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.

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Tutorial – Decopatch Friendship Heart Pendants

Over Easter I shared with you all some crafts inspired by Polystyrene eggs. While shopping in the town centre when enjoying a recent holiday to Butlins in Bognor Regis, I popped into the ‘Works’ Where I uncovered these cute little polystyrene hearts.

Having recently used polystyrene miniature eggs to create Egg pendants with the children, it gave me an idea for a crafty project for these hearts.

The idea… Heart Friendship Pendants!

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If you fancy a go at these yourself, they are relatively easy to make just a little fiddly if anything. Its the perfect craft to do with bigger kids. Alice who is 10 had lots of fun making hers.

Here’s what you’ll need to make two pendants like ours…

2 designs of decopatch paper (your choice of design and colours)

Decopatch Glue

Mod Podge Shimmer (gold)

Glue/Decopatch Brush

Tiger Wire/Craft Wire

fishing Wire

Tiny Gold Beads

Glass beads

Glass crystals (colours to complement Decopatch paper)

5 x 4mm flat backed crystals (colours to complement decopatch paper) I used white and blue.

Jewellery Findings (couple of crimping beads and crimp covers, 2x pendent attachment, jump hoops, 2x clasps & catches)

Tools…

Crimping tool
Brushes
Scissors
Nail (to pierce a hole through hearts)

Here’s how to put it all together to make your heart pendents

1) Use a sharp nail to pierce 2 small holes opposite one another, right at the top of your hearts in the centre, like so…

2) Cut papers into small manageable pieces. Decopatch your hearts using your paper pieces and decopatch glue. This is done by simply adding glue directly to the heart and over the top of the paper. Cover one side of pendants, allow to dry for 30-40 minutes before doing the other sides.

When it comes to covering the sections of the hearts where the two holes are located, do this using the nail to locate the holes and piercing the paper.

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3) Once these are dry use a clean brush to apply a thin layer of Mod Podge gold shimmer. Apply to one side of the hearts, leave it to dry for 30 minutes before adding the shimmer to the opposite sides and again leaving to dry.

4) while the pendants are still wet, secure your 3 4mm flat back crystals in a row down the centre of one side of one of your pendants and the remaining crystals onto your remaining heart pendant in the same way. Now leave to dry.

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5) Now take your two tiny gold beads and insert into the two holes with the holes facing up.

6) next take your pendant attachments and fit them to the hearts via the holes on the gold beads.

7) Next, take some fishing wire (enough to make desired necklace length) and thread it through each of your pendants hoops

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8) Now thread on your glass beads and crystals like so. Five on each side looks nice. Do the same for your second necklace in a different style.

9) Make a knot on both ends of the wire while you prepare your findings.

10) Finally connect your crimps and covers, jump loops and catches. Sit back and admire your work.

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We made 2 heart necklaces as Alice-Sara wanted to make these for herself and best friend as friendship necklaces.

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The thing I love most about this project is the endless possibilities it brings. You can make a different heart for each day of the week just by changing the paper style or beads and crystals on your necklace.

What’s more, with the magic of Decopatch glue and Mod Podge your polystyrene heart is now stronger and much more solid, but still super light to wear.

Why not try it yourself, experimenting with different papers and beads as you go.

Hope I’ve inspired you to get creative with Decopatch papers… Enjoy.

This Weeks Vintage Finds

Saturday I had an awesome time bargain hunting over at a newly discovered Rummage Sale that took place at “Foal Farm” located in Biggin hill Kent.

The rummage sale is a cross between a bootfair and jumble sale. There is absolutely loads of bric a brac to look through, plus toys and collectables.

Foal Farm is actually an animal rescue sanitary so they also have there own pet shop on site selling reasonably priced items.

There is both stalls inside and outside to explore. I really did found some great vintage treasure for very little money at all.

Here’s a round up of just some of the items I brought…

Stunning silver plated candle stick holder Marked “E.P Zinc Silver Plated Made in England”

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Sadly I only got the one, though I’m sure I spotted two of these when I first approached the stall. I didn’t buy this right away and that’s why I probably missed out on bagging the set. However this didn’t cost much at all. At the end of the sale we were told to fill a bag for a £1… Yes £1! This was one of the many items I added to my pound bag.

Crystal tray and miniature crystal bottles…

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I’m unsure if this crystal dish is meant for serving snacks etc. I however thought it would be great for my dresser. Different items of makeup or jewellery can be placed in the different dividers.

The two glass bottles I brought in my bag for a £1 bargain, where the dish cost me 70p.

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Vintage Hand Mirror For Dresser…

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This mirror is really pretty and I was only charged a £1 by the stall holder.

Paris Style Sweet Tin…

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This cute paris style sweet tin was a steal at 30p. Its great for sewing materials or simply just storage for all them little odds and ends.

Tiny Vintage Trinket

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I don’t know why but I love this very tiny little trinket. Its big enough to fit just one ring but its beautifully designed and was one of my favourite buys of the day.

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Shabby Chic Oil Burner…

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A very cute little oil burner that I again loaded into my a bag for a quid.

Small Crystal Decanter…

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I don’t know what it is about decanters and glass bottles but I’m really ending up with a tidy collection. I think its all down to a book I own on creating Vintage gifts. One section has this great idea on using pretty decanters to store bubble baths and scented powders. Again this came in my bag for a pound stash.

Shabby Cream Box…

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Not like I haven’t got enough already, I couldn’t resist this cream wooden box that I brought for 50p. The lid lifts up for storage, plus it has a spacious drawer. A perfect jewellery box painted or left as it is.

Vintage Bone China Soap Dish…

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What can I say, it was 25p and its very pretty indeed. Its bone china and has all the markings on the back.

Book Plates…

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I’m unsure why I brought these as I’ve been trying to downsize my book collection. I just found them really sweet. Simply full in your name and stick to the inner cover of your book. They are old, though I’m not to sure just how old. Anybody else seen these before? These were added to my bag for a pound (I actually ended up filling 3 bags for a £1, hence the reason why I can’t share all my items here today)!

Small Decorative Porcelain Perfume Bottle…

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This is a miniature perfume bottle that’s really decorative and looks great on a dresser. It was just 50p and I love it! Not to sure what the last part of the markings indicate but like it all the same.

I also got a beautiful shabby chic wooden chair and a lovely little shelf unit for £4, that I plan to refurbish with some Annie Sloan chalk paint. I will be sure to share once I get started.