'' Ruffles & Rust Vintage

On Pin {wheels} and Needles

A couple of months ago, I got a call from the Castro Valley Sanitary District (huh?), telling me that they were looking for local artists to submit recycled artwork to be installed at the headquarters of Stopwaste.org



Stopwaste.org is the umbrella organization for our county's waste management and recycling agencies. Their building on Webster Street in downtown Oakland is an amazing example of green renovation. Their story is here if you're interested. 

The artwork was to be permanently displayed on a second-story mezzanine above the lobby, so it had to be large enough to be seen from below, and made from recycled materials.

After a couple of rounds of judging, I was sooo nervous, thinking I was a dork for submitting it, and how embarassing it was going to be to have to go pick it back up.  I was on pins and needles for a couple of weeks, and I couldn't believe that they chose my project along with two others to be installed in that beautiful building. 

Can you tell what this made from?


Close Up:


It's probably a little hard to tell, but this pinwheel is 4 feet in diameter. Yes, it works, and no, I didn't drink all of that soda myself!  I'm more of an iced tea person... 


How many cans do you think it took?

I learned 2 very important lessons on the way to completing this project:

1)  You can't iron aluminum cans to flatten them. They get HOT 

2)  Sewing them together?  Also not a great idea...

I really had fun with this, and I'm thinking how neat it would be to make little pinwheels out of individually-flattened cans. Look for them in the shop soon.

 Cheers,


Tracking My Milk Paint Order ... or, Christmas in July?

I feel like a kid waiting for Santa Claus...  you know how NASA (?) has that Santa tracking tool on Christmas Eve? You can follow his progress from the North Pole all across the world on your computer screen. 

Well, I've been UPS-tracking my Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint dealer kit since last week.  Aaghh! I'm so impatient...  It left Ontario, Canada and hit the border on Tuesday.  Then the paint left Michigan for Maumee, Ohio yesterday.

I expect the package to arrive Monday or Tuesday next week.  Can't. Wait.

Yes, Another Headboard Turned Coatrack



While I love hunting down unique vintage and antique items, I don't usually buy things for myself that are decorative only.  If they don't have a use in my home, I try to see the possibilities of repurposing items to become useful again. 

There  are a few things that are guaranteed to grab my attention at thrift stores, estate sales and even side-of-road drive-bys:  Headboards, doorknobs and anything typographical (letters and numbers).  This coat rack happily combines all three and was pretty easy to put together.  The hardest part was putting up with the stinky epoxy stuff.

Supply list:

Old headboard - this is a twin-sized one that I rescued. It has great curvy lines, doesn't it?  I cut the legs off and added a 1 x 2 strip across the bottom to give it a more finished look.  I'm pretty sure this one was a freebie, but they are easy to find for less than $10 at Goodwill or Salvation Army stores.


Headboard Primed with knobs laid out for positioning

Various doorknobs, as many as you need.  There are five of us in my family, so that's what I went with, and the spacing worked for the headboard that I had.  You can find these at salvage places, antique stores or thrift shops.


Although I show a variety of knobs, I ended up using all black porcelain ones. I found a great one at my next-door-neighbor Cisco Diaz' shop, Restore and Rework. Another one came from my other neighbor Arnie of AJ's Attic.  Aren't I lucky to have such great neighbors?

Matched pairs cost way more than orphan ones, so deals can be had if you're not looking for perfection.  Expect to pay around $3 - $5 or so for not-perfect ones.


Pot Holder, just in case ~ see the note below.... *


Brass or other type of house numbers, I had a bunch of different numbers that I've collected over the past couple of years (I'm a letter and number freak, you'll see). You can buy these at hardware stores if you can't find them at estate/garage sales or thrift stores - I just like the mismatched look.


Two-Part Epoxy, this is for filling in the holes of the doorknobs so that the fasteners can be attached. Stinky stuff, so be prepared to open doors or windows. Or you can work outside, get some great fresh air.


Hanger Bolts or Screws/Nuts~ I use these because sometimes the hole in the doorknob is very small, and bolts with big heads are hard to fit into them.  There's a joke there somewhere...  I also like them because you get to pick whether or not you want to end up with a screw-in or a bolt-and-nut fastener for your projects. 

