiently waited for ideas to come along for cases two and three.

I was walking around Goodwill by my work the other day and stumbled upon a lovely pillow sham.  It was priced right at $1.99.  Usually when it comes to linens and fabrics at Goodwill, it is hit or miss.  This was a lovely pattern of white , red, and a touch of blue.  Whenever I see blue I think of those suitcases and thought this would be a perfect fit for one of them.  The question was if I would have enough fabric to complete the project. Unfortunately they only had one pillow sham in this pattern for sale.

Vintage suitcase pillow sham decoupage makeover

It turns out when I got it home,  I had just the right amount of fabric to restyle the second largest case, and I was thrilled!

First, I cut the decorative fabric away from the plain blue fabric on the pillow cases underside.

DSC_0465

I placed the suitcase on the top of the fabric to get an idea of how much fabric I would need for both sides.  It was easiest to cut it in half.  I allow the fabric to hang over slightly, as I planned on trimming away the excess fabric later.  I applied Mod Podge generously with a foam craft brush to the suitcase surface.

DSC_0468

I then carefully laid the fabric over it,  repeating the same process twice for both sides of the suitcase.

DSC_0469

Once dry, I applied Mod Podge generously over it to seal the fabric.  I also generously applied Mod Podge to the edges where I planned on trimming the excess fabric.

DSC_0473

Once dry, the fabric stiffens and I carefully used a box cutter knife to trim the extra fabric using the suitcase crevice/seam as a guide.  Keep in mind to use just enough pressure as too much can damage the suitcase.

DSC_0472

I applied two more layers of Mod Podge to each side of the suitcase. Working the glue once again in around the suit case edges.

Decoupage suitcase using a pillow sham

I loved how this little suitcase turned out!  Stay tuned for suitcase number three coming soon!

decoupage vintage suitcases with fabric and Mod Podge


 Material Used:

Hard Top Suitcase

Fabric of choice (For this project I used an old pillow sham)

Scissors

Foam Craft Brush

Box Cutting Knife

Mod Podge

Clear Varnish (Optional add for extra protection)

Play it again kid, restyled kids piano

Play it again, Kid: Upcycled Vintage Jaymar Kids Piano

When I take a trip to an antique shop or thrift store, the thing I enjoy the most is the element of surprise.  Sometimes I come away with nothing and other times when I least expect it I find something rare.  Speaking from experience antique shops tend to have pieces that are in better physical condition. Thrift stores such as Goodwill often times are stocked with basement throw aways and estate sale clean-ups.  Many of these items are not well cared for and in some cases downright abused.  I have come across items that I wanted to rescue, but I felt with my skill level I could not save them.  It always leaves me with mixed emotions.  On this day I was about to leave the store.  The husband and I have been regularly stopping in searching for a vintage rotary phone.  Not only have I always wanted to upcycle one of these phones, My husband and I love the loud ring it produced from our childhood memories.  We have missed many calls at home unable to hear our landline phone ring if we are in a certain part of our house. Upon taking one last stroll through the cluttered furniture aisle, my eyes wandered and there it was staring back at me! It seemed too good to be true: a vintage Jaymar Kids Piano. The toddler apprentice and I had been out shopping last year around Christmas at The Christmas Tree Shop, and stumbled upon an adorable kids baby grand piano.  She loved playing it and I could barely peel her off it at the store.  The price tag was a bit hefty weighing in at $89.99.  When we left the store without it,   I couldn’t get that little piano out of my mind and finding the vintage Jaymar at Goodwill seemed a bit like the product of fate. As with any upcycling story there are challenges to be faced and this adorable piano was no different.  The wood in many places was peeled away, It had its share of loose nails, and a large crack spreading across the base and back of the piano.  Incredibly, all the white keys worked perfectly and all, but one of the black keys worked perfectly.  The plastic keys were more yellow than white as is what happens to plastic stored under certain conditions with age.  It did not have a price tag so I took it up to the associate at the register. Even in rough shape I was surprised it was priced at a mere $5.99!

Vintage Kids Jaymar Piano Est 1960's

I snatched it up and brought it home.  I may not have found the rotary phone that I was searching  for that day, but I was surprised and delighted to find the piano.

