DIY, Dresser, new home, Painted Furniture, reclaimed wood, recycled furniture, repurposed lighting, vintage style

Pulling from Pinterest to Personalize a Bathroom

I am sure that you are tired of hearing about my bathroom, and probably wondering why in the world it is taking so long.  Well, my husband has been great about getting his part of the bathroom remodel done, but he has had to wait on me to get my parts done.  I really want my bathroom to be more of a reflection of my rustic, vintage, eclectic, style and not something that could come straight off a showroom floor.  Crazy, right?  Almost everything we are adding has been customized. What can I say?  I live in a beautiful suburban tract home.  There are at least 80 homes in this master planned neighborhood that are a version of our floor plan.   We were lucky that the original owners did spring for upgrades that some homes may not have, but they are all still options that other homes, some on my same street, may have.   I really needed one room to look like me and not “upgrade 34 in plan 27”. As usual, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration and decided that I would:

  • Refinish an oak dresser for my sink vanity so that it resembled a Restoration Hardware finish.  ( It took over a month to find the dresser I wanted. Then several weeks to perfect the finish- which I absolutely love.) (Click here to see the Pinterest dresser inspiration)
    • So far:
      • The dresser is refinished.  It looks amazing.
      • The sinks have arrived and the holes are cut in the top of the dresser.  I love the square sinks we chose.
      • The wall has been painted, the board and batten has been installed, primed and painted.
      • The new vanity will have feet so Hubby has installed tile in the open spot where there was no tile installed before.
      • The outlets were moved to accommodate the board and batten.

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Here it is being fit into the space. It literally fits like custom furniture. Hubby had to sand the edges because it was too tight after the bead oar was added.

reclaimed wood shelf  1-IMG_7854


Before the Board and Batten                                             After


  • Add a chandelier.  Believe it or not, I bought the chandelier on clearance in March and it hung out in my seldom used garden tub for a while waiting for inspiration.  I liked the shape and scale for the space but it had purple and green beads with a silver metal frame.  I actually found the EXACT chandelier on Pinterest redone to look like wood and was thrilled.  It took me several days to get it painted, stained and reassembled before could get the electrician to come and squeeze into our attic to run the wires.  It is soooo very worth it.   (You can see the Pinterest inspiration here.)

wood bead look chandelier over the tub chandelier beautiful chandelier

  • Add board and batten walls to the bathroom.  Right now Hubby is 95% done with this project.  He is down to the finish work that will happen after the vanity is installed.    Thankfully the mirrors are done and waiting. (You can see the Pinterest inspiration here.)

primed board and batten 1-IMG_7871

  • Add some sort of fun towel holders.  I settled on making this part of a door into a faux zinc hat rack that will hold towels for Hubby and for me.

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In my crazy mind, I thought that I could get more done this summer.  I did not figure in the toll that 10 hour work days takes on me or how much the heat and travel would slow everything down.  I get home from work and turn into mush.  It is frustrating to know you have projects waiting when you literally have no energy to get them done.

Still to do:

I want to add some sort of rustic art work in the bathroom or black and white photos. Still thinking on that one. ( Pinterest inspiration here.)


and possibly…maybe…if I can get the energy, I want to add reclaimed wood to the toilet closet in the form of an accent wall.  (Pinterest Inspiration here.)Mandy-Jean-Chic-pallet-wall-1-450x600



Blogging, Chair, home decorating, repurposed frame, Repurposed Furniture, repurposed lighting, shopping, Thrifting

How to Find Treasures at Garage Sales

I hear from friends all the time that they don’t find anything at garage sales so they have stopped going. REALLY? Here are a few of the finds I have made at garage sales over the last year.

Ornate side table

Giant Mirror

chalkboard frames

yellow chairs

Going to garage sales is a lot like fishing. You have to know what you are doing to be successful. Sure, there are people who have walked into a garage sale first time and scored a $20,000 painting for a buck. I see them on Antiques Roadshow too. There have also been cases of kids catching a shark on a cane pole with a hook and minnow, but that is the exception…not the rule.

Here are the basics of garage sale shopping.

Get on websites that let you know garage sales are happening. is a great site.

