Monday, February 8, 2016

The Upcycled Armoire

It's been a while since I did an upcycled furniture blog post, so I thought it would be fun to start the week by taking a look at old armoires. I am always impressed by the ways that creative folks repurpose old salvaged pieces of furniture. I soon found that old armoires are no exception! 

First of all, what is an armoire? A traditional armoire is an old movable cabinet that was commonly used for storage or as a pantry to store household things such as dishes.

If an armoire had a rod installed inside of it, it was used as a closet to store clothes. Those are commonly known as wardrobes. Now that makes sense! When I bought my first home, it was an estate, so it came loaded with old dusty furniture. What did I find in the basement that I instantly fell in love with? An antique armoire. I soon found out why the previous owner had the armoire. There was no closet in the master bedroom! Haha! 

Now, what do you do with an old armoire? The obvious answer is that they are great for storage. Armoires are perfect for hiding blankets and out of season and surplus linens. Do you happen to have a huge bathroom? If you do, add an old armoire to store towels and toiletries. I have two kids and we love to play games, so my armoire was quickly repurposed into a game closet! 

Here are some other ways that you can use an old armoire or wardrobe:

  • Turn it into a mini bar.
  • Use to store books or games.
  • Use it as a craft cabinet to hold craft supplies. 
  • Paint it crazy colors and turn it into a piece of art furniture.
  • Use it to store your old vinyl record collection.
  • Update it with wallpaper or stencils.
  • If it has screened doors, use it to display collections or showcase your favorite things. 
  • Idea: Create your own screened doors with chicken wire.

Check out these upcycled and repurposed armoires and be inspired! 
Old armoire now serves as bath linen closet

Bird aviary from old armoire by Empressofcreativity

Old armoire turned craft closet by Diane at In My Own Style

Updated armoire with wallpaper (above) and paint, or stencils (below) from BHG

Armoire bar from House Beautiful 

Homemade bar from The Cow Spot

Art painted Lucas Rise armoires

I hope you enjoyed this peek at old armoires and hopefully it has inspired you to think about how you would upcycle one for your own home. What would you use an old armoire for? I'd love to hear from you so please leave your comments below!  

Enjoy your week! 
Love, Laura

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My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Peek Inside Of My Jewelry Design Sketchbook

One of my favorite things is my jewelry design sketchbook. Not only do I consider my sketchbook a great creative tool, but it also serves as a journal of sorts that documents my designs and ideas over a span of time.

Mind you, these sketches and scribbles aren't created for beauty, but more to capture the blur of an idea and get it transferred onto paper before it disappears from my memory. 

Some sketches are completed projects, like this lariat necklace that I created on a whim.

The finished piece turned out so well that I made a quick sketch of it, and along side of the sketch I detailed the materials that I used, so that if I wanted to create another one in the future, I had a written guide to what beads I used and in what sizes.

Most of what you will find in my jewelry design sketch book are quick sketches, what I think of as impressions of shapes, sizes, movements, sometimes little details. To some people they probably look like scribbles, but when I look at them, I know what's going on!  

For example, the design above was the way the cables were installed on my basement wall. Funny, right? For some reason, the design of the cables and connectors just caught my eye, and I had to sketch them down. Who knows, maybe they will inspire a design sometime down the road! 

The sketches above inspired the finished projects below...

Copper wire shawl pin. This is one of my very favorite pieces. Glorious simplicity!

Copper and turquoise earrings (unfinished) 

Hmmm...figuring things out...

Not everything turns out great, but practice makes perfect! 

This one was titled, My Broken Bleeding Heart...I must've been pretty sad when I sketched that one out, but the finished project is beautiful, and unique... 

These sketches later became projects in my book, Soldered Alchemy.

I absolutely LOVE scarabs! 

I hope you enjoyed this little peek inside of my sketchbook. You don't have to be great at drawing to keep an illustrated record of your ideas, you just have to sketch them down. The importance is in the action.

Enjoy your weekend! 

Love, Laura

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My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at