Vintage Style Display Tray DIY

With the summer dates on the calendar filling in almost quicker than I can write them down, I’ve had to kick my garage clearing project into a higher gear.  A tag sale is being planned at my home toward the end of May so there’s going to be a lot of crazy going on here for the next 2 ½ weeks.  Fun crazy!

But first, I wanted to put up a quick post on a newly finished display tray created from a vintage springform baking pan, a brown ceramic insulator, metal lamp ring, wooden finial, and a zinc Ball canning lid stacked on a short length of ⅜” threaded rod.  It may seem like an odd assortment of pieces, but the different materials melded together beautifully.

Before starting, a ⅜” hole was drilled in the center of the zinc lid, and a 11/32” hole was drilled in the bottom center of the wooden finial.  The hole in the finial is slightly smaller so the threaded rod will fit snugly. An assortment of washers and nuts were found to fit the threaded rod.

As with previous projects, all pieces were cleaned well and waxed before laying them out to be assembled.

The finial was constructed first.

The rounded end of the insulator sits into the pan’s center opening.
Insert the rod down through the insulator.
Turn the piece upside down, holding the finial firmly. Drop the zinc lid in place over the rod, add washers and the nut; tighten. The insulator may shift as you tighten. If so, loosen the nut and adjust.

The biggest challenge I had with this piece was to find an item that would fit perfectly inside the pan center from the bottom and not slip through. The zinc lid was the solution for me.

The little metal piece on the outside of the pan was bent up slightly so it would not scratch any surfaces.

Would love to know your thoughts. Please feel free to comment and share. Until next time …

Tiered Tray DIY Repurposed Enamelware

I’m back with my first tiered tray. As mentioned in my previous post, I’m working to clear out old before bringing in new. I would like to use as many of my gathered pieces as possible, so you may be seeing several small projects over the next two months and occasional tag sales at my home to help achieve my goal.

To get started, a collection of three worn enamelware pans were taken to the drill press and 5/16″ holes drilled through their centers. The enamel coating will chip away during drilling. I applied a coat of clear fingernail polish around the drilled holes and any chipped edges of the enamel to prevent any further chipping. A clear sealer could be used for this step too. After the fingernail polish was dry, the enamelware was waxed and buffed.

I chose two decorative spindles to use as spacers between the pans. I thought their design worked well, they already had center holes in one end, and one already had a finial; perfect. After cutting them to the lengths desired, they went to the drill press and a hole was drilled through the length of them using the original hole as a guide. They were sanded, painted, and sealed.

A piece of 5/16″ threaded rod was cut to the length needed and a washer and nut found to fit it.

The pieces were slipped on the rod, working from the top down and secured with the washer and nut.

I thought it was finished at this point, but after looking at for a week, I had to add one more detail; a wire ring at the top.

With bolt cutters, a circle was cut from a steel bedspring; sanded, painted, sealed. The tray was taken apart and the finial drilled through at the drill press. The steel ring was almost unbudgeable. I had to hold the finial while my husband stretched the ring enough to get it the holes; its a tight fit.

The tray was reassembled and done! I have my first item for a future tag sale!

Please like, comment, and share as you wish. Keep recycling, repurposing, and upcycling, each small step helps.

Junk Jaunt

Spring season fun has begun!  Yesterday, our little group took off on a short road trip to Fairfax, Iowa. There, the owner of Simply Iowa (aka The Mad Hatter) was hosting her spring opening at the “rabbit hole”, a special on site place that does kind of make you feel like Alice entering a magical, peculiar land where unexpected treasures can be found. It is suggested that you wear grubbies, and bring a truck, which is very sound advice.

I’m often asked what type of places I look for and/or go to for gathering unique pieces.  Well, the rabbit hole is a favorite spot, so I thought I’d share it with all of you.  If you’re near, you may want to visit.

A ton of pictures have been narrowed to 13 which will still give you a good idea of what it’s like. There’s stuff on stuff, in front and behind, and high and low. I usually go around at least twice so as not to miss anything that was peeking out at me on the first round.  Enjoy!

What did you think?  Curious place, huh? Simply Iowa is on FB and has a blog if you’d like to follow.

I kept myself in check and only brought 5 small pieces home.

Oops, sorry, make that 6. I spied this as I was walking to the car.

