Monday, January 27, 2014

Picture Perfect Table

Picture Frame Table

During a visit the other day with a neighbor, I sat down at her kitchen table and realized that it had been the table that I had made for the Restore Restyle Designer Challenge that she had bought the night of the event. Seeing it again and talking about how it came to be, I thought I should share that process.

I had came across this giant framed picture at the Restore in Mooresville. Though I wasn't in love with the picture inside, I was in love with the frame and all of it's details and it's perfect square size. 
I started by taping off the inside of the frame and spray painting with my favorite color of primer, silver metallic. I highly recommend using this as a primer for everything. It seems to coat evenly, concealing everything and adheres well to finished surfaces virtually eliminating the need for sanding. I also find that it makes your top coat a more truer color that is brighter and with a more multi-tone effect as a result of how the light reflects off the metallics. After allowing the primer to dry, I then painted my top coat and allowed to dry. Then sealed the frame to the picture with clear silicone caulking. I covered the picture part and painted the outside of the frame.
Next step was cutting up the this cardboard of old Christmas gift boxes into my flower petals. I laid the petals out in a three circles, decreasing the size of the center with each ring. I sprayed each ring with spray adhesive,  ensuring that each petal was fully coated and then used colored tissue paper that I had wrinkled up and placed it on the cardboard. I used red, yellow and orange tissue paper, placing the red and orange on first and then sprayed more adhesive and placed the yellow at the inner part of the ring to give the flower more dimension. With the tissue paper in placed, I stacked the layers on top of each other and I used yellow and orange and coral/red spray paint to lightly mist the flower to blend all the colors together of the paint and tissue.

I used the metal grate of a commercial drop ceiling HVAC vent and cut it into 4 even squares and spray painted them green.

For the legs, I used 4 stair spindles nailed together I got from Restore ($2 each) for each leg and painted them black. I screwed the legs to the bottom of a small pallet I  then  nailed/glued the the picture down to it. For extra detail and to make the table appear more complete, I used 4 copper plumbing caps ($.50 each) and used a hole saw on the bottom of one of the 4 spindles for each leg and hammered the cap into the hole.

With the base of of the table now complete, I glued/screwed the picture to the top of the pallet. I sealed any holes that were made with the silicone caulk. I arranged the metal square in the corner and glued them down. Then I placed my flower into the center with glue and nailed a decorative paperclip with a upholstery brad in the center of the flower.
I decided to use an epoxy countertop mix to create a hard cleanable surface. Following the directions on the bow for the mix, I poured it inside of the frame and waited for it to dry.
I used base moulding from Restore to cover the visible part of the pallet under the frame and painted it.

The mystery challenge item that we had to incorporate into our room design was an electrical light switch plate. I painted 8 with copper leafing paint and attached them to each far corner onto the base moulding around the table. I then took metal necklace charms and snapped off the ring on top where the charm would hang from a chain and glued them to the center of each switch plate.

Once the epoxy had thoroughly dried, I placed a piece of plexiglass from Restore cut to size on top and sealed it to the frame with the silicone caulk.

This was one of my favorite pieces of the room. The final cost to create this one of a kind table was $75 and 2 days of work. I couldn't be happier with the final result and my neighbor loves having what she refers to it as "functional art" and conversation piece.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Couch Cushions: AKA the Mystery Hole

We had recently bought a new couch, and upon removal of the old one, made the discovery of a life time. When the old couch was flipped up on it's side it made a very interesting noise. The distinct noise of random items falling through couch springs to the side that now laid on the ground. With a quick slit with a razor knife to the fabric on the bottom of the couch I found where all the missing pocket change, small toys, scissors, batteries,  jewelry, crochet hooks, 6 pairs of tweezers (no lie)  and many more tiny objects that had been lost over the past 5 years. How did they get there exactly? I inspected the couch seat itself and discovered that where the back of the couch met the seat was a very small crack that let these small items pass through to the Mystery Hole where they would be forever lost. Determined not to loose any more small treasures and necessities to this obscure menace that was also a feature found on the new couch in addition to the "crack of doom and loss" that apparently is equipped in all sectionals , I set out on a mission to resolve this as easily and cheaply as possible.  And once again, thanks to Restore, the problem has been solved!

I found these 1 inch in diameter 6 ft long foam pipe insulator sleeves at Restore for $.75 each. I simply took my cushions off the couch and wedged the insulators into the tiny trench of terror and crack of doom and loss and then put the cushions back on the couch. After extensive testing over the past 60 days, we have had zero lego or pocket change casualties to the couch monster. Problem solved for less than $2!!

The Resolution of Resolution:

What problem can Habitat's Restore solve for you? Stop by your local Restore and check out all the possibilities they have in stock to fulfil your 2014 Resolutions. By purchasing items from Habitat for Humanity's Restores, you can also put a big check mark beside "being more charitable" because the profits made from Restore are utilized in the many charitable acts that Habitat for Humanity perform in our community and world wide. Share your finds and problem solvers with us here in the comments or posting to their Facebook page: