Archive for the ‘the ReStore’ Category

Nellie's JUNE Barn Sale!  I’ll be selling my treasures & creations at the June

Nellie’s Barn Sale

and it’s coming up quickly!  I’ve got a LOT of work to do to be ready.  But waiting for something to set up on one said project (to be able to continue) –thought I’d make good use of my time with some SUDDEN

UNexpected inspiration!

misc parts~ I bought this

“Part of a Chandelier”

long-long ago for $3–I’ll bet it originally included some lantern-styled glass around it.  I’m always collecting misc parts of things~found this wood piece in one of my bins with a $1 price sticker on it.  AND a random lamp shade was laying around- 50¢.

The wood piece looks like it was part of a lamp so it was already drilled out down the center–YaY!  I DID still have to make/drill some modifications to fit the center shaft through it.  Then I put the chandy back together -THEN- I painted!

Doesn’t it almost look “authentic?”

misc parts to REmake a chandy!misc parts to REmake a chandy!

random lamp shade~

Now the shade—it LOOKED like the perfect size and scale to add to the end look and design!

Digging through my stashes of grain sack- I was excited to find an end cut still WHOLE in its tubular form.  And can you believe, it was EXACTLY the right diameter.  Omg- MEANT to be?

Don’t ya’ love when that happens?!?

REcovering a lamp shade

REcovering a lamp shade

REcovering a lamp shade

And now a REcovered — CUSTOMIZED lamp shade!

REcovering a lamp shade

~adding the shade

I took the chandy apart one last time at just the top section so I could feed the shade into the mix for a solid attachment.

Et Voilà!

I LUV IT—but time to get back to what I actually WAS working on!

Small in scale but perfect for a hall, foyer, or small bedroom!


a REcreated Chandelier!a REcreated Chandelier!










a REcreated Chandelier!a REcreated Chandelier!

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BIRDHOUSE makings from the ReStoreSeriously

not trying to beat the subject of Birdhouses to death-


Back in November of 2011, roaming around one of our local ReStores, I saw this gargantuan light fixture.  Presumably for a 2 story foyer.  $34

I saw interesting parts.

Even back then- my thoughts gravitated towards the ROOF of a birdhouse.  Two of them!

Do you see it?






Maybe this helps?

BIRDHOUSE makings from the ReStoreBIRDHOUSE makings from the ReStore


BIRDHOUSE makings from the ReStore

Obviously, I bought it–  and promptly deconstructed it!

But sadly, any kind of project got back-burner’d into my stashes.

BIRDHOUSE makings from the ReStore
my Bespoke Birdhouses!

So now I’m thinking about this potential project–again

I just think the two BIG “roofs” will make super fun  -and even biGGer-  Birdhouses!
Btw~ yesterday I ran back to the antique mall with a few props for my latest two favs!  I really love them—and if for some reason they don’t sell- I really won’t be so terribly upset about it.
So you see- my mind is stuck on spring. . .  if only Mother Nature would get on board!



my Bespoke Birdhouses!

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ReStore sconces
I can’t remember ever sharing this with you—from 4 years ago.

I found them at the ReStore,

got them cheap,

did a very simple face lift,

and REsold them quickly!
. . . gotta love when that happens!

I painted them with a charcoal gray metallic spray paint, and decoupaged the metal shades with parts of an early 19oo’s newspaper.

ReStore sconce FACE LIFT

I’d actually forgotten about this project,

so fun stumbling onto these old pictures!


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bed post cut-offsSOMEONE wanted to update their bed.

They hired my favorite furniture strippers—who stripped the head board~foot boards and, as instructed, CUT OFF the decorative bed posts.

But that was the COOLEST PART—wt??

The guys already chucked some of the parts, but others were still laying on the ground. . . .until I happened by with a project in tow.

“What’s  T H I S?

What’s going on here?

Can I have them?”

Clearly, I’m not above begging.  And once they checked the owners didn’t want ’em back—THEY WERE MINE!

I asked the guys to strip themthey’re Maple!  I cut off the extra “ends,” drilled holes down the center (not an easy task with HARD wood), and pulled some Maple veneered plywood to make a pair of plinth boxes for them to sit on.

