burlap, Decorating, glazing, Thrifty decorating, vintage style

1970’s Fabulous China Cabinet

I am going to continue looking back at some of my 1970’s repurpose projects. I hope that when you find 1970’s furniture at resale and thrift shops, you take a chance on it, or better yet, bring it to me. I will gladly accept your gift and make it fun.

A while back I bought a china cabinet for $40.00. The owner even threw in an awesome barley twist standing mirror that will be redone for my new house soon. Frankly I would have paid that amount just for the china cabinet, but the couple was ready to clear out their grandmother’s home so that they could move in. I cannot imagine that they didn’t want the things but… my gain. When we arrived at the house the owner said that if we had not shown up he was going to cut the top part off the cabinet and move it to the storage shed to use as a work cabinet. When the china cabinet gave me problems, and it did, I reminded it that it was just lucky it didn’t end up whacked in half and holding tools. Am I the only one who talks to my furniture when working on it? To my surprise the cabinet ended up being solid wood. I really expected questionable products based on the price.



garage sale finds

barley twist mirror

This is the barley twist mirror that came with my $40.00 china cabinet. It is so going in my bedroom… as soon as I figure out what color to paint it! (Update, it went to a bride to be for her wedding.)

The first try at spray painting ended with a mess. We tried using the sprayer on the cabinet with thinned, cheap paint. It ran, it dripped, it made me cry. I tried to make it work by glazing the ugly paint but I could not get the paint to accept the glaze. It looked awful. Hubby sanded it all down and we repainted it all with a brush. I chose Behr powdered snow to paint it because Mandie at Altard recommends this color in her ebook. It is her best selling color. It was not fun to brush over the sanded down nasty paint because the first coat of paint seemed to soak in the second coat immediately. Eventually we did get it painted.

China cabinet with Powdered Snow

Here it is painted and distressed before the glazing

Distressed cabinet door

The close up of the cabinet door.

I then heavily distress the piece before glazing it with my favorite Behr faux glaze mixed with a little Behr revival mahogany. Hubby removed the back board on the top for me then I put natural burlap on the back to cover a small hole and to add a little pizazz to the piece. I am happy with how it turned out. This was the piece I distressed the most of all my projects. I am more thrilled with what Sweet Amanda said. She said that this was probably her favorite piece that I have done. She loves rustic work and I am thrilled she thinks it turned out well. It will be going into my office to hold my Dick and Jane books. The 1950’s books will look great in this redone 1970’s fabulous cabinet.


Enjoy the finished project.

distressed china cabinet IMG_2694 IMG_2693 IMG_2692

Here it is resting comfortably in my office with my books inside!

Redone China Cabinet

2013-07-11 11.45.11


Country Style, Decorating, DIY Furniture, glazing, Repurposed Furniture, Star Hill, Thrifty decorating

Making a Functional Coffee Table Fun!

We made a mad dash up to the lake Sunday morning. Two weeks away was more than we could stand, especially knowing it would be another two weeks because we are going to see our sweet daughter, The Southern Belle and her Fiancee, Big Cat. I had a project I wnted to wrap up and it turned out even better than I hoped. On our trip to Facelift Furniture in College Station, I ran across a sad old drop leaf coffee table for $14.00 at the local Goodwill. It was solid wood but was scratched up, and in general just looked abused. I am betting it did some time in a college apartment, poor thing.



I decided it would fit the bill at our “near the lake house”, Star Hill. We have a coffee table that works great most of the time but it doesn’t work for puzzles and playing board games. It will also make a great kid table when our adopted grand kids come to visit. Lawrence likes to sit on the vintage box at the coffee table to draw and play with stickers.

I decided to make this functional table fun! I wanted something that would make a statement when friends enter Star Hill. We have kept the colors at the house very patriotic. Denim curtains, red ticking upholstery, and milk glass are all part of the decor. Even the seasonal decor sticks to reds, whites and shades of blue. I decided to paint the top of this table Behr sailboat blue in a satin finish and leave the legs varnished.


First I sanded the top down.



Here is the blue painted with no glaze. It is vibrant!

