Tag Archives: repurpose

It’s Time For Another Vintage Suitcase Project!

A few days ago a friend and I were at a local thrift shop when she spotted a vintage suitcase for me. I took one look and fell in love. It’s not intricate or beautiful in the same way that my last one was, but it is unique. It looks like it may be from the late 40s to the mid-50s. It is most likely of German origin. I purchased it, not having any clue as to what I was going to do with it.



Yesterday, as I was contemplating what to do with my “new” suitcase, I remembered a post I recently saw on Leah’s Confession Closet. She posted a picture of her Ikea Vanity table, which lit my creative imagination.  Then I did what any normal Diyer does–I went to Pinterest. It’s not that I need a tutorial or further inspiration, but I do love to look at what others have done so that I can improve upon my own ideas. I also wanted to see what kind of legs would look best.

Here are a few of the Vintage Suitcase Vanity Tables that I came across on Pinterest.

The first two are from Mrs. Hyde’s on Etsy. Click on the pictures to visit her shop.

suitcase vanity table insp
From Mrs. Hydes

I just love the long tapered legs on this vanity table.

suitcase table 2

I love the idea of turning a smaller suitcase into a table top or dresser top vanity. Her work on this one is beyond me. I love the fabric that she chose.

This one is from Optimize Design. I found the picture on Houzz.

I love the vanity lights, but I don’t think that they will look right when the vanity is closed.

I really can’t wait to get started on this project. I will have to contemplate the leg style. I would love to use hairpin legs, but they are quite expensive. I do think it would look good with angled tapered legs though. In the mean time, I have to finish the other projects that I already started.

Pinterest Musings: Pallet Projects

We ran into a little problem after opening the Malm boxes form Ikea. There were no slats for the mattress. Yes, I should have listened to the husband. Here’s the conversation we had as we stood in front of the center rail piece and the bed slats:

Husband: “I think we need these bed slats”

Me: “it’s not on the Ikea shopping list that I printed out. They must be in one of the two boxes.”

Husband: “just because it is not on the print-out, doesn’t mean that we don’t need them. Better to have than to be sorry tomorrow when we put the bed together.”

Me: “I’d rather not have to deal with returns. If we need them, then I will pick them up on Monday.”

Husband: “Okay honey. Whatever you think is best.”–which actually means “you are an idiot and I don’t feel like arguing”

I don’t say this often, but he was right.

So, instead of heading out to Ikea on Monday, husband found a great solution–pallets!

They are free at the Post Exchange (PX).

So he went and grabbed about 5 or 6 of them. After we put the bed together and measured the area, he went outside and cut them. They work great! My mistake saved us 20 Euro!

More on the pallet bed slats later.

Now we have some leftover bits from the pallets. So, I asked myself, “toss them, or check Pinterest?”

I checked Pinterest of course!

Here are a few ideas that I found. Just click on the Picture to go to the web page.

This would look nice in my daughter’s room.

Mason Jar Organizer DIY Playbook

I like this idea for the Laundry room. Could do a couple of these with each family member’s name.

Check Your Pockets Laundry Room Sign by BandLCreations on Etsy, $18.00

I love this one too. We drink more beer now that we are Germany, so this one makes a lot of sense.

Bar Decor

These could make a nice gift.

Barn Wood Coasters

I also love these. They would look great on the patio.

White barn wood mason jar candle holders

These are just a few of the thousands of ideas on Pinterest. Of course, I’m working with bits and pieces, so I’m doing small projects. I can’t wait to get started on one of these ideas. Or maybe I’ll come up with an idea of my own.

Have you made any pallet projects that you would like to share? Post a link in the comments!

DIY Blues

I find myself longing for my garage back home.

My fingers itch for the feel of sanding wood furniture.

My manicured fingers look foreign–there should be paint on my cuticles and wedged under my fingernails.

My work clothes have been at the bottom of a drawer, paint splattered and worn out, for far too long.

I haven’t used a power tool other than the drill/screwdriver in ages.

I miss the intoxicating smell of stripper and turpentine.

Small crafts are fun, but they don’t invigorate me the way upcycling or repurposing a piece of furniture does. Heck, I even miss home improvement nightmares!

I should be writing a paper for my Shakespeare Seminar class, but as much as I love old Bill, I just can’t shake this desire to transform a room or a piece of furniture.

But, alas, my desires must be put on hold—at least for another 4 weeks.  After I say So long to Bill and modern Brit Lit, it’s hello to paint, toxic fumes, and sandpaper!