THESE are going to become lamps!

BED POST cut-offs~stripped and getting prepped

drilling a hole for the wiring~

building a plinth box~

creating an architectural lamp~

Things were humming along (YaY!)

and then I remembered I had a perfect pair of lamp shades found in the ReStore!  Yes~I also hoard collect lamp shades.  Don’t judge~it’s a sickness.

But look at what I found for the price!  Perfect!

Lamp shades for my new lamps!

This is the roughed-in shape of things~

now onto wiring and some finishes!


roughed-in and only propped

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My BURBERRY Dresser!

In spite of the totally royal pain in the p’tutie it was to create my first —I took on another!

I loved the outcome even in spite of how

tedious  &


it was to get all those crisp stripes.  Not to mention the challenging iconic logos.

It was a very quick seller in the mall

~did I price it too low?

The first time around I suffered greatly—all because of “cheap” painter’s tape.  I thought.  Well, once a victim~twice a volunteer, and I wasn’t volunteering for another round of punishment!  I spent the crazy-extra dollars for Frogtape!

THIS project would go easier.  (fingers crossed)

That’s laughable considering the amount of pre-planning and strategizing required.  I bought both of the expensive multi-surface and delicate surface tapes—I thought it might take both throughout the different stages of the project.

Now, let me just say— I’ve given a LOT of thought to this before writing.  Sorry Frogtape, maybe we could talk?

the beginning of another BURBERRY DRESSER

This was a  L O N G  project to get through.  No joke.

◊ I sanded the body just to even out the raised stenciling—and generally AWFUL paint job.  It also gave the dresser a tooth for my painting.

◊ I stripped the top.  Evened it out with a lighter stain, and waxed it.

◊ I mixed up some “Burberry” beige and painted the body of the dresser.  It just so happened that it was 2 days before I could come back to continue, so the paint was well cured.

I planned, I strategized, I worked the math.  And I finally started taping off the first of the stripes—the white.  I used the multi surface Frogtape.  I painted all six white verticals and immediately peeled off the tape—so far so good.

I probably gave this part about 2 hours drying time.  I had lunch, I cut the grass, checked emails, it was a moderately hot day.  I gave the stripes a VERY light sanding and got busy REtaping for the dark gray stripes.  I used some standard painter’s tape to keep accurate spacing throughout the project.  I used a chip brush to achieve a striae’d effect.

my Frog tape fail--Again, I peeled the tape off right away.  This time I saw a bit of bleed through, but worse—it pulled off the other paints!

I know all about burnishing the tape edges and have actually discovered over many years of painting that using a razor blade applies much more consistent/even pressure and adhesion—WaY better than your fingers!

I was really disappointed to see even a little bit of bleed through considering all the hype.  But I was IRRITATED beyond measure that it ripped the paint off!

I lightly sanded, REpainted the white, and walked away from THIS project till the next morning.

my Frog tape fail--With a fresh attitudeI REtaped and painted the gray stripes, AGAIN, and peeled the tape off right away—successfully.  I had other projects going simultaneously and resumed work a couple hours later with the horizontal (mathematical) stripes.

I taped (forever), I painted, I peeled off tape. AND paint!  In OTHER areas!

Come on~moderately hot weather, with exception to the “touch ups,” everything had a gOOd amount of set up/drying time, so WT???

I used the delicate surface tape this time  thinking that the problem was in the multiple layers of paint –right?- but it still peeled paint off—arrrrgh!

4 days in now, my attitude was becoming hotter than the weather.

Burberry stripes and hardware--Day 5, just looking at this project conjured ideas of rolling the whole dang thing outside to build a good bonfire—so I ignored it for more cooperative projects.  I certainly had enough else to do.

Day 6.  THIS project needed to be ready for the next morning’s trip to Door County so -like it or not- I had to deal with it.

I taped off for the red stripes—and prayed for success.  The paint held, but I saw a little bit of bleed through again and settled in for a good amount of touch up by HAND, where I found my Venetian plaster trowels to be incredibly helpful!  The thin sharp edge created a nice guide to paint against—sort of like the tape was supposed to do.  Insert sarcasm here.  I lightly sanded the whole dresser for “wear” and to camouflage the many crummy areas (IMO). 

