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.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Upcycled Trunk Lid Coffee Table

I may have been able to cobble together enough pictures to create a woefully inadequate post about the the creation of this coffee table. 

A trunk lid is kinda flimsy on its own, so I lined it with plywood to beef it up. It will hold a heavy stack of books without sagging.

 I really wanted to have "X" style legs on this which means I need a small spacer on one side of the leg assembly to account for the thickness of the other leg.

The shelf serves two purposes. It adds a little more storage to the table and stiffens the legs so the table won't be so wobbly. Again I needed to add a spacer piece to one side to account for the thickness of the leg.

Hey how did you actually make the legs? 

Good question blog reader. I drew out a full scale plan for them on a large piece of paper so I can lay everything out and play with it until I get it the way I want it. Then I can transfer the angles to my miter saw and the position of the holes directly onto the wood.

All the hardware was spray painted with a metallic finish, the rest of the lid painted black, and the legs and shelves stained, and sealed with a few coats of poly.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Upcycled Trunk Bookcase and Side Table Set

                                                                                                                                                                      The first thing I did was cut through the hinges to remove the lid. Then I drilled through the rivets to that held all the little bits of hardware that I needed to remove like these brackets and the lid stays.

   This old wine crate fits the width of the trunk so I'll use it as a drawer. I'll cut down its depth so it fits perfectly.

I found this hi-res map graphic online and printed it out on standard size craft paper sheets.

I'll start in the middle and work my way out to make sure I have my graphic centered in the trunk.

Once everything is dry I'll trim away the edges, and then put some graphics on the side panels.

Next I spray painted all the metal parts. I didn't worry about taping off anything as I'll be repainting the body of the trunk any way.

 While that was drying I took the back off the crate and cut it down on the table saw making really sure that there were no nails in the path of the blade. Then I put it back together. Now the depth was just right.

Checking the fit.

I cut down a thin plywood panel to line the inside of the crate so that no one would have to touch the rough sawn wood on the inside.

I flipped the trunk over to work on the drawer runners and rails. The dark wood will be the runners and will attach to the drawer. the lighter wood will be the rails and will attach to the trunk. The other pieces are just spacers.

 I drilled through the sides of the trunk to attach the rails.

Then I glued and nailed the runners to the sides of the crate.

After a lot of sanding I rub candle wax over the rails and runners so that everything will glide smoothly.

I cut down a pine board to make shelves for the inside, sanded, stained and gave them a clear coat of poly. They'll be screwed through the sides of the trunk to hold them in place.

I cut the feet from a piece of 2x4 on my table saw.

I just screw through the bottom of the trunk to attach them.

The outside of the trunk was painted black and given a few coats of clear poly. Everything was reassembled once dry.

Drawer Detail

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Decoupage Secret

I've repapered the inside of more than an few trunks, but I've finally found the secret of getting the paper to lay flat and not get all wrinkley.


I found some cool, old-timey graphics and enlarged them to fit the size of my trunk. Then I printed them on 8 1/2  x  11 size craft paper sheets. Each sheet was test fitted and trimmed as needed. Then lightly painted with water to pre-stretch the paper. Not soaked, only given just enough to get it wet. Mod-podge was painted onto the trunk and the wet page pressed into it gently to get all the air bubbles out. Each piece is fitted next to the previous one and done the same way. 

The Compass Rose Trunk

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Upcycled Wardrobe Trunk


This wardrobe trunk was sitting on the side of the road with a sign reading "free" taped to it.  It looked sad and lonely, but mostly heavy. I wasn't sure what to do with it, but it was too good to pass up.

After sitting in my shed for 6 months (stuffed full of deodorizer packs) I had the idea to make it into a bookcase-slash-storage piece.

The hanger bar and straps on the inside were removed.

The wood shelves were cut down from the salvaged top of an antique buffet that was too far gone to save. Pine strips were nailed in place to hold the shelves while I was working. Sheetrock screws through the sides of the trunk hold them securely in place.

I made some simple feet from some 2x4 blocks and screwed through the bottom of the trunk to attach them.

Removing the hanger bar was a feat! Remember, this trunk was made in a era when things were built to last (can you imagine!) I tried to be gentle, but still managed to make some good sized holes. I wasn't sure that wood filler would have worked so I used caulk. I sanded it down to even it out and lightly sanded the whole trunk so it would take paint better.

Without the hanger bar I didn't need the weird drawer at the top. I took out one drawer from the middle and cut it down with a jig saw and sanded the edge to fit in the top slot.

I gently drilled out the old rivets that held the leather pulls without messing up the wood too much. (mostly)

The bottom bin was too big to be practical, so I cut off the front panel with a jig saw, and then cut it right down the middle on my table saw. I sanded the edges and filled the holes where the pulls attached so I could use them as doors.

The wood of the new doors was too thin to hold the screws for the hinges. I added some pine strips to the edges, so the screws would have something to bite into, and attached them to the trunk.

I mixed up some left over paint I had with a tiny-tiny-tiny bit of water and used it to paint the inside of the trunk and drawers. The water helps the paint to get into the fabric so you don't lose the texture, but it took a least 3 coats to cover.

I bought a belt from salvation army to replace the pulls, made a paper template, cut the piece to length and carefully drilled holes in the leather.

I bought some rivets in an antique brass finish to attach the pulls.

The outside of the trunk was painted gold, and like the inside, it took 3 coats to cover properly.

A brown glaze was painted on and gently wiped off to antique the trunk.

I found some old airline and steam ship labels online, lightly sanded, and stained  them with coffee to antique them, and decoupaged them on the outside. 

This piece was a bit too big for my Etsy shop. (I can't imagine what the shipping cost would be) But it does a great job of taming the mess in the corner of my living room...Oh, and it looks awesome too!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Upcycled Trunk: The C.W. Nocturne

 This is my latest upcycle. The inside was repapered with sheet music (Chopin's Nocturne). New feet were made from pine, painted in a faux hardwood, and attached to the bottom.


The upholstered bench seat was made from a piece of plywood cut to fit on top of the trunk, a 2" thick piece of foam, and a couple of layers of batting. A piece of upholstery weight textured fabric, that has a bit of an animal hide look to it, tops it off.

I did nothing else to the outside. All the leftover bits of shipping labels looked really cool, so I didn't mess with them.

Works great as an ottoman, bench seat in a mud room, or put a tray on top for a coffee table...And, oh yeah...lots of storage!  

Monday, March 3, 2014

Extreme Upcycle: The Suitcase Desk

 This is a real, vintage suitcase; a Seapack made for the navy by Hartmann around WWII. It wasn't in the greatest condition which was fine by me because that made it perfect for an upcycle that I've wanted to do for a long time now.

The Hemingway Desk

I designed it to look like a vintage piece of campaign furniture yet function like a modern desk. All the wooden pieces were made from old, hardwood table leafs that I bought at a barn sale.

When the drawer closes it becomes invisible, and looks like a piece of luggage on a stand. The sorter and upper shelf were designed to flip up into the lid. (The mechanics of this are harder than you'd think!)

The lid closes so you can hide your messy desk when you're expecting company, and now you have a functional side table.

                              Check out "Redoux Interiors" one of my favorite blogs.