Wooden handles turned modern love seat (and don’t forget the tiny newspaper)

Everyday objects repurposed

Since the only furniture I can find is Victorian, I’ve been busy making my own interpretations of mid-century modern furniture. I made this little love seat from two wooden handles, part of an old napkin, and some wooden balls. Let me take you through the process.

It started with some wooden handles I found at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. I’ve determined, at least in Madison, there is no place better to shop for dollhouse decor than hardware stores. The Restore is great because there are tons of tiny trinkets, washers, nuts, bolts, handles, and hinges. All kinds of things to capture a person’s imagination, all for very little money.

Two wooden handles held with tape while the glue dries. Another in case you are confused. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Two wooden handles held with tape while the glue dries. Another in case you are confused. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I glued two handles together. Here they are, drying. The other handle is shown in the photo in case you need a little help picturing what these handles looked like before I taped them together.

Once they dried I glued some wooden balls to them. The wooden balls are inexpensive. I got this entire bag at a garage sale or thrift shop for very little money:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Here is an in-progress look with the the glue drying:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

I turned part of a set of napkins into the fabric for my love seat. Here is the in-progress of this step:

Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Once the glue dried, I painted the love seat and then wrapped the fabric around the love seat and sewed it into place. I topped it off with a little pillow.

The thing the newspaper sits in is some little metal contraption, also from the Restore. Some kind of bracket or something, I guess. To me it just says Magazine Rack. I bought several bags of these. I have no idea what they are actually used for. I have them in other colors too. For a buck a bag, I couldn’t pass them up.

It took me two tries to get the newspaper the right scale. I didn’t worry about the details of printing on both sides of the paper, or having different text inside. I simple pasted in the same image over and over, printed it, cut it out, and put it in the magazine rack. To me, it works fine.

Tiny newspaper. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Mini newspaper by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The end result is a cozy place to sit and read the paper:

Tiny love seat and a newspaper to read. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Tiny love seat and a newspaper to read. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

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Jonathan Adler-inspired mini coffee table for next to nothing

Everyday objects repurposed

The Nixon coffee table is currently featured on Jonathan Adler’s home page. It’s part of the Warm Modernism collection. I knew I wanted a similar coffee table in my mid century marvel, but I had no idea where I could come up with one, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I’m going to show you how to make a tiny coffee table with the same basic design aesthetic, for practically nothing.

Start with some old bangle bracelets you never wear. Everyone has some. These are from Myrtle Beach. I bought them from a souvenir shop that was going out of business. I actually think they’re really cute, but I have tons of cheap jewelry so I don’t mind donating these to a good cause.

All you need to make a Jonathan Adler inspired mini coffee table. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

All you need to make a Jonathan Adler inspired mini coffee table. Photos by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Next you’ll need a round wooden box like this one pictured above. You can find these boxes at places like Michael’s for $1.00- $2.00. When opened, you automatically have (if you have any imagination at all) a table and tabletop. The trick to creating a Jonathan Adler Nixon-inspired mini table is to add a bracelet base to the tabletop part of the box. The built in edge inside the lid makes a perfect guide to center your bracelets. A lattice style cuff bangle, like the base of the actual Nixon coffee table, would be ideal. I might shop around for one, but for now, this stack of bangles looks good to me.

All you need to make a Jonathan Adler inspired mini coffee table. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

The assembled table will look like this:

All you need to make a Jonathan Adler inspired mini coffee table. Photo by Holly Tierney-Bedord. All rights reserved.

Here’s the one I am making, next to the original box/table. I might remove the bottom bracelet to make it even lower. I won’t decide for sure until I see how it looks in the living room, alongside (yet to be acquired) chairs and sofas.

All you need to make a Jonathan Adler inspired mini coffee table

The only thing left to do is to sand the edges lightly, put on a coat of dark stain, and glue it all together. Since this project is still in progress, it might look a little different the next time you see it, but you get the idea. If you still can’t see it as anything other than a stack of bracelets with a coaster on top, you’ll just have to wait for the final unveiling.