To say I’ve been obsessed with upholstery is an understatement. Its hard not to get passionate when the universe keeps providing signs that this is what you are supposed to be doing! And I will take the signs of cute, all be it sad and neglected, free pile furniture as a sign. Dan would be quick to tell you its a sign of a future episode of Hoarders. But I take it as a sign I’m supposed to give life to once grand pieces.
I’m sure you have figured out by now that I have a “thing” for decorating for the holidays and seasons. Recently I became bored with my decorations and began thinking of something different and new. Dan made the observation I had very few patriotic decorations. This isn’t due to being unamerican or anti-patriotic. There just aren’t as many decorations out there to support the love of these holidays. So when I found a picture of a wooden stair spindle turned Uncle Sam on the great wide world of the internet I couldn’t resist. I immediately went shopping in the huge wooden spindle section at work and found the best one for Uncle Sam’s body. I then trimmed it down to be level on both ends (which also made him shorter). I used the extra wood that was cut off for his hat. I also used 1×4 and 1×6 scrap material for the base and the base of his hat. With a little bit of painting and a lot of fun playing with star buttons, I created my new favorite decoration.
1 wooden stair spindle
2″ square for hat
Scrap wood for the base and hat base
Blue, Red, White, and Flesh paint
Patriotic Star Buttons
3 Large wooden hearts
1) Sand the spindle so the paint will stick.
2) Prime the entire spindle; this makes it easier to paint and you will use less paint in the long run.
3) Paint the mid section of the spindle blue; apply several coats as needed. This is his body so don’t paint the solid square parts as they are his legs and face.
4) Once the blue paint has dried, paint the lower square section of the spindle white. Also paint the wood (hat) square white. Apply several coats as needed.
5) Once the white paint is COMPLETELY dry, tape off stripes in the spindle base and hat.
6) Once the stripes have been taped off, paint over it with white paint; this will “seal” the tape and you will have less bleeding under the tape.
7) When the white paint has dried, paint over it with red paint. This gives his pants and hat stripes. Remove painters tape once paint has dried.
8) Paint the hat base and wood base solid red.
9) Paint his face flesh colored.
10) Hot glue the base to the spindle, hat base to the top of the spindle, and the square onto the hat base.
11) Use the large wooden hearts to build a mustache. Cut 2 of the hearts in half with a knife (Think of a “ying” shape). Glue the 2 yings to the 3rd heart. They will be the “handle bars” on his beard/mustache.
12) Paint the beard white.
13) Glue the beard on the face of Uncle Sam.
14) Using a small paint brush and white paint make 2 small white lines on face as eye brows. Then with a permanent marker make 2 round black dots for eyes.
I like to make wreaths for my door. Remember when I talked about being sad I didnt have a wreath after christmas so I made a valentines wreath? Well this year was worse becuase I had a wreath on my door from October until the end of Febuary. So I made a St Patricks day wreath with green tulle and ribbons. After that I couldn’t handle Apirl coming and my door being naked! So I made a spring wreath.THAT’S when it all went downhill! After my spring wreath had been up for a week or two my neighbor catches me one morning on my way out the door and she starts telling me how she loves my wreaths, they make her so happy, and she can’t wait for the NEXT one. Crap!! I needed a next one for her (or and maybe for me, but I couldn’t let my fans down!!) So I went to Pintrest and found tons and tons of wreath ideas and a bunch for 4th of July/paricotic wreaths. I found the PERFECT one! A wreath made out of old wooden clothes pins painted like the flag. Easy enough! I got my mom and sister involved over Memorial day weekend to help me make my wreath. It was instant love and I couldn’t wait to show it off!!
It was super easy (a little time consuming) and very festive! Here are the steps to make yours!
54 Wooden Clothes Pins (The Pinching Kind)
Craft Paint in Blue, Red, and White
3 Foam Paint Brushes
Wooden stars (I used foam sparkle star stickers)
A 12″ Wire Wreath Form
1) Divide the wooden clothes pins into 3 stacks of 18.
2) With the first stack of wooden clothes pins paint all sides blue. Don’t forget to paint the inside as well since you will be able to see it.
3) Repeat step 2 using red and white paint.
