365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time


Day 60/365: How to Upcycle an Old Bureau into a Shabby Chic Beach Cottage Credenza


As you know, on Valentine’s Day I found this little gem and rescued it from the trash.  I gave it a makeover and shared a sneak peek.  I promised a big reveal in two weeks, so today I give you the full deets!  (Click on each photo to enlarge.)

The poor little bureau only had two working drawers, and they were missing their knobs:


Narrowly missed being sent to the landfill!

I bought some aqua paint (Clark + Kensington Good Life) and four faceted glass knobs, and then I got to work.


Paint ($10, but free to me because Sean paid) + glass knobs (4 x $6 each) = A damn good deal for the final product, if you ask me.

I put wood putty over the extra holes in the front of each drawer, and then I painted them.


Sean built a shelf into the empty space where the missing drawer would have gone.  He also drilled a couple of new holes into the top drawer for me.


Empty, hollow, and a little sad.


Getting measured for a new shelf…


… and waiting to dry.

I was hoping for a nice sunny day today where we could carry the bureau out to the backyard for a pretty photo shoot.  Of course it was overcast all day and rained instead.

At about 5 PM, I’d had enough waiting and decided to take photos on the front porch, clouds and rain be damned.  It did sprinkle a little, but I think the bureau did a nice job posing for the grand reveal.

And here it is, in all its upcycled glory:









I think it would make a great credenza for the TV, DVD player, and DVDs.  It would also look great in my craft room where I store my yarn and fabrics.  Either way, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.  It’s got me thinking of doing a lot more trash picking and upcycling.  Stay tuned!



Day 45/365: Happy Valentine’s Day to Me

Sean and I were taking a shortcut to the Embarcadero by way of a side street off Main.  We were passing a parking lot of a commercial building when I noticed some furniture that had been put out near the dumpster.

“Hang on,” I said to Sean and ran across the parking lot to check out the furniture—or more specifically, a bureau that caught my eye.  It had exactly the kind of curves that I like.  At the same time, the front panel of the bottom drawer was missing, along with every single drawer knob.  Still, it had potential.  I could remove the broken bottom drawer and rearrange the remaining two drawers so that the top section could be an open shelf.

I ran back to where Sean was waiting on the sidewalk.  “Can we go home and get the car and come back and take that dresser home?”

“What do you want that old dresser for?” Sean asked.  “It’s all jacked up.”

“Please,” I said.  “Humor me.”

So Sean, being The Most Patient and Best Husband in The World, went along with my plan and we walked back up the hill to our house.  Then we got in The Rental and drove a half mile back to the dumpster in the parking lot, only to discover (when I went to lift one side) that the bureau was coated in grime and filth, and there was no way that The Most Patient and Best Husband in The World was going to agree to slide that dirty old bureau onto the clean carpeted trunk of his car.

So we got back in The Rental and drove the half mile back up the hill to our house, where I ran into the garage and grabbed a bunch of rags and an old bedsheet, and then we drove back down the hill to the commercial building’s parking lot, and this time we successfully loaded the bureau into the back of the car.

The Most Patient and Best Husband in The World drove us back home and unloaded the bureau into the garage.

“This is your project,” he said.  “It’s all you.”

“Okay,” I said, already thinking about my paint color choices and whether I should go for Shabby Chic off-white or Beach Cottage aqua/turquoise.  I also thought it best not to say any more, because I was still going to need his help to get the job done.  Someone’s going to have to build a shelf in that space where the missing drawer should be.


Click on the image to get a better look!