Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chalk Paint Console Table

Remember this poor fellow? I picked him up at the very end of my big rummage sale-ing day, in spite of the fact that he was in pretty rough shape.

His previous owners had broken off the drawer slides, and decided to fix it smear the entire drawer and frame with wood glue in hopes that it would stick.  FAIL! They obviously then gave up on him, but I could see a glimmer of potential under all that sticky yellow stuff, and took him home for me for the grand sum of $5.

Because he was made out of laminate (which was peeling in places), instead of “good” wood, I didn’t have any qualms about painting over his shabby exterior.  And I knew immediately what I would use—CHALK PAINT! After all, isn’t EVERYBODY using chalk paint these days? :) Actually, I had heard glowing tales of this wonder paint— goes on over everything, even nasty veneer? And no sanding before-hand? Now you’re talking!

But since $30+ for a quart of paint is sort of out of my budget, I decided to go the home-made route. Instead, I used this recipe that I stole borrowed from the Gardners to Bergers blog:

2 parts paint

(They say to use flat latex paint,

but I used satin exterior latex)

1 part plaster of paris

(which I got with a 40% off coupon at

Joann Fabrics- wahoo!)

Just enough water to make spreadable :)

I found this incredible shade of aqua/seafoam in the mis-tint aisle at Walmart (it’s Glidden’s Satin Exterior Latex), but I’m definitely going to have to find its matching shade, because I’m in LOVE with this color! This was really a jump out on the color limb for me—I tend to play it safe in the color department (if it’s not white, brown, or black, then it must be green! LOL). But I’ve been inspired by all of the turquoise yumminess  floating around blogland & Pinterest lately, and by the new curtains that I recently hung in my dining room:

Don’t worry, I plan on doing a full “dining room reveal” once I get my 99¢ chandelier hung (i.e. when I can talk Mr. Superman into hanging it—somewhere in between doing the body work and paint on his truck, taking his plumbing masters exam, and finishing up the new apartment :-) )

So, anyway, I mixed up my fancy homemade chalk paint (it was a lot clumpier than I expected it to be- the plaster of paris never really dissolved [Edit: next time I'll follow one of my helpful readers' suggestions and mix the plaster with the water first, before adding the paint) and went to town on my poor table—first with a foam roller, then adding another coat with a foam brush while it was still damp. I found that the foam roller seemed to make a blotchy finish, and the foam brush kind of streaked it on—but between the two, they created a nice, thick, even coat of paint. I didn’t even need a second coat! Once I let it dry, I wasn’t too happy with all the lumps of plaster on it, though, so I grabbed hubby’s sander (I love playing with his power tools!) and went to town, ending up with a lovely distressed finish. :)

(And, yes, I did the sanding right here in the dining room, because I couldn’t wait to get it into the house to see what it was going to look like! LOL… Tell me you’ve never done that!)
Then it was on to the hard part—accessorizing and styling my beautiful new table! If you’re anything like me, you change your displays dozens of times before you actually find one that you’re satisfied with (and even then, you feel the urge to switch it around a few more times!) I finally settled on the tabletop arrangement above—though I’m still looking for a larger white platter to replace the white plate (that I wrote a quote on with a dry-erase marker. Remember my aversion to permanence?)

So what do you think? The night after I painted it, I literally laid awake worrying if the color would be too bright for my house... but the more I look at it, the more I'm in LOVE with it! It brings the perfect pop of color into my dining room. Most importantly, every time I look at it, I smile! :)

And for a $5 table, I don't think it turned out half bad! :)


It's Overflowing

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Desktop "Mantel"

Here in the U.P. (Upper Peninsula of Michigan), we’re lucky to have more than a month of summer weather (i.e. over 65 degrees) each year, and it’s not unheard of to have frost and snow even in July! So as soon as June arrives, I like to decorate and bring the summer inside, no matter what the thermometer says outside!

