the café cupboard.

You guys know I just can’t help myself when it comes to mini furniture.  Today’s piece isn’t quite up to my usual standards.  I usually prefer more vintage pieces.  But when I saw this piece at the thrift store I thought ‘why not?’.

First up was removing the faux punched tin inserts.

I could have just painted them, which may have improved their look somewhat, but I didn’t care for the wheat theme.  So I tossed them.

I had a couple of ideas in mind for replacing them.  I considered using window screening like I did in this mini-cupboard of my own.

But then I couldn’t find my stash of old screening.  It’s out in the carriage house somewhere, but I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time digging for it in the sub-zero temps we had while I was working on this one.

Next I thought maybe I’d just use some drop cloth fabric.  But in the end, I couldn’t come up with a good way to install it that would look neat and tidy on the inside.  Hot glue, maybe?  But I know myself well enough to know that making hot glue look tidy is a bit beyond me.

And in the end, I really wanted to be able to use some transfers on the doors, so I decided to just cut some new inserts out of a very thin piece of wood.  But … that didn’t quite work out either.  I didn’t have any wood that was thin enough.  So Mr. Q came up with some heavy duty cardboard that he had in his bookbinding supplies, it’s meant for creating book covers.  I cut that to fit, and then painted it, which worked out quite well.  I was even able to add the transfers to the pieces before installing them.

Then I just glued them in place (with regular glue, not hot glue).

The outside of this little cupboard is painted in Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy, and the inside is painted in French Linen.

I pretty much chose those colors simply because I already had them out for the barrister bookcase that I shared last Friday.

You may have noticed by now that I also added some ‘hardware’ to the front of the cupboard.

That’s not exactly meant to be ‘real’ hardware.  It’s a scrapbooking do-dad, made out of very thin metal (Hobby Lobby carries the Paper Studio brand).  The color it comes in originally is called ‘antique gold’.

These come with little brads to attach them to paper.  I used some little tack nails that I had on hand to attach mine to the cupboard doors.

I also tried to give them a new look with some of Dixie Belle’s Gilding Wax in Zinc.

The Gilding Wax had nothing to grip onto because the metal had a slick, shiny coating on it. The usual remedy is to scuff sand the surface in a case like this, but this little latch is very small.  I wasn’t really able to rough it up as much as I wanted to.  I ended up with a patchy sort of look.

Still, it looks pretty cute I think.  And by the way, in case you are looking for them, those transfers on the doors are from with prima’s Classic Vintage Labels.

There is only one of that design in each set (I just happen to be addicted Classic Vintage Labels and have purchased several of them).  I cut out just the wording and didn’t include the laurel wreath that surrounded it.

I really haven’t decided whether or not to hang onto this one.  It does look good on the shelves in my living room though.

This was a fun little project to tackle on a cold January day.  And really, any of the changes I made to this piece could apply to a larger piece of furniture too.  Replace cupboard door inserts, add hardware, change the color of hardware with a gilding wax, add transfers, modify transfers by eliminating portions you don’t want to use, and of course paint.

What do you think?  Am I tempting you to go look for some mini furniture at your local thrift store?

26 thoughts on “the café cupboard.

  1. Super cute! I upcycle a lot of jewelry boxes and I use metal covers from Amazon to replace my glass. They can be cut with any tin clips and they are AWESOME!


  2. Absolutely would love to do this, and thanks for sharing. I’m getting ideas ready to tackle some projects at my house, and this cold season is perfect for that.


  3. I just love your vision! I just need to increase the size of my house! 😉 that turned out so great! I love all your miniature pieces.
    Smiles, Alice


  4. Yes, you are tempting me to head out to the thrift stores to look for some mini furniture. Your projects are always inspirational. Makes me wish we weren’t stacked chock-a-block here. You said something else that piqued my curiosity. Your husband does book-binding? Did I miss that somewhere along the way. That sounds interesting.


  5. First time commenter here! I only subscribe to two blogs, and yours is my number one favorite.

    I absolutely love this project, and ‘Classic Vintage Labels’ is also one of my favorite transfers, that I’ve purchased at least 3 times! It’s so versatile, and I cut it into teensy-tiny bits and pieces that I apply to everything. (I’m also a lover of the tiny things, like you are, and I love to embellish them with tiny bits of graphics, ephemera, and words.)

    I’ve been reading your entire blog (I’m back to September of 2014 now, so am almost at the beginning) and you have, by far, the most inspiring blog I’ve ever read! I’ve gone down so many rabbit holes in the wee hours of the morning, searching for things mentioned in your blog. (I’ve found several discontinued IOD transfers and purchased them for my own stash, based on the beautiful projects I’ve seen on your blog.) I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve pinned your blog pages, but it’s a LOT! You’re a major influence in my world.

    I also love your blogging standards and that you don’t use advertisements or promotional sites. (I use only private windows when I’m online, mainly because of privacy concerns and the super annoying ads on other peoples sites.)

    You’re so down to earth and creative, and I find that we have much in common (including that I hate hearts and I love plates and going to garage sales). I live in Wisconsin, not that far from you, and experience the same seasons, and I also have huge perennial beds, so I appreciate your gardening posts.

    And I’ve saved your travel posts, as well, with hopes that maybe… someday.

    Thanks, so much, for brightening my world!


    1. Oh my gosh, thank you so much for this lovely comment! It’s comments like this that remind me why I love doing this blogging thing. I’m a little nervous that you’ve gone back to the beginning though, some of those early blog posts are a tad embarrassing. I think my skills have improved over the years somewhat, thank goodness!


  6. Well I just love it Miss Quandie! And also that Mr. Q pitched in! You’ve been as good as your word and have kept a worker-bee flow of projects coming (-:


    1. So far, so good. There isn’t much else to do in Minnesota in January. Well, unless you ski, ice fish, snowmobile, or like taking the polar plunge … and I do none of the above.


  7. Every time you do a minister furniture project, I drool with envy! Yes, I do think about looking for one for myself but alas I do not need to add furniture painting to my repertoire…I will admire your incredible work and get my fill from your great Blog!

    Super cute miniature and yes I think you need to keep it.


  8. I just love the miniature furniture you find and re-do! Your staging is so cool, too! You have a keen eye, and I love how you find the pieces you need, like that latch. Way cool!


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