--one of the iconic Burberry logosI made a “new” hardware selection of old, tarnished brass L&R pulls found at the ReStore—it was 9pm and I had nothing left for this guy.

EARLY next morning~ I headed back out with scaled print outs and tracing paper to work on those iconic logos.  I traced the images, then drew back over them with a sharpie marker.  I locked them in by lightly over-spraying with a non-yellowing sealer.

11am and I was finally pulling everything out that needed to get loaded.

7. days. in.  NOT some of my finest work—but hopefully someone will like LUV BUY it!

my newest Burberry Dresser for the Door County antique mall!

Uh WoW~ the picture makes this 42″ tall dresser look short~???

Okay. . .Frogtape. . .I don’t know.

Worth the extra cost?

Guess I’d like to have a conversation with a rep to problem solve my issues before bailing altogether.  I hate to sound negative or burn a product-bridge, but—HOW MUCH CURE TIME does paint need before you can use this tape?  ‘Cause I really felt like this was the main problem.  What’s your experience?

The Jury’s still out.


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another CL cabinetQuick back story

March 7 I chased 30 miles south to pick up an old cabinet off Craigslist.  Which happened to be ¼ mile from one of 3 ReStores around this area—so I stopped in.

A bit of a rant—feel free to bypass.
*We have 3 Restores—right here,  about 30 miles North  and 30 miles South of us.  Now, I love and totally believe in the philosophy and purpose of the ReStore, and both patronize and donate…BUT.   I’ve developed a bit of an attitude.  Right or wrong, here’s why.
The best is about 30 miles North, and the one I actually feel committed to- by patronage, donations, and my own built-for-charity projects.
The one about 30 miles South is incredibly junky and grossly over-priced~IMO.  The one right here?  Dropping off a donation-load, someone just ahead of me dropped off 4 inCREDible french-styled paneled doors!  I wanted them badly and asked the A-Mngr if they could be priced and I’d buy them right now!?!  “….no, but check back in the morning.”
I was there as they opened  next morn’ and was told they had lead paint and got crushed in the dumpster.  W H A T?  I was upset.  1-I would have taken them right to the strippers to make them safe, and 2-if I donated something they didn’t want to/couldn’t sell, I’d take it elsewhere!  At least give the option—DON’T just destroy it!  Before I left the store, a volunteer I had some familiarity with very quietly told me the “dumpster” was the MNGR’s TRUCK.  W H A T??  I’ve only gone back there twice in 4 years.  Under “duress.”  I will NEVER again give that store a donation.  TOO MUCH?  Well…MOVING ON….

a ReStore piece....So I got that cabinet above for $30 and have some fun plans for it! 

At the ReStore, I did buy this poor thing with no identity.  It was priced at $75.  Seriously folks?

They were calling it “a desk,” but I knew that wasn’t true.  They also decided to reduce the ridiculous price to $37.50.

I thought it was interesting and had potential!

A few days ago -in the fog of a baaad headcold- I pulled it into my work space to figure out what it WAS and think about what it COULD BE.

Well~ it had the tell-tale signs of originally being a tall dresser. Damaged?  That somehow caused the dissection?  It was actually too low for a chair to go under it to be the desk they said it was—only 18″ leg clearance.

I could picture lowering it even more to create a (masculine) coffee table—on wheels—but how to address the back…?

It might be nice as a nightstand and add a shelf in the lower midsection…?

oooooooo-yuck!What if I just finish PROPERLY what someone else started and make it a desk for real!

I stripped its top to see what I had.  Nice– but for what looks like an ink ring.  Let’s just call that CHARM!

REinventing a ReStore piece $37By its size I thought about a younger boyby its style I thought about travel.  I dug through my collection of vintage maps and found one that covered a horizontal section of the upper Midwest-East coast that seemed meant to be!

-from my vintage road map collection

It’s aMAZing how much territory it covers!  It even caught NYC and a sliver of Vermont!  It does look meant to be, but now I’m sad to give it up.  :’ (

I painted the sides -inside & out- and the back.

