Sweet Denim Bench

I picked up this little vintage bench a while back and it sat in the garage for a while before I got around to working on it. But once I started it went pretty quickly. I just can’t believe that I had forgotten to write it up. I had uploaded all the photos, just didn’t get the text written! How the heck did that happen?


Originally, I hoped to restore the bench, but the top was just too damaged and stained. And it probably was a saving grace, as while taking it apart, I found that it had been stuffed with horse hair and old newspapers. And it smelled pretty bad. So, 4 inch thick green foam replaced the stinky newspapers and horse hair.

I first laid a sheet of wood across the top. All of it was painted with a beautiful deep metallic brown paint. I just love the way it sets off the carvings.

I was in the middle of harvesting denim from old blue jeans and opted to go that direction. I carefully dissembled a couple of pairs of jeans that were similar in color to use in covering the bench.

Using a pneumatic stapler, I then laid the denim over the bench, pulled taught and stapled.


Once the denim was securely fastened, I needed something to cover the staples. During on of many thrifting adventures, I thought that using leather belts would be appropriate… get it? A belt on a pair of jeans! LOL

I couldn’t find any belts the same – either color or style. So I found about a half dozen leather belts that were very close in style, so I opted to spray paint them the same color as the base. The leather took the paint very well and was even malleable enough to get wrapped around the bench. I even kept the belt buckles! From there, it was simply a quick tacking over a base of glue.

DSCN4652DSCN4651DSCN4650DSCN4649DSCN4648DSCN4647DSCN4646DSCN4645DSCN4644To wrap things up nicely, a quick ‘before & after’ photo:


And there it is. Another project completed. I am determined to get these projects done so that I have room in the garage for at least two cars this winter! And since fall arrived this week, winter is just around the corner!


I Took The Advice and This Time I Used Maps!

After I finished the last dresser – covered with vintage dress patterns – someone made the suggestion to try maps. And I just happened to have some old road atlases from those days before GPS (do you remember that far back! LOL), so I plunged in.

For the life of me I cannot recall where I picked up this desk, but it has been sitting in the third stall of the garage for a while. Its decent quality – inside one drawer is marked ‘Broyhill’ – so I figured it would be a good starting point.

As you can see, I almost forgot about taking ‘before’ photos… I had it already up on the table with the drawers removed!

DSCN4704Somehow these days, desks just aren’t in much demand. I guess with everyone having a laptop, sitting any where works and you’re no longer chained to a desk.



So, with the help from The Kid, we removed the extra legs and shortened the desktop and turned it into a nice sized little chest. The bottom drawer is nice and deep, great for storing bulky stuff.

DSCN4712I sold the sewing pattern covered dresser to this great couple for their daughter. She is into fashion, so it really appealed to her. When they came by to pick it up, they mentioned that they were looking for something for their son’s quite extensive Lego collection. Dad was a bit annoyed from stepping on those little plastic bricks in the dark as he was trying to check in on the kids as they slept – I’ve been there myself and it turns a very quiet excursion into some mighty loud yelps! So the very deep drawer might be just the thing for the family!

The whole process of adding the maps was the easiest and funnest part. I just sit and watch television and cut and paste. I did some strategic placements, on one side is the state of Missouri and Kansas and on the top is a nice map of the states. Following two nights of drying/curing, I applied two coats of polyurethane to give the maps a little staying power. It could even take a little scrubbing if it gets colored on.

I had the antique hoop knob pulls, rescued from a previous project that with a little green spray paint turned out quite unique!

The drawer that was removed from the desk section turned out to be the perfect size for a replacement drawer in a sewing cabinet that I am transforming into a little entry way table. Don’t you just love it when things come together? If you’ve been reading my blog at all, you know that I hate to waste anything… and when it can be reused and saved from the landfill, I am a happy recycler!

Tomorrow, The Kid and I are making the trek out to meet Rebecca “Becky” Collis of Collis Country Quilting! I am so excited to meet Becky and check out her setup. Most excited about finishing some of these quilts that I have been working on for the past three years!!I have another idea for a dresser makeover… would make the cutest storage piece for a little boy’s room. Have to keep my eyes open for the next perfect piece!julie


A New (Old) Obsession: Monopoly

I don’t know about the rest of you, but Monopoly was a staple in my house growing up. We always had to have more than one game at a time as pieces – and especially tokens – were always walking off. So, we’d buy a second to replenish the first. Or vice versa.🙂

So, it was no stretch of the imagination that I had to collect Monopoly tokens. I have quite a few now, I am guessing somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 or more sets, and some are super neat! I have learned much about the game’s evolution as well… did you know during World War II they didn’t use metal tokens (they needed the metal for the war effort) and wooden tokens were used in the game.