Get the local paper and check the classified section. There is usually a garage sale section.

Get up early and go the first day of the sale. I do not waste my time on Saturday morning going to a Friday-Saturday garage sale. If I go early and the person is not willing to bargain, I may go back a couple of hours later to ask if the prices are still firm. More time than not, they are ready to sell.

Bring cash. Small bills and at least a dollar in quarters. Cash is all that most garage sales will take…smart folks.

My personal favorites are the days that a whole neighborhood holds a garage sale on one day.

At the sale, look  past the ugly paint job, the finish or even the dirt. Is the shape good? Is the item solid? Is it something you could work with?

This past Saturday morning I went “free styling” on my way into town up in the country. That means that I just stopped at any sign that said garage sale. It was 8:00 am and I had a little time to kill on the way to Huntsville, Texas. Even though I was just stopping as I found the sales, I had a list in my head.

Tall candlesticks, 2 night stands/side tables, shelf brackets, stuff for fall mantle, sewing machine cabinets, curio cabinet or fun shelving for milk glass.

When you stop, walk quickly around the whole thing. Does it look like there is anything you are interested in looking at? Does the place give you the creeps? (NEVER GO INSIDE A HOME IF YOU ARE SHOPPING ALONE AND THE ONLY SHOPPER THERE!)

If it seems like you might find treasures there, take time to look around. Things are not generally very organized, so be patient.

Ask questions. ” I am looking for sewing machine cabinets, you wouldn’t happen to have one would you.” You will be surprised from time to time. Look at these beauties I got for $25.00 each when I asked. They were under a tarp at the back of the garage. Not what I was looking for, but wow.

Make decisions quickly. If it is good it will be gone before you know it.

Don’t act too excited. You will not be able to bargain if the seller knows you are excited.

Be willing to walk away. I do all the time. If it is too much money or you are not sure about your ability to fix the piece…leave it.

Open drawers, look underneath, wiggle it. I get in trouble for skipping this step from time to time. (Two Dollar Chair)

Here is what I found this past Saturday:

Tall brass candlestick $1.50

brass candle stick
Two treadle sewing machines $50.00

treadle sewing machine

singer treadle sewing machine
Two pairs of binoculars-one set for the boat and a vintage set with a leather case for the top of the pie safe décor $3.00

vintage binoculars IMG_3354
1960’s faux bamboo small shelving unit- $1.00

ornate curio

Plaque- here it is painted for the front guest room .50

painted wooden plaque
Two small plates that will go on either side of the single dinner plate in the large single frame on the wall in the front bedroom .20

Four brown snuff jars $2.00, They are going to look great on the fall mantle.

snuff bottles

Not too bad a haul for a thirty minute run through three garage sales.

DIY Projects, fabric covered lamp shade tutorial, milk glass, repurposed lighting, The bedroom

Milk Glass Lamp

As I have been assembling the supplies for my bedroom make the city house, I ran across a milk glass lamp.  I paid $5.00 for the lamp, shade and all.  It wasn’t in great shape but It will provide me with an opportunity to bring in my milk glass. 

I just wasn’t crazy about the finish on the wood and the faux metal parts were super scratched and tarnished.  The bedroom is going to be gray, yellow, white and black.  I know that the bedside lamp is going to be yellow, so I decided to paint the wood gray and the “metal” (plastic) black. 

Sanded and ready for paint.

Lamps are not complicated.  They are all made from a metal rod with electrical wire running through them connected to a socket.  Any lamp can be taken apart and put back together.  My advice is to take pictures as you go so you can reassemble.  Above you an see all the parts from this lamp.

I really like the gray color. It came from the Garagemahal.  I

I wanted to make the lampshade colorful.  I purchased 1 yard of fabric for $6.00 at Hancock’s Fabric. I took the pleated part of the shade that came with the lamp  off.  There was a smooth plastic shade under the pleating. 

I looked up how to cover a lampshade with fabric.  There were several sites. 
 Here is one of the easiest to follow videos.
I followed the directions exactly as stated.  I drew out the pattern on some gift wrap then cut that out and put the pattern on the fabric.  after I cut out the fabric I sprayed everything with spray adhesive.  Hubby helped hold the lampshade while I smoothed out the fabric.  I touched everything up with hot glue.