Despite its charms, I knew very little about the toy.  I grabbed my laptop and did some research.  Thanks to Old Wood Toys.com  I was able to read about the history of the Jaymar company.  The toy company produced wooden novelty trinket toy through World War II.  After the war the company exclusively produced kids pianos and puzzles.  The company officially closed it’s doors in 1990. When I searched on Ebay, there were a few for sale, many of them in rough shape with price tags ranging from $39.99-$89.99.  On most, keys were broken. I concluded I had gotten a very good deal on this toy!

Jaymar Kids Piano

Since the piano did not come with a bench, I had a kids unfinished step stool that I thought would repurpose and stand in nicely as a piano seat.

Unfinished Step  Stool

I decided the cracked area of the piano would benefit from decoupage.  I believed the Mod Podge and fabric would reinforce the cracked wood and prevent it from spitting further.  I chose black and white music note fabric from Joann Fabric.  I used a white brush on acrylic primer to paint the entire piano after cleaning it thoroughly with a damp cloth.  I measured the area I wanted to decoupage and cut a piece of fabric to fit.  Once the paint was dry, I applied Mod Podge generously to the cracked area underneath with a foam craft brush, and carefully applied the fabric smoothing it put with my hands.  Once dry, I applied three more coats of Mod Podge over top of the fabric allowing it to dry between coats.  I then painted the entire piano with several coats of black acrylic paint with an appropriate sized paint brush.  I painted parts of the piano white for emphasis.  While the piano dried between coats, I worked on repurposing the step stool into a piano seat.  I traced the seat surface on to the back of the music note fabric with a pencil.  I cut out the fabric with scissors and placed it aside.  I painted the entire chair black except for the seat which I planned to decoupage with fabric. Once dry, I applied Mod Podge to the seat and applied the traced fabric.  I applied three coats over top of it to seal it.  Once the Mod Podge was dry I used a Polyurethane clear semi-gloss sealer to add a final protective coat over the piano and the piano chair.

Upcycled Vintage Kid's Piano

The one frustration with this project was the yellowed plastic piano keys.  I would have preferred a method to whiten them, but after doing some research decided not to mess with the patina on the keys.  I have read everything from sanding the keys with fine sandpaper or cleaning them white toothpaste.  In the end, I decided the risk of damaging the function of the piano was too great and simply used the corner of a Magic Erasure pad to throughly clean the keys.

Play it again kid, restyled kids piano

 

Have any safe plastic whitening tips?  I would love to hear them!

Materials used:

Black and White Acrylic Paint

White Acrylic Primer

Large and Small Paint Brushes/Foam Craft Brush

Mod Podge

Polyurethane Clear Sealer

Fabric Of Choice

Scissors

Wet Cloth or Magic Erasure Pad for cleaning

Kids Piano/Kid Step Stool (for seat)

 

craft table resurface before and after

Bed Skirt Craft Table Makeover

May is turning out to be a rather hectic month.  My daughter’s 3rd birthday is just around the corner, not to mention she is about to start pre-school for the first time next week.  At the risk of sounding cliché, time is flying by and filled with things to do, forms to sign, and errand filled lunch breaks.   Despite this, I have been busy working in the background on a few projects though at a slower pace than usual.  One of these projects was resurfacing my craft table and organizing the space. Despite my best efforts, my craft room has become a cluttered nightmare of various holiday decorations, toys and kids clothes which never made their way up to the attic.  I was once again determined to clean it up and work on the craft table.

Craft table has seen better days

 

This old desk top computer table had seen better days but worked well as a crafting table. Of course a table used for this purpose is going to bare the scars of crafting, but I had a lot of left over fabric from an old bed skirt that I had used for a few previous projects. The pattern and color scheme also happened to match the room nicely.  I cut two pieces of fabric to fit over the table surface.  I applied Mod Podge generously with a foam craft brush.  I carefully applied the fabric to the table surface creating a seam to connect the two pieces together.  I then applied Mod Podge to the top of the fabric.

DSC_1529

I applied several layers of Mod Podge allowing it to dry clear between coats. I painted the areas I could not decoupage black.  Once it was dry it created a workable surface that was much more attractive than before.

craft table resurface before and after

Table Before and After

Craft room shot

Craft Room Shot featuring “On The Upcycle” Projects  

Getting better with organization Lets hope I can keep it that way-Finally!