I will have to take some time to photograph all my sets. Most of them live on narrow little shelves in my home office, but recently I have started collecting again, so quite a few reside around the little free space I have around my keyboard.


But along with collecting the tokens, I ended up with lots of other Monopoly pieces. Game boards, property cards, Chance and Community Chest cards and dice. But mostly? Monopoly money. And I just knew there had to be something fun that I could do with all of it.

I started kind of small, using some of the money to cover a star, boxes and tins. This was easy enough and once dry, I sprayed several coats of an clear sealant over the top.

But, I knew that I had to do something bigger. And once I found an older but sturdy four drawer chest, I knew what was going to happen next!

I started covering the sides with the Monopoly money and realized that covering both sides, the front and the top might be a bit too much. I finished the front and sides and kind of liked the plain white top (primer) but wanted to see what paint I still had in my arsenal. When I kind of squinted my eyes, I could see a lot of yellow/gold and the white, so I wanted to play one of the other three colors: pink, blue or green. When I checked my paint stock, I found a perfect blue (and there was plenty of it!).

There was, of course, the drawers that had to be covered as well. This was all well and good, as I was able to watch movies and do the gluing.

BTW, I simply used slightly watered Elmer’s glue, applied with a 1″ brush. Simply brush on the glue, lay on the bills and brush more glue over the top. It takes a little effort to make it look random and still cover all the surfaces. I tried not to get anything repetitive or lined up and tried to get as many upside down and sideways as right side up.

I left the bills overhang the edges and sides and once dry, simply used a single edged razor blade to make a nice neat edge. I couldn’t believe how easy this was!

Then I moved the cabinet into the garage and painted the top blue. It took several coats to get it saturated and looking really good. I also painted the inside edges of the drawer opens blue as well.

Once it was good and dry, I rolled polyurethane over the entire box and drawer fronts (twice!) for a really glossy finish. It will make everything last a long time too!

Now it was time to put drawer pulls on. It was The Kid who had the idea of making larger versions of Monopoly’s classic houses and hotels. And the houses were cut from 2″x2″ and the hotels from a 2″x4″ that we had in the garage. It was a fairly simple construction using the band saw. I then sanded them smoothly and painted them their iconic colors (standard Rustoleum high gloss paint from The Home Depot).


We realized that they would need to stick out from the cabinet in order to be grasped, so The Kid cut 1″ dowels into 1/2″ segments and drilled through the centers (and of course painted). They were then glued into the centers of each ‘house’ and ‘hotel’ and by the time I got home from work, they were ready to be attached.

This is one of those jobs that I keep The Kid around for! He is so good about measuring and taking care of the fine details! All that was left was to move it into the sunshine and take photos!

And there it is! I think it would be great for a kid’s room, especially one who loves to play games (real games, not on their computers and phones) or to help organize a family room or rec room. It was just so much fun to make!

This particular piece was made using Monopoly Deluxe Edition money, but I have several different editions (including Junior Monopoly) that I still want to use for something! So much fun!


Have you done something like this? I’d love to see what you’ve done!


Ivory Dresser, Thunderstorms and a Nap

Although today was one of those laid back kind of days. I did manage to finish one project and continue making strides on another one.

2015-05-14 17.25.52I had shown you the progress on this dresser previously. I picked it up from CraigsList for a whopping twenty bucks, I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I had every intention of restoring this piece to its original glory, I had enough old veneer to replace the few places that were missing.

I was so excited about starting work on this one. That excitement soon turned to sadness, as I realized that this piece was not to be. As I started working on the drawers, lifting edges to squirt glue between the pieces, large chunks of veneer just came off in my hands. As I continued trying to re-glue, more and more pieces would loosen and fall off in big pieces.

As I continued, I realized that all of the drawers were in the same shape. So, I used the opportunity to harvest the veneer for future projects.

