Posts Tagged ‘upcycle’

Vintage Cupboard Makeover

For my new baby girl’s nursery, I used all secondhand furniture. I needed a changing table, and my dad made a generous offer: to remake a vintage, heirloom cupboard into something that could be used as a changing table. The cupboard had sentimental value to my family because it was mine as a child, and before that had been passed down to us from family friends. Affectionately known as “the Bunny Cupboard,” it had been enjoyed by multiple families since the 1960s. We loved the idea of saving the old cupboard instead of buying a new changing table, because otherwise it didn’t have much useful life left. Okay, it probably didn’t have any left – I wish I had a “before” picture. The project saved it from ending up as landfill garbage!

By 2020, it was in poor shape! The decals were almost completely rubbed off, the hinges were broken and rusty, and the faux wood veneer had seen better days. To refurbish it was quite the project, but my dad was up to the task! Using oak wood paneling, he upgraded the exterior. Carefully, he was able to save and re-attach the original bunny emblem to the new cupboard door.

Inside, he painted the drawers yellow for a finishing touch. My mom color matched acrylic paint to fix the chipped blue knobs, making them look brand new. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the finished product. It is not just a hand-me-down now, it’s a real heirloom quality piece. The drawers are perfect for storing cloth diapers and outfits. With a changing pad on top, it makes a great changing table. When she is older, it can be used alone as a dresser. Thanks to the magic of tape, the bunny emblem can even be removed for a more mature appearance.

I asked my dad about the creative process of making the cupboard. “I really enjoyed this project, more than I thought I would,” he said. He said he honored the original design of the cupboard, staying true to the lines of the mid-century piece while completely overhauling it to be better and more beautiful.

The nursery was complete just in time for baby girl’s arrival, so it was time to celebrate. By “celebrate,” I mean go to bed at 8pm, then get woken up at 11pm, 1am, 4 am and 7am. Four hours of sleep is the new eight, you know. But at least we will be sleep deprived parents with a wonderful nursery with its signature one-of-a-kind furniture piece.

 

Valentine Envelopes To Make This Year

Envelope-love-letters-DIYHomemade Happiness

They say happiness is homemade, and I am inclined to agree. Lately, I’ve been really into decorating envelopes. These were featured on Midwest Living along with more envelope decorating ideas, so you can see the full list there.

These can be used to hold homemade love notes or add an extra personal touch to your store bought cards (this card is simple and cute). You can use these techniques for any season, I just personalized these for Valentine’s Day. It’s coming up in less than a week! Don’t miss my cake banner tutorial for more Valentine’s craft inspiration.

Eco-friendly upcycled paper bag envelopes

To make this card, I unfolded a crumpled old envelope I didn’t need and then traced around it onto a grocery store paper bag like the one I used in the gift wrap tutorial. After cutting out the new envelope shape, fold the sides in, the bottom up and the top down and an envelope shape should appear! Glue the edges securely and it’s ready to decorate.

I used white acrylic paint and a brush to put a design on the front. White really pops against the unbleached paper, but you could also use a metallic sharpie or gel pen to make this job way easier. I would recommend this if you’re writing anything longer than someone’s name, since painting was a little tedious. Remember gel pens? They still sell them. I just discovered that now there’s Gelly Roll Glaze, which gives a raised design. I haven’t tried them but they look enticing.

Add a Valentine’s sticker or heart cutout to the back and you’re done!

DIY valentine's envelopesWatercolor resist envelopes

The second technique I’m sharing with you is so easy that it’s popular with kids but way more impressive looking than a children’s craft. It’s a classic watercolor resist! Use a white envelope that’s on the thicker side. You can buy watercolor paper envelopes, make your own out of cardstock following the steps above, or just pick a fairly thick commercial envelope. Using a sharp white crayon or waxy colored pencil, write the name and/or address. The hardest part of this whole process is not really knowing what you’re writing! An alternative is to use a metallic silver colored pencil.

Then do a water color wash over it with 1-3 colors that blend well together. As you can see in the photo below these envelopes are artsy without being overly feminine, which is nice if the object of your affection isn’t into hearts and lace.

DIY-watercolor-envelopesWhether you’re sending something to a special someone or every friend and loved one in your life, these card techniques add something extra. Let me know how you enjoyed these techniques and if you have any questions in the comment section below.

Products & Resources

Get started with some related tools referenced in this post:

Create your own valentine's day envelopes

3 Creative Valentine's Day Envelopes To Make/>

Valentine's Day Decor Ideas />