Monday, October 10, 2011

Round 2: Upcycled Projects–Please Come VOTE!

Are you guys ready for Round 2: Upcycled? Once again, the contestants held nothing back and created some projects that are going to knock your socks off!

Look through all of them, then please cast your vote at the bottom by selecting your favorite 3.
Polls will remain open until tomorrow (Tuesday, October 11th) @ 10 pm MST.

Project #1: $5 End table= Quilt Holder and Large Tray
This little magazine end table was just cryin’ for a makeover. I found it at a yard sale for $5 and I knew I could revive it!

I took off the top and sanded it down until it was the color I wanted....showing some bare wood in spots with stain on other spots. I had to sand down the back to be it wouldn't damage the surface it was placed on. I added 2 kitchen drawer pulls for "holders". Perfect large solid wood tray!

Then I took the remaining 2 sides of the original table and constructed a longer table. This will be used at the end of our bed to hold a quilt. I routed a piece of pine then finished it with a dark stain and some poly. I added a piece of 1 by 2 for stability and stained that as well. This would also be perfect for a tight space behind a sofa! Not bad---out of a $5 table!!

Project #2: Rustic Dining Set
What do you do when you really want a huge farmhouse table and chairs but you don't want to shell out big bucks for them? You DIY them, of course! And Crafting With The Stars Round 2 was the perfect time to upcycle something f-a-b! I took a tired, worn out old pine table, some chairs and a super hefty pallet I scored for free...
And turned them into a rustic 8 foot long table with matching chairs.
The new table was made from the legs of the old table, plus wood from the pallet. Once built, the whole thing was sanded - and then sanded some more! After a good wipe down, it was given a coat of stain, three coats of paint, a vigorous distressing with some more sandpaper. Then a layer of stain on top of the paint, sealed with three coats of poly. The chairs were sanded down (what a job!), seats removed, legs and backs painted white, reassembled, distressed, stained and poly'd. An enormous amount of work - but oh-so worth it!

Now our dining room has that elegant farmhouse feel - and it cost us next to nothing!
Project #3: A Different Kind of Entertainment
If you spend any time at yard sales or thrift stores, you find that there are a plethora of obsolete entertainment centers (made for the old-style televisions) out there…and no one wants them.  Well, maybe no one except meAn entertainment armoire…. hmmmm…. what if it housed a different kind of entertainment? 

I “upcycled” this armoire to house a sewing machine, or perhaps a computer!  (Two of my favorite kinds of entertainment.)
Here is a summary of the changes that were made:
  1. An interior shelving unit was built with a pull-out shelf, a power strip, and an under-cabinet work light.  (It was painted GREEN for a fun pop of color!)
  2. New sides and a back were built to make the top drawer functional; it used to have plastic dividers to hold VHS tapes.  (Now it can hold project materials!)  The drawers were lined with a pretty botanical print.
  3. The inside of the cabinet doors are now chalkboards for making notes or sketching ideas.  (One will be a magnet board, but the sheet metal was slow in coming.)
  4. Beadboard now covers the mirror that was at the back of the upper display area, as well as the back of the armoire. 
  5. The brassy gold on the leaded glass panels was transformed to a dark pewter.
  6. New bin pulls and cabinet knobs replaced the dated brass hardware.
  7. Last but certainly not least, it received a major cosmetic makeover! The armoire was painted creamy white and glazed to give it an antique feel. The beautiful moldings at the base and crown were re-stained in a rich walnut for contrast.

Oh, and how can you sew (or blog) without a chair?  I painted a curb-found chair first in green, and then in creamy white, which was sanded down to show the layers of color.  The seat is painted with a vintage French ad for corsets…I couldn’t resist it!
Let the entertainment begin!

Project #4: Yardstick Buffet
I was browsing in my local thrift store when this buffet caught my eye.  I was looking at it when some ladies had the audacity to walk up and start talking about how pretty it was and how they loved the stain and the "pretty" scallops.  Right away I knew it had to come home with me.

For this transformation, I hunted down every vintage yard stick I could find and then I also bought some less than vintage yard sticks.  I removed the lovely scalloped trim (it was not original to the buffet), painted it a lovely shade of blue, and then added about 25 yardsticks to the front.  It was a lot of fun seeing what color the different yardsticks became when I used the restoration oil on them, letting the project take on a character all of it’s own.

It looks pretty awesome at the end of my hall, if I do say so myself.
Project #5: Antiquated to Awesome
I was pretty excited about the Round 2 challenge to Upcycle. I absolutely adore taking something old and beat-up and turning it into something fabulous. Enter this ancient, worn-out, overlooked table I came across at a local antique store:
This ol' gal was desperate for a new lease on life, so I took pity on her and turned her into an amazing vanity for my powder room. She had a very yellowish hue which I was not digging at all. I prayed that the antique gods would not strike me down as I sanded, and sanded, and sanded (1 1/2 hours of sanding when it was all said and done!) the top. I created two holes to run the plumbing to my new vessel bowl sink and faucet I purchased from Lowes.
My dreams of a chippy, white top were not coming true, so I decided to stain the top with a custom mix of  walnut and gray stains. I opted to skip sanding the legs and do a whitewash treatment, which kept the original feel of age and character, but got rid of the yellow tones.  I brushed about a million coats of a water-based polyurethane to protect the wood from water and finally jazzed it up with some cool custom accessories. 
Isn't she gorgeous? I think I'm in love.
Project #6: An Outdoor Reading Nook for Kids
For my upcycled project I put together an outdoor reading nook for my kids.  There's nothing better than curling up with a good book while taking in the last few warm weather days of the year!