I also repaired the inside sides from the old drawer construction.

decoupaging a vintage road map

decoupaging a vintage road map

-beefing up the "legs"I decoupaged the inside legs with another of my vintage Midwestern maps.

◊ I ripped and contoured ¾” boards to beef up the cut off bottom~now “legs.”  I ran them through the router to  1-round over the bottom edge and  2-add a bead detail to the top edge as it meets the desk legs.

◊ It also gives more support to the reproduction ball-styled wheels I’ve added.  All this boosted the desk leg clearance to 21¼”, good for a bench.

-beefing up the "legs"

The desk legs feel beefier, and the whole desk is more substantial now that it’s boosted higher.

It came out really nice and is at the antique mall already!


a Vintage Dresser makeover

a Vintage Dresser makeover

saving a ReStore piece!

I’m sharing this project with The Curator’s Collection!

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I’m working on several things at once, and hunting for potential projects—which has netted some interesting things!

a ReStore -desk- ??LIKE~a trip out of town to pick through the remains of a fallen barn, and a super cute small vintage suitcase on the trip back.

A -desk?- there’s evidence of another drawer or two?  From the ReStore. Maybe a dresser~don’t like the price,  YET.  I’m watching.

this just looks like fun for a pair of teenagers, right?!?A pair of hanging chairs! (a surprise for a pair of teenage nephews!~won’t this be FUN for them?!?)

A trophy-styled lamp and several lamp shades to get REvamped.

A standard 6ft bookcase for a new antique mall space, (more on that soon)

a few leads on some other potential projects,


a large armoire I chased off to Chicago for yesterday

for $1.99 + a tank of gas!

~can you believe??

Hotel Armoire GW $1.99

And looky here, looky here,


I’m already messin’ with it!  You see where I’m going~right?


Hotel Armoire GW $1.99

Cabinet is huge~a beast!  So I put my nephew to work on it.   Cabinet, 6ft  vs  tall 14 yr old nephew!

I’ve got some stuff goin’ on!

Watch out!


Hotel Armoire GW $1.99

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Got this off the curb from the neighbor.

vintage soda crate-

It’s been parked in my stashes since spring of 2012, and conveniently housing misc stuff like  -lamp parts.

I’ve been testing the waters with different “activities” and picking my battles projects based on what I CAN do~SAFELY.

An idea came to mind. . . I pulled PARTS. . . and very awkwardly created a base.  
making the base-

Because of the metal bandingwhich I loved– I couldn’t attach the legs to the outer-most corners.  It ends up as a very awkward and unconvincing attachment.

-the makings of a "table"

With a couple of days to ponder the problem, I was onto something       I hoped would solve the “deficit” problem AND add to the end project.


-wrapping the legs in JUTE!

I wound it tight, securing it frequently with hot glue.

I even ran the jute to the underside edges of the apron sides.

-wrapping the aprons in JUTE!

The jute was giving me little slivers, the hot glue was burning my thumbs.


-wrapping the aprons in JUTE!

The aprons and legs are covered separately.

the JUTE-covered base

You can see that the jute helped to plump out the base and soften the awkward attachment.  PLUS~ I like the textural combo!

making a LID-Originally, I was thinking to give it a hinged lid

but opted for a simpler lift-off lid!

◊ I pulled some salvaged boards, and tested the waters of my HAND GRIP and ripping wood on the table saw.  SAFELY.  Connected the boards,

◊ ran it through the router to create a rabbet so the lid would counter sink somewhat into the top.  Oh, and round over the top edge.

◊ Played with some painting, staining, and distressing to bring it all together,

◊ and added old metal screen door handles.

~A dollar’s worth of ReStore legs, 50¢ a screen door handle, $6 worth of jute ~the rest off the curb and from my scrap piles!

A vintage SODA CRATE made into a table/trunk!

I cleaned up the dirty outsides and insides (including a fresh painted bottom) of the crate and seal-coated the whole

Side table~trunk!

It’s at the Antique Mall for sale—
I thought it might be a fun teenager thing to keep electronic stuff tidy- ?!


A vintage SODA CRATE made into a table/trunk!

A vintage SODA CRATE made into a table/trunk!

