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The Real Cost of Repurposing Furniture

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I have wanted to write this blog for a while. I go to craft shows, shops and our local trade days where I sometimes hear shoppers commenting on the cost. “I could do that.” is frequently heard as well as comments about prices. Now you know that I am always looking for a deal! And by deal I mean a steal. I love to find furniture, cheap or preferably free, then repurpose the piece into something unique. It is my hobby, and I am not trying to live off selling my goods. We would STARVE! I always try to let you know the cost, which is usually less than a brand new piece would be, but I think that there is a misconception from time to time about the real cost of repurposing the furniture.

Right now I am redoing a piece of furniture I literally picked up on the side of the road. The cost for the furniture – ZERO DOLLARS AND ZERO CENTS.
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In order to get the piece repurposed I decided to buy everything new for this project. I needed to replenish supplies anyway and sometimes even I forget that this is a hobby and the supplies are expensive because I only buy things as I run out.

The costs are rounded- because I am lazy!
Purdy paintbrush- the best and worth the cost- 12.00
Behr Revival Mahogany paint with primer- one quart- I could have probably gotten by with two samples @ $3.00 each, but I knew I would need the left over for the faux fireplace I am doing- $16.00
Behr Innocence- one quart- the giant dresser used almost a whole quart- the leftover paint was used to paint Baby Boy’s bookcase. $16.00
Zinzer Primer- one quart- $10.00
Glazing medium- one quart Behr Faux Finish glazing medium. I use this all the time and it lasts forever but it was time for a new container- $15.00
Sandpaper for hand sanding and the palm sander $5.00
Rustoleum Poly- one quart- $15.00

Hours spent on the project- 1 hour checking it out, calling Hubby, getting the beast into the vehicle, out of the vehicle and home. 3 hours sanding. 4 hours priming, re sanding, then priming again. 4 hours painting the creamy white color. 1 hour painting handles. 1 hour painting the top. 1 hour glazing. 3 hours polyurethaning the whole thing. Oh! This does not include dry time, moving time and reassembly.

So all in all we have close to $80.00 in supplies and the equivalent of one hard weekend’s worth of time invested. In a free piece of furniture! The next time you see someone’s work online, in a shop, or at a vendor’s booth and you say to yourself… ” I could do that WAAAY cheaper, the truth is provided you find the right piece, you might could save a little money doing it yourself but it won’t be as cheap or easy as you may initially believe and your time is worth something.

If you are in a shop when you see this piece also figure in overhead costs.

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credenza from the stairway

roadside credenza

It is a lot of work to re-purpose furniture, but it is ever so worth the effort! I love the satisfaction of doing a good job and bringing something back to life.

Living with a Patient Husband

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It is nasty and rainy here. Too humid to paint in the garage because the paint won’t dry. Sad days. I know my hubby loves our wood floor but tonight he let me bring in the big hunkin’ dresser so that I could paint. I feel like Valentine’s Day came early. I love him so. I promise to keep the paint on the drop cloth and will use lots of painter’s tape. The top and pulls are now painted with one coat of Revival Mahogany. Love it. Thanks sweetheart, I needed to get paint under my nails tonight. Please forgive my terrible iPad photos but today was too rough to break out the Canon.

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Art from Resale Finds

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This past weekend I made two unusual finds at one of my favorite resale shops; a music book for a flute for twenty five cents and four 78 records for fifty cents each.

What to do with these items? I looked at them for a while then decided they need to go together.

I decided to use the music book to cover a board that the albums will be screwed to with a large screw in the center of each record. I am saving the dust covers and I am doing no damage to the records. I am not sure if the records are worth anything, but I will bet they are worth more than fifty cents!

I Mod Podged the sheet music to a scrap board and allowed it to dry. I am absolutely the worst at getting all the wrinkles out, but I keep trying.

Then I spaced the albums out on the board and hubby screwed them down. They are going up in the game room where we have some album covers framed. This will be a perfect addition to the room.

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I love the results. Not too bad for $1.75 art! Pictures of the upstairs game coming room soon.

