Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tractor Jennifer & A Touch of 'Shabby Chic' (SPOILER ALERT!)

[Let me first start off by saying, if you don't want to know what the guestbook table is going to look like, don't continue reading. It's not set up, but the basic design is there.]


Earlier in the spring, my mom and I, took a little day trip to go visit my Granny and Grandpa up past Woodland, Washington (in a small rural area of Ariel, or is it Cougar?—I don't expect anyone other than my family to know where that is). Grandpa was cleaning out an old shed that was on the property from the previous/first owner (who knows how old the shed was or the things in it? Grandpa and Granny have been living here for as long as I can remember), which had collapsed over the years of snow pack. He found several old white-washed windows, some broken, but most of them intact. So he told me I could take however many I need—when I told him my idea for the guestbook table—and he even let me drive and operate his tractor too!

[*Quick Budget tip: Vintage touches are such an easy way to make a wedding chic and affordable! And you would be surprised what you can find hidden on your grandparents property!]

First time I ever drove one of those things, and although it was incredibly slow (I was maybe going 5 mph, which is hilarious when you look at the picture it appears as though Grandpa is holding onto the back for dear life—I am moving so slow in the picture the iPhone was able to take it in motion without even appearing blurry at all!), it was actually kind of fun (Grandpa even joked that if I was having so much fun I could come up and mow his lawn anytime).

So with the talented help of my engineer student brother (his abilities are endless, from espresso machine refurbisher to farm-grown cook-extraordinar—oh and he roasts and sells his own farm-grown coffee beans which are to die for [not your average joe]!), we were able to create my idea for a guestbook table and for a tri-window screen. I won't give away everything here, because you just have to wait and see. But it is going to be used in the decor in a very awesome way!

Mom and Jonathan cleaned the windows with a vinegar/water mix, and then used a wire brush to brush off the lose flakes of paint (be sure to protect yourself while doing this—old paint is generally lead paint).

There was some metal flashing around the windows that was carefully removed with a chisel and hammer. Old rusted hinges were also removed and replaced with some restored vintage-looking hinges.

The square window was cleaned and sealed (we used Modge Podge to seal the paint because the spray sealant we got turned out shinny, which took away from the 'shabby chic' look). Jonathan cut some pieces of wood (I think the wood is considered a 2 by 2?) and fortunately there were already holes on the dresser that probably once supported a mirror, so he was able to drill holes into the wood and just screw onto the dresser.

The three long windows are all hinged together and can now be folded out to create a window screen.

I am so happy how it all turned out and so grateful that I have such a talented and helpful brother! He did more than just these pieces, but I can't show that here ;)

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