Sunday, October 9, 2016

Small Bench Makeovers

Good news, bad news. Good news, I am going to keep creating in some capacity. Bad news, I am closing my booth down after 11 months. It was time to cut my losses financially, I usually made rent and a tidbit leftover, but not enough to warrant the amount of time that was poured into making projects. And I found myself moving towards a more flea market/upscale yard sale look just to attract customers. If I didn't have three littles at home and had more time (and sleep), I would keep plugging away until I found the "formula" for success in my area. 

First craft fair booth. My spot was UH-MAZING and worth
the extra money for the premium location.
I can always go back when life shifts gears. Until then I plan on participating in craft fairs as a vendor and explore selling online. My first craft fair was two weeks ago and was successful. Made back the money I put into it and then some. I've already signed up for another craft fair closer to Christmas. For now, this outlet allows me to continue my hobby-turned-income.

Far too often I make things I end up wanting to keep. Which one
of these would you keep? Read on to find out which one I kept.
My favorite little corner of the booth was occupied by these cute little benches. The chair bottom was an illegal dump find that I forgot to get a picture of before the makeover. Both benches are painted with the same homemade chalk-paint but only the backless chair was heavily distressed. 

   I totally love this chair-turned-plantstand. So much so that I priced it a little high to discourage buyers (not the best sales technique I'll admit, but perfect for redecorating ones home). Its sitting outside my front steps now with the same plant perched on top. The frost has crept in the past few nights and the plant is looking rather frazzled so I'll have to find some other cute things to occupy it this winter. 

 These "free leaves" signs have been a popular item for me this fall and a terrific use of scrap wood.

The picture boards are repurposed fence board and I've only sold one in teal (see the top left corner of this picture). I think they are priced too high. Even in my other booth I was only able to sell these for $10-$12 depending on the size. Currently they are $15.

This bench went thru quite the transformation. It was a hand-me down of a hand-me down, a garage sale reject just waiting for some TLC. Sturdy and solid it was very dated. My youngest was a bit sad when I painted over the bunnies, he thought they were cute. I like the light gray with the dark gray grain sack stripes. The bench looks better lighter.

A during photo, pre sealant, in my messy basement/craft room.

So far this piece hasn't sold either. Its sitting in my old booth, where everything is marked down, until Tuesday, my last day. Hopefully it'll find a buyer at the next craft sale. It'll probably need a new price tag. ~fingers crossed~

Happy Fall Ya-all!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Rusty Coil Creations

My kids can groan, whine, and cross their arms in silent protest (my personal favorite because its QUIET), but this momma is gonna treasure hunt on trash day. Money doesn't grow on trees children, but with some elbow grease and imagination you can make money pop out of a garbage can. Life lesson my little monkey brain babies.

While on such a "life lesson" trip I found a perfectly rusty and intact crib mattress leaned up next to a trash can. MINE! Perfect rusty goodness that I promptly disassembled, oh how it hurt my hands, and set out right away to create items for my booth.

 I thought these would be a bit more popular but I overestimated the zeal an average person has for rusty coils. Apparently not everyone appreciates these; their loss, my gain.

This wreath was inspired by Becky at

 I have no clue what this mess of wire and coils is. It was found near a dumpster. I do love the rusty coil pieces. They were a perfect addition to a coil "wind chime," it doesn't make any noise, but it sure is cute. 

Some simple tea light lanterns. The coiled length used as a hanger is from the same mattress. So far I haven't tossed out any part of the mattress, all the pieces seem usable. My favorite kind of trash to treasure! 

This tree branch was stained in special walnut which looked great when it was in my backyard in full sunlight. Inside the booth is looks too dark. Maybe painting it turquoise to add more color? Even after adding the leaf garland it still seems too dark. I was hoping for something more bold and eye catching. 

And last but not least: 

A simple garland made from Dollar Store leaves, twine, and coils. 

That's it so far. I have another wreath in the works and several more ideas brewing in my mind. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Faux Cotton Stem Wreath

Anyone else in love with Fixer Upper and the Magnolia style? I am, but my wallet isn't. I really wanted some cotton ball stems without going out of my meager decorating budget, so I made my own thanks to this awesome tutorial @
Not too bad with just cotton balls, pine cones, glue, and sticks. I'm sold. 
And it was a fun project to make while watching tv. 

For a while the stems sat in a vase on the mantel, but that got old. With the change of seasons I get the urge to shake things up decor wise. 

Nearly every fall I dig out this wreath and do something different to it. Originally it looked like this, with homemade scrap fabric flowers. Last year I added a scarecrow among the flowers but forgot to take a picture. 
This year I was a bit over the orange and wanted to embrace my love of every turquoise hue. Its still early in the "fall" season, so orange may be added later...who knows. I usually decorate on a whim. 

 (ignore the discolored spot on the door. the adhesive door hanger fell off and all new ones refuse to stick. the hoa is set to paint soon (ish) and then I'll have an all white door with no spot.)

Currently I'm a big fan of chalkboards with turquoise or teal accents. While decorating my home I have to consciously remind myself to add a bit of other color. And the kids' toys tossed around do not count, although it is very very colorful! lol 

Honestly, I would love to have more cotton stems to decorate with but it was a bit more time consuming than I anticipated. Maybe over the cold winter while we "hibernate" inside I'll glue up some more. Until then, I'll just enjoy what I have. :) 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Sealing Over Paper Tip and More Game Tables

Well, its been a sporadic summer of posting, but summer is over now and its time to get back to blogging about what I love doing. Kids are back in school (2 of the 3 anyways) and I am getting some time back to myself.