A Chair at the Table Craft day

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I made this map chair about six months ago.
Map Chair Seat

Map Chair
Sweet Amanda, my most favorite daughter in law, liked it and may or may not have said that she would steal it. In order to save her from a life of crime, we started thinking about planning a day when her buddies could come over to Star Hill for a girls only craft day. Chairs in the country are crazy cheap so I got busy. I picked up these six beauties for @$5.00 each. I have also been collecting ideas for what to do with the chairs. Here are the chairs needing adoption by the girls and some links to great chairs for inspiration:

Chairs to Share

Yep. They really do look like a hoard in the Garagemahal. I have 6 chairs that I have spent a total of $25.00 on. At prices like this you know that some of them needed love.

Chair Repair

This beauty needed parts. Hubby had to make the cross pieces.

Here is a line up of the chairs that have been collected. I kind of feel like the SPCA trying to get someone to adopt pets.

The Blue is strapping hubby used to re-glue the legs.  All good now.

The Blue is strapping hubby used to re-glue the legs. All good now.

We were watching Baby for our friends and she attached herself to this chair.

We were watching Baby for our friends and she attached herself to this chair.

I think this old beauty would look cool with the slats painted in Ombre shades of one color.

I think this old beauty would look cool with the slats painted in Ombre shades of one color.

I have a thing for mission furniture.  Love this beauty.  Will look great uphostered and painted.

I have a thing for mission furniture. Love this beauty. Will look great uphostered and painted.

This beauty needed love to be ready for the chair day.  new parts, glue and screws are in.  Victorian feet, rosette at the top back, and a great shape.

This beauty needed love to be ready for the chair day. new parts, glue and screws are in. Victorian feet, rosette at the top back, and a great shape.

I have two of these for the party.  They have a lot of detail in the back and will really show off a glaze.

I have two of these for the party. They have a lot of detail in the back and will really show off a glaze.

Here are links to some inspriation chairs: Red Painted Chairs, Blue Chair,French Chair, White Upholstered Chair

Here are All Things Thrifty’s Week of Chairs. Love them

I have been picking up fabric in the remnant section and have even collected a few wild shirts from resale shops that might work for the seats.

The girls are going to bring paint from their projects along with what I have in the hoard.

I am looking forward to showing off the results from our chair affair.

Valentine’s Mantle

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I will bet that a few of you are thinking that you are tired of seeing my mantle. Well, here is the finished Valentine mantle.

Old windows from the garage, chalkboard from the upcoming wedding, silver candlesticks and pedestal from thrifting, string art,toilet paper roll art,ribbon wreath,topiary
I love it! It makes me smile.

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I also brought home my chalkboard suitcase to welcome Cupid!
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String Art Hearts

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After attending the craft night I came home and looked at my empty mantle with shame. After I took down Christmas, I just never got around to decorating the mantle in our city house. I decided then and there that my weekend trip to the country would involve making stuff for the mantle. I knew I needed something tall. For a few weeks I had been thinking about a string art project and I decided that this would be the project to do the string art. Did you do this back in the 70’s like I did? Am I telling my age? I digress.
Anyway, on the way home from work Friday, I ran by a local hardware store and Hancock Fabrics. I picked up red string and white paneling nails and ocean blue paint. Total cost: @ $ 8.50. I knew I had plenty of wood at Star Hill for the project.
There were enough nails and string left to make at least three more. I may get busy,
Hubby cut the wood for me to length, then I got busy painting. As soon as it dried, I got out the sanding block and roughed it up.
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There are three boards here, but you will see two of them in this project. Sorry this shot is blurry.
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The Painted Boards Roughed Up
Nails, hammer, pliers in case of mistake…good to go.
I took chalk and quickly drew a heart on two pieces of wood then got busy nailing the nails into the board. It really went fast. I used some of the reclaimed cedar which is very soft. The nails went in quickly.
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I tied off the string then just went crazy wrapping it around nails randomly. I love the way that these turned out. I gave one to my neighbor and the other is on my mantle.

