Woodcraft-Sponsored ReStore ReDesign 2018 Kicks Off

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For the second year in a row, local “makers” had the opportunity to use their creativity for a good cause – the Mid-Ohio Valley Habitat for Humanity. The ReStore ReDesign Contest encouraged entrants to upcycle furniture pieces for the chance to win more than $700 in prizes and have their project move on to the annual fundraising event, Destination Design.

Woodcraft sponsored the 2018 competition, and those funds were used to assist with prize money for the winners and associated promotional costs. Woodcraft also provided each entrant with a $10 coupon to get them started with paints, stains or other materials needed. Though each piece submitted is donated, contestants could be reimbursed the purchase price of their “before” items if purchased from the ReStore during the contest timeframe.

“We are thrilled to have Woodcraft as our ReStore ReDesign sponsor. They have been a tremendous partner, and the products and tools they offer just seem to be a natural fit with our upcycling contest,” said Ben Bradley, ReStore Director. “Their generous support has enabled us to offer some very generous prizes this year.”


A dozen submissions were delivered to the ReStore in time for the contest deadline. The entries included a live edge dining table, a canoe-shaped bookcase, and some broken dishes. “We have simply been overwhelmed by the high quality of the upcycled projects that were donated to ReStore ReDesign this year,” Ben said.

Judging was based on creativity/transformation, quality of finish, and functionality, and extra points were given for submitting photos of the upcycle process. Three semi-finalists were selected, which moved on to Destination Design, where the Grand Prize, 2nd Prize and 3rd Prize were decided by highest bid at the auction on October 18. A People’s Choice Semi-finalist was determined after voting concluded October 17. That winner joined the other Semi-finalists at the auction. The remaining entries will be for sale in the ReStore, with those monies going back to Habitat.

“Café Paris” Coffee Bar and Message Center – Semi-Finalist – Woodcraft Choice
by Mike & Dinah Reeder

This upcycle is comprised of three main elements — a chest of drawers, a gun rack and a chair — that were transformed into a cute little French coffee bar and message center. It includes three separate storage areas that can hold coffee filters, cups, k-cups, napkins, linens and the like. There is ample space for a coffeemaker and metal hooks at the top to hold your favorite mugs. The metal message board is the ideal spot for a calendar, grocery list or notes.

BEFORE - Chest of drawers, gun rack and old chair

AFTER - Cafe Paris Coffee Bar & Message Center

The old chair was freshened up with Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint in Black Dog black and sealed with topcoat. New coordinating fabric ties it in perfectly with the coffee station. The gun rack was cleverly upcycled to become the top of the coffee bar. The scalloped sides were removed and replaced with two straight, flat pine boards, all painted with Black Dog. A metal sheet was cut to fit between the boards to create the message board.   

The sides of the chest of drawers were covered in vintage ceiling tile wallpaper and painted in silver metallic paint – a beautiful detail. The drawer knobs are matching silver. One drawer was removed to create a shelf from recycled beadboard and now holds a wire basket for storage.

“This project was fun to create,” the artists said in their project narrative. “We wanted to create an item that would serve a true purpose. This redesign can be a useful item in today’s family home…to help busy families organize their daily lives.” Mike and Dinah’s upcycle for last year’s contest was featured on a Woodcraft catalog cover and on our Woodworking Adventures blog

Sides were covered in vintage ceiling tile wallpaper and painted metallic silver

The gun rack was transformed into a magnetic message center with cup holders above

Bee-utiful Storage Wardrobe – Semi-Finalist
by Marianne Siers

For the next upcycling project, the entrant used an old (free!) wardrobe and revamped it into a sweet multifunctional storage unit that includes a secret compartment. And who doesn’t love secret compartments? Shiplap – left over from making beehives – arranged in varying patterns sets off the newly installed shelves for added space. Antique White, Driftwood, Queenstown Gray, Persian Blue and Somerset Gold General Finishes Milk Paints were used to create the playful, yet subdued color scheme.

BEFORE - This old wardrobe was revamped into a sweet multifunctional storage unit
AFTER - Plenty of storage spaces and cubby holes, plus a secret compartment!