No judgments please, lol.  I usually have a thought in mind when I choose things and they’ll probably be shown in some way later.

I have my first tiered tray finished and will be posting on it in a few days. If you get the chance, please, stop back by and give it a look. Thoughts are always welcome; good ones preferably. 🙂

Have a great week-end!

Repurposed Garden Tote Garden Basket DIY

Look, I’ve found the way back to my blog.  There’s no doubt at all that if I had to rely on this to make a living, I would starve, lol.  

As most know, I store treasures in my garage.  It’s pretty cluttered, and, with no tables, I mostly work on the floor, or move out to the old picnic table when weather permits.

Late last fall one area of my garage got a big improvement when my husband was looking for a place to temporarily store a lift. He had no problem if it was covered and used as a work table.  Wow, what a difference it made and I can stand up to work! 

BEFORE

AFTER

Most of my treasures were collected pre-covid and way before, when I was actively participating in more shows and events.  I’m excited to get out to this summer’s junk jaunts and tag sales to find some larger pieces for my home and discover some new ideas to play around with.  But, first, now that the weather is getting warmer, I need to get back to work on some of those projects in the pictures above; they’ve been waiting for me all winter.

I was in the process of making myself a simple, rustic garden tote last year.  The pieces were gathered and laid out, but I got busy with stained glass work and didn’t follow through.  So, that seems like a great place to start now.

A large capacity bowl, and an easy grip handle was what I wanted and why I chose the pieces I did for this project. 

A drill press was used to drill a 5/16” hole in the center of the pans and an 18” length of an old shovel handle. The depth of the hole drilled in the shovel handle is approximately 3”.  A 2 ½”L lag screw and a flat washer was screwed into the shovel handle for safe keeping.

To keep further rusting at bay and for easy cleaning, a coat of Briwax was applied to the cleaned pans and buffed. A car wax or Shield spray could also be used.

The shovel handle was stained and sealed.

For added strength, and to give the shovel handle a more solid seat to rest on, a small area of Briwax coating was sanded off the bottom of the large pan, and a large scrap washer was adhered with JB Weld; weighted down to dry overnight. E6000 could also be used.

Both hands and a crescent wrench was needed to get the shovel handle screwed on securely.  I found the best way to do this was to work from the bottom up. After laying the inverted pie pan on the bottom of the large upturned pan, the lag screw was pushed through the flat washer and the pans.  

A large bead of E6000 was laid on the cut bottom of the shovel handle.

While holding the pans on their side, the shovel handle was lined up with the screw and started. I then held the shovel handle with my left hand, balancing the pans while I tightened the lag screw with my right; went together quickly, and done!  Clean away any excess glue.

The handle looked bare, so it got a scrap of wire wrapped around it, under the grip, just to break it up a little.

We’re a ways off from our gardening season yet, but, I’m ready for it. My new garden tote will be much handier than our big green Tupperware bowl. Hope you don’t mind, I grabbed a few props from the frig for pictures. 🙂

Although I’m planning on using this piece as a garden tote/basket, it could also lend farm house country charm filled with pots of flowers or herbs on a patio; just a thought.

We’ve got another week of nice weather in our forecast and I’ll be moving on to another project. Pondering over the pieces on my new work table, it looks like some tiered trays will be on the agenda next, and soon. I hope you’ve liked what you’ve seen today, please comment, like, and share. Repurposing and upcycling with salvaged materials can help lessen the load on our landfills and have a huge impact on our environment. Thanks for visiting my blog, stay well, stay safe, and have a great day!

Upcycled Chicken Feeder Birdfeeder DIY

Couldn’t resist making one more fun piece for my garden before getting on to things I should probably really be doing. 🙂

I’d like to attract more birds, and thought a small feeder in the garden would help.

An old metal chicken feeder has been hanging in my garage for several years now, so why not put it to use.

Of course, what fun would it be to hang it just the way it was?

I found a pair of silver plated flower votive holders that had been sitting around for a long time too. Aren’t those petals gorgeous? And, they were simply put together with a small nut and bolt.

After drilling a hole, two of the flatter petals were attached to the feeder with the small nut and bolt. To cover the bolt, the top of a decorative metal bead was painted silver, then indented on the backside with a screwdriver tip and a quick whack of a hammer. Adhered with JB Weld.

