One pretty nifty & magical toy trunk

Once upon a time there was a dated trunk. It didn't have the best bones, the best hardware but it had 'potential' and someone to give it some TLC. This trunk was given to me a few months ago by a coworker. It wasn't super ugly but pretty blah looking - it needed a new look! Note: the belt is mine. I never wear it anymore so decided to upcycle it as part of the furniture update.

My plan was to turn the trunk into a toy chest using a fun colour plus the belt for the front pull and side handles.

The blue is pretty fun and bright. Once the paint dried, I added a coat of varathane then screwed the hinges back in.

I screwed in the new pull and side handles. I needed to drill bigger holes then cut pieces from the belt and used screws to add the pull and handles. Then I jazzed the finish with glow in the dark stars.

I left the inside. The trunk seems so magical!

Here's a close up of one of the side handles.

Here's the front pull...

I've left it in my parents' laundry room until I find a home for it. It was too light out to test the glow in the dark stars.

Here's my A Beautiful Mess how to collage...

Meanwhile I painted/sanded/stained other pieces like these drawer pulls. They were gold but are now a snazzy silver.


Made in Magazine Issue 4 is up!

Yay! Made in Magazine's fourth issue is live! Check it out at www.madeinmag.ca. There's loads of kewl people featured in the magazine, tutorials and more! Worth reading, maybe contributing or being featured. Why not!

Plus try my tutorial on page 132 - How to Upcycle Salvaged Wood and Old Drawer Pulls into a Swanky Organizer.

Always happy to be involved with Made in Magazine and making FAB things happen with the uber talented Cynthia Frenette.

Big love to Vancouver Foundation

I picked up my Neighbourhood Small Grant check this week. So grateful for Vancouver Foundation and their Neighbourhood Small Grants program. It's such a great idea to help build community and strengthen connections right where people live. If you have an idea - maybe a block party, a canning workshop, etc - be sure to apply next year!

Here I am with my grant check. Woohoo!

That means the check will cover the costs for 4 upcycling workshops. Super kewl!

Check my TBD website for upcoming workshops at www.thriftybydesign.ca. Hope to see you at one!


In my happy place & making stuff

Yes indeed - it's been a very crafty weekend. Yay! First was thrifting, then updating old t-shirts and today was all about painting, drilling, etc. Fun!

My place is filled with projects on the go. I'm feeling the crafty mojo to get things happening and done! Still working on wine cork buttons and salvaged wood organizers... Time to get them done and work on new, nifty projects.

I dragged a few things to my parents' carport this aft. Small, easy projects and bigger, out of control pieces. I bought this heart piece from the thrift store for $0.50. So cute! I ended up drilling a hole in the top and turning into a photo holder. Drilling 'stuff' is the best!

Here's my production line - a few organizers, some drawer pull updates and a box update. The box project has been in the works for AGES. I'm hoping to get it done next weekend.

I added primer to these boring wood drawer pulls. I'm going to paint on them tonight and make them pretty! I also fixed up my other salvaged wood organizer. I have a few on the go now that I'll keep for my Maker Faire workshop then get rid of them. Maybe sell them! Who knows.

Here's the box I'm working on... I'm turning into a toy chest. Once the paint job is complete, I'll then add DIY handles out of an old leather belt. I'd also like to jazz it up with glow in the dark stars. Would be such a cute piece for someone's child.

Otherwise I'm finding other potential projects like these vintage wood brackets. These would be super easy to refinish. I could use them for shelving. Who knows! I'll save these for later in the summer.

Here's a close up... I'd love to peel all the paint off and keep the whole 'beat up' look. A piece of salvaged wood along the top and they'd be gorgeous!

More salvaged wood and some big, ole nails.

I scored this swanky plate at the thrift store on Saturday. I adore this plate - the colours and design make me so happy. I had to buy it and add it to my 'wall of kewlness'.

I used some jewelry wire to create a hanger to thread through the hole in the back.

And done. You can't beat a 5 minute project! It fits right in with my whole eclectic thing going on.

And now to work on the wooden drawer pulls. Or maybe finish up the wine cork buttons. It's gonna be a nice, chill Monday evening.


Updating thrift store t-shirts in a jiffy

Today I had a craft date with Kat from Our Social Fabric. I met up with Kat a few weeks ago to talk about partnering up for upcycling workshops in the Our Social Fabric space. We brainstormed on some ideas and decided to start out with an easy peasy update to thrift store t-shirts.

We gathered materials - bleach, a spray bottle, doilies and a few thrift store t-shirts. Here's the beginnings of our initial attempt at updating a thrift store t-shirt. We used the doilies for blocking out a design on the t-shirt.

We then sprayed the t-shirt with bleach...

Here's the beginnings of the updated t-shirt...

We hung the t-shirt then let the bleach do its work!

We used doilies for a couple of the t-shirt updates. So darn easy!

We then played with other items like bike gears and a chain.

And leaves...

We had a blast cranking out the t-shirt updates!

