The Re-Love Project Charity Auctions are Live!

I’m super excited to announce that my Boho Dresser is now up for grabs!

Amazing DIY Perforated Dresser Upcycle

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE LIVE AUCTION!

From now until August 24 anyone can bid for a chance to take this lovingly refurbished one-of-a-kind baby home!

And all proceeds from the sale go directly to charity – yay!

Perforated Dresser

If ever there was a time to snaffle-up that special piece, this is it! You can absolutely guarantee that no-one else will have anything quite like this in their home!

Amazing DIY Perforated Dresser Tutorial

Please hop on over and place a bid. Not only will you be supporting a great cause (and giving yourself the chance to win!), you just might save me from looking like a potential bid-less loser. Ha, ha!

In addition to my up-cycled dresser, there are eight other fabtabulous pieces being offered by the other amazing designers involved so be sure to check them all out.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE LIVE AUCTION!

C’mon peeps! Let’s make this thing awesome!

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Tiny DIY Vintage Girl’s Bedroom Reveal!

Firstly, I have to say a HUGE and humble thank you to everyone for the lovely comments, emails and social shares following my previous post.
I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the beautiful response and am beyond grateful. Thank you all.
Now, onto the good stuff…

Let’s not focus on the fact I started decorating this bedroom almost four years ago.

Let’s simply rejoice in knowing it’s now done.

Small DIY Vintage Girl's Bedroom on a Budget

To be fair though, it has been pretty much done for quite a while now.

There were just lots of finishing touches I kept wanting to add before sharing it with the world.

You see, it’s a bit of a curse; this whole ‘interiors blogging’ thing (well, for me, at least). And I’m still not sure whether it’s a good thing or not. On one hand it drives you to do the absolute best job you can, on the other it questions whether your best is really good enough.

In the overall scheme of things though, it’s just decorating, right?

Small DIY Vintage Girl's Bedroom on a Budget

Anyhoo, as I’ve mentioned before, Charlotte’s room is kinda teeny. There’s a bed, a dresser, a desk…and that’s pretty much it! Though what it lacks in size I like to think it makes up for in character!

Sweet Girl's Room Craft/Study Nook

If you’ve been following along from the start, aside from the fact you deserve a medal, you’ll know that everything has been thrifted, DIY’ed, hacked or bargain-hunted! Most projects I’ve blogged about before and you can find a little gallery at the end of this post if you’d like to learn more about something in particular.

Sweet Farmhouse Style DIY Girl's Bedroom

One of the bigger projects I haven’t yet shared properly however is the bed.

Pretty Girl's DIY Vintage Style Bedroom

Because Charlotte’s room is so small and the doorway is on a weird angle I could never get a decent photo of the entire thing in one frame (even with my wide angle lens) so I gave up trying to blog about it!

From the start I had envisioned a symmetrical bed in this space because it needed to sit right in front of the window, however symmetrical beds aren’t all that easy to come by. Instead, I found two matching single beds on Bay (for just $25 each – you can see the before shot here) and attached the head of one to the foot of the other. Bamb!

Girl's Bedroom Craft and Study Area

Sweet Girl's Bedroom Desk Nook

Like I already mentioned, I couldn’t get the whole bed in one frame though you can see the foot in the above pics.

To finish I painted the whole thing a sweet bluey-green (‘Irish Moor’ by Dulux) and added some DIY gold dipped legs.

One of the more recent additions to the room is this file cabinet.

File Cabinet Craft Drawers and Lego Storage

Chalkboard Painted File Cabinet

Well, technically, it’s two stacked together. The lower portion holds all of Charlotte’s crafty things and the top houses a gajillion Lego pieces!

File Cabinet in Kid's Room

I can’t express how much I adore these cabinets! The storage they provide is awesome.

And I love that because they’re metal Charlotte can attach magnets to display drawings and make cute word phrases.

Girl's Room Desk

Both the entrance door and wardrobe bi-fold used to be plain flat slabs so I dressed each of them up with some paint and trim.

DIY Door Makeovers

The wardrobe bi-fold went all barn-ish and the entrance door is now kinda dapper. Such easy projects though the difference is amazing!

Behind the entrance door are four DIY floating bookshelves and some simple hooks I installed AGES ago.

DIY Floating Bookshelves for Behind a Door

And these cute jackalope decals on the rear add a touch of whimsy.

DIY Behind Door Decals

DIY Door Decals

In the little nook between the dresser and wardrobe is this rose gold horse’s head which Charlotte hangs her school bag on.

Rose Gold Horse Head Hook

And there are lots of little details scattered throughout the room.

