Want to give something the look of zinc metal without spending money on zinc metal? You can create the look with spray paint and this technique.

How to Create a Faux Zinc Texture (with Spray Paint)

A while ago I was thrifting with a few friends and stumbled across an ugly cabinet at our local Goodwill. The metal chest had extra wide and deep storage, but the worst colors imaginable! The hot pink and mint green were disguising the true potential of the chest. Like a color-blind dog, I was able to see beyond its garish appearance. In my mind, I pictured a vintage metal cabinet with a faux zinc side and chalkboard drawer fronts.

I scooped it up and brought it home. Then the poor chest sat in our garage for months and months until I had a chance to work a little spray paint magic and turned it into….this thing of beauty:

Yes, that is the same chest of drawers! You could do the same transformation. Let’s learn How to Create a Faux Zinc Texture!

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

Clean off your furniture piece really well. Remove any dirt or debris (I actually had to use a little Goo Gone to get rid of some sticky residue. But, lemon essential oil will also work for this task.)

Spray paint your object with automotive primer. (I prefer the automotive primer because it sticks to metal and can withstand a lot of abuse.)

Let the primer dry.

Adding a Faux Zinc Texture:

This is the most exciting part of the tutorial. I created this technique by trial and error and I’m excited by how well this method works for creating a faux zinc texture.

Getting a faux zinc texture is really easy. Just have some gloves on and use a crumpled up piece of craft paper. (A loose crumple works best.)

Spray paint your object with a thick coat of the hammered silver spray paint, (but not so thick that it runs). Let the paint get tacky by waiting a few seconds.

Then use the crumpled piece of craft paper to blot into the wet paint.

Work in small 1 foot sections and pounce the paper a few times. (Too much pouncing and you’ll lose the large textured pattern.)

Let the paint dry thoroughly. Then enjoy your beautiful faux zinc paint job!

Chalkboard Painted Metal Drawers:

For my cabinet, I chose to paint the drawer fronts with chalkboard paint for a nice contrast.

Remove the drawers from the chest. Tape over the drawer glides and slides. Mask off the drawer sides and insides by covering the drawers with tape and craft paper, leaving only the drawer fronts exposed.

Spray paint the drawers with chalkboard paint. (Use three fine coats of paint instead of one or two heavy coats.) Set them aside to dry.

Insert the chalkboard drawers back into the cabinet frame.

Add chalkboard art to your drawer fronts.

The thrifted cabinet has a wonderful texture now and the black and zinc colors work with any color scheme.

The chalkboard drawer fronts allow the flexibility for me to store and label other items inside.

I’m so thrilled with the results! I hope you try to transform your own object, now that you know how to Create a Faux Zinc Texture.

If you use this tutorial, I’d love to hear about it. Better yet, will you send me a picture?

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How to Re-Paint Dated DecorWant to know How to Repaint Dated Decor?

Raise your hand if you are a thrift shopper? No, what about yard sales? Have you ever seen any ugly ceramic decor items that shouldn’t have survived the 70’s or 80’s? Nodding your head YES? I thought so. Today I’m going to show you How to Repaint Decor. Those dated monstrosities can look like something you bought from Ballard Design or Pottery Barn! Don’t believe me, well check out this groovy pair (emphasis on pear. LOL.)

Would you believe this is the same fruit duo?

Yup! I scored them both for $5.

Now, have you seen these deliciously rustic pears from Ballard Designs? Yes? Did you happen to catch the price tags? $49 each!

Umm, no thank you, I’ll stick with my $2.50 fruit—Thank you very much. Let me show you how you can paint any ceramic, pottery, or china decor item to give it a new updated look. You’ll need a few things first.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Optional: Rustoleum Comfort Spray Paint Handle (saves your fingers from cramping!)

Instructions:

Clean your decor item with soap and water. Dry thoroughly.

Lightly sand the surface to give a little roughness.


Lay your decor item(s) on paper and spray with several thin coats of spray primer. Allow the primer to dry.


Spray several light coats of Rustoleum’s Heirloom White spray paint. Allow to dry.


If you want, you can leave the base color white. But, if you want to color your item, mix a base color with the acrylic craft paints. Using the fan brush use a “cross-hatch” pattern to apply the paint onto your item. (This gives more depth and interest than painting on a thick coat of paint.)

Next mix your glaze by combining acrylic paint (Mix raw sienna (dark brown), burnt sienna (red brown) and yellow ochre until you have a nice golden brown antiquing color.) Pour a small circle of glaze material onto your plate. Dip the fan brush into the glaze medium and then into the mixed acrylic paint. Dab off some paint onto the paper plate (you don’t want your brush to be saturated.) Brush the glaze onto the item and use the fan brush to blend the glaze around. Feel free to use the same cross-hatch pattern you did earlier.

