Thursday, May 2, 2013

Let's Get Crafting: A Wicker Shelf Makeover

Back in April, I was fortunate to attend the Bagels and Bargains event at Impact Thrift. I won a $25 gift certificate and brought home this cream-colored wicker shelf, among other vintage goodies....for free!

Freshly inspired by the event hostess, Denise Sabia of The Painted Home blog, I embarked on my very first DIY craft makeover.

So how did I transform this very basic, bland shelf into a display piece and functional homage to foreign travel?

First, I hit the Home Depot for the supplies...a plastic tarp to protect my lawn, an all-purpose indoor/outdoor primer and a can of the brightest, boldest pop of color I could think of. For this project, I went with Rust-oleum Deep Blue in a gloss finish.

It wasn't long before I learned that the elements were not my friends. Come rainclouds, wind and high pollen...nothing wanted to cooperate on a schedule that worked for me. But finally, after finding the ideal time for priming and two coats of spray paint, I was ready to take my wicker shelf to the next level.

And the next level involved recycled maps, Mod Podge, ribbon and more than a bit of patience. 

My main takeaway in making a decoupage from my beloved maps of Japan is this: The thinner the paper, the least amount of Mod Podge needed. I  just went Mod Podge mad, slapping that  wacky adhesive all over the place. This made it  quite difficult to get the creases and wrinkles rolled flat. 

So, if you're a first-time decoupage DIY-er like I was, go light on the Mod Podge. Let it dry between layers and just roll on. 

Literally, roll on. You should have seen how messy my first attempt was prior to busting out the sponge roller.  But with the time and the patience, I made it work. 

I even made the bold decision to add some sparkle to the top of the piece, after  decoupaging two heart-shaped maps of the Tokyo metro line. I sealed the secondhand deal with Mod Podge High Gloss Acrylic spray, and stopped to admire the finished product. 

It didn't take long for me to realize that the entire project, step-by-step, was a true learning process. Mistakes were made, ones that I made a mental note not to repeat in the future if I can help it. Case in point, the Mod Podge mess.  But don't let me dissuade you from venturing on your own thrift DIY makeover. Plan out a project. Gather the supplies and get to it! It really can be a fun process once you get your hands dirty with all the paper scraps, glue and glitter. 

In the end I really love how this project came together. It's bright, colorful and it reminds me of a time when I felt most adventurous in my life. 

It's not perfect. But, hey. It's me. 

Tools Used:
Rust-oleaum Primer
Rust-oleum Gloss Spray Paint in Deep Blue
Sponge Applicators and brushes
Fabric scissors
Exacto Knife
Sparkle Mod Podge
Mod Podge Gloss
Mod Podge High Gloss Acrylic Sealer
Mod Podge heart stencil
5/8" black ribbon with white trim
Recycled maps of Japan
And of course...
**Safety goggles, gloves and ventilated face mask for painting**

What craft project are you planning? 


Vanessa said...

I love that you used maps from Japan. I have bits of pieces from Japan to incorporate into DIY projects, too :)

Unknown said...

I think you did an amazing job! As long as it feels like truely yours, it's perfect ;)

Jackie Jardine said...

I wasn't sure right away that I was going to use maps. I knew I wanted to put some kind of Japanese flare on there. When the paint dried, it hit me. My maps of Japan! So glad I still kept them tucked away in a photo album. It's awesome that we both love Japan. Nerd power!

<3 Jackie

Jackie Jardine said...

Thanks, Carol! I made a few mistakes here and there. But it was a fun process that ended up looking pretty darn good. And you have a good point on it being really "mine." I like that.

Are you working on any crafting ideas?

<3 Jackie

Melissa said...

It looks great! My first Modge Podge project involved maps as well. I found that it's a pain in the rear, but it turns out really really cool looking. I just decided to do it like I would with paint. Multiple thin coats and ample drying time in between. It's tedious, but totally works.

Jackie Jardine said...

Thanks a bunch, Melissa! Despite all the wrinkling I had to roll-out, I like how it turned out. I love working with maps. The lines and colors work well with pretty much every project, it seems.

And you're right on with the thin layers. That I had to learn the hard way, ha ha!

<3 Jackie