A rectangle of thin scrap aluminum was flattened and cut to make a top. The sharp edges were filed where needed and the corners were notched. The fold lines were scored on the backside with the tip of a screwdriver before bending.

That’s it! One afternoon! This may be one of the quickest and easiest upcycles I’ve ever done. I did let the JB Weld dry overnight before hanging it outside. Isn’t it cute? It’s perfect for my garden.

We’ve got a local vintage market coming up this Saturday, Dysart’s Back Roads Vintage Market https://www.facebook.com/events/422893409128982. Can’t wait to get there. It’s been awhile since I’ve been out #treasurehunting, I’m hoping to bring home lots of good stuff!

Repurposed Strainers Planters Fun DIY

This time of year is the greatest … back out in the garden, doing yard work, and mowing. I get some of my best thinking done while on a mower. 

Best of all, our year of homeschooling was successfully completed last week!  I think the whole family let out a big sigh of relief over that, lol. You definitely have to give teachers and others who homeschool every year a standing ovation; it’s a lot of work, and patience.

Anyway, having a little free time on my hands now, I made something quick and fun to hang on a couple of ugly poles in my yard.

I have a small pile of metal strainers and such that I’ve found in the salvage dropped off for my husband.  Seems no one wants the poor things unless they’re a special vintage piece. 

I used to collect the most interesting ones and we would heat the handles a bit to bend them upright and be used as hangers.  I’d sell them at vintage markets for a couple bucks each. The large mesh ones were the most popular, but not as easy to come by anymore.

Many of you know I have a thing for metal flowers too.  If you’re lucky you can find some that are constructed with a screw and nut which makes them really easy to work with.  I usually find flowers at garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets. My stash was getting pretty thin until I recently scored some beautiful ones from my sister and her husband who own Mc’Do-its Upcycled, Repurposed and Flea Markets. It’s awesome having them so close, they’ve had just what I was searching for on several occasions.

I’m ready to share what I came up with, but please remember there are no limits when it comes to projects like these.  Use whatever you have; paint, washers, glass donuts, wire, buttons, etc.  I played around with several ideas before settling on the ones I wanted.

Had to have a touch of blue –

I was going for a blue enamelware look with this little guy. Exterior blue paint, white speckles, and clear spray sealer.

An eye bolt was added to the back to help it hang evenly and provide a loop for a wire to be threaded through and secured to prevent rocking from side to side. Two glass donuts were wired to the handle.

This vintage look might be my favorite –

I love this combination. Red exterior paint, clear spray sealer. An eye bolt was added again, this time with an extra nut glued to the exterior before painting. I used JB Weld for gluing. After determining placement, holes were drilled for the screws on the back of the flowers and they were tightened into place. The stem was wired on. Decorative metal beads were painted and sanded lightly for the flower centers and glued on.

Here’s another useful tip – slide pieces of wax paper under the pieces you are wiring on to prevent your base paint from getting scratched.

Boho anyone? Just because it has a hanger doesn’t mean you have to hang it.

Exterior orange paint, red speckles, clear spray sealer. A medallion was made with a large decorative coat button on top of a glass lamp piece. The wire is threaded through the button and through a hole in the glass piece. The wires went through an old button on the inside of the basket to hold it securely.

And then there’s this one, just because I thought it would be cute in the kitchen.

So, what do you think? Don’t these look like fun? Please, feel free to comment if you like. I love hearing from readers.

Back soon!

Succulent Wall Planter DIY Tutorial

Spring break gave me the time needed to complete my latest project.

I’m pretty excited about this piece.  Not only do I get something for my bathroom wall, I discovered a nifty new way to make a basket that may come in handy in the future.

I started with a chunky, long, oval wooden frame purchased at a vintage fair a few years back.  It needed a little work to get squared up and made sturdy before a cardboard template could be drawn for the opening.  

Tracing the template, I cut and shaped a piece of mirror, a piece of clear glass, and a piece of old chicken wire.  The mirror was cut from an unwanted, inexpensive, thin, full length mirror I had in the garage, and luckily I found a large enough piece of clear glass in an old window pane. Another option for this planter would be to use chicken wire alone.

