Upcycled Garage Sale Vintage Firkin Sewing Basket

September 20, 2017

 I found this vintage sewing basket on legs at a yard sale for 75 cents.  

It has some issues.  It has no handle and the cover is a little warped.

There is also an ink blot stain inside.  
Did you know this bucket style is called a firkin?  

I didn't,  but I googled vintage bucket sewing basket and Etsy has quite a few for sale, and they refer to them as firkins.

 My first step was to apply two coats of  Zinsser Clear Shellac Spray all over the firkin and the legs.  This prevents old darker wood stains from bleeding through chalk paint.  

Unfortunately, the ink blot inside continued to bleed through after the spray shellac, and I had to brush on several coats of Zinsser Bulls Eye Clear Shellac.

Next I applied two coats of Dutch Boy Chalky Finish Paint in Antiquated Lace.  

I buy this in quarts at my local Menard's store.  It has to be mixed there.

This "live simply" stencil, I think, is so appropriate for a sewing basket.  

Remember when women spent their free time crocheting, knitting and embroidering?  

This paper stencil is one of 26 stencils available in the FolkArt Paper Stencils, Phrases  pack.

Upcycled Garage Sale Vintage Sewing Basket www.organized clutter.net
Instead of sanding the bucket edges to distress them, I used my FolkArt Layering Wood Block and Ceramcoat Acrylic Paint in Walnut Noyer.  

A more in depth blog post on the layering block is HERE.  
I did not paste wax the firkin, I sprayed it with two to three coats of  Krylon Satin Finish .  Three coats on the top and sides, and two on the legs.   

Upcycled Garage Sale Vintage Sewing Basket www.organized clutter.net
I replaced the handle with 1/2-Inch Twisted Sisal Rope and added a 3 1/2" plain and cheap drawer handle from Menards.

Upcycled Garage Sale Vintage Sewing Basket www.organized clutter.net
How's that for a "FIRKIN" up-cycle?  I may have to find time to do handiwork so I can use it!
Thanks for reading my blog, Carlene

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  1. That's adorable Carlene! I knew those few issues it had could be easily fixed by you. That was a great bargain at 75 cents!

  2. So charming! What a wonderful upcycle

  3. That's one of the cutest projects yet! Although when I first saw it, I thought for sure the cover was coming off and a plant was going in it, lol!

  4. Count me as a lover of this, too! I need to keep this in mind if I ever run across a firkin or something similar as I usually have a mess next to my chair when doing needlework. The only problem with having a firkin is that there really isn't any room next to my chair to set it, and no way I can rearrange furniture. OH well, I can dream.

  5. What a great find and such a wonderful job on redoing it and bringing it back to life!

  6. It's so (sew?!) beautiful, lovely job:)
    Have a great weekend,

  7. What a wonderful transformation! I love how it turned out. I haven't seen one of those in years. I really love the new look!


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