Work in small areas and brush the glaze around until your brush doesn’t have any more glaze on it.
Then use a rag to dab around the decor item until you are happy with the results.

Paint any features onto your decor item (stems, branches, faces, etc.) To paint the pear’s leaf, try a dark brown (raw sienna) and a yellow ochre for the highlights. Acrylic paint is really forgiving. If you don’t like it you can paint over it.


I couldn’t be happier with the results of my repainted home decor! I saved myself about $95 for two decor items!
This fruit decor is perfect for any season . . .

But, I like to bring them out in the fall.


Happy thrifting y’all! Never leave cheap dated decor behind again.

Did you see that ladder above? It is the other half of this ladder and I added shelves to create my own ladder display shelves!

Ladder Shelves

Painted Bedside Vanity | Pretty Handy Girl

In the quest to makeover our master bedroom and save money, I’ve been painting several pieces of furniture to coordinate with the new bed I built.

One of the pieces I painted was this small desk that doubles as a nightstand. Our bedroom isn’t very large and our master bathroom is even smaller than what can be described as a “master” anything! Doing my hair and makeup in our bathroom isn’t a viable option, especially when both Pretty Handsome Guy and I wake up at the same time. When I saw this little desk at a local thrift store, I grabbed it. Especially because she was only $20!

Painted Bedside Vanity | Pretty Handy Girl

She had lots of age, but not much character.

top-of-wood-vanity

However, she was the perfect size and had just enough storage for a makeup vanity.

With a light sanding, primer and a coat of Benjamin Moore Advance paint, she is now showing her more glamorous side. Read more

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Do you have a butterfly chair that is sun-faded or has hideous fabric on it? I bet you thought it was a lost cause, right? Nope! With a sewing machine, some new fabric and a little spare time you can recover that ugly butterfly chair and have a new one. Okay, so I didn’t recover it with green fabric in honor of St. Patrick, but what could be greener than a good old upcycling project! Believe it or not, this was a much easier project than I had anticipated, so don’t get scared by the curves. You can “sew” do this! 😉

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

I stumbled upon this chair at Goodwill for $9.99. Normally I wouldn’t spend this much for a sun-faded chair, but because I was working on the school library makeover project — and we needed more comfortable seating — I bought it.  After all, we would have had to pay at least double for another comfy chair.

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

Luckily, I had some soft leftover fleece fabric that I could use to recover the chair. I wish I had measured how much I used, I think it was a little less than 2 yards.

Materials:

  • 2 yards of fabric
  • Coordinating thread
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Old butterfly chair + old cover

Instructions:

1. Remove the old cover from the butterfly chair frame. Lay it on top of your fabric (both right sides up.) Read more

After yesterday’s diversions, we were all feeling the pressure to purchase the final items on our wish lists. This would be our last day on the yard sale and the last day to prep any items we purchased before placing them into the Habitat house.

We decided to create a master wish list for everyone so we could all be on the lookout for each other. There was a lot of texting with photos attached as we shopped in the in the morning.

Read more

Today I am going to show you how to Make Your Own Fall Wreath. If you’ve been following me for long, you were witness to my one wreath with many different looks for one year. Well, I’m ready for a change. So, I decided to create something completely different.

When I think of fall, I think of cooler weather, sweaters, autumn leaves and flowers. This wreath encompasses all those elements.

Lucky for me I had all the materials on hand. Especially the XL cable knit sweater that I picked up at Goodwill thinking I could make sweater vases out of it.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

Start by cutting off the sleeve of the sweater.

Cut, the sleeve in half lengthwise. Then put the right sides together.

Stitch the ends together (try to line up the stripes or cable knitting.) Trim off any excess.

Open your sleeves up to give you one long length of sweater material.

Preheat the hot glue gun. Lay the wreath form on top of the sweater material.

Put a bead of hot glue on the back side of the wreath form and glue one edge of the sweater material to the wreath.


Squeeze out another bead of hot glue, wrap the other side of the sweater material up and glue it against the already glued piece.


Realistically, this is the backside of the wreath, but if you have a see through door like I do, you will want to roll under your raw edges to hide the seams.


Work in 3-4″ sections, adhering one side and then the other until you reach the end of your wreath. Cut your sweater material slightly longer than you need, then roll under the raw edge and glue it down.


Your wreath should resemble something like this:


Hot glue some leaves onto the wreath covering one of the seams.


