A Trash to Treasure Love Story

a true trash to treasure love Story.

Have you ever had a project that turned out even better than you envisioned?

A project that was years in the making?

A project that truly leaves you just a little bit smug with yourself?

A true love story.

But… like every good love story, there’s always a plot twist.

Because love doesn’t always turn out the way you plan.

(Make sure to read to the very end.)

This story begins several years ago…

when my sweet daughter found an old set of red toile dishes in a Thrift Store in Wisconsin.

Knowing my Love Affair with Red Toile dishes she couldn’t resist the $25 price tag.

While packing their car for their visit home, my son in law picked up the box to rearrange the

car and the bottom fell out.  Most of the dishes survived.  Several of the large plates did not.

Deciding to turn lemons into Lemonade, I kept the broken plates to make garden stepping

stones with  my grandson, Nicholas.  (one of my most popular posts.)

  Click on picture for project.

Being a “saver”,  I saved the remainder of the broken plates for a future project.

(notice I didn’t use the word hoarder?)

Then there’s the base of a broken bird bath.

I’m ashamed to admit how many years that base has been sitting around.  (it was a lot!)

I used the rest of the broken dishes along with the base and a 20″ round wood top cut from

cabinet scraps to make the Mosaic table.

To start my project…

I gave the base a simple cleaning and painted it with Decoart Outdoor Living Paint: picket fence*

After the base was fully dried, I dry brushed the base with  Color Stain in Ash Grey.

To make the mosaic table top…

  • Lightly sand the 20″ wood circle to prime it to accept paint and glue.
  • Paint the sides and bottom of the 20″ wood circle with the white paint used on the base.
  • Glue the broken pieces of china onto the wood base using a good glue specific for mosaic tiles such as Glass, Metal & More Premium Permanent Glue* or Weldbond Multi-Purpose Adhesive Glue*.
  • Try to use flat pieces of china whenever possible.  You can smooth the sharp edges of the china using a Dremel Tool*.  (read product instructions before using)

  • I used unsanded grout because I didn’t want to take the chance of it scratching the china.
  • Mix the grout as directed and follow the package instructions when applying the grout onto the top.
  • Confession Time…I did not smooth the edges of the China before gluing them onto the top.  After the grout had dried,  I decided that some of the pieces were too sharp.   After it was grouted I  went over the sharper pieces with a Dremel tool.  The table isn’t completely flat.  But that doesn’t matter for  how I plan on using the table.
  • Seal Grout with Grout Sealer.

Mosaic Table Product Information:                   (*affiliate link)

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I really loved that table.
It was just the perfect size to sit by a comfy chair with a good book.

And then there’s the sad part…

The Plot Twist…

To be honest… I made this table on a warm week-end in February.

By the time I was staging the table for pictures, the weather was beginning to really cool down.

Being in a hurry to photograph the project,  I didn’t take the time to secure the top

to the base or seal the grout .  I stuck it into the garage to do at a later time.

When I finally got around to finishing the project…

I carefully moved the top so I could seal the grout and then glued the top to the base with

a  strong adhesive.  While the adhesive worked initially, when I went to move it again a few

days later by the top (what was I thinking), the base came crashing down on the garage floor.

To say “I felt defeated” would be a understatement.

That’s one reason…(even though I had a 100 good photo’s)

that I never posted the project  until now.

Why?   Because, I didn’t want to mislead you.

The Happy Ending…

Always resourceful, I did find that I had a 20″ black metal mesh table that the top fit perfectly on

and I didn’t have to worry about securing it.

The table has sat there beautifully on my back deck all summer.

(who am I kidding…it’s still there.)

So the moral to the story would be to find a super duper industrial adhesive.

Or…what I would do now if I had to do it over again.

I would cut a small wood disc that is slightly smaller than the top of the bird bath base so that it

would fit inside.  I would glue the disc (with a really good glue) to the bottom of the wood and

keep it as a removable top.  That would help stabilize the top and make for easy storage.

So remember if you decide to try this at home…. 

Sometimes you have success and sometimes you don’t.

And…sometimes you have a little bit of both.


