Sunday, January 28, 2018

Makeover | Giving a dark, dated curio cabinet a new look

I had some leftover milk paint after last week's jewelry box redo, so I decided to use it on a sad little curio cabinet I had stored away in my basement waiting for inspiration to strike.
curio cabinet before being painted
The cabinet was a thrift store find -- although calling it a "find" might be a bit of a stretch. 
1970s curio cabinet before being painted
It was dark. It was dingy. It was dated. Literally. There was a stamp on the back that read "Enesco Imports 1979.
1970s curio cabinet before makeover
And get a load of the felt glued onto the back of some of the cubby holes. Ooo-la-la. 1970s chic.
wall-mounted curio cabinet redo
Fortunately, the roof section was separate from the rest of the cabinet, so the first thing I did was remove it. Then I pulled up all the felt squares and sanded off the glue residue left behind. 
replacing curio cabinet handles
I took off the one handle that was still on the cabinet door. The other one had been sheared off previously. I wasn't able to remove the portion of the metal screw that was still embedded in the wood.
replacing curio cabinet handles
So instead of screwing in new hardware, I had to glue a couple of wooden knobs onto the door. It's not ideal, but it will do the job. The door isn't going to get opened real often, and the knobs aren't going to have a lot of stress on them, so I'm sure the glue will hold.
curio cabinet makeover by www.WisconsinMagpie.com
Next I broke out the milk paint. Just like with the jewelry box I redid last week, I didn't use any primer or bonding agent in hopes that the paint would peel off at least a little, leaving me with a nice chippy (faux aged) finish. But just like with the jewelry box, the paint didn't chip at all. Maybe I need to invest in better milk paint? Or maybe I've just been using it over the wrong kinds of finishes? 
curio cabinet makeover by Wisconsin Magpie
Except for the lack of chippy-ness, I have to say I'm happy with how the milk paint looks. It's got a nice flat finish, and it's a definite improvement over the original dark stain and felt.
decoupaging newspaper into curio cabinet cubbies
I decided to decoupage newspaper onto the backs of a few of the cubbies, because everything looks better with a little newspaper decoupaged onto it.
curio cabinet makeover
Then I decided the newspaper was too distracting, so I whitewashed it with a quick coat of paint. Now a hint of the type peeks out, but it's very subtle.
I also screwed hooks into a couple of random cubbies, so I could hang things off of them.
white wall-mounted curio cabinet
Here's the cabinet with the doors closed, all ready to be put to use.
curio cabinet makeover
With Valentine's Day coming up, I rounded up some heart-shaped items, like this little frame, to put in a few of the cubbies.
milk-painted curio cabinet
These hearts are metal cookie cutters that I backed with newspaper-lined cardboard (proving once again that everything looks better with a little newspaper decoupaged to it).
milk-painted curio cabinet
I found this sweet heart-shaped lock in the bottom of a thrift store bin a while back. 
white milk-painted curio cabinet
I also put a couple of keys in the cubbies. None of them fit in the heart-shaped lock, but they were all I had, and they were the right size for the cubbies. I've had this rusty old skeleton key forever.
cabinet makeover with milk paint
This one has an old-timey skeleton key look to it, too, although it is definitely not old; it came from Michael's craft store a couple years ago.
newspaper flower by Wisconsin Magpie
I filled some of the cubbies with newspaper flowers.
milk-painted curio cabinet
I blogged about making the flowers here.
white farmhouse-style curio cabinet
I filled a few of the other cubbies with some random treasures from around my house.
faux pocket watch
You might think this is a vintage pocket watch, but it's not. It's actually a lip gloss compact that I bought at Urban Outfitters about 10 years ago.
curio cabinet makeover by Wisconsin Magpie
Anyhoo, here's the new, improved curio cabinet.
curio cabinet makeover
Anybody else have experience with Folk Art brand milk paint? If you've got any advice, leave a comment below. I'd love to know if there's anything I can do to get it a chippy finish with it. Or what brand would you recommend?
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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Makeover | Mini Chest of Drawers

