This post is a bit of a blast from the past, but totally worth sharing. About a year ago I was shopping at the ReBuilding Center, which is one of my favorite stores for finding salvaged materials. On this trip I was looking for old cabinet doors I could convert to chalkboards, but I also came across a matched set of vintage/reproduction lighting that I couldn’t pass up. Lighting is one of my true weaknesses (along with cabinets with tiny drawers). I’d been looking to replace my unfortunate “boob lights” that lived on my living room ceiling and these were a perfect upgrade. Today I’m sharing a few before and after photos of our living room lighting update with my salvaged lighting find.
When we first jumped into planning our wedding, I quickly learned that weddings are inherently expensive. From catering, to venues, entertainment and alcohol, things just add up. And every amazing detail you want to create only serves to add to your bottom line. To save on some costs, as well as add personal touches to our own wedding, a lot of our decor was thrifted and DIY’ed. I started planning early (12+ months) and spent A LOT of time creating one-of-a-kind pieces for our vintage & woodland themed event. Just one of the many DIY’ed pieces were our succulent centerpieces. These cute little plants were used on our reception tables to create the vintage and natural atmosphere we were after. The centerpieces were a mixture of items found at thrift stores and estate sales, plus a little hands-on DIY effort. Today I’m sharing all the details that went into planning my DIY succulent centerpieces, the materials I used and how I created these cuties for cheap.
As you may recall from my previous post: Build a Cabinet from Reclaimed Materials: Step 1, I had uncovered a set of drawers and doors from a local salvage store that had inspired me to build my first-ever piece of furniture, a vintage inspired cabinet. I was way excited when I took those drawers and doors home. So excited in fact, that I actually didn’t even go straight home. I went over to my mom’s house to show her and my dad what I had purchased. My dad is an extremely handy guy and my mom has always had a strong appreciation for tools. I knew he would know what to do next and she would have what I needed to do it.
I just finished recovering my estate-sale find Mission-style wood rocker. For my first upholstery job of this kind, the chair turned out fantastic. Looking back on it, however, there are definitely a few items I wish I’d done or that I would suggest for other do-it-yourselfers out there before you dive into a project like this. From my experience, below are my top 10 tips to consider before you reupholster a chair of your own:
After I learned the crockpot method for hardware stripping, I wanted to strip everything in my house, and trust me, there is a lot. With an almost 100 year old home, most of the hardware is paint-covered. I started with something easy and accessible, the door knobs to my tiny broom closet on the way down to the basement.
I hate stripping hardware with a passion. It’s messy, the chemicals are awful and often really smelly. Plus, you have to use precautions to protect your skin, including gloves, goggles, a mask and protective clothing. I feel like I entering a science lab whenever I need to strip a bit of paint. Luckily, my stripping woes are over and I’ve finally learned how to strip hardware without paint stripper.
I have to admit, this isn’t my original idea. I was watching Rehab Addict on HGTV and came across this tip. Instead of using a chemical paint stripper, she used an old crock pot to soak her hardware. I just had to try it.
My dad, luckily for me, has 3 crockpots and offered to let me use one to try the stripping technique. If you don’t have the opportunity to get one from a relative, you can always find one at a thrift shop on the cheap. Nicole Kurtis from Rehab Addict said to not plan on using the crock pot again for cooking, as the hardware can stain the pot and, I assume, leach into the sides. Luckily I don’t like to cook, so this wouldn’t be a problem.
I was at the Rebuilding Center the week after Christmas last year. The Rebuilding Center is this great place in Portland that sells salvaged building materials, including wood, cabinets, lighting, you name it. The inventory changes constantly so there are always cool things to check out whenever you go. I don’t think I was looking for anything in particular that day, I just like to wonder around, see what I uncover and maybe find a hidden treasure or two. On this day I came across a vintage set of cabinet doors complete with the original hardware in place. Someone was even kind enough and put the original screws in a baggy taped to the door. I thought, these definitely need a home. That’s when the inspiration hit to build a cabinet from reclaimed materials.
I stepped out with Cooper for a walk the other day, but didn’t get very far. Across the street, my neighbor had set out an old chifferobe dresser on the corner. Around here, that means it’s free for the taking! I went over with Coop and inspected the dresser. It had an adorable style with a terrible scratched paint job, a very vibrant green spray paint over white. I thought, I can make this beautiful again! Today I present my first dresser makeover. Be sure to check out the before and after’s below.
On my previous post, Reupholstering a Mission Rocker Par 1, I shared my estate sale find, a Mission-style rocker that was in dire need of new upholstery. In the first post I shared how I dismantled the old fabric, installed new spring bars and hand tied the new springs. With the new springs in place, I was now ready to jump into the next phases of my Mission Rocker Reupholstery: covering the springs, adding foam and batting, and finally reupholstering with new vinyl.
About a year ago I was out estate saleing on my own and came across this great little Mission-style rocker sadly sitting in a garage. The wood was in decent shape, but the cushion was a bit lumpy, hole-ridden and in need of an update to be usable. I was able to talk the woman down in their original price from $40 or so down to $25. I’m not really one to haggle normally, but I let her know that it would be a bit of a reupholstery project to get it back to its glory days. I’m glad I did, because it became even more of a project then I initially thought I was taking on.