A Fabulous Red Shelf For the Bedroom…Free!

Another fabulous Alley Find…someone threw out this great red Ikea shelf unit just a block from the house, and it works great in the bedroom. The bottom shelf was broken off, but easily repaired with glue. Gotta love free! My neighbors toss out the best stuff ūüėČ

(all the stuff on the shelves we already had. Matchbook art by artist friend Paul Moschell. The black hand is a recent thrift store find for $3. See more of the bedroom projects on the Decorating link.)



How-To DIY Found Dresser Make-Over for the Rock Star Glam Bedroom


The Dresser is DONE! Hallelujah. 


We found this big vintage boy last year in the alley just a block away. It’s big and heavy and solid as hell. It even has wheels! There was some minor damage that was easily fixed. (see pics below) It’s been sitting in the garage about a year. (You should have seen us rolling this thing down the alley and across a busy street. It was hysterical!) I couldn’t work on it over the Winter as it was too cold to paint out there, and I was searching for the right pulls and knobs (“right” = cheap or free ūüėČ and the Spring/early Summer was all about other projects around the house, so in the garage it sat. I started in on this a couple weeks ago after finding great pulls and knobs at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. All 9 knobs cost a whopping $12!

First I removed all the hardware, then came the patching and the sanding. Lots and lots of sanding. I still probably should have done more. Note to self: Always sand more than you think you need to! In my search for knobs I was unable to find any that matched the current holes in the drawers, so I filled the holes with wood filler. (I’ll show you later how I drilled holes for my new pulls & knobs)

dresserdamage dresserpatch dresserdamage2

Next came the paint. I used primer and paint-in-one (in Hot Pink). This was some very thirsty wood, it drank up 5 coats. I applied the paint with a quality 4″ brush. I tried the additive “Flotrol” for the first time, which is supposed to eliminate brush and roller marks. I would say it lessened them at best.


After the first 2 coats…

dresser1stcoat2 dresser1stcoat

When the 5 coats were thoroughly dry, it was time to get creative with the finish. My man said it was “way to freaking pink” so I decided to tone it down a bit. I did a fast sort-of antiquing finish with watered-down black paint (about 50/50). It’s simple, looks good, and frankly, visually covers a multitude of paint and surface sins. You just brush on the watery black paint, being sure to get it well into the cracks, then immediately wipe it down with a rag. You have to move quickly before the paint starts to dry.

dresserblackapply dresserblackapply2

When the finish was dry, I coated the whole deal with gloss clear coat. I love high gloss. It makes almost anything look good. Silly me bought only one can of clear coat (Rustolium Lacquer in gloss), which was enough to do all the drawers and the fronts, but not the top. Fortunately I had a pint of gloss polyurethane in the art studio so I painted 3 coats on the top and sides (yes, I was too lazy to go to the hardware store and buy another can of spray Lacquer. So sue me.)


I let everything dry outside for 3 days before bringing it in to reduce paint fumes as much as possible. Then it was knob-time!


I started by creating a template for drilling the hole as there were 6 to be drilled. This made it super-easy. I cut a piece of cardboard to fit very snugly inside the face, then measured for the exact center, then for placement of the pull holes around the center point. I had to do it twice. I triple-checked the measurement before I began. Last thing I wanted to do was have to re-patch, re-paint and re-drill holes!

dresserdrawerready dresserdrawertemplate

I put a piece of masking tape where I would be drilling (painter’s tape would have been even better). This makes for a cleaner drill hole. Then it was time to drill! I used a bit slightly larger than my screws, and just drilled carefully straight down.

dresserdrawertape dresserdrawertemplatetab

Here’s a tip: Once I had the first one drilled, I tried to pull out my template, and couldn’t get it out! The fit was a little too snug. I folded over a piece of packing tape to make a tab on the end of the cardboard template for easy removal. Worked great.


Success! First pull attached. Now for the other 5. And, done!


The hardest part of all this was getting the dresser up the stairs. Let me tell you, that thing is long and HEAVY! Even without the drawers it had to be about 100 pounds. I’m still amazed the man and I were able to do it. It suffered a couple dings here and there, but it made it. Now the fun part. Merchandising! Of course the pugs have to get in on the act.

dresserafter dressermaxemma

The next morning I realized I had forgotten a lamp I had set aside for the dresser, so I rearranged a bit…(see the cow skull project HERE)


And I will probably be tweaking it again, but for now, I’m satisfied. Dresser. DONE! Total cost for paint and knobs about $35. Only one project left to go in the Rock Star Glam Bedroom, coming soon!


