Monday, April 4, 2011

Upcycled embellished altered art chair

My cousin Gretchen commissioned me to make her this chair. Here's how I did it...
1) Buy a chair (from a garage sale of course!)

2) Sand down any shiny surfaces. I used an electric sander.

3) Dust off any debris. I use a large paint brush so it can in all the nooks and crannies. Use a damp cloth for any sticky or dirty spots.
4) Now think of your design or theme. Gretchen came up with the original look from something she saw in Somerset magazine (Volume 5 2010, pg 94, "Black & White" by Allison Berringer). She wanted eggplant as a main color. Gretchen is a dancer, so I threw in some touches that had to do with dance. I found an old "How to Dance" illustrated book, and color copied some things from there. I also collected old hardware, old jewelry, and bought some flat backed rhinestones.

5) Spray paint the chair with primer. I used Rustoleum.

6) I painted on my main colors of eggplant and plum in various designs. For the seat of the chair I used a scrapbook paper that had a laser cut stencil design. I simply painted over the paper to make the stenciled look, then threw away the paper.

7) I sponge stencils to add more interest and design. Just paint directly onto stencil, then stamp onto chair. Let it all dry.

8) I then used scrapbook paper, and copied pages from the old book to decoupage. I cut out an Eiffel Tower image from a scrapbook paper, cause Gretchen loves Paris. I used Modge Podge - just apply some to the back of paper, stick down, then liberally cover the top of the paper. Go ahead and get messy. 
9) To add some more interest, I used a colored pencil (in this case white) to scribble some designs, phrases, and quotes.

10) I then used a dry brush technique to go over any dark colors and paper. Dip a brush into a lighter shade of paint. I used white. Wipe off most of paint onto a paper towel. Then lightly lightly brush over chair. Any wood grain or raised areas will get accented. 

11) Now it is time to distress. Make sure all paint and decoupage is dry. Use sandpaper to sand off edges, sand off some of darker paint (the white primer will show through), even sand some parts of decoupaged paper to roughen it up a bit.
12) To make the colors look a bit aged, apply some antiquing glaze. I use Valspar antiquing glaze available at Lowes Home Improvement. Just pour some on an old rag, and rub all over. Wipe away excess.

13) Finally, I added some embellishments. I included old hardware, old vintage jewelry, and rhinestones. I attached 2 curtain finials to the top of the chair.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring is here

Ready for spring? Do what I did... go get yourself a vintage patio set. It can be dirty and rusty and ugly, like the one in my before picture. I picked it up at a garage sale for 20.00. They are usually easy to find at thrift stores, garage sales, and estate sales. I then unscrewed the seats, and set aside. I hosed off the furniture and let it dry. Then I picked out a fun color spray paint. I used Krylon because it dries in an instant, and it has a wide flat spray.  I put 2-3 light coats of paint on. Then I upholstered the seats in cute outdoor fabric (I used vintage of course!).  That's it baby! A couple of hours over the weekend, and I have an adorable, fun patio set!!!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Garden explosion Rings

I stayed up late last night and came up with these creations. I buy the base ring from Fire Mountain Gems online, and I buy most of my beads from Ebay and Etsy. I just wired on these czech glass flower and leaf beads onto the ring base. Bam! Pow! Boom! A garden explosion ring!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I call these "Goobies." I hand craft each one with felt and embroidery thread. I also throw in the occasional pom pom and googly eye.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Holy Hollywood Regency

My totally awesome table I found at an estate sale. It was 50 bucks, but I talked her down to 30.00. It has abalone shells, sand and marble chunks inlaid in clear resin. So tacky, it's cool. Perfect for my ocean themed bedroom.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Wallpaper" your walls with collections

After finding two beautiful tile plates at a thrift store, I decided I wanted to collect them. Soon I realized I wanted to look at them all the time, so I am "wallpapering" my wall with them. This is my huge collection 3 years later. My goal is to cover the wall from floor to ceiling eventually.

I also have a collection of mini mirrors.

The last photo I took at an antique mall in Littleton Colorado called Colorado Antique Gallery. This vendor decorated a wall with vintage straw trivets. What a great idea!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Trash to Treasure

 I picked up this hanging rack at an estate sale. But originally it was a child's toy! It was a "put the donuts over the peg" type of toddler toy. The donuts were missing... the toy was useless... but I saw a treasure. I love red and white, and my kitchen is retro red and white... so I screwed it into the wall... and oila`... cute rack to hang keys and stuff on!