Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Retro Summer Ideas!

Today I am welcoming Ty Leisey with a Guest Post.  Thank you Ty!
Ideas for a Retro Summer

As the summer months roll in and the temperature starts to climb, kids and adults alike rush to finally spend time outdoors. But why leave your wonderfully vintage style behind? Instead of choosing between spending time in your perfectly designed kitchen or spending time outdoors with your family, bring your style, family, and food outside with these retro exterior design ideas.

Update Your Furniture:

Spending time outside can be much more comfortable with the addition of outdoor furniture, and you already know how much your furniture says about your style. Whether you already have outdoor furniture or if you’re looking to add a seating space in your yard, there are ways to create a cohesive style for your home and comfortable outdoor living. Choose an option based on your existing space / furniture, your outdoor living needs, your budget, and the amount of time you want to spend creating the look you want.
  • Paint existing furniture: if you already have furniture you love or you don’t quite have the budget to replace your furniture, consider painting your existing furniture to better match your style. Try colors like a bright aqua, a vibrant green, or even an eye-catching red. Just adding color can make a huge difference and help your keep that flow from inside to outside.
  • Find vintage furniture: Yard sales and flea markets are great places to find retro style outdoor furniture for much cheaper than vintage stores or online stores. Check your local newspaper for yard sale listings and flea market advertisements - it may take a little extra time and legwork to find the perfect piece but it may end up being better than what you thought you wanted (likely at a better price, too).
  • Buy new furniture: If you can’t seem to find anything in the local market or if you need something now and can’t afford to wait, there are tons of websites and stores with online ordering that sell vintage and retro style furniture. With lots of options for colors and types of pieces available, you can create the perfect outdoor living space to compliment your indoor living space.

Redesign Your Lighting:

It stays lighter much later in the summer but that doesn’t change your need for outdoor lighting for late evening dinner parties! Maybe your yard has lighting options that are boring (or don’t match your newly acquired furniture!), or maybe you’ve gone without extra lighting up to this point. Either way, you can pretty easily find retro style light fixtures that are both functional and stylish. Be sure to think about where you need the most light, what options will work with your exterior, and what particular styles you should be looking for. Though not impossible, it’s much easier to find permanent outdoor lighting fixtures online or in-store than it is to find them in local markets, and they’re more likely to be ready to install right away. An upgrade can be as easy as fitting a lamp over a previously existing fixture or as time-intensive as installing a new lamp post. Remember to be realistic but don’t let that limit your imagination!

Create a Vintage Picnic Package:

The best part about redesigning your outdoor living space? Enjoying it by spending time outside! Keep it classy by putting together your own picnic package, starting with a vintage picnic basket. You can set up your picnics at any furniture you may have outdoors, at a nice picnic table in the backyard (or at least nearby), or spread out over a beautiful retro picnic blanket. Some stores will have sets of outdoor plates, flatware, and serving utensils for a classy setup, but it’s just as traditional to go the paper plate route and ensure quick cleanup that everyone can help with. A beautiful picnic basket makes for a stellar display when not in use that can double as storage for picnic supplies. Plus, keeping the basket and supplies in the same place means all you have to do is watch for a sunny day and wait for the pie to come out of the oven!

Thanks for your visit!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Transferring a Graphic onto Wood-Turning a $6 Investment into a Cute Piece

Since I started working a few years ago, my crafting has been limited, but recently I decided to use some new graphics (purchased on Etsy for $1) and transfer them onto a little dresser.
I started with this $5 garage sale find.  Sorry, I thought I took a good 'before' picture, but didn't...  But, you can probably figure that the drawers looked just like the rest of the piece.
We sanded down the entire piece.
I  took a mirror image of a laser copy (if you only have an ink jet printer, just take it to Kinko's or a similar place and get a copy made--they use laser copiers).  I printed off three copies-one for each drawer.


 I taped the graphic on each of the drawers.  I barely dabbed Citra-Solv on the paper.  (I found Citra-Solv at Whole Foods)  If you put too much Citra-Solv on, it'll smear.  I rubbed a piece of plastic very carefully over the graphic, but again, I tried not to smear it. 



I carefully lifted off the paper and let each drawer dry.
I put MinWax Pre-stain over the entire piece, as pine tends to get blochy if you don't.  After that dried, I applied a MinWax Natural Stain.

The original drawer pulls were wood.  I worked and worked to sand them down, but they stained up too dark.  I took some brass pulls and painted them black.
I've moved it in a couple of different places to see where I'm going to use it.  I think it turned out pretty cute! 
Thanks so much for your visit!

I am linking to the following parties:

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home