Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bling for the Bedroom

I picked up a pair of nightstands several weeks ago at Savers (kind of like a “Goodwill”). They were lovely, solid wood…just boring. But they sat…and sat…and sat…in my garage because they wouldn’t speak to me and tell me what they wanted to be! Ornery buggers.
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(This is the best I can do for a “before” picture. I swear I took one, but I can’t locate it…sorry!)
Then, the magical day happened…I read a tutorial on The Ivy Cottage for a faux-silver-leaf wall, of all things! What’s the faux part you ask? Amanda uses tin foil and wallpaper paste! She said she had successfully used the technique on furniture, and that was all I needed to know…and off I went to Home Depot!
Be warned…this is not a technique for the faint of heart. There is nothing difficult about it, but it’s fiddly and time-consuming…and STICKY!!
Here’s a peek at my finished product:faux silver leaf
Here’s a brief description of the steps I took (again, many thanks the The Ivy Cottage):
1. Cut many, many, many squares of aluminum foil! I used regular old scissors. Amanda suggests tearing them with a straight edge, but I didn’t have a lot of luck with that technique. She also suggests using heavy-duty foil, but I missed that part! I would change that if I could.
foil silver leaf
2. Use a foam brush to spread a thin layer of wallpaper paste on your furniture. Apply a piece of aluminum foil, and smooth it down as best you can. On flat surfaces, I used a rubber spatula, but almost every where else, I had to rely on my fingers to get in all the grooves and details. You will get wallpaper paste on the surface of the foil (and possibly everywhere else). (You might also find funny red splotches as you smooth your foil on, and you'll wonder if the kids did a lousy job wiping the table--again--and you have last night's pizza sauce mixed in with the wallpaper paste now. But just before you yell at them, you might realize you sliced your finger open somewhere along the way, and you're bleeding into the wallpaper paste. Can't blame the kids for that one!) Go with it; it will be just fine! Make sure you overlap the edges of the foil.
aluminum foil nightstands
(I would like to note that wrapping the legs was a royal pain!)
faux silver leaf
3. When everything is completely dry, use a damp rag to wash away the glue residue. The foil is remarkably resilient, and it stood up to a little scrubbing beautifully.
foil nightstands
4. Apply a drop of black acrylic paint to the foil, and rub it in and around with a paper towel. If you get too much, dampen it and you can wipe it right off. This is really like glazing a piece of furniture. The paint darkens the foil and gets in the wrinkles, giving it some “age” and character. I really liked the change this made in the overall look of the piece..
faux silver leaf nightstands
Note: I realized…too late…that I hadn’t been very careful in placing my foil shiny side up all the time! I decided that that added “character” to the piece as well, and I left it! Then I had to make sure to do the same thing on the second nightstand.
5. Protect your masterpiece with two coats of Minwax Polycrylic. I chose to brush it on, rather than spraying it on, because brushing gives a thicker coat! Also because the electricity was out right then!
silver leaf foil
6. I chose to keep the original pulls. I sprayed them silver (Rustoleum Aluminum, to be exact), and then applied black Rub-n-Buff over the surfaces. I think it matched remarkably well.
faux silver leaf
So what do you think?
Is this a technique you’ve ever tried before?
Or would you consider it now?
aluminum foil nightstands

 10/2/12:  You can see another foil project here!
This project has been featured at Beyond the Picket Fence, Craft Gossip, and


Thank you!

Linking up to these great parties here, and be sure to check out Amanda's inspirational blog: .

Monday, June 27, 2011

Another Coffee (Table), Please

I have seen a couple of beautiful coffee tables pop in in blogland, inspired by my French Chocolate coffee table. I would love to highlight these in a post, so if you’re making one, be sure and send me a picture!

This project was featured on My Repurposed Life and Coastal Charm.

I am busy getting ready for Bella’s Vintage Market, and since I decided I was keeping the original coffee table, I decided to create another one (or two).

I loved the square shape and chunky legs of this table, to it had to come home with me.

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I found another perfect vintage French ad at The Graphics Fairy, and after a lot of sanding and another night on the floor, I was left with this:

Note: I didn't worry about getting a perfectly uniform surface. I wanted this to look like it was made over from an old crate or sign or something, so the imperfections in the finish are fine with me!

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What fun!

I think this particular ad makes even less sense in English.

I don’t care; it looks good!

I distressed the lettering, then stained the top with a two-layer approach of Minwax English Chestnut followed by Antique Walnut Stain. The bottom I painted in Behr Ultra Pillar White (at least, I’m pretty sure that’s what it was), and glazed it.

…and…Voila! (that’s French, right??)

French coffee table

French ad table

distressed French table

I also replaced the boring wooden knob with a pretty bin pull.

overhead projector table

I still like the chunky legs…how come we only say that about tables and babies??

distressed coffee table

What do you think?

French coffee table

This piece will be available for sale at Bella’s Vintage Market at Wheeler Farms (Salt Lake City) on July 9! “Like” them on Facebook for $1 off admission.

