A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I went on a date. One of the stops was our favorite local thrift store. I saw this vintage wooden train planter almost immediately. It was in three pieces, very distressed and need of some love. I decided for $4.95 I had to bring it home and give it some love. I knew I had made a good choice when a couple of the ladies at the thrift store stopped me to tell me they almost purchased it and what they would have done to it.
Here is a before picture (although I did paint the birdie prior to clicking the pic).
To me, it is a beautiful piece of folk art, even with the missing wheels and rough construction. I love the proportion of the large bird to the small train, it makes me smile. I decided to paint it red and my husband had the brilliant idea to put wide tape over the metal straps so the wood would show through on either side.
This was my first time using "Frog Tape" and I think it did a good job, I don't necessarily think it's better than the blue stuff but it worked just fine.
I purchased three small tubes of acrylic paint at A.C. Moore to paint the bird, the wheels, the smoke stack and the front of the train. The black and white bottles of "My Studio" were $0.59 each and the yellow bottle of "Apple Barrel" was a splurge at $0.99 but it was called "Canary Yellow" and I told myself that if I find a yellow called "Canary" I was going to buy it. I must say, though, I think the cheaper stuff worked better, it seemed to cover in less coats.
My next decision was what to do with the missing engine wheels. I thought about having someone make them for me but I was able to find some on the internet by searching "spoked wood toy wheels" and although I needed to drill the holes a little bigger and saw the pegs a little bit, I couldn't be happier with how they turned out and with shipping, they were about $7.50 for the pair.
I am so thrilled with the final product. After everything was painted, I lightly sanded the piece around the edges. To one of the cargo cars I added vintage black and white bunny salt and pepper shakers that have spoked wheels and look like they are peeking out over the side. To the back I added large and small pool balls that coordinate with some pool ball accessories I have in my dining room (and happen to be leftover from other projects).