Holly’s Trash to Treasure Project

by Holly LL on May 31, 2011

I did not technically go dumpster diving…I found this beauty hanging out by an ugly upholstered chair by the ginormous recycling bin. I rarely find these treasures (and am so jealous of those who do!). So I took this wood frame thingy to its new “home.” I have seen things like this that are picture frames (although none of the openings were of a normal photo size) or coat hangers or just decorative. It looks like there may have been a small shelf at some point as well. Who knows!?
I thought I knew exactly what I was going to do with it, but things changed and evolved as I went along. While I typically like to show things others can replicate, you may or may not be able to replicate this exactly, but consider this as inspiration. You can create something pretty out of someone else’s trash!
I considered this a MacGyver DIY. I just kept pulling stuff out gluing things together and cutting things up until I got what I wanted. Best yet this project cost ZERO DOLLARS (perhaps because I am a craft hoarder)!
I do think you could create a similar item with chunky picture frames and a 1″ x 4″ piece of wood (I am working on a version for my son’s room).

Missing from this photo are Gorilla Glue, Krylon Dover White, and DecoArt Asphaltum and Staining/Antiquing Medium.
Like I said this project evolved. There are photos below of these items.
  • Milk Paint, Lamp Black from Rockler
  • Purdy Paint Brush
  • Krylon Looking Glass
  • Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Spray Paint, Dover White (or accent color of choice)
  • Krylon Super Quick Spray Adhesive
  • Design Divas Vinyl “Home Sweet Home” #1502
  • Gorilla Wood Glue
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Sanding Bug Rockler
  • Dremel Multi-Max
  • DecoArt Staining and Antiquing Medium
  • DecoArt Acrylic Paint, Asphaltum
  • Deft Wood Finishing Spray in Semi-Gloss, Rockler
  • Foam Brush
  • Rags
  • Cork Tiles (from craft store)
  • Glass square (from old picture frame)
  • Knobs, hooks, etc. (I got mine at a craft store on clearance for 99cents each…I did not know what I was going to use them on but 99cents spoke to me!)
  • Wood Putty
  • Protective covering for work surface
    1. My frame thingy was beat up and had holes, probably from where hooks had been. I first glued it all back together with Gorilla Glue and filled in the holes with Wood Putty.
    2. Once dry, I used my Dremel to sand it all down. Then wiped it clean.
    3. I gave the entire frame 2 coats of Krylon Spray Paint in Dover White. I wanted some white to show through for interest when I sanded it. You could use any color…or skip this step.
    4. Using my Purdy paintbrush (I have had this one for awhile and it has been tried and true DIY pal!) painted the entire frame in Lamp Black Milk Paint. Let dry.
    This is a well loved Purdy Brush!
    5. Using a combo of the Dremel and Sanding Bug I distressed the frame, some of the white showed through (but not as much as I wanted)
    6. Wipe the frame clean again.
    7. Mix the Staining and Antiquing Medium and Asphaltum in equal parts, wipe on frame, all over, and then wipe off. It provides a subtle stain to the frame. I like it!
    8. Once dry, spray all over with the Deft Wood Finish Spray.
    9. Once dry, I marked my holes for my knobs (mark the center first and then halfway between the center and side on either side). Drill holes and screw in knobs from behind.
    At this point I was still figuring out what to do…
    Take 1: I tried some photos…eeee…not quite right
    Take 2: I tried all cork…eeeee…too blah!
    10. THEN I got out some glass I had left from a broken picture frame.
    11. I cleaned it thoroughly and then sprayed the BACK side with Krylon’s Looking Glass. I did about 4-5 coats, letting it dry for about 1 minute between applications. (don’t be scared when you use this…it looks like it going to puddle and then it “evaporates” and it is beautiful.)
    12. I decided to keep the cork, but wanted a nice look on the back of the frame, so I traced the cork onto black poster board and cut out the shapes to fit, so that the entire back would be black.
    13. Spray the poster board with Krylon Spray Adhesive and place on back of the cork. I did the same thing to the glass panel.
    14. Once the poster board was affixed, I applied my “Home Sweet Home” vinyl to the front of the glass. I cleaned the glass and then used rubbing alcohol to really clean it. My vinyl had a border that was just not working with the size of opening I had on the frame, so I simply applied the words only (I drew a center line horizontally and vertically on the vinyl and using a sharpie did the same on the glass; peeled off the backing; lined up the lines; affixed the vinyl; rubbed with a credit card; removed the top paper)
    15. I glued in the cork using gorilla Glue and them did the same to the glass. (Somehow my glass was a smidge too wide for the opening – UGH!. Surprisingly I do not have a glass cutting instrument , so I created a recessed frame using some dowels, just simply cut to size and glued into the opening to accommodate the glass. Told you I was MacGyver like on this one!)
    I think it turned out pretty good for a trash to treasure.
    It took some time to get the right look – a look I was pleased with,
    but finally I just went with it.
    Anyone have a good trash to treasure find and makeover?

    504 Main

    { 3 comments… read them below or add one }

    Cheri May 31, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    That came out gorgeous Holly.


    Kelly May 31, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    That looks great… I have been so bust this month, have several “to-do”s but nothing

    Jen May 31, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Love it, Holly!

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