I wanted to give them an inspiring little nook where they could let their imaginations run wild and get their mandatory homework reading done!  Anything that encourages kids to go outside and play is a good idea in my book!  It also doesn't hurt that this little nook has turned out to be the cutest photo backdrop for some fun, Fall pictures too!

After screwing the pallets together, I used a sanding block to ward off any splinter issues.   I then stained it with some leftover deck stain and purchased two large cushions to create a nice little daybed.  To bring in a little more Fall fun I made a luminary garland and a lantern by using a nail to poke holes and then spray-painting some cans.  To keep this totally kid-friendly, I'm using battery operated flicker candles to light this up at night.

I honestly can't decide which part I like best between the daybed and the luminaries/lantern.  One thing is for certain, the kids love this whole set-up!  The fact that is was all upcycled is also a really cool lesson in recycling for them as well!


Project #7: Entertainment Center to Classic Play Kitchen
I found this entertainment center sitting out on the curb next to my in-laws house with a sign that said "Free."
My husband thought I was crazy for wanting to bring it home--it took a bit of convincing and became my upcycle project this week!
With kids that are hard on toys I have been looking for a play kitchen that would stand up to hard play. This
entertainment center is solid oak, not too fun to carry into the garage and house-but a solid piece of furniture-
but the perfect piece for a kitchen

I used white high gloss paint that we had left over from painting trim in our house. Each knob and hinge has been spray painted bright glossy cherry red. I took out the glass and cut some thin wood and painted it with chalkboard paint.
The sink is a bowl from Savers. My father-on-law used his band saw for me and cut out the faucet-the faucet itself and the hot and cold handles turn for real play. Just on the side of the chalkboard doors is an upside down handle for holding chalk and an eraser.


My favorite part of the kitchen is inside the cupboards...

To add some flare I mod-podged fabric all around, and on the back of the chalkboard panels. Now mother hubbard will need to fill these cupboards.

Project #8: Sad Old Entertainment Center to Crazy Amazing Play Kitchen!!

Before and After Kitchen

I am currently building a DeLorean, because I want go back in time to play in this kitchen as a little girl!!
It turned out amazing! All of it was stuff we had or created!

Not only did I upcycle the entertainment center, the knobs are made from baby jar lids with tile spacers hot glued on! The pendant flags are made from paint swatches from Lowe's and the sink is a pie pan!!

kitchen after (2)
kitchen after (5)

It's amazing when you can make something useful and new to save it from the landfill!
reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, upcycle!!!
Project #9: My Family of Pillows

Let me introduce you to my family of pillows.  They are all made from 10 pieces of clothing that I purchased from the thrift store.  From left to right are:

  • The baby boy of the family is wearing ruffles made out of a men’s dress shirt. 
  • Grandma who has on a beautiful embroidered floral fabric made out of a skirt. 
  • Grandpa who is a handyman who wears jeans to work everyday. 
  • The other Grandma in our family who has a green thumb and is  made out of a green sweater.
  • Mom who is dressed in a blazer with a stunning necklace. 
  • Next to him is the sister in the family wearing an adorable polka dot shirt with a fun blooming removable belt!
  • Behind sister is Dad who is sporting a blue dress shirt and tie
  • Auntie is wearing a mustard yellow women’s button up shirt and embellished with rosettes made from a men’s dress shirt
  • In front of mom and auntie are the rough and tumble brothers sporting green and brown gingham shirts with appliqued mustaches.
These pillows were so fun to make, and have so much personality!  Thank you for meeting my family!
Incredible, right?!
Please VOTE below (click on over from Google Reader, will ya)? Show these contestants some love and vote for them! Remember voting is open until Tuesday, October 11th @ 10 pm MST.
Come back tomorrow to link up YOUR Round 2: Upcycled projects.


  1. I think this is the hardest week to choose, everything is just amazing!

  2. Wow, I really love that yardstick buffet. I see a similar one in my future for my sewing room! Thanks for the gorgeous ideas!!!

  3. ps. Can you tell me how exactly you attached the yardsticks to the front? I see the pulls/hardware attached over them. Are they glued on?

  4. I can't believe how amazing these projects are! So hard to vote! Great work, everyone!

  5. Incredible projects!!!! Gah!

  6. WOW!! I've seen a lot of contests since I started blogging, but I think this was the the best round I've seen! Everyone put in SO much work! Just wow!

    I love that there were two toy kitchens since I'm planning to do one for my girls for Christmas. Great inspirations! The dining room set is just AMAZING! And my armoire should now be afraid...I see paint in its near future...and a transfer to my craft room. ;)


  7. What a hard choice!! That dining room set takes the cake! FANTASTIC!

  8. Wow! Awesome projects this week! So hard to choose.

  9. I need some of these furniture rehab gals to do some work for me! How do I contact them?!?

  10. Love those pillows!!!! Everything is amazing!

  11. How do I choose only 3! They are all fantastic, maybe I'll have to do eeny meenie miney mo....

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. I'm a young aspiring interior designer and you ladies are such and inspiration! You're crafts are beautiful.

  14. Amazing projects. The pallet Dining table and chairs is believable and the Cushion Family is soooo cute :)

  15. Wow, I really love that yardstick buffet. so pretty!

    corner kitchen table

  16. You are amazing! Everything is just beautiful and so awesome. I love the white distressed color, any tips?


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