Here are my favourites - one using a fern, one using the bike gears and chain then one using doilies. Gorgeous!

Kat and I are going to try out some more ideas then hope to have an upcycling workshop soon. Stay tuned for details!


New peeps - Strathcona BIA Resource Exchange

Checked out another very kewl local hot spot today - the Strathcona Business Improvement Association Resource Exchange. I found out about it through the Maker Social last weekend.

The Strathcona BIA operates the Resource Park, a site that allows the local community to reduce waste, share resources and create new opportunities in the neighbourhood.

The site houses eight sheds. Some of the sheds store donated materials from local businesses that are available for reuse. This one was filled with loads of fabric samples. Another had burlap, scrap wood and carpet. It's an upcycler's dream  hang out!

And how kewl is this - Green Graffiti. I am not a gardener but I couldn't help but admire their wall gardens!

Loved this top bar honeybee hive made by Homesteader's Emporium. It included a window so you could watch the bees get industrious.

They also house 27 raised planter beds. There are gardening workshops through local organizations that take place at the Resource Exchange.

Here's Johanna and Meg. Meg is the one who gave me the tour. She's Strathcona BIA's Sustainability Coordinator. I'm so glad someone hooked me up with this place. Free crafting/upcycling supplies rock! It's also amazing what can be done with a small space - donated business supplies for repurposing then there's the composting, recycling, gardening, bee keeping... And more.

Johanna and Meg gave me a bunch of very pretty flowers from the wall garden that smell so darn good.

And here's what I scored... Funky fabric samples. I want to use these for making stuffies, maybe some Xmas ornaments plus DIY hang tags for the wine cork buttons I'm making for Bird on a Wire - yup I'm selling some of my wares in a swanky store on Main Street. Will write more about that soon!

The Resource Exchange is a great spot for free crafty/upcycling supplies. Visit their website at www.strathconabia.com for more info.

New peeps - Vancouver Hack Space

Trying new things, meeting new peeps... That's the plan these days. So many nifty things happening in Vancouver and so many people doing pretty awesome stuff. How can you not feel inspired?

At the Maker Social last weekend, I met Steven whose a board member at Vancouver Hack Space. He invited me to the VHS Tuesday evening Open House. WOW! It's an insanely neato place.

The open house was pretty busy with all sorts of people - new members, old members, first timers, geeks, artists, crafters. Such a great mix of people and so much fun!

The space is filled with tons of tools and opportunities to make kewl 'stuff'. They have a 3D printer, laser cutter, sewing machines, computers, etc, etc, etc.

Loved the vending machine with pop, treats, t-shirts, cables and of course mini computers!

So glad I checked out the space! I ended up leaving overwhelmed by the possibility, inspired by meeting so many passionate makers and well maybe there's an opportunity for TBD to become a member and give an upcycling workshop sometime. Who knows! VHS is definitely worthy of checking out.


Weekend filled with crafty goodness

What a weekend it was! Now that spring has sprung there's tons of crafty, upcycling goodness happening! Flea markets, garage sales, craft fairs, etc. Busy busy! I jammed this past weekend with a bunch of nifty events.

First was the Squamish CAN Re-Use-It Fair on Saturday. The Re-Use-It Fair is a great idea - you can bring unwanted items, take other people's stuff away for free or both.

The fair takes place at the Brennan Park Recreation Centre. It's a huge space with plenty of room for everyone's 'junk'.

There's tons of clothes, books, home decor items...


And odd, kookie items like these bottle cozies... I think they're meant to look like poodles but I'm not sure!

After the fair, we hit downtown Squamish for the farmers' market plus a few pit stops in kewl stores. Found these gorgeous drawer pulls in Billies Flower House.

My friend thought I could make something like these. Maybe! I have some wooden round pulls that need some jazzing up. I think that'll be one of this upcoming weekend's projects!

In the evening I went to the Maker Social for Vancouver Mini Maker Faire. Since I've never been involved with Maker Faire I went to get the lay of the land. There were a few people with show and tell booths, a bit of socializing and then Lissa gave the rundown on logistics. Super stoked to be involved and giving a couple of upcycling workshops!

I also made a new friend - Steven from Vancouver Hack Space. I'm going to their open house tonight to get the scoop about VHS. It's a neato idea - VHS shares not only studio space but they also focus on sharing all sorts of knowledge within a friendly and collaborative atmosphere.

So Saturday was pretty awesome! On Sunday I went to Got Craft? to check in with a few of my crafty peeps like Brigitte from DIY or Die!!!. She had quite the booth set up with workshop promo, handmade pieces for sale and a felting class.

I ran into Rebekah and Norberto from The Hive Printing and made a few new friends plus I finally got to meet Jarin and Catherine from District Dog Designs in person. We've been cyber friends for awhile - sharing the Instagram/Facebook/Twitter love. Was so FAB to meet them. And I bought a super awesome print.

Here it is - great quote indeed... 'Why should happy be limited to an hour'.

And here's how the weekend ended... My new print in it's 'happy' home.

Hoping next weekend is just as fun and inspiring!