Sunday, June 29, 2014

Garage Sales, Yard Sales, Estate Sales, OH MY!!

Finally that horrible winter is over and it is SUMMERTIME!!! My favorite season of all. Time to play in the pools, go on family vacations, hit up those beaches and search every garage sale possible. In this post I wanna talk about the differences between a garage sale, yard sale and estate sale so you can find exactly what you are looking for. 

Ok for the most part there isn't much of a difference (that I have noticed) between a garage sale and a yard sale. A garage sale has a smaller amount of stuff that a yard sale is going to have, and it also is usually in a garage whereas a yard sale is hmm well in a yard. As for finding furniture to refurbish or use around the house, furniture at garage and yard sales can be somewhat beaten up and you might have to search a bit. Now if you are looking for baby clothes and kids clothes, you will find a lot at garage/yard sales. I have found a few pieces of furniture from garage sales including this side table: 

This table was only $8 and then to refurbish it all I needed to do was strip it down to the wood, prime it, paint it and then change the furnishings on it. Now a brand new side table exact to the colors that I want it for less than $50. 
I also found these little tables for $7 each table. They looked very outdated so what I did was put a layer of primer on them and then spray painted them to my desired colors. 

Now let's talk about estate sales, these are where you are gonna find the most furniture. An estate sale is when someone has either passed or maybe they are moving and basically sell everything in the house. You can find antique furniture or great home pieces such as a kitchen hutch, nice dresser, bed frame, etc. Sometimes they are put on by the owner or they can be put on by a company. When going to an estate sale find out if it is put on through a company and ask if they have a mailing list. When you are added to the mailing list you are then able to find out about every estate sale in the future that is around your area and maybe even a few that are not too far from you. 

When looking for furniture, don't forget to also check out your local flea markets. They might seem a bit sketchy but you can find great pieces and haggle a price. If you are from the Toledo area, check out a flea market that happens every weekend on Lewis Avenue north of Laskey Road. There is also a place called Stormin Normans on Lewis Avenue north of Alexis Road. I have not personally checked it out but I have a friend that says they have a variety of furniture there also.

There are a few things to look for when looking at used furniture. Make sure that you really really want to put the time and effort into refurbishing, otherwise it will just sit around the house and you will have to try and sell it in your next garage sale. If it has laminate wood (aka super shiny coating that sometimes is thick and not real wood) realize that it is harder for paint to stick to this type of furniture and will be harder to maintain quality,  meaning it will be great for decoration but as for putting drinks without coasters and rough use, it will not last. I also highly recommend putting a few layers of a Polycrylic seal after painting your furniture. The blogger "All Things Thrifty" has a great guideline on when to seal your furniture and when it isn't necessary, you can read about it here. Another situation where I do not recommend buying used furniture is if it has a dent in it that you do not think you can replace, a lot of times you can just put wood filler in a dent and keep sanding it down and filling it, but if it is too deep and just really big it may not be worth it. In the end it all depends on you and how much work you wanna put into all this. If you think it is easier to just buy a brand new piece then go ahead but if you want to look everyday at a piece of furniture that you put hard work into and it is customized to your liking then please do, it is quite enjoyable. 

Alright well for now this is my post, hope you found it useful this summer and you check out a lot of garage sales and estate sales this summer. Enjoy and don't forget to post your finds on my Facebook, I would be so interested in seeing your projects.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Polar Vortex and Cabin Fever!

Ok, so it has been the coldest day of my life! Today I believe the low was -15 degrees with a windchill of -36 degrees!! I know people whose eyelashes were frozen within 10 minutes of being outside and they said that if you were without gloves, you could get frostbite in 5 minutes. That is way too cold for me. Luckily we had two snow days in a row so I have been able to refurbish while I was sitting around getting cabin fever.