I don’t have a fireplace mantel, so my dining room bookshelf and my desktop are the main areas for my seasonal decorating. This year I’ve been drawn toward more of a sand-and-sea “theme” in my summer decorating. Since my bookshelf is decorated with blue and white—more overtly nautical—I kept my desktop calm and neutral.  I always love the variety and depth of textures you can find even within a neutral scheme!

The “stained-glass” and wooden sailboat was the inspiration for the “un-color scheme”—it was $2.49 from Goodwill. (Once again, nearly everything in this display came from either Goodwill or a yard sale!) The “nature” rock came with a candleholder-and-tray set that I got as part of a $3 bag deal at a yard sale. :)

I’m still on the hunt for sand and shells to fill these fabulous corked bottles (from a yard sale- $1 for the pair). The metal and glass star I found at Goodwill just last week—I love it! It looks like something from Pottery Barn, but I’m not sure. (Anybody recognize it?)

Every display needs at least one glass cloche, right? Mine is filled with a bird’s nest (actually two twiggy wreaths stacked together) and a pair of ceramic birds. (Wish I could get it to photograph properly… It’s so hard to take a picture of something inside glass! Argggh!)

The apothecary jar (Goodwill) is filled with twiggy balls from Walmart (for $4 the box, they were the most expensive part of the whole display! LOL). The rusty anchor used to belong to my in-laws, but they left it behind when they moved :). Hurray for hand-me-downs! I displayed it just as I found it.

As you probably remember, I picked up the lovely frame ($1) on the same day as my big rummage-sale haul! The clock came from Goodwill ages and ages ago, but always looked too small on the wall. As I was carrying my many thrifting purchases into the house, I hung the frame over it on a whim, and decided it was the perfect touch!

Underneath the vignette, I layered a lace tablecloth (folded in thirds to make a runner) and some square burlap remnants. Again, I love the many textures in this display—the nubby burlap against crisp lace, old cloth-bound books and rusty metals, shiny glass with rustic wood, sparkling metallics with natural twigs! Don’t get me wrong—I love color just as much as the next person—but sometimes you just need one area where you can let the textures speak for themselves!

What do you think? Are you a neutral lover, or are you addicted to color?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Thrifty Treasures Monday- 6/25

I only stopped at a couple sales last Saturday, but I did still manage to find a few sweet treasures!

The Animal Shelter rummage sale was open for the second weekend, and they were in “make an offer” mode! The books were $1 for a brown paper bag-full—I could have fit more in the bag, but my shelves are already overflowing! :-) The basket of flowers was 50¢, as well as the giant dry-erase wall calendar decal (still in tube).
I found this charming hobnail glass lamp at a different sale. It didn’t have a price sticker, so I thought for sure it would be too expensive (anything over $1 requires serious deliberation :-) ), so when the lady said “25¢”, I just about jumped for joy! Even better, I brought it home and plugged it in, and it still works fabulously! I think it will end up in my Princess’s bedroom—though I might just treat it to a coat of pink spray-paint first!
Speaking of spray-paint, this little brass lantern was also 25¢ at the animal shelter sale (along with the brown candlestick—I’m a sucker for candlesticks with patina)! As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be the next victim of my new-found spray paint addiction. :-)
Enter my new favorite spray-paint color: Krylon Blue Ocean Breeze…
…and I have the perfect addition to my summer bookshelf display!

This has to be one of my favorite makeovers lately :-). Not bad for 25¢ and a little spray paint, eh?