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Vintage School Desk Make-Over

I was looking for a project when I went into the Goodwill that day.

I saw the old desk sitting there in back.   I looked it over and left.

It wasn’t until later that night when I envisioned the completed project in my head.

I ran back over the next morning.

The desk was in pretty rough shape from years of use and abuse.

The three holes in the front of the desk intrigued me…

Was it a combination of several kids over the years or one very bored individual.

How long did it take?

The top was screwed onto the base with 4 screws.  I contemplated how I was

going to fit my hand in the opening to unscrew it.  (I’m including this picture

just in case I’m not the only one. )  Under the desk, were four holes for inserting

an extra long screwdriver into the hole to unscrew the top.  Duh!

I picked up some additional supplies at my local home store.                                   (*affiliate link)

I sanded off the majority of the rust with a Palm Sander*.  (hand sanding would work as well)

Spray the base of the metal  desk with Forged Hammered Antique Pewter Spray Paint*.

This was the first time I’d used a textured spray paint.  I really like the finish.

To keep the project simple, instead of cutting and gluing boards together…

I picked up a large piece of Solid Aspen that was ready to go and just the right length.

I enlisted the help of my brother to help me cut the board.

For those of you that don’t have a circular saw, a regular hand saw could be used instead.

We cut the top 18″ x 24″ and the bottom shelf 15″ x 24″.

If you don’t have any of those fancy corner templates, use the edge of the spray paint can

as a template to mark the rounded corners.

A power sander was used to round the edges of the board.

You could also use a coping saw to cut off the corner and sand smooth with a sanding block.

For a smooth finished edge…  I used a router.

Prepare the wood for staining by lightly sanding the surface.  Sand in the direction of the grain.

Remove all the sanding dust with a clean damp rag.    (read all the directions on the can)

Apply stain on the wood with brush or clean lint free rag.   Allow the stain to  penetrate

the wood for 3-5 minutes before wiping excess stain off.   Allow time for the wood to dry.

Apply a coat of polyurethane over the surface of the wood.

After the polyurethane dries, smooth the surface with a fine steel wool.

Wipe surface and apply a second coat of polyurethane.

After all the pieces were dry…

I screwed the top back onto the base and added the shelf to the bottom bar. 

I added a couple of flat rectangle baskets in the desk opening for storage.

I love the vintage industrial feel of this piece.

No longer a desk.  It makes a great side piece.

*Disclaimer:  This post uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

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Christmas Ornaments from Old Kitchen Hardware

Old Kitchen Hardware

I picked up a bag of old kitchen hardware for 50¢ at a Garage Sale.

I can’t resist a good bargain and knew I might even use them someday.

After disassembling and using them on a couple of projects,

I put the rest in a container high on the shelf for another day.


I ran across them again the other day and had an idea…

How would they look with cream spray paint?

I knew I was onto something and let the idea marinate in my head for a day or two.

This is what I came up with and I’m pretty happy with the results.

Shabby Chic Orn 86

For my Ornament:

  • Paint the base plate from old kitchen hardware with cream spray paint.
  • I added silver around the edge using my finger tip and paint from a  Chisel Point Pen Tip Calligraphy Paint Marker, Silver*    (affiliate link)
  • Remove the small wooden base from a small bottle brush tree.  With small pliers bend the remaining wire tip up into the tree.
  • Cut the back of the bottle brush tree to make it flat.
  • Glue tree in place with Beacon Adhesives Zip Dry.*
  • For a little extra sparkle, I rubbed clear glitter glue into the bristles of the tree.  Glue pearl beads and place directly into tree.
  • On the top of the ornament I used a piece cream twill ribbon with an inexpensive plastic star ornament on a silver jump ring.  Tied it in place with a piece of burlap twine and small cream button.
  • I added a silver jingle bell that I painted and distressed with sandpaper and tied on with a satin ribbon.
  • Place the word sticker onto a thin piece of chipboard, trim around sticker, lightly sand the edges for a distressed look and glue into place.

Berry Ornament 91

Here’s a simpler idea.  I love this one too.

I bet your going to start rummaging through that junk drawer in the garage and see what you can find.

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*Disclaimer:  This post uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!