Furniture

Fixing up a busted dresser

Gosh, it’s been at least a year, if not more, since I fell in love with this antique dresser at a thrift store near my house.

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The zebra(ish) wood was to die for and the price was right, so I scooped it up and let it sit sit sit for a long while. Even though it didn’t work well (broken drawer pulls & drawers that slid too far in or sat unevenly), I still stored lots of goodies in it. Last night, I decided to take advantage of my break from grad school to fix up the piece. I almost died doing it (OK, not really… but take your time with mitre saws, people!).

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The main issue with the dresser was with the top two drawers. Over the years, the center support had fallen out. This caused both drawers to lean into the dresser and into the drawer beneath when pushed all of the way in. You could get them to sit right, but one nudge would send both askew and all of the things you were storing crashing to the back of the drawer.

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To fix this, I cut down some scrap wood to fill the gap from the front of the dresser to the back. I screwed in two support blocks, one at the front and one at the back, to nail this makeshift rail into. Then, I glued and nailed a thin piece of wood to act as the rail guide so one drawer couldn’t encroach on the other drawer’s space (my sisters and I could have used something like this in the back seat of mom’s car growing up!)

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I let that dry overnight because I used WAY too much wood glue. This morning I put all of the drawers back and fixed some busted hardware, making for one beautiful, well-working dresser!

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The dresser still isn’t perfect. There are nicks along the edges and a few chips in the top. But it’s GORGEOUS! I can look past the imperfections (OK, I love the imperfections) now that it’s working good as new.

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I mean, just look at those curves! Ow owwww!

The one remaining thing to figure out is if I want to replace the top two drawer pulls. They don’t work the best and only one set had the decorative washers to hid the hardware — if you look close you can see dar circles around the top left drawer pull. Other than that, this dresser is good to go!

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Furniture, Interior Decorating, Paint

A temporarily permanent mirror

I’m not a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination, but I have a hard time letting go of items I’m positive I can use someday. And every time I did deep into a pile of long-forgotten gems, I am always so pleased that I didn’t do away with them.

My best friend knows I love mirrors and thrift store finds, so several years ago at Christmas she gave me two beautiful wooden mirrors in major need of some TLC. I have saved these mirrors for easily three years, if not longer.

Traditional Mirror Before

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ve seen my console table in my family room that is just begging for a mirror above it. It sits directly across from our bay window, and a mirror would brighten up the space so wonderfully.

Gallry Wall_Living Room

I’ve been searching high and low for a mirror to hang above the console table, checking HomeGoods, Target, Craigslist, thrift stores… the usual spots for inexpensive decor. I was in no rush, so I chose to be super picky (I didn’t want a square mirror and was hoping to find a mirror with a unique, not trendy shape). I’d found a mirror I loved on Craigslist, but it was too pricey. By the time I decided I should just go for it, it was sold. It just wasn’t meant to be.

I was avoiding the pair of mirrors from Dana for many reasons. First of all, they are tall and skinny, and the orientation cannot be changed because of the fancy detail at the top. Plus, I only needed one mirror and didn’t want to split up the pair. And lastly, they were just fancier than I wanted. I don’t think of my house as fancy and really love the relaxed vibe the whole house has, so I didn’t want to throw this traditional mirror in the mix and have it look strange.

I leaned one up against the wall as a test many times and wasn’t crazy about the look, but I bit the bullet and decided to go for an update to the mirrors because they needed it anyway. Who cared if one sat upstairs for a while as the other pined away for its mate in the basement. They are just mirrors, after all.

I sanded down the frame and taped off the edges of the mirrors, then proceeded to paint the whole thing white. I only have transformed one of the mirrors because I wanted to make sure I liked it.

Turns out, I do. And these fancy mirrors don’t look half bad on my console table!

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I titled this post “A temporarily permanent mirror” because I plan on continuing my hunt for a different mirror, either new or used. Regardless of my hunt, I’m so pleased that I like this mirror in my house and over the table — I truly didn’t think I would, but it’s growing on me. I still think it doesn’t have the right proportions for the space, though. Plus, it kills me to separate the pair of mirrors. Now I just need to paint the second mirror white and find a place for the pair. I have a couple of ideas where they might look nice.

These mirrors are super heavy, so if I do choose to leave it, I’ll need to get heavy-duty hanging materials for the wall. I like it leaning, but I think for safety reasons I’d rather it be mounted instead. I’d hate for Remmy to bump the table and for this to fall and hurt him.

Anywho, don’t you just love when someone that’s been sitting in your basement for years turns out to be just what you were looking for, even temporarily? I know I do!

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UPDATE: I found a mirror I loved at Target, and with that my temporary mirror has been relocated back to the craft room *whomp whompppp*

Here’s the new setup:

Mirror and Console

Christmas, Craft Projects, DIY GIFT GUIDE, Gift Idea, Holiday, Pallet Projects, Quick and Easy Crafts

Wood Burning and Wooden Ornaments

My last holiday craft involving pallet wood also involved a new skill — wood burning!! I’d never successfully tried wood burning before, but I figured out what I’d been doing wrong and had a blast playing around with the new technique.

Before I got into the wood burning, I simply was making trees from the pallet wood. The first I made was a gift for my secret santa at work:

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I cut out the tree using my jigsaw, sanded it down, added a hole for the ribbon and colored the wood using the restor-a-finish product I always rave about. Cute, yes? My coworker loved it. I also gave him a Home Depot gift card — he and I love to chat about our ongoing projects. He’s my Home Depot buddy!

I made a similar tree for my godmother, but to girl it up a bit I painted gold dots all over it to look like ornaments.

Then I moved on to some simple wood burned ornaments. I tried it out on some scrap wood first:

Scrap Burning

After doing some research online, I learned that you can use a soldering iron as a wood burning tool. The only downside is the lack of interchangeable tips. I’d tried this before, but it turns out I didn’t let my iron get hot enough. This time I let it fully warm up — and that did the trick.

Once I’d tested it out on a few pieces of scrap wood, I started to make gifts for people. An “E” for the neighbors, an “S” for my mother-in-law and an “M” and “E” for Max and Eli, my friend’s sons.

Wood Burned LEtters

Let me back track for a sec — all of these are from scrap wood, which I liked a lot because pretty much none of my pallet went to waste. I sanded everything down before burning it.

OK, back to the burning… once I got designs I liked, I added holes for ribbon or wire. Some I stained, some I left natural.

MEandMax

My buddy Maz really liked his little “M.” OK, he obviously couldn’t care less about it… I just wanted to share our selfie 🙂

The letters I did were fairly easy (Minus the “S”) because they were all straight lines. Since my soldering iron was a longer flat tip, that was the only shape I could do. Lots of dashes, exes and straight lines.

I got the idea to use those shapes to make wood-burned Christmas tree ornaments. These were my favorite.

Small Tree

Large Tree

If you smell them, they smell like campfire! LOVE.

I gave my sister and her BF the larger ornament with the star. The other I selfishly kept for us. I added a lumberjack-esque ribbon to it, too.

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How adorable is that? It it cost me $0! The wood was scrap, the wire I add and the ribbon came off of a gift 🙂

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I love to make Christmas gifts and I think these were some of my favorites that I made this year.