Notes about Stuff:

Dresser: Found in alley (free) knobs and paint, about $35

Lucite lamp: Base found in alley, shade $5 at Goodwill.

Books: All 3 were treasured gifts.

White frame: $4 at Goodwill.

Crystals, glass art, and bases: Yard sales and auctions.

Clear Lucite stand under TV: Found in alley (this one right behind the house!)

Stereo: Another fabulous alley find. Works great!

Hanging fish bowls: $5 each at Goodwill. New in box! Betas from Petsmart. (Named Red Fish & Blue Fish)

Large Mirror: Yard sale, $15 (was gold, now painted gloss black).

Disco Ball: $25, Ebay.


Cheap Mirror Make-over for the Rock Star Glam Bedroom (or, What a Difference Some Paint Makes, Part 2)


Cheap Mirror Make-over for the the Rock Star Glam Bedroom

A simple little project for the bedroom. We had this old plastic and glass mirror in the dining room. (It was here when I moved in, I have no idea where it came from) Frankly, it always bothered me. (I’m not a fan of plastic)


Then it finally hit me, why not paint it? I like the shape, and we needed something for over the bed for the Rock Star Bedroom redo. You know I love a good free make-over, so I grabbed the teal paint I had leftover from painting the nightstand I made (you can see that here: Modern Nightstand (Bed Side Table) DIY Made With Old Art Magazines) and went at it.


The mirror has a cut-out design which made the painting a challenge. I slid scraps of paper under the cut-out bits before painting, (taping it off was not an option because of the intricate design) which may or may not have been a good idea (more on that in a minute)¬†The texture of the mirror was already kind of toothy, so I didn’t sand it, just cleaned it up before painting.


One coat of paint done, after it dried I added two more coats.


Here’s where the problem with the paper occurred. The paint really stuck to it. The only way to remove it was to cut it out with an exacto knife, which worked, but I can’t help but think there could have been an easier way…

mirrorhung mirrorhung2

The final result is great! It doesn’t look “plastic”, and goes well in the room. Best of all, it cost zero, nada, nothing. Gotta love that.

Other Rock Star Glam Bedroom projects:

the DIY Bedroom Re-do (Chic Rock Star Glam): the Ceiling Light Restyled

What a Difference Some Paint Makes…2 New Projects for the Chic Rock Star Glam Bedroom

Found Hanging Lamps Restyled for the Chic Rock Star Glam Bedroom Make-over

Modern Nightstand (Bed Side Table) DIY Made With Old Art Magazines)

Alley Art Update: A Cool Hipster DIY Word-Art Street-Art from Thrift-Store/Found Painting

Funky Found Cow Skull Artsy Rock Star Restyle Make-Over

Rock Star Bed Pillow…the Chic Rock Star Glam Bedroom Make-over Continues

When the Walls Come Tumbling Down, Part II: Paint. DIY Bedroom Redo

There are still two projects to go in this room, a dresser make-over and a DIY rug. Coming soon!

Alley Art Update: A Cool Hipster DIY Word-Art Street-Art from Thrift-Store/Found Painting


Another project for the Chic Rock Star Glam Bedroom make-over…This was a fun one. I was inspired by this blog post on Apartment Therapy, “5 Ways to Update Thrift Store Art” http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/5-ways-to-update-thrift-store-art-187416

A couple weeks after seeing this blog, I spied this “beauty” in an alley near my house and knew it would be perfect:


It was solid and the canvas was in good shape, it was big (32″ x 36″), and best of all, it was FREE. (I see paintings at the thrift store every week that would be great for a project like this for $5-10) I had a bunch of old vinyl lettering to use to mask out the letters in my stacks of art supplies, so I gathered up my supplies and started playing with the layout. (FYI: I “stole” the phrase from a Google search of “Word Art”) You can find these stick-on letters at office supply stores in several sizes.

paintingprogress1   paintingprogress2

I didn’t have quite enough letters for the whole phrase, so I used the “blanks” left on the backing paper, cut them out with an exacto knife, and attached them to the canvas with spray adhesive. I used painter’s tape to space out the letters, and then it was time to paint the top half with gloss white spray paint.


