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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 an 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, this Dumpster Diva…she’s next on my makeover list. ♥ 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

Comments

  1. Susan Homeroad says

    Aghhhhh!!! I LOVE it Larissa! This is one of the best makeovers I’ve ever seen ! Bravo girl…. you do great work! Pinning and sharing. 🙂

  2. Angie @ Project Patrol says

    This is absolutely incredible! The information you provide is invaluable! I’m always picking my jaw up off the floor 🙂

  3. Debrashoppeno5 says

    Wow it looks fantastic. You are so talented.

  4. Lisa says

    WOW! That is just wonderful! I’m hoping someone buys it for a little boy nursery. ? Amazing job!

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! That’s the fun of it, it’s suited for boy/girl or any room as a conversation piece with awesome storage.

  5. Carolyn says

    I am in love with Beep and the colors you chose!!

  6. [email protected] Interior Frugalista says

    I am surprised your boys didn’t wrap themselves around BEEP to claim him for their room. A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E!!! Get your kleenex ready Larissa because he won’t last long in your Etsy Shop.

    • Larissa says

      They would if he fit! I’d stick him in my prairie style room if I could. Thank you, Marie!

  7. Gina says

    I love all things VW – so I’m just swooning over this. GREAT JOB!!!!

    • Larissa says

      You’re my kinda gal! They’re addicting and wonderful vehicles. Thank you!

  8. Rita says

    Love love it!! Enjoy your post very much.

  9. Debby says

    Too flipping cute!! Love the colour chices.

  10. Ellen Braunberger says

    Your vision is amazing!

  11. logan wilhelm says

    Have to agree with another poster……………..BEST make over I’ve seen! AMAZING!

  12. Amy says

    Beep is the cutest dresser ever! Amazing job Larissa. I especially love the use of the knobs and pulls as features on the bus… So brilliant.

    • Larissa says

      It’s fun to get fun with a piece and bring it to life, as you know. Thank you!

  13. [email protected] says

    Amazing, Larissa! You are so creative and I know that someone will snag this from your shop very quickly.

    • Larissa says

      Thank you so much, Paula! It was so fun to see it come to life.

  14. Airdrie Burns says

    I burst out laughing, just love love love the bus!!! brilliant and so creative – go grl!i

    • Larissa says

      Wahoo!! That’s what it’s all about. Thank you. I had someone on my FB page say I ruined it…not so fun to hear, but oh well.

  15. Erica @ Dwell Beautiful says

    This is seriously SO. COOL! I just love a good ol’ VW bus (especially in that blue color!) and you totally knocked this one out of the park. And the little handles for wipers?? GENIUS!

    • Larissa says

      So stoked to hear it, Erica! The personality of VW’s is contagious and I love their style. 😉

  16. Theresa @DearCreatives says

    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.

    • Larissa says

      How fun! Thank you for the invitation – I’m so happy you stopped by!

    • Bonnie Garcia says

      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

    • Larissa says

      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!

  17. Kari says

    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

    • Larissa says

      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!!}}

  18. Kimm at Reinvented says

    SO FLIPPIN’ COOL!!!! OMG, I love it so much. You did an amazing job with the details. Love those windshield wipers.

  19. Patty says

    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 says

      My absolute pleasure, Patty. Did you want a camper version or the basic? Either way…they’re cool!

  20. Mary Prinzavalli says

    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!

    • Larissa says

      hahaha…YES!! 😉 Some people should learn the phrase, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Thank you!

  21. Sheryl says

    That is just TOO cute!

    • Larissa says

      It was a fun piece to work on and give new life – thank you!

  22. Sherry Fram says

    That is the cutest dresser ever!! Love it!!

  23. Christy says

    Absolutely amazing, Larissa!! This will be such a great addition to one very lucky child’s bedroom!! XO

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Christy! Ain’t it a shame we can’t keep everything in some vast mansion? But then, who would be the one to clean it all? 😉

  24. Julia - Vintage with Laces says

    Hi Larissa, The moment I saw the picture of Beep at Donna’s party, I knew it must be your project. I LOVE it! It’s absolutely amazing and would a great conversation piece for any room.

    • Larissa says

      That’s awesome, Julia! Yes, I think BEEP would fit in most anywhere as he’s a fun-loving kinda guy. 😉

    • Larissa says

      Whew! I don’t know about that, but it was fun to do. 😉 Thanks, Wedni!

  25. michiganderintexas says

    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

    • Larissa says

      No, just regular paint from a box store. 😉 Sounds like you have quite a gem!

    • Larissa says

      I’m so glad you stopped by, Jen! Thank you for supporting my work.

  26. Doreen @ Hymns and Verses says

    I didn’t think you could ever top the brownie camera dresser – but girl, you’ve done it! If I had a spot for this special piece – I’d be pressing that buy it button! You are amazing!!

    • Larissa says

      hahaha…love it, Doreen! Thank you so much for the love – I had fun. 😀

    • Larissa says

      Thank you so much, Karla! It was fun and I’m so glad I could give it new life.

  27. Robin says

    Ummmmm….I’m very nearly dying – this is my favorite project in a long time! pinning, sharing…shouting…I love it! ox

  28. Cecilia says

    Oh my word! That is so stinkin’ cute! I LOVE “Beep”. Great job I’m in awe!

    • Larissa says

      I’m so happy you like it, Ceilia! He’s stolen my heart. 😉

  29. Dee says

    This is the cutest make-over EVAH!!! I had to sign up to receive emails…your imagination and skills/talents are awesome!

    • Larissa says

      Yay!! Happy to have you, Dee, and can’t thank you enough for the love. 😉

  30. Wendy says

    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!

