Friday, April 27, 2012

Before and After: Sewing Machine Table

This little sewing machine table came to me in pretty sad shape.
The sewing machine was long gone and the table still had a lot of the other hardware and cords inside that were no longer necessary. You can see that the right side of the table hangs a little crooked when folded out, and how useful is a table with a big hole in the middle anyway?
Instead of trying to figure out how to make the fold-out top functional again, I got rid of it completely. This was much harder than I'd expected it to be, but ultimately it was a good decision. The base of the table got painted with a beautiful blue that I mixed up myself (again in a chalk paint mixture), then I got to work rebuilding the top. Thanks to my pathetic math skills, I made two trips to the hardware store for lumber, and twice came home with not enough wood to cover the top with equal length pieces.
Being the impatient DIYer that I am, I could NOT stand to wait until I could get to the store to buy MORE wood, so I improvised.
Two sections of planks are pieced together, like an old wood floor. I decided I liked it later, but to begin with I just wasn't sure.
I beat the boards with a hammer to age it and give it some more character, then stained it dark. I used the same dark stain on the base of the table in areas where I wanted the exposed wood to be darker.
SO VERY in love with this accidental turquoise paint color!

That red ceramic knob just seems so perfect on this quirky piece. Did I mention how much I LOVE that vibrant blue paint?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Before and After: Wooden Armchair

I have a little chair makeover to share with you today. Nothin' much, but it turned out kinda cute. The chair I started with was less than cute, but I really loved its shape and style.
It makes me think of a dress~ one that's pretty in itself, but it's the back that makes it really special.
I used Ann Marie's chalk paint recipe again, this time with the red paint from the highchair makeover.
The paint goes all matte and, well, chalky when you mix it with plaster of paris, so it distresses beautifully.
I love the dark wood showing through all over, but the red makes it way more cheerful.
I have another furniture redo to share soon, I just need to snap some photos. Here's a peek at the "before" shot, just to pique your interest.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A little baby spot

Ideally, my baby boy would have a nursery. In this nursery would be his crib, a changing table, my rocking chair, another piece of furniture like a dresser or armoire for extra storage, and of course TONS of adorable decor.


Realistically, however, with a family of 6 in a house that's too small, we just can't devote one of the 3 bedrooms into a special haven for one tiny little guy. So, for the time being, my baby gets a small corner of our master bedroom. Today I attempted to make that corner just a bit more functional-- and cute.

While I was still pregnant I gave the changing table/dresser a facelift. I painted it off-white then added the chevron pattern with a taupe color that I mixed myself. Unfortunately my gigantic stomach wouldn't let me go any lower than almost to the bottom, and I just haven't gotten around to finishing it up since Baby arrived. I replaced the silver cup handles that it had before with some warm wooden knobs from Hobby Lobby.

For a little more storage space (and to boost the cute factor) I built this shelf using half of a narrow shutter, a board, iron brackets and some hooks (also from Hobby Lobby).
The shutter shelf is where I hang the diaper holder that I got during my previous pregnancy (which also serves as a place for me to keep Little One's new bow tie collection), as well as a burp cloth caddy that I sewed up today.
Does anyone else use plain old cloth diapers for burp cloths? I have a ton, and I use them A LOT, so I decided it was time to come up with something that would keep them handy but contained. I just made a tube with some scraps of fabric (including leftovers from the crib bedding I made) and added casings on the top and bottom of the tube. The top casing has ribbon in it so I can open it up and stuff the cloths in, and the bottom casing houses elastic so I can easily pull one out at a time.

Moving on.

I also hung his little white blessing outfit from one of the hooks.

Special softies (gifts from friends and loved ones) are perched on top of the shelf, along with a cute canvas print of a little blond boy playing with blocks.

On top of the changer I can also keep wet wipes and a basket of socks and Baby Legs handy.

Just a short little post this time, but a fulfilling one (for me at least)! :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Before and After: Changing Table

Shame on me.

Shame, shame, shame.

I tease you with photo- a peek at a project that I am so very excited to share with you. I offer you one tiny glimpse and promise you a follow-up post and full disclosure of my mystery piece-- and then I flake. I bail, I fail, I drop the ball. :( Seriously, though, things got a lot busier than I expected them to, so my promised blog post had to wait.

But the wait is now over. And hopefully it will be worth it. I'm super duper about this piece. It's one I've been mulling over for some time- waiting for inspiration to strike and to be able to give it the time it deserves, because I really wanted to do this one "right". It started as this lovely but tired changing table that I spied in a local thrift store.

It had tons of that antique character that I love, but the finish was drab, and the price tag was just too hefty for me. I walked away, but there it sat for some weeks so I could smile at it during my thrifty visits.

Later it got marked down 50%, and still it was a little bit pricey. But the fates smiled on me one day as I happened to be carrying a 50% off coupon which I could use to purchase this lovely piece at a very reasonable price.

I didn't work on it for quite a while, waiting to really know what I wanted to do with it. I tried to figure out a way that I could make it mine. I do, after all, have a new baby who needs changing OFTEN. But, I already have a very functional, perfectly fine changing table. Finally I realized that, as much as I wanted to, I couldn't keep it but I could make it Mine in the sense that I could give it my touch. So I mixed up some DIY chalk paint using the recipe Anne Marie shares on her blog Twice Lovely and using one of my favorite blues- "Prince Edward" by Glidden- as my base color.

Instead of continuing the same blue color inside the cabinet, I decided to do something a little unexpected and used the most PERFECT coral color- "Peony Pink" by Behr. (So, any guesses what my favorite flower is? Yep. The peony. Coincidence? I think not.)
Isn't it just GORGEOUS? Mmmmm. I want to paint everything this color from now on! It's my new favorite color for my wardrobe this spring, and I've even purchased some nail polish similar to this. Are you on board with the coral craze?

(Sadly, my beloved coral is looking a little more like persimmon in this photo below, thanks to my crappy garage lighting.)

Not hating on the persimmon color, though. Look how pretty it is on the wall in this bedroom.

Hmmm... kind of loving persimmon, actually. I might have to give that color a try soon...

Anyway, the sanding step is always super fun, and thanks to the chalk paint recipe it distressed like a dream, letting some of the white primer and wood show through.

Finally I decided to apply some brown glaze to darken the exposed wood and make those details stand out. Some clear glass knobs finished it off perfectly. Seriously bummed I already have a changing table!

But now, here's the best part. This piece had a little secret to share when I got it home and started to really inspect it. Look what I found on one of the back panels.

This inscription is in pencil and oh-so-carefully written. It reads:

Infants Changing Table
Converted from old dining room stand found in basement of Putnam House in December 1972

Conversion completed March 19, 1977
East Grand Rapids, Michigan
W. E. Chickering III

Made with love for my First born child,
with hope for his or her brothers and sisters,
with dreams for their Future and with loving thanks to their mother, my wife Lynette.

I mean, could that be any sweeter? I was thrilled to find that some of this piece's history was actually inscribed on it, along with the beautiful sentiments of the craftsman who converted it into something beautiful yet functional for his new family.

It's now at the shop, topped with a framed photo of the writing on the back panel (which of course I protected with some polyurethane) so people will know that this table has a secret preserved on the back.