From Drab to Fab: Day 9–The Great Chandelier Battle of 2013 Winner

If you would like a replay or have no idea why this is a battle, you can read about it here.

I finally made it to Home Depot for more of the Oil Rubbed Bronze paint and a new chain.  I opted for black because it was cheaper than buying an oil rubbed bronzed chain. I figured that I would just give the chain a very light coat of the ORB spray paint so that it has the same sheen as the chandelier.  Good idea right?

It was! the chain looked great.

The chandelier looked great too after all the pieces received their final coat of paint.

Round Four: Me–yay!

Though the chandelier won the first 3 rounds, I was determined to win the battle.

Saturday was our final bout. It was the day that I would mount it and dance with joy.

That’s what was supposed to happen. But instead, this is what happened.

Broken & Welded Coupler

The bits shown in the top photo are of the coupler that connects the rod which holds all of the top pieces into place.  It crumbled. Okay, I thought, no big deal, I’ll just remove the remaining bits and run to Ace for a new coupler.

Good idea right? I kept my cool and was not going to let this little incident defeat me.

So I got out my needle nose pliers and tried to remove all of the pieces–only I couldn’t seem to remove the rest of the coupler.  Why? Because it was welded on! Even if I can manage to remove it all, I would end up with ruined threads.

Once again, this chandelier had me dreaming of taking a sledge-hammer to it and tossing it out of the window.

Round Five: Chandelier

Winner: Chandelier

I have been beaten. Badly. By a chandelier!

I’m going to keep the stupid chandelier and repurpose it–eventually.

Thanks to DIY Show Off, I have the perfect use for the chandelier.

Chandelier Planter

I’ve already spent too much time and money (ORB paint isn’t cheap) on this project.  So we will now have to find a suitable replacement at a decent (cheap) price.

In the meantime, my entry is dark.

Have you ever lost a DIY battle? I’d love to hear about it!

From Drab to Fab: Days Two and Three–Window Treatment and Rococo Wall

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend.  We (I) got a few things done over the weekend around the house–but not even close to what was on the list.

Here’s what went down on Saturday:

I underestimated the time and ease of changing the hardware for our window treatment.  The previous owner had heavy red curtains in the large picture window.

Original Window Treatment
Original Window Treatment

I took those down eons ago, but we’ve been living with the window looking like this for the past 3 years:

Living Room Window
Living Room Window

We don’t spend much time in this room, and I put all of my energy over the past 4 years into the bedrooms and my office.  So this room just kind of stayed in a half-done state for a long time.

I removed the rest of the old hardware–not too difficult, though it was a pain in my neck. Literally.

Next up was installing the new hardware. We have a very long window and a very small budget, so we used a simple dual rod from Home Depot and added extensions.

Dual Curtain Rods and Extensions
Dual Curtain Rods and Extensions

Since we weren’t hanging any heavy drapes these are perfect.

However, because of the odd window cove–I have no idea what the actual architectural term is–getting the hardware just right was very challenging.  I had to change the postion of the hardware three times.  On the third try, the first rod hooked onto the hardware perfectly, but the valance rod didn’t. Hubby had to use pliers to manipulate the rod into place.  Insert string of expletives here.

The Hubby--manipulating the rod into place
The Hubby–manipulating the rod into place

When it was finally done I jumped for joy.

New Window Treatment
New Window Treatment

The best part is–the wood blinds are still there! But, we will replace this cheapo rod system with the Kvartal ceiling track system from Ikea before we leave.

My favorite part of the day was turning two old planter sconces into shelves. The tutorial post can be found here.

But here’s a quick recap of what I did.

Turning a Planter Sconce Into a Wall Shelf
Turning a Planter Sconce Into a Wall Shelf

The most challenging part of this project was figuring out how to mount it in such a way that it could hold heavy items.

I was SO proud when I figured it out.  I made a mounting bracket.

Here’s my almost finished Glam wall.

Rococo Glam Wall
Rococo Glam Wall

So that’s what I did on Day two. I think it was a pretty good day overall.

Sunday took an entirely different route.

Because I really want to get the formal living room completely done in the next couple of weeks, I decided to do what I love most: DIY Furniture makeovers.

I’ve been wanting to get my old steamer trunk refurbished as a coffee table for the past month and felt that this was  an opportune time to get started.

I think I made decent progress.

Steamer Trunk Progress
Steamer Trunk Progress

That sums up Days One and Two.  Now on to Day Three–More work on the trunk.