    • Larissa says

      Ooh…it’s fate! I hope you snatch it up and make one of your own. Show me when you do! 😉

    • Larissa says

      How fun to hear!! Thank you for the encouragment, Victoria!

  31. David Bramlett says

    Did u sell your vw chest of drawers yet ? If not, how much is it !?
    Thx..db
    – – –

    • Larissa says

      hee hee…thank you! Yes, I hate to see it go, but I have absolutely no room for it in our 3 bedroom home for 8 people. 😛 Maybe get rid of a bed??

  32. Kaye says

    VW bus is so creative! But I need to ask, what is your “towel method” for removing veneer?

      • Kaye says

        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?

        • Larissa says

          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!

  33. Ellen Duran says

    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.

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Ellen! 🙂 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!

  34. Kristi says

    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.

    • Larissa says

      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!

  35. Arlis Cuevas Reyes says

    Wow, eres realmente increible!! Me encanta

    • Larissa says

      Thank you so much, Debbie! He just sold and is on his way to the new owner. A teary goodbye for sure. 🙂

  36. Sarah says

    Do you use oil or latex paint?

  37. Tammy says

    This is absolutly adorable…how cute is this! You are so creative!

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Tammy! They were a blast to do and gave me a stress reliever.

  38. Jenn says

    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

    • Larissa says

      So happy to hear it, Jenn! That color is one of my favorties and well-suited for boy or girl. I had fun!

  39. joyce smith says

    Will you ever make another volkswagen chest? I would buy in a heart beat..consider it sold!

    • Larissa says

      I most certainly will, Joyce! 🙂 I just missed out on the perfect chest that would have made an awesome bus. They’re hard to find sometimes. Email me and we can talk details: [email protected]. Thanks!

    • Larissa says

      I think I found a good candidate if you’re still interested! Let me know asap – thanks!

  40. Ashleigh says

    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

    • Larissa says

      Wahoo!! Love your enthusiasm! There may just be another BEEP on the way…stay tuned!!

  41. patricia says

    That is a brilliant piece of creativity Larissa, you must be very proud of yourself Gold Star 🙂

    • Larissa says

      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! 😉

      • Rhonda Shirley says

        Looking forward to the new BEEP announcement.

        • Larissa says

          Yay! The kickoff is on Nov. 25th, so mark you calendar. 😀

  42. Rhonda Shirley says

    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

    • Larissa says

      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

  43. Charles-Linda Bradshaw says

    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! 🙂

    • Larissa says

      Thank you! My skirt is from a thrift store, but I have done that before. 🙂 Happy to have you along!

  44. '66 VW Owner says

    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

    • Larissa says

      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!

  45. ELENA REVELO says

    Un trabajo espectacular, eres una artista muy creativa, no conocía tu blog y me parece fantástico.
    Saludos de Revelo&ideaslowcostblogpost

  46. Helen Boltin says

    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!

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Helen! I need all the help I can get for BEEP and I to win again.

  47. Tami says

    This is beautiful! Great job. I am a new member and love your site! Tami

  48. Arthur Riley says

    The Volkswagen tall boy is amazing! That little “beep” plate – brilliant! I admire people who can upcycle things like this. It’s a true gift.

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Client Love

I love it! Larissa is amazing. She listened to what I wanted and then she took care of the rest! This is my second piece I've bought from her and I'm in love! I highly recommend her.

~ Laurel

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2020-03-21T21:34:13-04:00

~ Laurel

I love it! Larissa is amazing. She listened to what I wanted and then she took care of the rest! This is my second piece I've bought from her and I'm in love! I highly recommend her.

I love this cart, it's exquisite. The item was received in extremely secure packaging, no damage to the item. The delivery person was very professional and courteous. Larissa of Prodigal Pieces is so very amazing. A rating of 10 is deserved. Thank you, Larissa.

~ Stephanie

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2020-03-21T21:39:34-04:00

~ Stephanie

I love this cart, it's exquisite. The item was received in extremely secure packaging, no damage to the item. The delivery person was very professional and courteous. Larissa of Prodigal Pieces is so very amazing. A rating of 10 is deserved. Thank you, Larissa.

I should have left this review MONTHS ago! I absolute love this lunch bag. I honestly carry this 5 days a week. It is the perfect size! Not only can you put your lunch in it, it can also hold your book. I enjoy reading at lunch, so I have all I need in one cute bag. Thank you so much Larissa!

~ Mikki

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2020-03-21T21:43:16-04:00

~ Mikki

I should have left this review MONTHS ago! I absolute love this lunch bag. I honestly carry this 5 days a week. It is the perfect size! Not only can you put your lunch in it, it can also hold your book. I enjoy reading at lunch, so I have all I need in one cute bag. Thank you so much Larissa!

Awww…I love this sweet Cat with an attitude!! SO SO adorable! Well worth the money, and he will become a priceless treasure in my home! Thanks Larissa for always making your ideas turn into true treasures!

~ Sharon

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2020-03-21T21:45:37-04:00

~ Sharon

Awww…I love this sweet Cat with an attitude!! SO SO adorable! Well worth the money, and he will become a priceless treasure in my home! Thanks Larissa for always making your ideas turn into true treasures!

Perfect purchase from start to finish! Absolutely adorable piece so creatively thought out. Packed with the greatest of care with lightening fast delivery. Very customer-oriented and friendly crafter. Could not ask for more! Thank you!

~ Deanna

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2020-03-21T21:52:00-04:00

~ Deanna

Perfect purchase from start to finish! Absolutely adorable piece so creatively thought out. Packed with the greatest of care with lightening fast delivery. Very customer-oriented and friendly crafter. Could not ask for more! Thank you!
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