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Garage Sale Freebie to Volkswagen Bus

Early this past spring, I was on the hunt for furniture for our girls room makeover. They had a mish-mosh of pieces that didn’t coordinate and needed more space. When I spied a local garage sale had a vintage French Provincial set, I hopped on over. (Bedroom makeover coming soon!) Turns out a good friend was helping her family with the sale and showed me this dresser. I instantly knew it would make a fantastic Volkswagen …oh yessss…

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

This is anΒ Art Deco waterfall chest of drawers. It was marked $5 and she told me I could have it for FREE because it was junk. (Thank you, Julie!) Again, my brain says, “Bring it on!” Am I crazy? Maybe, but life is more fun that way.

So, now I have two Art Deco chest of drawers (or tall boys) awaiting new life and my first pick to work on was the second one. I recently used those glass pulls on my French Script dressing table, so now this gentleman stood naked..but not for long!

To get started, I needed to remove that snaggle-tooth veneer. There were two layers of veneer both on the outside and lining the inside, but my towel-soak method worked like a dream.

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

It peeled like butter off of hot toast. Two layers in one fell swoop! Funny the things that can make you giddy. Now I have a clean slate to start with and the just need a light sanding.

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

The face of the cabinet had this weird carved strip that kinda creeped me out because it looked like eyes staring at me.

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

It’s beautiful in its own right, but wasn’t going to suit my end project, so off it goes. It’s being saved for a project yet to be determined. Nothing goes to waste around here!

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

After this big boy was brought inside, I gave it a priming coat and then set to work on my vision. I removed that scalloped piece from the bottom front to give it a clean look.

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

About two years ago, I had seen a waterfall chest turned into a Volkswagen bus, and I promised myself that if I ever got my hands on another, I was going to give it a try. I even told my friend, Julie, when she gave me the chest my plan was a bus. Those vintage VW vehicles are so absolutely fun and who can resist those curves?

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I like to get creative with pieces like this, and I wanted to just let it all hang out and really go for it. I created my stencils with cardboard or used plastic lids, etc., and eye-balled the design.

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Can you see where I’m going with this? You have to look close…

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I decided to use my favorite furniture color with contrasting white for the finish. With the help of Hickory Hardware, I was able to get the pulls I wanted to complete the look I was after.

*Thank you to Hickory Hardware for providing the pulls for this project.

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I also had this sweet gem shipped in from the UK via eBay, and gave a sneak peek on social media on my upcoming project. This is the icing on the cake. (Come follow along to join in the fun – just click on the icons up in the top right.)

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Okay ladies and gents, it’s time to introduce you to one of my favorite makeovers ever…Meet BEEP.

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I’m one proud mama and couldn’t be happier that this “junk” is now a funkified Volkswagen bus wannabe.

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

My heart goes pitter-pat over those wire pulls for windshield wipers, and I love that the turn signals are wooden knobs.

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Isn’t he sweet? I have to tell you that I had another “God wink” because the day I was staging these photos, I happened to stop in a thrift store and found those almost new BLUE chucks and in my size!! I never shop for me and was giddy to bring them home. They don’t even look worn!

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Hard not to fall in love with this wheeled-wonder dresser complete with chrome accents, isn’t it?A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

It will be a teary goodbye when I send this guy off to his new home, but if you love him too, you can find him in my shop. I know he’ll find a good home. sniff…sniff. (UPDATE: BEEP went to his new home on 8/26)

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Do pin and share if you’ve loved this Volkswagen makeover. I’m sure others would love to meet BEEP too!

A garage sale freebie Art Deco water dresser gets a sweet Volkswagen Bus makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Up next, thisΒ Dumpster Diva…she’s next on my makeover list.Β β™₯ She’s all done with her new look!

Chest of Drawers Set out for Trash Rescued by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

More of my projects like my Volkswagen bus:

Ikea Rast Dresser Done Brownie Camera Style by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesWhy pay big bucks for Pottery Barn when you can DIY? For less than half the retail cost, we built a knock-off of the PB Caden leather bench. Come see how we did it! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

135 replies on “Garage Sale Freebie to Volkswagen Bus”

We grew up cruising around the CA coast in my dads vw bus. I adore your makeover and transformation of this piece. Come share it at my weekly party. A new one started today. Hope to see you there! Pinned. I hope I find a dresser to do this to.

Hi! Great work, it’s super cute! I’m curious did you happen to find out anything about the maker of this dresser? Thanks. – Bonnie

Guess I’m just nuts…hee hee. Those boxy dressers are just screaming for some sort of fun makeover. I’ve already started the second one…fingers crossed!

