Frosted Birch Window

If you’ve been to the flea market and love DIY projects, most likely you’ve bought and completed AT LEAST one window project. There’s unlimited ideas for reusing old windows online…. It truly seem endless.

This is actually my second window project - I haven’t shared my first one yet, as it’s still waiting to be hung up in Myla’s room. This window was actually given to me by someone who had quite a few sitting around after getting their windows replaced - free is always awesome… yay!!! It was originally white with a lot of chipping paint and I was almost going to leave it as is. But then I remembered I had bought some chalk paint - for what, I don’t remember anymore - BUT I had three colors and wanted to try some out. So I went with the green. I applied it after I did a light scraping and sanding to remove any large pieces of paint that were coming off. After two layers of green chalk paint, I went to town sanding and distressing it and finished it with a wax to seal it and give it a bit of a sheen.

The fun part wasn’t the painting of the window though… it was using a frosted spray paint and stencils to create a birch tree pattern on the glass panes on the back of the window. I made my own stencils using the same stencil film I used for this Ikea Table project. Unfortunately all the walls in our house are painted an off white color (picking paint colors is still on my to do list) because the frosted glass image definitely looks better against darker colors. But for now, it’s a subtle design that you’ll only be lucky enough to see if you happen to catch it in the right light - OR in the case below, just hitting it with a camera flash.

Once I hung the window, I decided to dress it up with some dried flowers I bought by wrapping hemp cord around the stems and adding a metal star (just like the ones from this ladder).

Burlap Mirror

I’m always on the lookout for good, antique frames at the flea market. There’s always a lot of junk frames (in my opinion - or at least not what I’m looking for) - ones without detail or ones that would need to be painted or made to look antique. Sometimes I do spot some interesting ones, but then the vendor is usually asking a fortune and many don’t budge on price, or at least to the price I’m willing to pay. So... I was kind of really excited when I found this old, framed mirror that the vendor seemed anxious to get rid of - seemed like they were anxious to make any kind of sale that day. A win for me! 

Back of the "ruined" mirror and panels I pulled off - love seeing how something that looks like trash can be turned into treasure.

The mirror itself was completely ruined. All the silver had been flaked off, but the frame itself was cracked and peeling in the perfect way (if that even makes sense to you). I contemplated replacing the mirror but decided to do something different with it. I had bought some pieces of printed burlap at JoAnn's a year or so prior - just because I liked it, not that I had a reason to buy it at that time. So, once I pulled off the back panels of wood and pulled out about a hundred mini nails, and pulled out the glass and cleaned it up - I framed a piece of that burlap. And after a few weeks of staring at it hanging on our wall, I thought I would make some mini burlap roses and add those for a little pop of color - and it would pick up on the wreath I made above our bed. My original thought was even to add some chicken wire on top of the burlap and use it as a place to hang photos or other little pieces of collected memories - but Justin vetoed that idea. So, it’s staying as is.

Framed Burlap hung on wall.

Closeup of the "perfect cracking and peeling".

Little Ladder

Here’s another flea market find that was a quick and easy project like the Barn Door - but first I must digress. Originally, I was in search of a ladder to go above our front door in our foyer where we have this pretty large, loft type space - it’s not usable space as you need a ladder to access it… it’s just a space to be decorated. Currently, I have this old trunk there which I also found at the flea market. I wouldn’t say it’s a ‘gorgeous’ trunk, I was just drawn to the color. You can certainly find some absolutely beautiful ones that have been restored to their original condition - which also cost a pretty penny - but that’s not what I needed. I have yet to do anything other than just clean this one up, which is fine as I’m not sure I really need to do anything else with it. But, it does need some other items to share that space with as it’s looking a little lonely. Interesting story behind this trunk though. It was found at the monastery where actress turned nun, Dolores Hart, Elvis’s supposed first onscreen kiss, now lives AND it supposedly belonged to her. Although, there is no proof of it, and I certainly didn’t pay what it would cost if there was proof. It does however, make for an interesting story and gets my imagination going of where this trunk has traveled to... as well as all the other pieces I pick up at the flea market.

Anyways, back to the little ladder. I thought that finding an old ladder might help fill the space above the loft if placed in one of the corners. I didn’t want a really tall ladder, but it turned out the one I found was ultimately too short for the space and looked lost when viewed from downstairs - BUT I still found a place for it. I just propped it up against an empty wall in our living room. But before doing so, I cleaned it up, waxed it with Briwax and added some grapevine garland I bought at Michael’s. It also came with the top rung cut in the middle where an old, rusted tin can was attached in between with two nails. I wasn’t sure I wanted to buy the ladder at first when I saw that, but then something about it I really liked. It gave me a good place to add some more decoration - a bit of moss and some hanging berries. And at Christmas I found these star ornaments, which I decided to just leave on there year round.

Now I just need to figure out what else will go up in that loft space. Good thing the flea market opens back up again this weekend!!! Although a part of me is fighting whether I want to go shopping at the flea market or hit up bootcamp... decisions, decisions...

Barn Door

This post will be short and sweet as I’ve been a bit of a stress ball this past week or so. Between packing up the kids for a short weekend trip and helping to run the book fair at Myla’s preschool, there’s been some extra to-do’s on my plate causing my anxiety to rise… also resulting in a little extra flowing of the wine. Because face it, packing the kids up to go anywhere, even for a short trip takes just as many days as the trip is long. And trying to help run a book fair for the first time ever is a bit mind boggling especially when you still have mommy-brain.

