Display Case Upcycle

I have been working on my art room lately, trying to figure out a way to decorate it on a very small budget.  I've had an old wooden display case around the house for quite some time and it has served several different purposes.  The glass was broken out of it, and I thought for a while I might replace it, but had no idea how to go about taking it apart to measure and install the glass.

It has mainly been used as a tray or shallow box.  So I got it out a few days ago to store some works in progress and realized that it should be just wide enough to fit license plates into.  I figured out how to take it apart and tested my theory.  I was right, the plates slid right into the grooves that held the old glass - it took 3 1/3 plates to fill the space where the glass had been (I cut the 4th down with tin snips). 

When I got everything figured out I went straight to work.  First I spray painted the license plates white, let them dry, and secured them into the grooves with E6000.

You can see the inside of the case here.  It is not very deep, but will work perfectly for what I now have in mind (thanks to a suggestion from my hubby).

After the glue was dry and aired out, I brought it into the house and coated the plates with gesso.   When the gesso dried, I painted the plates with a bright green acrylic paint.  Hubby really liked it at this point, but it still needed something.

I tried painting one of my own patterns over the green in an aqua color, but the pattern was too small and messy for my taste.  So I stopped midway and painted over it again with green.  I searched online for a pattern to use, and ended up purchasing a stock image to use by Laurelie on Crestock.  You can find the original image here.  I really like this pattern.  I printed it out, projected it onto the plates with my Art Tracer Projector (by Artograph, Inc), and traced the image onto the plates.  When I had it traced I went over it with a darker pencil to make sure I did not get any of my lines mixed up.

I then mixed a little bit of bright blue paint into my aqua paint and started painting.

I finished the painting last night.  I just put a clear coat on top of it, and it is sitting on my counter drying.  When it is dry I plan on adding some hooks inside to store finished jewelry and supplies.  I will then mount it on one of the walls in my art room.  That will probably be a few days from now since I need to repaint my walls before installing this on the wall.  I will post some pictures of it when I am done.

Until then, let me know what you think about this project.  And if you are in the mood for more painted license plates, be sure to check out Shelly Massey's blog, A Wee Bit Warped.  She does the cooloest art on old license plates, and my project was very much inspired by her.  I know I would not have thought to use license plates, much less paint on them, if I had not been poking around her blog for the last couple of months.


Lula's Footstool - Reupholstery Project

My Inspiration

A felt pillow project I found on the Etsy blog from Anne Kyrro Quinn's book Felt Furnishings. You can find the project here.

My Project

A few weeks ago my big ol' pregnant self sat on my daughter's stool to paint her nails and it broke into several pieces. Lula was very concerned - about the stool, not Mommy falling in the floor. Since our king sized bed is so tall, she has to have a stool to get up onto it. So when hubby and I went to the thrift store and saw this footstool I knew it would be the perfect. It was just the right size and very sturdy, but not very pretty.  The total cost for this project was $25 - a bit more than I usually spend on an upcycle project, but well worth it.  The stool was $10 and I spent $15 on felt (I used acrylic felt).  I already had the thread and wire nails I needed to finish.

So I bought a bunch of felt and cut several circles (I think 350 of them) and sewed them onto a piece of felt large enough to cover the stool. I worked for weeks on this and finally finished a few days ago.

I took the top off and removed the old upholstery fabric. I was happy with the foam and did not want to buy and cut another piece, so kept it. 

I had to place a piece of thin white fabric under the felt to make the color look more solid. I just sandwiched the two pieces together and laid them over the foam, streched them, and nailed them to the wooden base with little wire nails (sorry, no photos of this step).

Here's the finished stool in my craft room. I like it enough to keep it in my craft room, but Lula loves it. She even told me it was pretty. So I guess it will have to move on into the bedroom.

Here's a close up of all the circles I sewed.

And I even made the bottom of it pretty with a piece of painted canvas.  I just screwed the top back on with wood screws, but since my felt was thicker than the original material I had to replace the original screw with longer ones. 

Lula liked it so much she became very territorial with it and sat on it every time I tried to take a picture. Worked for me because I actually got a picture of her sitting still long enough to snap a cute picture.

I am glad after all the work I put into it that she loves it so much.


My Art in Cloth Paper Scissors March/April 2012

I entered a lino cut into the Cloth Paper Scissors Carve It Up Reader Challenge, and it was published in the March/April 2012 issue along with several other lovely prints. 

I'm so excited to see it in there!  Thanks CPS!  


New Necklaces - Bright Flowers on Brass Tags

Here are some necklaces I have been working on. I hand dyed the flowers myself and added them to hammered brass tags.

Each is on a strand on colorful seed beads.

And I added some colorful beads to the extender chains.

I don't plan on listing any of these. Instead they will be sold locally at a jewelry party. But if you are interested just post a comment or send me an email.


My Sewing Desk - Work In Progress

I am so happy so far with the way my desk is turning out.  I still plan on adding layers of color and design, but here are some peeks on the progress so far. 

Primed and front panel painted.  I just sanded the surface enough to give it tooth and then primed it with gesso.  I am going with a prism color scheme here so all my paints and supplies will look nice with it.  I love color!!!!

painted furniture, mixed media furniture, art on furniture, painted sewing desk, craft room art furniture

Now a couple of pictures with the first layer finished.  

Some more detail and color added.

From this point I plan on adding a bit more detail with color, then doing an overpainting of black and white patterns.  I have no idea how this is going to turn out though.  I am having a great time just painting with no plan.  For now this guy is unfinished, but when i get the painting done I plan on adding a couple of layers of gloss to bring out the color.