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Category Archives: Antiques

DIY Coca Cola Dish Soap Dispenser

 Simple Rockabilly Kitchen Upgrade!

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My kitchen theme is cherries and Coke.  I have been wanting to find a more fitting kitchen soap dispenser for a while, when I saw a picture on Pinterest (www.keepcalmanddecorate.blogspot.com) of a Coke bottle that had been converted to a soap dispenser.  It was one of those major “duh” moments…. why didn’t I think of that-  I mean I only have a ton of empty Coke bottles!  I’m lucky enough to live in mid century modern home that has not been upgraded, as you will see by the yellow formica counter tops and original early 1960’s yellow oven. I have a 1950’s formica table that is waiting for new legs, and when I get some I will share more images of my kitchen.  I collect new and antique Coca Cola items, so as you will see, some things are old, some are not. So I took one of the newer Coke bottles, put the dish soap in it and slapped a Suave conditioner pump on it and… voila!! The pump is silver, which doesn’t match my kitchen colors, but it’s the only one I had. As soon as I find a pump in black or red I will switch it out.  

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antique coca cola crate

coke bottles and pinwheels

antique hutch with cherry and coke decor

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1950’s Icon Nightstand

 Vintage Nightstand + Chalk Paint + 50’s Icons = AWESOMENESS!

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A friend of mine has done some work on my 57 Savoy and never asks for anything in return. I knew I wanted to do something for him and his wife, and since they are also huge fans of the Fabulous 50’s, and our likes are so similar,  I set out to find a vintage piece I could upcycle Rockabilly style!

I saw a cute end table he got for his wife when he posted the pictures on Facebook, then some antique cabinets that had belonged to his grandma that he commented on saying he was trying to decide on a color to paint them.  I found an adorable vintage nightstand with a lot of potential- it was exactly the type of vintage piece I was hoping to find, now I just had the important task of picking a color that would match their other furniture. So the next time I saw him as we were picking up our kids from school, I asked him if he decided what color to paint those antique cabine. I  he got, and he said he wants to go with a teal chalk paint.  I remembered the end table in his Fb pictures was done in the teal chalk paint so I went to his pictures and saved the image of it to my phone so I could compare it to the Annie Sloan chalk paint colors when I went to order it, to make sure I got the right color.

 While I waited for the paint to arrive I went on my Rockabilly Legends board and my Starlets board on Pinterest and saved a bunch of awesome images of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Marilyn Monroe, and James Dean to my computer.  I printed them onto card stock paper and cut them out. When the chalk paint arrived I went to town! I did a few coats to get it to look how I wanted, waited for it to be completely dry, then put on the Annie Sloan clear wax. The next day I mod podged the top of the nightstand with the 50’s icon pictures- which took a while to get them to fit, and cut some, and move some…  Then did the same for the bottom shelf the next day.  The day after that I did one more good thick layer of mod podge. The last thing I needed to do was find a handle to put on it. I went to the antique store and to my luck there happened to be one I thought would go perfectly with the vintage nightstand.  I wanted the handle to stand out, and to go with the black and white images of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Cash,  and James Dean- so I painted it black satin. Of coarse none of the screws I had fit!  So the last thing I did was go to the hardware store and get some…and….done!!  

I brought it by their house while they were at work and left it by the front door.  Then text him to let him know I made something for them and left it by the door.  I was SO happy and relieved when his wife called and told me she loved it!

vintage nightstand

Vintage upcycled nightstand

50's icon nightstand

vintage nightstand

DIY Rockabilly nightstand

vintage nightstand before upcycling

DIY 50's Icon table

Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Cash, & James Dean table nightstand

mod podged 50's icon nightstand

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint upcycled nightstand

Upcycled Vintage Childs Desk

Late 1800’s Cleveland S.F. CO. Desk with a DIY New Look!

upcycled antique desk

DIY vintage desk

I got this adorable antique desk earlier this year when I was homeschooling my kids, when my mom and I saw it we knew it was perfect for my 5 year old.  BUT, as many know- wood (unpainted wood) is SO NOT MY STYLE!  No disrespect to the wonderful antique collectors out there that like to keep things in all their original glory… it’s just not my thing!  This lovely little piece of vintage furniture is also going to go in my daughter’s room, which is why I painted it black and slapped some extra shine on it (to match her other upcycled furniture, like the vintage jewelry box from my last post).  My before pictures were in my phone that got stolen a few months ago so I went online and found pictures that were the closest to what it originally looked like. 

DIY Upcycling Steps:

1.  Sanded the wood with fine sandpaper. I didn’t sand it alot- although I wanted to change the look with color, I wanted to keep the character the cracks and flaws give it!

2.  Used Rustoleum spray primer, one light coat was all it took… just enough to have even coverage.

3.  Sprayed all of it, wood and iron, with black lacquer spray paint.  I did at least 3 light coats, not too much at one time to prevent drips or cracks.   Allowed each layer to totally dry before moving on.

4.  Used painters tape on iron/metal parts I didn’t want to get polyurethane on…

5.  Did 3 layers of polyurethane on the wood parts of the chair, and at least 5 layers of polyurethane on the top of the desk and desk bench.  I use the polyurethane to give the paint a super glossy look, to protect the paint and because my 5 year old is a freaking cyclone!  That kid can stain, damage, ruin… ANYTHING (she sure is adorable though)!!

