Decorative Vintage Drawer

I’m back from a very long hiatus and I have a lot to blog about! In short, we went to China in June to bring home our new daughter! She’s been home with us about 3 months now and I am finally getting back into the groove. She and my oldest daughter are keeping me pretty preoccupied, however I make sure to make time to do some projects now and then.

I thought I would start off with one of my more simple projects just to get things rolling again.  I’m excited for all the things I have in store for this blog so please stay tuned. Thank you for your patience as I slowly add more projects that I have completed as time allows.

This project was simple and fun. I found a lone vintage drawer at our local thrift store. It was sitting underneath another piece of furniture without a price tag. I asked the staff if it was for sale, and after they searched the store and their back room and didn’t find a home for it, it became mine for $4.24. A real steal, in my opinion!


Vintage Drawer

A lone vintage sewing machine drawer. How could I resist?

I loved the detail on it and it had a slit at the very top front that I knew I could make use of. I used some left over Annie Sloan Pure White chalk paint, however acrylic paint would’ve worked just fine as well. I also had some wooden tags left over from another project that I sprayed with chalkboard paint. They just happened to be a perfect fit for the slit:

finisheddrawer2 Finished DrawerI added a little bit of twine to the tag and pushed it in the slit, then filled the drawer with pine cones. Most of the pine cones were found around my neighborhood. I painted a few of them with white tips for a seasonal touch.

Decorative drawers are a perfect addition to a coffee table, or side table. They are so charming and each is unique.

In the coming weeks I am going to show you how we did budget wainscoting in our living room to really give it an elegant look, and how to make some really inexpensive palette-looking wall art. I’m excited!


The art of upcycling

I’ve been busy keeping my Etsy shop stocked over the last month and have been having so much fun finding new treasures to rescue, upcycle and sell. And with all of these projects I have forgotten 99% of the time to take before and after photos. The following item is the 1%.

I thought I’d write a post that explains what I look for in an item, and how I transform it from a piece of junk on its way to the dumpster, to become something that others want to actually have and display in their home. It’s really neat to give an item a complete make-over and a second chance. There is so much potential in many of these forgotten pieces. It takes vision, creativity and time, but the end product is worth it.

The item I’ve chosen to use as an example is this old sewing/craft box:

craftbox insideboxI found it for $1.49. I liked that it was made of solid wood. I also liked the general shape of it. What I didn’t like was the nasty mustard yellow felt lining that had seen better days, The chips on each corner of the bottom drawer, the scuffs/dings/scratches, and the awful pin cushion fabric. But all the things I didn’t like about it could be changed. The doors on top still functioned just fine, the pulls were intact, the lines were cute, and the solid wood was a huge plus. I knew when painted it would feel higher quality.

I wanted to get rid of the yellow felt and replace it with something else. I also wanted to cover the old fabric with something cuter, and I wanted to paint the entire box a different color to give it new life. All of these things were totally doable and didn’t take much time.

It was easy to rip off the top pin cushions. They were just hot glued on so they peeled off. I just covered those and used a stapler underneath to secure the new fabric.

While I had the pin cushions off, I painted the entire box and Aqua color (acrylic paint), distressed it and waxed it with a protective coat with Annie Sloan’s clear wax.

After that I attempted to get rid of the felt. The yellow felt peeled right off. I measured those areas and cut scrap paper to size, then glued them back in.

The scrapbook paper made a huge difference!

The scrapbook paper made a huge difference!

Upcycled Sewing Box

Ahh… much better!

Since I already made this look shabby, it was no big deal that there were chips in the drawer.

I just distressed these areas to make it look more intentional. It still functions the way it needs to.

I just distressed these areas to make it look more intentional. It still functions the way it needs to.

Projects like these are rewarding because the material cost is very low. In this case I used 1/2 small bottle of aqua acrylic paint, 2 scraps of fabric and some scrapbook paper. Since I already had the vision, it only took about 2 hours to complete the project and it was fun to do!

