DIY: Salvaged Dresser

Monday, March 9th, 2009

I was at the Goodwill store with my sister-in-law the other day and she spotted a very abused dresser. She very much wanted a dresser for my nephews who share a room, and she was particularly fond of the “piratey” hardware. Unfortunately, it looked like a hunk of junk.

Centsational Aunty to the rescue! I promised I could bring it back to life. Daring me, she plunked down the $15 listed on the price tag.  Accepting her dare, I bought the following supplies: MinWax tinted stain in Antique Red ($8), some medium grade sandpaper ($3), and one new pull in chrome for $3 (which I later spray painted ‘antique bronze’ with Rustoleum to match the existing hardware).

First step: Get rid of hideous water marks and stains all over top of dresser. Did you know that mayonnaise takes out water marks on wood? No kidding. I’ve used this trick before when “oops” you leave your water glass on wood and it leaves a stain.  Mayonnaise usually gets it out in just a few hours.  Below, you can see Mini CG helping me in the mayonnaise application.

Second step: Get rid of disgusting burn mark on top of dresser. I gently sanded it out using medium grade sand paper, working with the wood grain, not against it. The picture shows what it looked like before I sanded it. After getting rid of the burn mark, I then gently sanded the rest of the dresser before applying the stain.

Third step: Apply tinted stain to sanded wood top and drawers. Amazing how one coat of Minwax tinted stain completely changed the piece, it was so easy ! I used a sponge, and followed the directions on the can. You can see in the first photo how the stain dramatically changes the raw unhealthy wood into an even smooth surface. The stain transformed the dresser to give it a rustic red stain, perfect for my nephews!

Final step: Apply one coat of polyurethane to top (for protection).  Reattach “piratey” hardware!


It’s done!

You can imagine what a dresser like this costs retail!  My 9 year old and 7 year old pirate loving nephews are going to love it ! I can already picture their pirate ship and treasure chest sitting on top. Aarrgggh.

Dresser $15
Tinted stain $8
Sandpaper $3
New pull hardware $3

Total cost: $29  – sweet! 

[4/29/09 Author's Update: This project won the Minwax company's Showcase Project - see this post.]



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DIY Candles: Ba-Dah Bling !

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009
I had some leftover nailheads from my last DIY project (headboard with nailhead trim) and I got to thinking, I bet I could bling up some candles. Then I went a little crazy at the craft store, and bought some additional embellishments. I also raided my craft box, filled with ribbon remnants, leftover brads, and other trim. Here goes:

Basic Slate Blue Candle, on sale at Michaels for $10. Here is the candle four ways:

Above, the candle is fashioned country style. I used the twine that came with the candle, and inserted a bit of hydrangea, dried from my fall garden.

Here, I added some velvet ribbon and paired it with some bronze satin ribbon. I attached a brown flower embelishment.

Blue candle wanted a bit more bling, so I draped it with a necklace, and placed it on my vanity. It was happy, until…

I tempted blue slate candle with a super blingy rhinestone applique, and here the candle found it’s new home, on the end of my master bath double vanity. ((Almost) diamonds are a candle’s best friend too.)

Next came the leftover bronze candle from Christmas. What to do?

I added a “belt” made from the bronze ribbon, an earring, and some nailhead trim. Here it sits in my office.

Have you ever considered using your candles as jewelry holders? Here, my bronze candle sits in my master bedroom, wrapped in some simple brown raffia and it holds some of my favorite chandeliers.

Spring is near, so why not dress up a beautiful green candle and set it next to some spring bulbs?

Simple ribbon, a flower embellishment, and two rhinestone brads.

Not so crazy about this one, but I do like the simplicity of just ribbon and flowers here.

Oh, la la, so haute. I bought the above necklace in a vintage store in New Orleans ten years ago, and it is so sexy underneath my Rodin “Kiss” statue (I paid $10 for that statue in Paris years ago. Such a touristy souvenier, but I love it!)

Simple nail heads paired with those earrings I never wear, above now pay tribute on my dining room console.

This sassy little sea blue candle wanted to play with the same velvet ribbon and some aqua beaded trim, and hang around my bathtub.

Next, it had some fun in my sixteen year old stepdaughter’s surfer themed room.

Finally, sea blue candle and her sister were covered with floral ribbon and brads, and will be packaged in cellophane and become gifts for my girlfriends.

I never liked pink until I had a baby girl, and then pink just becomes part of your DNA after that.

Here, pink candle tries on some of mama’s jewelry, and poses in Junior CG’s room.

Pink candle found its home on display next to my daughter’s collectibles, after being embellished with pearls and rhinestones. Another version of this would make a great wedding or baby shower gift.

Oh, the places you can go with a plain vanilla candle.

Above, I attached a floral pin I had sitting around in my accessories stash. Here, vanilla candle poses on my living room mantel.

Some leftover golden decor from Thanksgiving has been trimmed, and glued, to these taller vanilla candles. They reside above my fireplace in my family room.

Master bedrooms need a lot of candles. This one has new neck wear and sits on my husband’s highboy dresser.

This vanilla candle is trying on some bronze ribbon and one of my favorite summer bracelets.

Vanilla candle finds a resting place in my downstairs half bathroom, showing off some of my other favorite summer bracelets, and reminding all who enter of the time.

What are your ideas for making your candles fabulous?


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