The wooden trim detail on the back of the cabinet top was removed and reattached to the front and given a little stenciled gold highlight. The three drawer fronts were stenciled with the words “Life is sweet.” Honeybee emblems were created out of clay, painted and antiqued, and attached to the upper corners. A hidden compartment was added above the top left shelf, while baskets with coordinating trim were placed on three shelves.

This piece could easily be used in a nursery or child’s room, in the kitchen for storage, as a bookcase for knickknacks and games, or even a bathroom.

Honeybee emblems were created to carry on the theme

Secret compartment - shhh!

Shiplap arranged in varying patterns sets off the newly installed shelves

Live Edge Dining Set – Semi-Finalist
by Larry Siers

A project by Larry Siers, husband of Maryanne Siers who created the entry above, was also selected as a Semi-Finalist. Larry purchased an old dining table “probably from the 1960’s to early 1970’s” but only used the legs for the base of a new table. He made a live edge tabletop from three thick cherry boards that were sawed from his sawmill. The wood had been drying in his workshop for several years.

The width of the new table base was determined by the top, so he cut narrower leg supports and a longer crossbar. The legs and base were painted with General Finishes Lamp Black Milk Paint, along with the new bases he built for the benches. After gluing the three tabletop boards together, he did “a lot” of sanding and then finished it with six coats of General Finishes water-based clear coat. The benchtops and bonus lazy Susan are spalted maple. He sawed the wood with his sawmill and put everything together with Kreg jig screws and glue.

BEFORE - An old set of table legs created the base for another table

AFTER - Live edge cherry dining table and benches, plus a Lazy Susan

Door Bench with Storage - Semi-Finalist - Peoples Choice
by Shawn Sydenstricker

Two five-panel doors were the starting point for this upcycle – one from the ReStore and one from an old home. Shawn cut each door into seven different pieces and reassembled them to form the basic bench frame. The seat has a plywood base with a lath design glued and nailed to the top. The lath came from walls of an old home that was being renovated. The only part of this project that was not reclaimed or repurposed was the plywood.

Two shades of white were used to paint the door parts to give it a layered look, and then finished with Briwax. The lath work was protected with boiled linseed oil. This bench would look really nice on a front porch, in a hall or even a bathroom. Storage underneath the seat makes this a versatile and useful piece. It’s more comfortable than it looks too!

BEFORE - Five-panel doors
AFTER - Bench with built-in storage

--- Other Entries --- 

Buffet to Wine Bar by Josh Woodard

This old buffet was water damaged and in need of a lot of help. But Josh rescued it and refurbished it into a stylish wine bar in a fresh beautiful color. The back and bottom of the original piece were removed and replaced, while the top and two drawer fronts were given a facelift with some old parquet flooring. Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint and an antiquing glaze gave the completed project a trendy vibe. The bar holds two removable wine racks and has ample space for hanging glasses and an open display area where the center drawer used to be.

BEFORE - Water damaged and blah
AFTER - Stylish and snazzy wine bar

Watch the video here to see more of the transformation process for this ReDesign piece.

“Miss Blue Luster” by Caron Murphy

Miss Blue Luster was created to be a functional hanging herb garden using an old window pane and some dishware. Caron makes yard and garden art out of antique glassware, but she tried something a little different in this piece by cutting the dishes in half. Six separate planting pots were created with beautiful Blue Lusterware cups, saucers and teapots, and arranged artfully on the three-pained window glass. The cut glassware butted right up to the glass and was adhered with waterproof glue so the garden can be used indoors or outdoors. Three of the shimmery blue and peach saucers were cut in half and placed like half-moons against the top and bottom of the frame. “As with all my yard and garden art, this window is rain and sun proof, but needs to be brought indoors during the freeze and thawing winter,” she said. 

BEFORE - Antique glassware and an old window pane
AFTER - Hanging herb garden suitable for indoors or outdoors

Flower Stand Blooms into Hall Table by Elizabeth Seebaugh

Originally a nondescript little flower stand, this item got a makeover into a lovely entryway or hall table. Elizabeth repainted the legs and support black, and sanded then re-stained the top to restore the luster and grain of the tabletop.

BEFORE - Plain ol' flower stand

AFTER - Painted and re-stained beauty

Close-up of top

“Safari Table” by Donavan Spader

The next entrant took her project to the wild side by making an ordinary oval coffee table into a “safari table.”  Donavan first painted the surfaces with two coats of Kilz. Once dry, she sketched out her animal print and started filling in with General Finishes Lamp Black Milk Paint. She finished it off with three coats of lacquer. The completed table would look great in a salon, boutique or teen’s room.

