Sunday, September 14, 2014

DIY Fall Boxwood Wreath

I've been reading so many articles in magazines about fall decor the last few weeks.  I've been so resistant to the idea of decorating for fall because in my mind, as much as I love fall, fall means winter is right around the corner.  I'm not a cold weather, snow on the ground kinda girl.  I love to ski, but want the snow in the mountains, not in my yard.  I love summer!!!  Needless to say, the last thing I wanted to admit was the weather was changing and fall was right around the corner.  The last few days here in Illinois have been chilly and fall-like, so it was time to embrace the changing of the seasons and stop living in denial.  Either that or move to Texas (shhhh don't tell, but I kinda like that idea better!).

I needed a new fall wreath for the front door, but I didn't want to buy anything to make one.  I looked around my house for things I already had on hand.  The one great thing about being a blogger, I always have craft stuff around and with enough thought I can usually figure out something to make with it all.  

I was in luck!  I had a grapevine wreath I'd bought at Hobby Lobby after we moved into the new house, but hadn't gotten used it for anything yet.   Now, I had a base for the wreath, but had to think about what I could do with it.  I wanted the base of the wreath to be something I could change when Christmas came around.  I did a bit of poking around on Pinterest and then it hit me....I have lots of boxwood bushes in the yard....why not make a boxwood wreath?  I'd never tried this before, but really how hard could it be?  The answer is not hard at all!!

I started with this grapevine wreath form.  I went out to the yard with some scissors and a Target bag and started cutting pieces off the boxwood bushes.  When I had a full bag of boxwood cuttings, I plugged in the hot glue gun.  I took one of the boxwood cuttings put a bit of hot glue on the end of the stem and stuck it into the wreath.  I kept doing that until I had gone all the way around.  I kept all the boxwood cuttings pointing the same way as I moved around the wreath.  Right before the end I had to go back out and cut some more boxwood.  I'd say I used about one and a half Target bags of boxwood cuttings.  This is a large wreath form, about 24 inches in diameter.  Once I went all the way around the wreath, I went back through and filled in the spots that looked a bit bare. 

Now I had a boxwood wreath!  I thought about just leaving it the way it was and adding a nice burlap bow, but I wanted to do something more 'me'.  Last summer I went to a great estate sale and found a cool iron owl trivet and owl coasters.  I thought it would be fun to add the owl trivet to the wreath somehow.  I remembered I had a piece of curvy wood I bought at Michaels last year for a project I never started.   I had stained the wood using some java gel stain, but that was as far as I'd gotten with the wood. 

Here's the owl trivet before.

I liked the owl black, but I wanted to give it some WOW, so I sprayed it with  gold spray paint.  I loved how shiny it looked after it was sprayed!

Next, I had to figure out how to attach the trivet to the wood and the wood to the wreath.  I decided to drill small holes that matched up to the back of the 'legs' on the trivet.   I wanted it to stand up off the wood.  I didn't drill all the way through the wood,  just enough for the trivet to sit into the wood a little, then used hot glue to attach the trivet legs onto the wood. 

 I drilled a hole in the top of the wood, attached a bow and some jute string and hung it from the wreath.  To add a bit more detail, I painted a wood 'Family' piece,  I bought at Michaels,  in black and gold and hot glued it underneath the owl.   I hung the finished wood owl piece from the middle of the wreath with the jute string. 

I thought it needed something else!  I had some small wood slices I had purchased at a flea market in the spring that I thought would look perfect on the wreath.   I drilled holes in the top of the wood slices, added a piece of wire and attached them to the wreath and I was done!

Here's my simple,  fall wreath hanging on the front gate.  

I really like how it turned out!  The best part?  The only thing that's attached to the wreath permanently are the boxwood clippings.  Everything else is wired or tied on, so when it comes time to change it up for the next holiday I can do that easily without damaging the boxwood.

I'm loving the neutral colors and simplicity.

All in the wreath cost about $15 to make.  In my book that's a bargain for a boxwood wreath!  I've priced out boxwood wreaths and I've never seen one for that price!  

I might have made a fall wreath, but that doesn't mean I'm ready for fall!
 I haven't decorated inside yet, but I think  I'll have to cave in and start that soon.  I can't fight Mother Nature or the calendar or can I?

How about you,  do you love the fall?  Have you decorated your home for fall?  I'd love to hear what you're doing in your home!  

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Masculine Dresser Makeover For The Hubby

Disclosure Statement:  I was compensated for doing this post with product.  However, all the opinions stated here are my own.  I only share products I would use myself----Melody

Two years ago, while my friend was visiting from Canada, she and I went to one of the best estate sales I've ever come across.  I found so many pieces of furniture that needed to be made over.  The best part of this sale?  The prices!!  There were so many furniture pieces, that by the time I went back to the sale for a 3rd day in a row, I was able to score most of the pieces for a song.  

