End Table Makeover

More Goodwill furniture?  Yes!  The guest room needed end tables after all.  And I wanted something curvy and girly... wasn't much available like that in the $50 and under range at my usuals (IKEA, Target, etc). Shocking, I know.  So, I decided to bribe Katie from SewWoodsy to hit up the local Goodwill with me. Okay, not really... Katie and I work together at our "real" jobs and go to Goodwill quite often instead of getting lunch. Ha. What can I say, we're both crafty!
Katie snapped this pic of my while patiently waiting to check out.  And did people stare at us while we smiled with our treasures?  They sure did!  Look how happy I am with my $20 end table.

Since I needed 2 tables and Goodwill only had one such beauty, I searched Craig's List for another similar.  And what do you know... I found this, one street over from my house, for $15! Score.

Check out that paint job. And here's a helpful tip... don't paint over your hardware! Like, ever.


So since I had two handles covered in paint, that I still wanted to use, I had to figure out how to strip that paint.  Google is my friend.  Did you know you can boil it right off?!
Yep. Use a pot or pan that you are not going to use for food anymore... who knows what's in that paint... you don't want to eat anything toxic, and boil for a couple minutes.  I think mine were in there for a total of 5 minutes when the paint just started to float right off.

At that point I took them out with tongs and nudged the rest of the paint off with a skewer (they were hot after all).  So easy!

Right after the paint came off they looked a little dull.  I just gave them a quick scrub with my scrubby kitchen sponge and they came out great.  Top one is pre-scrubbed, bottom one got a 30 second scrub with some Dawn.

Next thing I did was give both tables a light sanding.  I was planning on using chalk paint and I know the great thing about it is "you don't have to sand".  But that makes me nervous. And, the paint-tastic table was quite rough from the previous paint job it had received.  I sanded with the help of my assistant... who insisted on putting his own jammie pants on.  (I can dooo itttt!!! said in 2-year-old whine dialect)  Thus, they are on inside out and backwards.  Go ahead, judge me neighbors!

I followed SewWoodsy's recipe for chalk paint.  Super easy.  I think I did 3-4 coats with some light sanding in between.

After a couple coats of paint, it really started to bother me that the tables were slightly different heights. So, I found some scrap wood in the garage and added some "feet" with wood glue to the shorter table.

A little bit of finishing wax later... done!

 I even lined the drawers with scrapbook paper.

I'm really happy with how they turned out.  I was nervous about the whole chalk paint fad... I didn't want them to look dull and like I DIY'd them.  But I'm so impressed with how smooth and slightly shiny the waxed surface came out.

And bonus... did you see my lamps?

Yep.. Goodwill! Those bases were $3!  I'm not kidding...  see.  I left the sticker on to prove it.  haha And the shades are from Target ($20)  So for $46 I got two lamps... that's less than the price of one usually. I'm a little proud.

Hope I got your confidence up to brave those smelly isles at Goodwill and find your own treasures.


Old Shirt Upcycle

The guest room is coming together!  My thrift store/Craig's List mojo is in full swing for this one and the accessories are no exception.  I already DIY'd my chevron curtains and revamped a trashed chair, now time for a pillow and something for the walls.  For this post, I bought nothing.. can I get a woo hoo for free?!

I started with this shirt I got from The Limited forever ago.  I think I wore it twice.  Oh yeah, it looks good on the hanger (I already cut one sleeve off before the picture), and I love the lace... but those sleeves fell down constantly.  Ugh.  And, when they did stay up, I still had bra straps galore. So since I'm not a 13 year old girl that can get away with bra straps as an accessory (and I hate strapless bras... don't even go there... they don't work on me), and I like my sleeves to stay on my shoulders, I decided this shirt would be much more useful in non-shirt format. So I cut it up.

And turned it into this...

Cute pillow, eh? Since my side chair wasn't the cushiest, a little lumbar pillow is just perfect.  I stuffed it with an old crappy pillow that was on my bed in college (yep, I save old pillows in hopes of redoing them one day) and left the scalloped lace edge out on one side.  I think this took a total of 30 minutes to make, and like I said, was completely free!

