Category: DIY-palooza

Outdoors: inexpensive fence decor

We live in a small rental home (“the dollhouse,” our landlord calls it), so there’s not much we are allowed to do in terms of permanent design or landscaping changes.

That doesn’t mean we can’t make changes, it just means they can’t be permanent. :)

For example, in the kitchen I wanted more of a farmhouse feel, so I removed the cabinet doors under the sink and replaced them with a fabric sink skirt.

Kitchen sink skirt | Hazel and Verdie's

The doors are safely stashed and will be reinstalled when we get ready to move.

Outside, carving out a cottage garden is not allowed but I did enlarge the one existing garden strip and will do a little more with that in the Spring . I’m able to indulge my “garden junk” fetish with a few simple things like this winter display along the garage.

Garage in winter | Hazel and Verdie's

 

And, this past summer I conceived and installed this whimsical junk-made fence display, which I absolutely love!

Junk Fence Project | Hazel and Verdie's

It’s made up of various automobile wheel covers rescued from roadsides, free-on-curb green garden hose, and small pieces of the corrugated tin we were offering in the booth.

Junk Fence Project | Hazel and Verdie's

Junk Fence Project | Hazel and Verdie's

Junk Fence Project | Hazel and Verdie's

Junk Fence Project | Hazel and Verdie's

Wheel covers and leaves were spray painted in bright colors, the hose was cut to length with utility scissors, and the whole thing was laid out and attached to the fence with easily removable screws.

Junk Fence Project | Hazel and Verdie's

Best part of this project? It looks bright and cheerful even on a gray Winter day!

Junk Fence Project | Hazel and Verdie's

Junk Fence Project | Hazel and Verdie's

Update 1: I’m linking my fun fence project to Donna’s DIY Salvaged Junk Projects link party! Click through for more fun junky projects!

Update 2: We had a minor ice storm here in Iowa today so I’m linking my fun summer project to Marty’s fun Inspire Me Tuesday party over at A Stroll Thru Life, just as a reminder that Spring is coming and the grass will be green again one day soon!

More soon,

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When a (non) plan comes together – vintage shabby traditional Cape Cod-ish coat rack

It seems like a lot of our projects take a long time to complete. But this isn’t because they are particularly difficult – sometimes we are just unmotivated, sometimes it’s almost a hundred degrees out for weeks on end and it’s just too hot out in the garage/workshop. Sometimes, a piece just has to sit there unfinished until the right element comes along to finish it. And sometimes you buy a thing and you don’t really know what it’s going to become, but it’s just too interesting and too full of vintage mojo to pass it up.

Well today I’m happy to share a project that encompasses – and overcomes – all of these obstacles. It began for us as one of those random auction purchases, basically an old and well-used chunk of wood that we surmised came off an antique dresser. It’s about 40 inches wide, very heavy, has some damage, and like other pieces we’ve purchased came with free spider egg sacs. (Score!!)  True to form, I forgot to take an actual “before” picture, but I did take one shortly after I started painting it.

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

Fun side note: it took me several weeks to decide to paint it… and at the time I started, I had no idea what I was going to make out of it. But I knew it had to be painted.

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

Eventually I thought it would make a great wall-mounted coat rack, so I rounded up some just-right-rusty cast iron coat hooks and…

Rutledge hooks and stars | Hazel & Verdie
… well, hung onto them for several more weeks. I knew hooks would look great across the lower portion of the piece, but that left a large empty space under the arched portion. Thought about finding a mirror to fit, or painting some roses on it, but just couldn’t decide. Then, a great piece came long at a flea market.

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

Can you tell – it’s a cast-iron eagle, again no actual “before” picture but the unpainted backside of it shows the original color.

I painted the eagle with a custom-mixed mint-green chalk paint. Once the green was dry, I dry-brushed white chalk paint over him, creating (hopefully) a time-worn effect.

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

I sealed the bird with some spray-on satin-finish polyurethane, and attached him to the board with small screws I had saved off some hinges. Here it is finished, resting on a small patio table.

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

 

And here it is finished, resting on a box in the dining room. It’s kind of hard to get a good picture.

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's
Now perhaps the biggest challenge of the whole project: how to hang it on the wall. Since I’m planning to sell this piece, I decided not to commit to a hanging method. Instead, I’m going to keep the sale price down for my buyer and simply include a recommendation for a French Cleat, which they can acquire on their own… or make a different call as to how to keep it on the wall.

I think this thing turned out really neat, given that I had essentially no plan. I almost feel like this mixture of elements has combined to create a new design style: Beachy Federalist, anyone? (Hey, George Washington had to hang his swim trunks SOMEWHERE, right?)

