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, March 11, 2018

Upcycled Suitcase Vanity Make-Up Table

Just a variation on the suitcase desk. Love the vintage explorer style! Most of these items are made for my shop but this one is for my wife.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Hanging Chalkboard Sign

These are corbels I bought at a flea market. At first I thought I would make a mantle-shelf with them, then I noticed that they didn't match, so I really could not use them in the same piece. Then I came up with the idea of a hanging chalkboard sign. 

First I cut a two "frames" from a sheet of 5/8" plywood,
 then cut a circle out of a thinner hardwood panel.

I painted them with a black chalkboard paint.

Once dry I glued and nailed the frames on either side of the chalkboard making it like a sandwich.

Clamp it down and let it dry.

Next I needed an arm at the top of the corbel. I had a decorative piece that I salvaged from an old buffet hanging around. I'll use it on one of the corbels and use some 1x4s to make a similar one.  

After cutting and sanding the edge I ran it through the table saw to mimic the groove in the other piece.

I'm adding a small piece of wood between the arm and the corbel to make it a little easier to join the two pieces together.

I cut a piece of cove trim to dress it up a bit and attached it to the bottom of the arm.

The smaller wider piece is screwed to the bottom of the arm...

...then I started the screws in the small piece...

...and attached it to the corbel.

Once the construction was done I mixed up some home made chalk paint in a basic brown.

Then I dry-brushed on some lighter colored paint on all the high spots to mimic some distressing.

I made a black glaze, painted it on and gently wiped it off, trying to push it into all the little crevices. 

I ended up with two really cool chalkboard signs!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Upcycled Pet Bed From a Drawer...(No, You Have NOT Seen This One Before)

This is a drawer that I got from a bureau on the side of the road. I also had a few strips of plywood left over from another project. I'll use them to frame the tent I'm going to make.

It will be a simple box on the bottom with a tent on top. This is a sketch of the shape of the tent. I'll use my angle tool copy the angle and transfer it to my miter saw.

The fame will be two layers of plywood that overlap.

I wanted to make the tent removable and collapsible so I didn't want to just nail the cross pieces to the frame. 

 Cross pieces in the bracket.

 The assembled tent frame.

I had to trim off the edges of the drawer.

 I used a few pieces of 1 x 4 to strengthen the bottom of the drawer.

I cut out an entrance for my dog.

Then I painted it with some chalk paint I had and used some black glaze to give it a faux wood grain look.

 I set the frame atop the bed, laid out a piece of canvas over it, cut it a few inches bigger than the frame and marked it.

                A seam was sewn along the bottom edge, and the canvas sides were cut a few inches bigger than the frame.

 First I stapled the the side on.

 With the bracket sides of the frame facing out I stapled the my biggest piece of canvas--wrong side out--to the top of the frames, making sure to keep it on the line that I traced. I put the staples as close to the edge of the frame as I could. 

Then I carefully turned the whole thing inside out.

 I put the spacer pieces into the brackets.

And used my grommet kit to and a few grommets to the front panels so I can tie them back. 

The finished bed.

Jessie Approved.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Victorian Era Folding Chair Redo

This was the shape of the carpet panels when I got the chair. Dry and torn, they had to go.

The new upholster weight fabric panels are triple reinforced and as much of the original hardware as possible is used to reattach them.

The wood was just given a coat of bee's wax and orange oil to give it some luster.

The maker's label was difficult to read but I got this much:
E.W. Vaill, Patentee and ManufacturerPatented April ??, 187?
A quick search revealed the chair was manufactured locally in Worcester, Massachusetts likely between 1870 and 1895. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Upcycled Suitcase Becomes a Campaign Writing Desk

This is what I started with. It looks like old suitcase, but it was actually a small wardrobe trunk. On one side there was a swing down tray, and the other side, hanger brackets.  

The first step was to remove the all the guts from the inside. One end of the trunk was hinged and, when stood on end, this panel would swing out of your way so you could access your clothes. Since the desk would not need this, the brackets were removed and the panel screwed closed.

Once the interior was removed I added some textured paper. 
You can see this in my reline an old trunk post

                 Here's the paper glued in place.     

 Probably the most important part of the desk is the structural frame. It stiffens the panels of the desk, provides something firm for the drawer to ride on, gives the legs something solid to bolt to, and will really hold the weight of the desktop. It's just a simple flat frame that will sit in the bottom of the trunk.

   The drawer is a shallow plywood box constructed with box joints and a dado joint around the inside to hold the bottom of the drawer.


The height of the drawer is figured from the top of the structural frame (on which the drawer will sit) to the under side of the desktop.

This is a close-up of the drawer runner on the underside of the drawer. The runner will attach to the bottom of the drawer and the rail will span the frame.

I know...sounds confusing...so here's a labeled pic of the structural frame.

Here's the drawer riding on the frame.

Next up came the legs. I designed a simple "X" style leg to keep with the campaign style look I was going for. I drew it out full size on some rolled craft paper so I can transfer all the angles to my miter saw and can check the pieces after they're made.

The assembled legs.

All the wood pieces on this project are made from salvaged oak flooring. Here the desk top pieces are glued together and clamped.

Once the glue is dry the desktop is flipped over, trimmed down to size, and fitted in place.

Thin oak pieces are glued together to form the top and bottom pieces of the sorter. Then dados were cut to hold the divider pieces, the end pieces were left thick, and a thin plywood panel was nailed onto the back.

I made some small drawers out of thin plywood for end cubbies on the sorter. Oak veneer was glued on the front to dress it up, and leather pulls made from a Salvation Army belt.

Trim, sand, check the fit; trim, sand, check the fit; sand, check the fit...you get the idea. Once everything seems to fit well comes the part I hate most; cutting the front panel off to make the drawer face. If I screw up badly I've ruined the suitcase.  (I did screw up...but not badly)

I lined up the drawer face on the front of my drawer, drilled a few small holes, and used some small nuts and bolts to attach it.

I made a few more accessories from oak including a cork board frame (left), a retaining knob (middle), and a swing down shelf (right).

 The hard board fill of the handle was exposed when I got the trunk so I had to cut a piece of leather-look vinyl and hand stitch it around the handle.

The sorter attaches to the suitcase lid with a very blurry nut and bolt. 

A coat of stain and a few coats of poly round out the finish.

Detail of the leather pulls on the sorter drawer.

Sorter and shelf fold into the lid.

Other than a good cleaning the outside of the case was left as is. All the peeling labels are original and character and provenance to the piece. The desk closes up when when company's coming.

Now I can sit down and get some paper work done--just as long as I don't wake Jessie.