white painted jewelry box
Here's a little chest of drawers that I redid this week. (I think it's supposed to be a jewelry box, but I've been keeping it on my desk to store office supplies in.)mini chest before
This is what it looked like when I first got it. I picked it up for a dollar at a garage sale a while back. I thought it was a cute little chest, but I wasn't wild about the orange-toned stain, which is why I decided to paint it.
mini chest makeover
Before painting, I wanted to distress the chest a bit to give it some character, so I added a few "wormholes" and scratches with a hammer and nails and then worked a little dark stain into them.
mini chest makeover with milk paint
I painted the chest with some white (technically, the color is called "Petticoat") Folk Art milk paint. Milk paint is supposed to flake off if you don't apply any bonding agent or primer, giving the piece a chippy/aged sort of look. Unfortunately, my milk paint didn't flake. At all.
applying milk paint
 After one coat of milk paint, the chest just looked streaky. And sad. In a non-chippy sort of way.
mini chest makeover by wisconsinmagpie.com
So I applied a few more coats. The extra paint made the chest look better, but it also filled in all the wormholes and scratches that I had made.
mini chest makeover by wisconsinmagpie.com
To make the holes and scratches stand out again, I traced over them with a pencil. I also sanded the corners of the chest (and a few other spots) and worked some stain into those areas. 
mini chest of drawers makeover
 Then I Mod Podged some newspaper onto the bottoms of the drawers.
mini chest makeover by wisconsinmagpie.com
I brushed some watered down white paint over the newspaper to give it a faded, washed out kind of look and then added another coat of Mod Podge over the top to seal it.
mini chest of drawers makeover by wisconsinmagpie.com
I liked how the bottoms looked so much that I decided to add newspaper to the sides of the drawers, too.
mini chest of drawers makeover by wisconsinmagpie.com
Next, I dug through my stash of craft supplies until I found some label holders for the fronts of the drawers. The ones I had were the right size, but the wrong color.
mini chest of drawers makeover by wisconsinmagpie.com
 So I painted them with some black chalk paint.
mini chest of drawers makeover by wisconsinmagpie.com
I nailed the label holders onto the fronts of the drawers and printed out some labels to go inside of them.
wooden organizer makeover by wisconsinmagpie.com
 Then I filled the drawers with office supplies and called the project done.
jewelry box makeover by wisconsinmagpie.com
I didn't get quite the chippy look I was hoping for, but I'm happy with how it turned out. I definitely prefer the white paint to the orange stain.
labels on drawers
And the labels are a great addition. No more blindly opening and closing each drawer when I'm looking for ink or tacks or a thumb drive.
wooden chest makeover
The newspaper sides are a sweet little detail, too.
milk painted jewelry box
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Monday, January 1, 2018

Crafting | Snowflake snow hoops

embroidery hoop with snowflakes inside
I have somehow managed to acquire a small collection of both snowflake ornaments and vintage embroidery hoops.
Embroidery hoop made into a snow globe by Wisconsin Magpie So as I was packing away my Christmas decorations, I decided I'd put the two together to make a few flattened snow globes (or "snow hoops") that could hang around my house for the rest of the winter.
Embroidery hoop made into a snow globe by Wisconsin Magpie
This is what I came up with. 
Embroidery hoop made into a snow globe by Wisconsin Magpie
Here's what I started with: my snowflake ornaments, my embroidery hoops, a bag of faux snow, some silver and white glitter, a piece of posterboard and half a yard of cheap white netting.
Embroidery hoop made into a snow globe by Wisconsin Magpie
The first thing I did was lay the embroidery hoops on the posterboard and trace around them, to create backs for the hoops. I decided I didn't want the backs to be just plain white, so I Mod Podged some newspaper onto each posterboard circle and gave them a wash of watered down white paint.
Making a snow globe embroidery hoop by Wisconsin Magpie
Then I decided some of my snowflakes were a little too bright and flashy ...
Embroidery hoop made into a snow globe by Wisconsin Magpie
... so I put a basecoat of black chalk paint (in lieu of primer) on them and covered the black with either white or silver craft paint.
Making a snow globe out of an embroidery hoop by Wisconsin Magpie
Then I went back to the backs, coating each one with matte Mod Podge ...
Making a snow globe out of an embroidery hoop by Wisconsin Magpie
... and sprinkling on a little glitter.
Making a snow globe out of an embroidery hoop by Wisconsin Magpie
I also added glitter to some of the ornaments.
Making a snow globe out of an embroidery hoop by Wisconsin Magpie
I glued the ornaments down to the backs and sprinkled faux snow on them. (No glue for the snow; I wanted it to be loose like it is in a snow globe.)
Making a snow globe out of an embroidery hoop by Wisconsin Magpie
Then I pulled the netting through the hoops, trimmed off the excess ...
Making a snow globe out of an embroidery hoop by Wisconsin Magpie
... and glued the hoops onto the backs. 
Making a snow globe out of an embroidery hoop by Wisconsin Magpie
I decided to use three snowflakes in this one.
Making a snow globe out of an embroidery hoop by Wisconsin Magpie
 Here it is with the hoop attached and the snow inside. (I think this one is my favorite.)
Making snow globes out of embroidery hoops by Wisconsin Magpie
 And here is the whole group of hoops ready to be hung ... except that I hadn't attached any hangers at that point.
Making a snow globe out of an embroidery hoop by Wisconsin Magpie
So I pried the exterior and interior hoops apart and fed some burlap ribbon in between them.
Making flat snow globes out of embroidery hoops by Wisconsin Magpie
 In hindsight, it would have been smarter to feed the ribbon through at the same time I sandwiched the netting between the two halves of the hoops.
Making flat snow globes out of embroidery hoops by Wisconsin Magpie
Hopefully I'll remember that the next time.

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