Linking up to these great parties here.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Two Signs

I finished a couple of little sign projects today. The first one was made from a unique old piece of trim that I found at an architectural salvage shop. I loved the knothole in the middle of it!

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Hmmm… I think I like it on my bookcase!

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The second sign is another one made from a recycled cupboard door. I needed to replace the one I sold at the Spring Market (it wasn’t even for sale…but I sold it anyway)!

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This one is a little smaller than the original one, but I like the door better!

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These pieces will appear at Bella’s Vintage Market at Wheeler Farms (Salt Lake City) on July 9! “Like” them on Facebook for $1 off admission.

Linking up to these great parties here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Like a Tea Tray

Twinkle, twinkle little bat

How I wonder what you’re at

Up above the world you fly

Like a tea tray in the sky…

I thought starting the morning with a little Alice in Wonderland quote might make your day go better!

I found this little piece at a garage sale. I don’t know for sure that it is an actual “tea tray,” but that’s all I can think of when I see those cute little wheels.

(edited to add: OK, from some of your comments, now I know it was a "rolling TV cart." Ugh, how UN-romantic! It's a tea cart now anyway!)

tea tray

I decided to try my hand at the harlequin pattern. I painted the whole piece white, and then I measured the length of the tray and divided it evenly into 8 sections. I “connected the dots” and taped off my diamonds (using a razor blade to cut the excess tape). Then I sprayed the whole piece with green, and peeled off my tape diamonds.

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It looked pretty nice all freshly painted, but the colors were just too bright for me! So, after a lot of distressing and glaze…

tea cart

…I have something that looks a little worn with time and use.

Oh, but didn’t I call it a “tea tray”?

…Won’t you please join me for a summer snack?

tea cart

I’ll get out my best silver…

tea tray

I might find some napkins in the house (but probably not)…

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Come play with me!

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This piece will be available for sale at Bella’s Vintage Market at Wheeler Farms (Salt Lake City) on July 9! “Like” them on Facebook for $1 off admission.

This project was featured on Photobucket

Linking up to these great parties here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bella’s Vintage Market

I have been extremely busy the last few days, because I have been getting ready for:



I am excited to join the first year of this fun new show, patterned after the Farm Chicks in Spokane!

Please “like” the Bella’s Vintage Market Facebook page for $1 off admission!

As an added bonus, the first 10 visitors to my booth who tell me they follow Red Hen Home will receive a free gift!

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A new direction

This is my first attempt at using Windows Live Writer…so please be patient with me!

In my last post, I showed you the new-to-me couch in my living room.

couch 004

Of course, that one new piece of furniture started a domino effect! I had to change the orientation of the rug. Of course I have to rearrange my pictures. Naturally I will need some throw pillows. But most importantly, I need *something* to cover the now bare space of wall above! (Can’t have that cable jack staring me in the face, now can I??)

My first thought was to put a bookshelf there, but then I remembered this little chest of drawers that I picked up at a (very cold, very wet) auction on Memorial Day.

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No one else seemed to want it! I scored it for $20. I thought the shape was fun and unusual, and it is actually a great height for a small entry table or buffet.

Or maybe…for my bare wall??

I had a specific idea in mind for this piece. I purchased this map from Amazon (about $6, including shipping), and I mod-podged it to the top. Knowing that mod-podge tends to create wrinkles, I purposely crinkled and wrinkled the map before I put it on! The body of the cabinet I painted in a creamy white “oops” Valspar paint (the same paint that inspired my bathroom makeover here).

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The map originally had a glossy finish, but the matte finish mod-podge toned that down, and I liked it much better. Then I used Minwax Jacobean stain mixed with Martha Stewart glazing medium over the whole chest—map and all. It gave great “age” to the map and everything else! I used the original hardware, painted with oil-rubbed bronze spray paint, but then roughed up to show some of the original brass underneath.

Here’s what it looks like now!

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The map looks more vintage-y with the glaze (and the wrinkles!)

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Then I had fun playing with a few accessories….

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I picked up these two HUGE chippy baseboards at an architectural-salvage shop in Salt Lake City. I didn’t know Salt Lake had an architectural-salvage shop! It was probably better when I didn’t know…

decoupaged chest of drawers

I have three of these cool scales now. I think Ballard Designs want $300 for theirs. I didn’t pay over $20 for any of mine!

decoupaged chest of drawers

The left side of the scale holds two doorknobs and a wire flower frog. The right side has an old brush. I purchased them all at a great antique shop in Salmon, Idaho, on my way home from Montana. I spent a delightful 20 minutes and $28 there!

decoupaged chest of drawers

The succulents in the little wheelbarrow I bought from a local lady who makes delightful arrangements in “found” objects—like tea cups, gravy boats, or other unusual dishes.

decoupaged chest of drawers

So the real test is…what does it look like in my living room?

Well, what do you think?

decoupaged dresser

This is the “new direction” I am referring to (also a nod to the map on the top!) Is this as good as / or better than a bookshelf?

decoupaged dresser

(Still not sure what to put above the couch now. But I may have the glimmer of an idea…)

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What do you think?

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and featured topsy turvy tuesdays

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36th Avenue