I just love upcycling with fabric!
Just a bit of Amy Butler Fabric here and some Annie Sloan chalk paint there with a dash of ‘me time’ in shed with the manrobe I’ve had sitting there for the last 20 years (seriously!), and I have a brand new rubbish organiser for all of our family recycling and waste.
In the Beginning
The original piece was sanded back and painted with Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint. As it was going to be used to house our rubbish and recycling, I decided that the bottom of the alcoves needed to be a darker colour (Napoleonic Blue covered with the Black Wax) to cope with all of the wear and tear (AKA having rubbish bags, cardboard and plastic recycling!). This also matched with the colour scheme of the outside doors. Typically of me I wanted to reuse the original handles with had a black finish, so that lead me down the path to the Napoleonic Blue covered with the Black Wax finish.
I also intended to put the items that were going to go to various charity shops on the top of the piece, so the top had to have a bulletproof finish, AKA some fabric that was Mod Podged on and finished with three layers of a clear varnish.
Here is the manrobe with it’s coat of Old White paint, and taped up ready for the fabric to be Mod Podged on, and the alcove bottoms painted in Napoleonic Blue. Behind the white piece you can see the table with the rubbish and recycling that I was intending to replace with this finished piece. It looks truly dreadful! All of that waste, recycling and charity shop donations needed to be tucked somewhere tidy and pretty.
Mod Podge Galore
When you use Mod Podge, follow the instructions on the container. You put a layer of glue on before you put the fabric on. Carefully put the fabric on the wet glued surface, taking your time to smooth out any air bubbles (a ruler or your fingers works for me). Then immediately you paint another layer of Mod Podge on to the fabric as per the below picture. Allow it to set and reapply another layer in 20-30 minutes. Mod Podge is like PVA or wood Glue and sets clear when it is dry.
Put on as many layers of Mod Podge as you want. If you are intending to varnish, you only need a couple of Mod Podge layers. When you are happy, cut off the excess fabric from the sides, using scissors or a craft knife as appropriate. I played around when I was trimming the fabric and used what worked best for each side. Below we have the various methods I used to trim the fabric.
In between the layering of the Mod Podge, I painted the bottom of the alcoves with the Napoleonic Blue and then applied first the Annie Sloan Clear Wax and then the Annie Sloan Black Wax. Follow the instructions on the tins of paint and wax. The absolutely essential important bit is to take the suggested time between layers to let the paint, wax and Mod Podge dry. When you just want it done, it is incredibly frustrating to have all of the waiting in between drying times and applying the layers, but the final result is well worth the investment in patience.
Varnishing the Fabric
When your fabric is trimmed to your liking, you can apply the layers of varnish. For a good finish you need to wait 12-24 hours between each layer and after your third layer is done, you need to wait 2-3 days for the varnish to cure before putting anything on top on it. This is very very important.
Finally the Finish Line!
After waiting an interminable time for the varnish to cure, and the Annie Sloan Black Wax to harden up, (just my preference with the Wax, I like to leave it for a bit too), and putting the original handles and hinges back on, we have our finished Rubbish Receptacle! I am really delighted with it as it looks gorgeous and curbs my clutter away. Fabulous!