…Far from royalty.

Archive for the ‘Thrift Store Chic’ Category

Thrift Store Decor

This morning started out just like every other Monday morning.  Pancakes with chocolate chips, “brush your teeth and hair!”, and “Oh, Mommy! I need to tell you something!”  This something was “I left my (3) library books at Grama and Grandad’s house.”  It wasn’t in my plans to drive the 45+ miles to go get them, but what can you do?  Fortunately, I have an awesome father-in-law, who met me halfway, so I didn’t have make the entire drive.  While I was sitting in the Wendy’s parking lot, waiting for him to arrive, I remembered a thrift store a few blocks down.  I hardly ever get there, but there is always something I can’t live without.

I was in the mood to craft, but not ready to take on a huge project, like my bathroom makeover.  I perused the junk aisle, as my sister and I affectionately call it, and found several things I can work into the new cottage style I’m going for.

Thrift Store crafts

$7 for all of this

When I finally made it back home, I took the plate, the bowl and the bud vase, washed and bleached them, and permanently fused them together with epoxy. (I  have a new found love for epoxy, and all its bonding magic.)  This is what I came up with…

Mismatched plate, bowl and bud vase

Is now an awesome chip and dip plate!

White plate, bowl and bud vase

Thrift store junk...

I also found a white ceramic container.  It probably was the insert to a small crock pot, but I’m really not sure.  I loved that it was big, and white, and cottage-y, but wasn’t sure what to do with it.  It could possibly be a planter, or something to hold fruit or after school snacks.  One of my favorite Chirstmas presents was all new kitchen utensils. They were too jumbled in the container I had them in;  so, for now, it is being used to store utensils.

crock pot insert

Utensil storage crock

I also found this cute apple-shaped bowl.  Perfect for after school snacks.

After school snack bowl

Perfect for after school snacks.


Deserving Design

We all know someone who gives selflessly, never asking for anything in return.  My niece, Lalainia, is one of those people.  She’s a penny-pinching, coupon-cutting, money-saving wife and mom.  She’s mastered the art of ‘FREE’.  Thanks to coupons and buy one get one offers, she has a stock pile of laundry soap, haircare, toothpaste, and Hamburger Helper.  In addition to knowing how to stretch a paycheck, she is kind and patient.  She has taken on the role of caregiver, for her father-in-law, who suffers from dementia, and changes more than her share of poopy pants–and it’s not always her 3 year old.

About a week ago, her family moved to be closer to her brother and sister-in-law, so they can help take care of James, her father-in-law.  She sent her mom (my favorite sister) an email asking if she had seen any blogs on painting furniture, and what she knew about it.  Donna, forwarded the email to me, along with a link to a blog on painting furniture.  I responded, with “I’m up for a project, let’s have a sanding party!”  Friday night worked out for all of us.  Originally, that’s all it was going to be, sanding and trying out a new painting technique on Lalainia’s mismatched garage sale and hand-me-down furniture.  You know, let her be the guinea pig.

I remembered Lalainia had recently posted on Facebook a photo of a blue and brown comforter set she liked.  I had a blue and brown set in my staging inventory that wasn’t being used so I rounded it up, along with a single curtain panel, some throw pillows and several random pieces of artwork.  I invited myself to come stay the weekend and help work on her furniture.  A quick trip to Michael’s for some scrapbook paper ($5), and Home Depot for paint, primer, sandpaper and a bag of brushes ($39) and I head out.

My sister and I met there Friday afternoon, had a Hamburger Helper dinner, and proceded to get to work.  We started by rearranging the bedroom furniture.  Then we emptied dresser drawers (she had just unpacked a day before) and hauled the furniture out onto the back deck.  We set up an assembly line of sanding, and then moved out into the yard for priming and painting.  After a couple of hours we had the biggest part of the work done!  We worked until we couldn’t see to paint (by headlights) anymore.  Lalainia and I got up the next morning and wiped everything down and gave it one final coat of paint.  I must say, we did a pretty good job for painting after dark.

