Sunday, June 26, 2016

Making it Pretty- Another Transformation

I am in the middle of a huge transformation.  No, I haven't lost lots of weight, unfortunately, so I should change that to say my HOME is in the middle of a huge transformation.  My son moved out recently.  This broke my heart, especially since he moved so far away.  But, it also left me with a space I thought I'd never have... and empty room...a blank slate ready to be formed into the beautiful creative space of my dreams.  So, after years of crafting and sewing in my bedroom, my dining room, and my living room, I will have a dedicated space to call my own.  Now I will be able to consolidate all of my work in one area.  I can't tell you how much my husband is looking forward to no longer finding pins in the carpet with his feet.  That has been a regular occurrence.  He's suffered through not eating at the table because it's covered in fabric or projects, having crafting supplies and project remnants on every surface of our living space, and having our bedroom as a work area instead of the sanctuary it should be.  This has been a long time coming.  
So, we are hard at work transforming the bright green bachelor pad that belonged to my son into my pretty, pink, shabby chic studio.  In the process, I have been finding more projects to work on.  
Have I told you I love bargain shopping?  Yes, I think I have.  I also love taking broken or beaten-up finds and turning them into pretty and useful things, especially if I got them for a steal.  I have a dear friend who gave me her late mother's stash of vintage patterns dating back to the 1940's. Three large containers worth, to be more specific.  I had no idea what to do with them or where I would fit them in the very detailed plans for my room.  Searching Pinterest, I found a great idea, one that I had actually used in the past.  A filing cabinet.  And I need a big one to hold all of my patterns  These are not easy to find for someone who doesn't want to spend any money.   I searched my local Facebook buy/sell/trade pages and found an old listing for a file cabinet.  It looked pretty rough, but the guy had talked himself down to asking only $10. How could I pass this up?
When I got it, there were rust stains all around the bottom and one of the drawers was bent inward a little bit, making it stick.  
Now, I cannot have an ugly gray file cabinet in my beautiful new studio.  Nope, can't do it.  So I scoured Pinterest for pictures of file cabinets that were actually pretty. (Have I told you how much I love Pinterest?)   I found this beautiful makeover made by While They Snooze.  It was exactly the look I was going for.  So here's what I did:

First, I cleaned the file cabinet completely.  I was thrilled to find that the rust around the bottom was actually just dirt!  There were years of caked-on dirt in the bottom.  I'm sure the drawers had never been taken out before.  Personally, I was more afraid of the spiders that might be waiting to attack, The dirt was no problem.  So, I scrubbed away.  

Next I began to remove the hardware from the drawers.  One screw on each drawer handle came out beautifully, but the left screw of each one would NOT budge. Not true...actually they would spin and spin and spin, but would not come out.  I don't have pictures of this process.  In fact, I almost just threw every drawer off my porch and went inside and washed my hands of the whole project.  Well, it WAS over 100 degrees outside and I wrenched my already injured wrist.  So, I had to stop for the day and pout and wait for assistance so that I wouldn't lose all use of my hand.  
In the meantime, I went to Walmart and purchased four 8"x10" picture frames.  They were $4.00 each. 
 I also bought 2 cans of  Krylon Maxx white spray paint.  They each had 25% more, so I thought I would have plenty.  I ended up going back for more later, so I suggest three cans for this size file cabinet. Including the extra can, I spent $11.58.  
I took out the glass and backing of the frames.

I had leftover beadboard from when I customized my bookcases, so my dear sweet husband cut pieces of that to fit the frames.  

I glued these in using Gorilla Glue epoxy.
After my dear, sweet husband once again saved my wrist by tackling the stubborn screws on the drawer handles, I finished removing the hardware. I measured the drawer fronts and marked the placement of each picture frame.  I then mixed up more epoxy.  You have to work pretty fast with this.  I used an old craft paintbrush to apply this because the rim of each frame was actually pretty narrow.  After I attached the frames to the drawers, I stacked whatever I could find that had some weight to help hold them down. I ran out of heavy things by the fourth drawer and ended up improvising with a cutting board with a glue gun toolbox and a full bottle of peach schnapps on top.  You do what you can.   

While the glue dried, I went back outside to paint the cabinet.  I had already primed it and it took less than one can of Rustoleum Clean Metal Primer. ($3.86)  I have found that I am lousy at spray painting large areas.  Small things, no problem, but I just felt like the results were poor before the third layer.  Someone else who is more skilled at this might use only 2 cans of spray paint.  The end result was nice, though.  Maybe I'm just impatient.  I want it pretty NOW.  
This is the second layer.  Still splotchy and uneven.  
This is the final layer.
After the epoxy dried on the drawers, I primed and painted those as well.

The drawer that was stuck would not straighten out no matter how hard I tried.  So, the result was that the frame would not glue down completely.  I decided that this would be the bottom drawer.  Who will see it in my studio anyway?  
The next step was to attach the new drawer pulls.  I wanted to get some at Hobby Lobby because they have the most beautiful shabby chic drawer pulls, but with them not being on sale, I just can't bring myself to spend $6 for each one.  So, I found some less shabby but still cute ones at, of all places... Walmart.  they came in a pack of 6 for $13.47.
My dear, sweet husband offered to help me out, so I measured and marked them and had him drill the holes for the handles.  I could have used the holes already in the drawer, but they were too low, and I wanted them centered on the drawer.  

The screws were too long, but fortunately we found some that would work in our tool chest.  
And here's the final result: 

And after a few hours of organizing, my patterns fit in perfectly. I have them organized by decade, pattern company, in numerical order, and by type of pattern (i.e. women, men, children, accessories.) Eventually, I might make a catalog with each of the patterns.  Then again, this may never happen. Will I ever have time for that?

So my file cabinet looks somewhat better, wouldn't you say? 

 For $55.00 I got the exact storage I needed.  And it's pretty enough for my new studio.  Yay!

Let me know what you think!