One of the pieces I found at this sale, was a very solid and heavy rock maple dresser.  It was sitting in the smelly basement at the sale and it was calling my name.  It's been moved around to three different houses, patiently waiting for it's makeover time to come.  Well, that time finally arrived last week.  

Here are some before shots of the dresser.

The dresser was in serious need of some love.  The top was peeling and had some water damage and gouges.  The rest of the piece was dirty and scratched up.

This piece was beat up, but incredibly solid.

I'm not a fan of colonial style drawer hardware, so that also needed to be updated.  

The main reason this piece kept getting pushed to the bottom of the to-do list was the fact I had no idea what I wanted to do with it.  I knew for sure I would paint the piece and change the hardware, but that's where the inspiration stopped.  

My hubby's birthday is coming up next week and I've been working on getting his home office set up and decorated for him.  The office has been the dumping ground for everything under the sun.  He's been pretty patient throughout the process, but this office is at the front of the house and it's the first thing you see when you walk up.  This was bothering him and as much as I refused to admit it, it was bothering me as well.  Time to get to work!

In thinking of what I wanted his office to look like, I knew I wanted reclaimed wood and masculine colors.  We found a desk at the Restoration Hardware Outlet a few weeks ago and this was my jumping off point.  I finally had an idea for that maple dresser!!

I recently received some new paint to try from DecoArt.  It's a chalky finish paint called Americana Decor.  I received two colors for this project Everlasting and Relic, as well as their Clear Cream Wax.    The colors worked perfectly for the hubby's office.  I was interested to try the paint and see how it stacked up to my other favorites.  Before I go into more detail about the paint, I want to talk price.   There is a price point difference compared to others types of chalky finish paints I've used.  The price for this paint at Home Depot is $8.48 for 8 ounces, which is a great price.  The wax for the same size runs $11.49.  

I started my project by stripping and sanding the top of the dresser.  I removed the hardware and filled the holes so I could replace the hardware with new pulls.  I wanted to stain the top and paint the rest of the piece.  For stain I used a dark walnut gel stain, then finished the top off with DecoArt Clear Cream Wax.  I do have to say the wax was easy to use.  It has a more liquid consistency than a wax consistency.  I just wiped it on with a lint free cloth, there was no need for a wax brush. 

For the rest of the piece, I painted 2 coats of Everlasting, which is a nice, bright white.  Then on top of that I applied one coat of Relic.  Relic is a great has a hint of blue and depending on the light the color changes.  I really love it!  I wanted the Everlasting to show when I lightly distressed the piece to give it that layered and aged look.  Instead of sanding the piece with sand paper to achieve this look, after the paint was dry, I used a wet rag and wiped the paint off where I wanted the color to show through.  I picked areas where there would be wear over the years, like edges and high points. 

Once the wax was all dry, I buffed it to a bit of a shine.  I drilled holes for my knew hardware, attached the hardware and I was done!   

Here's this beauty all done and staged for some pictures.

I'm quite happy with how this piece turned out!  It's masculine enough for the hubby's office, but if we ever needed to put it to use it in another room, it would work anywhere.

When I first bought the dresser I wasn't in love with the curvy part under the top, but now that it's painted I like it!

I'm glad I changed the drawer hardware as well.  The drawer pulls are from Hobby Lobby.  They were on clearance for $1.36,  if you can believe it, so for a little over $7 I got all six drawer pulls. The hubby thinks they're concrete. They feel a bit like stone, but they're not rough so they've been tumbled or smoothed.   I really like how the grey veining ties in with the paint color.

It was fun to use a new-to-me paint brand.  I've used so many paints and I was skeptical about this brand, but I was very pleasantly surprised.  It went on nicely, the consistency was good and the coverage, especially for Epic, was phenomenal.  I will definitely use this paint and wax again in the future.  I do have one small complaint however, I wish the paint came in a larger container.  Eight ounces just isn't enough.  For someone like me, I like to go buy my paint in larger containers, especially for the colors I really like.  If I'm sampling a paint, I don't want a big container.  However, when you paint a lot of furniture and do DIY projects, it's nice to have your go-to paint colors on hand.  I used my whole eight ounce container of Epic on this piece, as well as the entire container of Everlasting.

Now I just need to get the rest of the hubby's office done.  Baby steps, baby steps....that's what I keep telling myself.  I want him to have a space that reflects his personality, where he can shut the door, work or relax and take conference calls in comfort.  He works very hard for our family and he deserves a special place to call his own.

