From Thomasville Dresser to Dining Room Bar Cabinet

Remember when I told you that painting a vintage mid-century dresser was on my DIY bucket list? I love how that first project turned out. And then! When I was moving and definitely should not have been accumulating more stuff, I found something I couldn’t resist: a Thomasville faux bamboo bedroom set for free on Craigslist! This included a twin bed frame and a little desk and dresser. The desk had a bookcase hutch, which I put on top of the dresser to make a hutch/ bar for our dining room.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Rags
  • gloves
  • TSP or other deglossing solution
  • Sandpaper – fine grit
  • Bonding primer designed for slick surfaces
  • Amy Howard Spray Lacquer. I previously used this to lacquer a small entry cabinet, and I’m really impressed with how it looks and holds up
  • As needed, new hardware or metallic spray paint for your old hardware
  • If you need new holes for your hardware, some filler material for the old holes
  • Wallpaper for the back of your hutch. This Cherry Blossom Peel and Stick wallpaper had everything I wanted – a pretty design that was subtle enough to not be too busy when the shelves were filled, and a little bit of sheen.
  • Hardware to attach the hutch and anti-tip hardware, especially if you live in earthquake country, like we do

Here’s how to do it:

  • Clean off dirt and dust
  • Remove hardware
  • If you are changing hardware, fill in the old holes and drill the new ones
  • Sand the surface lightly with fine grit sandpaper
  • Wipe with surface with deglosser such as Gloss-off or TSP
  • Apply the primer and let it dry thoroughly overnight
  • Sand lightly with 400 grit sandpaper and wipe off dust with a lint-free rag
  • Apply the spray lacquer – Amy Howard has some videos on YouTube with details on how to use this product. Overall, I really like it, but it is a bit finicky. Luckily, the little imperfections aren’t noticeable now that it is inside and decorated.
  • I let the lacquer cure for a week in the garage, and then I applied the wallpaper to the back of the bookcase
  • The last steps were to put the hardware back on, secure the hutch to the dresser and add anti-tip hardware to the top of the whole thing
Here are the cool details from the back of my dresser – it is 55 years young!
Before and after!

This new dining room bar is the perfect place to display our collection of vintage bar glasses. I collected them back when we threw a Mad Men party, and I still love them all!

The days off for New Year’s allowed me to finish this project, so of course, I decorated for our at-home countdown to the New Year!

There is still the bed frame, a little corner desk, and some mirrors that came with the bedroom set. It was a silly indulgence to bring them all home, but I still hope to find a home for them some day somewhere!

Julie aka “Jewels”

More! Bigger! Shibori-Dyed Zipper Pouches

Are you looking for some DIY gift ideas? I had so much fun making the shibori-dyed zipper pouches for holiday gifts a few years ago that I decided to do this project again this time with larger pouches. The small size … Continue reading

DIY Botanical Print Ring Dishes

A couple of summers ago, when I was addicted to macrame, I started describing my crafting style as “serial crafting monogamy,” and that was definitely true with these little polymer clay ring dishes! My latest variation is botanical prints! If you want to look back at other versions, check out the stamped white and gold dishes and the marbled clay dishes. I am sharing this post in time for those of you looking for DIY holiday gift inspiration!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Premo Sculpey in white (approximately 2oz per bowl)
  • Rolling pin or smooth glass jar
  • Plant cuttings. I used lavender, nasturtium, and crocosmia from our garden
  • Parchment paper or wax paper
  • Circle to trace (approximately 4″)
  • Bowl or other oven-safe mold
  • Optional: sandpaper
  • Paint brush
  • Gold paint
  • Paint to color plants
  • Clear glossy varnish

Here’s how to do it:

  • This white clay collects and shows dust and lint very easily, so try to keep your hands, tools, and work surface as clean as possible
  • Using a parchment or wax paper work surface, knead your clay and roll it flat – about 1/4″ thick
  • Place your plant cutting and roll over it to make an impression in the clay
  • Place your circle on your mold
  • Bake according to the instructions for the clay
  • Let it cool, and sand rough edges
  • Paint the leaf imprint green and lavender flowers purple
  • Paint rim with gold paint
  • Coat with clear varnish

This is what the bowls looked like out of the oven, before paint and varnish. I like the matte look, but I suspect they’d get dirty over time.

Next step: paint the flowers, add gold paint to the rim, and finish with clear gloss varnish!

I’ve got at least one more variation I want to try making!

Julie aka “Jewels”

Favorite Fall Decorating Ideas

Between the start of school, two boys’ birthdays, and Halloween costumes, I’ll confess that many years I skip right over any fall decorating. This year, we are in the middle of moving, so I’m not sure how much decorating I’ll do.

But when I do decorate for fall, I’ve found you can create a lot of atmosphere with a few changes. I set the mood with some pumpkins and candles, creating something neutral yet festive.

Here are some of favorite pictures from years past. Projects seen in this post include

Here’s to crisp fall days!

Julie aka “Jewels”

Marble-painted Christmas Ornaments

So, with this being a low-key Christmas, I wasn’t sure if I was going to do new craft projects – I mean, other than the pastel Christmas village I made way back in January (dorky!) But blame Pinterest, I got the idea for these pretty marble-painted ornaments!

I used the tutorial from the Creativity Exchange as inspiration, and I adapted it to some clear plastic ornaments I already had.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Clear glass or plastic ornaments. I had these two-piece ornaments in the house already, but if you are starting from scratch, this style with the opening at the top will be easier to use and give a more polished finished product
  • Craft paints. You’ll need the most of the white color. I used three different colors for each ornament – white, a color, and a metallic paint
  • skewer or toothpick to mix the colors
  • Ribbon or ornament hanger

Here’s how to do it:

  • Squeeze a small amount of paint into your ornament (I put some in each side of the two-piece ornaments) – mostly white, with a bit of a color and a bit of metallic paint
  • To create flecks of color, you can splatter some paint (mine happened naturally, when I was at the end of a jar of paint, and it came out in small amounts) and let it dry a couple of minutes before starting to swirl the paint
  • Use a wooden skewer or toothpick to swirl the paints gently – don’t overmix, as the colors will continue to marble in the next steps
  • For the two-piece ornaments, I closed the ornament and slowly rotated it to let the paint marble. To let the paint slowly fill the open areas, I rested the ornaments on top of my paint bottles, with the open area at the bottom. For the one-piece ornaments, after rotating a few times, you can rest it upside down over a paper cup to let the extra paint drip out
  • Once my two-piece ornaments were completely painted, I opened them back up to let the paint try, careful to keep the two matching halves together
  • Once your paint is dry, you can reassemble your ornaments and add a hanger!
  • I love that this is one of those projects where every result is different, and you can’t go wrong!

Here are some pictures of the finished ornaments. Looking forward to putting together our pastel-and-metallic Christmas decorations soon!

Julie aka “Jewels”

Pastel Christmas Village

So, I actually did this project in January, being the Christmas decorating nerd that I am. It’s strange to think of all the things that have happened this year since I started planning our Christmas decorations. It will be our … Continue reading

Nightstands with Faux Bone Inlay Stencils

Here is the third and final (for now) installment of my dresser painting trilogy. First was the mid-century dresser; next came the faux campaign dresser; and last but not least is this faux bone inlay project! If you are thinking … Continue reading