(A Free) Ugly Duckling Cabinet Becomes a Swan!

Okay, if there’s anything you know about me, it’s likely my addiction to vintage furniture. Free is best, as is anything mid-century and/or with an Asian influence. Here’s the latest Craigslist find that I’m obsessed with! I’m also happily surprised it was easy to fix up! Sometimes, you don’t need to paint or refinish – just a little clean-up and furniture polish can go a long way! If you love seeing furniture transformations, I will link to some of my other favorites in this post.

When I first spotted it, I was excited by the hardware details, but I resisted, because I didn’t have a spot for it and already have a bit of a problem with accumulating things… But I couldn’t stop thinking about it and when I asked about the measurements, it turned out it was smaller than I thought and would work for a project I had in the works – a little heads up that I’m going to try to do the One Room Challenge this spring. I finished one (the kids bathroom in our last house) and started a second (Kai’s old room, which was left half-done both on the blog and in real life). Knowing how hectic life gets, I’m planning ahead for April to work on our entry foyer.

When we picked up the cabinet, the finish looked pretty dinged up, especially on top. I’ve repainted many items (a mid-century dresser, a mid-century nightstand, a faux campaign dresser, a curbside end table, a Thomasville bar, these stenciled nightstands…), but the wood on this cabinet seemed too pretty to paint. At the same time, the quality of the piece (veneer), did not seem worth going through a major refinishing project. I decided to see how far I could get with some cleaning, light sanding, and furniture polish… and it turned out better than I hoped!

The finish is definitely not perfect, but it looks good, and given this is going to get a lot of wear in our foyer, I think it looks just right! Not sure why Finn is so curious. Maybe the orange and lemon oil smells edible to him 🙂

Stay tuned to (hopefully) see how I incorporate this into our foyer later this spring!

Love seeing vintage furniture finds transformed? Here are some more:

Julie AKA “Jewels”

Quick, Easy, No-Sew(!) Ways to Add Room-Darkening Lining to Your Curtains

I wish I were a better sleeper. Trust me, I really do. I’m sensitive to light when sleeping, so room-darkening window coverings are a must! I’ve found some quick tricks that I’m excited to share for adding lining to existing … Continue reading

Customizing an IKEA Hemnes China Cabinet

You know how much I love a good furniture makeover! Sometimes, it’s about a dramatic transformation, like this mid-century dresser, these stenciled nightstands, or my Thomasville faux bamboo bar cabinet. Other times, you just need a few changes to transform … Continue reading

How to Hang a Mirror or Art on a Bookcase

So, my weakness (talent?!) for finding home decor on the street is well-established. Remember when I made over this cute Chinese end table? Well, I was walking over to meet a friend for lunch today, and I saw this mirror … Continue reading

The Cutest and Handiest Zipper Pouches

YEARS ago, I bought a cute zipper pouch ages ago at a Signatures craft fair in Toronto. The size is perfect for sunglasses, lip gloss, hair ties, ear buds, or other little items you want to corral in your purse. Since I recently conquered my fear of zippers when I made the box cushion covers for my new chairs, I decided to try making some of these little pouches myself. It’s such a fun project to use small scraps of fabric and combine colors and patterns.

I followed the instructions from icansewthis, which lays out the steps very clearly. The dimensions for this pouch use 4.5″x9″ rectangles to make a finished size of approximately 4″ x 8.5″

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2x Outside fabric pieces: 4.5″x9″ each
  • 2x Lining fabric pieces: 4.5″x9″ each
  • 2x zipper tab fabric: 1.5″x2″ each
  • zipper
  • Optional: fusible interfacing for outside pieces, if you are using a lighter weight fabric

I made pouches from vintage kimonos, favorite scraps, and also some of fabrics I designed myself. If you want to check out my fabric collection, here’s my shop on Spoonflower. You can have have fun mixing and matching zipper colors and linings!

Happy sewing !

Julie AKA “Jewels”

DIY Tiered Cake Stands From Vintage Plates

My collection of plates and tea cups started when I threw a tea party baby shower for my friend, Nicola, a whole decade ago! Over the years, I have added more treasures to my collection, and I love the stories … Continue reading

Your Home is Your Canvas – Inspirations for Custom Art

I want each item in my home to be meaningful, and custom canvas art is a wonderful way to personalize a space. I’m sharing four custom canvas ideas that I’ve used in my home. This includes several original projects as … Continue reading

Cheery Warm Dining Room and Pattern Play with “Art Deco Swans” by Kate Rhees

A lot of people groan when they think about moving, and while I plan to stay put for many years to come, I actually love the excitement and challenge of arranging a new space. I’ve had a lot of fun … Continue reading