Creating With the Stars Week 1 Project: Upcycle

It’s finally time to reveal my project for week one of Creating With the Stars! I’m pretty proud of the job Corey and I did on upcycling this old, outdated television stand, and I’m excited to share how we made it happen!

We started off with this beauty awful old 80’s style television stand we found at Goodwill for $30.

We knew we wanted it to be a bar, so we sat down, formulated a quick plan of attack, and got to work.

First up, we had to get painting. We gave the whole thing a quick coat of primer – we didn’t worry too much about making it a perfect coat, because we were going to be using oil-based paint, which is way thicker than latex and we knew coverage wouldn’t be a problem.

It was looking much better already! We also bought a new board for the back piece, because the old one was very flimsy looking and had a big hole in it for various television components – not what we wanted!

Buying a new board also helped make the stenciling process a lot easier, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Once we had a good coat of primer on everything, it was time to attach the stand that we built for it. The whole thing was a bit too small to make a good bar, and it needed a little something to make it look less like the 80’s style television stand that it is was. Luckily, my husband is pretty handy and he whipped up this quick box and attached some legs so we could give the whole thing some height. Although you can’t see it in this photo, he cut the boards for the front at a 45 degree angle so that you can’t see the end of the board (you can see what I’m talking about a little better if you look at the finished photos).

Once our primer was all dry on the main piece, we decided to test everything out and make sure it was all the right size before we started painting it for real. Luckily, it fit perfectly!

And, since that big ol’ seam in the middle was slightly less than attractive, we planned to add some cute trim to hide it, and add some detail to the front of the bar.

But before we could do any of that, we had to get it all painted. I wanted to at least get the first coat on when the pieces were still separate, because those short little legs are almost impossible to paint already, but they’d be much more accessible without the giant main piece on top of them.

Once the first coat was on – and we waited a day or so to make sure it was all completely dry – and it was time to put it all together!

It was finally starting to actually look less like a $30 piece of Goodwill furniture and more like a bar! At this point, all that was left to do was do some paint touch-ups, stencil the inside, and then take care of those old VHS drawers on the sides. Let’s start with the stencil.

I had a hard time figuring out exactly how I wanted to tackle stenciling the back and sides of the bar – I knew using paint would probably be pretty awkward on the sides, so I grabbed a gold metallic Sharpie to try instead. My first couple of attempts had awful bleed-through, so what I ended up doing was stenciling everything in pencil first…

And then going over it with the Sharpie. It probably took a bit longer than it would have with other methods, but I liked that I felt like I had more control than I would have with a paintbrush, and I think the end result looks pretty good.

To make sure that the back and sides lined up at least somewhat, I had Corey hold the back board up and taped where each of the edges were…

And then I laid the stencil on top of it, lined everything up, and taped on top of the stencil so I could see where the corner of the stencil should be. Then, I just taped the stencil onto the side of the bar, being sure to line the tape up with the corner, and got to tracing! It didn’t work out perfectly (I think that’s almost impossible) but it got close enough that it looks good, and that’s all I care about!

And, finally, now that the legs were added, the bar was painted, and the stencil was completed, it was time to turn our attention to the VHS drawers. As soon as we saw them in the store we knew they would be perfect for holding bottles, but we didn’t want them clanking around too much. So, we removed the top shelf and added a board to the bottom shelf with holes cut in it that fit the bottles we had picked up at Hobby Lobby. It means that we have to transfer our alcohol over to the other bottles, but it’s a pretty easy extra step that makes everything look a whole lot better, so I’m not complaining!

Once that was all completed, it was time to put the whole thing back together and start adding our stuff! We ended up etching the bottles that we bought with the names of the alcohol, so we don’t have to try to remember which is which, and we got a custom-cut piece of glass from Lowe’s for the top so we don’t have to stress about spills.

For a final little touch, we grabbed some gold craft paint and dipped the bottom of our stemmed glasses – they play off the stenciled sides nicely and add a bit of fun to the whole thing.

I love how it turned out and I have to admit I have a hard time believing that it used to look like this.

And that’s how we turned a $30 thrift store television stand into a custom bar! This whole project was a ton of fun and a great reminder to Corey and I to think outside the box when it comes to pieces we find at the thrift shop! We almost passed this guy up because it looked so awful, but then the idea for a bar clicked and from there it turned into a piece that we absolutely adore and think we will get a whole lot of use out of!

Have you up-cycled anything lately?



13 thoughts on “Creating With the Stars Week 1 Project: Upcycle

  1. Amanda. This is my favorite thing you’ve ever done. It looks AMAZING. I just have two questions: 1) Can we see the inside of the finished bottle storage?! And 2) Can you keep us posted on how the gold craft paint holds up on the bottom of your stemware?? I love how that turned out and want to copy you real bad.
    Also, your fiddle-leaf fig looks so healthy and happy!


    Amanda Reply:

    Thanks so much, Steph! I can definitely share the inside of the finished bottle storage – can’t believe I forgot to show that! And yeah, I’ll let you know how the glasses work out – it feels REALLY solid and I don’t think it’ll chip or anything. I wouldn’t recommend running them through the dishwasher, but I think they’ll hold up really well to normal use. And yes, the fig is looking great as of right now…these photos were taken about two days after we got it, though, so we’ll see how it fares now that it’s under my care, haha.


  2. What a beautiful vision and job you 2 did! Really great colors and design. You’ll have to show us how it fits in with everything else in the room at some point.


    Amanda Reply:

    I will! My plan is to go back over all of my CWTS projects once the competition is over and show where they’ve actually landed in our house. :)


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