Curtains with String Lights

Sweet Girl's Room Shelves

DIY Wall Lamp and DIY Farmhouse Sign

Girl's Room Dresser Vignette

I know it was a long time coming and I’m so grateful to those of you who have been following along from the beginning. Hope you like it!

Small DIY Vintage Girl's Bedroom on a Budget

I’ve promised my little boy that his room is next and I’m determined to finish it before he turns 21! Nah, seriously, I’ve already got some crazy green paint swatches on the wall and I plan to have it complete soon. I’m actually super excited about it!

Signature

I’ll be back soon to share all of the source info though in the meantime feel free to ask any questions and find the project gallery below.

 

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

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Re-Love Project…before and after

UPDATE
If you’d like the chance to take this dresser home, the charity auction is now live.
Click here to show your support and place a bid!

It’s reveal time!

And I’m super excited to finally share this realisation of a concept that’s been floating around in my head for a few years now.

DIY Boho Style Perforated Dresser Tutorial

I had no idea if I was going to be able to pull this idea off though it actually worked and I’m stoked with the result. I so hope it helps inspire you!

If you’re not new here, you’re probably aware of the Re-Love Project and what it’s all about. For those of you who don’t know, this is my fourth year being involved. In short, it’s a Feast Watson campaign in collaboration with Salvos Stores which sees six creatives “re-love” a neglected item of furniture with the resulting pieces being auctioned wholly for charity. Pretty cool, huh? You can read my first post about this year’s project here and learn more on the Feast Watson website here.

It’s such a wonderful campaign which I’m thrilled to be involved with.

Anyhoo, as revealed in my previous post about the project, I started with this generic dresser which I picked up for $30…

Re-Love Project Before

I love working with really basic items of furniture because most people already have, or can easily obtain, something similar. They’re relatable however their potential is often overlooked.

Anyhoo, here it is now…

DIY Perforated Chest of Drawers

Squeee! I’m just a little bit happy with how it all came together!

Aside from the fact it’s been completely transformed, achieving this unique look is totally do-able.

Here’s how…

STEP 1 Remove or cover toe kick

To eliminate the basic flat-pack look the toe-kick has to go. You can choose to fill it with a piece of scrap timber or cut it off as I did. Filling it is the easier option though you will then need to somehow incorporate it into your design; either by painting it to match the rest of the body of the unit and leaving it exposed as a thick base, or concealing it with the subsequent drawer cladding (more on that below).

I had a certain vision and wanted a really clean look which is why I chose to cut mine off.

Cutting off the Toe Kick

I used my plunge track saw and it was somewhat fiddly due to the fact it was difficult to clamp the track on in certain areas, though I got there in the end. You could also use a jigsaw or circular saw.

STEP 2 Paint unit

Although I wanted a white finish and my dresser was already white, it didn’t have the refined look I was after. As with most flat pack melamine furniture, it looked like, well, flat pack melamine furniture! There were visible screw heads, plastic capping strips, small chips, dirty marks and the overall tone was somewhat bluish.

The first thing I did was remove the drawers (as they were receiving a different finishing treatment). I then countersunk the visible screw heads and filled the holes with some spak.

Countersinking Screw Heads

Once dry, I sanded the entire unit extremely thoroughly using coarse grit paper.

Sanding

To finish, I wiped everything down to remove residual dust and grime, then I applied around four light coats of Feast Watson Floor Paint in “White Shine” using a spray gun.

Painting

STEP 3 Attach new feet

You can use whatever style of feet you like. For something a bit different I opted for hairpin feet from Australian Hairpin Legs to compliment the clean look I was after and provide a subtle mid-century vibe.

They came in a raw steel finish so I spray painted them with Dulux Duramax in “Bright Gold” to reference the brass knobs I planned to use and keep everything consistent.

Painting Feet

To attach them I simply drilled pilot holes then fixed them in place with some appropriately sized screws.

Hairpin Feet

STEP 4 Cut new drawer fronts

This is where it starts to get fun!

I first measured each drawer front (they were identical except for the top one which was slightly shallower) then cut new fronts from a sheet of 3mm plywood.

Cutting the Ply

I used my plunge track saw, which makes things precise and easy, however you could also use a jigsaw or circular saw.

New Drawer Fronts

Note: One of the reasons I chose my particular piece of furniture is because the drawers were slightly recessed. This meant I could attach my new cladding without it sitting proud of the surrounding frame. If you have an item of furniture which doesn’t have recessed drawers check to see if there is room to re-position them.

