Monday, February 28, 2011

3 Renovations for under $3

In the past two weeks, I finished three major furniture pieces that have been waiting for some much needed TLC. The best part is that combined, I spent less than $3 for their amazing make-over by using supplies that I had around the house. 

Project #1
Mid-century, 1800's antique chair
Purchased for $1
Total cost of supplies $.25
Paint=already had it at home
Wood Putty to fix broken joint=already had it 
Batting for chair cushion=purchased two king size batting sheets at a garage sale six months ago for $2, so my estimated cost on the small amount I used....$.10
Material for chair cushion=already had it
Wood support for cushion=$.25 dismantled stool that I bought at a yard sale a few months back.
Labor for completed work=FREE...Samantha painted the entire chair. Really! I did a little bit of touch up work, but with about 5 hours of work, she painted the whole thing...with a one inch paint brush. Sounds like cruel and unusual punishment, but she can't get enough of painting!

The bottom of the chair-the cushion supported by a re-purposed stool  
The Finished Product-for sale $40

Asking Price $115
Project #2
The Ugly Entertainment Center
Why do I even have this? We got it off the side of the road about 9 months ago with the intention of re-selling it. But no one would buy this thing...not even for $10. Reality Check: Entertainment centers are old news. Nobody has tube TV's anymore. So, I decided to hang on to it and use it as a storage unit in Molly's bedroom for when she was old enough to change over her room from a nursery to a kids room. Well, she is finally old enough so I spent two weekends sanding and painting this gargantuan furniture piece. Jerry even had the brilliant idea of flipping it upside down so that the cabinet doors were on top rather than the bottom. It looks much less like an entertainment center and more like a multi-purpose storage unit. I used some hardware that I bought at a yard sale for the knobs on the door and distressed the edges, because let's be is going to look "distressed" after being in a kids room anyway. 
Problem #1: This thing is GYNORMOUS! 
Problem #2: It is SUPER GYNORMOUS and HEAVY
Problem #3: It barely fit down the hallway and no amount of twisting, flipping or turning was going to get it into Molly's bedroom. We tried from every angle! 

The only way to get it in her room was to take apart the door frame. Instead, I will sell it. But, I'll never re-coop the time that was invested in painting it.

Project #3
Thanks to a rainy day estate sale two Saturday's ago and a watchful friend who saw this potential beauty, I nabbed this 3-piece vanity set with a matching full-size bed frame for $20.
Check out the hardware! Can you say "square"    

This furniture piece was in such terrible shape, it ended up being super easy to sand down and paint. Plus, there were no curvy edges or decorative adornments that makes painting jobs more time consuming.
Total Cost of Supplies for this project: $1...maybe, probably less.
New Hardware: Had a super cool set of 6 from a bucket of hardware I found at a yard sale
Paint: Used my staple antique white paint
Fabric for Bench: Found some cute fabric I already had in my stash
Total Time: Less than 4 hours for both pieces

The Finished Product-For sale $195 both or $165 vanity, $55 headboard

It turns out that Valentine's gifts found on craigslist are not cool!

I say that only because February sales were less than stellar. Remember my amazing week in January when I sold 14 items in a single week. I didn't even sell 14 items total this entire month. That just leaves more for March!

Step Aerobics Board
Paid $3 (Original asking price $5)
Sold $20

Full Size Cherry Wood Headboard
Paid $0 (Mom and I found this in someones trash on a Saturday morning and grabbed it. It was actually the back side of a 3 in 1 crib. I just sold it as a stand alone headboard)
Sold $20


Strings Music in Downtown Glendora moved store fronts and is liquidating what was the "old lady clothing store" to move into their space. With a little persuasion, we were able to acquire the furniture pieces that were being used as display pieces to sell. And, we already sold some stuff!

Clothing Racks with Decorative Chandeliers
Sold a set of 8 for $100 in less than a week  

Still for Sale...

Large Hutch with Matching 7-piece Dining Room Table Set
Made in the USA by Stanley Furniture Company
$1,500 for both or $1,000 each...for now.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Mommy Picker" in Training

A conversation with Sammi....two weeks ago:

Sammi: Mommy, I don't like this anymore. Will you sell it? (In regard to a pillow critter that was on her bed)
Me: "No. That was a gift. I'm not going to sell it....yet."

A "conversation" on the "phone" between Sammi and her "customer:"

Sammi: "Uh...yeah...It's still for sale." [pause] "I'll give you the address when you're on your way." [pause] "Scottdale, like the two mans names."

A conversation with Sammi today in regard to our painting project for the afternoon:

Sammi: "When we're all done painting this, are you gonna sell it."
Me: "No...not this one. This is for Molly's bedroom."

...and a little bit later in the conversation when Sammi started painting one of my chairs...

Me: "Since you're helping me paint that chair, should I give you some of the money when I sell it?"
Sammi: "No. I don't want any money. I already have some in my piggy bank."
Me: "Hmmm...must be nice."

There's a Story Behind Virtually Everything that gets Sold

Mr. Beer Home Brewery System
Paid $3 (Original asking price, $5)
Sold $10
Bought during a total "Anthony" moment. And to explain an "Anthony" moment, you have to understand who Anthony is. None other than my fellow mommy pickers husband, Anthony got completely fired up over my 4,000% mark-up on an item that sold within a week and he has been "mommy picking" ever since. So, you could say that I am a person of great influence in his life...perhaps, a inspiration! However, Anthony is notorious for picking the most random things and he doesn't negotiate the price thereby cutting into his overall profits. I have to hand it to him, though...the things he always picks end up selling. 
So Mr. Beer was my "Anthony" purchase. As soon as I got in the car, I was like "why did I just buy that?" But, thanks to some bored and crazy college guys who drove all the way out from West Hollywood to buy it, I sold it in one week for a measly profit of $7. Thank goodness that thing is out of my house!

Black Hope Chest/Toy Box
Paid $5 (Original asking price, $10) 
Sold $35
The cool thing about this sale was that the guy who ended up buying it lived right up the street from me. Random! 

Mommy Pickers Clients Who Made Bank this Week

The Bergere Chair
SOLD In under three weeks
Final selling price: $325
$225 MORE than the original asking price of $100 at the garage sale this Mommy Pickers client had a few weeks ago. She was able to off-load this bulky chair which she couldn't move to her smaller house and had us sell it for her instead!  Patience (and a bit of trust, because she didn't know us) ended up paying off! 

Antique Coffee Table
Final selling price: $65
$65 MORE than this client was going to get by donating it to the Goodwill. Instead, she tossed it our way thus, getting it out of her house and holding out for a bit of profit! We put a little TLC into it, re-stained it to the deep mahogany pictured and sold it through a pre-pay paypal deal this week! 

My Sisters Dishes
Sold for $45 (In less than one week)
The kicker, they were chipped, an incomplete set with only 2 dinner plates and a few saucers, plus casserole dishes. And, a complete 10-piece set of China Dishes that had faded gold trim. The funny thing is that Karen told me I could just keep the money. I don't think she expected them to go for so much. For that matter, I didn't either! Ha ha! 

Monday, February 7, 2011

"50 Bucks is 50 Bucks"

In a moment of weakness, I sprung a whopping $50 on a great dining room table set. But, after off-loading that amazing hutch that I had a few weeks ago (the one that cost $25 and sold for $400), I was out of any high-priced inventory to sell. So, I bought a very large dining room table with 4 very large matching chairs and I was hoping that I would be able to sell the complete set for around $275. Not thinking it through, however I didn't have any place to store the table. And the chairs were problematic because they were so large that they didn't stack well so took up loads of space in the garage. After two weeks of re-arranging and struggling to get to things in the garage, I threw my hands up in the air and dropped the price to a mere $125. I sold it this weekend to a buyer who managed to negotiate the price down to $100. So, I at least made 50 bucks in the deal.

5-Piece Pine Wood and Off-White Dining Room Table with leaf
Paid $50 (Original asking price, $125)
Sold for $100 

Unique White Octagon Shaped Side Table
Remember this table from last week? I pulled it off of the curb by someone's trash and Sammi helped me make it over with some wood putty, sandpaper and white paint.
Sold for $25 (It didn't look as nice in person as it does in the picture) 

Antique Secretary with 3 Drawers
Paid $25 (Original asking price, $40)
Sold for $100
The owner sold this piece with a "matching chair," which in fact didn't match at all. I sold the chair a few weeks ago to an antique dealer for $10. And, this didn't look as great in person as the picture makes it look. It was quite scratched and dinged up...but a rag and some Old English did wonders to cover up the many imperfections. 

Finally, and ebay sale worth mentioning...

Thanks to a find by my mom and some quick research on my new droid (a "mommy pickers" best friend), I got all four of these Build-a-Bear outfits for $2!  They closed auction this week at over $31! That was two bucks well spent. 

My favorite find of the weekend...

I LOOOOVE this piece of furniture! It is so unique and versatile that it could be used as a dresser, kitchen hutch or entertainment center. And, it is fairly large...about chest high. The best part about doesn't need any work and I can sell it "as is." Unfortunately to my friends I ran into yard saling this weekend-Bobby and Melissa ;)-I wasn't kidding when I said that "I already got the good stuff at that house." I got this and another nice piece of furniture earlier in the morning and was even offered double my purchase price from a guy walking out with me. Sadly, I have very little tact and declined his offered but told him it would be posted on craigslist later in the day. 
Check out the complete posting to see more pictures!

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