BEFORE - Ordinary coffee table

Filling in stripes with GF Lamp Black

AFTER - Safari Table

Folding Jewelry Display by Kay Hill

A window frame, a mirror and a safety rail from a toddler bed were used to refashion the next entry. The window frame got stripped and sanded, and then received four coats of Black Dog Salvage Guard Dog Topcoat. The wooden rail was painted with a crackle treatment and white paint, and several glass knobs were added to hold necklaces and other jewelry. After the mirror was cut to fit the frame, the two pieces were joined together with hinges so the display will fold when not in use. Clever combo of those three items!

BEFORE - Window frame, mirror and child safety rail
AFTER - Folding jewelry display and mirror

“Canoe Shelf” by Ben Kregiel

What was formerly a fishing rod holder is now a pretty cool bookcase. The canoe-shaped frame is the perfect backdrop for shelves and a fresh coat of paint that looks expertly aged as if it is original. The notched boards that previously held the fishing poles in place were replaced with salvaged wood to create sturdier shelving. Wouldn’t this look awesome in a lodge, lakeside cabin or log home?

BEFORE - Rustic fishing rod holder
AFTER - Upcycled into a bookcase

Convertible Planter Bench by Julie Green

What started off as just pieces of a rocking chair and a lawn spreader were transformed into a planter/bench combo. When the seat is up, it becomes a planter with ample room for flowers or ferns in the sizeable waterproof plastic compartment. A small latch hook holds the seat sturdily in place, or it can be released so the seat can be used to sit on. The bottom area could be used for storage when in bench mode. The red crackle finish gives the look of several summers of outdoor use, and a chalkboard finished panel is a nice spot for a personalized message

BEFORE - Lawn spreader and rocking chair parts

Chalked area is a nice spot for personalized messages

AFTER - Convertible planter bench

Jewelry and Accessory Organizer by Linda Pettit

The final entry was created using a vanity mirror from the ’80s, some snazzy wallpaper and a few odds and ends. That wallpaper is the star of the show, in my opinion – purchased from eBay. Books and magazines covered in black satin hold wooden spool jewelry holders, complete with red jewels on top. A multi-compartment box is for storing rings or clip earrings, and the red painted rail could hold dangly earrings or necklaces. The organizer can be hung on the wall, with or without the optional shelf that can be attached at the bottom. 

BEFORE - 1980s vanity mirror
AFTER - Jewelry & accessory organizer

And the winners are....

Which Semi-Finalist brought the most money at the Destination Design live auction on October 18?

Drum roll please...

1st PLACE raising $425 was the Live Edge Dining Table and Benches by Larry Siers. His prize was a $300 Visa gift card and a $100 ReStore gift card.

2nd PLACE raising $225 was the Multi-Purpose Storage Cabinet by Marianne Siers. Marianne won a $200 Visa gift card and $50 ReStore gift card. The Siers daughter accepted the awards on her parents behalf, donating all prize winnings back to Habitat. Wonderful!

3rd PLACE raising $200 was the Cafe Paris Coffee Station by Mike and Dinah Reeder.  They won a $100 Visa gift card and a $25 ReStore gift card. We will definitely do it again next year, Dinah said. 

Nearly 50 other items were sold in the live auction, as well as many silent and online auction items, such as vacation getaways, a sectional sofa, laptops, a Fender banjo and a fire pit. When it was all said and done, the total raised for Habitat was more than $28,000! Well done, everyone, and thank you for sharing your time and talents for a great cause! 

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Upcycling is fun and can bring new life to an otherwise dejected piece of furniture. Do you have a Habitat ReStore in your area? There are many items to inspire your creativity. Then stop by your local Woodcraft store to get help with your vision. We’ll help you make sure it’s sturdy and guide you on how to finish your project for its intended new use.   

Read about the 2017 ReStore ReDesign contest here: Repurposing For a Purpose

You can see the 2017 Semi-finalists as well as many other upcycled projects that were sold at last year’s Destination Design fundraiser here: Upcycled Projects Benefit Habitat Auction. 

We hope you’ll be inspired!

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