Category Archives: Furniture/Re-Finishing Projects

Thrift Find: Bar

My husband and I got a bee in our bonnets a little while ago about getting ourselves a bar for our living room. We host friends for football games, etc and having everything crammed onto a little kitchen cart just wasn’t working. One weekend we made an amazing find at San Francisco’s Building ReSources.

I’ve written about this recycling center briefly here. Building ReSources is a fantastic non-profit organization that works to recycle construction materials and keep them out of landfills. Folks redoing their kitchens, bathrooms, etc can donate the unwanted construction materials so that folks like me can pick through them and find the gems at a steal! The center itself is organized beautifully so you can find what you need. It’s a great place to pick up a few tiles for a small project, a small piece of cabinet or counter top, and just about any bit or piece you can think of. One of the things that’s really great about the center are the great gardens and art pieces spread throughout the property to provide some inspiration (next time I go I’ll have to take some pictures and share them here!).

Anyhoo, onto our new bar!

Bar ReFinish


This magnificent piece is sold wood, exactly what we wanted and just needs a little TLC! The best part was the price! The same day we found this piece we were out shopping at home stores and found that this beautiful bar actually cost LESS than cheap particle board versions that were half the size when buying new.

We’ve got just a few touches to make this bar perfect. One of the doors is missing it’s little magnet bit that would normally keep it closed, so it hangs open a bit.

DIY Bar RefinishThe top definitely has a few big gouges on it that, unfortunately, we think happened at the ReBuild center. There was a huge box of nuts and bolts and a bunch of other junk piled on top of it when we cleared it out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Thrift Furniture RefinishLuckily, the top is such a nice thick slab of solid wood, we’ll be able to sand that down no problem! Finally, someone at some point felt the need to label the contents of one of the drawers.

Thrifted Bar RefinishHmmmm. I’ve been sitting on this post for a while and my husband suggested I, you know, get on it. I’m glad he suggest it, we bought this bar a couple months ago but it’s just been sitting unfinished in the living room. Pulling together this post has given me new enthusiasm for the project!!

Maybe I’ll get sanding today!!!! Maybe……


Jewelry Armoire: DIY Up-Cycled From a Sewing Cabinet

I decided to go ahead and convert my found jewelry armoire (I blogged about it a couple weeks ago, here) into a jewelry armoire for myself. It was a great no-fuss (no sew, no glue, no construction, no paint) project that took me about 30 min to finish last night and I’m really pleased with how it turned out!

The only adjustments this cabinet really needed were to have the screws replaced in one of the hinges on the lid and to add some felt lining to the compartments in the top that I’d be putting my jewelry bits and pieces in. I used some felt rounds that came stacked between a new set of plates we bought to cut out the inserts I’d need, and that’s all the materials I used!

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My original plan was to remove the bottom sheet of wood from under the compartment drawer, lay a piece of felt across the whole thing then reattach the divisions. Unfortunately, the small compartments originally intended for spools and bobbins each had their own curved bottom so that wasn’t going to work. Instead, I laid a piece of felt on top and gently traced the shape of each compartment using a felt pen, then cut out the traced shape.

photo (3) copyLuckily, the inserts fit perfectly and didn’t even need any glue to keep them down! I just tucked them neatly into each little slot. I needed to cut a few pieces to fill the long compartments.

photo (7)All that was left was to load it up with my jewelry! I used the small felt-lined compartments for earrings, pendants and necklaces, and used the larger ones for necklaces that I didn’t want to bunch up and some pieces that didn’t fit neatly into the smaller openings.

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photo (9)The spindles of the lid were originally intended for large spool or bobbin storage, I think. They’re removable so are perfect for storing my large hoop earrings and necklaces that tend to get all wrapped up on themselves and tangled.

photo (10)I used the drawers to store larger items that wouldn’t fit into the top compartments. The top drawer now houses my nicer jewelry and perfectly fits one of my jewelry boxes for more storage of fine rings and earrings, with enough space to store my bracelets off to one side. The bottom drawer is a little deeper and perfect for large costume pieces and a few keepsakes.

photo (13)I’m thrilled that I finally have a jewelry armoire and the space to lay out all my pieces! Who knows? Maybe I’ll get really crazy now and actually wear jewelry on a daily basis! LOL!

Found: Sewing Cabinet!

I’ve just moved in with my boyfriend and it’s been a crazy couple weeks with packing, moving, unpacking and trying to keep up with normal life on time of that! Unfortunately, pretty much as soon as I moved in, Pete had to head out of town for a trip that had been planned much earlier than our move. I’ve unpacked a bit and made a few organizational improvements but haven’t wanted to make any major purchases or executive decisions about decorating. It’ll be so much more fun to make our home together!

did however, make a great sidewalk find last night when I was out to dinner with a girlfriend……a cute little sewing cabinet! And it came with a free drawer full of spiders!!! Oh wait, that second thing was horrifying not exciting. Luckily, it looked like whatever had happened in there was well in the past and only a few dead guys remained (it was far too disgusting to take any pictures). It was a good reminder though that you have no idea where found furniture has been, so I made sure to give it a good once over with some all purpose cleaner.


It’s adorable as is and would probably make for some fine notions storage but I’m actually debating converting it into a jewelry armoire. I’ve been wanting one for a year or two now and all the ones I’ve been able to find online are either expensive or ugly (or both!). I’m thinking all this little cabinet would need would be a bit of liner/padding in the little wells and in the drawers below. Maybe use the wooden dowels in the lid, meant for bobbin or thread storage, as storage for necklaces? While a little rough on the top, the finish on the cabinet isn’t too bad but I might refinish the outside as well as the inside.

Anyway, I’m not sure yet what’s going to happen with the apartment but I’ll probably put up a couple posts with any clever decorating or refinishing ideas we come up with, as well as any good storage ideas I come across! While a pain in the butt, the one really nice thing about moving is that it is pretty much weekend project heaven!!!!!!!!!!!