STEP 5 Drill design in drawer fronts

This is the exciting bit!

First I needed to decide on a design. I did lots of research and trialed a few different ideas to get a feel for what would work well and look best. Obviously, not all designs lend themselves to this style of application and I deduced that straight lines and overly intricate patterns were best avoided. Eventually I settled on a broderie inspired pattern which I found online.

Design

To get it to work for me, I created a to-scale template of my drawer fronts in Photoshop then enlarged the design to fit before playing around with a few different configuration options. If you don’t have Photoshop, you can use any image editing program (GIMP is a great free alternative).

Perforation Pattern to Scale

Once I was happy with everything it was time to transfer the design onto the drawer fronts. For this, I used a basic tracing method.

Transferring using Tracing

A First I printed the design out in sections onto regular copy paper then pieced it together with sticky tape like a giant jigsaw.

B Next, I flipped it over and traced around the entire design using a grey lead pencil. It was easy to see through the paper.

C With the drawer fronts laid out in position, I placed the design on top (traced side down), weighted it with something heavy (to keep it from shifting) then began sketching over my grey lead lines.

D Once the design was transferred onto the drawer fronts I drew over it again to make it more prominent.

Note: I chose to transfer my design onto the drawer fronts, rather than simply attach the paper and drill straight through it, because I found during my trials that the paper deteriorates quickly which makes drilling precisely more difficult.

Now it’s time for drilling!

I used this amazing Bosch bench drill which made things quicker and easier however you could certainly use a hand drill too.

Bosch Bench Drill

The great thing about the bench drill is that there’s a laser guide, to make aligning the holes easy, and a handwheel which is nice and ergonomic. You can also set the drill speed and depth to suit your needs.

Based on my trials I knew that a 6mm drill bit worked well – the holes are large enough to allow colour to show through yet small enough to accommodate design intricacies. I started with the bottom drawer front, following the lines of my design as accurately and evenly as possible.

DIY Perforated Pattern on Furniture

Although it’s tempting to drill through super quickly this can splinter the rear of the plywood excessively so it’s worth taking some time and allowing the drill bit to do the work.

Note: If you’re experiencing issues with the back of your plywood splintering excessively ensure your drill bit is nice and sharp and try clamping a scrap piece of wood to the rear.

When I finished one drawer front I lined-up the adjoining one to ensure my drill pattern followed along evenly.

Around six hours and 3,000 holes later I was done! At which point I may, or may not, have done a little dance!

STEP 6 Sand, stain and seal drawer fronts

You will probably notice lots of fine splinters and “furry” bits of wood in and around the drill holes. This is simply due to the nature of the plywood. I found it was pretty much impossible to remove them all however thoroughly sanding the drawer fronts, both face and rear, does help eliminate the more obvious ones.

Sanding the Plywod

The above pic shows me sanding the rear of one of the drawer fronts. You can see some areas (in orange) where the plywood has blown-out during drilling. This isn’t visible from the front.

I also used a round file to tidy-up some of the holes as needed.

Cleaning the Perforations

Once sanded I wiped my drawer fronts to remove any residual dust before staining with Feast Watson Prooftint in “Teak Brown” diluted slightly with some Feast Watson Prooftint Colour Reducer.

Staining Plywood

The Colour Reducer works to tone-down the stain which I find helps produce a milder finish when working with porous timbers like plywood.

I generally apply stain with a rag though in this case I used a brush so I could stipple the stain inside all of the holes. Once one drawer front was entirely coated, I used a rag to remove any excess stain, wiping in the direction of the timber grain.

To achieve the tone I was after I gave each drawer front two coats of stain.

Once the stain was dry, I applied three coats of Feast Watson Scandinavian Oil, sanding with fine grit paper between applications.

Danish Oil

STEP 7 Attach drawer fronts

Before affixing the new drawer fronts to the drawers, I first removed the existing “artwork”. Fortunately it came off easily by scrubbing with some abrasive detergent.

Cleaning

Note: I chose not to paint the existing drawer fronts because I wanted the cladding glue to adhere to the melamine, not to surface paint which could easily pull off.

For accuracy, I decided to attach the new fronts to the drawers whilst they were in the dresser. I started at the top, smearing a sparing amount of liquid nails on the rear of the new front, being careful to avoid any drill holes.

Smearing Glue

I then pressed it into place and secured it with some painter’s tape before hammering in some finishing nails. Easy!

Nailing on the New Cladding

I repeated this process with the remaining drawer fronts until all of the new cladding was in place. To finish, I countersunk any proud nails and coloured the heads with a brown permanent marker.