So have you been finding any great deals lately? What is your favorite way to make an old find fresh and new?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Primitive to Pretty- Shaker Box Makeover

I fell in love with these reproduction Shaker boxes/bandboxes/cheeseboxes/hatboxes (or whatever else you want to call them) at my local GW a year or two ago, when my style was "darker" and more formal. (The tag on the bottom of the stack shows that someone paid $34.99 at one of our local mom-and-pop “high-end” accessory shops, but they only cost me $1.99 apiece!) Now with the coming of summer, and our "new-to-us" lighter green sofa set, they didn't really fit in. They were actually headed to my garage sale pile, when I realized that I might actually be able to update the drab colors to something that fit with my lighter, brighter summer palette!
Enter the universal champion of all DIY-ers everywhere: SPRAY PAINT TO THE RESCUE! A couple coats of spray paint later (Rustoleum Apple Green and Krylon Blue Ocean Breeze-- I left the navy box alone to "ground" the trio), and my primitive bandboxes have joined the 21st century!

A little distressing around the swallowtail joints (yes, I had to Google it to find out what exactly they were called), and they look like they've always been that way!

And the best thing was  I already had both cans of paint, so the total cost of this makeover was FREE!  (My favorite price!) So before you throw that outdated accessory away because it no longer fits your style, consider what a bit of spray paint could do! But be careful-- it's addicting!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go spray paint my house... :)

P.S. Speaking of spray paint, my 99¢ chandelier is finished! (it's just waiting for Mr. Superman to have time to hang it up!) I'll give you a hint of what it looks like now:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Thrifty Treasures Monday & Bakers Twine Alternative!

It’s that time again... time for another edition of:

Thrifty Treasures Monday!

Due to the enormity of last week’s haul, and the immensity of my current project list, I only stopped at a few yard sales last week.  I did manage to find some neat little treasures, though!

The adorable “Bloom Where You Are Planted” poster ($1) has already found a place in Little Princess’ garden-themed room.  At the moment,  Princess and my oldest Little Guy are sharing a room, and Little Monkey is sleeping in her room—since I don’t really care to have all THREE kiddos getting up at night when the baby wakes up!  So this room is sort of in a limbo state, with girly walls and d├ęcor interspersed with a few baby boy things :/ Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before Monkey can move in with his big brother, and Little Princess can have her own room again!

I’m a sucker for twiggy, rustic-looking baskets, and for 25¢, this one had to come home with me! (On a side note, I’m still trying to figure out how to control the depth of field on my camera—it’s a basic Nikon point-and-shoot, and I’m beating my brains out trying to get it to take decent looking pictures, especially still-lifes! If anyone has any tips on getting good pics with a plain-Jane camera, PLEASE let me know!)

My favorite stop was a rummage sale for our local Animal Shelter. I found this adorable metal sleigh for 25¢-- I can already see it holding Christmas ornaments or pinecones on my shelf or dining room table come wintertime!

This adorable tea-for-one set (mini teapot with lid, teacup, and saucer in a matching oval box) was only 75¢! I’m thinking this will probably end up on a shelf in Little Princess’ room, too… though I’m sure I’ll get it out and use it often ;-)

The find I’m most excited about this week, though, wasn’t even from a yard sale or thrift store! As we did for the moms on Mother’s Day, our church gave gifts to all the fathers that came to the Father’s Day church service.  I put together a little gift basket for each dad, including chips, candy, beef sticks, and a 6-in-1 screwdriver, all in a little reusable plastic basket with a handle. The baskets were 2/$1.00 at Dollar Tree, but I thought they needed something to “jazz them up” a little, without looking too feminine :-).  As I wandered  aimlessly  searched around the store, I happened to remember something that I had read in a blog somewhere (or maybe it was Pinterest?) about Dollar Tree clothesline that resembled baker’s twine!

Bingo! A 70-foot, $1.00 roll of clothesline provided more than enough “twine” to weave through the sides of the baskets and tie into an attractive bow. Ah, much better!

Note: this is a plastic clothesline, not cotton, and is thicker than real baker’s twine would be. And per foot, it’s probably not that much different in price than if you ordered it off Etsy.  But if you want something stouter to tie thicker bows with, or if you, like me, like to wait until the last minute before scrambling to find a stylish wrapping solution, than Dollar Tree “bakers twine” is the way to go! :-)