Monday, February 20, 2012

Vanity be thy name

This little vanity table (circa 1930's-1950's) was given to me by my sister probably about 8 years ago. It wasn't in the best of shape then. It spoke to me so I kept it. It has been bounced around the house, room to room. It has been a desk, a vanity and a side table. For a brief time it was shoved into a corner of the garage--unloved, forgotten and sad. 

Once my daughter moved out, we had more room in the house and could envision what each space would become. I ALWAYS wanted a dressing room with a vanity. There is something so utterly girly and romantic about  it. Our dressing room was no longer a fantasy and then I remembered the sad little vanity. It was covered in cobwebs. And a few dead bugs. ICK! The legs were wobbly, it was aged, yellowed, chipped and gouged. The swing arms to hold the skirting are long gone (missing before I even had it). 
I started to spray it and didn't get a BEFORE pic. oops
 I  tightened the legs and cleaned off all the gunk. Covered it with a fabric remnant and pretty much left it. But it still seemed so sad. I didn't have enough space in the dressing room for the vanity so it is going to live just outside the dressing room in the little nook before the spare bedroom. You can see it (kinda) when I was working on painting the feature wall and my hallway.  Just please ignore the mess! It was a work in progress. Don't judge!

I finally decided it was time to dress it up. I gave it a once over with a fine grit sandpaper (200), tacked it off and began painting in a Satin White. I wasn't to concerned with the edges since that is going to get covered with fabric. Here is my sweet little vanity with a fresh coat of paint. Definitely brighter and lighter. Still a great deal of imperfections but that really imbues the character. Do you see the edge is riddled with holes. Doesn't it make you wonder about all the women who sat at the vanity through the years? How did they have it decorated?  Was it a few moments of quiet contemplation in the morning or before bed? Did they watch themselves age gracefully or agonize over every little wrinkle and gray hair? What memories were reflected in the mirror? 
Next I decided while it has lovely legs I decided she (yes it's a she) needed a little more modesty. I am trying to be very frugal so I am using what I have as much as I can. I had a round side table coverlet that my friend Sharon had given to me for free. I began by folding it in half  and then I pressed a very crisp edge using the iron on cotton/ steam.
I simply took the scissors and cut along the pressed edge and now I have 2 pieces of equal proportions.
I then turned over the raw edge to an approximate 1/2 inch seam and repeated the pressing technique to get a crisp edge.
Next I aligned the fabric around the vanity edge. I approximated the center (eyeballed it) on the front, back and side. I added a staple at each of these points.
What you are left with is some very droopy and ill fitting skirting. I then began adding small tuck pleats and stapled in place.
I repeated the process with the second piece of skirting. And here she is. Looking kinda cute.  Hmmm, I need to address those staples. Not very attractive.
I rooted around my scraps and I just didn't have anything that would work. So off to Joann's I went- coupon in hand. I came across some nice ecru/cream upholstery/ curtain trim for $2.99 per yard. 3 yards later I am back at home and wrapping the edge.
Hello my handy dandy (and ANCIENT ) glue gun!
Prior to attaching the trim I ran beads of hot glue on the edge of the fabric between the staple points. I want the edge very secure. Once that was set-up, I aligned the cut edge of the trim on center and aligned the around the side applying a bead of hot glue to attach.
I repeated this all the way around. Using the flat edge of a pair of scissors to press the trim into the glue. It is very secure! Once the entire edge was wrapped I added a little bit of bling to cover the where the  raw edges meet. Isn't it cute?!
Now to dress her up! I added my thrift store mirror.  Added some necklaces and lined up my bottles of perfume. I used to work for a cosmetics company--don't judge!
oh yeah, I added drapes across the dressing room
 A few different vantage points.
Oops! My bling and ruffles aren't centered--boo!

project recap
blingy accent=$0.29

I already had the paint, staple gun, staples, glue gun and glue sticks. I didn't do precise measurements. My finish isn't perfect. I wanted a quick and easy project. This could be upgraded by refinishing the vanity, purchasing higher grade fabric and trim. A quick search online and I found comparable vanities beginning at $25. If you have really good DIY skills you could make one using plywood and spindles.

I absolutely love it! So what do think?


 Beyond The Picket Fence

The Shabby Nest


  1. that is really cute I have an old vanity I use as a computer desk.. You just gave me a very cute idea. mine is square and has a really mice design on the front I will have to put a pic up later thanks for sharing

  2. She's so cute! I definitely think the ruffled edge makes it and of course, the bit o bling. You are a girl after my own heart.

    1. Thank you! I really thought she need a touch-o-bling! It makes me very happy! I am probably gonna repaint the mirror.. I like the yellow but just need to mute it a bit!

  3. Hi!
    I'm visiting from Cozy Home Scenes and I'm now following you on Linky :)

    I think your makeover is just fabulous and your mirror is way cute!!

    Have a great night!

    1. Hi Aledia

      Thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog, comment and follow me! I did go back and fix the blingy thingy since it wasn't centered and fixed my ruffles. It was only off by an inch. From a distance you couldn't tell but when I was sitting at it I could. It was driving me kinda crazy. HAHA. Still not perfect which is fine but no wonkiness!


  4. I love the shape of your table, and the skirt makes it look perfect for a French or shabby chic room. Thanks for showing how easy it is to make the skirt.

    You'll get tons of compliments on it in real life too. Years ago, I had an ugly glass top table, so my Mom made me a skirt for mine like this with a piece of fabric for the top. I used it as a vanity for many years, and every teenager (like I was) or woman who saw my room said they wished they had a table like that. Mine was attached with velcro so it could be removed to be washed.

    By the way, I love your mirror too. I've always loved the oval ones.

    Thank you for adding your new creation to the Your Cozy Home Party. I appreciate your visit very much and hope you'll be back next week!

  5. Greetings,

    I love what you have done with your makeup vanity and your mirror is so lovely. I hope you will visit Magnolia Cottage.


    1. Hi Lisa-

      Thank you!I appreciate you stopping by and commenting! I hope you visit again soon.


  6. Hi lovely lady.
    This is so sweet! I love the ruffled edge makes it come all together just Beautiful.Im your newest follower on your blog now. I hope you come join me also. Hope you and your family have a great week.
    XXOO Diane

    1. Hi Diane

      OMG--I absolutely adore the Victorian Valentines tablescape!. Where did you find the heart shape plates? ADORABLE!


  7. Great updo! Visiting & following from the linky hop!

    -caroline @ c.w.frosting

  8. Lovely, absolutely lovely. So creative!

  9. Hi - I'm a new follower of our blog and absolutely love it! You're vanity remodel is absolutely beautiful - you do great work!! Thanks for following my blog - any tips you have would be most appreciative.

    1. Hi FW! Thank you for following my blog and the kind words! I will share as much as I can as I do projects!


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