(Note: I pulled off the letters that were attached with the spray adhesive right away, before they dried permanently) After the white dried, I taped off to paint the bottom half, which I painted with black gloss spray paint. NOTE: Learn from my mistakes! Cover the whole top half thoroughly! I had to go back and touch-up the white where the black paint over-sprayed)


When the black was dry, I removed all the tape and all the vinyl letters.

paintingprogress5   paintingprogress6

At this point I felt the letters were a little too sharp, and I wanted to add a little dimension to the white area. I mixed up a very watery translucent pale gray with leftover white wall paint and a drop each of Mars Black and Ultramarine Blue acrylic paint. I very lightly brushed this over the top area in a sort-of “x” pattern, and had a damp sponge on hand to catch drips and smooth out where needed.


And here is the final result! While it is not perfect (some of the letters are a tad off, but think that adds to the “street-art” feel) I am very pleased with it, and it looks great in the Chic Rock Star Glam Bedroom. The whole project took less than 2 hours, and all it cost me was about $4 in paint (I had the rest of the materials on-hand) More bedroom projects coming soon! Just a few more to go before it’s complete.

paintingdone1   paintingdone2

Share your updated” Art projects in the comments section. I’d love to hear about them!

Modern Nightstand (Bed Side Table) DIY Made With Old Art Magazines

Modern “Artsy” Nightstand made with old Art Forum magazines…


Another project for the Chic Rock Star Glam Bedroom is complete! I finished this one up over the weekend. I am very pleased with how it turned out! I am now on the look-out for more Art Forum mags so I can make another one of these…

I was inspired to the idea by this image:

The image above is a great use of the old mags, but I wasn’t a fan of the style, so I came up with my own. Everything I used (except the paint) I had around the house. The box I use in the middle I had made years ago for an art project that never came to pass. It is 12″ x 12″ square with one open end. This box would be fairly easy to make with 5 12 x12″ pieces of wood, or use your imagination! A wooden wine box from the liquor store might be a nice, more rustic look. Look around and see what you have that might work. I used a 12″ x 12″ art board for the bottom, but any thicker piece of wood would work. I’ve had a bunch of old Art Forum mags stacked up in the studio for a long time (I can never seem to part with them) and I love the way the spines look, so these were a natural choice, but pretty much any magazines could work, it just depends on the look you like. The round piece of glass was sitting in the basement (I have no idea what it once went to) Small glass table tops are available all over…hardware stores, hobby stores, etc. The four big wheels were sitting in a drawer from another old project that never materialized. These are available at any decent hardware store. (the ones I used are 4″) I really like the look of the oversized wheels. I started out by gathering my materials and playing with the design. I tried stacking the mags all on top, on the bottom, and ultimately liked the way this looked the best:


Next came the paint. I used a gloss white on the outside and the bottom piece, and a semi-gloss teal on the inside. I sanded the wood and gave it all two coats.


As the paint was drying, I glued and stacked the magazines. I used good ol’ Elmer’s glue. I put a fairly thick coat in between each magazine, and just smeared it all over with my hand (you can do this Elmer’s but NOT any more industrial glues. Use gloves!). I used a very straight piece of wood to straighten the stack each time I added another magazine. Then I smeared the glue all over the 3 outside open edges (not the spines), smoothed it out, and let it dry. (if you have overspill you can smooth it with a damp sponge) The glue dries clear and you won’t see it. When the glue dried, the magazine stacks were a solid mass.

magstandprogress1    magstandprogress2

When the paint dried as well, I gathered everything together and proceeded to the next step: attaching the wheels.


I laid out the wheels where I wanted them (in this case, leaving an inch around the outside) marked where the screws would go, and drilled small starter holes. Then I screwed in the screws (1/2″ in this case) with the screwdriver bit. Easy-peasy.


I then stacked everything where I wanted it, checked the placement from all angles, and glued the “stacks”, box and base together with a more industrial glue (in this case, Duco cement, but most any heavy duty glue would work) When everything set, I just placed the glass on top.


