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DIY Upcycled Love Chest

From No Color- to Black and White (of coarse!)

I found this beautiful, barely used, in super condition cedar Lane Love Chest at a garage sale for $25! Of coarse it would not stay in it’s original cedar color since I refuse to own anything wood color- anyone that knows me knows that’s just not my style.  The first thing i did was lightly sand it so the primer would stick better. Then used white primer (spray can) until it was completely covered. Next I used white lacquer spray paint, about 3 coats, and a few days later I added a light layer of polyurethane to the top. When that was completely dry I added another layer of polyurethane to the top. Then I hand painted the bottom with gloss black. This took several layers because the black didn’t want to stick to all the grooves in wood engraving. I bought two little wood decals from Home Depot and hand painted those and the two handles on the front of the chest black (I would have spray painted the handles but unfortunately they were not removable).  Once the wood decals were dry I glued them to the chest and used scotch tape to hold them in place.  And once again I forgot to take a before picture, so I found an image that looks identical to the inside of my chest and shows what the color was! 

Before Color

cedar love chest

cedar love chest before picture

Upcycle In Progress

love chest during

love chest in progress photo

Wood Decals

wood decals

With Wood Decals Added

upcycled love chest

Upcycled love chest with added wood decals

 

Final Result

Black and White Upcycled Love Chest

Upcycled Love Chest

DIY Rockabilly Style Shirt!

Upcycled Tank Top

DIY Rockabilly shirt

What I Used:

Plain black tank top (Walmart $3.89 I believe), bias, ribbon, straight pins, thread, 2 buttons, and a sewing machine.

supplies for diy shirt

Steps to make DIY tank top:

1.  I used black and white gingham bias (because it’s one of my favorite Rockabilly patterns/prints!) and pinned it around the neck line, starting in the middle on the back side.

diy tank top

2. Press, removing horizontal pins as you go.

3. Sew closer to the inside of the tank top, not the outside edge, starting from the middle of the back side, removing your pins as you come to each one.  Make sure you back-stitch where you start and finish.

4. Press it again.

diy upcycled tank top

5.  Use a loose straight stitch, 1/4 from the edge, and sew down the entire length of ribbon (I cut my ribbon 2x as long as the piece of bias I used).  Do Not back stitch!  Hold the bottom thread in one hand and pull the ribbon the opposite direction with your other hand to gather, for the ruffled look. 

6.  When you have the ruffled look you want in your ribbon, pin it in place leaving enough space for your buttons.

7.  Sew the ribbon to the tank top starting in the center on the back side, removing the pins as you get to them.

upcycled rockabilly tank top

8.  Hand sew the 2 buttons down the center….. and DONE!!

DIY rockabilly style shirt

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!

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