My youngest daughter wanted to spend the day with her cousin, so Lalainia and I dropped her off at my favorite sister’s house.  Donna used to have an upholstery shop, so she has quite a few materials left over.  Without hesitation, she took us out to the shop, opened the doors and told us to take whatever we needed.  (Now you know why she’s my favorite sister.)  🙂  We looked around, it was hot and dusty and no one really wanted to be in there.  That is, until I spied the perfect headboard for Lalainia’s new master suite.  Well, I saw it as this beautiful padded upholstered headboard.  Lalainia saw it as an old dusty door with water damage on the bottom.  Work with me here.  Donna knew where I was going with this (because she had just helped me upholster a door for my new headboard), so she asked Lalainia to go inside and measure the width of the bed.  60″.  The perfect queen headboard.  We were able to cut the 12″ off at the bottom and get rid of the warped and water damaged portion.  I found an 8 foot 1×4″ in the shop, and since the offer had been extended, I wanted it, too!  We cut the 1×4″ in half and nailed it to the back of the door for legs.  I scrounged around in Donna’s old upholstery stash and found a piece of black vinyl that would make the most amazing padded headboard.  She also happened to have extra batting, and plenty of staples.  I like staples.  A few minutes later, ta-da!  A new, custom-made, totally free (or gleaned, as my favorite blogger, Nike, would say) headboard!

We made a quick trip to GW Boutique for a $2.99 bedskirt in the perfect shade of dark brown.  She needed extra storage, so we also picked up a set of $12 bed risers from Walmart, so she could store things under the bed, and a 5 pack of 11×14″ poster board, and a peel stick wall art (Always Kiss Me Goodnight!) from Dollar Tree, and we were off.  The furniture was dry and ready to be brought back in and put the room together.

After bringing the furniture in and hanging a couple of pieces of artwork, she still needed just a little pop of color over the night stands.  We raided her $1 photo frame collection, and came up with 4 matching frames.  I pulled out the cardstock I picked up at Michael’s for $.69 each and the DT poster board.  I used Lalainia’s scrapbook cutter to make custom photo mats and the cardstock for custom artwork.  It was just what the room needed as a finishing touch.  The sign over the bed was a brown bulletin frame with hooks.  We removed the hooks, painted the frame black and the cardboard back blue, and used the peel and stick “Always Kiss Me Goodnight!” stickers for a one of a kind art piece.

The whole room redesign cost about $125, including the bedding I had orginally found new on Craigslist for $50.  She loves her new space and posted on Facebook  “We made her a hotel bedroom, and it wasn’t one of those $29.95 a night ones either!”    Lalainia finally has a place to call her own, somewhere she can unwind at the end of a mentally and physically exhausting day–she deserves that.

GW Boutique

Macy’s bedroom was in need of a new quilt.  I like quilts.  They’re light weight machine washable, and over all pretty cute these days.  I had been looking for something different, she had a white quilt (not a good idea when your child is messy Marvin reincarnated) with ballerinas all over it.  It was sweet, but had been washed and bleached (oops) so many times that it was looking tired and the threading was pulling apart.  In my many trips to Target, I would always swing by the kids decor aisles and see what was being marked down there.  I had my eye on several that would have worked, but I refused to pay $80 for a quilt, mostly because I’m cheap frugal.  There was a cute brown/pink floral set, a yellow/pink/green set, and a pink/owl pattern.  Well, I guess I waited to late, because everything I had been eyeing was gone, marked down and outta there!  Ok, well I guess it’s back to the drawing board.

In my home staging adventures I am always looking for a bargain.  I had been looking for a few little accessories to pull a kitchen together.  I stopped into GW Boutique (that’s Goodwill for you with your nose in the air).  Over the last few years, Target has been donating their items that don’t sell at 70% and 90% off to GW Boutique.  I’ve found some awesome deals.  Brand new, in package deals, I might add!  I was pushing my cart past the linens and the sky opened up and a ray of sunshine shone down.  Curiosity got the best of me, and I had to see what divine intervention was trying to show me….I was in a hurry, but you know, sometimes you have to make time for divine intervention.  O.M.G!  Still neatly wrapped up in the original packing with the cute little off white ribbon wrapped around it was the bedding I had been watching for Macy’s room.  I thought it had slipped away!  Some things are just meant to be.  Like I was meant to be at the Garland, Tx location, on that particular day, when that particular quilt was sitting there…waiting for me to find it.  Oh, and the best part… I haven’t mentioned the best part, have I?  This full/queen sized, brand new in original packing pink/green/yellow floral quilt was priced at the bargain basement GW Boutique price of $20!  That’s right snooty people who think you have to pay retail and would never darken the door of a GW Boutique, $20!  75% off retail.  Go me!

GW Boutique

Macy's New Bedding

Hello, my name is Charlotte, and I’m addicted to spray paint.

No, not like that!  More like oh no, I’ve run out again….must make another trip to Wal-Mart…now!

