I absolutely love the architecture of antique sewing machines. Unfortunately, when I find them, they are not always in the best of shape to continue their life as a sewing machine. So I lovingly re-purpose as many pieces as I can. I found this New Home sewing machine that most likely dates back to the early 1900s at Community Forklift in MD. (One of my favorite places to shop!) Always a bonus when you find the users manual still in the drawer!
Category: Rescued Junk Transformations
3 Ways to Upcycle an Antique Cash Register
I just love early 1900s brass and nickel cash registers! Often times I come across ones that look beautiful but no longer work. For these situations, there are 3 fabulous ways to upcycle the parts!
Make the Ordinary Extraordinary
[Get your vintage, repurposed home decor now in my shop!]
Making ordinary things extraordinary things. In high school I was very interested in fine arts and my high school art teacher used to talk about “making the ordinary extraordinary”. The assignment was to find an ordinary item and create a piece of artwork from it. I remember I chose this old, bent metal measuring spoon we had in our kitchen. (looking back it was the perfect piece of vintage decor and I wish I still had it!) I drew it on a giant piece of paper, noting all its beautiful curves and shadows. By doing that exercise, I first learned to appreciate the ordinary.
And now I truly appreciate old items from the past. Before plastic and mass manufacturing. Before things fell apart after a small amount of use. When things were handcrafted with care and precision.
Things that others would throw away I’ve given new life to. I see things that not everyone sees. Sometimes this keeps me awake at night, lol. Everyone has a gift of “seeing things” and seeing potential when others might not. And that’s what makes everyone so unique!
These wall hooks were made out of discarded, ordinary items. Drawer fronts, broken chair backs. An old wooden, non-functioning level. A once dusty and dirty drawer front now sits in someones bedroom holding jewelry. Holding hats and keys in a hallway.
Maybe I identify with “throwaway things” because for a long time in my life I wrongly believed that about myself. I let someone else define me as “not enough” or “unworthy”.
Since leaving that relationship it took a number of years to undo that kind of thinking. Making the ordinary into extraordinary really helped me in the healing process and believing in myself again.
Like what you see above? Get your vintage decor now in my shop!
Transform a Boring Thrift Store Table
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Sometimes I see pieces and I love part of it but hate the rest. Sometimes, I am lucky enough to get a chance to change that piece. In this case, the table top was beautiful; it reminds me of a vintage bar countertop. But the table base was just not doing it for me. So much wasted space underneath barred by this bulky wooden base!
So I was pretty excited to see that the base came apart from the top! I had the perfect table legs at home to complete this thrift store makeover. Maximizing the space underneath has completely transformed this piece! It would also be perfect in a mudroom, with shoe shelving underneath.
A Library Card Catalog; A Blast from the Past
I am fully immersed in today’s digital world just like everyone else, but there are certain things I just prefer “old school”. I will still read a physical book over an electronic one. I still write in an actual journal. So when I saw this vintage card catalog, I had big dreams for it!
Before Google, there was this powerful wooden search engine god, organized alphabetically. I still remember the smell of the yellowed index cards and the crooked, grainy typewriter ink.
And what better future purpose than as a vintage end table with hairpin legs?
This beauty has gone on to its forever home, but my passion is creating furniture out of unsuspecting items.
Browse my shop now to see other one-of-a-kind vintage furniture pieces!
A Re-purposed Antique Cash Register Drawer
[See all the fabulous antique cash register decor available now in my shop!]
We recently befriended an older gentleman that restores and collects antique cash registers. These 1900s cash registers have so much beautiful detail on them!
I was able to look through this man’s giant workroom of spare parts and find these gorgeous vintage drawers. They even have the original dated manufacturing labels on them!
These drawers needed a lot of cleaning before they could really shine. Since there was a lot of loose dirt and dust, I started to with a wet rag and some good old fashioned q-tips to get in the corners! Continue reading
The Discarded Sewing Table
[this vintage table available now in my shop!]
I rescued this table here in VA; most people wouldn’t want it the way it was, since Martha Washington Sewing tables in excellent condition are quite coveted. The left side was broken off. Those curved sides are quite fragile and my carpentry skills are lacking (improving them is on my long to do list!) so I decided to just embrace it as it was.
The wood itself was in great condition but I did sand the top before painting. I loved the architecture of the legs and decided not to paint those. For some reason Nautical blue was calling my name, so I went with it. I always use Zibra painting brushes for furniture projects. I get them from my IG friend Larissa! Continue reading
The cable spool rescued from the trash
I love working with cable spools. I rescue them from the dumpster at my employer since we are an electronics manufacturer. The big ones I make into tables.
But I had collected all these small ones and wasn’t sure what I wanted to create with them. Then it came to me (most likely it woke me up at 3 am!); I could make a 2 tiered farmhouse tray!
A Rustic Apple Crate Table
It’s so much fun hunting at barn sales and estate sales for trash to make into treasure! I rescued this apple crate in my home state of Virgina. The words are faded but it says Wildcat Mt Orchard, Warrenton VA. What’s so interesting about this is that the orchard closed back in the 1940s and Wildcat Mt is now just a Nature Preserve. So this apple crate is pretty old! It looks like it’s had quite a few uses since being an apple crate and I am so glad I rescued it. I love the splattered paint patina.
I start this project by hosing all the excess dirt off and allowing it to dry thoroughly. Then I used a damp wet sponge (the rough side) on the more ground in dirt. Then it was ready for several coats of clear lacquer. This preserves the patina without covering it up. Be sure to apply it outside as lacquers are extremely strong smelling. I also use cheap brushes as the lacquer is hard to clean off a paintbrush. I just use it on one project and then throw it away. Continue reading
A Merry Farmhouse Christmas
[Check out my 2019 vintage Christmas projects available now in my shop!]
My favorite place to rescue junk is from individuals. I love talking with them and hearing the stories behind the pieces. The thrill of the hunt is always a great high and at this lovely car restorer’s home, I found this fabulous oil drip pan.
It may be plain looking and dirty, but with a little elbow grease and cleaning, I made a gorgeous farmhouse Christmas wreath! This oil drip pan is too fabulous for just Christmas! You can easily switch out the floral and the sign for any season! Continue reading