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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

10 Ideas for the DIY Vintage Wedding

Welcome to the backyard wedding
June is the month for weddings and here at RetroBabs we thought you might like to see how we used our vintage items and ideas to make Becky's fabulous wedding.
Bec and Camm
1. Use old picture frames hanging from ribbon to make a portrait for photos.  Guests will have a fun time framing themselves. It is a good idea to provide a backdrop for group photos.

Gingham themed backdrop is a flannel blanket!
 
2.  Make a Chupa' (tent/awning) out of old tent poles, trampoline parts, fabric etc.  Make the perfect spot to be married. Say your vows, a kiss for luck, create a focal point.
PVC poles and trampoline arch add structure to the yard.    


3.  Make flags and bunting to enhance the venue.  Use fabric sewn to string, old doilies, old handkerchiefs etc.

4.  Make lighting for the evening hours, use mason jars with candles inside, fish bowls dangle from wires for a chandelier etc.

5.  Use vintage items as props, old bicycles, weather vanes, milk cans etc.
Vintage bike photo op.

6.  Make a destination sign to include all your guests.  They travelled far to see you so include them in the festivities.  Old fencing or barn wood make great planks of wood, easy to paint, be sure to include north, south, east or west and the mileage!

7.  Table settings set the mood so make sure you have a theme.  Bec went with the gingham fabric for her "real simple" wedding.  She hand sewed quilted table runners as well as 600 feet of gingham bunting!  All the vintage plates were garden themed with flowers or plant motifs- not one matched the other. The linen napkins were all different colors and found at resale shops.  Bec washed and ironed each one before tying with twine.
Mason jars make excellent drinking glasses and beer steins!


8. If candles don't give enough light for the evening hours use clear X-mas lights, Edison bulbs, lanterns, whatever it takes to create that ambiance you want.

9.  Tents and awnings protect your guests from the sun but don't forget about the mosquito netting to protect them at night!

10.  Flowers can be bought in bulk and fashioned into a simple bouquet tied with ribbon.  Gerber daisies are hardy and drought resistant.

It is also helpful to have a big group of family and friends that help set up! Thanks to all (you know who you are) for making a wonderful dream come true.

These were just a few of the ideas we incorporated into Bec and Camm's wedding.  We hope it gives you brides out there ideas and tips. Enjoy!
Blessings to you from Babs and Bec.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Printer drawers to curio table

My husband and I go to estate sales and flea markets, resale shops and garage sales.  We tend to pick up the old, discarded printer drawers.  The ones we gravitate towards are usually in some back corner, covered in dust!
The drawers were used by printers to hold the alphabet print blocks for newspapers in days gone by. The printer would have a bureau or dresser full of these drawers and they would slide out.  He would have his pick the the blocks.
Printer drawer


The drawers have lots of little dividers that are perfect spot for little figurines,coins, thimbles, collectibles, treasures etc.
Add legs and you can make a funky, retro, coffee table
So the hubby and I made one of these  drawers into a coffee table.  We had the legs and frame of an old mid-century modern table laying in the garage.   My husband,Len, mounted the printer drawer by making a frame for on top of the legs.   I found a piece of glass that would cover said drawer.  Now it is a coffee table perfect to show off any collection you desire.

This is a good view of the glass inside the frame


Sometimes we decide to paint these drawers and turn them into curio cabinets.  Here is one we painted in the Mondrian style.  You know the famous artist that painted block style with vivid colors and black lines outlining the colors. His art was very popular in the 1960's.
Black paint and vivid primary colors


Groovy baby
Now here is a small drawer I took and added in all my mini elephant collection.  I used a piece of Plexi-glass and mounted it by putting four corner brackets to hold the glass. This worked well as the elephants tend to want to fall out. Plexi-glass is lighter than regular glass so the brackets hold it nicely.

Sorry it is a little blurry! But you can see the corner brackets in gold.

Elephant collection, all miniature, fit the printer drawer sections very well

I hope you enjoyed our latest project, our REMIX.  I am trying to find new use for things I love.  Printer drawers are a SCORE anytime we find them!
Blessings Babs

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chair Projects

I like to reupholster single chairs if they have interesting backs. I think the back adds to the design. If you pick the right fabric it can enhance the over all look.  Here is an example of picking the fabric for the style of chair.
Vintage bark cloth fabric with hunting motif
 I think this chair being walnut and from the 40's would look silly covered in modern fabric, it just wouldn't fit the era of the chair. The dark colors and vivid green compliment the herringbone, wood diagonals on the back.

I have another example to show you. This chair was a score, found in the garbage and is probably from the 1950's.  It has the same style as- Navy chairs (ladder back, sturdy aluminum). 
The fabric I picked was actually from an old apron. I notice it has Miller High Life beer on it. I guess that was the beer of choice in the 50's.
 I choose this fabric because of the fifty's vibe, a picnic scene.
When is the last time you saw ties being worn at a picnic?

Sturdy ladder back chair

Note the piping around the edge

I don't know if you can tell from the photo but I saved the original vinyl piping and reused it.  I think it was needed to make the look sleek and look like professional quality reupholstering.  If I do say so myself!!

There is something about blond wood furniture that screams FIFTY'S.