4) Once the clothes pins are dry, start with the blue pins and clip them one to the wreath form. The first pin clips onto the 3 wire while the second clips onto the 2nd wire. Alternate the clothes pins until all 18 blue pins are on the form.
5) Then starting with the white, fasten 3 white pins in the same fashion as the blue. Then add 3 red pins. Repeat the process until all the remaining clothes pins are attached to the wreath
6) Now attach the stars to the wreath. If you went with wooden stars, paint them a fun sparkly color and glue onto the blue pins.
7) Hang and enjoy!
As every body knows I kind of have a thing for up cycling and re-purposing. I also have a thing for decorating my apartment. Recently, while changing my decorations to early spring (pinks in February and greens in March) I needed an easy to change centerpiece for my table. So I was constantly keeping my eyes out for the “perfect” item. At work I love the light fixtures known as “bare bulb” lights. They were used in the early 1900’s and these beautiful fixtures (also known as pan lights) had decoration in the sides and in the fixtures but no glass shades over the bulbs. The idea was that if you were lucky enough to have these fixtures in your house you were also lucky enough to have these fancy new things called a light bulb. And by showing off the light bulb you were showing off your luck. But what strikes me about these light fixtures if how detailed they can be and how most look like flowers.
As I was putting away a new stack of these fixtures (all badly broken, heavily painted, and less than perfect) it struck me. The single light fixtures could be used as candle holders! I grabbed three of my favorite ones and started to strip the paint. I then swapped out the fairly nice light sockets for ones that no longer worked with my lighting lady at work. Because why do I need to have working sockets hold candles on my table? Once all the paint was removed and sockets placed inside I became kind of sad, the metals of the fixtures weren’t very pretty. So i bought a very pretty purple can of spray paint (Krylon Rich Plum) and spray painted a nice solid color on the three fixtures.
They were still missing something. That’s when I took them to work and showed my coworkers. My lighting lady pointed it out almost immediately flowers aren’t one solid color, they are several colors. So with a lighter lavender and a pink we spray painted the tops at an angel as the paint just glazed the fixtures. Adding depth and color to my new flower candle holders.
1 2″x 2″x 2′ piece of lumber
1 1″x 2″ x 4′ piece of lumber
2 1.5″ round wood doll heads (found at the craft store)
1 3/4″ round wood disk (found in the same aisle as the doll heads)
1 wood star (about 1″across)
3 colors of paint (I used blue, Green, and white but fought the urge for lavender and teal)
1 Piece of burlap roughly 4″ x 6″
Twine long enough to wrap the people twice
Hot Glue Gun
a few nails and a hammer
1) Cut lumber into following pieces 1 @ 2″ x 2″x 6″ (Josephs body) 1 @ 2″ x 2″ x 5.25″ (Mary’s body) 1 @ 1″x 2″x 3″ (baby Jesus’s body) 2 @ 1″x 2″ x 9″ with 1 end having a 45degree angle cut (this is the barn sides, the angles will help the roof connect) 1 @ 1″x 2″x 6″ and 1 @ 1″x 2″ x 5.25″
2) Paint Peoples Bodies and star. I used a paint brush and was super streaky to give it a more rustic/vintage look
3) Once paint drys hot glue heads onto bodies
4) Lay “Mary” down on top of the burlap bring the top two corners into her middle (it will cover her head slightly like a hood) glue… a picture is best to explain how the back looks. Mostly because I can’t explain it with hand motions in a blog
5) Hot glue Mary and Joesph together AND then glue Jesus’s body angled on top.
6) “Tie” the family together with twine.
7) Now to build the barn: Nail the two shorter 1 x 2 pieces together at a 90 degree angle making the shorter piece the “bottom”so both will equal 6” long
8) Pre-drill pilot holes into angled roof where the 2 sides will connect. Line the angled sides up to match the roof so it will all be 90 degrees. hammer nails through the roof and into the sides. (you could also use wood glue if that’s easier just make sure to let it full dry before standing it up)
9) Paint or stain the Barn if you wish. I left mine plain because again it looked more vintage/rustic
10) Hot glue yellow star to the top of the roof
11) Set up and enjoy!