DSC_0193

Mod Podge Your Cottage: Window Sills Accented With Fabric

One of the features I loved when we first saw our house was our front living room window. It was a large half hexagon shape with a deep window sill.  It is a nice accent area, and fun to decorate during the various holidays.  During other times of the year our Tiffany knock off lamp illuminates the window and the front of the house outside. Our cat loves to climb in and chase after various bugs who find themselves unlucky once he discovers them. It is also the perfect spot to place my stereo cabinet, which also acts as a nice window seat.  The downside is the ledge often gets dirty and is difficult to keep clean. I also wanted to add an accent and brighten the dingy white paint that constantly needed a touch up. I thought decoupage would be a nice option here. I had used a similar technique in a previous project Decoupage Mania Restyling your home with Mod Podge.  For that project I used scrapbook paper to cover a built-in wall vanity.  I decided to use fabric on this window sill project due to more decorative variety and the larger project area. Our living room is a neutral sandstone color and I chose a neutral flower pattern.  The advantage of using fabric makes it easier to remove if you want a change the look as opposed to using paper which tends to tear apart when you attempt to remove it.

I used a magic erasure to thoroughly clean the area before getting started.

DSC_0167

I cut two pieces of  fabric and lined up the images to create a seamless appearence in the middle of the sill.  The best part? The cut fabric doesn’t have to be perfect. Once the Mod Podge dries it is stiffer and easier to trim with a box-cutter knife.  Any excess fabric can be removed later.  I applied Mod Podge with a foam brush and placed the fabric over top.  I then applied Mod Podge over the top of the fabric.

DSC_0170

I allowed the Mod Podge to dry, trimmed away any excess fabric with the knife and applied an additional layer of Mod Podge over top and around the edges.

DSC_0171

Once dry, Mod Podge leaves a nice, clear protective and easy to clean surface.  It also adds a decorative touch in any room.  The styles of fabric and possibilities are without limits, and suddenly I have to urge to do more decorative sills throughout the house!

DSC_0193

 

Finished Decorative Fabric Decoupage Window Sill

DSC_0194

 

Neutral Floral Pattern-Fabric Purchased at Joann Fabric

 

DSC_0195

 

Materials:

Mod Podge

Fabric

Foam Brush

Box Cutter Knife

DSC_0196

Fun with Chalkboard Paint: Kitchen Cabinet Memo Board

One day I was standing in my kitchen staring at my boring cabinets when the idea came to me! My daughter loves playing with chalk and drawing.  The hubby and I often have the need to communicate through various “notes” left around the house.  We could really use a better way to communicate.  What better way then to create a family chalkboard?  I had often thought about modifying our kitchen cabinets in some way and this was a fun first step.   I was eager to try one of the most talked about craft items on the web, chalkboard paint.   My idea was to use the paint to create a chalkboard on the side of the kitchen sink cabinet, but the ideas for its use don’t end there.  Be sure and check out Brit and Co  40 Creative uses for Chalkboard paint and you will be amazed at all the fun possibilities.

I went to Joann Fabric and picked up some black chalkboard paint.  It was regular priced at around 6 dollars, but I used a 50% off one regular priced item coupon which knocked the price down to below 3 dollars!

DSC_0166

When I got home I cleaned and prepped the area of cabinet I planned to paint.  The bottle recommends 2 coats, but I used 4 total as I was attempting to paint over laminate.

DSC_0165

The project was relatively easy.  I used a brush to apply the paint allowing it  to dry thoroughly between coats.  The top side of the sink was damaged so I used a strip of fabric across the top to cover the area and add a little “pop” to the chalkboard.  I applied the fabric strip using Mod Podge and covered it in Polyurethane since it could be exposed to water being in such close proximity with the faucet.

DSC_0174

I waited about 24 hours for the final coat to dry before using the chalk. It worked beautifully!

DSC_0196

Now we can leave each other messages, post  holiday greetings, and our daughter can use her imagination and draw!

DSC_0198

And yes if you are wondering those are Peeps on a stick my daughter is holding.  Happy Easter Everyone!