I removed the back of the mirror with a spray stripper, and used a wide plastic putty knife to gently remove it.  Spray stripper is pretty awesome; much better than using a brush for this step. Once it was stripped and washed clean, I used bleach to sponge the back lightly in a few places and speckle with a toothbrush splatter. Always protect your eyes and wear gloves when doing something like this. I let the bleach sit for about an hour. After washing off the bleach, you can add black speckling, metallic powders or paint, or vintage papers to show through the mirror, but I left mine plain.

After a few layers of stain, paint, and sanding, the frame was sealed with a coat of clear, satin,  water based sealer.  After the sealer dried, the cut pieces were inserted in the frame opening, sandwiching the chicken wire between the clear glass and the mirror.  Secured with glazier points.

I cut a 10” hanging wire basket in half and laid it on the front of the frame to see what it would look like and figure out where I would need to trim it to fit well.  I left extra length on each end of the top rim wire so L shaped corners could be bent. (I had to find a pair of stronger hands to help with bending.)  I ended up with two loose side wires and glued them in place to get the shape I wanted. When dry, the glued areas were touched up with a little brown paint.

I found some very simple hardware to hang the basket onto the frame.  One is just a cut eye hook, but I’m not sure what the other pieces are.  I found them among some of my stained glass hangers so they may have come from a glass supply source; I don’t know.  If anyone has a clue what they are, please chime in and let readers know.  I wouldn’t mind having a few more myself. 🙂

I attached the two brass hangers to the frame first, then hung the basket to mark where the small hook would go under the basket and before drilling a hole.  I removed the basket, screwed in the hook, then painted the hardware to match the frame. When the paint was dry, I replaced the basket and hung the frame on the wall to fill.

A fiber planter liner was cut and fitted inside the basket, along with an old deflated ball for a pliable, leak-proof planter.  The ball was turned wrong side out before placing it inside the liner and adding succulents.

I’m pretty happy with my new planter.  It has kind of an Old World charm and looks right at home hanging above our tiled tub surround.  It hangs almost directly across from a large East window, so I’m hoping with the benefit of the mirror it will get plenty of light.

I hope you found something interesting or picked up a few useful tips from my project. Thank You for visiting my blog.  Please, let me know what you think. I love hearing from readers, fellow up-cyclers and re-purposers.   

On to the next project —

My Sunflower Garden Gate DIY Tutorial

A garden gate was nowhere in my radar this fall. But, after pulling some beautiful rusty sunflowers from a pile of junk someone dropped off at our house, I had to use them. Having a husband in the salvage business does have its rewards. Anyway, they were on tall stems and looked like they had held a candle or solar light of some sort.

I laid them on a rusty gate, along with a faded, metal flower. The materials looked good together, but the sunflowers were too small to use.  The yellow flower would be the perfect size, but I only had one.  What to do? 

I left everything laying out, pondering over them as I piddled around with other things.  I really wanted to use those rusty flowers, I just wished they were bigger.  Could I do something to them to make them look bigger? Put something behind them, and make them the centers? That was it!  Once I began looking at them as the centers of flowers, things started coming together.  

The plan – cut two new flowers from scrap aluminum, using the yellow flower and its leaves as a pattern, then give each a rusty flower center to pull them together. 

First, the sunflowers had to be taken apart.  With my husband’s help, the welded hinges and other small pieces were removed carefully with a low temp torch.  I slowly pulled them off with pliers as he controlled the heat.  The stems were saved for later.

Flower pieces and leaves were cut from thin aluminum.

I taped the flower head pieces together and wired them to the gate to determine their placing. The leftover stem pieces were held up to the flowers and cut to the lengths needed, making sure they were long enough to go behind and be glued to the back of the flower.  The placing of the leaves was determined the same way.  Shorter leftover stem pieces were curved slightly and cut for the leaf stems.

File the sharp edges of the aluminum pieces.  Buff them with steel wool before priming and painting.

Glue the rusty sunflower centers to the front of the flowers.  NOTE – Always when gluing, the paint must be scraped from the surfaces to be glued – both surfaces must be clean and paint free. Let dry. 

The short curved stems were glued to the backs of the leaves.  Let dry.

The flower was placed face down and propped level to glue the stem to the back of the flower. Let dry.  Touch up paint, over the glue.

