Beachy Distressed Mirror

I forgot to post this last summer- I had a large wooden mirror and wanted to experiment with the super distressed look.  I painted it Wedgewood Blue (from the Fat Paint Company) and dry-brushed Warm White overtop of the blue- it gives the impression that I have used two colours of paint and the top coat is worn down enough for the second coat to come through- no need to use two full coats of paint when you can cheat!  Then, I grabbed my electric sander and just went for it- usually I am very cautious when distressing, but I have come to realize I like the super-distressed look- so I threw caution to the wind and went for it- you can see that lots of the wood came through, with the overall effect of a beautiful, beachy wooden frame, perfect for my love of coastal decor.

Beachy Mirror

Beachy distressed mirror

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Cream and Black Dresser Set

I am a full-time high school teacher, so I rarely have the time or energy to tackle any projects over the regular school year.  Here is a project that I completed for my friend Rachel over Spring Break.  She and her husband are currently renovating their home and wanted to update their bedroom set without having to purchase an entirely new set.  It’s amazing how few coats of paint can create something that looks and feels totally different! Rachel knew exactly what she wanted- cream-coloured dressers with black tops and details, lightly distressed.  Take a look how it turned out!

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Dresser 1 before- typical 80’s heavy dresser. Finnegan is checking it out.

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Dresser 2 before- Rachel’s husband had owned this for many years. It has a great shape!

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Dresser 1 after- painted with Cream and Raven paint, lightly distressed and hand waxed with both dark and natural beeswax. Original hardware updated with a coat of black. Look what a few coats of paint can do!

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Dresser 1 detail- actual colour is depicted better in the previous picture.

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Dresser 1 Detail

 

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Dresser 2 completed- look how cute it turned out! Painted the same colours as the other dresser to make it a matching set for their bedroom. Lightly distressed and hand-waxed like the other dresser, original hardware painted and waxed.

 

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Detail of Dresser 2. It looks very white here, but the previous picture is more true to the actual colour.

All in all this took me about a week to complete, a coat of primer on each, a few coats of chalk paint on each and a jar of wax- much cheaper than purchasing a new set!

Summer is fast approaching and it turns out I am moving at the end of June, so I imagine I will be tackling many more projects in the next months- stay tuned! I may even have time to do something for you, if you live local.

First commissioned piece!

I wanted to show you a risky project I took on for my dear friend Ev- she chose some wild colour choices that I wasn’t sure were going to work, but my art training told me that they would.  Here is her little hutch before: 1491657_1529350237295805_9179328950978977106_n

Here it is after applying Emerald Green and a coral-y red:

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I love how it turned out!  Thanks for pushing me out of my comfort zone, Ev!

Pallet British Flag

My friend Alisa over at West Avenue Artworks is extraordinarily talented and can take an old piece of wood, work some magic and create stunning pieces.  Go over and take a look!

Last year, she created a series of flags on rough cut wood which inspired me to try it myself- both of my husband’s parents emigrated from England and I wanted to make a British flag for him to honour his heritage.  Whereas Alisa creates her flags on these beautiful pieces of rough-cut wood, I knew I would have to settle for using a pallet.  I kept my eyes open for months and finally found the perfect pallet for this project on the side of the road and scooped it:

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My husband cut it in half, giving me dimensions that were half as high as it was wide, as is necessary for the British flag.  I sealed and primed it so the wood wouldn’t soak up the paint:

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Then, I found a diagram online explaining how to perfectly measure out the British flag and painstakingly measured and drew the diagram on my pallet (this was the most painful part).  I kept getting the measurements wrong and had to erase and re-draw the guidelines numerous times:

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I taped it up to get crisp lines, added blue using the Fat Paint Company’s Indigo:

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I let it dry and added the red (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint’s Emperor Silk)  and white (TFPC’s Warm White) so it looked like this:

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Obviously I had to distress it, so I went over the entire thing with sandpaper, dry-brushed the entire thing with Warm White to give a weathered effect and finished off with a layer of dark wax to bring out all the imperfections of the wood.  Here is the final product:

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Union Jack, 21″ x 40″

Book Page Wreath

photo 2I’m seeing book page Christmas-themed crafts everywhere lately- just take a look on Etsy and see all the great book page home decor products people are selling.  Why spend $30 or more (see here) for a book page wreath when you can make one yourself for a fraction of the cost? As promised to my faithful 2 followers, here is an easy tutorial (my first ever!) for a lovely, ruffly wreath- just in time for your Christmas decorating or to give as a gift.  However- if you make this wreath and decide to give it away as a gift, don’t send them the wreath recipients to this website, or they will realize you spent all of about 30 cents on their Christmas gift!

