Jewelry Box Makeover

I found this very dated jewelry box at a second hand store in the summer and bought it with the intention of giving it a makeover and gifting it to my three year old for Christmas.


Naturally, I didn’t hide if very well and she found it (more than once). Every time she played with it, she told me how much she liked it. It was destined to be a hit.

I thought about reconstructing it to really make it unique but reason won. She’s three and a half and her little sister’s current nickname is “The Destroyer”.

I’ll be happy if the jewelry box makes it through to the end of January.

They will eventually each get an heirloom box but that can wait until they can appreciate, and not tear apart, pretty things.

For those reasons, I kept this makeover simple.

Luckily the itty bitty handle pulls are quite lovely and complement the colour I chose, “sovereign”, quite well.

I used four different but equally pretty pretty crafting paper I had kicking around. I applied Modge Podge to both glue and seal the paper to the glass.



On Christmas morning, it was a hit.

She loved the box and the bracelets I hid inside.

We bonded on a busy Christmas morning when I explained that was a special gift just for me to her. She understood.

Every time someone comes over, she brings them to show them her “special” jewelry box.

Awwww.

This was such a fun project to work on that I can’t wait to work on more custom jewelry boxes.

 

Toile-d

I picked up this chest of drawers at a mid-summer garage sale.

Finally in the fall, I painted it antique white.


And it sat for another few weeks.

All the while, I attempted to remove the green dragon – a thick green velvety material stuck to the inside of the drawer with an industrial strength adhesive.

I had to get it off. I used scrappers, scissors, adhesive removers, pliers, box cutters and straight razors. They all helped chip away at the green dragon but nothing was very effective.

I took out my orbital sander and sanded some of it off. Green bits went flying everywhere. It was joyous.

Yet, the green dragon still remained.

It was a shell of its former self, but it was still torturing that drawer.

And I just couldn’t get it off.

This dragon had to be slayed and the white paint needed a lift.

Where was inspiration when I needed her?

Well, wouldn’t you know, she was hiding in my fabric stash.

Luckily I’m a bit of a fabric hoarder and I happen to have two yards of a lovely blue and white toile de Jouy, the classic French textile.


It inspired me to refinish this piece in two tones. I kept the drawers antique white but repainted the rest of the body in intellectual gray.

Antique and intellectual. They complement each other nicely.

What I love about this piece is it’s history. It’s got bumps and bruises that make me wonder where it’s been and how it found its way to me. I did some minor repairs but left the character building flaws intact.

I applied some distressing techniques to give it an aged French provincial mood.

As for the dragon, well, I had no fight left so I decide to take the high road: I painted it.

Then I cut my beautiful toile and modge podged it the drawer. (I made sure to use something that is easy to remove.)


Before & After

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Bye bye green dragon, hello French beauty.

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Look at those curves! She’s stunning indeed.

Where would you put her if she lived at your house?

 

Not your grandma’s telephone tables

My neighbour was out walking with her dog one day when she noticed a pile of furniture at the end of a driveway with a “free” sign on it.

The next thing I know, she and her son have helped me fill my garage with a 7 drawer solid wood dresser with detachable mirror, two vintage telephone tables and a magazine rack. All solid wood. All gorgeous. All filled with so much potential.
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I was compelled to work on these tables first since they were a decorating staple when I was young. I couldn’t resist thinking of every home I’d been in the late 70’s and 80’s (and maybe even into the 90’s). Everyone had these. Hello nostalgia!

It’s a shame you don’t see them much anymore because these tables are vintage cool. They just need a little bit of work to shake off the floral couch and dust skirt vibe.

The table tops were so gorgeous once I got the original finish off that I contemplated turning them into charcuterie boards for Christmas presents.

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I painted the legs, leg joiners and spindles in antique white and distressed them for the the shabby chic look.

IMG_9683There’s something unnerving about taking perfectly painted furniture pieces and distressing them with sandpaper. After a glass of red wine though, I really get into it.

Before reassembling, I sealed the pieces with finishing wax and gave them all a good buffing.

I have mad love for how these turned out.


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Although home telephone lines are out of vogue, these tables are the perfect spot for a vintage rotary phone and a pretty notepad. But please, let’s leave the floral couches in the 70’s.

Little Victorian

I picked up this little beauty at a garage sale. I love the shape and detailing but it needed a little bit more loving.

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So my helper put herself to work sanding.

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It got a couple fresh coats of antique white chalk paint before I discovered a small peeling issue on one of the drawers that quickly turned into a major peeling issue.

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Luckily the problem was only on the inside detailing of the drawers so rather than strip the drawers and start anew, I thought I’d finally get to do something fun and creative with some pretty white and silver paper I bought a while back.

The paper was way too bright to look good with the antique white paint – kind of like using white out on a piece of paper from the turn of the century. Hmm..not a match.

All the paper needed was to be aged a touch. I added hot water to the leftover coffee grains in my French press and soaked the paper for a few minutes. After drying in the hot sun for just a few minutes, the paper was dry and the bright white and silver paper was perfectly muted.

The handles I had spray painted earlier were then far too bright to match the aged paper. I rubbed in a little dark creme wax on them and got the look I wanted.

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I added a little bit of creme wax to the flowers on the bottom of the nightstand to draw out the details.

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The trickiest part was custom cutting the aged paper to fit perfectly on the drawers. A little patience and a little utility knife did the trick. I used antique glue to age the paper just a little bit more.

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This piece has a muted Victorian vibe that I love.

Before & After

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