Glue leaves to the stem. Let dry.  After the leaves were dry, the flower was turned over and glued on the front of the leaf stems too. Let dry.  The stems and leaves were painted.

The gate was scrubbed clean and sprayed with clear sealer.

The flowers were wired to the gate in several places along the main stem and behind the flower.  Because they were glued on, I avoided putting any pressure on the leaf stems.   I painted a little green paint over wires that were showing.  A small amount of white paint was lightly sponged on the rusty centers. The thin aluminum petals and leaves were curved and shaped to add dimension.

The little dragon fly from the yellow flower was wired on after it was brightened up with some glass wings and a nugget.  I don’t know what I’d do without my squeeze clamps.  🙂 

And there you have it!  Now, let’s just hope winter doesn’t get here before Thanksgiving.

I’m stepping clear out of my comfort zone with my next post and will be attempting an easy Christmas sewing project.  We’ll have to see how that goes …

Please, mask up, wash those hands, and stay healthy and safe my friends, I’ll be back soon.

Wine Bottle Apothecary Jar DIY Tutorial

The amount of stuff in my garage is crazy!  Something’s got to give. I used three bottles in this current project and sent about 50 to the recycle bin. No more, I’m not keeping any more unless it’s something really unique.  After all, wine bottles are not that hard to come by.  A few boxes of wire and salvaged pieces were given the boot.  But, I couldn’t part with more than a baggie full when it came to sorting through my lamp parts, small bits and pieces, and odds and ends.  They make up the brainstorming center of one of my favorite creative spaces. I could spend many happy hours playing and creating with all those wonderful little pieces.  They’ve been used in so many of my projects, including this one.  

So, here we go.  A bottle cutter or wet saw will be needed. I used the Creator’s Bottle Cutter, but have had great success with the Ephrem’s Bottle Cutter too.  Both are easy to use and have instructions included. The Ephrem’s Bottle Cutter is less expensive and needs to be attached to a board before using.

Place the bottle in the cutter.  With even pressure while turning, score the cut line on the bottle.  Rotate the score line about ¼” over a candle flame for about a minute.  Holding the bottle at the top and bottom, plunge it into a bucket of ice water to easily snap apart.  Sand the cut edges with 150 grit emery cloth to smooth and remove the sharp edges.  

I don’t often share pictures of my messy places, but here’s that brainstorming center I mentioned a little earlier.  I know, it’s a little out of hand, huh?  But, it’s so much fun having a lot of options when in a creative mood. 

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I had parted out a pair of bent candlesticks my sister found for me at a garage sale.  They were a steal at fifty cents each and chock full of some beautiful heavy glass donuts. I was able to use the top and base also. The rod was cut out, and my husband used a die grinder to remove some excess solder. A die grinder isn’t hard to use, I just don’t like the noise or the flying sparks it makes.

I liked the idea of using a glass donut on each jar to make them look like they belonged together if they were displayed as a set. I stacked and played around with pieces to fit the donuts and the jar openings until I was happy with what I had.  When making pieces like this, I like to take pictures of them laid out in the order they were stacked so I can remember how they go back together after the painting process.

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Clean the metal pieces and buff them with #0000 steel wool before painting.  Prime and paint.  I used an Oil Rubbed Bronze finish.

I was able to use a short piece of threaded rod for the two larger lids and they screwed together really slick.  E6000 was used to glue the small lid together.  It was stacked and glued in small steps, letting the glue dry in between steps, so it would stay straight. When using glue, scratch away a small area of paint on both surfaces where glue will touch.

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I noticed a flat bottomed glass globe while I was working.  What the heck, why not put a lid on it too? 

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After priming I used a Silver Hammered Metal finish on this one.  When dry, I sprayed a light coat of Silver Looking Glass Paint, and then buffed it lightly with #0000 steel wool after the paint was thoroughly dry.  It was glued together. Don’t forget to scrape paint away where the glue will touch.  Sometimes glues can soften or eat through paint and not adhere properly. 

All I have for now.  Thank You so much for visiting my blog. Please feel free to share my posts with your friends, re-purposing helps keep things out of our landfills. 

I’ve started working on some Fall Sunflower decor to share soon; hope you come back to join me.

20200827_120241 (1)Take Care and Stay Healthy!