See it at the Toronto Fall Home Show! An old wash basin stand gets upcycled in support of Habitat for Humanity

I'm excited to share a fun project I worked on this summer.

For the past several years The Toronto Fall Home Show has hosted an Upcycling Challenge in support of Habitat For Humanity.   When the organizers of the show invited me to participate it was an easy YES. I'm a big fan of the work of Habitat for Humanity and I love shopping at the ReStores. Have you been? 

Participants are invited to re-imagine an old piece of furniture. The theme of this year's challenge is "From Runway To Room".  
This was my fashion inspiration. I was inspired by the slogan t-shirts spotted on the fashion runways recently.

If you like my project please take a minute to vote for me. 

*Please be sure to scroll down the page and fill out the form so your vote is counted. There seems to be some confusion around that...

I actually had my project piece before I had decided on the fashion element. It is an old wash basin stand. Here is what it looked like before.

antique wash basin stand - before shot

Beatty Bros. Limited Wash Basin Stand Circa 1923

So I took the old wash basin stand, it was in pretty bad shape, and tattooed it with empowering words and slogans, reflecting not only the work and empowering messages of Habitat for Humanity but also what is happening in our world today. 

I wanted it to be more than a statement piece. I wanted it to make a statement. So, I tattooed it with slogans for social change. Inspired by the political slogan t-shirts on the runways this past spring. 

Here are a few photos of the process...

First I cleaned the wood and then gave it a light sanding.  It was pretty dirty. Then I applied adhesive vinyl letters to the wood. 

 I applied the letters on the top of the stand and on the legs.

I applied a coat of Minwax Gel Stain in Walnut to the bench.

I used Minwax Gel Stain in Walnut. It worked perfectly for this project. I think if I had used a regular stain I would have had problems with it getting underneath the vinyl letters or bleeding. It was really easy to apply. PS This is not a paid endorsement. It just worked really well!

I then carefully peeled off the letters. The result is subtle and rustic. I really wanted to keep the patina of the old stand so I left the rusty wheels and hinges alone. The wood now has a richer finish. 

 Here are some after photos!

I think it would make a great table or plant stand. It would also look fantastic with a stack of wool blankets sitting on top. Perfect for a cottage or someone who appreciates a more rustic, industrial look.


It includes the antique berry tray which I also tattooed. Thank you to Antique Crates who generously donated the tray.

Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live.  Supporting their empowering message, renewing something with history and purpose into something useful while making a statement for hope and change. This is why I’m participating in this challenge.

The Upcycle Challenge projects are on display at The Toronto Fall Home Show and are also available to purchase.  One of the projects will also be auctioned off at the show. You can help choose which project that will be by voting. 

If you like my basin stand please take a minute to vote for me. 

Please be sure to scroll down the page and fill out the form so your vote is counted. There seems to be some confusion around that...  

The Toronto Fall Home Show Upcycle Challenge - a bench that makes a statement in support of Habitat for Humnaity

By the way, big thanks to Vicky Sanderson for including my stand in her story on the Toronto Fall Home Show in The Toronto Star last Saturday.

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