This past weekend hubz and I set out to browse yard sales for the 1st time this year, he has done a few on his own already-he is the early bird, I am the night owl so for me it’s the first. As we are pulling in we see our lovely neighbours of almost 21 years had hauled free goodies curbside, a wooden salad bowl set caught my eye, but 100% not for salad.
I took the half a dozen bowls. Ironically hubz and I had done some thrift store shopping after the yard sales and I had picked up a wooden bowl for $1. I held the bowl, looked at it, tried to think of a use for it, put it down, left that aisle, but eventually I returned to bring that little bowl home. The thrift store bowl was most certainly handmade; it is stamped on the bottom with 765 and nothing more. I wasn’t sure how I would use it, although I am the queen of painting wood, some pieces I just can’t, my late dad would approve of the latter.
Unfortunately while admiring the bowl yesterday I dropped it and a big chunk snapped off, truth be told I dropped it again as I was examining the damage and another piece flew off. Now it 100% will be painted, in fact its already assembled into a Halloween stand for miniatures, as half a bowl. I look forward to showing off how I repurposed it, is it Halloween decor time yet?
With a cup of dandelion root tea I sat down to look for ideas on Pinterest for the salad bowls, most where painted and or used to create an arrangement of some kind. What I forgot to mention, while we were out at yard sales and thrift stores is that I was, and have been for a few months, on the hunt for cheese platters with glass domes. I want to create mini seasonal village displays for Halloween and Christmas to go with my larger ones. So with that thought still fresh in my mind and then seeing a bowl upcycle post, where the bowl was mounted on a wooden candle stick to create a pedestal display bowl, I had my idea for my bowls that would satisfy my little village display projects.
I am new to chalk paint, I picked up dark grey and light grey by Rust-oleum last year, my biggest project so far with it is a quilt rack I painted and turned into a stocking holder, I have a ton left and have been using it here and there, so I grabbed the dark grey for round one of this upcycle.
My idea for the wooden bowls was a pedestal, but the bowl would be turned upside down and be the base, a wooden plywood circle the top (think cake display) and it would become home to miniature scenes.
First off decide the size you want your circle base to be (nothing fancy here, I grabbed a plate, saw how it looked perched on the upside down bowl and used it as my template) cut it out of plywood or MDF. (If you don’t have a way to cut wood try to find an inexpensive round cutting board at a dollar store, I also plan on doing square ones with wood planks.
Hand sand the bowls just enough to scuff it up for a better paint adhesion and then paint your bowl and plywood (underneath and the top, even though it will be covered with something like faux moss I paint it just in case there are areas showing, if I’m doing moss I use a dark colour and if I’m doing a snow scene, white.
* If I didn’t have the chalk paint I’d have used Zinsser Bullseye 123 primer and then spray painted it using Krylon fusion paint, the Krylon on its own is quite durable too, just remember to hand sand the bowl. Using the chalk paint, I did give it one spray coat of Rust-oleum clear coat in satin (I use matte too) for protection after. I distressed the coat of paint on the bowl a bit first.
Now using a drill bit, drill 2 holes side by side in the bowls center (eye ball it) Now using screws and going from the inside of the bowl, fasten the bowl to the plywood base. If you are using plywood 3/4 inch screws work best, being careful to not go through the plywood. Now you have a miniatures display area ready to decorate.
You can buy miniatures in many “themes” and seasons. I plan to make, and share of course, Halloween and Christmas ones but below is the one I made to go in our “cabin” aka our den.
I wanted to do moss but 3 dollar stores later and no moss on their shelves I found a faux grass square and thought that probably would look better! I traced the platform onto the grass square, cut it out and hot glued it on. I even have plenty of it left for my junk journal that I’m doing with my nieces this summer and will share here at some point. I did find moss at the dollar tree later and grabbed a few bags for future scenes, also glued some around the edge of this one.
I spent a few hours printing out patterns, and assembling paper tents, I just didn’t like them! So off to my wood scrap bin I went, some glued on felt for tent doors and I am envisioning myself sleeping in this miniature tent. I wanted to keep with a “DIY” mini things from scraps so I created the tree from scrap wood as well ,the campfire is a bottle cap spray painted black and a wooden skewer cut up and stained for wood( after staining the wee things I thought…brown marker next time will do)
When I built the wood storage “shed” box with popsicle sticks, its exactly what I did, red marker on it, then I rubbed it with a damp cloth to make it look more like stain. The bench is coloured Popsicle sticks, for the bench and shed I used hot glue for assembly, then my hobby rotary tool with the sanding stone to shape them.
No camp fire is complete without marshmallows right? Those were made with floral wire twisted to resemble a roasting stick, and the tasty treat is a white pencil eraser cut in half. The rock I found after bringing in a few to see if it scaled nicely beside the rest of the scene (hubz was teasing me the entire time asking what scale size I was following, I replied the looks good enough scale) Hubby pointed out how giant my marshmallows are, but that’s ok I think it all looks fun and whimsical. Kudos to those who do to scale dioramas, I’m always amazed when I look at them. When it comes time to do my Halloween and Christmas ones they will mostly be to scale, I buy miniatures at Micheals, but I still do add the odd extra here and there, that may not be to exact scale.
The car was actually hubz idea, it and another were sent to me by a friend and fellow Matchbox 20 fan a good 17 years ago or more, we couldn’t get them in Canada and they were sweet enough to get them for me in the USA. Hubz joked you can look at your scene and dream Rob (as in Rob Thomas) is in that tent, what a hubz eh? The car will do for now but I plan on finding a new car for it, as well as a few for future scenes, and the MB20 mobile can go back with its mate on the shelf in our games room.
I’m excited to use the other bowls for Halloween and Christmas scenes! And will probably make one for our neighbour, after all it was their curbside treasure that inspired this WHAT WAS IT WEDNESDAY. It will be a Christmas one, no one in this neighborhood is Halloween crazed like this couple.
Happy What Was It Wednesday!
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