Vintage Refurbishment – Indian Wooden Letter Rack And Key Hanger

I found this little gem at an auction and knew instantly what I wanted to do with it. Refurbishing smaller items is just as enjoyable as working on those bigger pieces and for this little project I decided on a two colour theme and the addition of some crystals to really shabby it up to its full potential.

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This vintage letter rack and key hanger is beautifully made from thick wood and features a stunning carved out leaf pattern. Its stickers indicate that the product was handmade in India, though these stickers were somewhat difficult to remove so have now been painted over in Annie Sloan chalk paint. As this rack is made from real wood, certain areas have been untreated (areas between the wood carving) so as to ensure the product was splint free I gave it a quick firm sanding over.

The wood was then wiped with warm soapy water and then covered in a coat of Annie Sloan Paris Grey chalk paint, with the carved cut out areas being left untouched because to these areas of the rack, I would be applying a second colour paint! For this project I decided upon Farrow and Ball ‘Pale Hound’ a lovely cream colour with hints of yellow.

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I wanted to achieve a real shabby appearance so wasn’t too careful with my painting, only taking more care where the two colours met to avoid overlap. Some areas received two thin coats of paint where other areas were left with one to help produce that old shabby hand-painted effect. It was important that the cut out areas really stood out and remained the racks main focal point. I think the cream contrasts really well with the grey and by making the cut out areas this colour it has helped me to achieve that.

Before applying my white flat backed 4mm crystals I gave the entire piece a good wax using Annie Sloan clear wax and then slightly distressed areas of the rack with 100 grit sand paper before giving it a final coat of wax.

The crystals were then applied to areas of the cut out carved wood, being placed randomly on corners and tips of each leaf.

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I’m really pleased with the end result and feel that although this was pretty before the refurb, its now more fresh and interesting and will have little problems getting noticed, making a statement on any hallway wall.

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This piece is now for sale. Remember you can email me to see where I’ll be selling each weekend or buy online using PayPal. Plus I’ve opened an esty shop called “Chic Collective” and I’m in the process of listing all items so be sure to browse whenever desired. Remember refurbished furniture makes each piece a one of a kind, making it truly unique to you, your personal taste and personality.

Note: I’m in the process of displaying my items including vintage jewellery and nicknacks on their own pages within the blog too. These should be ready soon. You can visit my instagram which currently displays images of some of my items.

Email clairelouise.tss@gmail.com for more info.

Little Vintage Refurbs And Upcycles

I’ve currently been working on a few smaller scale refurb projects. These include yet another vintage spice rack complete with lidded jars and a vintage wooden letter rack which I’ll show you in a later post.

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Well, as for the spice rack which was a plain wall mountable small shelf in a rose wood colour, I simply reprinted the shelf using farrow and ball in the colour Pale Hound. First my shelf was sanded and primed before giving it a total of two coats of the paint. I then applied some clear Annie Sloan wax before giving the entire piece a light quick sanding only applying light pressure with a piece of 100 grit sandpaper. I then applied a second coat of wax that I buffed and left to dry.

The jars were cleaned and the original labels left on. I removed the lids that were made of the same wood and these were painted with Annie Sloan chalk paint in the colour Paris Grey. Two coats were applied before being waxed and sanded in the same way as the shelf they would stand on.

I then used my Annie Sloan paint to paint a small moulding which I brought in the design and shape of a rose from an online source. Once dry I used some extra strong wood glue to apply the painted moulding to the centre of the shelf, before finally adding my jar lids and standing them on their newly painted shelf.

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Simple… Its complete and now ready to be mounted on someone’s kitchen wall, where just a few hours ago this was just about ready for the bin! The difference a little shabby chic makes is amazing & very easy to create.

This will now be sold and is available now. You can find me at vintage fairs, bootfairs and festivals throughout the summer mainly in London and Kent. But if I’m not at an event near you, those wanting to buy any of the vintage furniture and nicknacks I sell (including vintage jewellery and textiles) can do so by contacting me directly (email address in side bar or contact tab). I often display some of my items here on the blog or via Instagram (Claire Louise Parkinson). I’m in the process of creating a few pages on the blog to display such items and this should be ready shortly so please look out for this.