In my first blog post I talked about a little pink desk from GoodWill Glam (remember it?). Well I am going to talk about how I created my own replica of the desk. First off, I had to find my own desk. I went to a Goodwill near my work and found one for $40. When I first saw the price of the desk, I thought $40 was a bit steep for the type of desk it was. After speaking to the cashier, she said if I could take it home that day I could buy it for only $20. The trip home was interesting because I had my sister's Ford Taurus. It has somewhat small trunk space for an entire desk. So my sister drove on the highway while I laid halfway in the back seat and in the trunk holding onto the desk.
**Disclaimer: I do not recommend this at all**

Ok first steps first, sanding the desk. Make sure it is nice and smooth. After sanding it, brush all of the shavings off. You can either use a brush or what is called a tact cloth. A tact cloth is a somewhat sticky cloth that picks up excess gunk on whatever you are using it on. You can find it at your local hardware store in the paint section.  After sanding it down you can then prime it.  As you can see in the pictures, when I primed it I used light layers, just enough to cover the surface.

After priming you can start painting! Now i wanted a design on mine where the design was white and the desk was pink. I painted the top of the desk white first and then planned my design. Make sure when planning your design you "measure twice and cut once". I had to keep rechecking the design and remeasuring. I even had my dad come look at it to see what he thought about it. Sure enough I had made a few mistakes in the measurements but I finally got it down.
After finishing the design I painted the pink paint over it. If I had to do it again I would use a brush and not a rolling sponge. I would also be very careful around the tape. They say paint tape is not supposed to leak the paint through but it does happen and it happened to me. I still haven't gone back and touched it up. So when painting over your design be very light and make sure you paint brush is not loaded up with paint.                                    After painting the top, I then painted the drawers and everything else. Another thing that I did to spruce up the desk was spray paint the existing knobs gold. I thought about buying new knobs for it but the old ones had cute detail and I figured I could cut the cost of buying new ones. Here is my finished project. Do not mind the bottom drawers, my dad is making them into one big drawer and it is not finished yet.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

DIY Christmas Gifts Part Two

Ok so I admit, I have been slacking a lot on this blog posting thing haha. It is Christmas time and I had the flu this week so give me a break. Alright, so the next DIY gift is for those who you know love fresh flowers. Obviously you can't really do it yourself flowers in the wintertime BUT you can DIY the vase that you put them in.

The first way you can refurbish a vase is by going to Goodwill and they usually have old vases (like the ones below) for only $0.50 a vase, sometimes even cheaper.
Grab a few, go crazy! Find ones that are unique, there are so many to choose from. First thing to do is wash them out because they probably have dust or markings on them from stickers, so run them through the dishwasher. Next take a can of white spray paint and lightly spray them. Reason we want to lightly spray them first is because with glass, the spray paint tends to run down it leaving a streak of thick paint and that is just not pretty. After you have painted them all you are now ready to find some fresh flowers (or fake if you like) and put them in there for your Christmas gift. Below are the ones that I did over the summertime. 

This last way to gift a vase, I can't take complete credit for because my friend Brandi found it online and i just added the chalkboard part to it. Find a mason jar and take off the lid and the little metal piece that covers the jar. Take the metal piece and a hole through the top. 

After poking the hole, spray chalk paint on the lid so that way you can write a greeting on it. 
String some festive string, ribbon, cord, or twine around the mason jar and through the hole in the lid to hang it on the front and you are done. 
These are two easy ways to use some Christmas colors and make a personalized gift for someone special or even that boss at work that you aren't sure what to get. Don't forget, only one more week until Christmas!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

DIY Christmas Gifts Part One

So it's that time again. Time to get everyone you know a gift, whether that is a family member, another mom on the PTA board, a co-worker, boss or the neighbor across the street. It can be very expensive when you add up all the costs of all the people you want to buy a gift for so sometimes you end up cutting people out of Christmas gift giving. I have some cheap easy solutions so that you can get everyone a gift. Best part is that they are all thoughtful gift ideas! This will be part of a series that I will continue throughout the month of December so keep checking back for more ideas.