 

 

 

Decoupage Diaper Changing Table

Times They Are A Changing: Repurposed Kids Changing Table

Our diaper changing table was a very useful piece of furniture while it served it’s purpose.  Once my daughter outgrew it however, I wondered how I would reuse it. For a while it took up space in the craft room as I contemplated what to do with it.  It just so happened that I was looking for additional storage in our kitchen and I thought that the changing table could easily double as an extra set of shelves.

DSC_0161

The family and I took a trip to Joann Fabric and I purchased a colorful floral fabric for the project.  Since I had quite a bit of area to cover I purchased 1  1/2 yards of material.  I decided to leave the areas free of material in its original dark wood color, or if desired it can be painted the color of choice.  Just be sure and use a primer first especially if it is dark wood.

I cleaned the piece thoroughly before getting started.  Once dry I used a small foam roller to apply Mod Podge generously to the table surfaces.

DSC_0162

I cut the material with scissors allowing some extra fabric to hang over the sides.  I then carefully laid it on top of the Mod Podge smoothing out any air bubbles or wrinkles.  I generously applied Mod Podge over top of the fabric.  I repeated this for each individual shelf, and used two coats of Mod Podge for each shelf.

DSC_0163

Once the Mod Podge was dry and clear, I used a box cutter knife to carefully trim away any excess fabric from around the edges.  I utilized the table groove as a guide while slicing the fabric.  I then used two coats of clear polyurethane to seal and protect the table from moisture.

Repurposed Changing table

Now I have a bright and cheery shelf for the kitchen and desperately needed additional storage.  The colorful fabric really pops against our bright yellow walls, and am happy to be able to continue to use what was once a very important and sentimental piece of furniture.

 

Decoupage Diaper Changing Table

 

Materials:

Old Wooden Changing Table

Mod Podge

Foam Roller

Box Cutter Knife

Scissors

1 1/2 yard of Fabric of Choice

(Primer and Paint Optional)

Polyurethane clear sealer

Line your drawers with Scrapbook Paper

Spring into Decoupage: Scrapbook Paper Drawer Makeover

Spring fever has hit the suburbs, despite the meteorologists predicting yet another snowstorm/nor’easter early next week.  With that the spring cleaning begins which was apparent yesterday after receiving a knock at the door from one of my many fantastic neighbors.  He was cleaning out his garage and wanted to know if I was interested in a really lovely unfinished celestial shelf.

Unfinished Celestial Wooden Shelf

and this absolutely lovely unfinished wooden bench with seat storage!

Unfinished Wood Bench With Storage

I thought it was a dream that these beautiful pieces would literally show up at my door but it was true!  If I didn’t want them, my neighbors were taking them to Goodwill to donate them.  I know Goodwill would have been happy to have these items especially during this unsuccesful trip when I snapped a photo of their depleted furniture room which is usually FILLED with items.   It has been a tough winter indeed!

Empty Goodwill store

Now, the challenge begins… I have to come up with design ideas for these wonderful pieces that do them the justice they deserve.  Meanwhile, all of this did make me think about my own much-needed spring cleaning and looking for items to reuse and repurpose that I already have instead of buying additional pieces.  A project I did fairly recently incorporates that idea.  As crafters we accumulate various supplies some of which we never use.  I have a collection of scrapbook paper that fits this profile.  The good news is there is nothing better than scrapbook paper when it comes to decoupage.  It can be used for so many projects not just it’s obvious purpose.  One of my very first projects involved a pair of upcycled bedroom tables.  It has been almost a year since completing these tables and they have held up fantastically well.  When I restyled them, I left the inside of the drawers undone and decided this would be a great way to use up some of that scrapbook paper.

Decoupage Nightstand with drawers

The process is simple first I figured out how much scrapbook paper I would need.  I added creases on areas I would cut.  I set these pieces aside.

Scrapbook drawer lining

I applied Mod Podge to the drawer surface with a foam brush.

DSC_0036

I carefully applied the paper smoothing it out with my hands.  The Mod Podge Rubber Squeegee Tool  also works well for this, especially in the corners.  Once the Mod Podge was dry, I applied an additional coat over top.

Line your drawers with Scrapbook Paper

A great way to reuse, restyle, repurpose. Do you have any green crafting ideas for spring? Am I the only one excited at what I might find while Spring cleaning?