Anyways, back to it… I wanted to share with you a simple project, so simple that all it took was three steps… well, ok, maybe four. Rewind a little first… I’m always in search of items to hang on our walls. As I’ve mentioned in the past, our new house has a lot of wall space compared to our last house… along with high ceilings and even some cathedral ceilings. Finding pictures or decor that is big enough to fill the space and not look awkward can be quite a task. Which is why, when I came across this ‘barn door’ at the Elephant’s Trunk, I thought it would be perfect and had to have it. For what I believe was a measly $17 dollars, I took this big hunk of wood home. After some Briwax (1), a nail hammered into the center (2), an old, white berry wreath I had sitting around (3) and screwing in a really nifty wall mount bracket for super heavy objects (4)... I had a pretty interesting piece of work on my wall that fits in with the rest of my rustic decor that I’m trying to fill my home with. This may quite possibly be one of my most favorite finds at the flea market when comparing design, uniqueness and price.

Coffee Talk Table Piece

On another Sunday adventure to the Elephant’s Trunk, I found an old soda crate unlike others I had seen there before. What drew me towards this one in particular was the grayish-blue hue to the wood. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m going to do with the piece I buy, but I know I must have it because I like something about it. In this case, it was the color. Plus, when it comes to old soda crates, there are a million DIY ideas out there, so I knew it wouldn’t be wasted. When deciding what I would finally do with it, I thought I’d make a centerpiece for my coffee table in the family room. The room is currently decorated in natural browns and grays with hits of bluish-turquoise and a toned-down lime green. I knew this piece would fit. 

Finished piece

I brought it home and cleaned it up - just had to figure out what to fill it with. One of the inside boards was broken so there was a double wide spot. I had seen a lot of books at “The Trunk” and thought it would be a nice idea to find some books with titles that “struck a cord” with me to fill that space. It took me a few trips to find the fours book in there. I also didn’t want to spend a lot as it was purely for decoration - not collecting purposes - so that made it a little more difficult. I searched for ones with titles that would represent each one of us… Me, Justin, Myla and Maddox - the inside content didn’t matter. 

The first book I found was “The Rainbow”… for Maddox, my rainbow baby. The next I found was “Eat and Be Healthy” - I thought it was appropriate for both me and Justin, but I leaned towards Justin on this one. After we started dating, he decided to begin eating a vegetarian diet when at home with me, and with that his health improved too. Next, I found “The World’s Best Poetry” - which I felt fit me and my never ending search for beauty in the world. And finally, I found “The City’s Perils”… for Myla. Ha! Our spirited, strong-willed, overly dramatic, crazy, hysterical, imaginative, little princess, tom-boy whose always on the move and upside-down. What other title could fit this little girl, who calls herself “Dangerous”, more appropriately? One day she may hit me for saying that. The best part, the books look good as a grouping.

Make sure to add felt feet to any piece that could potentially scratch your furniture - this piece has metal banding that wraps underneath the box.

Finally, I bought some old glass milk bottles from The Glass Guy at The Trunk and filled them with interesting moss and dried/wood flowers. I finished off the piece with four candles I picked up for a great price at Homegoods. To add some holiday spirit this past Christmas, I added some artificial poinsettias… and again, like my dining room table centerpiece, I forgot to get photos. Oops... next Christmas.

First Flea Market Find

Almost two years ago, about the time I was first pregnant with Maddox, a good friend of mine and her mother introduced me to the local flea market called The Elephant’s Trunk. I had wanted to check it out for many, many years, so I'm not sure why it took me this long to finally go. It was always a passing thought and I never made it a priority on my weekend schedule - but with their convincing, I was game... and it turned into my new weekly routine. It was also a nice break for some "me" time which up until this point, I never really took any, at least on a consistent basis. I looked forward to going each weekend (and when it got rained out, I was always totally bummed). The flea market is the perfect place to find a starting point for all sorts of DIY projects - and I've been known to get ahead of myself with purchasing stuff faster than I was able to work on them. But, we had also been living in our new house for several months by this point and I needed more decor to fill our space... at least I had a good excuse to go a little crazy. 

Anyways, one of my first project ideas was a new centerpiece on my dining room table. On our first trip, we found the perfect wood box - an old wood tool caddy of sorts - and at a pretty good price. It certainly helps to go with “flea market veterans” who also happen to be good negotiators. (My quiet/shy nature certainly doesn't help me in this arena). We also found some old mason jars from “the glass guy” who is there every weekend and specializes in... you guessed it - all sorts of old glass bottles and jars. The mason jars I found had glass lids and metal hinges and I bought them in two sizes which I planned to place inside the box. I brought home those pieces and got to work. 

Finished centerpiece

I started by using Briwax on the wooden box. Briwax is amazing - it brings out all the natural patina and color of the antiqued wood and gives it a natural sheen - the more you buff, the glossier it will get. Briwax comes in a variety colors/shades too so even if you wanted to darken a piece, it’s possible using this wax. 

Next, I wanted to figure out a way to put candles in the mason jars to keep them elevated and peeking above the rim instead of placing them on the bottom where they would be hidden once I added the moss and flowers I had in mind. I decided to use some heavy gauge metal wire we had in the basement and experimented a bit to make these little “candle holders” that wrapped around the edges of the mason jars. They keep the candles elevated at just the right height. As you can see, I bent the wire to make a platform for the candle, and then little arms that wrapped around the top of the jar. 

Supplies: Heavy Gauge Wire, Mason Jar, Wire Cutters, Pliers and Candle

Steps to make elevated candle platform

Finally, I used moss and artificial flowers and berries to fill in around the jars. By using moss as a filler, I made sure not to add any extra weight to the piece so it can easily be picked up and moved when setting out food on the table. The wood caddy alone is quite heavy and once adding the mason jars, I didn’t want it much heavier. As for the holidays this year, I switched out the white and cream flowers and berries for red ones to make it more festive. Only thing… I forgot to get some pictures. Maybe next Christmas I’ll update this post with new photos.