Saturday, February 7, 2015

80's Cupholder to Jewelry Tree - Upcycle Tutorial

This post is somewhat a continuation of my last post, as this was part of the same gift for my friend S.'s birthday.  I wanted to give her something useful and personalized. She is very organized and she has a lot of jewelry, so I decided that a jewelry tree would be a good idea for her birthday 'set'. Here is how I did it. I went to ARC and got a very inexpesive 1980's cup stand. I am not going to sugar coat it; it was all FILTHY. There was a gross patina of dirt and caked-up oil all over it. So I scrubbed A LOT. But I think it was all worth it in the end! A bit of elbow grease and anything can be given a second life. 

After the intense scrub session, I waited for the tree to FULLY dry, before I sanded it down lightly. This is what it looked like after I sanding.

I then wiped it down with a damp cloth, to remove all dust, and took it outside for priming. 
I used my favorite primer, in spray form.

Photo courtesy of
I started by holding it upside down to get the underside primed first...

...then I flipped it right side up to spray it from above/sides. I sprayed light/even coats and let them dry as much as possible in between coats.

I let the primer cure for 24 hrs before I begun spray painting it. I wrangled a bit with the color choice. I wanted something modern yet classic. Something Fresh yet timeless. Something that S. would enjoy, something that was not overpowering. So in the end, I went with my favorite Krylon spray paint in JADE satin shade. I think that was a good choice. I find this hue very pretty and glamorous.

This is where something went wrong. I believe it may have been the temperature. 
It was pretty cold outside when I painted so, as a result, I got some paint bubbling. :((

I also got some paint drips. UGHHGHGHHGHHH. I hate when things don't go my way! 

All I could do at this point was sanding it down, and starting all over again. I guess the look was interesting, and I could have just distressed it more and left it like this, but I wanted a more crisp and polished look for S. she is always so put together that distressed really does not seem to fit her.  

...So back out it went, for a second coat of primer on all the spots where the dark wood was peeking through. Again I started from the under side first, and then I proceeded with the rest of the tree.

Again, I let the primer dry for 24 hrs and then I tried my second attempt at painting.
Gotta get it perfect! ;-)

I waited a full 48 hours for the paint to cure and then the tree was ready to use. 

It could still be used as a cup holder, if needed to, so I think that's a bonus!

I put the tree, the scrub and the shower tarts on a tray (that I also got at ARC Thrift Store) that I envisioned her putting on her bathroom counter. She seemed to like it.  

I wish I could have packaged the whole set with some clear gift wrap paper, it would have been so cute with a nice ribbon tied at the top. But we met at a restaurant, for the party, and it was unpractical to transport it as this. I would have been fighting with sliding glass containers on a metal tray. UGH. So in the end I wrapped all pieces in tissue paper, and stuffed it in a giant Sponge Bob gift bag. Yes. I know. Bob the sponge, how classy. But did I mention there is NO selection for large gift bags? :( 

Oh well. It's the thought that counts. Right? ^__^

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, that is a cute idea! and I love that aluminum tray. would you believe we made those in Bible school when I was a pre-teen and I am now 67? They were flat pieces of aluminum and we etched pictures on them and then took a wooden piece like a hammer handle that had slots cut in it the thickness of the metal and then made the fluted edges. I have no idea where mine is now though. :(