I am thrilled to share my first “Upcycle of the Week” in a long, long time. Amidst my preparation my the 2016 Spring Junk Bonanza show, I received a sweet message in my inbox from first time expectant mom-to-be Kristen. She and her husband Max were preparing their nursery for their baby girl who was due in June. She went onto inquire about Junk By Jenny doing a custom paint job on an heirloom rocking chair. Although the job sounded fun to do (I’m a sucker for heirlooms) and Kristen was so kind, I actually said no. I went onto Junk Bonanza, came home to finish out the school year, and to rest. As I started building my summer project list, the soon-to-be parents and their heirloom chair seemed to show up on my project list. Upon contacting Kristin, I figured they tackled the chair upcycle during my Junk Bonanza gig and May junking hiatus. Much to my surprise, they had not. So, I swooped in to help them finish their nursery.
So, about that heirloom’s history. Anyone from Morris knows of Willie and Rachel Martin. In the early 50’s, Willie started “Willie’s Red Owl” which was later named “Willie’s Supervalu.” These folks loved people, and still do. Willie’s iconic “You bet, we love you here at Willie’s” slogan, still plays on the local radio station. What does a grocery store owner have to do with an upcycled rocking chair? It originally belong to Willie and his wife Rachel. These long-time Morris residents rocked all of their babies in this beloved chair, one of whom was Paul, their son and current owner of “Willie’s Supervalu.” The chair has been passed down to Paul’s son, Max (who also is part of the Willie’s Supervalu team) and his wife Kristen to rock their new baby. Imagine the smiles, love, and admiration that the late Willie and Rachel Martin would feel for yet another generation to be rocked in this heirloom chair.
Paint | Peach Posey
Stain | Jacobean
Fine Grit Sandpaper
Fan (It was 94 Degrees)
Before | After
The soon-to-be parents made my job real easy. They sanded the chair and bought the paint. All I needed to do was paint it and Junk By Jenny’ify the piece. 4-5 coats of Peach Posey later (admist the 94 degree summer humity), I finished.
I gave Max and Kristen the option of some distressing features. I am thankful they obliged, as it allowed for some wiggle room on those challenging spindles. I lighted sanded edges of the piece and where natural wear would occur. From there, I turned to my favorite stain to pop out the distressing. I immediately wiped the excess stain with a paper towel.
It was so fun to deliver the heirloom chair to the excited happy couple. Thank you, Max and Kristen (and the generations before) for allowing me to share in this piece of your family history. Best wishes as you become parents.
Tell me about heirloom pieces you have. I’d love to hear from you.
More to the Story
This lovely couple became an official family in July when they welcomed little Miss Greta. Greta has been enjoying her heirloom rocking chair. Recently, her mommy sent me a fun little photo that was too cute not to share. The chair looks like a perfect addition in Greta’s nursery, coupled with her cozy and cheerful blankets. But let’s be real, Greta steals the show. What an absolute little doll. A weeks back, Greta’s mommy wrote,
Greta is now 10 weeks old and I’m just now getting around to taking a picture of her in the chair. Where has the time gone?!? We do lots of cuddling and chatting with each other in that chair. Thanks so much again, we love it!!!