Catch you again in a few and I'll show you my next project. Blessings Babs

Friday, April 4, 2014

Summertime art and vintage shows

Vintage manual typewriters mixed with old cameras
The summer is on the way and soon we will be in the Art, Craft, Vintage show circuit.  My favorite one is Vintage Bazaar in Chicago.  They have a great Pop Up Market.
The outdoor market is a different feel, folks hawk their wares under the sun, people walk by, browse and chat. Hopefully BUY- but it is a cool experience just to be part of it. We meet so many interesting people. The true lovers of mid-century modern.

Besides the vintage which I try to incorporate my art, my pottery and watercolors into the display, they seem to draw interest.
My vintage suitcase displaying my paintings. A vintage dress form displays my pottery jewelry. It is fun to mix the two (art and vintage).


By the end of the day the items become a bit Hodge Podge from folks picking them up and moving them around. It is a very flea market feel.



So look for me sitting there in the hot sun, hopefully with a smile on my face.
I will post which upcoming shows we will be attending this summer.
I'm the sweaty one with the sunglasses-and yes I am still smiling!!!  Thanks to my BFF, Pam for hanging in there with me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Fever- garden window project and house plants in vintage pottery

Vintage Haeger pottery and little pot from Joanna Drost pottery

Hill-Rom desk, Lurelle Guild chair, Royal Aristocrat typewriter

Succulents in rock garden
I have been having spring fever and the itch to plant and get things growing. I started the plants out in the greenhouse today.  I am getting ready to garden.

 This is a favorite project of mine- a garden window.  I asked the hubby if he had a decent piece of glass for a shelf.  He asked "Why, what for......?"

Vintage donkey planter circa 1940's
Vintage Mc Coy pottery

Floating garden shelf of glass
He is always leery of my projects.  I said I wanted a shelf of glass over my kitchen sink.  I wanted him to attach it to the two cabinets that flanked the sink. He rolled his eyes and informed me that it must be TEMPERED glass to hold the weight.  Details, details......... I just wanted a simple shelf.

I think it turned out pretty well, if seems to float in space.  It's a great place for my orchids.  Now if they would just start blooming!!!!
How do you like my vintage pottery and little donkey? Isn't he cute?
I like to mix my plants in with my mid-century items about the house.  My favorite pottery is Haeger, Dryden, Hull, Mc Coy and Pigeon Forge.  The Haeger pots seem the most suited to rock gardens and succulents.
Haeger pottery and Danish modern dish
Hope you are starting to grow things too. Whether it is a house plant or a garden- Live green and reduce your carbon footprint.
Blessings Babs

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Before and After- Refurbished vintage dressers, very minty

A neighbor gave me a vintage bedroom set, it included everything but the headboard.  I received 2 small dressers that fit together to form one long, ladies bureau/credenza and a mirror that fits between them.  One high boy dresser for a man/boy. 
These were probably a set made from mahogany wood, circa 1940's or 1950's.  You know the type your mother or grandmother had for their entire married life!
 Well with the help of my husband we were able to transform these three lovely dressers into refurbished things of beauty.

Lets look at the BEFORE pics.

They were in nice shape just needed a bit of glue on a veneer piece.  These pieces are so sturdy and have a lovely curved front which I am not sure translates in these photos.
Now for the big reveal. The AFTER photos.  I suggested to my husband he make them ombre'- you know that gradual color change.  We picked a nice minty green, teal, aqua type color.  He got a little creative with this suggestion but I think it still looks good.

I am sure the drawers could be configured in another arrangement if one wished to do so.
Don't you think they will be perfect for a girls room? or a teenager with funky, eclectic taste??
Here is what the mirror transformed into.
I'm sure you are thinking that we have a lot of junk in our basement!
I agree, but that is the reality of doing a project in winter, in CHICAGO.  You work in your basement because your garage is TOO COLD.

Because my hubby worked so hard on them I wanted him to describe the process he used to restore them.

(This is a freshly refinished set of 3 vintage dressers and a large mirror. The original set is from the 40's or early 50's and the quality is good and solid. (It was dark mahogany before) It could probably store the clothes for 3 children.
Each piece was primed and finish coated twice with quality Pittsburgh paint. There is a finish coat of wax as a final protection and seal.
The drawers work well and there are plenty of them. The large dresser has 7. This piece is 53 3/4" tall, 37" wide and 20"deep. The front is curved, adding extra interest and appeal.
The 2 smaller dressers also have curved fronts matching the large piece. They are both 34 1/4" high, 30" wide, and 19" deep and have 4 drawers.
The hardware is original and painted in a vintage looking silver.
The mirror is large at 48" wide and 32"high.
Each dresser is painted in a four color scheme that is esthetic and easy on the eyes. Some of the drawers can be switched around to change up the scheme. I noticed the four colors don't show well in my photos. Much more distinctive in person and better light. (Pictures taken in my basement at night)

Based on the age and how they turned out, I'd rate the dressers a 95 out of 100. The mirror about 80 because the silvering has some streaks. No cracks or breakage.)


Please feel free to comment and tell us what you think of our project.  I would especially like to hear from you Pinterest folks because I am obessed with that site and I am constantly coming up with ideas.  I think my husband is contemplating divorce!

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