• #ThriftyThursday

    Posted by Jeannie Johnson on January 5, 2023 at 7:15 pm

    A tutorial from Windmill & Protea:

    How I Transformed A Small Toy Chest With Faux Bone Inlay

    We all love bone inlay furniture, right? I was mesmerized the first time I saw a real bone inlay piece, but I knew I would never be able to afford the real deal. Luckily, the faux bone inlay is a look that can easily be achieved with a stencil and paint. The look is striking and will transform any piece of furniture into something special.

    I completed this update just in time for this month’s Thrifty Thursday: Less is More series. A group of bloggers joins me, and we share our thrifty and frugal transformations, so you can also learn how to make more of your home décor for less. Be sure to check out the others’ posts – the links are at the end.

    Update Any Piece Of Furniture With A Bone Inlay Stencil And Paint

    The first time I saw this small chest, I immediately knew that I could transform it into a beautiful piece with a bit of TLC. I brought it home and placed it in our dining room. It quickly became the toy chest for my kids Lego Duplo’s, but I didn’t mind. You see – this way we can hide the toys very quickly, and it helps a lot with organizing the kids’ toys.

    It took me a while to decide how to update this little chest. I wanted to accentuate the recessed panels, and when I recently started looking for inspiration, Marinus proposed that I use a bone inlay stencil. It was so brilliant that I could not believe that I hadn’t thought of it. What is even better, I knew I would be able to pull off the look for far less than what my other ideas would have cost.

    Step 1: Sand, Repair And Clean Your Furniture Piece

    The first step, especially with a thrifted piece of furniture, will always be to clean it. But if you want to paint or refinish it, you also need to sand it. Our small chest had some purple paint on the lid, a couple of watermarks and holes in the side. So we filled up the holes with wood filler and allowed it to dry. I also removed the seat cushion, and you should remove any hardware if you have any. Marinus used an orbital sander and started with a 100 grit sandpaper, then used a 220 grit and finished with a 360 grit sandpaper to get a really smooth finish.

    After sanding, you need to clean off all the sanding dust to make sure the paint will adhere to the surface.

    Step 2: Attach Your Stencil

    We don’t have a lot of options when it comes to stencils in South Africa, and I could not find a bone inlay stencil. I also don’t own a Cricut, but I have some friends in the signage industry who helped me out with a custom-made vinyl stencil. I designed the stencil, and they cut the design for me. So the process I followed, would be similar to that of a vinyl stencil made on a Cricut. My stencil had three layers: the backing, the vinyl sticker and transfer paper.

    Make sure your stencil is the correct size and then fix it in place with masking tape on the one edge. Use this masking-taped edge as a hinge and lift your stencil– and then slowly peel off the backing. The masking tape will ensure your design stays in the right position. After you’ve removed the backing, slowly lower the vinyl back down to ensure as little as possible bubbles.

    With the transfer paper still attached, smooth out any bubbles with a scraper or credit card. Then you can slowly remove the transfer paper as well as the masking tape. Go over your vinyl stencil once more with your fingers, to make sure it has well adhered to the surface.

    Step 3: Paint The Faux Bone Inlay Pattern

    I did not want to buy a stencil brush or sponge, so I used an old dish sponge that I cut into squares. This also means that you do not have to clean them – just throw it away when you are done. Just make sure the dish sponge is completely dry before you start painting.

    Using small dabbing motions, paint the pattern onto your furniture piece. With a stencil, it is always better to use less paint to avoid bleeding. Use a paper towel to dab the sponge on and remove excess paint before using it on the stencil. With my vinyl stencil securely in place, I was able to paint two coats of paint, to get the coverage I wanted. You can slowly remove the vinyl stencil when your paint is dry.

    Step 4: Apply A Wood Varnish Or Sealer To Protect Your Work

    I used a water-based, non-yellowing, clear varnish for this step. If you do not protect your work –you will probably get chips or scratches. As this cute chest is used for toy storage, this was a must for me. I applied two coats and lightly sanded in between the two coats with 360-grit sandpaper.

    Step 5: Re-Attach Hardware Or Seat Cushion

    The cushion cover was a reddish faux leather and not pretty anymore, so I removed it. The nail-head trim and cushion were in good condition, so I washed them. I had a spare bit of fabric left that I also used on our piano stool makeover and decided to use the same fabric on this chest. I folded and ironed the edges to get the fabric in the same size as the original seat cover. Then I lined it up on the seat cushion and just used the old nail-head trim and existing nail holes. This was the most straightforward upholstery project I’ve ever had to do! And with that, all that remained was to put the toys back in.

    Jeannie Johnson replied 1 year, 6 months ago 1 Member · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • Jeannie Johnson

    January 12, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    For this week’s #ThriftyThursday I have chosen a blog by Sara Lynn about upcycling a Light Fixture.

