Currently viewing the tag: "upcycle"

I found this armoire back in July which I previously posted about and had yet to finish until now – here’s a quick back story on my original idea. My first thought was to create a shabby chic, black and gold armoire for myself. After realizing it wouldn’t fit in my apartment, (I pretty much knew that already) I decided to go back to the drawing board and give it another look. Shabby chic was still the direction I was going in, but this bulky, hard angled piece needed a softer, more neutral look for potential buyers-more of a rustic influence the second time around.

[ezcol_1half]Armiore - Before[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]Armiore - After[/ezcol_1half_end]

Both mirrored panels were nearly unsalvageable, with a good amount of scratches on them. After I dropped and shattered one, they were ultimately scrapped. I began to fear that the true nature of this soon to be “armoire from hell” was too dark without the mirrors and I had to start over. Previously the black stain worked well because the mirrored panels brought light to the armoire. While the gold Victorian-esque pull handles and crown molding added elegance and detail, they now looked out of place without the mirrors and black stain. Adding anymore black to the piece would have made it even darker and a lighter color for the doors, paneling and drawer faces would have brought out a contrast I wasn’t looking for.

With a pile of vintage pine tongue and groove bead board, some scrapped pallet wood and a can of oil based, high gloss, cream paint, I achieved the softer, more rustic look I envisioned without the mirrors. The warmer tones, custom made pull handles and a glossier sheen transformed the hard angled bulky armoire to something softer and a lot more neutral. I added two vintage brass knobs from my hoarded hardware collection to each door and stayed consistent with brass on the pull handles – though the hinges are still brushed chrome.

[ezcol_1half]Scrap Pallet WoodChopped pallet wood ready to be turned into handles.[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]Handles Mid StagePull handles mid-stage, sanded and alligned.[/ezcol_1half_end]

Pull handles stained and attached.

Pull handles stained and attached.

I like this piece because of how it evolved into something completely different than I first pictured, all while using salvaged materials. It’s eclectic, though not perfect, shabby chic and unique. It was a pain in the ass using the materials that I did but at the end of the day I created a statement piece from something a person tossed in my dumpster (still wondering why and how they managed to actually put it inside the dumpster).

[ezcol_1half]Side viewA before shot of the side. Lots of water damage on the paneling and was most likely the reason it thrown out.[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]Side view after. After the damaged paneling was cut out and filled. A tedious but easy fix as an alternative to throwing something away.[/ezcol_1half_end]

Inside the armoire. The piece is compact and not very deep but perfect for hanging nice shirts. The smaller area is a little more than a foot tall and is great for toiletries.

Inside the armoire. The piece is compact and not very deep but perfect for hanging nice shirts. The smaller area is a little more than a foot tall and is great for toiletries.

Like what you see? Visit my website to see more of what I do. Perhaps you have furniture that needs to be seen in a new light.

 

Light Fixture PlantersI came up with this when I was working on restoring the exterior of a home in Newton, more specifically the front door and the garage door. The sconces around the doors were original to the home, which was built in the 1940’s, so they were a bit worn out and on the smaller side. I held onto them for quite some time before I knew what I wanted to do. It wasn’t until I was dismantling the actual light socket and the fixture was standing upright that I thought this could make a unique planter for an indoor house plant or succulent.

A before shot of the fixtures

The reason I decided to share this idea with you is because the sconces and flush-mount seen here are quite common, and almost always thrown out when replaced. There really isn’t much need for old fixtures that are somewhat blah, but when turned into planters, boring outdated fixtures are now a conversation piece.

This project is simple, your materials are inexpensive and you just need a few things besides some elbow grease.

 

 

MATERIALS:

STEEL WOOL

Match the grade of the steel wool with how much you’d like the fixture to look worn – the higher the grade, the more course it is. I went with grade 0 to lightly buff off some of the paint and reveal the metal underneath.

WD40

For any areas that are extremely rusty.

TERRACOTTA POT

Find the right size for your fixture, preferably one WITHOUT drainage – assume your fixture is not waterproof. Water plants sparingly that do not have a drainage hole. I recommend a succulent, they do not need a great amount of water.

PAINT REMOVER (OPTIONAL)

The copper fixture needed remover, once I started scrubbing with the steel wool and realized there was copper under the black paint I wanted to reveal more of the copper finish.

FEET/FELT PADS

Use these for the base of the fixture, since you’ve flipped the fixture upside down, most likely it will now have sharp edges.

The final product

The final product

NOTES

Only one pane of glass was put back into the planter on the left because the succulent chosen will eventually grow and wrap around the sides.

I chose to fill the copper planter with rocks for a nice contrast with the copper and to cover the terracotta pots inside.

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Chair

This dining room set was passed along to me from my aunt; it had been sitting in her basement for about 15 years and previously belonged to my grandmother. I was up for the challenge to modernize the set and experiment with it, mainly because I remember sitting around the table in Fort Lauderdale in my grandparents sunroom and I didn’t want it to be trashed. Unfortunately all the before pictures were gone for good after my outdated iPhone 4s leapt out of my hands and plummeted to its death onto my hardwood floors.

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Besides the maple tinted stain being outdated (in a bad way) and the table itself looking like it belonged somewhere tropical, it was covered in dirt and a lot of the bamboo was damaged around the feet of the chairs. There was no way I was going to sand and stain the set again, that would have taken quite some time so I decided to use a bonding agent (an oil based paint designed specifically for smooth surfaces and hiding stains) and went with a charcoal gray to match the slightly black tinted glass. Since there are many grooves in the set a paint sprayer was necessary to ensure even coverage and durability as the sprayer can create a thicker coat than both a roller or brush.

Once that was finished it was time to tackle the hideous floral print seat covers (sorry Bubbie). Originally I envisioned a black and white chevron print, but when the fabric seen below was on sale from $35.00 a yard to $5.00 a yard, I made the decision to go with that. The previous covering technique was simple, a standard diaper fold which I recreated with the new material. I kept the diaper fold because the print is intricate and speaks for itself, no need for piping or any fabric nails.

I was on the fence about painting bamboo, but overall was satisfied with the results. The unique lines of the bamboo, combined with the black tinted glass and new seat covers created a one of a kind look that was rather easy to accomplish. It’s also nice to say I saved something that had sentimental value, it doesn’t hurt that I created a dining room set for under $300.00 either.

table1

wireshelf

I found this in the filthy basement of my 100 plus year old apartment. It was lying on the ground next to the foundation where water often seeped through the cracks in a pile of dirt. The size and weight of the “shelf” intrigued me, it was quite thick and on the heavier side which led me to believe it was older. After perusing the Anthropologie website and coming across brackets I loved but would never pay for, this was the inspiration to replicate a similar bracket for less than half the cost.

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Hi I’m Harry, I like old things – especially old things people throw out. Dressers, shelving, cabinets, lamps, tables, chairs – basically anything that can be refinished or reused in one way or another. I’ll be sharing different pieces I’ve made in the past and some DIY tips, that with a little elbow grease and creativity can help save money and recycle at the same time.

dresser-knobs

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