Posts tagged ‘repurpose’

Video: Skull Stroller

Skull StrollerI finally got around to editing my first video project for Qprojects.  I plan to try to do more videos in the future, especially after we get back into the warmer weather.

In this video, I convert an old bike stroller into a Skull.  Why in the world would I do that?  To involve my family in the joyful atmosphere of celebration for the annual Dia de los Muertos Marigold Parade in Albuquerque, NM!  I use a fleece base and smoke-colored vinyl for the cover.  The cover is clipped to the existing fabric canopy.  I make tissue paper flower accents.  It was a fun project and I introduce a bit of the history of Dia de los Muertos in the video.  And, of course, my kids loved it!  Enjoy!

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December 31, 2010 at 1:43 am 1 comment

Red Chinese Phoenix Vanity

Vanity after closeupOK, I’m just too sleepy to come up with a pun-y title this morning.  If anyone wants to comment with a suggested title, I’m all ears.

This article is a continuation of the article “who says vanity is a bad thing?!

Well, here it is, the big reveal!  This is the $3 yard sale vanity I adopted months ago.  I actually finished the rehab a few weeks ago, but I have such an extensive set of after photos, I’ve been putting off posting.  I plan to include a series of articles on the how-to on this one.  But for now, just the fun stuff.

I prepped the vanity by cleaning, sanding and removing all the hardware.  I didn’t bother taping off the mirror.  I just thought I would scrape off the spray paint with a razor blade when I was done, but that was harder than I thought.  The spray paint really set and adhered much better to the glass of the mirror than I would have imagined.  If I did it over again. I would insert several pieces of plastic paper between the mirror and the frame and tape them down for a clean and easy finish. I sprayed on a white acrylic primer.  It was so pretty in that stage, I wish I took a picture.  Red paint is particularly sheer, so it was important to start with a white primer to insure a bright cherry red finish.  I used Krylon Banner Red.  It was very affordable at Walmart.  I think it took 4 bottles, but there were several places where I had to refinish due to bubbling of the finish coat.   I finished with 2 coats of a high gloss lacquer spray paint.  It did bubble in a couple of places, but I think it was due to the fact that I had left it in the sun and was spraying on a hot surface.

vanity detail dragon

vanity detail topOnce the base coat of red was complete, I hand painted the Phoenix and Dragon on the top surface using watered down acrylic paints.  I sketched it out using a light color colored pencil first and printed lots of online images to inspire and create my  own compilation of the icons.  I’ll do a step by step post on that painting in a later post.  This part was so fun.  After the top was complete, I went to the paper store (see article “Papers!“) you recommended to find a red a black paper.  I found a very inexpensive toothy tissue paper with a screened kanji pattern on it that was perfect.  I decoupaged the paper onto the vertical surfaces of the unit.  This step was really fun, too.  It was so fun, I decided to line the drawer for a special surprise inside.

vanity detail decoupage

I took process photos of the decoupage, so I will post those later, too.  I painted the hardware black and hit those with a durable clear coat of glossy spray paint.  I reattached the hardware and she was ready to go!

vanity drawerI converted a country looking stool to use as a seat.  It had a great asian profile.  I’ll post about that separately.

Sadly, I left the vanity outside under my pop-up tent for one day (intending to deliver to the furniture store the following day) and a gust of wind came and knocked the tent over crushing my newly finished vanity.  The mirror is broken and two of the legs are busted.  I kind of feel like the universe does not want anyone to ever use this vanity.  It currently sits in my shed, legless once more.  I plan to replace the two broken legs with legs from the local Habitat for Humanity Restore, a great resource for hardware and some furniture parts.  But, it was a really fun project and at least I got pictures of it before it was mangled.