Supplies needed:

  • 1 piece of cardboard on which a dinner plate can be traced.  (I used a jumbo sized Raisin Bran cereal box)
  • Scissors
  • 1 old paperback book- the ones with the yellowing pages are the best.  (I used 130 pages)
  • 1 hot glue gun and enough glue sticks (I used 7 mini-glue sticks)
  • 1 pencil or pen
  • Shimmery, iridescent sparkles and white glue- (I used Stampin’ Up’s Diamond Dust and Glitter ModPodge)
  • Ribbon, twine or fishing wire for hanging the wreath
  • 1 movie to watch on Netflix while creating your wreath

Instructions:

1.  Trace your dinner plate onto your cardboard.  Inside that circle, trace a side plate.  Cut out the inner, smaller circle, so that you are left with a cardboard wreath.

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Here are most of the supplies I used- the book is an old biography on William Carey I got from my favourite librarian friend who donates books to me when she’s ready to downsize her library.  I love that some of the pages are stamped like this:

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2.  Rip out a handful of book pages, being careful to tear right at the seam so that the pages don’t rip in half.

3.  Cover your cardboard wreath with book pages so that the cardboard won’t show through later

4.  Rip out more book pages, carefully and cut these pages in half.  I used approximately 120 pages for the wreath itself.

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5.  Wrap one piece of ripped paper around the eraser end of a pencil, like so:

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I found it was helpful to add beads of glue to the book page so that each page maintained its shape:

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5.  Starting with with the inside, glue a circle of pencil-shaped pages around the inner ring of the ‘wreath’. Once you get right around the inner circle, it will look like this:

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6.  Create a middle row of book pages, so that it eventually looks like this:

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7.  Finally, fill it in with a third row of book-pages.  Brush some white glue on some of the ruffly edges and sprinkle with glitter, if you want a hint of sparkle.  You can also glue some ribbon, twine or fishing wire onto the back so that you can hang your wreath, if you wish.  I chose to display mine on my shelf and so didn’t use a ribbon.  Here’s how it turned out!

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Not bad for 2 hours, 7 glue-sticks, an old book and a recycled Raisin Bran box!  If you make one from this tutorial, I’d love it if you posted a picture here in the comments and let me know how your experience went!  Good luck!

Sea glass green hutch

Here is yet another example of how you can take an ugly, dated piece of furniture and give it some serious style with just a few supplies.

Someone gave me this old seventies-style hutch.  It was not the most attractive piece, but I could see all the potential it had to be beautiful.  First, as it was in minor disrepair, I had to fix a few things.  I also chose to remove the ugly knobby things on the shelves and fill the holes.  I had half a can of this stunning colour of paint that I was waiting to use on just the right project and decided to use it on this- the colour reminds me of the perfect piece of sea glass- I am always drawn to the colours of the sea!

So, take a look at how it turned out:

Before

Ugly hutch before.

This may be my most favourite piece I've done yet.

Here she is with her makeover!

Peek-a-boo! What are those drawers lined with?

Peek-a-boo! What are those drawers lined with?

Book page lined drawers

Why with old, yellowed pages from classic novels, of course!

Vintage gold knobs

I updated the hardware with these lovely gold vintage-looking glass knobs that I found in the discount bin at Anthropologie. Great find!

All in all, this turned out to be one of my most favourite pieces.  I was planning to sell it, but I ended up keeping it in my living room!

A pair of mirrors

Well, since I’ve been back to work full-time, I’ve done nothing creative.  My husband knows very well that all work and no creative outlet makes Jamie a twitchy grump. I’ve wanted to get to work on the enticing pile of furniture stashed in a corner of the garage, but it’s just been so hectic I’ve been unable to get to it.  Obviously, as soon as my two weeks Christmas vacation hit (perks of teaching!) and the chaos of Christmas was done, I got to work on these two mirrors.  They could be my favourite projects so far. Here they are before-

mirror pair before

Mirror pair before

I painted one with a base-coat of navy blue chalk paint (Indigo by the FAT Paint Company) then applied a crackle glaze.  When I painted that gorgeous Caribbean Blue (also a FAT paint colour) overtop, the navy cracked through.  I did the reverse for the other mirror, distressed them both so the opposite colour came through, and sealed them each with beeswax- this is what they look like now:

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Photo-bombed!

Photo-bombed!

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I’ve decided to keep this one for myself!

What do you think?

