Refinished Child’s Wicker Rocking Chair

Interior Design, My Life

My parent’s have stored lots of different things in their barn over the years & the last time I was in the loft, I found an old, beat-up children’s rocking chair that I thought I could refinish & give to my daughter. I finished it today.

First, I used a wire brush to remove as much peeling paint as I could. I then painted it with a gloss, white spray paint & left it to dry over night.

children’s wicker rocking chair ready for paint

I had some left over grey fabric to make the seat cushion. Instead of sewing a removable cushion, I decided to use a staple gun & hot glue to upholster the seat. (I’m hoping this will prevent Isabelle from destroying it!)

cut fabric & foam to match the seat shape

So, I cut the fabric & a thin piece of foam to the shape & size of the seat. Then I stapled the fabric to the wooden seat, keeping the edges folded under & the front edge open.

stapled the fabric to the wooden seat to create a pocket

Then I stuffed the cut foam into the fabric pocket.

foam cushion inside the fabric pocket

Pulling the fabric taught, I stapled the front edge & trimmed the excess fabric.

close up of the front edge after stapling the fabric over the foam

To hide the staples along the front edge, I made some welting by sewing strips of the grey fabric around rope. I then hot glued it over the staples.

hot glued the welting over the stapled edge

To further hide the front edge, I added some simple white rope under the welting with more hot glue.

hot glued white rope under the welting to further hide the staples

Finally, I finished the seat by adding the white rope as trim around the entire edge of the cushion. This cleaned up the stapled edge of the seat.

hot glued more white rope around entire edge of the seat

I have two adult-sized wicker chairs on my front porch that this little rocker matches. The fabric pattern ended up being a little crooked & the front edge isn’t perfect either, but all in all I think it turned out really cute (especially since I only spent $6 on the entire project!)

completed children’s wicker rocking chair


Wind Vane Suncatcher – Update

Art & Design, Interior Design

A few months ago, I took an old wind vane that was my grandfather’s & created a beautiful sun catcher that incorporated all my old jewelry. The best part about this whole idea is that more pieces can be added or removed at any time.

original design

About a month ago, I added 2 intertwined, spiraling wires adorned with glass beads that wrap around the top wind vane. I had intended to add this feature when I first created it, but I didn’t have the time. I think this further ties the wind vane into the overall composition.

intertwined decorative wire adorned with glass beads

intertwined beaded wires wrapping around wind vane on reverse side

After adding the wires, I attached 2 more chains – 1 necklace & 1 bracelet, to the part of the wind vane that would have slipped over its vertical support rod. It allows these 2 to hang at the same horizontal place on the wind vane, but across from each other, adding another dimension to the design.

Then last night, I added another curling wire with glass beads around the tail of the wind vane so I could attach another pendant & I had the perfect necklace to add.

close up of wire wrapped around tail on reverse side

At the end of the curled wire, I made an eyelet for the cord of the new pendant to hang from.

close up of decorative wire wrapped around tail

A few years ago, I made a huge, solid silver sharks tooth pendant for Jon out of PMC (precious metal clay). We had found a huge sharks tooth on our beach of the Chesapeake Bay that I thought would make an amazing piece of jewelry. I pressed it into a lump of sculpy modeling clay to make a negative mold of the tooth. After firing the sculpy mold in the oven, I pressed the PMC clay into the mold & then carefully peeled it out. I cleaned up the edges & poked a hole in the top for a cord. Finally, I fired the dried PMC clay tooth with a propane torch. This burns everything but the silver in the PMC clay, leaving a perfect (but slightly smaller) replica of the real sharks tooth.

close up of home made silver sharks tooth pendant & sea glass

This last addition to the piece acts as a counterbalance, both visually as well as physically, but also brings the tail of the wind vane into the composition for a more finished look.

New Lamp

Art & Design, Interior Design

I’ve had this amazing rustic green pot for years that I’ve always wanted to turn into a lamp – it’s finally been done.

Green Rustic Pot

I decided to take apart an old lamp that I wasn’t using anymore to see if I could salvage its parts. It had a brass collar & wood stand that I thought may fit the green pot – and sure enough they did.

Vase from Orignal Lamp

vase from original lamp without parts

Jon used a ceramic drill bit to carefully drill a hole in the bottom of the pot so the power cord can go through. He inserted the old internal support rod into the top of the vase & our through the bottom hole. Then he guided the cut end of the power cord up through the bottom of the pot through the rod out the top. He then screwed the wood base to the bottom of the rod, securing it with a nut, but leaving the power cord to plug into the wall.

Finished Lamp

completed lamp made with old rustic pot

To complete the top assembly, he slid the brass collar over the top of the internal rod so it sits on top of the pot & then stacked the harp on top. Finally, he took the exposed wires at the end of the power cord & connected them to the socket, then secured it to the rod above harp. To finish the look, I bought a round shade at Walmart. Incredibly, I only spent $12 on the shade – the rest was free.