When I was a little girl I loved to help set up my family’s nativity scene. The Nativity Scene was a gift from my Dad to my Mom and every year he would give her a new piece to add to the scene, which in turn gave me another piece to play with…I mean set up. I was so into “setting up the Nativity scene”that it changed daily and mom had to rubber band baby Jesus into the manger so he wouldn’t get lost….
Fast forward a few years its safe to say I still love the nativity scene and I still secretly love playing with it. I now have several, a hand made one from Mexico, a recycled paper one from Africa, and one that every year my Grandparents add to.
Each year I get just as excited as I did when I was a little girl about setting up my Nativity Scenes. I arrange them all several times until they are perfect! And every time I see a cool set in a store, magazine, or at somebody’s house I have to stop and admire the beauty (and secretly wish I had a spot for another set).
The other night while I was laying in bed cruising Pintrest I came across a board with tons of pins for nativity scenes. I instantly became wide awake as I drooled over each and every one plotting my next move! And then I found it, the cutest handmade, wood nativity people ever! So what did I do? I went to work the next day dug through the lumber rack, found me some materials and made me one (and a barn because I can’t have baby Jesus getting wet and sick).
“The Coffin” is a 1930’s art deco, wood locker that was heavily painted a DARK DARK DARK brownish purple black color. It has the beautiful straight lines of a vintage locker and really funky deco hardware. This amazing piece of furniture was brought into my bedroom where there was NO room and smashed against the wall. That one piece took an open feeling room and made it wall to wall furniture. I was not happy.
I took the door off to make it visually lighter. Then I rearranged the bedroom so the “coffin” would fit better. I used bleach to wash the inside because it had a wonderful smell of rotting flesh….I mean mildew…in it. Once it was clean (ish) Dan put his clothes in it and that was that.
When it comes to projects, I like to only brag about the finished ones. This is because if I bragged about EVERY partially finished project, I would spend my years bragging and not finishing. There is nothing like the rush I get when that project is complete and I get to cross it off my list. But every now and then a project is so massive, that, well bragging rights are deserved at the mid point.
The Craftsman Cabinet has been a massive undertaking. I have stripped and stripped and stripped some more! I removed literally a 1/2 inch of paint from some places! It was fun to see all the colors my 100 year old cabinet had been. I then needed new hinges because I may have broken the not so original ones.
This was an epic adventure all of its own because I couldn’t replace the hinges with matching ones because I could not find them! So Dan had the great idea of doing different hinges. The ones I fell in love with were high end reproductions and were perfect…but not for $125. So I went to my work, grabbed a handful of the same style hinges and stripped the paint off, only to discover I had half brass and have steel hinges. I swapped out the brass and repeated the process. Because the hinges were different than the original Dan had to make the hinge grooves larger. I reattached the hardware (and added a few extra knobs).
Then replaced the top with premium old growth lumber from work. I sanded the whole thing several times and its partially complete!! In my mind, its no longer the eye sore of the corner (because I can close the doors and it’s clean again), paint will come eventually (I have the colors picked out in my mind). But for once, I’m trying to be happy with partially complete.
Check out my oversize stair spindle candle holders!!
It started as 3 angled stair spindles (forgot to take a picture of them at this point). I then used the chop saw to even the tops and cut the spindles into different lengths. I cut square bases from them to sit on (mostly to help balance them).
I sanded the spindles to get a smooth, paintable surface. Then I spray painted!! have to tell everybody, I SUCK at spray painting so I bribed a coworker to do it for me!
Once everything was dry (2 spray cans and a clear gloss coat later) I nailed the bases on, used 2 part epoxy to glue the glass candle trays onto the tops and TADA!
Then I played with different candle rings. They don’t have a permanent home YET; a girl needs to have her options 😉
The Button Shamrock
TONS of random green buttons
A frame (I bought a picture frame from Goodwill and removed the glass)
Burlap slightly larger than frame
A Shamrock pattern (I traced a cookie cutter)
1) Wrap the back of the frame with burlap and glue the edges down. This is the background for the shamrock.
2) Trace shamrock pattern onto the burlap so you know where to glue the buttons.
3) Glue the buttons in the shamrock. I worked from the outside in then went back and overlapped in areas I could see the burlap. Make sure to have buttons placed randomly for great texture.
4) replace the back into the frame and enjoy!