About This Blog...

I started this blog as a means of promoting my Etsy Shop. Most of the items here I have sold, or are for sale there. Take a peek. I think you'll like it.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Upcycle An Old Trunk, Part 5: The Finished Trunk

This is my finished trunk. The hotel labels were put on and the whole thing sealed with a coat of modpodge.

Don't forget the most important part of any expedition....the whiskey!

I had to photo edit this picture to darken it. This is what the real trunk looks like. In the rest of the pictures the white of the zebra stripe looks a lot lighter than it does in real life.

 At the time of this posting this trunk is for sale at my Etsy Shop Destinations Vintage. Look for it, or more stuff like it there.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Upcycle An Old Trunk, Part 4: Painting.

 I started by lightly sanding all the blue surfaces of the trunk. This is the part that most people will want to skip...DON'T. Without sanding all the paint you put on will scratch right off.

I did around the edges first being careful not to get any paint on the brass pieces or trim.

It took at least 3 coats to cover it decently.

Next I drew on some lines, very lightly in pencil, and painted them black to resemble zebra stripes.

Then I printed out some letter graphics, colored the back of them with a piece of chalk, and laid them out on the trunk using a framing square to make sure they were straight.

After taping them in place I traced around the letters with a pen. This left the chalk outline of the letters on my trunk.

Then I painted inside my chalk lines with some red paint, and yes, it took more than one coat.

Next I started sanding. I used a 150 / Medium grit sandpaper. Once upon a time I used a 80 grit coarse sandpaper thinking it would be much faster; and it was. In no time flat I had a trunk that was all scratched to hell instead of looking gently worn.

In this picture the left side only has been sanded so you can see the difference between that and new paint.

Then I mixed a little brown paint in a quarter cup of water and painted all over the trunk to antique it.

This is not the best picture, but you get an idea what it is starting to look like.

The next step was to print out some vintage hotel labels and coffee stain them. You can see this step in a previous post here.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Upcycle An Old Trunk, Part 3: Painted Faux Leather

In the last post I talked about relining an old trunk, in this one I'm gonna paint it.

First I mixed some black and brown paint together to make a super dark brown and painted it on the tray and inside the trunk.

Next I took some brown craft paint in a shade that was dark, but still lighter than the last color (for this I'm using the one on the left) and put just a bit of it in a small container. Then I dipped my brush in just a bit an wiped that tiny bit of paint back and forth to spread it through the brush. The idea is to have very little paint on the brush. The bristles should be almost dry.

I painted this color very lightly over the darker one just barely grazing the surface at first, then pressing a little bit harder as the brush started to run dry. If this is done right more of the paint should come off on the higher parts of the wrinkles and less on the lower. I had to be careful not to completely cover the first (darker) coat.

Here's a close-up of what it looks like when it's dry. I probably covered about three quarters of the first coat putting it thicker in some places and thinner in others at random.

Then I took my lightest color and did the same thing, but this time I went even lighter than the last. This color is supposed to be just the highlights.

When these colors go on they look really light and bright, but darken as they dry. (In case you're wondering where that nifty little paint tray came from it's a package that some washers came in)

Here's a close-up of the finished job.

An here's the finished trunk interior before a clear coat of poly. Sometimes the the poly will re-wet the craft paint, but if I avoid any excess strokes it won't be too bad.

Remember...Do Not Taunt the Sasquatch! 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Upcycle an Old Trunk, Part 2: Relining and Old Trunk

This is a trunk I'm making for my Etsy shop
I'm going to be painting it in a faux leather finish. I posted about this eariler in this blog, this post is going into alot more detail, and feature a lot more pictures. I'm starting with relining the tray, but everything here will apply to relining the inside of the trunk too.

Stuff you'll need:
tape measure, large square, pencil, scissors, an iron, and plain craft paper.

 Before starting I removed any loose old paper, this didn't take long as most of it was pretty secure.

First I measured the sides of the tray. I doubled the height dimension as I would be starting on the inside and wrapping the paper around to the outside, then I added an inch and a half to both dimensions so there would be some overlap. I measured out my pieces, making sure they were square, and cut all of them out.

 To texture the paper to make it look like leather I crumpled and uncrumpled it about 6 or 8 times.

 Then I ironed it, being sure not to completely remove all the wrinkles. It made the texture awesome.

Next I poured out a little mod podge on the surface I was papering and spread it around with a brush. This is a lot faster than just painting it on. I also made sure to spread it up the adjacent sides.
 Then I laid on my paper overlapping the other sides just a bit. I had to work fast as the mod podge tends to dry fairly quick. Starting in the middle I gently pressed it down working out any air bubbles as I worked my way to the edges. I used a putty knife to really get it tight into the corners and edges.


