Welcome to Covet Collective!

A harem of girls who love crafts, antiques, design, and anything aesthetically pleasing. Come on in and read about what we've purchased, what we've found and what we covet.

We also have fun finds and handcrafted items for sale on http://www.etsy.com/. Once you are on the Etsy site, simply search Sellers (in the dropdown menu) and type in "covetcollective".

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Royal Celebration

I admit it.  I have been bitten by the Royal Wedding bug.  As a child, I watched Prince Charles and Lady Diana get married and was glued to the television for hours.  This Friday, I plan to sit in front of the television to watch all the nuances of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding.

There are some great festive ways to celebrate the upcoming nuptials.  The British clothing company Boden has a complete set of invitation and party printables to help you celebrate at home. 

If you want to dress up for the occasion, here is a video on Daily Candy of how to make a Royal Wedding Headpiece(demonstrated by milliner extraordinaire, Eugenia Kim).


Boden printables found via Hip Hip Hooray

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Thrifty Week - Day 5 - The Final Before & After

Okay, so if you read my Day 4 post, you will now see that I spoke too soon.  I was, in fact, able to dig up a few very dark and grainy pictures of my "before" desk, which will really help you understand how fantastically happy I am with my finished product. 

Here was the top of the desk, in all it's stained & carved on glory (no wonder it was only $5):

The drawers came as is, missing handle and all:

I hope you agree, the "after" is a major improvement!

The bonus?  I finally have a good storage place for my wrapping paper!  That top drawer is my favorite.

I hope this has inspired you to try your own DIY furniture improvement.  Even if you just change out the knobs on a piece, you will be amazed at the difference it makes.

And though technology is against me, and the photo is sideways, you can still get a good idea of the final-final (hinges and all).

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Thrifty Week - Day 4 - The Project

So after the last few days of blogs, I am sure you are wondering how my "masterpiece" turned out.  Unfortunately, thanks to a new computer transfer and file clean up I did, I deleted the "before" picture of my project.  Bummer!  However, here are the pictures of the progress & the finished product (well, almost, since I have to find the hinges I had removed prior to painting so I can get the doors back on!). 

I didn't take any pictures of the sanding process, which took about 3 hours (all by hand), and was MESSY!  As an example of the mess I made, when we moved the drop cloth after the first coat of paint (I sanded, primed and got a coat on all in one day), I thought I had painted the garage floor (see below).

It turns out, that was all the reddish sawdust from sanding off the original finsh, which had then picked up some of the spray paint in the air.  A quick sweep proved sufficient to clean it up, and I avoided any HOA penalties for painting the public garage floor.  Whew!

Here is the primer (on one of the drawers):

I hope you can't see them too clearly, the original handles had two screws, and my new handles just have one, so you may be able to see where I filled in the original holes on either side of the new one.  Look closely!!!!!

I wasn't too worried about getting the primer on evenly, since the dark paint would cover any splotching...or so I thought.  

I painted one of the doors to the desk before any other pieces to check the color.  Here was my color check for the space, taking into consideration where in the house it would be:

I liked the color, so attempted my first coat of paint.  Wow, I am a terrible spraypainter!  It looked so much better during the painting than after it dried!

Luckily, a second coat fixed my splotching.  Since I did the second coat at night (with limited lighting), I took some pictures to make sure it was going on evenly.  Here was a check after finishing the side (notice the top still needs work):

Putting on the polyurethene coat was very quick and easy.  It calls for 2 coats, but I only did 1 since the desk will actually see little use (it is more for storage right now).

Here is the (mostly) finished product:

I did a satin polyurethene coat, and you can see it reflected the picture above the desk when I snapped this picture (so that orange on the surface is NOT a mistake).  As you can see, I am still on the hunt for those hinges, so will finish the lower doors tonight(I hope!) and then I will really be done.  However, it was still fun to share my project with you, since I am sure there are many of you out there who also have some mostly finished projects laying around...somewhere...right?


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Thrifty Week - Day 3 - The Plan

After you have hunted for and found that piece that speaks to you, you need a plan for it.  Will it fit into your home as is, or does it need a little DIY love?

If you are like me, you love the work that others do, but really wonder if you can pull off a true DIY project.  Thank goodness for blogs!  I purchased a desk off Craigslist for $5, but it was missing a handle (and the other handles were NOT great), and had a bunch of waterstains on the finish.  I needed a plan for painting and finishing the piece. 

First: Figure out HOW to paint furnature
  • Centsational Girl has a great post entitled Spray Paint FAQ.  Definitely check it out before starting any project - she even includes a video!
  • For basic ideas, MadeMen has a few pointers.
  • I also found the "how-to" spray paint tips from eHow home to be really helpful - especially since I didn't even know what type of sandpaper to use!
Second: Purchase the supplies
  • Lowe's was a great source for the dropcloth, primer, sandpaper, mineral spirits, masks and tack paper.  However, I found the color selection limited (I wanted a reddish/orange), so they referred me to University Art.
  • University Art had some great colors, but still not the orange I wanted, so I went with red (MTN94 Rojo Clandestino).
  • Though I love the handles at Anthropologie, I found the prices for knobs/handles at Cost Plus World Market fit my budget.
  • OSH was a quick stop for the Varathane Premium Polyurethene (Satin) that only takes 2 hours per coat to dry, a brush for application & gloves to protect my hands.  Fun bonus?  The polyurethene bottles has a reference to http://www.woodanswers.com/, which is an online resource for all things (and projects) wood - how fun is that!?!
  • I had a screwdriver (remove the handles) and drill (drill new holes for the new handles) on hand.
Third: Find a friend to help carry the desk to the garage (thanks NL!)