Upcycle – Vintage Inspired Crackle Butterfly Box

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I’ve had this plain wooden Ivory box with drawer fitment for a while now and wasn’t to sure what to do with it. I brought it at a rummage sale for pennies and at the time thought it was fine left the way it was.

However, as the weeks have turned to months, this box has done nothing useful. Its sadly just been moved around my bedroom, longing to fit in. With this I decided that in order to make real use of the box i’ll have to put my own personal stamp on it!

Being a girl who just loves jewellery and consequently owns a lot of it, I decided to upcycle my wooden box into a vintage style jewellery box.

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Here’s what I used to transform the ivory wooden box..

FolkArt Acrylic Paint (940 Coffee Bean)
Mod Podge Shimmer- Gold
Wooden Cut Out Butterfly
4mm White Crystals (flat backed)
Crackle Paint White
Square Piece Of Mirror
PVA Glue (mixed with water)

Tools
Paint brushes
Glue Brushes
Sponge Paint Applicator
Hairdryer (or heat tool)

Firstly I had to give my box a wipe to remove any dust or dirt.

Next I removed the drawer and with a sponge applicator I applied my coffee bean paint to the entire box (drawer included). I allowed them both to dry before adding a second coat.

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Once the box and its drawer had dried I added a thin layer of mod podge gold shimmer adding a thicker application to the edges of my box.

I allowed a 30 minute drying time before starting on my next step…

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Now… I mixed 2 parts PVA glue to 1 part water (the idea is to create a runny but tacky glue mixture).

I then applied a thin amount to the lid of my box and applied direct heat with my hairdryer. I made sure not to completely dry the mixture as I needed it to remain slightly tacky to the touch.

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I then took my crackle paint in white and scooped out some mixture onto a plate. With a sponge I applied the paint over the entire lid (directly over the tacky glue mixture) making sure not to go over the same area more than once as this will ease the crackling effect.

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I then did the same with both the glue mixture and the crackle paint on all other areas of my box excluding the front section that surrounds my drawer. The drawer itself also received the same treatment.

Once all areas of crackle were applied and fully dry I again applied my gold mod podge shimmer to the entire box, including the section that remained brown and not crackled.

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As I allowed the box to air dry for a further 30 minutes or so, I started work on my butterfly.

To decorate my wooden butterfly for the lid of my box I used a sponge applicator to cover it in coffee bean paint on both sides. This received two coats of paint in total.

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Once dry I applied mod podge gold shimmer to the entire butterfly again on both sides.

Once the butterfly was dried I applied another coat of gold shimmer to just one side of the butterfly. It was during this application that I also applied the 4mm white crystals and then placed to one-side till later.

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Next I took a piece of square mirror big enough to fit neatly in the centre of the inner section of my lid, and stuck it down with super glue.

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The last step was to take my crystal butterfly and again using superglue apply it to the lid of my box at a slight angle like so…

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Done!

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I love the crackle effect on the box. By adding the gold mod podge shimmer the box has both subtle and vibrant gold tones. However, my favourite part has to be the crystal butterfly. Its hard to capture both the sparkle from the crystals and the shimmer from the gold on a photo! The effect looks much more spectacular in life.

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I’ve really enjoyed turning my plain old ivory box into my own little vintage masterpiece. Why not upcycle things around your home? I’d love some inspirational ideas for the future, so feel free to share any in the comment section of this post.

Tutorial – Shabby Chic Crackled “Love” Hearts

20130415-190916.jpgSo cute but so so easy.

To make a small crackle heart in this pretty shabby chic style you will need the following materials…

Small Paper Mâché Heart
Folk Art Acrylic Paint (940 Coffee Bean)
Mod Podge Shimmer (Gold)
PVA Glue (Mixed with water)
1 4mm White Flat Backed Crystal
Acrilex – Tinta Craquelex Branco (basically white crackle paint)
Black Marker Pen

Tools
Glue & Paint Brushes
Heat Tool or Hair Drier
Sponge Paint Applicator

First paint both sides of your heart in the coffee bean paint.

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When dry apply one thin coat of mod podge shimmer to both sides of the heart.

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Once dry mix 4 parts PVA to 2 parts water. The mixture needs to be thin but still tacky (apply more glue or water if you need to).

Apply the mixture to your heart with a sponge applicator. Don’t apply to thickly.

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Now blast your heat tool or like me, your hairdryer, over the heart. Don’t dry the glue fully! It needs to be tacky but not wet.