I slapped some mod podge on the opposite side and carefully wrapped the paper over it, and again, pressed out all the air bubbles.

Once the sides were done I cut my pieces to fit in and on the bottom of the tray. These were made just a little bit smaller than the actual sizes needed, but big enough to cover the overlaps

Here's a close up of the texture.

On the inside of the trunk I had to work around the rails that hold the tray and the lid bracket. It doesn't look so good now, but once painted it won't be so noticeable.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Upcycle an Old Trunk, Part 1: Adding Feet To An Old Trunk

This is the trunk I'm working on. The fiber board on the outside was bubbled on the top so I had to tear it off. Not much to look at now, is it?   No fear. It'll be awesome by the time I'm done (I hope).


The first ting I did was to reinforce the bottom to give the feet something to hold on to. I cut two  pieces of pine board to fit inside the trunk.

 I put the pine in the trunk, glued it down, and nailed it in. Nail through the front and back of the trunk first then through the sides, so the pine doesn't move off the corner as you nail.

This is what I'm using for feet. They are actually pieces of a spindle from an antique bed that I got on the side of the road.

I placed them where I thought they looked good and marked the spot on the bottom of the trunk.
Then I made a template so I wouldn't have to do a lot of measuring for the other corners. Make sure your template is square and mark which are the front/back and which are the sides on both sides of the template as you will have to flip it over for 2 of the corners.

Mark the center and drill a hole for your bolt.

That thing on the end of the bolt is called a wood insert nut. I use these to attach the feet. Mark the center of each of the feet and drill a hole just deep enough to accept the wood insert nut. Spin the other nut down to the wood insert nut to lock it in place, Slather some glue on the wood nut and screw it into the hole you made in the feet. Loosen the regular nut and unscrew the bolt.

   Drill a hole through the bottom on the mark you made, put a bolt through, and screw on the foot. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Upcycled Suitcase

This is another suitcase table that I made for my shop Destinations Vintage. Some time in the near future I'll actually post the refinishing process for the suitcase.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Vintage Adventurer Explorer Room

Dear God what a mess!  This is one wall of my downstairs room. I'm slowly going to be redoing this room in a vintage archeologist-explorer-adventurer style. Think Indiana Jones meets Tales of the Gold Monkey with a little bit of Howard Carter thrown in for good measure. It's gonna take a while, I'll be breaking it into managable chunks, and chronicling it here.

Left Wall.
This closet full of wire shelving will be converted to an office-in-the-closet.

(Hey, look someone already painted the walls gold.)

Right Wall.
Here we'll have some bookcases and a display case for some faux artifacts.

I'm sorta challenging myself to do this room with stuff from craigslist and salvation army. The green couch that you can almost see is my first thrift store piece.

Upcycle An Old Hutch Into An Entertainment Center

This is the one. Got it at Salvation Army for $50.

Why make an old hutch into an entertainment center when any old dresser will do?

Since it's original purpose was to display dishes, a hutch is not as deep as a dresser an takes up less space.
I have an wall of plumbing lines that I'd like to hide, and it will give me the look of a built-in unit without actually being built in. Also the vintge character  is exactly what I was looking for in this room.

What was I looking for in a hutch to upcycle?

The hutch top has straight sides, no scroll work. It's wide enough for the flat screen to fit inside, and it's up on legs so it won't block the baseboard heat too much.

I took the top part of the hutch off (not an easy task), and brought it into my workshop. I removed the glass door and panels. Next, the door fame was gently pryed away from the frame that held the glass panel.

The finish on the hutch was still in great shape, so I wanted to remove as little of the original woodwork as posible. Since the frames holding the two smaller panels on each side of the door were firmly built in, I left them on and cut away the piece in the middle.

 With a hammer, I gently taped against that little stuby piece to get it out of there. (I made sure to clamp that bottom piece of the panel so as not to knock it off as well).

I took that piece of frame that I had cut out to the mitre saw and cut it at 45 degrees, laid it in place, marked the other side and cut it at 45 degrees. I now had a piece that fit perfectly in the empty spot.

I did this for both the top and bottom, glued, clamped and nailed them in place to make it look like one continous frame all around the face of the hutch.

Next, I cut some pine strips to cover the slot that held the glass.

I painted the strips a dark brown and nailed them in place. Then I drilled new holes so I could raise the shelf to a new height. The back panel was painted the same dark brown and reattached.

This is my finished entertainment center. It helps to hide the ugly pipes and (hopefully) goes with the old timey feel I'm trying for in this room.