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.

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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?

 

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An Old Favorite: Irish Nachos on St. Patrick’s Day

I love St. Patrick’s Day!  It has special meaning in our family.  It is not only part of our Irish heritage, but also our wedding anniversary. This year we celebrate 8 years married, 13 years together as a couple. Yesterday we celebrated our anniversary by going out as a family for a late lunch in one of the places it all started for us. The first dinner the future hubby and I shared together took place at Dunleavy’s Irish Bar and Restaurant in Hainesport, NJ.  Their website describes their place as “American classics served in a cozy, 100 year-old real log cabin. All in the heart of South Jersey.” and it is all that and more! We sat at the 1st booth by the door.  It was the first time I had ever been,  for my husband it was a place his family had gone to for years, and a place where his parents frequented.  He had the Hainesport Burger and I had sweet sausage and linguine.  The rest is history…

This weekend they are featuring live bands playing Irish music and feature a menu with genuine Irish fare.  Since we travel as a family we prefer to go out before the evening rush. Things tend to be more family friendly right before the official celebration begins.  Our daughter behaved wonderfully and enjoyed soaking in all the stained glass and “‘other” items adorning the walls of the log cabin.  They feature a free kids meal with the purchase of any adult entrée.

Dunleavy Stained Glass

One of the items on the appetizer menu is so wonderful we make it at home every St Patrick’s Day.  I wanted to share my DIY version of the recipe.  If you are ever in the Southern New Jersey area stop by for a drink and a bite to eat and try the original.  You won’t be disappointed!

How To Make Irish Nachos:

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Ingredients:

Waffle Fries

Shredded Cheese

Ground Beef

Sour Cream

Pre-Cooked Bacon (Not Pictured)

Chives (Not Pictured Optional)

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle a bit of Olive Oil in the baking dish.  Line the dish with a layer of frozen waffle fries.

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Brown the ground beef in a pan on the stove top.  Drain the grease from the meat and mix the crumbled pre-cooked bacon and beef together. Sprinkle on top of the fries, along with the shredded cheese.

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Repeat layering of fries, meat and cheese.  Top off the dish with more cheese, sour cream and a sprinkle of dried chives (optional to taste) Bake in the oven for about 60 minute or until prefered fry crispness occurs.

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More Brass in Pocket: Reuse Old Blue Jeans

I am hoping I am not the only one this has happened to.  You are at work walking around minding your own business, when someone whispers to you. “uhh you have a hole in your pants.” As embarrassing as it seems at first you are still thankful for this person telling you.  Unable to see it, you probably walked around all day like that, or even worse for weeks like that!

I wear my clothes until they are literally falling off my back.  Especially if I find clothes I like that I feel comfortable in (which for me is rare) I wish I was more of a fashionista.  I love fashion when it comes to others, but struggle when it comes to my wardrobe.

Since starting my upcycling mission I tend to think on the “green” side of things.  Before these jeans let me down in a big way, I loved them and the comfort they provided me.  Why not pay homage to them by allowing part of these pants to live on?  Why not turn my initial shame into a useful repurpose?

This is problematic when your weakest crafting skill is sewing.  So I decided to think simple.  I  repurposed the pockets. Separating them from the jeans was simple.  I used a pair of scissors to cut the thread connecting them to the jeans. These pockets when removed make stylish change purses and are great for storage of small electronics like USB storage devices.  The possibilities are endless!

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got storage anyone?

No worries my environmentally friendly crafters! Despite my shortcomings as a tailor I saved the left over denim.  Learning to properly sew is on my bucket list, so I am hoping this denim will come in handy in the future!

Travel the Old Fashioned Way: Vintage Decoupage Suitcase

I love vintage suitcases!  I especially love all of the decoupage and repurposed vintage suitcase ideas I have seen while strolling through the web. I was eager to restyle a suitcase of my own, but hard case luggage proved to be a challenging find.   Over the last two years, I searched for suitable suitcases in every thrift store, yard sale, and managed to stumble across only one along the way.   You can imagine my surprise recently, when I came across not one, but three vintage blue suitcases in the same shopping trip.  The small case was inside the medium case, and the large case was empty. The set was not priced.  I asked for a price check and expected an individual price on each piece of luggage.  Instead, Goodwill decided to price the small and medium cases together for only $3.99!  I checked with them twice, because I could not believe it!  The larger case (pictured below) was priced at a reasonable $7.99.

Vintage Blue Suitcase

 

For my first suitcase decoupage, I decided to keep it simple. I purchased a yard of fabric from Joann Fabric.  I searched for material that would blend with the color of the suitcase, and found a nice blue and white floral pattern. I cleaned the case to remove any dust or dirt. I generously applied Mod Podge with a foam craft brush.

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I carefully laid the fabric on glue, smoothing out any wrinkles or air bubbles with my hands along the way.  I carefully worked the fabric in the creases of the case, and covered the entire area with another layer of Mod Podge.

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Once dry, I trimmed any excess fabric with a box cutting knife applying minimal pressure using the natural crease of the suitcase as my guide.  I added a 2nd coat of Mod Podge. I repeated the same process for the opposite side of the suitcase.

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Decoupage Fabric Suitcase

 

Now, what to do with the other two?