More soon,

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Re-painted furniture: tiny cottage side table makeover

Okay let’s get one thing clear: I’m terrible at “befores.” It’s not that I don’t appreciate – or want to share – a dramatic transformation. On the contrary – but sometimes I forget to take the before picture!

So for this before/after project, please imagine if you will… a tiny, dark brown side table complete with spider egg sacs on the underside, missing its center support and crying out for rescue like the sad puppies in the ASPCA commercial. (I’m pretty sure Sara McClachlan would spontaneously start singing “In the Arms of an Angel” if she saw this table.)

I acquired my little table at an auction several weeks ago… I won’t tell you what I paid for it, but I will tell you that I never… EVER… pay more than $10 for a table at an auction. (Except for that one time I did, because Greg thought he was being helpful by waving his hand with five fingers displayed, thinking he was bidding five dollars… and turned out he was waving affirmative at 25. I was the lucky winner of THAT table too, because no one in their right mind would’ve paid that much for it. Ahem. I will show you that project another time.)

So anyway, the table was cheap. Which is good, because it was awful. Greg redeemed himself (mostly) for the $25 table because he did a LOT of work to this piece. He pulled out all the wobbly bits and re-glued them, AND he rebuilt from scratch the v-shaped support in the lower part of the table using dowel construction and a hand saw. He tied and weighted the whole thing down with heavy books and some sort of secret sailor’s knot, and we left it alone for a few days. When the ropes and weights came off, it was a sturdy little table once again.

Now it just needed paint, which in this case meant two coats of “Romance” chalk paint by Americana (now called “Rouge”). And – voila – no more sad puppy!!

Hazel and Verdie | Furniture makeover - small painted side table

 

Isn’t it adorable? Look at that sweet center support!

Hazel & Verdie's | Red cottage side table

 

That little shelf is perfect for CDs, Little Golden Books, Christmas greenery, or… or… or even plain!

Hazel & Verdie's | Red cottage side table

 

At this point the only problem that remained… was that the top was a beautiful, but rather boring, expanse of red.

Hazel & Verdie's | Red cottage side table

 

Now let me tell you I debated on what to do about that for a couple more weeks. I considered adding a vintage label graphic, painting roses on it, painting a Union Jack, leaving it plain, and all manner of other ideas. I finally decided to go for the roses, but not having painted any roses for quite awhile I first needed some practice. Here are the somewhat sorry results of that effort, shown in the hideous light of my stove because the lighting here in the dollhouse is generally terrible when there’s no daylight.

Hazel and Verdie's | Furniture makeover: small cottage side table

 

Well it wasn’t stellar but fortunately for me my word for 2016 is “imperfect.” So off I went, and created this:

Hazel and Verdie's | Furniture makeover: small red cottage table

Hazel and Verdie's | Furniture makeover: small red cottage table

Hazel and Verdie's | Furniture makeover: small red cottage table

 

So there we are, at long last, the “afters” on a poor little sad table that certainly isn’t sad anymore!

In fact, I daresay that if Sara McClachlan could see this table today, she would likely change her tune to “How Much is That Doggie in the Window.” Arf arf!

Hazel and Verdie's | Furniture makeover: small red cottage table

 

I will be linking my sweet little cottage table at these parties, so be sure to click through for oodles of inspiration!

Make It Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House
A Round Tuit at Creating My Way to Success
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Home & Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Flaunt It Friday at Chic on a Shoestrong

More soon –

Hazel & Verdie's

 

 

 

 

 

Simple photo holder

Okay so, I made this thing… out of a thing… the first picture shows a gear or pulley or something, the thing that fell out of my car the day that it finally konked out on me about a month ago, marking the end of its reign as “my car.”

 

gear1a

 

The car – a 2002 Subaru Outback Legacy – was, in fact, a gift from my Dad back in 2007… I had begun taking pretty regular care of him as his liver disease had more and more effect on him, and every time I took him to the doctor or any other errand, we’d drive his car. Eventually he simply gave the car to me, partly as thanks and partly because that’s what he had done with most of his previous cars: given them to me when he was done with them.

So anyway when the car finally gave up, I kept this piece that fell off, and turned it into a keepsake that holds a couple pictures of Dad, including one of him with my daughter when she was about seven years old. It was easy enough to make – I literally just wiped off some of the grease, filled the hole in the middle with hot glue, and poked a photo wire down into the center of it as the glue was setting up. The stuff lodged in between the teeth of the gear is melted timing belt.

gear2a
A quick and easy keepsake!

I’m sharing this project over at the Upcycled Link Party at Funky Junk Interiors, as well as at Marty’s Inspire Me Tuesday party at her sweet blog, A Stroll Thru Life.

 

More soon,

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