I was proud of how it turned out!  I also bought the fabric for the headboard.  $5.00 a yard for  2 1/2 yards of fabric.  $7.50 for a new headboard is not too bad.  I look forward to getting it together.

Apartment living, repurposed lighting, Thrifty Art

Turning a Chandelier Into a Hanging Lamp

Getting ready for the wedding, I found a brass chandelier that I bought as part of a $20.00 bundle.  I made out like a bandit on that deal.  If you have been reading the blog long you have probably seen something that I got on that trip at least once a week.  My favorite piece was a milk glass chandelier that will one day be in my bathroom.  The grape sconce in the purple frames, two of the ornate frames, the glass candle holders, my tarnished silver change holders, and six vases that we used at the wedding are just some of the items.

The brass chandelier that I included in the bundle was a working piece and I thought that I would find a place for it one day. 

It was one of those builder’s grade sort of brass like metal light fixtures. 

I knew it would end up being something cool.  I went to my favorite site… Pinterest for inspiration.
Pinned Image
My first thought was for it to become something for the dessert table at the wedding.

Handmade Teacup Chandelier using repurposed light fixture and vintage teacups in adorable white and pink - ON SALE

When I didn’t get the cake stand done I thought that possibly I would do something fun, but Sweet Amanda’s dining room is so tiny and she has a lot going on with the frames.  It would get in the way of  my giant son’s head most of the time when the table is against the wall.

Sweet Amanda and Baby Boy do not have an overhead light in their front room. That is normal for an apartment the age that theirs is, but it means that they need a lot of lamps in the room. Because they are ministers on a college campus and have small groups in their home, the front room is literally wall to wall couches. The space where the window air conditioner is really doesn’t work well for a table lamp so right now they have a red floor lamp that I bought on clearance at Walmart after the off to college stuff went on sale one year. It really doesn’t go with the vibe of the room,  The chandelier was the perfect solution for the spot.  I had a ton of chain, cord, and other lighting parts left over from another project so the solution is to make the chandelier into a hanging lamp that plugs in. 
Their lease says that anything permanently attached has to stay.  This will not be permanent.

I took the light out to the trees at the edge of our woods and then tied it up with twine to allow me to spray prime it. 

I am a terrible spray painter.  I apparently am also a terrible spray primer too.  The primer was gritty, and uneven.  I hated it so much that I got out the paint brush and gallon can of primer and gave it a second coat. 
 I still did not love it so it sat for two weekends while I studied it.  One the best ever garage sale run where I found the giant ornate mirror, I bought five black lampshades with gold interiors for $2.00 that are going to cover the bulbs and provide less direct light in their living room. 

 The walls in the apartment are white, so a light colored chandelier with black shades would not look right.  When Sweet Amanda and her bud Beth came over, the color was selected… coral.

Pinned Image
I should not have been surprised they chose coral.  It is really a popular color right now.  The 2012 Pantone color of the year is a tangerine color that is really close to coral.
Hubby and I went to Home Depot to look for coral.  I gave him a color block and he could not pick coral from the block.  Baby Boy doesn’t think it is a real color.

We found a color called tropical coral.  I am going to brush it on.  I know what you are thinking.  Yes I probably am crazy but I do not love spray paint and I couldn’t find a color I liked. 

At Christmas time I am going to look for beads to add to the light. 

Finally this weekend I was able to get the thing painted.  The color was a little scary- almost sherbet colored. I just had to trust it would dry richer and darker. 
Here is the finished product.  It did dry a lot prettier than I originally feared it would.  I also aged it a little with some glaze at Baby Boy’s request. 
I still need to get new plastic covers that look like candlesticks, bulbs, and Hubby needs to finish wiring the plug in part so it is not mounted on the ceiling but is a plug in lamp.

I unwrapped one of the shades.  It will be perfect.  The gold on the inside will go with the gold metals in the room.  This is going to be a great color boost to a mostly brown living room.  I found the fabric below to make some pillows and I have another project to bring in the coral color to the room. 
 Yes, Baby Boy, coral is a real color.