I want to know, have you tried DecoArt chalky finish paint?  What's your favorite go to paint brand?

Thank you for reading!


Furniture Feature Fridays

The Kim Six Fix

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mid Century Console....From Drab to Fab

A few weeks before we moved from Connecticut to the Chicago area, I was driving, with the hubby, past my friend and sewing teacher's business, as I did every day.  On this particular day, I noticed a mid century console that I'd seen in her shop before, sitting on the side of the road with a large FREE sign on top.  I screamed at the top of my lungs, "OH my have to stop!"  My hubby just about fainted from me yelling out of nowhere, but still managed to stop safely on the side of the road.    "You know we have to take this, right?"  He rolled his eyes and said, "There's no way that thing is fitting in the car."  I didn't care if it had to hang out the back of the SUV with me running behind the two miles to home....It was MINE!  After a few choice words, that I won't share here, the hubby finally relented and put the console in the back of our SUV.  As we were arguing about whether it would fit or not, this is how these things usually play out in our family, my friend Kate came out of her store.  She was moving locations and just couldn't take this piece with her.  I was more than happy to take it off her hands!  

Well, we moved this piece from Connecticut to Illinois and it sat in the garage while I figured out A. what I wanted to do to it and B. where I would put the console.  

One day I decided I was going to get started fixing this piece.  It needed a lot of work, but only on the top.  The top met a hot iron in Kate's store one day and had a few nasty scars as a result.  No worries, I had an idea to fix it and give it a new life.

 Here's the sad and scarred mid century modern console.  You can see one of its huge burn scars on the top there.  This piece is huge, solid and very heavy.  The thing I loved most about the console was the doors.  The doors open and roll inside.  It's a very beautiful piece of furniture that needed to be saved.

Here are the before pictures...sorry they're not the best quality as I took them with my iPhone.

Here's a close up of one of the nasty burn scars.  When I started to look closely at the burn, I realized the top wasn't solid wood, but rather it was veneer over a composite type material.  The rest of the piece was solid wood.

 Some more scars on the top.  The top was in rough shape as was the rest of the piece, but nothing that couldn't be fixed!

Here's a close up of those doors.  I just love them!

Once I sanded down the top of the piece and cleaned it up really well, I realized there were two options to fix the top, fix the veneer, which is a hard and tricky job or I could just paint the top.  I love the look of a good MCM piece that's painted high gloss white with the contrast of the wood.  Originally I had thought maybe I would paint everything but the legs and the doors, however after more thought I felt it was a better option paint just the top instead.

I started filling the holes and scars with wood filler.  I had to give the top a lot of layers of wood filler.  The filling and repairs took me a few days to complete with drying time and refilling. 

While I was letting the layers of wood fill dry, I decided to try something on the rest of the console.  One of my favorite products for bringing old, stained wood back to life is Restor-A-Finish by Howard, I buy mine at Home Depot.  It's well worth the $8.98!  This stuff really is amazing.   I applied the Restor-A-Finish to the entire console, including the inside and WOW the wood looked like new!!  I couldn't get over the difference.  All I had to do was wipe the product on and then wipe off the excess, it's that easy!  AND no I didn't get paid to say that, nor did I get any free product, although I wish I could be their spokesperson I love it that much!  The people at Howard don't know I exist so that's not happening anytime soon!  

After my wood filler had dried on top of the console, I sanded and sanded and then sanded some more until everything was smooth.  I cleaned off all the dust, then primed with some Zinsser stain block primer.  Once the primer was dried I applied three coats of Behr pure white paint in a semi-gloss finish.  I added some Floetrol to the paint to help limit brush strokes. I sanded in-between each coat or paint as well.  Once everything was dry I wiped on two coats of poly and I was done.  I stood back and was in awe of how gorgeous this piece looked!

Here it is all done and staged for some pretty pictures!

Here you can really see how nice the top looks now.  I like the contrast of the semi-gloss white with the walnut.

I still can't get over how well the Restor-A-Finish brought the wood back to life!

Would you just look at those doors?! Beautiful!

Since this piece is in the dining room, I thought it would be best used as a bar.  All our glass wear, shakers and liquor are stored in here.  Everything fits perfectly!

I couldn't be happier with how this piece turned out.  I think I extended it's life with the repairs to the top and restoring the finish.  I don't think I'll be parting with this one anytime soon....I'm kind of in love!

Do you ever stop on the side of the road to rescue a piece of furniture?  If so, I'd love to hear what you've rescued!

Thank you for reading!


Mod Vintage Life