One of our family's favorite summer activities is yard saling. Couple that with the regular "treasure hunting" trips on garbage day, and I've hoarded out the basement to overflowing. Literally. There is an old dresser sitting in the grass next to the kid's playhouse because there is no more room inside. Twice now my husband has begged me not to bring home any more new pieces to work on until I've cleared some more space. Sounds fair...but I still brought home two dressers in between these talks.

He hasn't taken away the car keys yet! In my mind, he's only half serious. He could take the van to work and leave me with the sedan which would seriously limit me in my hoarding capabilities. Luckily he doesn't read my blog so I don't have to worry about giving him any ideas. (Where is the semi-sarcastic font for this next sentence??) He's so lucky to be married to me.

Found these sturdy and ugly tables on my usual treasure hunting route. I tried sanding and restaining but wasn't loving the result. In the end, they were painted with homemade chalkpaint and turned into Game Tables. Always a popular item in my booth. 

The tip I have to share deals with protecting book pages from discoloring when a sealer is applied. I had more pictures but they turned out blurry. You can see on the smaller table, on the right, that the page squares are not as white as those on the larger table. The larger table squares were first coated with Mod Podge before the sealer. 

My other photo was too blurry but you can still see the effect below. The pages that were completely coated with Mod Podge first, retained their original coloring after the sealer was put on. The discolored squares show where the sealer got to the paper because the Mod Podge was sloppily applied in this section.  

And that's the tip: seal paper first with Mod Podge before coating with a heavy duty sealer like Polycrylic or Spar Urethane. 

Found these unique chess board pieces at an estate sale. And it was a complete set! I added the cigar box for storage. They are so cute I just had to share. 

Everything in the photo has sold except for the larger table as it is the most expensive. Its been the most popular photo on my booth's Facebook page. I'm taking the hint and will be making more in the near future. I have plans for a table revamp for the kids playroom. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Reclaimed Wood Stars

I love stars. They are in almost every room in our home except for the master bath...which will change after we finish tiling around the shower.

Isn't this weathered wood gorgeous!!
Found it in a field near a walking trail.
Love the color and the chippy paint. 
 Hawthorne and Main (click here) provided a wonderful template to use, I adjusted the sizing myself using the width of a ruler.

It was suggested to use a scroll saw but I do not have one. I went after the wood scraps with a jigsaw. Jigsaws are great if the length of wood is long enough to pin down on one end or you own a clamp and saw table. I own neither. I use a small table (pic on left) and my knee for support, the jigsaw can be aggressive.

The weathered wood was a bit too brittle and shattered from the motion, nothing Gorilla Glue couldn't fix.

Also, on the smaller pieces, I wasn't able to hold them still enough and my cuts weren't as crisp and straight. (see the circled part, there is a gap) I fixed this by adding a smaller star on top.

The smaller pieces had their own gaps because it was harder to hold the smaller pieces still against the crazy motions of the jigsaw, even after adjusting the speed. I actually like that the pieces aren't perfect, adds to the rustic charm.

The back star was whitewashed & distressed. The front star was stained and distressed.

Staple gun to the back and glue in between the pieces helped secure the stars.

I really like the wire holding these two stars together (with glue in  between the pieces). They are both their natural wood color sanded down. 

One wire star was displayed in a frame found in a curb alert pile that it was painted with homemade chalk paint and distressed. 

Natural wood color next to stained (Early American by minwax) star. 
All these little stars and frame have sold. 

But I'm keeping this one.

I love love love this star too much to part with it. It fits my decor colors nicely and is hanging in my dining room right now. I added nothing to the color, that's 100% left-out-in-the-elements-weathering. 

Since we're on the topic of stars...

 Found this star garland at Target in the $3 tub just before the 4th of July. Removed one star and painted black with white lettering. They hang above a reclaimed wood arch I added to my booth entrance.

Its part of my effort to create a "look" for my booth to set it apart from the other gazillion booths in the store. I also plan on adding a 3-D sign above the arch...but I've been saying that the past two months. I'll get there eventually.


Pin friendly picture

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

For the Birds: a semi vignette

Whipped up a couple of bird feeders for the booth. It was inspired by this pin on Pinterest. It doesn't actually link to a blog, its just a picture.

I wanted something more rustic, rusty, and completely free. Mission accomplished. It was a pretty simple project. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Homemade stain. Love using this stuff since my work space is also the kids play space. You can see the bottom of the slide right above my "work bench." Work with whatcha got, right? 

Glued stained clothes pins to the front for the birds to stand on. 

Jump started the rusting process by sanding the cans and then soaking overnight in white vinegar. 

A blurry picture of my for-the-birds "vignette." There is so much more that could be added, nests, artificial birds, maybe a jar of birdseed. Baby steps here. Taking some ques from this article here: seven-secrets-to-merchandisingstyling-and-display. Step one is to group like objects together. 

I'm also taking advice from trends-from-round-top-2016, which states that vignettes rule. I have so much to learn still! And then put into practice which is usually the tricky part. 

PS. updated vignette

My time is pretty divided these days between kids, housework, booth work, side "job" as mom's taxi, and blogging gets the short end of the stick. Prior to finishing this post I added more to the bird themed vignette. Still room for growth but better than it was previously. 
My sister had passed on some old books which supplied the pages for this sign, even found an old bird illustration. Not for sale. 

TWEET garland, for sale. Also from sister's book collection. 

These were hand-lettered following different fonts and DIY calligraphy tips online. Just googled and clicked away until I found what was matching my vision. It was a fun project to work on. 

Nothing has sold from this particular shelf yet. Maybe it would have been a better earlier spring vignette. The summer is still young, we shall see. 

Sales are slow...but I think that is normal for this time of year. I'm out perusing garage sales, adn I'm assuming other bargain hunters are, too. 

Hope you all have a great 4th of July!