Vanity Before

$3 is cheap for the cost of beauty.

vanity after

Vanity After

vanity after front

vanity after front view

vanity after detail 1

vanity after detail 1


September 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm 3 comments

simple paintbox of spicy colors

image of colorful jars of clayI’ve been collecting local clays and minerals to continue my natural pigment retablo training.  I wanted to keep them in something I could take with me to craft shows to display the pigments.  I had some canning jars around from preserving various garden items and thought they would make perfect storage containers for the bulk of the clays.  But, I wanted something a bit more apothecary feeling for my everyday display jars.  I found a dated set of 1970 spice jars (still containing original herbs) at an estate sale for $1 that I thought were ideal.  I cleaned and filled them and used my label maker to give them delicious sounding names like chocolate, ginger and chile rojo and cumin.

image of the spice rack and tool boxI was just going to trash the ugly wooden holder until I realized it was the exact size of of my tool carrier.  I painted it white and mounted it together using some mending plates.  There was a perfect slot between the two to allow for my brushes to slip in.  I just love how it came out and it makes me want to leave the set out in plain view, encouraging me to paint.  I’ll be looking for another set of these spice racks for the other side of the tool box, mainly to adjust the weight!  I’m looking forward to displaying my setup at my first show!

Oh, I FINALLY finished and photographed the legless vanity!  Too late to post tonight, but it will be a series of how-to posts.  I can hardly wait for the big reveal…stay tuned.

tool chest in action

August 22, 2010 at 7:06 am 2 comments

local flavor art car

Spotted at my local Mexican grocer, a simple and fun art car covered in kid’s toys.

Sean Wells via iPhone

July 20, 2010 at 11:46 pm Leave a comment

an oldie revisited

Image of repainted bureau

While visiting my crafty companion in DC (featured in ‘feed me seymore!’ article), I got to spend a moment with one of my early refinishing projects.  This bureau was actually being thrown away on what we Alexandrian’s refer to as “Big Trash Day,”  a mecca for cheapskates and do-it-yourselfers.  We would find everything from bicycles to swings, benches, couches, and anything else you might want to sit on.  I even once found a knock-off Eames office lounge chair!  Well-to-do doctors, lawyers and politicians would use the city’s yearly front yard oversized trash pickup offer to unload their half-finished projects by simply dragging them to the curb.  It was a great tradition for the people with more time than money to gather in cars, trucks and vans in the dark with flashlights in hand and patrol the streets of Del Ray for goodies.  We used to do the stroll in my old mustang with the top down, heat blasting and hot chocolates in hand.  We’d nod knowingly at fellow scourers and sometimes share some hot spots.  We would fill my ride until it was bursting with furniture and we looked like some urban Santa Claus in our modern sleigh.  We’d spend the next few weeks restoring what we could.  Great memories.

This bureau was a fun project.  It was painted with three different color cans of leftover spray paint which meant I didn’t have enough of any one color to paint the whole thing.  I love the sea-loving shades.  I was worried how the painted metal pulls would hold up, but they looked great.

It was actually this object that brought Audrey Anne and I together.  I put it out at a yard sale and she bought it, after lavishing me in compliments (no bigger compliment than buying the thing).  It kicked off a wonderful relationship started from love of crafting and growing into a truly meaningful friendship.  She uses it as a catch all, but has a secret compartment that holds an old record player and records that she will, upon request, play for guests who are in the know.

Anyway, I love this idea, to use the natural breaks of the furniture and use it to play with color.   It’s hard to go wrong with the colors.  Just stay away from anything that could be mistaken for a football fan color set.  ~Sean

July 17, 2010 at 4:26 am 2 comments

pachinko needs a second chance

After our dinner conversation last night discussing your memories with Pachinko machines, I pulled out the dusty one I have in storage. It’s very fun-looking. Any ideas on how to give this a second life? I was thinking ‘coffee table,’ but it’s very dimensional. I’d have to remove some stuff to do that. It actually still works. I think there are lights and noises. It opens like a medicine cabinet. Any way to leverage that? ~ Sean

June 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm 3 comments


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