Larissa you are oozing with creativity today – this is way too cute! Many moons ago, my ex owned a bright orange VW Camper Van for a short while and it was fun to drive in. It was like you suddenly belonged to a special community and people would wave at you in appreciation of seeing these on the road. I always do that when I see any vintage vehicle on the road too – so I am sending a VW Van wave to you haha! ~ Kari

Ooh…orange! My kids and I talked about what color to do, but I couldn’t reisist my favorite color. Even when you google a VW van, most of the images are aqua. {{waving!!}}

I have ALWAYS wanted a VW bus but I don’t think I will ever get one. I cannot believe what you did to this piece of furniture. That was the most wonderful job ever. I can just imagine that in a child’s room of course someone will have to explain what a VW bus was. Thank you so much for sharing this!!!!!

Larissa, Did someone drive a VW through your wall. LOL!! It is absolutely adorable and I think some little boy especially would love it in his bedroom. Keep up the good work and do not let anyone ruin you joy of what you are doing. Sometimes you have to do what you can to refurbish the piece. I love everything about it. Whoever said that to you, is just a very unhappy person. She could have not said anything which would have been much nicer. Oh well, maybe she is just jealous as she cannot do the cool thing you do. You go girl!

Is this Chalk paint?

I actually have a very old, well used 4 piece bedroom set (dresser, vanity, nightstand, headboard) in this waterfall style. You have given me a great idea on how to refresh it.

thank you for sharing your creativity

I love it…..and someone on my local Facebook garage sale page just happens to be selling a VW medallion….something tells me I’ll be trolling the thrift stores for an appropriate dresser. That’s just the cutest idea!

Read your tips – great advice. It says to soak a large towel, but doesn’t say what to soak it in. Is it just water? Hot to start? Or something else?

Just water…I fixed my post to make sure to include that…sorry! No hot water needed, just plenty. Be sure though that your wood is not parched. I did have a dresser at one point that had been stripped and left sit in a barn for over a year. When I used my method, it warped the wood underneath. I knew better, but was hasty. I’ve done dozens otherwise with no issues. Hope this helps!

Love Beep. Definitely a great make over. I have painted furniture but I am not as creative as you. I can enjoy & admire an artist work.

Thank you, Ellen! πŸ™‚ Especially because of your comment on my artistry. I had someone say I ruined it, but I had to ask them if they appreciated art. Ah well…can’t please everyone!

I love the makeover! I’m wondering when you remove decorative pieces from old furniture, does the wood damage? What method do you use to remove the piece? Thank you.

Thanks! As for damage, it really depends on how it was attached. The two pieces I removed were nailed on, so it was just matter of prying them off. Sometime they are glued on and that can be a little difficult. Most of my pieces are pretty rough to start, so the glue is usually worn out and I can pry it off with my putty knife. Hope that helps!

I am instantly inspired! This is an absolutely brilliant idea! I love the blue color that you chose. I would put this in either my daughters or son’s room…it’s so much fun to look at! Thank you for sharing

WOW I’m in love with BEEP!!!! Never have I seen such a fantastic makeover! OMG I wish I was the new owner of BEEP, I absolutely love him!!!! Well done Larissa you are so creative and I just love your style xx

awww… thanks, Patricia! It was a fun project to do. I have another BEEP in the works with an exciting announcement coming in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned! πŸ˜‰

I love the VW dresser Bus. I would love to bid on it if it is not already gone. I have a feeling it is. Do you make custom stuff like that for clients?
Thanks,
Rhonda

Thank you, Rhonda! This one is actually sold, but I am auctioning off a second BEEP with kickoff on Nov. 25th. As for custom, yes, I am also working on yet another one for a custom client. Send me an email if you’re interested: larissa @prodigalpieces.com

I love it! So cute! Did you also make your skirt out of pants? We do that for the girls. New fan to your blog! πŸ™‚

Did I see that you’re going to auction it? I’m interested, especially if it’s going to Samaritan’s Purse. When/where is the auction? And I’d be glad to promote it on a few VW Facebook groups, if you’re interested

The Little Things article misspoke, but I am going to be auctioning another BEEP on eBay with proceeds going to Samaritan’s Purse on Nov. 25th (event kick-off, auction on the 30th). I’d love it if you’d share – follow my Facebook page for details. Thank you!

I just voted for you and BEEP to win the Bob Vila contest. I think this project is the most creative thing I have ever seen. You are very talented! I hope you win!

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