Image

A Quick Revamp

I have an overabundance of makeup brushes. In addition to jewelry boxes as seen here and here. It comes with the job. So I got rather excited when I saw this little desk organizer at target one day for $3 in their back to school bin of goodies.

Admittedly it’s not particularly attractive, but 50 yards of ribbon can fix anything… or is that duct tape?

I didn’t want to paint it or decoupage it because it’s something that is going to have to be cleaned regularly just like my brushes. (speaking of which need a good wash) A little bit of tape or hot glue securing the ribbon on is easily removed for washing.

I just continued to wrap the ribbon around the cylindrical shape of the (now) makeup brush holder … and…Tah-Dah!

Much less cluttered than the drinking glasses and candle holders that previously housed my brush collection.

Advertisements
Image

Handles

Not that handles

Let me rephrase. Drawer pulls. By that I mean I found some to replace the not so attractive ones that were on my desk. Only problem is I wanted the center (I think this used to be called a glove drawer or something) to have a long lock looking pull but there were none that matched the knobs I picked out

Nothing a little paint and eyeshadow can’t fix. Yes, you read that right. After rough sanding the handle to get off any loose paint or patina I painted it black, or close enough.

I then went over portions of the handle that were in relief or would see a lot of wear and tear with a chocolaty brown color.

Then while the paint was still wet I packed on a bronze colored eyeshadow with a dry brush to match the bronze patina on the knobs for the shorter drawers.

Once I was satisfied I dusted off any excess shadow with a soft cloth, and sealed the pull with a clear acrylic. Now I actually have a matching set.

Image

Desk Part 1: Safety First

I could have called this “Always wear gloves and goggles” or “Shellac is the bane of my existence” or “Sweat does not evaporate in 60% humidity” maybe “DO NOT! Sand in 90 degree heat”. I vote not doing anything in 90 degree heat anyway.

There is always a learning curve and these are the things I’ve learned in the first part of this project. If you missed Part Zero you can find it here

Where do I start? Oh yes, the bane of my existence. That lovely shellac. In case you don’t know what shellac is, here is the short version. Its excretions from a tiny bug dissolved in alcohol and painted onto furniture…. Yes I’m serious. Click here for the long version. Why? I have no earthly idea. It’s not particularly scratch resistant, it turns white when it gets wet, and god forbid you ever want to remove it. It’s an old (I don’t know how old) piece of furniture so I’m not surprised that it’s covered in shellac. Over the years shellac has fallen out of favor to be replaced by much more durable varnishes and polyurethanes. This piece however was caked in a very deep red/amber colored shellac and it has not been fun to remove it.

So about removing it. Sanding sort of works. For the most part though it just gums up your sand paper. And if you were paying attention yes, alcohol will dissolve it. However you have to work incredibly quickly and waste a lot of paper wiping it away, otherwise as the alcohol rapidly dries and you’ve essentially just reapplied the shellac. For the most part strippers aren’t particularly efficient on shellac. I managed to luck out. I have a stripper that I’ve used on a couple of other projects in the past that is absolutely marvelous. Its non-toxic and biodegradable. I have no idea what it’s made of but it even has a bizarrely pleasant smell.

Unlike latex paint its not going to strip it off in lovely sheets that just plop off nice and clean. Instead it turns the shellac into this strange gloop, it’s like blood and viscera… let’s just say always wear gloves unless you want to look like an axe murderer

So after attempting to sand the top and resorting to stripping the whole desk it turned out not as bad as I thought.

Look, I found a water ring hiding under all that shellac and stain.

I also found some pen scratches and what I can only figure are cigarette burns, but after lots of stripping and sanding I found some gorgeous wood underneath.

The poor broken foot received a prosthetic. This is where goggles come in. Always wear goggles when using a rotary tool. Tiny bits of resin in your eye are no fun and also will hinder your sight so that using your rotary tool to sculpt so everything is all nice and neat instead of doing it by hand becomes a moot point.

The before and after of the stripping process on the drawers.

The drawer that had the cracked veneer loosened but has already been re-glued. It’s thick veneer (about 3/16) which made it quite easy. My photographic evidence of the repair work failed me.

It’s looking rather vastly improved already. Now just to figure out what to do with it now that it’s naked.

Image

Resurrection, or A Lantern for That Glamping Trip

Do you remember that clock I murdered so ferociously without any thought of what I might do with it.

If you don’t you can find it here.

Well I figured out what to do with it in a somewhat round about fashion. I had considered turning it into a lamp but … well, it seemed complicated and despite how this blog may make me appear I’m a lazy person. Then I came across these lovelies on Amazon. They are the tiniest fairy lights you’ve ever seen. They are battery powered and oddly the strand is waterproof. I don’t need it to be but that’s cool none the less.

I also found a roll of window frost on amazon with good reviews. I’ve got a bathroom window that needs frosting and it will only take about 6 square inches of the 9ft roll to do this project so its worth it.

The next bit got a little complicated. Only because I made it so. It doesn’t need to be. I laid the glass over some pretty scrapbooking paper and laid down the frost contact paper over top of it letting the excess hang over the edge to secure it in place. I then used a Knife of Exact Zero* to cut out the pattern of the scrapbooking paper into the contact paper. You can purchase frosted contact paper that has patterns like this in it ready made. I opted for regular old frost since it’s something I’m going to be using for multiple projects, including some I just want to be plain. I decided to stick with the cheaper and more boring frost, and thus created a little bit more work for myself.

After that it was just a matter of spray painting that horrific brass

I then reassembled the glass and faceplate just securing it with a bit of glue and strung the itty bitty adorable lights through the back plate where the clockwork used to be.

Last but not least I happened to have a frame that fit the front of the clock perfect and I glued that on to the front as well to glam it up a bit and voila…

A lantern for your next glamping trip

 

You could skip the pattern in the frost or skip the frost all together by placing some tissue paper (any color) in the lantern. I (or rather my mother) discovered this after the fact but I actually like it a bit better as it also manages to diffuse the light a bit more and hide the wires a bit better. The header picture is of the clock/lantern on with tissue paper behind the face.

At any rate I’m glad our sad, neglected, noisy clock found new life as a glamorous lantern. It will likely come in handy during our regular power outages. What other objects can you think of upcycling into lanterns?

 

 

 

 

*that’s an exacto knife for those of you that are not awesome