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My Weather vane Chandelier!I haven’t visited my favorite ReStore in a loooooong time

Saturday presented my first opportunity and

look what

I found!

I LUV this, but I’m not so keen on the black.  I was thinking it would look better, fresher  -and more current-  in a soft, medium gray!

I taped off and covered/protected the metal parts with Press N Seal.

(This stuff works great for a LOT of DIY’er things—especially covering wet paint brushes overnight!)

painting the chandelier gray-

painting the chandelier gray-

I knew this would be tough to brush with all the “obstacles,” so I sprayed it, but. . .

hmmmmmm. . .

The gray just looked flat.  So I dry brushed a little darker gray~glaze mix over the top, but. . .

hmmmmmm. . .

*forgot to take a picture of the dry brushing-

Maybe I should strip it.

I also taped off and painted the shades gray to match—so I need to REthink their finish too.

painting the chandelier shades gray-

the chandelier stripped- the chandelier stripped-







stripped and now waxed-

I didn’t strip it “clean,” I left some trace paint for character.  I lightly sanded~ then waxed.

Now I love it—but it still went to the antique mall for sale.  ; D

*sorry, it was really hard to get a good photo…



the Weathervane Chandelier

the Weathervane Chandelier

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-tin tile collage found at the ReStore!I’m bored, I’m restless, I’m project-deprived.

I’m still not confident in safely working on my saws.

So I’ve been staying away from the usual sources of  “new project material”— trying not to torture myself.


I did venture into my very favorite ReStore right before Christmas, and

look what I found!

At first I just took notice and breezed by, BUT THEN, I hit the brakes and backed up.  The WHOLE doesn’t do anything for me, but as PARTS…hmmmm?!

I was determined--I’ve been spending quality time in my studio cleaning up and REorganizing— ’cause that’s about all I can do still. But I’m restless and decided to test the waters.  I fired up the compressor and metal grinder to see about taking this guy apart.  Very awkward right handed trying NOT to bump the finger—only marginally less awkward left handed but,

I was determined to do SOMETHING!

The spot welds were done VERY WELL, but patience won out!  After grinding down the leftover rough welds, I primed each square with Kilz.  But then I remembered a technique I haven’t employed in a long time.

◊ I REsprayed each tile, one at a time, heavy handedly with the Kilz.  I let the paint have just a few minutes to firm up.  *Can be done by brush too.

◊ I attached the air gun to the compressor and played around “destroying” the paint with harsh blasts of air -creating texture.

The effect can get even better when the paint is only given enough time to set up before attacking with a hand sander.  You can achieve much more of a chipped up, layers of old paint, alligator’d look—depending on the firmness and thickness of the paint!

*I’ve only ever done this technique with Latex paints.

*And remember, only while the paint is just “set up,” not cured.

(*Set Up = “dry” to the touch, but you can still smudge it.)

But alas, I  -HAD TO-  head back to the house to watch the season premier of DOWNTON ABBEY, you understand, right?   So my paint had overnight to cure~unfortunately.

Below, a picture of my air-blown, “wrecked” paint (now settled down & dry).

"wrecking" the paint-

See the pointing hand below?  If I would have sanded areas like this down while the paint was only “set up,” it would have come out more alligator‘d instead of what you see in the picture after.  But it’s nice too!

~I may STILL get more aggressive sanding areas like that on the bigger tin tiles.  What the heck!  Maybe I’ll try over-spraying, blowing, then sanding a 2nd time!  Maybe I’ll dry brush another top color, maybe I’ll just wax…??

"wrecking" the paint-

sanded down AFTER paint cured-

sanded down AFTER paint cured-

the other 2 bigger tiles-

The last two big tiles were primed with Kilz, lightly sanded, and waxed with a medium-dark wax.  I’ll be selling those and the four smaller tins.  I’m keeping two of the big ones for myself and gifting one away.

Below is one of the smaller tin tiles—they’re not totally finished.

BUT, hey

keep watching to see what else I’m planning to do to [all] of them! Hopefully! 


*All the images are raised, however, sometimes they look recessed~optical illusion at play!

one of the smaller tin tiles-

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