TIP:

Learn from my impatience and take the time to take as much of your project apart as you can,  BEFORE you paint.  I say this because when I took my “painters” tape off the metal parts of the chair, it took some paint off in places… not dramatically but enough to where I had to spray a Q-tip with my black lacquer spray paint and touch it up (so in the end I didn’t end up saving any time by skipping that step, plus it would have looked better).

Before Pictures:

Antique childs desk

vintage childs desk

More After Pictures:

antique desk

upcycled childs antique desk

antique upcycled desk

vintage upcycled desk

DIY upcycled vintage desk

Vintage Blah to Vintage Glam

DIY Upcycled Vintage Jewelry Box

Vintage jewelry boxupcycled vintage jewelry box

I bought this gold jewelry box at a garage sale for $2. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it but I saw potential.  I’ve been wanting to give my recently turned six year old daughter a “big girl” room and have been talking to her about what colors we want to do it in. We decided to do pink and red with black accents and SHE wanted the furniture pieces to be black!  Jenicca is very girly, frilly, diva, glam…  I knew I wanted the black furniture to have the shiny lacquer look with “bling” knobs.   So here is a step by step on this vintage upcycled jewelry box:

1.  Removed drawer knobs

2.  Scraped the gold off with a butter knife (this step isn’t always neccessary, it depends on which type of paint you’re going to cover it with and how smooth you want it).

3.  Sanded it with fine sandpaper

4.  Sprayed one coat of Rustoleum 2x primer and let it completely dry

5.  Sprayed light layers of Rust-oleum Black Lacquer spray paint, allowing each layer to completely dry before spraying the next layer. I used one full can.

6.  It still didn’t quite have the super shiny effect that I wanted so I used Varathane brand polyurethane, crystal clear, gloss and did about 4 coats.  4 coats may not be neccessary but I wanted a lot of protection for the abuse of a six year old!

7.  Put the new knobs on.  How truly vintage I want to keep the item I’m working on determines  if I buy my knobs at an antique shop or elsewhere. These are not antique knobs, I bought them at a local antique/craft/gift shop.

The best advice I have for anyone wanting to upcylce a vintage piece is to be patient (patience is not my best quality)!  Do very thin layers of spray paint and polyurethane to prevent drips and bubbles… which takes A LOT of patience!!

diy upcycled vintage

upcycled jewelry box

upcycled vintage furniture

(The table under the jewelry box in this picture was mod podged with Damask scrapbook paper and covered with polyurethane also!)

I’m almost done with the antique desk I’m upcycling to match the other black furniture pieces for her room, post coming soon!

Vintage “Treasure Hunting” Tip!

Glass or Crystal!?

Vintage treasure hunting is one of my favorite things to do. I didn’t put much thought into what materials many of my vintage finds were …until I went to list them and was asked.  I had NO CLUE how to tell the difference between glass and crystal- so I called my dad!  My dad has restored antiques for years, attended antique auctions for years, and has a pretty large (and very particular) collection of vintage crystal- so I figured he would know.  He told me to FLICK it!  He said you flick it and crystal makes a unique- more high pitched ringing, glass doesn’t- it just kind of thuds.  At first I thought he was joking, was I really supposed to go around flicking things- and not only that but I thought it was going to be ridiculously difficult to really hear a difference.  So I got off the phone kind of laughing and went to flicking!  To my amazement I was totally able to hear the “ring” he was talking about and the “non-ring” sound of glass!!  I’m sure there are vintage treasure hunters out there that have been doing this for a lot longer than me, and have other tips – and I would love to hear and share any, but this is just one little resource for other vintage treasure collectors out there that may not have known…. Happy Hunting! 

My Vintage Medical Book!

My mom recently gave me a vintage medical book, because she knows how much I love vintage items and, as she said- because I’m always trying to diagnose and “fix” everyone’s medical problems! As I turned the pages I became more and more fascinated by the illustrations and language used in that time period, even finding some of it to be quite humorous! It’s a very impressive book and in great condition. I am happy to add it to my bookshelf, and even more excited to be able to share it with other vintage lovers!
vintage medical book







Vintage Vanity Seat Turned Rockabilly!

Antiques Re-done DIY Rockabilly Style!

I found this vanity seat at a local antique store and although it’s colors and fabric were hideous at the time, I could see it’s potential and knew I could make into something more “me”, a vanity seat with a Rockabilly flare! 

Before

before pic of vanity seat

ugly upholstery on vintage vanity seat

Gold and brass are not my style, neither is tan and blue floral fabric!  First I took the screws out of the under side that held the seat to the frame, then I pulled the ugly fabric off and took the staples out that didn’t pull out with the fabric.  While I was taking the fabric off I discovered this ugly fabric was actually covering a much nicer fabric- light blue velvet. The blue fabric was faded, old, worn down- but I’m sure in it’s original condition it was quite nice looking.

blue velvet vanity seat

While continuing to remove staples I discovered this light blue fabric was also a cover up job! The fabric underneath this was the worst of the three- it was a bright orange soft felt typle fabric…

fabric layers covering antique vanity seat

Next I covered the old cushion with an old (but in great condition) velvet or velour red shirt I had, and stapled it into place!

working area for DIY Rockabilly crafts

This is what I had to work with- a crowded work space surrounded by my 5 yr old daughters toys, and a cat that thought it was play time…with my seat I was covering.

Once the seat was covered I used some steel wool to remove the fading goldish uglyness from the frame, while watching Dawn of the Dead to pass the time!

Once the frame was smooth I took it outside and spray painted it black.  When it was dry I took it inside and screwed the seat back on…. and here it is- a new, Rockabilly twist on an antique vanity seat!

After!

DIY rockabilly vanity seat

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