The only tricky part of the painting was the hinged area. I glazed it all with a brown glaze mix that I used recently on the credenza. It is amazing how different it looks on the blue paint. It looks weathered and almost sun bleached. I wanted it to look weathered and worn so friends wouldn’t be afraid to put their feet up. I am really liking Minwax Finishing Wax on my finished pieces. It is petroleum based and you have to wax in a ventilated area, but I love the luster and adding coats makes the piece shine. This was a quick project that really got a Big Bang for the buck. One sample sized container of paint and a $14.00 table were all that I had to pay for. Come visit us at Star Hill soon and put your feet up. There is always room for a friend in our home. Our blue coffee table will welcome you when you enter.


You can see how vibrant the color is outside. I am crazy about this color.




Here she is inside Star Hill.


Set up for board games. Our twin nephews will be sad it is not Last Word!


Home Stories A to Z
Chalkboard DIY, Decorating, mantle, Owls, Reused frame, silver, The City House, Thrifty decorating, white and gray decorating

Decorating the Mantel Between Seasons

It is that time of the year that I struggle with decorating the mantel in our den. Now that we are getting ready to sell the city house, I wanted to decorate it for more mass appeal and for my own enjoyment. I took down everything Valentine’s Day related, moved some things around then went on a house hunt. The silver stuff came from the yellow and gray bedroom. I quickly drew an owl on the chalkboard, but it is only temporary. I am just trying to figure out what I want it to say. I do love the stack of Bibles. My grandfather and my grandmother’s Bible are there along with my “cradle roll” Bible I carried when Hubby and I got married. What do you thin? Be Honest!





Apartment living, Chair, crafting, DIY Painting and Glazing Furniture, DIY Projects, Fun with friends, painting, recycled furniture, Repurposed Furniture, resale finds, Thrifty decorating

A Chair at the Table Craft day

I made this map chair about six months ago.
Map Chair Seat

Map Chair
Sweet Amanda, my most favorite daughter in law, liked it and may or may not have said that she would steal it. In order to save her from a life of crime, we started thinking about planning a day when her buddies could come over to Star Hill for a girls only craft day. Chairs in the country are crazy cheap so I got busy. I picked up these six beauties for @$5.00 each. I have also been collecting ideas for what to do with the chairs. Here are the chairs needing adoption by the girls and some links to great chairs for inspiration:

Chairs to Share

Yep. They really do look like a hoard in the Garagemahal. I have 6 chairs that I have spent a total of $25.00 on. At prices like this you know that some of them needed love.

Chair Repair

This beauty needed parts. Hubby had to make the cross pieces.

Here is a line up of the chairs that have been collected. I kind of feel like the SPCA trying to get someone to adopt pets.

The Blue is strapping hubby used to re-glue the legs.  All good now.

The Blue is strapping hubby used to re-glue the legs. All good now.

We were watching Baby for our friends and she attached herself to this chair.

We were watching Baby for our friends and she attached herself to this chair.

I think this old beauty would look cool with the slats painted in Ombre shades of one color.

I think this old beauty would look cool with the slats painted in Ombre shades of one color.

I have a thing for mission furniture.  Love this beauty.  Will look great uphostered and painted.

I have a thing for mission furniture. Love this beauty. Will look great uphostered and painted.

This beauty needed love to be ready for the chair day.  new parts, glue and screws are in.  Victorian feet, rosette at the top back, and a great shape.

This beauty needed love to be ready for the chair day. new parts, glue and screws are in. Victorian feet, rosette at the top back, and a great shape.

I have two of these for the party.  They have a lot of detail in the back and will really show off a glaze.

I have two of these for the party. They have a lot of detail in the back and will really show off a glaze.

Here are links to some inspriation chairs: Red Painted Chairs, Blue Chair,French Chair, White Upholstered Chair

Here are All Things Thrifty’s Week of Chairs. Love them

I have been picking up fabric in the remnant section and have even collected a few wild shirts from resale shops that might work for the seats.

The girls are going to bring paint from their projects along with what I have in the hoard.

I am looking forward to showing off the results from our chair affair.

crafting, DIY Art, DIY Projects, mantle, Thrifty Art, Thrifty decorating

Toilet Paper Roll Art

I am on a mission to decorate my mantle for Valentine’s Day. While up at Star Hill working on the string art I noticed some small wood scraps that hubby had left from a project he is working on. I was board, literally waiting for paint to dry so I decided to try out a project I saw on Pinterest recently, using a paper towel roll to stamp hearts.

I painted the boards pink, then squished an empty paper towel roll into a heart shape. I know, it is a terrible photo. Sorry.

