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Monday, June 13, 2016

Upcycled Furniture Tutorial ~ Colouring Station

Unwanted Magazine Holder < Up-cycled Colouring Station 

This project is one that I had been brainstorming over for a few weeks. Full Disclosure - I found the original Magazine rack in the Laundry room - It was filthy, very impractical, and seemingly useless. Cody wanted nothing to do with it, and apparently neither did anyone else in our apartment building. It sat there for about two weeks & every time I saw it - I Wanted It! While putting back my colouring supplies I thought of the idea, immediately & quite literally ran down to the laundry room and to no ones surprise the ugly upcyclers dream was still sitting there. Okay Story time is over, here is how I did it & how pretty much any piece of furniture can be transformed. 

Step 1 ~ Wash it down using a rag & soapy hot water (you will remove any residue later on when sanding) 

Step 2 ~  Remove any fabric that you do not intend on keeping

Step 3To prepare wood for paint, start with a lower (80-grit paper) followed by 100 -120 - 150, and 180 & 200 being the highest grit I normally go for.
No, you don't HAVE to use all of these different sand papers and I know it's easy to skip a grit (or 5) in the process, it's a tedious one but makes all the difference when it comes to paint absorption & any scratches, or imperfections showing in your final product! 
As a general Rule of Thumb ~ With most sandpapers, the coarser the grit, the smaller the number.

Step 4 ~ Paint ~ This may take 2 or more coats depending on the piece & paint you are working with. 

Optional Step 5 ~ Finish with a clear drying spray paint sealant - I chose one with a matte finish.
This will protect your furniture from wear and tear as well as make it easier to wash.

Step 6 ~ Replace fabric - This may mean re-upholstering which I may just do a follow-up post on once I get more practice at the skill. In my case this meant creating new pockets to hold what will now be colouring books. I did this using what used to be a table runner we had picked-up from IKEA a few years back, that no longer fits our dinning table. It worked out perfect & will get much more use now! Be sure to take a look around your home for textiles or fabrics you truly like but may not use in their 'original' form that you could up-cycle prior to purchasing anything new.

Besides waiting on the coats of paint or varnish to dry, refinishing a piece of furniture only takes about 3-4 hours of work from start to finish, & if you have help (which i did painting) even less!  I worked on it last week (in small half hour- hour long segments each night after work) The sanding and painting took a lot longer than a larger piece of furniture typically does. I think this was because it has a lot of small legs, spindles, & supports which made for tedious work.

 Upcycling furniture is something I have always done. I can still hear my fathers voice the first time I told him I wanted to paint the vintage makeup stand in my bedroom growing up. I was never really one to choose a subtle neutral colour either - for that project I chose lavender (& has since been sanded and re-finished white) Because that is the truth of it all - you can always sand it back down to the wood if you ever choose to & unless the original varnish was intact & in good condition you've really got nothing to lose! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

DIY Cacti ~ Plant Rock Tutorial

 Like A Pet Rock , A Plant Rock Never Dies

They are super simple to make, & I can almost guarantee that you can gather everything you need to make it laying around your house & a nice walk to the beach or park. It would be a great summer project to do with Kids! This is an up-cycled version inspired by a DIY I originally saw on The Party Parade (@ThePartyParade on Instagram).

I have also included a recipe I created for what I am going to call 'Sand Cement'. Made using just two ingredients & can be used in many other DIY products.

What You Need

~ Clay Pot(s)

~ Paint
~ Paint Brushes

~ Rock(s) 

Sand Cement

~ Clear Drying Glue
~ 1 - 3 cups of Sand

How To:

Be sure to start by washing your rocks so that you can start with a clean surface.Paint your Rock(s) to replicate your favourite cacti, succulents, or plants.
I did mine as two different cacti, one flowering. 
It will take a few coats to complete this process. 
While this is drying you can prepare your Sand Cement to go in the Pots - Depending on the size of your pot you will need a differing amount of sand to fill it. The Recipe: 1 part glue, 2 parts sand. As A Reference - I used two small individual pots - So i only needed 1 cup of sand & 1/2 a cup of Clear Drying Glue. To make this process easier poor sand into your pot(s), transfer into a measuring cup & then poor into a bowl to ensure you will have enough
You could also make a similar recipe using soil, but adjust your glue as needed to ensure the consistency isn't to runny - you want it to be a thick paste. 

Once you have mixed your sand & glue thoroughly, & your rock(s) have dried completely - use a spoon fill your pot(s) until they are completely full! Lastly, shove in your Rock(s) until you are happy with their positioning, feel free to rearrange them as needed until you are happy. Remove any excess sand cement with your finger (until level with the top of the pot(s).
 Leave in direct sunlight until dried completely!
Decorate around your home to brighten up even the darkest corners, never water it,
& it will live forever. 

Gratitude Is The Best Attitude