Tips for Restoring a Campaign Dresser

Happy Tuesday everyone!  I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend.  I sure did!

I wanted to pop in today to follow-up on a post I did about my Campaign Dresser makeover.  I learned a few tips along the way that I wanted to pass along.

Tips for Restoring a Campaign Dresser

So, when I found my dresser for only $50 on Craigslist, I was beyond ecstatic. She was a diamond in the rough.  I realized that two or three of the hardware brackets were missing, but figured it would be super easy to find replacements on Ebay or Etsy. WRONG!!

I searched and searched for the missing L brackets and could find nothing on Ebay, Etsy or Craigslist.  CRAP!  The signature of a campaign dresser is the hardware and having missing hardware was just not going to do.  I went on a wild goose chase to track down the hardware, so I want to let you know where all the possible sources are in the event you ever find yourself wanting to restore a similar piece.

EBAY and ETSY:  I recommend first doing a cursory search on Ebay and Etsy to see if you get lucky.  Exact matches are hard to find, but it is worth doing a quick search.

SALVAGE FROM ANOTHER PIECE:  You may want to consider looking for another piece of campaign furniture on Craigslist and using it just for the hardware.  While this may seem expensive, if you are looking for something like a pull, buying it new will cost you a pretty penny. It may be cost-effective in the long run

HOME DEPOT AND LOWE’S:  You could consider buying inexpensive brackets from a box store.  This is my least favorite option.  It just does not look as authentic.  You have to use bulky screws, whereas campaign hardware uses tiny brad nails.  See what I mean by looking at the picture below?


l bracket

CUSTOM ORDER THROUGH AN INTERIOR DESIGNER:  You can have an interior designer order them through the Decorative Hardware Studio, but it is very expensive.  About $25 per piece.  If you are replacing all the hardware, this really adds up.

BUY IT NEW ONLINE:  You can buy new brackets and hardware new at Vintage Hardware. They sell recessed pulls as well as L brackets and T brackets.  This is the route I went and I was very pleased.  While I only needed 4 pieces, I wanted mine to match exactly as far as the finish was concerned, so I ended up replacing them all.  If you have to do this, you could always make up for the cost, buy selling the existing hardware on Ebay or Etsy.

I was lucky that I did not have to buy new pulls.  Mine just required a good soak in some Brasso. I let them soak for about 20 minutes.  I have also heard you can use baking soda and lemon juice. Centsational Girl has an excellent post about polishing brass that you can read here.  Here is a before and after of the hardware:


All shiny and new!  By the way, it is important to find out if you are dealing with real brass or brass plate before attempting to polish.  If you take a magnet to the hardware and it sticks, it is only brass plated.  If it falls off, you are dealing with real brass.

So, there you have it, all of the information you could ever need about campaign hardware.  If you ever need to replace or find pieces, I have done all of the legwork for you!

What are your tips for finding vintage hardware?  Do you go on wild goose chases too?



Target Bar Cart Styled 3 Ways

I posted here about the amazing brass and wood bar cart at Target.  I bought one myself and so did some of you amazing readers!

I have been asked about how to style it.  Well, apparently I am not the only one in love with it, as some amazing bloggers have posted different ways to style it!  Check it out.

glitter guide bar cart 1 Delbarr Moradi

waiting on martha bar cart Waiting on Martha

glitter guide bar cart 2

Delbarr Moradi

The first one is feminine and flirty.  The second rustic and the third clean and simple!

To get the details on the items used for these carts, check out the Glitter Guide.

Which one is your favorite?  Hard to choose, right?

DIY Brass Urchin Sculpture

Urchin photo final

I can’t get enough of brass accents.  I posted here about coveting an urchin (or starburst) sculpture.  I love the modern whimsy they add to a space and they are the perfect accent for a coffee table or bookshelf.  Alas, this one from Williams-Sonoma Home was way out of my budget.

williams sonoma starburst


However, I am not a girl to let my budget stop me from getting what I want.  So, I started doing some research and found a DIY version that is sooo0 easy. Therese over at Craft and Couture made an amazing knock off version.  Here is how you do it:


(makes 2 medium-sized urchins)

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1 pack of Sculpey oven bake clay (available at craft stores)

1 pack of mini wood dowels (I found mine at Michael’s)  Could also use toothpicks

1 can of gold or brass spray paint


First, slice the clay into two equal parts.

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Second, knead each half in your hand for a few minutes and then roll each half into a ball.

Then press down gently on the ball to slightly flatten the bottom.

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Third, starting at the top, insert the dowels.  Insert them about 1/4 inch .

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Fourth, insert the dowels in the shape of a cross and then fill in each section.  That gives it more uniformity.

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Fifth, it is all done and ready for some heat!  Follow the instructions on your clay packet.

I baked mine at 275 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Place it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.


Finally, let it cool down completely and then spray paint it with 2 coats of gold spray paint.

urchin photo wm


This project was very easy and my 4-year-old even helped!

It costs me less than $5 per sphere

You can use styrofoam instead of clay, but it won’t hold up as well.

If the clay starts to lose its shape, just reform it as you go.

If a wooden dowel falls out after baking, just apply some craft glue on the end and insert it back in the hole.

You can make different sizes of these and cluster them together.  Simply adjust the size of the balls and wood.

I am really pleased with how these turned out and plan to make something similar for Christmas tree ornaments.  Stay tuned . . .


If Money Were No Obejct

Happy Friday!!  Oh, how I love my Friday post.  I get to peruse the web in search of beautiful objects, pretending if only for a moment . . . that they are mine!

Up today is this amazing bamboo bar cart.

bar cart 2

This brass beauty would set me back $3,250.  I found it on 1stdibs.  1stdibs is where high-end designers shop for clients where money REALLY is no object!

Not only is this piece financially impractical right now, it is also impractical space-wise and because I have small children.  I can just see my girls climbing on it and knocking down barware and decanters!!  But hey, this was never meant to be a practical post.

I have a ton of decanters and glassware given to us as wedding gifts, that are tucked away (far away) from my children.  But maybe one day, when they are older, it will be resurrected and placed on a cart similar to this one.

If you are lucky you could find something similar at an estate sale or antique mall.  I must find a knock-off!!

Have a wonderful weekend!  I might just be seen at an estate sale or two this weekend!