I used some really thick white paint that dipped the roll in.

The hearts were easy to stamp. I went up the left side of one board and the right side of the other.

Easy, fast, free, and cute. What more can I ask?


Here one of them are with the string art.

burlap, Christmas, crafting, DIY Art, home decorating, Rubbish Rescue, Thrifty Art, Thrifty decorating

Decorating the Mantle for Christmas Without Breaking the Bank

I decided that this year I would use what I have on hand to decorate the mantle. Over the year I had purchased a dictionary at a resale shop for 50 cents, I picked up a rough bulletin board when my neighbor moved out, I purchased a torn up hymnal at a garage sale for 25 cents, and I had a couple of ginger jar vases left from my son’s wedding.
I picked up two yards of drapery fabric at Hancock’s Fabric on super clearance for $2.35.
The first step was to draw off a large S on cardboard. The S was covered with pages from the hymnal. I used regular old school glue thinned down to a watery mixture. I did the same with dictionary pages wrapped on the ginger jars.

Buy old dictionaries when you find them. They are one of my favorite decorating items.



The paper flowers were made by layering some concentric circles of dictionary pages in top of each other then stitching through the stack with jute twine. I made slits in the layers then wrinkled each layer.



I covered the old bulletin board with fabric. Super easy. I used a staple gun.



The large S was attached to the fabric with hot glue.
The flowers were attached to some salvaged glass jars I painted teal.
I took pages of the hymnal to create a JOY banner.
The jars were filled with spray painted branches from the yard and two packages of Dollar Tree ornaments. Everything else came from the house,
All in all I am proud of my mantle. Less than $10.00 spent and totally unique.




Mirror Display, The City House, Thrifty Art, Thrifty decorating

Art for the Guest Room

In the guest room I have a large empty wall over the desk that will be staying.  The wall is the darkest in the room and it needs some sparkle and light.

 I will be making some art for the room, but I wanted to use some things that I already had around the house too.  Recently I have had a mirror obsession.  I have been buying the mirrors for $10.00 or less each- most are about $2.00.  I also had a cool frame that I bought recently for $2.00 that I thought I would use for a chalkboard.  Today while cleaning out a drawer I discovered a letter  S that was hiding from me.  I decided it needed to go on the wall in the center of the empty frame.  I also had a bunch of vintage tarnished silver plated serving bowls and change holders. I found them on sale at Etsy for WAY more than what I paid  See examples here.She’ll serving dishes I collected mine at resale shops in the country for 25 cents each.   They have needed a home too.  I laid everything out on the bed in about the size that the wall would be.

I will be painting the small square mirror black.  The empty frame was painted with yellow paint then three coats of the metallic paint that is on the stenciled wall. This is what it looked like when I bought it.

 Hubby brought in one of the mirrors I bought a while back while I was organizing .  I painted the 70’s frame, used metallic silver and glaze on it a while back but Hubby just got the backs fixed and put the mirrors in for me when he saw the room.  He said that the 70’s mirror belongs in this room.  I still have one of the mirrors that I am ready to sell for Emma’s Hugs but he was right, one of them does belong in the guest room.

The Mirror Looks a Little Different Now

I am leaving the gold mirror alone.  It was a great find for $ 2.00

  I need to go purchase some plate discs from Hobby Lobby before the silver pieces go up so it will be Wednesday night before I finish the wall.  If you haven’t used plate discs you gotta try them.  They hang anything that was not intended to hang on the wall easily. They are not cheap, about $1.50 each, but with my trusty coupons I should get them for 90 cents or so.  Seems funny that the hanger will cost more than the art, but still just over a buck a piece is not too bad.

  I am leaving to see the Southern Belle Thursday evening so I must be finished or it will drive me crazy.

DIY pumpkins from wood blocks, Fall decorating, Thrifty Art, Thrifty decorating

Making Pumpkins from Scrap Wood

I worked on this today at the hospital. My dad is getting ready for surgery tomorrow.

This was a move slow, do not start anything complicated weekend.  We did have some scrap wood laying around though and I thought that they might make some pumpkins for the farmhouse table.  It took me all of 15 minutes to cut the wood into various lengths.

I looked at them and decided that they needed a little rounding.  I tried cutting the edges with the chop saw, but I really didn’t like it.  I ended up getting out another of Hubby’s tools.  The belt sander.

