Saturday, September 29, 2012

Take A Seat: Piano Bench Makeover

One of the finds at the Victory Memorial Garage Sale in June was a cute little piano bench that I acquired for a mere $10. Yes, the wood was quite light and not my style...and yes, the upholstered seat was a worn cream-colored fabric...but the lines were clean and
With a little bit of of effort, I was able to revamp the piano bench into a nice bench for our entryway.

I began the process by removing the upholstered top (it is literally attached by four screws, so all it took was a simple screwdriver to unattach the seat.

I then took some 100lb sand paper and put some elbow grease into smoothing out some nicks and dents, as well as removing the wood finish. After sanding to my liking, I did a spray down with the hose to remove the dust, and then wiped down with a towel. After drying outside for 10 minutes it was ready for some spray paint!

Using some black, semi-gloss Rustoleum spray paint (two bottles at about $5 a piece), I layered the wood bench with a few coats of spray paint, letting each coat dry before reapplying the next.
After about two months of searching for some new home decor fabric (yes, you could say I am a nit indecisive and paranoid I will make the wrong home decor choice - gasp!) I found a fabric I liked. I settled on a printed home decor fabric at Jo Ann Fabric called "Croscill Felton / Chili" (left). At $29.00 a yard, I was lucky to get it at 50% (and I got some extra in case I opt to make a pillow or two for the couch when I FINALLY learn to sew).

With the wood portion of the bench painted, I whipped out my handy staple gun and laid the fabric down, cut it so a few inches remained on all sides of the seat, and then carefully stapled over the old fabric around the entire seat (making sure the pattern was always aligned).
Once the seat was reupholstered (took about 15 minutes), I reattached the seat to the wood frame and WOW....a totally new bench! It looks nice in our entry, and now I just need to get the wall above it complete!

Now if only I could get my picture collage completed I would have a vastly improved front door space! Future blog post on that down the road...
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Victory Memorial Garage Sale Finds

As I graduated from the University of St. Thomas in May with my Master's in Business Communications, I found MUCH more time on my hands (finally!). One of my first free post-graduation weekends happened to be aligned with the annual Victory Memorial Garage Sale (we'll call it VMGS so I can quit typing it out).

The VMGS is an annual neighborhood event and this summer more than 70 homes (in roughly a one mile radius around our house) joined in the garage sale fun. Last summer I did hit the VMGS, but I went out late (10am or so) with absolutely no plan of action. This summer my approach to the VMGS was vastly different!

With all no school papers to write or projects to do (can I get a Hallelujah!!), I found myself in house DIY projects mode. I made a list of some items I wanted to search for, measured spaces in our home accordingly, and packed my tape measure. The morning of the sale, I powered up with some coffee, grabbed cash, put Dempsey on her running leash (power shopping and dog exercise -- why not kill two birds with one stone, right!?), and hit the road about 8:15am. Although the VMGS is supposed to "open" at 9am, all "serious salers" get out there earlier for the best finds.

Here is a list of my finds:
  • At my very first stop, I came across a cute little piano bench which needed some love. I snagged it for $10 (my most expensive buy of the day and my only failure at bargaining the price down because it was before the sale even opened - oops!).
  • I also found an old kitchen cabinet door with tin inlays which struck my eye (for $5)
  • My mid-morning I snatched up an old nightstand that needed to be redone (for the cost of $2 I figured it would be a good piece to try my amateur refurbishing skills on).
  • I found a gaudy gold table tray for refinishing ($2)
  • Lastly I hauled home some mid-sized wall art in a neat , textured frame (the actual print was not my style....but with a little"'sugery" I knew I could remove that and tend to the frame seperately).  Cost was a whopping $3.

By the time I purchased a $3 dollar hot dog to recharge (yes, there are food vendors at the garage sale - and music too!), I had capped out at a total of $25. By lunch time I was home with a living room full of other peoples' old stuff, about 4 miles of walking under my belt, and one professional (and very tire) garage-saling dog.

Here are my five $25 finds (pre-revamp!):

Future posts will detail the pieces post-revamp! Be on the lookout....

I am definitely looking forward to the VMGS again next yer (typically it  takes place the first weekend of June...but seriously...don't come and steal my great finds!)
Sunday, September 23, 2012

Glass Kitchen Canister Upgrade

Blogging, blogging, blogging! Since this whole blogging thing is new to me, I am not quite sure what "brilliant" content to share first. So why not start with my most recent Pinterest project (and yes, unlike many people I actually follow through and create some of the things I pin...Gasp!).

This weekend I took four glass kitchen storage canisters that I got from IKEA a few years ago (extremely cheap Burken jars with lids) and gave them a bit of an update.

Original glass canisters (below):

The only materials I needed to purchase to make the "enhancement" to the jars were foam sticker alphabet letters ($3) and some frosted spray paint (originally $9, but with a 40% Michael's coupon, only $5). I already had a roll of blue painters tape and the Sunday newspaper at home that I used to protect the glass from any renegade spray paint frosting.

1. Clean the outside of the glass canisters to ensure a nice, smooth surface for stickers to cling too. (Flour smudges and stickers aren't usually good friends).
2. Spell out preferred words with alphabet stickers on each canister. Double check your spelling and then press down on stickers hard to make sure they adhere tightly. (I had four canisters of varying sizes to work with, so mine said "Flour", "Sugar", "Noodles", and "Coffee" (what an intoxicating mix of dry goods, right?!).

3. Using painters tape, create a rectangle around the letters (size of the rectangles can be based on personal preference - I left about 1/4 of an inch around all sides of the sticker letters). Be sure to press edges of tape down tightly so your rectangle is free of any spray paint leaks.

4 Once you have your rectangle, tape newspaper around the rest of the glass containers to protect them from frosted spray paint. Just leave your rectangle and the sticker letters within it free from newspaper. This is the area you will spray paint.

5. In a well ventilated area (outside is good - I started in the kitchen before realizing that was not a wonderful idea), take the frosted spray paint and spray within the rectangular area of each canister. Spray 8-12 inches away in a back and forth motion. You will be spraying over the letters, but don't worry about it -- that is the point!

6. Spray each canister with a light coat. Let dry for 15 minutes and spray each canister with a second coat. Make sure to spray around the letters from all angles so you ensure no spray paint "shadows" around one side of the letters. Let dry for an hour.

8. Peel off tape, newspaper and alphabet letters to reveal the final product on your canisters! Enjoy!!

Here are my final glass canisters -- now with a little bit more personality (a little hard to see, but you get the point)! Another Pinterest project success!