As soon as this is done use a brush to dab the Craquelex over the tacky glue (do not reapply over the same area more than once as this stops the effect from appearing. Be sure to work fast as to avoid the glue over drying.

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Once your heart is covered blast the hairdryer on to the heart and watch as the cracks begin to form.

Let the heart now sit for an hour before taking your permanent maker and writings the word ‘Love’ in which ever style you desire across the front of your heart.

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Leave to dry for a further 30 minutes as to not smudge the ink on the next step.

Now applying another coat of mod podge shimmer gold. At this point also apply the 4mm flat backed white crystal to the bottom point of your heart.

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Leave to dry and then hang and display.

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If you love these hearts but don’t want to make them yourselves please email me and I’d be happy to create these for you. Prices start from £2.50 and can be made in various colours.
Email clairelouise.tss@gmail.com
All payments are taken via PayPal

Tutorial – Vintage Inspired Gift Tags & Keepsakes

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I love giving vintage gifts and when doing so I always make sure that my packaging fits in with the whole vintage theme.

Recently I gave a friend a very pretty vintage boxed perfume bottle that I wrapped with layers of thin pink and blue tissue paper and finished with one of these awesome vintage inspired wooden heart tags that could be kept by the gift receiver as a keepsake.

This was quite simple to create and is done so using the decoupage technique. To try it yourself you will need…

Flat Wooden Heart (with two small hearts either corner)
Various Decopatch Papers
Lace Trimmings (blue and off white)
Old Victorian Portrait Image (I had one but you could easily find something similar on the web)
Decopatch Glue
3x Flat backed blue crystals
Pretty ribbon in baby blue
Baby blue mini bow
Mod Podge Shimmer Gold

Tools
Brushes for glues
Scissors

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I brought my heart in a blue colour, if you want you can paint yours for the same effect.

Firstly cut a few small squares from your Decopatch papers, then cut down your lace trimmings into different size pieces. Lastly cut around your Portrait image So that it fits nicely in the middle not taking up to much room.

Now start sticking down paper like so using Decopatch glue..

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Layer with ribbon as you go. As mentioned I’m using pale blue and ivory that I’ve trimmed pieces from.

When adding these different pieces don’t worry if they lap over your heart as once dry the edges are easily trimmed.

I’ve added my image at a slight angle for added effect.

I’ve then randomly applied 3 flat backed crystal in a green/blue colour using the Decopatch glue to secure

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Everything now on the heart has been added using Decopatch glue. This dries clear giving it a smooth glossy effect.

I left my heart for around 30 minted to dry before applying some mod podge shimmer gold. I applied this to random areas of the heart (the whole thing) therefore giving more subtle hints of golden shimmer.

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I then gave this a further 30 minutes to dry before adding my small blue bow to the bonnet worn by the little Victorian girl now featured on my heart.

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The last step is to thread some thin baby blue ribbon through the holes in my heart and then tying in a bow to secure.

Doesn’t it look pretty?

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Tutorial – Inspiring Word Pebbles

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When on holiday recently we visited the local beach which was made up off shingles and pebbles as opposed to sand. With so many on offer, I decided I’d take some home for crafting purposes. We collected all different types of pebble and had great fun doing so. We ended up with a huge bucket full consisting of all kinds of shapes sizes and textures.

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So just what am I planning to do with all these pebbles. Well, some of the pebbles will be painted in various designs by myself and the toddler. These will then be lovingly placed around the garden, in pots and plant beds. The rest I’m planning to decorate using inspiring word art. These decorative pebbles can be placed around the home or given as gifts. Its the latter I’m going to share with you all today.

What you’ll need…

Pebbles (various sizes, smooth and flat)

Decopatch Glossy Glue

Black permanent marker

What you need to do…

Firstly wash your pebbles well removing any dirt or other bits of the beach you brought back with them. Once washed dry thoroughly.

Now use a brush to cover all pebbles in 2 thin layers of Decopatch glue.

Leave for 20-30 minutes

Next take your black permanent maker and dependent on the particular size of your pebble write an inspiring word. Go over the ink once dried making sure the wording is really bold.

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If you’re feeling adventurous, while not add a little symbol by your inspiring word to your pebble a bigger lift.