This thing scares me, but less than sanding each of the blocks by hand would. I did it all by myself!

I sanded the edges of each block then got out some left over paint. 

I got Hubby to drill a hole in the top of each block then I found sticks to put in the hole and wood glued them together.  The sticks look something like a stem.  I also had some twine covered wire from the country wedding that I twisted into corkscrew shapes and glued to the block.  I had some left over burlap from the wreath project that became leaves. 

I think it turned out great.  Hubby said they looked like blocks with sticks in the top.  Let me know what you think.

 I used dark glaze on some.  I left in on a while so that it would soak in and look rustic.

 I painted this one coral then the cinnamon glaze color then sanded  lightly to let the coral show through.

I love that you can see the hill in the background of this shot. 
I think they look great on the farmhouse table.

burlap, Fall decorating, Thrifty decorating, wreath

Making a Burlap Wreath- Easy DIY

This weekend was all about taking it slow.  I did not move to fast or do very much but I did get a few easy to do projects completed.  One of the easiest things I have done this fall is make a wreath out of an old coffee sack.  I have several of these that I got free when we were in Round Top.  Long story- but my dumpster diving does pay off.

I am posting twice this evening because I will be out of pocket the next few days. 

I totally copied the idea from one of the blogs I follow: Classy Clutter.

I am going to change out the elements of the wreath this fall so what you are going to see is the Plain Jane version.

Step one:
Untwist a metal hangar like you are roasting marshmallows.

Step two: cut burlap into about two inch strips.

Step three:
Sting the burlap onto the wire. Keep stinging it on until you can’t put any more on.  It took almost the entire coffee sack to get it as full as I wanted.

Step four:
Form the straight wire into a circle and re-twist the top. I left the hook part of the hanger in place when I straighted the wire.  It made a great wreath hanger.

Step five:
Decorate like you would any wreath.  I added a denim ribbon to mine and will be adding fall elements next time I am at Star Hill.

DIY Furniture, Repurposed Furniture, The bedroom, Thrifty decorating

My Cheapo Ways

Eight years ago I was starting my second year as science specialist for our district.  I had spent my first year in the job convincing teachers that they could teach hands-on science, providing lessons, creating worksheets and handouts, making PowerPoints for the teachers to use.  It was the back to school staff development day for our district.  There were over 100 teachers in the cafeteria of one of our elementary schools. I asked the audience “What do you know about me?” I expected answers like you will help us… silly me.  From the back someone yelled out “You are cheap!” I laughed so hard I almost fell of the stage.  During the past year I had also looked for inexpensive ways to teach the science concepts.  I was that teacher that took in baby food jars, left over yarn, shoe boxes, coffee cans, etc.  My cabinets were jammed with things that could be used to teach the concepts but not cost money.  Let me be clear, I am NOT cheap!  I am frugal.  I have no problem spending money as long as it is something I REALLY want and it is on sale.

I hate to spend more money than necessary on things. My mom taught me well.  She is the ultimate reduce, reuse, recycle queen.  She washes out zip lock bags and reuses them.  I drive a fully paid for 6 1/2 year old car.  You have seen how I decorate my home.  I have several great suits from Goodwill and other resale shops.  I never pay full price unless that is the only option.

Last week I posted that I wanted to redecorate a bedroom in our home and my friends have already started helping me out.  One of my buddies called to let me know that there was yellow paint at Home Depot in the OOPS bin. ( the good Behr paint with primer- in a soft yellow color.)

 My social planner, Tanis, has gone to a garage sale with me, and one of my teachers brought me a Hancock’s fabric coupon.

So far I have collected

  •  two side tables- one free, one fifteen dollars

My fifteen dollar find.  Solid wood with lots of detail.
 My Free Find

  • a bookcase- free (legs for the bookcase from the Habitat sale 2.50)
  • A mirror- 2.00
  • Yellow Behr Paint with prime- 15.00
  • A huge valance that will be part of the headboard- free
  • A milk glass lamp- 5.00 ( I am already redoing this.  You will see it soon.)
  • A comforter and shams- 17.00

41.50 spent so far

    I am on the lookout for gray or yellow and gray curtains, fabric for the headboard, throw pillows, and some white bedding.  I am not afraid to think outside the box.  Ideas are welcome.

    If you have a lead on this stuff- I am all ears.