arcs and Crafts

by Julie White

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I’m so excited for fall that I’ve started noticing autumn-related things more and more. Recently I saw some leaf-shaped wooden bowls at an Arc Thrift Store and decided they’d be perfect for some crafting with friends. The smaller leaf bowls each cost $0.99 or $1.99 and the largest was only $3.99. I purchased some other wooden bowls and receptacles so that everyone had choices in what they were making.

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I have tons of acrylic paints that I’d like to use up and decided that this would be a great project to use them on. I wiped down each wood piece to get off any dust and then everyone picked the one they were interested in painting.

We all started by taping off different sections of our bowls or trays in order to create color-blocking sections for the paints. Some of us created tons of tape divided sections while others chose to only make a couple, keeping in mind that anywhere we had tape would be bare wood when we pulled it off.

Once we had things sectioned off we picked our colors and started painting. We tried to pick complimentary colors both to each other and to the wood itself.

After painting we slowly removed the tape while the paint was still wet in order to avoid dried bits on the edges from falling into wet spots and messing up the designs.

If we wanted to add more color blocks we waited until the sections dried and then taped off another section before painting a different color.

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I sprayed each item with a glossy sealant once they were dry in order to protect the designs from chipping. The dishes are not food safe but they will definitely end up holding keys, chapsticks, mail, etc.

This was a very simple craft that had beautiful results.

arcs and Crafts

By Julie White

I’ve seen examples online of people using wire inside of empty frames in order to hang pictures, so when I found a piece of chicken wire in my driveway (thanks to the construction site next door) I decided I’d try making one of my own. I bought a framed painting at arc for only $2.99 and emptied it so I was left with just the frame.Picture1

I wanted to leave the frame as-is so I decided to spray-paint the chicken wire to add some color.

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I laid out the wire over the frame so that I knew what size I needed in order for it to fit inside.

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Using a wire cutter I cut it down to the right dimensions

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and fit the wire, wrong side up, into the back of the frame.

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Once I had the chicken wire in the correct spot I stapled around the edges of the back side to secure it to the frame.

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I also lightly stapled in one staple higher up on the back that I could use to hang the frame from a nail on a wall.

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Right side up, it looks great with the turquoise wire inside!

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I hung pictures on it with tiny clothespins

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and also used it to hang up some vintage fishing lures.

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I really like how it turned out, though I wish I’d used a larger frame so I had space to hang more pictures. The fact that it only cost me $2.99, thanks to arc, was a pretty sweet deal.

I was framed at arc!



Just kidding I wasn’t “framed”, but I do buy all of my frames at arc Thrift Stores. arc Stores always have TONS of picture frames.

Every store location that I’ve ever been in (and that’s a lot of them), has shelves upon shelves of frames. There are giant wall frames and teeny, tabletop photo frames. Some come with art inside them and others are empty.

As a thrifter, I never buy frames new when I have such a wide variety of affordable options to choose from at arc. However, if frames aren’t your thing and you’re looking for more creative ways to hang your photos or artwork, arc can help with that, too.

I used this wooden hanger from an arc thrift store ($1.99 for 3) to hang a piece of vintage dictionary art.

I’ve also used clipboards to hang photos and art, as well. arc Thrift offers tons of frame and frame-alternative options for however creative you want to be in your home.

 

arcs and Crafts: Tiered Tin Organizer

By Julie White

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I find vintage tins at arc thrift stores all the time, and I buy them…all the time. They’re typically $.99 to $1.99 depending on the size and I use them to store everything from safety pins to spices. I have a lot of art supplies that I wanted to organize and figured that using these beautiful tins would be a great way to do it.

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I used one large tin, one that was slightly smaller and then a tiny one for the top.

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In order to make the tins tiered and to increase my storage capacity, I bought two brass candlesticks from arc at $.99 and $1.99. One was heavy, so I used that for the bottom tier to help make it steady and the other lighter one I used for the second tier.

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Then I used special metal-on-metal glue to make sure the candlesticks and the tiers were going to hold together. (This glue was intense-I definitely needed ventilation, just fyi if you use it.)

I didn’t worry too much about being neat and clean when I was gluing on the bottom of the tins, I was more concerned about everything being glued securely. I tried to be neater when I glued to the inside of the tins but kept in mind that even these spots would be covered by the materials inside.

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I started by gluing the heavy candlestick inside the largest/bottom tin, and then lighter candlestick onto the bottom of the smallest/lighter candlestick. Once these sat for 24 hours I glued in the middle tin/tier and let that sit for a whole day as well.

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Looking at the final product I wish I had used a slightly smaller tin for the medium tier. However, I love how much stuff I can store inside! I got so many art supplies (many from arc, including all of my sharpies!) into one organized spot. Overall, this was a quick and easy organization project that cost approximately $7 before tax at arc. You can’t beat that.

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Unique Wall Art at arc Thrift

By Julie White

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One of my favorite things about shopping at arc thrift is the individuality of each item I buy. The art that I buy for my walls doesn’t look like anything in anyone else’s house, which means my home itself is truly unique. Recently, I wanted to try individualizing my purchases even further with hand-lettering.