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Important… Use the Decopatch glue before you write on the stone as no matter how long you’ve dried the stone with your wording, Decopatch glue will lift the ink and smudge your design.

Leave lnk to dry and then display.

Here’s some words I added to our pebbles…

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Hope you’re feeling inspired.

Remember: When you’re next visiting a beach, always bring some of the beach home with you for crafting!

How Too Create Vintage Inspired Crackled Crystal Drawer Knobs

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I love to make things that bit different by adding my own unique touch to them. As I needed some new drawer knobs for some refurbished vintage furniture. I decided I’ll hand paint my own, while trying some new techniques at the same time.

For this project I brought some plain white ceramic drawer knobs to paint. Here’s what I used…

Plain White Ceramic Knobs (Homebase but brought mine from a bootfair)

Ceramic Paint (I used Pink)

Tiny White Flat Backed Crystals (real not acrylic)

Decopatch Glossy Glue

PVA (glue)

Water (to dilute glue)

Acrilex Tinta Craquelex – Number 810 (basically a crackle paint in baby blue)

There are also some tools required…

4 Brushes (for glue/paint)

1 Sponge Applicator (small)

Jar/Bowl (to mix PVA with water)

Stick (to mix PVA and water)

Heat Tool/Hair Dryer

I wanted my drawer knobs to have a vintage, shabby chic feel about them, so they would nicely match our current furnishings that I have been refurbishing with Annie Sloan chalk paint.

To start I gave the knobs two coats of pink ceramic paint (20 minutes drying time between coats).

I then took my PVA glue and added 4 big dollops to a preserving jar and mixed in some water. I added around one part more glue then water. This made a fair amount, nowhere near what I needed for this project, but given I’ve used a preserving jar, it will keep for later crafts. Remember you really don’t need to buy an expensive crackle medium as this really does do the very same thing for much less.

I then took a small tip paint brush and painted the glue over the tops of my drawer knobs, being careful to avoid drips. I was creating a total of 4 knobs so worked in groups of twos. This is so your knobs don’t have time to completely air dry.

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Once your glue is applied, take either a hair dryer or heat tool and give each knob some help to dry with a blast of heat (only, don’t dry fully)! You need your glue to be almost dry (the tacky stage).

Now take your Acrilex Tinta Craquelex (aka crackle paint) and with a clean brush apply directly over the top of the glue.

IMPORTANT… Do not go over the same painted surface more than once or this will stop the crackling effect from appearing altogether.

TIP… Dab on at speed adding texture as you go for a sharper effect.

As soon as the tops of your knobs are covered again use a heat tool/hair dryer and you should start to see the cracks begin to appear before your very eyes.

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Use the heat source till your knob tops are almost completely dry to touch. Then leave for 30-40 minutes to air dry.

At this stage you can work on the remaining 2 knobs in the same way.

Once the tops have dried, apply the PVA solution to the remaining areas of your knobs. Do this in the same way as before (using heat source till glue is tacky). Then again apply the crackle to the remaining areas only this time sponge it on. Don’t forget.. Never go over the same area more than once.

Once more apply the heat source to each knob to help cracks develop and speed up the drying process.

Leave to air dry as before.

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Once these are dry, take your white flat back crystals, a clean small brush and some Decopatch glue.

Mod podge is to thick for this project and PVA won’t give it the protection it will require, Decopatch glossy glue seals these perfectly!

Gently apply the Decopatch glue to each knob. Only apply 1 thin layer and always go in the same direction as you started, avoiding unsightly brush marks.

One by one as you’re applying the glue, put in place your flat back crystals (a column of three down the middle).

Be sure to cover each drawer knob entirely in a thin layer of Decopatch glue, including over the top of each crystal to completely seal them in place. Be carefully you don’t leave any drips or overly wet areas before leaving to dry for at least an hour maybe even more (depends on the conditions your working in).

The effect is wonderful, the crackling gives them a very pretty vintage feel and I think the effect actually resembles that of lace a little.

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The images I’ve included fail to really show the true gorgeousness of these drawer knobs. The crystals sparkle beautifully which sadly was very had to capture in a photograph.

So… What do you think?

This isn’t particularly difficult to do, yet its a technique that still manages to produce such beautiful effects.

I’ll be sure to snap a few pictures of the drawer knobs once I’ve fitted them.

Thanks again for reading.