Fast forward to its completion. A solid layer of primer and three coats of semi-gloss latex paint in a sweet color called “Toasted Marshmallow”. I mean, that even sounds like it would be sweet to eat!


The Kid put the handles on this morning, and we moved it out into the garage and took photos. I love the way it turned out even if it meant that I couldn’t restore it.

DSCN3553 This is one of those pieces that I wished I could keep. I find that more and more I am more than happy with the way these pieces are turning out.

DSCN3552I added the little scroll at the top of the dresser, the original one had a small ornamental mirror. It was chipped on one corner and show some real age. The applique was painted the same color as the handles. I just love that shimmer!

DSCN3554So, this one is now ready to be listed on CraigsList. The garage is getting quite empty and the waiting projects are fewer and fewer. There is a part of me that thinks that this is subconscious that it might be time that I head back to work. (If you’re new here, I am a software engineer in my “other” life!)


A Little of This, A Bit of That, More of Something Else

Do you ever find yourself pulled in many directions at once? Well, that’s me for the last week or so. I feel like I have so many irons in the fire and yet, never feeling like I am accomplishing anything. At least not accomplishing enough.

I will share with you a project that has been in the works for sometime. Way back, I was given a wonderful gift of four antique phonograph player cabinets. An acquaintance of mine does old fashioned Victrola type restorations and much like anyone who restores things, it often takes two or more pieces to be able to get something that old working again. So, my friend would strip the cabinets bare of the music parts and then not have anything to put back into them.

01414_146BGjp6j5f_600x450I was able to fix up two of the four I received pretty quickly. I love how they turned out. I like one so much I opted to keep it – yes, it was done in my signature red color. But it was extremely handy to have my financial information all in one place and look good to boot! You can read about it here.

This photo shows the four I received. Like I said one sold quickly, and you can see its transformation here.

I did some preliminary work on the other two, but we were pulled in many directions and the other two went into the “To Do” section of the garage. That space was arranged and re-arranged a dozen times. But I knew I would get around to them eventually.

Eventually was this week for one piece. I stumbled onto a color when I was sorting through paint chip cards and have fallen head over heals for it. It is called ‘Deep Aubergine’ and it just screams elegance. So, being (sort of) close to finishing the third Victrola cabinet, I opted for a quart of this beautiful color.

DSCN3384This is one of those colors that is just plain hard to photograph accurately. Trust me when I say that this is a gorgeous color in person. Its a deep brown with just a hint of ‘purple’ in it. But you can see the difference in how it photographs between this photo and this one:

DSCN3385Either way, it is gorgeous! I had to replace the top, it seems that the tops of all this cabinets were the first to go. The right side of this cabinet had a horn that was covered with the dropping front.DSCN3387That piece then can be slid into the cabinet to keep it out of the way (when they were listening to music). I loved the construction and only briefly considered changing it. The other side has an added shelf to use for storage. I think this piece would be nice as a entry way or hall cabinet. I think grandmother’s silver box and the good crystal would fit nicely into this cabinet.

DSCN3386So, I have a number of other projects in the works as well. I stumbled onto a thrift store that had all their clothing marked down to $2… so I snatched up all of the jeans I could find. I spent the better part of the last two days with scissors, seam rippers and razor blades taking everything apart. I am planning to use the fabric to make a denim braided rag rug. I’ve seen a few photos and they just look awesome! I have plans for almost the entire pair of jeans – I am going to use the seams and waistbands with belt loops – I even have a plan for the back pocket label

2015-05-12 21.11.10Sitting and working on this gives me a chance to catch up on some of the old movies I missed the first time around. I love streaming content! I am taking full advantage… we have AppleTV, Roku and Amazon Fire!

2015-05-12 21.10.52The Kid and I are, once again, giving gardening a try. Last year we did pumpkins and the year before watermelons. Didn’t have luck with either of them. This year I am trying tomatoes and The Kid is planting sweet corn. Which of course reminds me, I have to get down and weed the strawberry patch. This is the third year for the strawberries and this is supposed to be the year that they really bear large and flavorable berries.

Oh, and we’ve got the antique chandelier that we rescued out of an abandoned farmhouse. I’ll provide all the info when it is complete. Like I said, we have many irons in the fire… we are constantly doing something around here.


