Rustic Crate Shelving on Caster Wheels

I have an affinity for the rustic reclaimed wood look and I have for years. So, I am always looking for small ways to bring that look into our modern condo — that I am perpetually attempting to make look old, ha ha.

Somewhere online I stumbled across photos of wood crates mounted on the wall, made to look like a full wall shelving unit…and it looked great. That was the inspiration for this project.

I purchased four unfinished wood crates, gave them a light sanding and stained them an English Chestnut shade – I tend to gravitate toward dark wood grains.

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Then I glued the crates together to create a vertical tower. The slats of wood were not very thick, so I used carpet tacks (along with glue) instead of traditional nails to secure the crates.

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I chose the tacks partially because of their length, but mostly because of the rustic look, which was what I was going for aesthetically.

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Finally, I spray painted four silver swivel plate caster wheels a matte black and attached them to the bottom crate.

Voilà!  ~ le produit final

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Vintage Window Frame Art Project

The completion of this project has dragged on and on, but I am happy with outcome.

I have a thing for vintage — everything, and I have always been into the reuse, recycle principal. The fashionable term at the moment is upcycling. Nonetheless, I am far happier shopping at a restore or the basement of my friend’s antique store than at the mall or high-end shops, most of the time…

I must admit I started this project in 2011, then went to study in London, travelled, and upon my return immediately began an overwhelming final year of studies. I’m also not particularly crafty…I’d much rather use power tools to build something or reupholster furniture. Needless to say, I had painted the farm table and window frame, acquired the art prints, and then left them in the corner for about a year.

My vision was to create a small bar with a piece of art (the window frame) in our living room.

I placed four vintage advertising style prints on a mat board behind the four paned window, which I cleaned up, but left a little sign of wear.

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As for the farm table – I once used it for a desk and the tabletop was very rustic and rough. My intention was to add a glass top to the table down the road but after I finished the window, I realized that I needed to do something about the top now. I stained the top a dark walnut, which completely changed the look of the table and works much better with the lamp and art. Since I won’t be home much to enjoy it (more about that later), for now — it has a basic bar set. My final vision of this bar features a silver tray with crystal decanters and cocktail gadgets on a glass top.

Bar art window

On to the next project.

Salvage and Restoration

When I returned from London at the end of 2011, I really just wanted to nest in my house…work on new furniture projects, hang art, etc.  So, I went shopping in the basement of a friend’s antique store. I purchased more windows, a screen door and a few dining chairs.
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Then my second to last semester started and my house turned into a storage/work space that I never had time to work on. Fast forward to graduation — still unfinished. Since then, I have had a few months without school or work, so, I finally started knocking out projects and creating more.  Changed out lighting fixtures, hung a lot of photos from travels and stained, refinished and recovered one of the dining room chairs in a French ticking blue pattern.

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The other chair took a bit more time as it was in pretty rough shape – a bad stain job, horrible paint on a particleboard inset and just super dusty.

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DSC02645I recovered the seat cushion in the same French ticking fabric, then stripped and sanded the chair. Unfortunately, I could not remove the paint from the particleboard – and then it split, urgh!  Then I took a break from the chair to decide how to fix it. The best option was to create an upholstered back to the chair – but the inset made that difficult. So, I sawed it in half and removed it.

I still had the French fabric, but I’ve been very attracted to the deconstructed furniture look (among others) that Restoration Hardware is showing this season, but I wasn’t will to pay $700.00 for a dining room chair and I had my own to repair. Some of the deconstructed looks are a little too messy for me – this one is what I prefer…

Restoration Hardware Couch

Restoration Hardware Couch

So, I made my own, cleaner version with a combination of the French fabric, burlap, nail head trim and gimp trim.

I started by stapling the burlap on the back of the chair. If you have never worked with burlap before, I do not recommend it for your first upholstery job. It is difficult to work with, the edges unravel and it sheds – but it is worth the aggravation.

I added the batting, and then stapled the French fabric onto the front side of the chair.

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Nail heads and gimp are great ways to cover staples, nails or mistakes.

Next – I added the nail head detail to the back of the chair.

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For the front I used gimp, but I did not want a fancy frilly one – I chose a cotton-braided version that is more similar to using rope or twine. Voilà

Pre-Gimp trim

Pre-Gimp trim

Finished

Finished