It’s been hot this summer.  Sweltering.  I’ve got no energy, and no desire to do anything.  So, in an effort to try to pull my self out of this funk, I had to find something to do.  Since my trip to Tahiti has been put on the back burner for a while, I had to come up with a Plan B.  So I pulled out my mental To Do list, because I trashed the one on the refrigerator a couple of years ago.

Being the frugal person that I am, there’s always some kind of project laying around for years waiting to be redone.  Macy, my 4 year old, has been asking me for a year or so, why she doesn’t have a footboard on her bed.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her the truth…”because mom never actually finishes anything she starts.”  Well, I have good intentions, it just doesn’t always work out right.  For instance, I found a bedroom set at a garage sale for $85 a couple of summers ago.  There was a queen size headboard, footboard and side rails, a dresser, mirror and a nightstand.  I started out sanding and painting the dresser, but soon realized my painting skills sucked and needed honing it was too big for her room.  So the most beautiful dresser I had ever seen was sold on Craiglist for $160 (that’s right almost twice as much as I paid for the whole set).  I did manage to paint the headboard, but never actually got the second coat of paint on the bed rails or footboard.  Not just because I’m lazy, but because it was a queen size bed, and Macy’s full size mattress and box springs wasn’t going to work, since the bed wasn’t adjustable.  So, this my dear Macy is why you didn’t have a footboard… until now.

In my staging antics endeavors, I did some bartering for a full size, antique bed.  It had a headboard, and a footboard.  As soon as it hit the garage, in February, Macy decided she needed it in her room.  It was quite dirty, and needed a whole lotta cleaning before it was going to be dragged into the house.  So, fast forwad to July, a short 5 months later…I’m scrounging around looking for something to do.  Lillie’s room is almost finished, and Macy’s bugging me to redo hers, too.  So I invite my partner in junking sister over to come hang out and help motivate me to do something.  I have grand ideas, just no follow-through.  So we spent couple of hours in my kitchen sanding furniture…did I mention it’s a bazillion degrees outside?  I found a tarp and some cinderblocks to hold it down and prop up furniture while I paint.

We take a lunch break and eat some yummy Mexican food, and then make a trip to Wal-mart for some spray paint.  Originally, this was going to be a cheap project.  We were gonna buy the $1 and something cans of paint.  Well, I didn’t want glossy white furniture, more of a satin look was what I had in mind.  So, what had I envisoned as a cheap project soon tripled in price.  Donna and I had done some rumaging through the garage earlier, and she spied a comforter she wanted.  I paid $12 for it, so she said she’d buy me $12 worth of spray paint.  Sounds like a plan, so $24 later (have I told you lately you’re my favorite sister?), we head home and start painting.  It’s hot outside, but we were on a mission to get something done, and now we were armed with paint!  Lillie’s desk, and Macy’s headboard and footboard got a couple of coats of satin white paint.  We decided it needed to cure out in the sun all day, and maybe add another coat of paint the next day.  Sounds like a plan.

I ran to Wal-mart and picked up a couple more cans paint, and gave everything a once over.  I leaned the headboard against the gate and fence to sun bake, shut the garage door and went inside while everything dried.  My friend called and asked if the girls could come play with her kids.  Sure they can!  So, we grab our shoes and head out the back door and out the back gate…you know the one with the headboard leaning against it on the other side….  I open the gate and give it a push, because it always drags a little, and SLAM! “What was that?” my kids yell.  My heart sank, I knew immediately that 2 days of sanding and painting on this perfect piece of furniture, was all for not.  I picked up the headboard, surveyed the damage, leaned it against the fence.  I dropped the girls off…and then swung by Wal-Mart…again.  I got home did some minor cosmetic surgery, with a little sand paper and wood filler, and another can of satin white.  (Dear Krylon, Just doing my part to help out the troubled stock market.)  Ok, so 27 cans of paint later, I get Lillie’s desk and chair in her room, and take Macy’s headboard and footboard into her room.

After drying all night and most of the next day, I set up the headboard, attach the metal rails, then the footboard.  I put the box springs on, and then the mattress. Oh crap!  I forgot the eyelet dust ruffle.  So, I scoot the mattress off to the floor, put the dust ruffle on, and start sliding the mattress back on top.  Klunk!  the box springs fell to the floor.  “Dang it!”  So I pick up the phone and call my hubby.  “Mike,  I need you to cut me some slats for Macy’s new bed!”  Being the awesome Dad that he is, he came home and pulled the box springs out of the rails where I had left it in disgust, measured for the boards, and made a trip to Lowe’s.  By the time dropped the girls off at VBS and got back home, he had already gone and gotten the slats, and put the bed back together.  Thank you, dear!  I just had to put the sheets and quilt back on, and take a picture, or two.