Then rolled it into the bedroom!

magstandtop   magstandangle   magstanddone   nightstandinroom

A few additional notes: The lamp stand came from Target ($12 on sale), the lampshade from Goodwill ($3), the stainless steel tray from Goodwill ($4), and the rest of the goodies we already had from various sources. The “rug” is a piece of white shag faux fur from Distinctive Fabrics. (the silver satin behind the bed and most of the fabric on the pillows also came from Distinctive Fabrics. I highly recommend this site for fabric! Great selection, great prices. See the Hanging Lamp Project HERE, and the Rock Star Pillow Project HERE.¬† Emma the Pug, my little ham, always seems to sneak herself into my project photos…

More on the Chic Rock Star Glam Bedroom coming soon!

What projects did you complete over the weekend? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section.

My New FREE Nightstand! (Thinking Inside the Box(s)

Thinking Inside the Box(s), or, Free is Awesome…

I love finding great stuff cheap, but finding great stuff FREE is the best! I found this threesome of graduated-size box shapes abandoned in an alley near my home. They were in pretty good shape, just a few dings and scratches, and very sturdy. I don’t know what they were intended for (shelves? table?) But I knew when I saw them they were destined to become part of the Chic Rock Star Glam Bedroom Redo.


Nightstand pieces, before.

I gathered the pieces, cleaned them and touched up the scuffs with a black Sharpie pen. The piece of glass was gathering dust in the basement. (It’s been down there so long I don’t remember what it came from). I played around with the pieces till I had an arrangement I liked, and voila! I have a new (free!) nightstand that looks great in the new bedroom! More Bedroom Make-over projects coming soon…


Nightstand, after.

Additional notes: The red ceramic pot was another free alley find. Most all the books are from the thrift store ($1-2), and the silver-plate tray is also from the thrift store ($4). The big crystal on the top I bought about 16 years ago at a store close-out sale ($35) and the amethyst stone on the bottom came from a yard sale ($15). The lamp is from Target ($12, on sale) and the lampshade, from the thrift store ($3).

I’ve had this weird obsession with Lucite lately. MNO (Money No Object) I’d have a pair of these in the bedroom…

What a Difference Some Paint Makes…2 New Projects for the Chic Rock Star Glam Bedroom

Paint…Hands-down the easiest and cheapest way to completely transform just about anything. I painted two old things I’ve had around the house for years, and gave them new life with a can of glossy spray paint. They look great in the new Chic Rock Star Glam bedroom.

First, the Mirror. I picked up this big gold-framed mirror at a yard sale years ago. (If I remember correctly it was about $12) It’s a lovely mirror, but the gold frame made it look dated. 2 fresh coats of black gloss spray paint (about $5) and it’s a perfect fit for the new bedroom redo.


Mirror Before…all covered and taped and ready to paint.


Mirror painted…drying.


Mirror Hung…with Pugs

…and here it is, hung in the new bedroom with pugs Emma & Max enjoying the afternoon sun. Extra Note: The two Beta Fish hanging to the right of the mirror (named “Red Fish”, “Blue Fish”) came from Petsmart. The clear hanging bowls were found at Goodwill, months apart. I think I paid about $5 each. One of them was new in it’s box, all taped up by the thrift store staff. I got home, opened the box, and inside was a new jar of Beta food and a valid $10 gift card to Petsmart! That was a good day ūüėČ The two little watercolor paintings hanging with the fish are by artist David Castle. The sparkles on the wall are being cast by a static Hanging Disco Ball, and the Painted Cow Skull art project is HERE.¬† The Faux Fur Blanket Project is coming soon, along with a few more Chic Rock Star Glam Bedroom projects…the bedroom is almost done!

…And the Stool

This resin cast stool was another yard sale find. ($10) It’s heavy and sturdy and a fun design, but the gold had to go. I wanted to add some bright pops of color to the room, so I decided to paint it a glossy Candy Apple Red. (3 coats) It looks great in the room.


Stool Before, cleaned, sanded and ready to paint.


Stool, Painted and drying…


Stool all shiny and red, in the new bedroom.

I love the trans-formative power of paint! In the next 2 weeks I’ll be tackling a big dresser…what have YOU transformed with paint? Tell me in the comments section, I’d love to hear!

¬†I’ve been in love with these Louis & Victoria Ghost chairs for years. I’d LOVE a pair for the bedroom…