After the pillow, I still had some shirt leftover (and some spray paint from when I redid the chair).  I rummaged through a closet and found an old black frame I planned on filling up with kid's pictures one day (never got around to that project). I sprayed it yellow and stapled the lace to the corners.  The prints inside are free postcard samples from a paper company I got at work.  Easy peasy and free!
And if you're wondering...  that mirror on the left is from a thrift/antique store I got on trip while visiting my sister last year.  The "j" is for "Jamey", my husband, and I think I got that at a Home Goods type store about 7 years ago.  It's moved around my house many times in its life. And the Eiffel Tower print is actually one I bought at the real Eiffel Tower when I got to go to Paris after college graduation many years ago. But seriously... a ripped out newspaper print would work just as well.  Use what you have! More guest room to come soon!


DIY Chevron Curtains Tutorial

Lately I have come to the realization that I have a problem.  When shopping for home decor (curtains, furniture, fabric, lamps, etc...  Who am I kidding, I do it with clothes too) I find things I love in stores and online, look at the price, and immediately think... WHAT?!  Who are they kidding?  It's not even lined! I can make that!  This happens several times a day, usually. The result is a list of projects a mile long, a house full of Goodwill furniture, and 25 trips to Home Depot.

That's pretty much the story with my DIY Chevron Curtains.  I'm in the process of creating a guest room/sewing room.  I say "creating" because we did not have a guest room in our previous house and I'm starting from nothing.  A completely empty room.  I decided the theme is going to be yellows and grays (are you realizing what room the side chair is for?) and started to look for curtains.  Ummm, yeah... I just can't do it.  $50 per panel or more at most stores.  Even Target curtains are in the $30 per panel range and that's not even a cool pattern.  Call me cheap, I don't care.  Time to hit up Pinterest for some DIY ideas.

In my search I came across Painted Faux Ombre Chevron Curtains from Owen's Olivia. I LOVE them! Time to break out the 3m painter's tape and make some chevrons!  Off to Home Depot!


  • Curtains to paint (Mine were 2 leftover IKEA panels that were in my son's room at the last house)
  • Paint (craft or house paint)
  • Tape (I used 3M ScotchBlue Painter's Tape, 2" size... you will need 2 rolls if you don't reuse some tape from one panel to the next)
  • A small roller and tray
  • Fabric Medium (I used Martha Stewart Tintable Fabric Medium)
  • Ruler
  • Big drop cloth or some painter's plastic

Step 1: Tape off a boarder.
This step is optional but I like the look of a boarder on all the sides. Also, in the Owen's Olivia tutorial she mentioned they paint bled a little when she painted over the seams... so I avoided the seams. (Power Wheels school bus keeping me company to the left)

Step 2: Mark out your first row of chevrons.
I decided I wanted 4ish zig zags across my curtains. I measured the width of my curtains in between the taped boarder (54"), divided by 9 since that's how many points I would need to make 4 zig zags. That gave me 6. So I put a small dot with a washable fabric pencil every 6 inches. Then every other dot, I measured up 6" and put a dot there. This is where the points of my chevrons are. You can make your chevrons as close or as wide as you want. Looking at the pictures might clear that up a bit. (I promise that is the last of the math on this project)

Step 3: Begin taping your first row.
Start from the corner and make the inside points of your chevrons line up with your dots (look at the 2nd photo if that's confusing). Once you have them lined up, trim the edges into a nice clean point... like this. I just used the edges of the cross tape as a guide.

Step 4: Use strips of tape as spacers and tape the rest of your chevrons.

Congratulations... the hard part is over. Now it's just a matter of using tape as a spacer and adding row after row until you get to the other end of your panel. Remember to go back and trim your points like in step 3.

Step 5: Roll out some plastic and get ready to paint.
You can use whatever you want to protect your floors. I had a roll of painter's plastic in my garage. Tape everything down so it doesn't move on you.

Step 6: Mix fabric medium and paint and get rolling.
Follow the directions on the back (I eyeballed the measurements). Mixed everything in my paint tray and started rolling with a small foam roller.