My baby has a footboard

I’m a little slow

Well, actually my business has been a little slow the last couple of weeks.  Rather than sit around feeling sorry for myself, I decided to make the best use of the “time off.”  So I started to tackle my list of half done, er, well, uhhhh, never started projects I’ve been saving for a rainy day sweltering 102 degree days.  A couple of months ago I found a desk on Craigslist for $20 for Lillie’s room.  It was meant to be a vanity, but I ditched the tri-fold mirror on top and filled the screw holes with wood putty.  After a little sanding, and 47 coats of satin white spray paint, it looked amazing.  There was some kind of gray/black residue one of the legs that looked like tape had been wrapped around it.  I commenced to  cleaning it up and before I knew it, I had a brand spanking new-ish desk.

I had also found a chair at a garage sale for $7, it was dark brown and boring.  So after a light sand, 2 primer coats and 2 cans of the loudest orange paint we could find, Lillie’s old desk and chair were new again.  I was also able to find a piece of blue Hawaiian fabric for $4.99/yd.

After shot of the desk and chair

I bought 1/2  yard for the chair cushion, and only used half of that, or one side of the fold (in fancy sewing speak.)  I used the remainder to of the fabric to recover a lamp shade. ($2.50 for both pieces)   Not just any lamp though, this one was special.  It had a pull chain!  We drove all over town TWICE looking for it, because I refused to pay $30 for a lamp base.  We were covering our own shade, so it needed to cost half of that.  Target to the rescue!  We found a brushed nickel pull chain lamp with an added bonus.  It had a flat base.  Lillie used some of her very own money to buy three figurines from the Dollar Tree.  So hot glued mounted to this very special lamp base (was a hula girl and two surfboards), and it was topped with the most awesome lamp shade a giddy 7 year old girl had ever seen.

Although her room has a vibrant surf theme, the furniture was all white, so the pop of orange was just what her space needed.  Prior to painting the furniture, Mike and I built the most awesome surf shack/tiki hut from scrap lumber and several grass skirts left over from my sister’s Luau (from a vacation on Galveston Island) a few years back (free!).   If only this surf shack had something to surf with…like, oh I don’t know, maybe a surf board?!   To be continued…someday, hopefully in this century.

No longer an ugly duckling

Nikki’s (my staging partner) Mom stumbled across two of these little diamonds in the rough.  She paid $25 for two chairs.  I have to admit, when we first saw them, neither Nikki or I saw their potential.  The Ugly DucklingRunning short on time and energy, while trying to wrap up the same house on Hunter’s Glen in Rockwall, we made simple slip covers for the backs and popped out the seat cushion and stapled some fabric on.  No more painting was going to happen that night.  We were drained!  Our little ugly ducklings turned out to be swans after all.  You can see before and after photos of

819 Hunter’s Glen , Rockwall, TX.

Kitchen Chair Rehab

I have a life-long love of thrift stores.  My friend and staging partner, Nikki, and I stumbled onto a “new” store after spending the whole day shopping for a master bedroom were designing.  On the way home, Nikki saw the glorious “Now Open” sign blowing in the wind.  We made a mental note and went on about the day.  Both giddy with excitement from our shopping bounty, we  just HAD to head to the home and putting things together.

The following day we had another job to bid, and wrapped up early, so we decided to hit our new found “favorite” thrift store.  Wow, were we surprised?!   This place was a little goldmine hidden amongst the road construction on I-30 in Garland, TX.  I found an awesome baseball shadow box for a boy’s room for $10 and two beautiful chairs.  Well, not beautiful yet, but they had potential…and great bones.  We paid a whole $7 each for them.  They are antique, walnut- I think, and had dirty red seat cushions.  We needed chairs for the sitting area in the master bedroom we were working on, and these little gems were definitely in our s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d budget.  Visions of flat black spray paint and the most beautiful black and white fabric danced in my head.

Nikki tore the old seat covers apart and began the revitalization project.  She even sewed piping!  I would have left out that tiny little detail, but I’m so glad she didn’t.  I headed out to the patio with the chairs and a couple of cans of black spray paint.  A few light coats of paint, a little drying time, and the new seat cushions…here’s what we came up with.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE these chairs.  I’m thinking I would love to have a whole set of them foAfterr MY dining room.