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In the past, I’ve used vintage dictionary pages to make unique art pieces. This time I wanted to play with a funky deer picture I found that’s mounted and sealed onto a wood backing.

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There are fancy hand-lettering pens and markers out there, but I used a basic sharpie that I knew would be permanent on top of the photo.

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I started by writing my text with just simple, single lines.

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I’m new to hand-lettering so I found the most basic technique to use, which is creating a thicker line on just the down strokes. Every piece of the letter in which my hand made a downward motion I went back over and thickened.

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There are tons of different hand-lettering techniques and styles but this one was simple for my first attempts.

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This was a fun photo to mess around with and I’ll definitely be trying different styles of hand-lettering in the future. I love anything that makes my home décor as unique as I am.  Shopping at arc guarantees individuality in art, clothing and even furniture. Who would want their house to look like everyone else’s?!

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arcs and Crafts: Suitcase Side Table

by Julie White

I have wanted to try this project for a long time, but up until recently, I hadn’t found the perfect vintage suitcase. I wanted one that was perfectly flat on top and big enough to be a functional side table. The other day at an arc thrift store I found this guy for only $7.50 (half off from $14.99):

He was a little bit banged up, but I liked the weathered look that it had. The interior was also in great condition:

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In order to fit with the vintage look of the suitcase, I chose to use tapered midcentury-type legs. I bought some unfinished ones with metal mounts from a hardware store, but in retrospect, I should have scavenged some from a table or furniture at arc:

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I had some furniture stain left from another project and started by rubbing it onto each leg and letting them sit overnight. (If I had used ones from a piece of arc furniture I could have skipped this step; 20/20 hindsight!)

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The stain wasn’t super dark but definitely made the legs look more “finished”.

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After the stain was set I began planning exactly where I wanted to attach the leg mounts on the suitcase. The mounts were angled in order to get that midcentury look.

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I used a piece of cardboard and made a template so that the mounts were equidistant for each of the 4 legs. I have learned my lesson from past projects where I have not been precise in my measuring 🙂

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Using the template, I marked where the holes for the mounts would be in each corner so that I could screw in all of the mounts at the rights spots.

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After that it was just a matter of attaching all four of them to the bottom of the suitcase:

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I screwed all of the legs into their respective corners and ended up with this as my final product:

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I love how it turned out! The suitcase from arc thrift looks so good on top. If I were to do it again with a different suitcase (and to be honest I’m sure I will because I see great, vintage ones at arc all the time), I might put a thin piece of wood inside the suitcase to add a little bit more stability. Overall, though, I think it will look great in my home.

arcs and Crafts: Attempting to Upholster

By Julie White

I found a stool a while back at an arc thrift store and really liked the shape of it but hated the fake leather covering. It was only $4.99 so I bought it with the intent of trying to recover it in a better fabric. That was quite a while ago… I’ve been dragging my feet because I don’t have any experience with reupholstery and wasn’t sure if it was a project I could pull off. But I was surprised at how easy it ended up being.

Here is the stool as purchased:

 

You can see how the top is sunken in, but it’s got a great octagon shape and the midcentury tapered legs that I search for. I then started my hunt for fabric at arc. Fabrics are usually hung by the sheets and linens at arc thrift stores and there’s always a wide selection. I found some really neat prints that I liked, but I needed a thick and sturdy fabric since it was a piece of furniture.

I ended up buying this beautiful rose-colored velvet, which was priced at $4.99 but the tag was 50% off that week:

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I’ve never reupholstered anything but I figured that with my trusty staple gun I would figure it out. The first step was to unfold and lay out the fabric. Then I turned the stool upset down and cut a wide margin around the edge of it.

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The second step was to pull the fabric tight and staple just one staple on all but one of the flat sides. I wanted to leave one area open so that I could add stuffing to help with the sunken top. Looking back, I wish I’d left two sides open instead of one because it would have been easier to get the stuffing inside.

I had a bag of pillow stuffing left from another project so that’s what I used to make the stool more rounded on top. I began stuffing. And stuffing. And stuffing. It took a surprisingly large amount to get it full. After I was satisfied with the look of the top, I pulled it tight and stapled the final side down.

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The next step was stapling. And stapling. And stapling. I was not sure how much stapling was necessary but I figured more would be better. The mini staple gun that I used was actually purchased at arc thrift a few years ago for only a few dollars. I’ve used it for a lot of different projects.

The trickiest part of this was figuring out what to do with all eight of the corners. I’ve seen stools that bunch the fabric over corners but I have also seen ones with precise folds. I went for the folds. As I approached each corner in my stapling, I stopped about an inch before the corner and tucked the stapled side into the un-stapled side. Then I folded the whole thing over and pulled it taut before stapling.

I continued this way until I had folded and stapled all of the sides and corners. After that, it was just a matter of trimming the extra fabric off from underneath. For $7.50 at arc I’m pretty thrilled with how it turned out:

I’m going to do a little refreshing on the legs and run a quick iron over the top of it, and then I think it’ll look perfect in my living room. This was slightly more involved than other projects I have done with arc thrift supplies but it was worth it.

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