Reusing Bed Pillows to Make Dog Beds

Still on my kick of finishing anything that has already been started (before starting anything new). I have been planning on doing this projects (projects?) for at least a year.

You have to know that by now, I am a saver. I say this – as opposed to hoarder (like The Kid calls me) because I do eventually get around to doing the projects that I plan and then getting rid of stuff. This one centers around pillows, bed pillows to be exact. I mean, how does one throw away a pillow? I am not asking about parting with said pillow, but rather the physical aspect of disposing of a bed pillow. Do you just throw them into the garbage?

Anyway, I am kind of weird when it comes to pillows. I like to have new ones. Often. I love the way that they smell and are so fluffy when brand new. So, I buy inexpensive ones. They’re decent quality pillows, but they just don’t really last more than about six months or so. And then I replace them. And then I end up with four pillows that are like new, but not really.

So, a long time ago, I figured out how to reuse the pillows and make dog beds. When we had our dog (we called her a ‘forever puppy’), she would love to be in whatever room that I or The Kid was in. So, I made a few of these dog beds for her to be comfortable. But of course, I had way more pillows than I could use in making beds for her.

Ain't I a cutie?

Ain’t I a cutie?

So, I still made them, I just found someone else who could use the beds. I donate them to a local ‘no-kill’ shelter that is just the most awesome place in the world. Its called Wayside Waifs and it is where we recently almost adopted a puppy. (The Kid and I found that it was just too soon for a new puppy after we had lost our Ashla.)

So, yesterday I dug out all the pillows I had stashed. Then I went through my odds and ends of quilting blocks and started sewing. Often, I will experiment with a quilt style or make a few blocks and then change my mind. Or I will have leftover quilt blocks. One end has a velcro opening, so that the cover can be washed or the pillows replaced. Its pretty easy boxed construction. I won’t go into instructions here, but may in the future if any one is really interested.

So, here is the whole pile:

DSCN3260And here are the individual beds:

DSCN3261This pink one is four pillows and would be suited for a larger breed dog.

DSCN3263Now its smallest to largest. This was a leftover piece of a quilt. Quite large actually for a single pillow):

DSCN3262Another single pillow with a scrap piece that I was trying out a very small pattern.

DSCN3264A little larger, this is two pillows. These are leftover 2 1/2″ strips that went together easily.

DSCN3265Another double pillow. This was done with denim scraps and an attempt at using denim for appliqué.

DSCN3266One more double pillow bed, this time with a leftover medallion. I know that I started this with the intent of some appliqué in the center, but never got back to it.

DSCN3267This one was the first one I finished and my favorite. I love the bold black touches (and the sides and back are also black). The sides on this one were a bit wide, so in the end it took four pillows to get it taut, but I think it will accommodate a pretty large breed dog nicely.

That’s the whole lot. I have some other goodies for Wayside Waifs as well (I checked out their wish list on their website.) If you’re interested and are local to the Kansas City area, check them out. You can find them here.

Well, I hope that you have a great day and come back soon!


Being A Bit Lazy So Far This Year…

Wow, I can’t believe that it has almost been a week since the last post. I knew I needed to take a breather, but when I stopped and looked around, it occurred to me that I have pretty much done nuthin’ for the last few days. I am hot on a binge watching of “The X-Files” (and loving the oh-so-young David Duchovny) and working on the “hee-you-JUH” (well huge for me) cross stitch.

I think I “started” this sometime last year after running across the photo in a magazine in my doctor’s office (don’t tell that I stole the mag!) and I think I alluded to this project once or twice in this post.

"The Road Across the Wolds" by David Hockney

“The Road Across the Wolds” by David Hockney

I did manage to get a significant part completed on one (of four) canvases before becoming overwhelmed with the process of connecting the four canvases together.

I picked it back up on New Year’s Day, just to keep my hands busy while The Kid and I (that’s for you Jennifer!!) started the marathon. I am vowing to work on it at least a little every day, and maybe, just maybe, I will be able to show you the finished work next New Year’s!!

So, here is today’s update:

01:05You will see that I actually did connect the four pieces together and finish the wheat field that spills into the left bottom canvas. I then switched to the upper right canvas and have been working on the fields. And wow, there are a LOT of fields!🙂

I did sell three pieces on Craigslist, the pink pieces I did. I met a nice gentleman who is very good at talking me down on my prices. Grrr. Not a fan of that. Especially since he mentioned on one piece he was planning to repaint. I really don’t care what people do with the pieces once the buy them, but I don’t wanna know that my hard work is soon to be erased.