Here are some other projects I’ve done recently that don’t have before pictures but hopefully they can still be inspiring:

Owl bookends made out of 2 secondhand mini wall shelves.

Owl bookends made out of 2 secondhand mini wall shelves.

Earring organizer made out of a vintage weather barometer, some chicken wire, and scrapbook paper.

Earring organizer made out of a vintage weather barometer, some chicken wire, and scrapbook paper.

Cake stand made from a secondhand candle holder, plate and glass dome.

Cake stand made from a secondhand candle holder, plate and glass dome.

As always, if you want to support our upcoming adoption efforts or get ideas for more DIY projects, please visit my Etsy shop to see more items I’ve created from secondhand pieces.

DIY New Home or Wall Decor Door – Shabby Chic Style

I have a fun new project that is pretty easy and fairly inexpensive. I love to rummage through the IKEA “as is” section just to see what treasures I may find. Sometimes I find great linens with cute patterns to use as fabric. Other times it’s a slightly damaged picture frame that can either be repaired or painted. In this case, I came across their cabinet doors. They are all random shapes and sizes and usually are only a few bucks. I found a cute long skinny one I wanted to use to make this project:

DIY Shabby Chic Door Wall Decor

Perfect for a housewarming gift, wedding gift, or just a cute wall piece to add to your existing home.

The cabinet door I chose was 1.99. I don’t have pictures for step by step directions but the directions are pretty self explanatory so I will list them in order and if you have any questions let me know!

1. The first thing I did was clean it. Obviously it’s a good idea to clean the object before painting it.

2. I used a dark brown flat paint to sort of “prime” the piece. The main reason I did this though was to create a dark layer under the white paint to show through when I distressed it.

3. After that dried I used vaseline in the areas I wanted to distress.

4. I sprayed a white satin spray paint over the entire piece and let that dry.

5. Then I rubbed off the vaseline areas with a paper towel once the white paint had completely dried, to reveal the distressed areas.

6. There will already be a hole drilled in the cabinet for some hardware, so all you have to do is find a knob you love to add to it. I love the knobs at Hobby Lobby, and they are ALWAYS on sale, so I found one that looked like a mini antique door knob. I think it ended up being about $3? They also have adorable crystal knobs too. I would just take a look and try not to be overwhelmed!

7. Finally, to get the text on, I opened a document in Illustrator that was the same size as the top and bottom panels of the door. My panels were 2″ x 6″. I’m sure you could use a word processing program as well. Or you could draw a rectangle in any program the size of the top and bottom panel just to give you a reference, then select the type size and style to fit within the panels. The dimensions just help you choose the right size of text so that it fits perfectly on your door.

8. Print this text out and hold the paper up to a window and flip the paper over so you can see the text through the paper. Then you want to take a pencil and lead the entire back of the text. This is a similar method to when I did the chalkboard clock, only you’re using lead instead of chalk.

9. Flip the paper back over to the correct side and center the paper and text onto the panels and secure the paper in place with some tape so it doesn’t slip. Then you want to carefully trace all the letters onto the top and bottom panels. You can use a pen or pencil for this.

10. Once you remove the sheet of paper you’ll see the traced lettering onto the door.

11. You want to use a thin paint pen (color of your choice) to go over and fill in the letters.

12. You can add some sort of hanging hardware on the back if you want it to hang on the wall, or it looks good on a shelf just resting as well. I will say though, that if you decide to hang it on the wall, you’ll need to cut off some of the screw in the back to help it lay flush with the wall.

DIY Shabby Chic Door Wall Hanging

Makes a cute addition to a mantel!

And there you go! I hope the directions made sense. I have been busy working on my Etsy shop to raise funds for our adoption so some of the projects I post may not always have pictures to accompany every project but I will try to do better!

And if you are a) too busy to make any of the future posted projects or b) want to support our adoption fund, visit my Etsy shop at: and you will be able to purchase most of the items I blog about here from now on. I would be eternally grateful! All profits will go toward us getting our little girl home!