Something that has been very popular lately are canvas photos. These can be very costly if bought online or made at a store. Last year I searched my favorite website, Pinterest,  and found a way to make them cheap and easy. Here is the link to the blog I used for this tutorial. This gift can be made personal by using a photo of grandkids, a family portrait or it can be made for a co-worker, neighbor, boss by using a picture of your local park or their favorite city skyline.  Ok so all you need for this gift are:

  • A photo print (from Target, Walgreens, Walmart wherever)  
  • A bottle of ModPodge (can be found at any craft store: Hobby Lobby, JoAnn Fabrics, Michaels)
  • A sponge brush
  • A canvas that is the size of the photo (again found at any craft store)
The steps for this gift are so simple. All you need to do is take the sponge brush, dip it in ModPodge and paint it all over the front of the canvas. 

 After the Modpodge is lathered on you can carefully lay the photo on top of the canvas. Smooth out the picture and make sure that there are no bubbles underneath the picture. There is a smoothing tool you can buy at the craft store but I found it unnecessary since I just had a 8x10 photo, maybe if the photo was bigger I would use one.  Now that your photo is arranged how you want it, you can layer more Modpodge over it, let it dry and it is now finished and ready to be given as a gift. To add more to the gift you can always paint the sides of the canvas so that it is not so plain.

Pretty simple huh? Last year I also made a few Christmas wall decorations by taking the same steps using wrapping paper. It was quite simple and with all the different types of wrapping paper there are these days it makes it easy to find some according to your decorating taste. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment in the comment section. Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

Monday, November 18, 2013

My First Real Blog...

When I was in high school I had a “blog” on Xanga. Remember Xanga? I won’t give you my username because it is far too embarrassing. So this is my first real blog. I am starting this blog because I picked up a new hobby this year: refurbishing old items.

First off, this year was NOT my best year. It’s hard being in your 20’s these days, I have just turned 27 last month. I heard of something this year called a quarter life crisis and I can personally vouch for its existence. Growing up we were told that after high school, you go to college, find a boy, graduate, move out, get a great paying job (one related to the degree you spent all four years on), get married and have kids. We imagined this would all happen by the age of what, 23 or 24? Well let me go through my checklist of all of that.

  • ·   Graduate from college – CHECK
  • ·      Get a job with a salary- Nope, I struggled to make money with two part time jobs. I do now have one full time job with health insurance, although it is not near what a college graduate could make.  
  • ·      Move out- I still living at home with the parents, sharing a bunk bed with my 22-year-old sister.
  • ·      Married- Nope, but I do have a great boyfriend  of over 2 years.
  • ·      Children- No, but my body is telling me “hey girl, I am READY!!”

Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty that could be worse in my life and I am very fortunate to have a roof over my head and loving people around me. Sometimes it is just hard in the world of social media to not compare your life to others around you, we all do it.  I feel like every time I log onto Facebook there is a new announcement of someone having a baby, getting engaged or buying a home with their significant other. So what started this all? Well, while struggling earlier this year with 2 part time jobs, working 60-hour weeks and dealing with MAJOR anxiety, I realized that I needed a healthy outlet.  I spent a lot of my spare time on Pinterest (as I can imagine a lot of you do as well) and found this picture of a pink desk that someone had refurbished. She did a great job and I really loved it. So, I started going to Goodwill’s around town and found a desk that could be made into the one I saw on Pinterest; I haggled the price down and bought it. Even though I didn’t come up with the idea myself, I loved feeling artistic. I am not normally the artistic type, one of those who can create something out of  nothing. But I make up for that with my “handy man” side thanks to my dad, who has been a roofer his whole life.

Here is the picture of the desk I liked from Pinterest from Goodwill Glam:

And here is the desk that I refurbished (I will show the steps I took in my next blog post) 

 I have noticed that refurbishing has become a very popular hobby. I noticed on Instragram, Facebook, Pinterest. I also happened to come by a local refurbishing business, Loveleigh Again (check out her facebook), from Napoleon, Ohio while I was at the Grand Rapids Apple Butter Festival and realized that I could start turning my hobby into something profitable. So at this point I am just doing some pieces on my own for fun but as soon as I get some more items I am planning on selling them in a local shop in Toledo. In my blog, I am going to be putting a few things about my everyday life, DIY projects that interest me on Pinterest, and my main hobby of refurbishing and upcycling. I am excited to share this news with ya’ll and look forward to hearing feedback.

Shoutout to CreateTheCut Etsy shop for my super cute blog banner!!