Since each knob is different, be sure to buy the size bolt that works with your doorknob, with about 1-1/2 to 2 inches sticking out.  These ones are 2-1/2 inches long, and cost just a couple of dollars for a package of four.

D-Ring Hangers, for hanging up your coat rack (towel rack?) when you're all done!

Here goes:
Prepare, prime and paint your headboard.  Play with your doorknobs to find the spacing that works for you.  When you're happy with how it looks, lightly mark the spots where the knobs will be placed.  Ditto for the house numbers.


Remove any extra bits
that came with your doorknobs - posts, screws, etc.  Then tape off the little screw holes with duct tape or even painters' tape will work.  This will also protect the outside of the knob from epoxy overflow - wait until it dries and just peel the tape off.


Mix the epoxy according to the package directions. Stink Alert! It smells horrible, but it's well worth putting up with for a few minutes.  Make sure to read the directions and use adequate ventilation ~

I use disposable plates and plastic knives for this part.  When you have a good amount mixed up, carefully scoop the mixture into each doorknob - leaving room for your hanger bolt. 


It can take more than you think for some knobs, so don't be discouraged!  When it's mostly full, carefully push the screw-end of the hanger bolt into the opening.  The epoxy dries quickly, so you shouldn't have to hold the bolt in place for more than a minute or two.


*NOTE:  A curious thing happened when I filled a couple of brass knobs for another project - the knobs got really really HOT.  So hot that I had to put them on a potholder and wait about 15 minutes. It must've been a reaction between whatever is in the epoxy and the brass.  The porcelain and wood knobs I've done haven't gotten hot, but just be aware that it's a possibility.

The fun part ~ putting them together:

Drill holes where you previously marked the headboard to accommodate the bolts in your door knobs. Thread the knobs in and secure them in the back with the nuts.  Nail or screw in your house numbers in the order you want and attach the D-Rings to the back for hanging. 


Now you have a unique coat rack that successfully combines several different kinds of vintage parts into one beautiful (and useful) item!

  See ya later ~

Things I Wish I'd Thought of First ... #1

Seriously, I could NOT believe that I parked right next to this car in front of our local Trader Joe's...  Just perfect ~




Purple Love ~ My Paint Secret


Here's the dresser I painted for my new bestie, Danielle:
Danielle came for a different dresser that I advertised on craigslist, but found this one "before" in my side yard.  She picked out the color to loosely match the bedding she's chosen for her sophisticated, feminine guest room.  Purple is my favorite color, so I was happy to oblige. Here are some awkward "before" shots:
It didn't seem too bad at first, but then I realized that the previous owner of this gorgeous dresser hadn't prepared the surface AT ALL for painting. You could peel the old paint with your fingernail into strips like a bad sunburn.  This meant that I couldn't just sand the finish down ~ it just gummed up the sandpaper.
I had to strip the old paint off first ~ ugh. I found this great stripper (get your mind out of the gutter...) called Citristrip at Home Depot. It's an orange scented, thick gel so it's a little easier to take than most other kinds; but never forget that it's EATING the PAINT off of your furniture.  Please use gloves and a mask with plenty of ventilation.  Doesn't this look nasty?  It is. Stripping is the last resort for me. Hate it.














After scraping and scraping... and more scraping, the dresser was down to bare wood. I repaired a fair amount of veneer damage and primed it.  The top and sides were painted with a soft "Blossom White", and the sides and drawer fronts were painted in my ultra-secret paint, "Orchid" acrylic paint. 

Yep, acrylic paint ~ it's so wonderful and doesn't cost a whole lot.  One large bottle did this whole dresser in a beautiful soft velvety shade of purple.  That's my big secret..! One of these days, I'm gettin' me some chalk paint - but you can't beat the price and availability of acrylic paint. You can find it at any craft or fabric store in tons of shades and finishes.

I used a wipe-on poly for a nice hand-rubbed finish over all.  I spray painted the hardware a satin black, and added a scrolly monogram "f" for Danielle's last name. The top was finished off with antique crystal knobs ~ just right.
Oh ~ let's not forget the dresser's little buddy!
I can't wait to see the whole room when it's finished!  Danielle has promised me some pictures when it's done. She's so much fun to work with.
Thanks, Danielle, for letting me indulge in my passion for purple :)

See ya later,

Sneak Peek ~


Here's what I've been up to lately ~ just a quick peek! 



See ya later ~