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Whimsical Topiaries

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My mantle is really wide. Six feet wide, in fact. In addition to the string art, the ribbon wreath and the various things collected around the house, I knew I would need something else. I convinced Hubby to stop in Cleveland on our way to the lake house for more supplies. I grabbed two foam spheres, a dowel rod, and two clay pots. The specifics weren’t nailed down but this would be a start.

I painted the pots bright red, the dowel white and glued it all together. I tried to glue tissue paper in with no luck. I ended up going with silk flowers from the dollar store. I love how they add a little Dr, Seuss type whimsy to the mantle.

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Toilet Paper Roll Art

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I am on a mission to decorate my mantle for Valentine’s Day. While up at Star Hill working on the string art I noticed some small wood scraps that hubby had left from a project he is working on. I was board, literally waiting for paint to dry so I decided to try out a project I saw on Pinterest recently, using a paper towel roll to stamp hearts.
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I painted the boards pink, then squished an empty paper towel roll into a heart shape. I know, it is a terrible photo. Sorry.
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I used some really thick white paint that dipped the roll in.

The hearts were easy to stamp. I went up the left side of one board and the right side of the other.

Easy, fast, free, and cute. What more can I ask?

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Here one of them are with the string art.

Valentine Craft Party

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This past week I did something that I do not do often enough, I spent an evening with a fun group of ladies. They were all young enough to be my child, but they didn’t seem to mind me joining in. We had a craft night.

My neighbor, Shahana, who invited me over, happens to be a talented young lady I have known since she was a child. She is creative, artistic, and a good cook. I am more than a little jealous of her. Here is a picture of her in front of her mantle.

Shahana Valentine Mantle

Heart looped ribbon wreath

She had everything ready for craft night. We were making looped ribbon wreaths. Shahana even had our loops of ribbon cut and stitched down onto tissue paper. I really am not sure she sleeps.

The group started arriving and each of us asked Shahana the same thing… “Will this wreath work?” There were foam wreaths, heart shaped wreaths, wire wreaths, small wreaths, large wreaths and one grapevine wreath. Shahana told us all the same thing: ” Sure, it will work fine.”

She was right. They all worked. The trick is wrapping each wreath with left over red velvet ribbon she got 80% off after Christmas.

I loved the colors of ribbon Shahana picked for the wreaths, red, pink, turquoise, and gray. They were wide, narrow, striped, patterned, and textured. The varitey worked! Here is my set:

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We plugged in glue guns and got busy. Tear the loops off the tissue then glue it to the wreath. The trick was to try to glue them upright. It took me a few tries but I got the hang of it.

This is a fun project to do with a group. There is not much thinking involved when gluing so there is plenty of time to talk and laugh.

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We all had to promise to post our wreath hung in our house. Here is mine, but you don’t get to see where it is hung. I have several projects to show you before I show the finished Valentine mantle.

ribbon loop wreath

All the wreaths turned out great.

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I hope you have a wonderful week.

French Provincial Hardware Windfall

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Okay friends, I really do need your advice. At a resale shop, I found all of this hardware- dresser handles and pulls- for $7.00. I also have a lead on some 1950’s drawer pulls for free! I love all the French Provincial pieces, but I only have a few pairs, mostly singles. I may go back to see if I can sweet talk a little more out of the resale shop, but it was tough getting what I got. Two of the people in the shop said to make them an offer, but the owner said he had some of those pulls for 20 years and tried to cancel the sale. I I had to complain a little to get what I had already collected and up the price $2.00. I could tell with this owner that collecting things was more fun than selling.
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Here is a page from Etsy with an idea what the stuff runs for:
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Any ideas what to do with the pairs? I was thinking about making some trays and using them for handles. Here is one example from the reuse center: tray made with dresser hardware
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I think I will save the singles to see if I can catch the right person at the resale shop to let me go through the huge tub for pairs. I can be persuasive. I may bring cookies. If not… I could do something like this: Drawer into Stool

What should I do with what I have? Have any of you seen a great idea on Pinterest?
Let me hear from you.

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