Friday, September 21, 2012

Jewellery Organizer with a Spicy Past

When I found this old spice rack (circa 1970s?) it was like a one-legged pirate, with a missing drawer and gate-like wood doors and rusty upholstery tacks. I carried it all over the thrift store with me, not absolutely sure that I really wanted it. I wasn't even sure what I was going to do with it. I even thought I would remove the doors altogether and the lone drawer.

When I got it home and posted pictures of it, comments were surprisingly favourable and it was suggested that the doors should stay and that the missing drawer didn't matter. It was cool, pirate-like and all. So I got to work, or rather, my hubby did. Being the good helper that he is, he removed the tacks then sanded this piece all down for me. I then took it to my workshop. I primed it and painted the entire thing a nice glossy raspberry colour.

A quick trip to the fabric store was in order. I bought a quarter meter of a light green and cream print with delicate filigree butterflies. I wanted something that wasn't going to compete against the jewellery that would be hanging inside. So like the other re-lined boxes I've done, I set to work cutting cardboard, glueing it to fabric then glueing it all into place inside.

I decided to line the opening that had the missing drawer. Plus I lined the very top shelf due to a paint mishap. (I re-sprayed a coat after an hour and before 24 hours. It immediately bubbled and wrinkled on me so I scraped that paint off and decided right then that I would just upholster that surface. It was a plan that worked out well in the end.)

I've since added a length of chain strung across the two large openings, just right for hanging earrings from. I didn't take a picture of it yet with the chains. So from a rickety old pirate to a classy butterfly bedecked lady, I think this was a successful transformation. What do you think?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Knife Box Re-Do

I found (rescued) this sorry looking knife box at the local Salvation Army Thrift Store. I really liked the finger-jointed corners and large flat surface on top, which I knew would be perfect for some art from the Graphics Fairy (You must check it out if you're looking for sweet vintage images.)

Inside the box, there was a long wood block with slots cut into it. It's the kind of thing that would have held fancy silver butter knives or something similar. The pinkish velvet lining wasn't in awful condition but I had plans right away for the inside so I new it all had to go.

First I removed the block, which was held through the bottom with long metal staples. Then out came the velvet lining. I was getting used to this part as I had done it a few times by now (see my previous jewellery box re-do). My darling husband did me the favour of patching and sanding the outside of the box and then I got to work.

I primed and painted the outside and inner edges of the box (and had to touch the inside front corners a few times as *somebody* kept closing the box before it was fully dry, causing the lid to stick shut and lifting some paint when I pried it back open... not naming names, just sayin'... haha). Then I lined the inside of the box with some heavy woven cotton, similar to drop-cloth but not drop cloth. It has a nice semi-nubbly texture to it. I know... nubbly is not a real word but it works. 

I then added a couple of tiny pieced of adhesive cork sheet to prevent the lid from sticking down on itself again (genius!). My next idea to decorate the top didn't turn out at all. I was going to attempt to transfer an image using ModPodge but it came off in big chunks and looked HORRIBLE. (No pics taken. It was hiding in shame.) So I meticulously (painstakingly) scraped off all the transfer and glue and paper with my fingernail. It took forever but thankfully it didn't harm the surface at all. Phew.

I decided to use my tried and true method of colouring the back side of a printout with a pencil and then placing the image on the cover and tracing it with a stylus. Unfortunately it wasn't a very dark leaded pencil so I could barely see the image. I had to keep tilting and tilting the box under different light to see the faintest outline so that I could re-sketch the image in enough to be able to paint it. Finally all sketched in, I then outlined and painted in the entire crown. Wow! I love this image! (Thanks SO much again Graphics Fairy!)

Once it was dry, I brought it back to my workshop and added a few coats of satin spray sealant to the whole outside of the box (which I now say is a Trinket Box.)

It seemed that time had warped the bottom of the box so to prevent it from wobbling, I glued flat glass marbles to the bottom to serve as feet. That made it even better!

What do you think of my trinket box? I wanted to go for a look that could be used by either a man or a woman. Is it too feminine? Or just right?

Before and after:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Jewellery Box Re-Do

I picked up this jewellery box recently at our local Salvation Army Thrift Shop. My husband must have thought I was crazy but I could see beyond the busted mesh, the scratches and dust, and the horrendous mustard yellow velvet inside.

But my hubby has faith in my eye for treasures so he was a sweetie and dismantled it all for me and started sanding it. I pulled out the dusty velvet from all the nooks and he scraped all the old glue away. (Have I mentioned how much I love this man?)

I set up all the pieces in an assembly line fashion in my basement work space. First came a few coats of primer, then the door and drawers were painted turquoise, the body was painted aqua, and the hardware was painted in my favourite Oil Rubbed Bronze. Everything then received a few coats of protective finish. This all took the better part of a week since it was done during the evening and early morning.

The next step was re-attaching the hardware and re-lining all the drawers, the door and the cubby behind the door. I've done this sort of thing a few times so I have a big bin of cardboard which I saved from old cereal boxes. I measured each opening carefully and cut 30 pieces of cardboard in all. Each one was sprayed with adhesive and placed on the fabric, which is the gorgeous Mandarin print from Amy Butler's Lark line. The colours go perfectly with the blues I chose for the jewellery box.

Then the fabric was cut and the edges were folded over and glued to the backs of the cardboard. Then the pieces were each glued into place inside the drawers. The finishing touch was to add small cork pads to the bottom of the box.

I'm in love with it and will be sad to part with it when it sells but I know that will mean that somebody else fell in love with it too.