Wednesday 25 September 2013

Tale of Two card Catalogs

I'm telling you I am completely blessed.

You see a couple of weeks ago I was busy working at the cottage and my sister sent me a picture. I don't have the picture anymore but I'm telling you my heart was beating a bit faster.

This is my nephew as we were ready to load these in my truck
My sister found them at a Re store and asked me if I was interested. Well DAAA of course I was. :)
Thankfully she was able to take them home with her and I was there two mornings later to pick them up. Thanks Zach for hauling them home for me in your truck!

Both of them were spoken for by the end of the day and work got under way by the end of that week.
Both of them are going to very crafty ladies who will use them in their home based business's.
The first person wanted a cream colour, the base removed and industrial type casters added.
 Going to take you through the process just a bit. First I had to removed all 80 drawers...yes you heard that right. Each unit has 40 drawers.
 Everything had to come off. Some to be saved and re used, some to be tossed.
 The bottoms all came off. The steel parts anyway.

It was all taken to the recyclers. 
 All the fronts were cleaned then sanded to remove the final bits of paper and glue that didn't come off with simple cleaning.
 Then new bottoms were cut and glued into each drawer
 That bottom base was removed from one of the units (according to what the new owner wanted)
Then it was all stacked to dry. 
 Then the rods that went through the front of each drawer had to be altered by my wonderful hubby :)
 A new base was built and casters added.
 Each drawer was painted and set to dry.
 Everything distressed to make it look old and worn once again.
 And all that lovely solid brass hardware was cleaned and put back in place.
 And here she is complete. I am waiting for a picture in her new home though.

 I think she turned out perfectly.

The second one had very much the same kind of makeover. 
By the time I started on that one, the drawers were already ready for paint. 
The second owner however didn't want cream...she wanted a combination of blue and green. 
She also didn't want to lose the base. 

I did cut a bit off the base. If you look back at the first picture you can see a black bottom on it. It actually went in a bit and had that nasty black plastic wrapped around it. So that was lost and a new base added along with some lovely new legs. The veneer on the top was removed because it was in bad shape. I should mention the veneer was removed from the first one as well. 
I should have taken pics between coats of paint but I didn't :( 
This is how the second one turned out. 
 I'm sorry the pics were taken inside my garage late at night. I wanted to get pics to the new owner before I left in the morning and this was my only chance :(
 See the two tones? Don't you just love it?

All that lovely brass just sets the whole thing off :) I can't wait for her to see it all in person. 

Phew I'm tired. 
My husband asked me tonight as I was sliding the last drawer in place. "I bet you don't want to see another card catalog in a long time eh?" 
What? seriously? I would do another 100 of these if I had the chance. Ok, maybe not tomorrow, but I'll be game next week 

anyone know where I can get more? 


  1. Oh my stars! I'm just green with envy! A real card catalog......that would be this nerdy bookworms dream! Got to hit the ReStore this weekend. I know we are a long way away but maybe Crafty In Crosby can hit the jackpot too! Your paint jobs just really brought them back to life.

    1. Thank you, good luck finding one...I was at the re store today too but didn't find another :(

  2. Oh my gosh - those are absolutely amazing - can't even pick a favorite color - they're both so gorgeous !!!
    If I come across another one................I won't tell you because I'll be buying it myself lol

    1. Hey! You should share ;) lol
      Well at least tell me if you find one. :)

  3. Replies
    1. I just bought a six-drawer oak card catalog at a flea market. I've been looking for one for a long time. I wish I had you to make wood bottoms for me. I just cleaned mine up and put wood strips down in the drawers to cover the hole from the hardware.

    2. New bottoms basically means I removed the "guts" and put new wood on the inside on top of the bottoms, I think it created extra strength :) Thanks :)

  4. What a find!! I just love old card catalogs.

    1. Thank you. I love them too. I really want one for me too, but I would feel like I was depriving others of the ones meant for them.

  5. This is such a wonderful account of how these lovely pieces were restored. 'The Journey of a Card Catalog'! I admire your dedication creating such beautiful pieces of history into present day gems. They are both beautiful but I really love the blue and green one best.
    Coming your way via Miss Mustard Seed-Furniture Feature Friday.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Thanks Lisa, it's always a learning experience and I sometimes sharing the process helps others like I've been helped many many times

  6. OMG OMG OMG! What an incredible find. Curious on the price your sister paid for them. These are so hard to find at reasonable prices. Congrats. I'm sure your clients are ecstatic with their makeovers. Looking forward to seeing more of your projects as I'm now following you.

    1. Thank you Doreen. I did send you an email the other day. Check your junk mail folder :)

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you The new owners are very happy and that makes me happy too :)

  8. I bought a gorgeous one with 72 drawers in the spring. I LOVE it!! I had to get my dad to drive me 3 hours each way ($100 in gas for the old truck nobody can drive but him, ugh), and pay $300 for it, but I was lucky to get it...the seller said she'd had tons of calls but I was the only one who didn't try to negotiate down the price - I was so happy she agreed to sell it to me even though I was not a local. That sucker is super heavy, but so well-made. I cleaned each and every drawer and assembled it in my studio. It holds so much stuff I am in awe. I still have probably 20 empty drawers (they are a little odd sized so not everything will fit in there, but lots of my crafting stuff fits perfectly). My husband was a hard-sell, but now he thinks it's cool too. If anyone is on the fence about buying one, I highly recommend that you do. Now I'm deciding if I want to paint it, and I think the cream colored one you did here is so pretty. I also love the casters - great idea! Luckily my drawers were all solid-bottomed and perfect condition, so no rebuilding necessary. I do like the idea of cutting the rod off and just keeping the front knob - I think I'll do that too!

  9. They both turned out beautifully! What a great find.

  10. I am totally in love with the white one...just did such a good job.
    Over from Plate Addict

  11. OOOOOOH the things I could put in those drawers.....What a find! Great job on the re-dos

  12. Goodness what a find! And labor of love, they came out stunning. Wonderful Job! Wish I could get my hands on some of these babies!