Also- does anyone have any suggestions on how to get into the market?  I have not had luck selling my pieces and don’t know where to start.  Has anyone else ever found success selling things they’ve made? I’d love to hear your stories and advice!

Farm chair

 Whew! It’s been a heck of a couple of months!  I worked all summer long on Sapphire Restoration projects and then my life got hectic and crazy and I haven’t so much as posted a peep since August.  Mid-August, we packed up our house and moved to a new city.  A week later, I returned back to teaching, this time with four new courses to manage,on top of my other 3 classes, which means most of my time is spent planning and prepping.  Additionally, my husband switched from transitional to permanent pastor at a little church in our new community, which adds a whole other level of busyness.  On top of that, we have four kids at home adjusting to a new school and all that entails.  All that being said, it was necessary to move SR to the back-burner for a while until life calmed down.  And it is finally beginning to settle, so I am starting to plan which projects to tackle next.  I have a garage full of beautiful pieces that are ready to be transformed.  

Even though I was busy, a few notable things have occurred: 

– Before my move, I managed to make 250 lovely promo cards for a new marketing initiative called Biz Promo Bags.  Because of this, I have received a great deal of exposure and interest- my website stats keep growing. Welcome, all of you from Biz Promo Bags!  I am so happy you stopped by! Comment if you found your way here through the Biz Promo Bags- and thanks for mentioning in that survey you took how pretty you thought my promo cards were.  That means a lot to me!

– Although I’d made all these pieces of furniture, I’ve made no attempt to really sell them.  However, we moved near this tiny little picturesque village called Steveston that is filled with gorgeous artisan boutiques that attract many tourists.  This is also where our church is located and where we wish to do most of our business.  If possible, I would like to sell SR pieces exclusively in Steveston, so, a few weeks ago, my handsome salesman (a.k.a. my husband), went around to the stores to begin gauging interest.  I’m pleased to announce that Jet-Lag Travel Fashion will begin carrying SR pieces, and hopefully more to come!

– On a sad note, there was a huge fire in New Westminster, B.C., recently, and my favourite chalk paint supplier lost everything.  All of you at The FAT Paint Company, we are sorry for your loss, and we know that it will only be a matter of time until you are up and running again. 

– Finally, I am considering entering some craft and artisan Christmas fairs this year to begin selling my pieces.  I will keep you updated.  

I leave you with a picture of a simple chair I painted even in the midst of all the craziness.  I just couldn’t stay away.  

Enjoy the sun this weekend!

Mirror and Mantle

Ok, so I also wanted to show you my mirror and mantle as well. The mirror is layered with an Emerald City tint and white, the same with the chair you can see in the mirror reflection. I applied a crackle glaze to both to get that aged effect.

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Here is my farm chair, underneath the white metal stars I painted earlier this year.

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Farm chair detail

Farm chair detail- can you see the crackle glaze and the three colours of paint I’ve used to create depth?

Distressed blue side table

I’ve been loving the super-distressed furniture trend that is so ‘in’ right now.  Up to this point, I have played it pretty safe with my furniture distressing and stayed within my comfort zone as I try to figure out what my style is.  However, I want to keep growing and challenging myself in this business so that I improve.  I decided that with my next project, I would take the distressing to a new level.

I decided to try this out with this boring little side table my husband picked up for me last month:

Original table

Original table

As you can see, to start with, the table was nothing to write home about.  It was actually a bit nasty- this picture doesn’t pick up the chippy, peeling varnish and the thick layer of dirt adhering to the surface.  However, I cleaned the table (don’t worry) and applied the most perfect paint colour.  Take a look:

Too nice to take a sander to?

Too nice to sand? Nah.

It looked so pretty just like that; even prettier when I added my new stencil in white.  I could have just left it like this and had a stunning little table (that’s what you were thinking, weren’t you); however, I’d already decided that this was the table that would feel the wrath of my sander.  So, with some trepidation, I started her up and tentatively began sanding the drawer to explore exactly how distressed I wanted the table to be.  I think using a power tool went to my head.  By the time I was done, the drawer was basically raw wood with flecks of paint. Oops. Maybe a little too distressed.  I had to start all over again.  I am learning as I go, what can I say?

Here is the finished table- I think it turned out pretty well for my first attempt at some serious distressing.  What do you think of the mega-distressed look? Comment and let me know!

Click on the first picture to scroll through the gallery:

This project was painted using Caribbean Blue and Warm White chalk paint from The FAT Paint Company and sealed with clear beeswax polish.  Please email us at sapphirerestorationdecor@gmail.com for purchase inquiries.