Okay, that’s it for today.


End of the Year: Projects Six and Seven

I think these are the last two projects to report on. Geez, if I could only get them all sold, I’d have both my entry hall and garage back!

The last two projects are a fall back to the Midnight Mosaic blue that I used on the two drawer antique dresser a while back. You can see it here:

Project Six: Buffet Makeover

photo 1This photo is actually flipped upside down so that you can get an idea of what it looked like. We picked it up free from Craigslist, as it had been used for a child’s art center or some such thing.

photo 4The outside was covered with sticky letters, which were quite a chore to scrape off, making sure to remove all of the adhesive.

DSCN2895I sanded the top to remove the old finishing. Trust me, I built some great muscles doing this! But under all of that was beautiful grain.
DSCN2909Again, as with all of the blue pieces, the top was stained with a natural color and sealed with three coats of polyurethane. The base was painted the Midnight Mosaic blue. The Kid did the honors of placing the brushed nickel cup pulls. I think this piece turned out exceptional.DSCN3021

Project Six: Coffee Table Makeover

The final makeover piece, a beautiful sofa table or coffee table. This was acquired in an auction some months ago. It was quite a nice piece with the exception of some peeling veneer on both sides of the drawer. I was able to repair it, but it wouldn’t hold up to re-staining, but would work with being painted.

DSCN2904Once again, Midnight Mosaic blue was the star. Not only did I much love the hue, the paint flowed nicely and adhered well. As with the other blue pieces, again the top was stained and sealed.

DSCN3014This piece did not originally have a knob or handle, but in keeping with the style, The Kid placed a single brushed nickel cup pull in the center of the drawer.

With this, I have wrapped up all of the projects that I had started. And just in time to ring in the new year!

3D-Happy-New-Year-2015May your festivities be joyous and safe! See you next year!


End of the Year: Projects Two, Three, Four and Five(ish)

In order to get everything written in the last two days that still remain in this year, I am going to have to include more than one; so much for spreading them out! LOL! So…

Project Two: Rustic Bench from Two Footboards

I have wanted to do this for so long, I can’t even remember. I never seem to find the right headboard or footboards to suit my taste. Recently in picking up pieces from Craigslist, these footboards were included in the pile (!), so I opted to do a test run using them.


The pieces had an odd number of spindles, so we cut almost in half, just each side of the middle dowel. Then we set it up to see how it would look:


It was easily assembled, with four screws for each side. We used a countersink bit so that the screw heads were well concealed. As this was quickly turning out to be child sized, I wanted it to be safe for little fingers.

The Kid took the lead on this, God bless that kid. He added supports and then included the board for the seat. My suggestion of putting a smooth lip on the front of the seat was done by way of a router.

2014-12-30 16.46.28

It was then the usual process: primer and three coats of paint. Since we were working on a multitude of pink projects, it just made sense to include this one as well.
2014-12-30 16.46.34

I wanted to add a big cushy pad, but a 39 inch piece of foam was going to cost almost $40, so I went with a little thinner pad (using quilt batting) and a multi-pink colored piece of fleece. In the end, I think it came out okay, but the next project like this, I hope to have a little more fanciful head/foot boards. I’d like to include on in my master bedroom makeover.

Project Three: Turning a Sad Little Desk into a Vanity

You cannot believe how many times The Kid suggested that we junk this piece or throw it away.🙂 In the rush of things, I again, forgot to take the ‘before’ photo. This is almost it, although I had already removed the drawers and started working on them.



The idea from the get-go was to turn this little desk into a vanity. It would entail simply moving the middle drawer down a few inches. It was pretty easy, these older pieces were assembled with minimal glue. Once the top was removed, it only took removing four little screws and it all came apart.


With a few well placed holes, the whole drawer unit went right back into the lowered space. Using the existing desktop, a piece was cut to fit and placed. Edges were given rounded edges – much like the bench above.


The remaining sections of the top were also attached and a brace across the back to help stabilize it and make it more sturdy. Then, the usual, the 3 P’s: patching, primer and paint!