Then add some flowers. And more leaves, and more flowers, until you have burned your fingers to smithereens!


Next tie one loop of ribbon to cover the top seam.


Tie more ribbon to the loop to give your wreath a more “substantial” bow.


And now you have a warm, cozy and colorful fall wreath! What do you think? I just want to snuggle up to it every time I walk through the door.


Have you started to decorate for fall? Do you have your wreath yet? I’d love to hear about your unique wreath project. And if you need more ideas, enjoy these 24 more Fall wreath ideas:

24 Creative Fall Wreaths | Pretty Handy Girl
Y’all have a fabulous weekend!

 

As promised, I have a tutorial for making a cake stand using a plate and a candlestick. This is nothing new, and if you’ve hopped around the blogosphere, you have probably seen some variations of this project.

These are a few of the projects that sparked my creativity when I found a striped candlestick at a my friend Su’s yard sale.

Centsational Girl’s sherbert colored dessert stands are pure and sweet eye candy:

Crafty Nest used simple clear vases, candlesticks, and dishes to make single and multi-level cake stands:

And House of Hepworth’s turned a cheese dome into a cloche!

So, armed with my striped candlestick, I scoured my local Goodwill for a plate that had some citrus color for my stand. I finally found the perfect plate, but had to give myself a pep talk to buy it. It was perfect, except for the meal that was baked onto it. Ewww. Seriously, it looked like someone had just eaten off the plate and then donated it. GROSS PEOPLE!

But, alas, it was the perfect  color, and when I got home I drenched it in Get Clean Basic H2 Degreaser and wiped it clean BEFORE cleaning it in my sink. (I think I might be a tad germ phobic.)

Tutorial:

Materials

  • Plate
  • Candlestick (or other base)
  • Sandpaper
  • E-6000 glue
  • Rubbing Alchohol
  • Paper towels
  • Books or weights

Begin by thoroughly cleaning the plate and candlestick.

Using a fine grit sandpaper, rough up the top of the candlestick and the base of the plate where you will be bonding them.

Clean the plate and candlestick with rubbing alcohol to remove any residues.

Squeeze out E-6000 on the rim of the candlestick.

Center the candlestick in the middle of the bottom of the plate.

Set books on top of the candlestick to weigh it down while the glue dries.

Let the glue dry overnight, then turn your cake plate over. And, serve up some wonderful dessert…


…or simply make some fruit more appealing, …

…or use it as a plant stand…

But, personally, I prefer the dessert!

What about you? How would you use this citrus striped cake plate?
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I owe a huge hug of gratitude to Kathleen at Grosgrain Fabulous. She posted 30 days of sweater embellishments on her blog. In those tutorials she took the most ho-hum sweaters from Goodwill and turned them into Cinderella-worthy tops.
Re-Sizing and Dressing Up a Goodwill Sweater
Because of her inspiring transformations, I was able to re-vamp two sweaters for the Blissdom conference, saving my bank account some precious pennies. (I used the savings to buy two pairs of cute PJs. Apparently PJs are mandatory after conference hours.)
And now, on to the transformation!
I started by resizing the sweater per Kathleen’s tutorial HERE.
Put the sweater on inside out and pin excess starting under the arm and ending at the hip.
Carefully (very carefully unless you want to become a pin cushion) remove the sweater. Stitch along the pinned line.
Re-Sizing and Dressing Up a Goodwill Sweater
Put the sweater back on to check the fit.
Re-Sizing and Dressing Up a Goodwill Sweater
If it looks good, go ahead and trim off the excess. (This reminds me of a nip and tuck surgery. {Sigh} If only trimming fat was this easy.)
Re-Sizing and Dressing Up a Goodwill Sweater

 

Next, grab some of those adorable felt roses we made the other day. (Rose tutorial HERE)  Lay them onto the sweater and play with the placements.

 

Re-Sizing and Dressing Up a Goodwill Sweater

When you are happy with the roses, pin them on with safety pins.

Re-Sizing and Dressing Up a Goodwill Sweater

 

Sew on the roses with needle and thread.
And remove the safety pin once the rose is secure.
That’s it. Beautiful new cardigan from a $3 Goodwill sweater!
Re-Sizing and Dressing Up a Goodwill Sweater

 

I added a knit belt that I sewed some roses and a hook and eye clasp on.

 

Re-Sizing and Dressing Up a Goodwill Sweater

Poor Buddy (aka Pretty Handy Dog), he’s not so sure about me leaving for Blissdom tomorrow.

Check out some more Goodwill and thrift store fashionista outfits at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

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