Small Square Table

Art & Design, Interior Design

After seeing what an amazing job we did on the stenciled dresser (see my previous post), I decided to paint & upholster my tiny square table that sits at the foot of our bed.

finished table with shelf paper upholstered top

Originally, this little table was blue, but then I had painted it ivory (of course I never took pics before I redid it). I wanted to use some floral shelf paper that I had bought at the Dollar Tree to cover the table top. The pattern did not match the ivory color, so the legs needed to be changed to match the paper. I decided to use the left over brown & metallic acrylic paints that I got for the floral stencil on the dresser drawers. To seal the acrylic paint, I sprayed it with the frosted glass clear coat – also used on the dresser drawers. It helped hide the brush strokes & other imperfections.

used brown & metallic brown acrylic paint for legs with frosted glass clear coat

The roll of shelf paper (which is actually a rubbery plastic material – not paper) wasn’t very big – I am glad that I unrolled it all before began. This meant I had to piece it together by wrapping the corners first, then wrapping two sides, & using the rest of the roll to fill in the center. I used hot glue to tack it into place.

close up of the floral shelf paper used to cover the table top

The shelf paper material is beautiful & cost me $1 at the Dollar Tree. Not a bad investment! Especially for this beautiful table – which took maybe 3 hours total to create (that even includes drying time!)

Small Bedroom Dresser

Art & Design, Interior Design

A few weeks ago, Jon & I made some improvements to the small chest of drawers we use as a tv stand in our bedroom.

It had 3 drawers with woven wicker front panels that Isabelle was tearing apart (sorry I didn’t take any “before” photos). To stop her from destroying it, Jon & I decided to rip out the wicker & insert new panels which we would have to make – but we needed to find a way to make the panels look intentionally different from the rest of the original piece since I knew I couldn’t match the original off-white paint color.

original oiled bronze knob

drawers missing original wicker front panels

We had a piece of white MDF laying around in the shed, so I had Jon cut the MDF to size, then sand & spray paint it off-white with spray paint – it was the only one that was closest to the original color that I could find at Walmart. To enhance the look of the panels, I bought a beautiful floral stencil, some acrylic brown & copper metallic paints with stencil brushes.

After the off-white paint dried, I stenciled the floral pattern onto the panels using multiple colors of browns, coppers & golds. The trick to getting a perfect pattern is to place the flowers as randomly as possible – making sure none of them are dead center. I lined up the 3 pieces of MDF & stenciled them onto the panels as if they were all one piece. This way the flowers would match up from drawer to drawer, running off the edge of one panel & onto the next. It was much easier to plan the floral pattern this way. If I had done each panel separately, I would have had to design 3 separate compositions. This way, I only had to do it once, as a whole.

finished stenciling floral pattern on all 3 front panels

Acrylic paint will just peel off if you don’t seal it with an oil based clear coat. Instead of the using the usual glossy clear coat, I found a frosted glass spray paint that gave the panels an antique feel with a matte finish. It also crackled in places that added a nice effect.

finished panels & new hardware installed

We needed to add new handle hardware because when I ripped out the original wicker panels, the handles were also removed because they were part of the the wicker fronts. The new handles are angelic. All 4 pieces cost less than $9. To tie the whole new look together, I replaced the knob on the top drawer to match the new handles on the bottom drawers.

finished dresser

I actually like it better now than when I bought it. Amazingly, this took less than 24 hours to plan, shop for supplies & then execute. We are getting pretty good at this! Now Isabelle can’t tear up the drawers & I have a beautiful new piece of furniture for the bedroom. It’s a Win-Win.

Wind Vane Suncatcher

Art & Design, Interior Design

Today I decided to do something with my old jewelry – I made this antique wind vane suncatcher:

Wind Vane Sun Catcher

sun catcher made of an antique wind vane & silver jewelry with semi-precious stones

Wind Vane Sun Catcher

hung in a window on my sun porch to catch the sunlight

Refinished Dresser

Interior Design, My Life

Over the weekend, my husband and I decided to refinish our bedroom dresser. My mother had bought this for my nursery when I was born. She got it at a flea market and painted it ivory.

When she passed it on to me, we painted it a light yellow. Since oil based paint is not sold anymore, I had to use latex. This was not a good idea since I used a high gloss latex paint. It ended up drying with a sticky surface, now collecting dust and dirt.

So we started by removing the wooden knobs, then sanding and scraping all the old layers of paint. I even saw the ivory my mom had originally painted it. Then we used spray paint to paint it. Spray paint is the only oil based paint you can buy anymore and luckily we found the exact same light yellow I had used before. This time, though, the finish won’t end up being sticky. Job well done!

DAY 1:

DAY 2:


New Tile Backsplash

Art & Design, Interior Design

We have added a new subway tile backsplash to our kitchen to enhance the new cabinets. My husband has been working feverishly to get it all done and it looks amazing! We just used a tile adhesive to apply the tile directly to the drywall and then used a simple white grout to fill in the lines.

New Jute Rug

Art & Design, Interior Design, My Life

Just got this beautiful new natural jute rug for the sun porch. Really brings the beach inside.

New Shelves

Interior Design, My Life

New shelves added to kitchen cabinets.

Old Shelves vs New Connected Shelves