Step 7: Keep rolling!
You are going to have a seriously sore butt tomorrow from all the squatting. Trust me.
(I look sad because my butt hurts)

Step 8: Peel off the tape.
I peeled pretty much immediately after I got done painting. A few spots were still damp. Didn't seam to make a difference.
FYI: This project uses a lot of painter's tape.

Step 9: Let them dry and heat set them with an iron. 
(I may or may not have done this step) Tee hee.

You're done!
And if you're wondering if they look painted... yes, they do.  And I love it! I think it looks very Anthropologie.  If you're not into the painterly look, I'd say do two coats of paint.  They'll probably be a little crunchy, but it's not like you're snugglin' with your curtains.  So who cares, right?
And my view down the hall when I walk in the front door :)

So if you're too cheap to shell out the bucks for "real" drapes, make paint you're own! 


Side Chair Makeover

In the last few posts I mentioned we moved.  This was a big deal.  It had been 7 years since I moved last and that move didn't really count. I was a carefree single girl finally moving in with my fiancĂ© with my handful of kitchen items and a futon. Puh-leeeze. I could do that in my sleep now.  This was a real move.  Complete with two kids, and their stuff, and 7 years of stuff my husband and I had collected, and more stuff on top of that stuff. We were leaving the house we came home to on our wedding night and the house we brought both of our babies home to. It was a stressful week to say the least.

On top of the move, we showed up to our new house with a U-haul full of furniture only to find the previous occupant left the house a complete disaster.  Mess and smell on top of garbage and furniture all left for us to deal with.  There were points that day that I wanted to cry. What does this have to do with a chair makeover?  This chair was left amid the piles of garbage. Pretty much the highlight of that day... even in this state.
After we got semi settled, I made a trip to Home Depot for a few supplies and JoAnn's for the fabric.

Here's what I used:
• Light grit sandpaper
• Elmer's Wood Glue
• Elmer's Wood Filler Max
• 1 can of Kilz Spray Primer
• 2 cans of Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Spray Paint
• Staple Gun and staples
• About 1/2 yard of fabric

Step 1: Remove the seat. (4 screws right under the seat)

Step 2: Fix any large repairs. I repaired the broken arm with wood glue and clamped that over night.
On top of a broken arm, there was a lot more damage to this chair (this is where the wood filler will come into play).  I thought about refinishing the wood first, but decided against it once I realized how damaged the wood was.  No stain is going to cover this up.

Step 3: Lightly sand the entire chair and wipe the dust off with a damp rag.

Step 4: Give the chair a light coat of spray primer.

It won't be completely white. That's fine.  Better to go light than to have drips.

Step 5: Fill in any missing chunks with wood filler. I'm guessing I could have done this before the primer but I still had some sanding to go so it didn't really matter.

Step 5 and a half: Not really step 6 since not everyone will have to do this, but my chair needed a lot of sanding. The finish was in bad shape and the wood filler was bumpy. So I went back and forth between sanding and priming sanding and priming... until I had a smooth finish. (The spray paint I used is in that picture)

Step 6: Reupholster the seat.  While the final coat of primer dried, I went inside and reupholstered the seat. Lay the seat face down on the wrong side of your new fabric and staple away! I just went right over the old fabric, stapling on opposite sides while making sure it was pulled tight.  This seriously takes like 10 minutes. : )

That's the old fabric... held on by tiny little nails.  Yup... not pulling those out.
I got my new fabric at JoAnn Fabrics.  It was $50/yard which is crazy! However, I had a 50% off coupon and I only got 3/4 yard.  So it came to about $18. Much better than $50 and I love it!
Staple, staple, staple. I made sure to line up my pattern so one of the circles fell right in the center of the chair. Optional, but something to keep in mind.

Step 7: Paint! In my experience many light coats gets the best results. Here's what coat 1 looked like.
Better to have missed spots than drips.  You can always spray it some more.
Here is my chair mocking me from the yard.  I wanted to bring it in so bad but I knew it had more drying time to go. I think I did 4-5 coats over several hours. All very light.

Step 8: Reattach your new seat and admire your work. Done!
So what do you think? Inspired to try it?