    Upcycle a Light Fixture Into a New Lamp

    In light of Earth Day and the recent attention that climate change has been receiving, you may be looking at items in your home in a new light. Instead of simply replacing and tossing out an old item, it could be repurposed for something completely different, upcycled. Like into a diy night light.

    Supplies For DIY Lamp

    · Globe Light Fixture

    · Small Wooden Salad Bowl

    · LED Light String/ Fairy Lights

    · Vinyl Decal

    · Rubbing Alcohol

    Step 1: Clean The Light Shade

    Before any project you should always clean your thrifted supplies.

    You’re going to want the lamp shade to be really clean for the new night light. Give it a good soak to clean off any built-up grime. You may need to scrub at it with ah cloth too.

    The vinyl decal will adhere better if the lamp surface is squeaky clean. Wipe rubbing alcohol on the outside of the lamp and let it dry. This really cleans off any leftover residue that soap did not take off.

    Step 2: Make Your Vinyl Decal

    Cricut’s Design Space program

    I have the benefit of owning a Cricut machine that cuts and prints on a variety of surfaces. It’s a crafters dream tool. Using their Design Access program, I created a Hawaii scene that would be on the night light. Then my Cricut machine cut it out of vinyl.

    If you do not have a vinyl cutting machine, you can purchase a vinyl decal that you like from a craft store, online, or use stickers to make a scene.

    Keep in mind that when the night light is on, you’re only going to see the silhouette of your decal or stickers. And they will look black.

    Black vinyl is usually less expensive than colored vinyls and can be bought in bulk. Since this decal was going to appear black anyways when the light is turned on, I decided to stick with black vinyl.

    Step 3: Stick On Your Vinyl Decal

    It’s easier to work on curved items if your decal is smaller or can be applied in sections.

    If you’re new to using a Cricut machine I highly recommend looking up Jennifer Maker for guides, tips, and designs to get started. Her website is where I learned how to use mine.

    So once your vinyl is ready to transfer, decide where you want it to go. Test out sitting your lamp shade in the wood bowl base to find out how much of the light sits inside the bowl. You may want to use a dry erase marker to mark a line at the tip of the bowl, although I didn’t do this.

    A word of wisdom: go slowly with putting the decal on, especially if it is large. Curved objects are harder to stick a decal on than flat surfaces. The leaves of my palm trees are closer together than the original design because of the curved surface.If you can cut your decal into smaller sections, that will be much easier to work with.

    Take the protective backing off of your decal and stick the center of it on your lamp shade. Work from the center out, pressing the vinyl down and pushing air bubbles out. Using a thin, flat object like a credit card really helps to get the air bubbles out. This will help your vinyl decal to stay on longer.

    Step 4: Add String Lights/ Fairy Lights

    Add LED string lights inside the lamp globe. LED’s are great because they don’t get hot like other night lights do and they emit a nice glow. You can leave the battery pack out or tuck it inside as well. I have these ones from the Dollarama that I picked up at Christmas time.

    *Update* These LED fairy lights start to dim as the batteries die. After having used this night light daily for 2 months (approximately 12hrs daily) I have discovered that a set of batteries will only last about a month- maybe 2 months if they are good batteries. I am now on the hunt for fairy lights with an AC adapter to plug this light in instead of being battery operated.

    Step 5: Set In Wood Bowl

    Convertible Car side of the night light

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  • Splashing
    Whale side of the night light
  • Set the lamp shade (with string lights) into the wooden bowl with the opening facing down. I stand the battery pack up in the wood bowl and set the shade over top of it to hide the battery pack.

    Since I am tucking the battery pack inside the base of the lamp, I did not glue the lamp shade to the wood base. This way I can easily lift the globe to turn the lights on and set it back into place.

    If you’re keeping the battery pack outside of your lamp, then you may want to glue the lamp shade to the wood base. Apply a thin bead of hot glue around the inner perimeter of the bowl, then set your lamp shade into place. This will make your diy night light into one secure unit.

    The Final Lamp

    This diy night light is for my son. He loved our trip to Hawaii and still talks about it. Which is why I put some of his favorite things from the trip (seeing whales, racing around palm trees, and counting convertible cars). He has been using his new lamp every night. I love that it doesn’t get hot so no burns if he happens to touch it. He is very gentle with it so I’m not concerned about the glass globe being unattached, but you know your children best, so please take any necessary precautions. The string lights in the lamp give off a soft glow, enough to comfort him, but not enough to make his room all lit up. And if fills me up with joy knowing I made this diy lamp for him myself.

    Enjoy your new lamp and
    take pride in knowing that you repurposed house items instead of adding to the