Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My little Darlin'- $1 dresser remake project!

Remember this little piece of beat up junk beauty? This is my $1 side table/mini-dresser I bought at a tag sale a couple weeks ago. I told you I had plans for her and boy, did I follow through!

That "beauty" has been transformed. With a little creativity, a couple supplies and a bit of love I remade her. She is gorgeous now and I am so pleased. And a little proud of myself.

 by Isabella Kiss

Here's what you need.

1. A busted up piece of furniture you want to give new life to 
(mine was $1!!!!!)

2. A quart of paint. 
 (Around $9-11.)
I went with a can of Behr Satin "DareDevil" red.
It is suiting to me, unlike "modestly peach," or "coral expression." RED ALL THE WAY.

3. Mod-Podge (around $7) and a foam paint brush (cheap!)
This is just regular, original Mod-Podge. 
I couldn't find one specifically for wood at the craft store I went to, but I think they make one? This worked just fine though!

4. Old books you can desecrate and destroy.  
(The two of mine came to around $5 at Savers)
*If not books, you could also use newspaper, fabric, scrapbook paper, magazine cuttings, wrapping paper, or pretty much anything else flat and glue-able.
Check out the blog Mod-Podge Rocks! for more inspiration.
I went with a worn out dictionary, with faded pages, complete with little pictures next to some of the words
and a book of old English literature, complete with some of my classic favorites (Beowulf, Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, William Shakespeare's songs and sonnets, Edmund Spencer's The Faerie Queene) (and yes, I am a literature geek who has read ALL of the above. Beowulf several times...)

5. A couple pieces of scrapbook paper, to use as draw-liners  
(something like 25-50 cents a piece)

6. A little creativity.

*Step one:
I lightly sanded the whole thing with a piece of sandpaper. Just enough to get any junk and gunk off. Wipe it off. Let it dry. Meanwhile, open the paint and give it a good stirring.

*homemade paint pants are optional. They are adorable and highly inspirational for just about ANY occasion, but especially painting. Or so I think.

*Step two:
Paint the parts you want painted. For me that was the handles and the 4 inside walls of the drawers (be careful not to get paint on the edges. It will cause your draws to stick shut. BAD!). Beware of drips!
It took me 3 coats of water-based DareDevil red to cover up the dark brown wood. You could either buy paint that is oil-based (which covers better but takes longer to dry, is harder to clean up, and smells), buy a primer, or just be patient and keep putting on coat after coat. Let each coat dry thoroughly before putting on another or moving to the next step.

*Step three:
(step 3 happened the day after step one and two, just so I was sure my paint was dry)
Begin destroying the books. Rip 'em up. I found my favorite passages (I actually ripped out ALL of Beowulf!) in the literature anthology and looked for my favorite words in the dictionary (I circled, in Sharpie, the really good ones like "Ardent"- my favorite word and one of my many nicknames, "Passionate," Raven," "Hilt" and "Pirate") and/or cute pictures.

*Step four: 
Take out your mod-podge and, with your foam brush, apply it to the surface of either the page or the furniture (either way works, but is tedious). Here is the hard part. Lay it down and TRY AND GET ALL THE BUBBLES OUT by pushing them from the middle out to the edge. This is a toughy. It is like putting up wallpaper only smaller, more detailed, and it wants to rip. Be patient. It takes practice.
Layer those pages (or paper, or fabric, or whatever you decide to use) on, one by one. Eventually you will have the whole surface covered. Put another couple coats of Mod-Podge on over the top. (I did 2 or 3) Varnish or some other sealant is optional at this point.

*Step five:
Just to finish it all off I cut a piece of scrapbook paper (2 sheets of polka dots, 2 sheets of striped!) to fit each draw and mod-podged them in there (don't forget the top coat!).

*Step six:
Let everything dry for a day.

*Step seven:
Bring it in your house, put it in its place. Stand back and admire your work. 
Tell yourself (and your family, and all those around...) that you are awesome! (okay, that was my method. It's optional).


Welcome home, beautiful, little, junky, tag sale dresser. And welcome home, jewelry that now lives in you!
*I am so pleased to now have organized jewelry! Top drawer for bracelets, the second for earrings and rings, the third for necklaces
( and the fourth for nail polish and lip gloss, as I had to put something in there). 

Yes. I have a lot of jewelry.  A lot of it is chunky bracelets, vintage or handmade necklaces, large earrings, and ONLY sterling silver rings. That is how I roll. I like it that way. And yes,for those who sometimes forget, I am a girl, believe it or not! I do have girly habits, like owning excessive amounts of jewelry, and it is all good. So ha!

I am so happy with how the whole project turned out! You should try something similar. It is cheap, relatively easy, and is a great way to express your unique sense of style! Do it! Do it NOW!

***ps: added bonus! Inside the dresser was someone's homework from like 1st grade, and some vintage (Halloween) stickers. I'm not big on Halloween, but there is one sticker on the sheet I am "big" on. The one that has a pirate face and says "Jolly Good." That alone was worth the $1 I paid for the dresser. 

"Jolly Good" sticker on the far right, towards the bottom. Adorable!


Sarah Louise Upjohn said...

You already finished?! It looks so good!!

And I fully endorse the girliness of having an entire chest of drawers dedicated to accessories. Keep up the good work.

Isabella Kiss said...

Dear Sarah Louise Upjohn, whom I greatly love
DO YOU JUST SIT AROUND WAITING FOR ME TO POST ON MY BLOG! Seriously, my friend, you are the speediest commenter of ALL TIME!
And yes, see, I might not be a princess but I have girly qualities. Be proud of me.

Amie said...

Holycraponastick you are awesomeness in pirate form!

I think I mentioned before that I want to redo my childhood toybox in a Dora The Explorer theme for my daughter but HOW CUTE would it be to use children's books to do this?

Isabella Kiss said...

Haha, that was a wonderful compliment. I wrote it in my quote book!
And recovering that toy box in children's books would be AMAZING! Cute ones, like maybe even with nursery rhymes to go with the pictures? DO IT!!!! Post pictures!!!!

Chloe Grace said...

That is definitely Ammaaaazzzin'
It's so cute! I need to see more stuff on the side of the road and at tag sales.. this is worth totally worth it. And what a great idea to put JEWELRY in it! if i ever did something like this, i would probably be sitting there for hours after i have finished, JUST trying to find a use for it! You truly are a very creative person ;)
love you..

britni @ Antika Moda said...

Very creative!! Great job :)

Mod Podge Amy said...

I love this - especially the inside of the drawers.

Sarah Louise Upjohn said...

Indeed. This is how my brain works: I'm like, "Hm, I could do homework right now. Or maybe I could check out blogspot." I repeat this thought process several times a day.

Lindsay C said...

That is really awesome ! Good job.


Rana Wilson said...

Knowing the original price of that Norton, this hurts me a little bit, but I still want it... Of course, that being said, I just ripped all the witchy pages out of an old copy of Macbeth for a project, and I'm planning a Midsummer Night's Dream coffee table (I teach English...) Love this piece!

Living Creatively said...

Wow, it looks fabulous. I love LOVE books, and truly believe that those not being read should gain new life as decor. Well done. Your quotes will be forever at your fingertips now.
It turned out beautifully. :)

Isabella Kiss said...

Thanks everyone!
I'm a writer so I really like English as well.
Rana, I love the Shakespeare idea! That sounds wonderful. And just to make you feel better the Norton was a beat up old paperback (written in by first owner) with the original price of $5.95. I wouldn't destroy it if it was a beautiful hardcover.


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