Fourth: Ensure adequate time exists for the sanding, priming, painting (2 coats) and sealing.  I am sure I was slower than normal on my first attempt, but I ended up needing 3 project days to finish everything...though some of that was my limited lighting (natural only) in our apartment garage.

Here are a few images of my work in progress:

Drawers have been primed...
New knob hole drilled...
Original stain (left it inside the cabinets) with my messy primer spray + first coat of red...
 Supplies, ready and waiting...
 Can you see the red coating on the mask?  Safety first!
 Old handle vs. new knob against new color (sorry for the terrible picture!)...

How is your project going?

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Thrifty Week - Day 2 - The Find

For those fellow bargin hunters out there, you all know how much fun the thrill of the hunt is...especially when you finally find that piece you have been looking for that just needs some TLC and DIY magic to shine. 

Below are three potentially great pieces I found on craigslist as examples of what is out there for under $20 that could become fantastic with a little bit of help from your blogging buddies at Centsational Girl, Mod Podge Rocks, Design Sponge or your favorite site with before and after and how to's. 

Stay tuned tomorrow for the plan, and Thursday I will reveal my own upcycled project.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Thrifty Week - Day 1 - The Hunt

As the days are getting warmer (hopefully!) my mind turns to weekend projects.  My husband and I also did a full financial review, and realized that another year would go by before we could move from our apartment to a home, so my mind is on thrifty updates to our place to meet my desire for a change.  Enter a week of thrifty blogging! 

The first Sunday of every month in the Bay Area is a great day for anyone wanting to spend a day in the sun searching for unique, affordable items for their home or garden.  Why?  The Alameda Point Antique Faire comes to town!  Here are just a few images from the April faire to get your creative juices going.

Happy hunting for the next great piece for your place!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Party Planning - Decorations

Is a party a party without streamers, bunting, and banners?  I am a big fan of the DIYs on Project Wedding.  Their decoration tips can definitely be used for birthdays and other celebrations.  Here are some of my favorite (easy DIY ideas):

Modern Colorful Mobile

Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day is a frequent contributor to Project Wedding (Modern Mobile above was posted by Jordan). Here are some ideas from her blog:


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Anthropologie Earth Day Workshops

For those of you who are not on the mailing list, Anthropologie is hosting free cork crafting and potting classes for parents and children at some select locations. Click here to find out which locations are participating. 

Hooray for Earth Day!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Party Planning - Milk Bottles and Paper Straws

In many of the party planning blogs, I have noticed that drinks are being served in milk bottles with paper straws.  I have tried a few searches for milk bottles and they are not that easy to find.  Those that are available are quite expensive.  On a couple of blogs, I have seen people repurpose Starbucks Frapaccino bottles as drinkware. If you want to purchase new bottles, here are my recommendations:

Three Potato Four (3P4)
These adorable bottles are a 3P4 original and come with a white number "8" already on them (they are 8 oz. bottles).  Currently sold out on 3P4's site, they are sold as a set of three for $36. I also found out that they are sold individually through Urban Outfitters for $9 each.  Instead of a white "8", the bottles say "Net wt. 8 fluid ounces". 

Crate & Barrel
Crate & Barrel's Mini Glass Creamer popped up in my search. Many of the reviews complain about the size being too small (2.165" dia. x 3.346" high).  It might still be fine for serving drinks to children, but probably not adults.  They are $1.95 each. 

Sweet Lulu
Sweet Lulu carries three milk bottles in addition to many other wonderful party supplies.  Their Petite Glass Bottles (2" dia. x 6" high) are 12 for $28.  I love the fluting on the neck of this bottle.  
This shop also has rustic bottles in two sizes called Farmstand Milk Bottles.  The large Farmstand Milk Bottle is 5.5" tall and the small is 4.5" tall.  The large bottles are 12 for $36 and the small bottles are 12 for $28.

Striped Paper Straws
The perfect accent for milk bottles are striped paper straws (as seen above in the Petite Glass Bottle photo).  Sweet Lulu carries striped and polka dotted straws. Striped ones are 20 for $4.

Another shop called Garnish only carries red, gray, and blue striped straws.  They are sold individually at $0.05 ea, so their prices are lower than those of Sweet Lulu.  Garnish has an emphasis on simplicity and the sustainable, so use your imagination to dress up their supplies!  There is some crossover on the type of inventory Sweet Lulu carries, and in some cases, Garnish is slightly lower-priced.  


Friday, April 8, 2011

Party Planning - Blogs

For me, summertime is my peak time for throwing birthday parties.  A couple of months prior to the party, I start going through blogs and online mags to gather inspiration.  In my next couple of posts, I will be sharing with you some good sources for party planning.

Today, I thought I would share with you my go-to blogs for parties (mostly children-focused, but they have great ideas that could be adapted for adult celebrations too):

Hip Hip Hooray
Amy Atlas Events
One Charming Party


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hot Water Bottle Koozies

I've been udner the weather lately.  It's also been cold the past two days so I have been wanting warmth and comfort.  My boyfriend jokes that I like to cuddle with someone else.  That someone is my hot water bottle.  Whoever came up with this idea is a genius!  The only issue......the bottle is rubber.  It doesn't lead to warm fuzzies.  I remember, years ago, I was in Restoration Hardware and found a cashmere hot water bottle koozie.  I was uber exicted until I saw the price tag.  I have yet to get one but look at how cute these are from Etsy!

shop Gabsie

shop ACrookedSixpence

shop patmellor

- Tina