2014-12-30 16.48.17

As a side note, the drawers all required new fronts. Once I started sanding them, the veneer had become so thin, they simply disappeared! A piece of paintable veneer was applied to each drawers front with glue, sanded to make the edges even before prep for painting.

2014-12-30 16.48.09

I have this little vanity mirror picked up in my Craigslist travels. It doesn’t exactly match the style of the vanity, but with the paint style, it could. I will offer it to whomever is interested in the vanity at no extra charge, so that the vanity does have a mirror.

2014-12-30 16.45.46

Either way, I think it would be so cure in a little girl’s room!

Project Four: A Straightforward Repainting of a Chest of Drawers

Last year, I had a young couple purchase an ombré dresser in blue for their newborn son. She contacted me recently for another in pink for the upcoming arrival of her baby girl!


I was able to procure a very nice chest of drawers – manufactured by Broyhill – and although it isn’t exactly the quality of furniture I am used to working on – but The Kid put some extra care into beefing up the drawers, making sure they slide well.DSCN3002

Normally, I would paint the cabinet in the blush pink, but the request was made to paint it white instead. I love the new white paint that I have been using, it has a really high gloss finish – what is called ‘mirror finish’. I absolutely love it!DSCN3001

I keep going back and forth on that little ribbon that bounces playfully between the second and third drawers. I want to paint it some color of pink, but not sure which. And there is another part of me that just likes it like it is, more subtle.DSCN3000 copy

It could easily be done at any time, but easily undone. So we’ll see!

One last thing, sort of a “Project Five-ish”🙂

Project Five: Painting a Large Mirror in Pink

A while back, I purchased three fantastic large mirrors regularly price at $200 for a mere $15, due to the frames being all scratched and dinged. Two were painted and shipped out with their respective victrola upcycles, but a third one remained unclaimed.Square Pink Mirror

I thought with all the pink pieces being completed, any one of them could use a big beautiful mirror!

Whew! So that does it for all the pink pieces. Tomorrow, the last day of 2014, will be a quick rundown of the ‘blue’ pieces. Thanks for hanging in to the very end!


Sanding Here, Priming There, Gluing Over There

I think that we’ve fallen into a groove. We are working on about five or six projects, and every day we do a little bit of work on each. You know how it gets, you have one project that has been strengthened and glued and now has to dry and set. So, you go to the next project and again, you get to the point where you have to stop and wait. We’ve gotten to the point that we have five or six ongoing projects and we quickly bring each one up to the same point every day.

The Kid Puts New Fronts on Drawers

Working On A Dresser

Right now, we’re working on getting everything to the priming stage. Planning has to be done to make sure that you’re not sanding on one project while you’re waiting for primer to dry on another. Sometimes it means that one project doesn’t get worked on because it is ready for a stage that will conflict with another. And for whatever reason, it seems to take more time this way. Seems, anyway.

So Many Projects In Process Makes for a Big Mess!

What A Mess!

On top of it, working on so many projects at once, the garage gets so crowded. We keep moving tables to give us access to one project, just to turn around and move it back to regain access to the first thing. And I keep tripping over the compressor cable and the extension cable threaded between the tables for the sander and the circular saw and the jig saw. I took a few minutes and swept up the tool counter of all the saw dust. Whew! Whenever I am overwhelmed, I always seem to revert to organizing or cleaning.🙂

I did begin work on a special project. I don’t know exactly why I decided to do this, but it is something I can work on outside of the garage. Not only fun, but it is something that I think The Kid might like. He is way into MineCraft – this online gaming and building program, where everything is in 8bit graphics. He has been playing and programming ‘mods’ (don’t ask me, I don’t exactly know) for this game since its inception, I guess. Something like 5 or 6 years. Had briefly toyed with the idea of a Halloween costume, but he was too old for trick-or-treating before I thought of the idea.

This is what a pile of gun powder looks like in the game:
imagesSo, I am making him a “real” 2D version of gun powder. I think I am going to either mount it on a base and he can set it on his desk or we’ll hang it on the wall. This is it, so far:

DSCN2950And just wanted to show you, he has a tiny version of the gun powder on his key chain:

photoWell, that’s today’s update. I’m close to revealing quite a few makeovers and re-do’s. I hope you come back to see them.


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