STEP 8 Attach handles

To complete the dresser I attached some simple brass knobs from Early Settler.

DIY Perforated Dresser Tutorial with Brass Handles

I love the little hint of glam they provide.

STEP 9 Done!

DIY Boho Dresser Upcycle

I honestly had no idea how this was going to turn out though I couldn’t be happier with the result!

DIY Dresser with Perforated Detail

Aside from the fact it looks really cool (if I do say so myself!) it’s completely unique and makes a gorgeous statement without shouting.

Amazing DIY Perforated Dresser Upcycle

More than anything though, I’m thrilled to be able to share this perforation technique with you. I researched high and low though couldn’t find anything quite like it so I hope it’s something new to you and that it helps inspire!

Of course, if you’re not a super patient person, you could always use a more basic pattern or smaller item of furniture to create a similar look.

Mid-Century Boho Dresser Makeover

One of the things I love about the perforations is that you can’t really see them from side on. As you move around the piece they begin to reveal themselves, first as shadowed holes, then as crisp white dots. There’s a little bit of fun and mystery about it!

Perforated Dresser

Remember, this one-of-a-kind dresser is going to be sold for charity! So, if you love it (or know someone else who might) be sure to stay tuned.

The eBay auctions go live on 14 August and I’ll be sure to post a link once they’re up and running. And, as always, Feast Watson will be covering shipping Australia wide!

C’mon peeps. Let’s try and raise a heap for the Salvos.

DIY Perforated Dresser Makeover

UPDATE
If you’d like the chance to take this dresser home, the charity auction is now live.
Click here to show your support and place a bid!

Signature

Be sure to follow along with Feast Watson on Instagram to see the reveals of all the other designer pieces!

Boho Dresser Transformation Before & After

 

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Re-Love Project 2017

It’s that time of year again!

Do you guys remember these furniture makeovers?

DIY Tiled Hex Wardrobe

Tribal Style Sideboard Makeover

CLICK A PIC TO SEE THE FULL MAKE-OVER TUTORIAL

Well, I’m super honoured to have been invited to take part in the Feast Watson Re-Love Project again for 2017!

For anyone unfamiliar with the campaign, the Re-Love Project is a charitable collaboration between Feast Watson and Salvos Stores. The project follows six design personalities as they each up-cycle an item of furniture, using Feast Watson products, into a unique statement piece. Things culminate in all completed pieces being auctioned wholly for charity. Awesome!

Once more, there is a serious line-up of talent including Mark Tuckey, Aimee Tarulli, Gina Ciancio and the teams behind Dowel Jones and Norsu Interiors. Then there’s little ol’ me!

For those who don’t know, Feast Watson specialise in premium timber finishes, so the furniture “re-loves” must center around just that; timber. This makes for a refreshing departure from plain old paint, and provides a fun opportunity to get extra creative.

I’ve had a particular idea bubbling away on the back-burner for a few years now and thought this year’s Re-Love Project would be the perfect opportunity to bring it to life.

So, here’s my glorious starting point…

Re-Love Project Before

A five drawer laminate dresser. Yes, I know, there’s no timber in sight….yet!

I love using generic flat-pack furniture because it’s so accessible and affordable. It’s fantastic being able to demonstrate the potential in these unassuming pieces knowing many people already have similar items lying around – or can easily get their hands on something comparable.

This tallboy was just $30 from one of my local Salvos Stores. It was in ideal structural condition though the lovely “artwork” was turning people off (never allow yourself to be discouraged by the mere aesthetics of a piece people!). And strangely, it had no handles, just a make-shift masking tape pull on one drawer. Regardless, its shape and scale fitted my vision perfectly.

So, what do you think? Is it possible to make this laminated chipboard dresser a little bit awesome? I hope so!

Well, keep your fingers and toes crossed. Who knows how this thing will end!

Be sure to follow along with all the other amazing designers involved and keep up-to-date with the latest in everyone’s projects directly through Feast Watson’s Instagram account.

Signature

I’ll be sharing sneak peeks of my journey through my social accounts (find links in my sidebar) and will reveal the final “after” on my blog at the end of July!
The charity auctions will go live in mid August.

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Easy DIY Trimmed Towels…plus stylish & scrumptious scents

Learn how to Add your own Decorative Trim to Towels

If you’re anything like me, you probably have a stash of lovely left-over fabric scraps testing the seams of an old box somewhere.

There’s heaps you can do with those pretty remnants though this particular project is something I’ve been meaning to try for a few years now.

And I finally got the perfect excuse!

When Circa Home invited me to share some inspiration around creating a sanctuary at home, the first room that came to mind was the bathroom*.

* Granted, if you too have adhesive offspring, preferably a lockable one…with some soundproofing…and maybe even a mini bar!

Not only because bathrooms are often thought of as potential havens, though also because I’ve been secretly working on a new bathroom re-do of my own (more on that soon – and some sneak peeks below!).

And what’s a lovely bathroom without some lovely towels?

This is a simple and effective little project which is fast and affordable.

YOU WILL NEED…

DIY Towel Trim Supplies

PLAIN TOWELS

Of course, you can use whatever you like. I went with classic white with a subtle herringbone weave. If you’re extra adventurous, you don’t even need to start with plain towels!

FABRIC, RIBBON OR BRAID/GIMP

As mentioned above, one of the best things about this project is the fact it’s a vehicle for using your left-over fabric scraps. That said, you can of course buy new fabric or use ribbon or braid/gimp (ribbon or braid/gimp is an even easier alternative as you can omit cutting and hemming the long sides). From the start I envisioned pairing my white towels with timeless ticking. Luckily, I always seem to have a supply of ticking off-cuts lying around!

STEP 1

Cutting the Fabric Trim

STEP 1 Measure, mark and cut fabric.

Decide how wide you’d like your decorative trim to be then measure the width of your towel to determine how long it needs to be. Add around 1cm/.5″ all around (this is the turn-under allowance) then mark and cut your fabric.

For example, I wanted my trim to be 6cm/2″ wide and the width of my hand towel was 40cm/16″. Taking into account the turn-under I needed to cut my piece of trim for my hand towel to 8cm/3″ wide x 42cm/17″ long.

Note: To avoid uneven future shrinkage (which may cause the trim to pucker, pull or sag) it’s a good idea to launder the towel and fabric first. It also helps to iron them both following laundering.

STEP 2

DIY Trimmed Towels

STEP 2 Fold in edges and press into place.

Neatly fold each edge in and press into place with a hot iron. Start with the long sides and finish with the ends. Use your towel as a guide to ensure the length is correct.

STEP 3

Cutting the Corners

STEP 3 Cut off excess at corners.

Make a diagonal cut at each corner to create an envelope-like flap. This just removes bulkiness and makes for neater, easier sewing.

STEP 4

Pin Trim in Place

STEP 4 Pin fabric in place.

Position your piece of trim in place on your towel and secure it with pins.

STEP 5

Sewing on the Trim

STEP 5 Sew.

Using a short stitch, carefully sew around the entire perimeter of the trim. Take your time and stay as close as possible to the edge of the fabric. Too much of a gap between the stitch line and fabric edge may cause the sides to lift slightly.

STEP 6

DIY Ticking Trimmed Bath Towels

STEP 6 Done!

That little added detail makes such a difference.

Suddenly my inexpensive plain white towels look tailored and special.

DIY Embellished Towels

How to Trim Your Own Towels

Just for fun I styled the towels in a few different ways incorporating some of the beautiful Circa Home products.

They look perfectly at home in my parent’s recently made-over powder/laundry room

DIY Trimmed Hand Towels

And I’m loving the Circa Home hand wash paired with their sweet candle. Not to mention the amazing aroma!

Powder Room Vignette

So simple, classic and understated.

In my second life I imagine I might have a trendy, minimal-meets-grungy bathroom kinda like this…

DIY Ticking Trimmed Towels

Complete with obligatory glass of red wine, handsome wax warmer and stylish fragrance diffuser.

Wax Warmer Vignette

And here’s a sneak peek of the bathroom I’ve been working on…

DIY Trimmed Towels and Pretty Candles

DIY Ticking Trimmed Towels and Pretty Candles

You will not believe the before pics of this space – I can’t wait to share more!

I still need to purchase/DIY a ceiling light and some sconces though even incomplete it looks so, so pretty all dressed up.

Candle Vignette

As a bonus it now also smells amazing too! Seriously, I’ve never been a huge fan of home fragrances, though after using the Circa Home products for this post figure I must’ve been doing something wrong all these years! The scents are just gorgeous – harmoniously subtle and uncomplicated with a pleasing linger.

What are your favourite home fragrances?

I must admit, just like my colour schemes I’m a neutral and natural gal so adore subtle, earthy fragrances. Vanilla Bean and All-Spice is an absolute go-to. Yum!

Signature

If you’d like to save this project for a later date, you can pin the image below.

How to Add Trim to Towels

Thank you to Circa Home for working with me on this project.

DIY Towel Trim Tutorial

 

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