Tag Archives: thrifty

Simply Satisfying Desk {Garage Sale Makeover}

Ever find something that just catches your eye for no apparent reason? It wasn’t something you were looking for, not your typical style,  but there it is staring you in the face with puppy dog eyes begging you to take her home and love her.  Such is the story of the beginning of a relationship between “Simply Satisfying Desk” and myself.

She wasn’t anything fancy but her simplicity reminded me of a HUGE doll clothes closest that my grandpa made for me as a little girl…too bad I wasn’t a doll kind of girl.  I’d turn it around in my room and pretend it into a checkout at a “store”…I digress.  Either way there was just something about this desk that appealed to me.  In fact she wasn’t even really for sale.  She was stuck back in a corner of a storage shed of a rummage sale.  In great shape with just a few paint chips coming off the chair.  I rescued her by offering $10 without the faintest idea of what I was going to use her for…which I needed to come up with real quick in order for this to go over well with the husband. By the time I arrived home I conjured up a response, “a sewing desk” I blurted before he could mutter the question.

She had to wait her turn on the list of re-dos and makeovers, but eventually she got naked and I gave her a bath (by way of sander to remove a few layers of painted, air compressor to blow away the dust and a tack cloth to get any remaining remnants particles.  I highly recommend a tack cloth if you are doing any sanding!)

I had the heavy duty sprayer out to prime the armoire with KILZ, so I used that.  I started by painting it Sesame Seed by Krylon (I found 2 cans on sale at Michael’s for .54 cents in the clearance section) but I ran out before she was complete.  In dire need for touch ups, I headed to several stores scouring shelves for the random and apparently discontinued color.   This ended up being bittersweet,  why? While I wasn’t a huge fan of starting over,  I liked my new color SO much better- it just SCREAMs my name whenever I see her.  What color is it?  London Grey by Rustoleum (new favorite).  Better yet I found that Menard’s had on sale for $1.99 plus a $1 off per can rebate, making each can .99 cents.

I should mention that I removed the drawers and pulls as I had other plans for them.  I sprayed the body of the desk (2 cans) and after much deliberation decided to paint the drawer pulls the same color.  I wanted to use some fancy fabric to cover the drawers. I found this home interior fabric (1/2 yard at 50% off at Jo-Ann Fabrics). In order to cut my fabric to size I laid out the fabric, wrong side up on the table to find the best way to make use of the fabric.  While holding the fabric to the drawer I flipped it over to see the fabric design.  I made minor adjustments to get the best fabric design for each drawer.  For example,  on the lower drawers I wanted to make sure I had a big pretty bloom covering most of the drawer front.  I laid the fabric and drawer back down on the table with my new adjustments, marked around the drawer front with a pencil and cut about a 1/4-1/2 ” beyond (it doesn’t have to be perfect and I’ll explain why in the next step below) so I had a little extra fabric around the edges than I needed.  Sorry for the lack of pictures during these middle steps. It appears SOMEONE deleted them on the camera not realizing what they were for, but I’m not holding a grudge- really.

I had an idea in mind for the drawers to spruce them up, and thanks to Amy from Modge Podge Rocks and her nice tutorial for modge podge with fabric I found the assistance I needed. I didn’t use any fancy modge podge- just what I already had.  I started with all pieces right side down on the table (cover the table with with wax paper to protect it).  I spread a generous amount of modge podge on with a foam brush to the wrong/back side of each fabric piece.  I let each piece dry over night (partially because I do most of my work after 9 PM).  This stiffness is important, it prevents the fabric from fraying and helps ensure the fabric sticks to whatever material you are looking to use.  The next day I made sure each piece was dry.  I took the drawer front and applied a liberal amount of Modge Podge onto the front of the drawer, making sure to get the edges well.  Then I placed the fabric (wrong side down) on top of the drawer with wet modge podge.  Starting in the center I smoothed the fabric out toward the edges.  I applied the fabric around the slight curve on the corner all the way to the flat portion of the drawer (the side of the drawer that touches the desk).  I made a slit in the fabric along the corners and overlapped the fabric on one-side then cut the remaining fabric flush with the corner, adding a little modge podge to help convince it to stay put.  Once the farbic seemed dry ( a couple hours) I cut the excess fabric from around the edged to be flush with the back of the drawer.  Because I had modged podged the fabric I didn’t have to worry about fraying, and  because I waited for it to dry thouroughly I didn’t have any problems  with the fabric pulling away or peeling back.  I will say this process is a little bit tedious for my taste, as I have the patience of a over-tired 2-year-old (well maybe not THAT bad, but patience is not my best quality)

The last step was to put on the drawer pulls, place her in my messy unorganized craft room to get her out of the way add some of my craft supplies in her drawers and adorn her with a sewing machine to make her feel a little more welcome in my craft area.  She looks so pretty, it inspires me to keep her cleaned off and unhidden to admire her beauty.  For $10 and a little love, she was well worth the simple satisfaction that I was looking for in my craft room.  Welcome pretty desk!

Anyone ever attempt any modge podge + fabric recipes?  Any suggestions?  Do share!

Linking up to:
Visit thecsiproject.comSomewhat Simple  Lovely Crafty Home

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Filed under Before/After, DIY, Flow of Creativity

Fresh {Summer Mantel}

In my pre-surgery list  I put a huge emphasis on changing out all the decor, for several reasons.
1.  I was already bored with the Spring decor, 6 more months would be painful for me.
2.  I needed to be a good patient.  Knowing my physical limitations after surgery, this could not be accomplished by me during recovery.  and…
3.  I love my husband dearly, but he build things and I decorate.  Asking him to decorate would require him to turn in his man card.  Plus I’m not the best at communicating my ideas to him…we just think differently.

With all that said, I wanted something fresh, relaxing, and simple.  I also give myself rules that I cannot spend more than $10. I gathered an assortment of things I had: Mason jars (both blue and clear), shells, vases, wooden crates, fabric remnants, wood, candles, even left over projects from a summer school class I taught years ago.  This project usually creates a huge mess as I work through my creativity.

The result:

I began with my larger focal pieces (crate, apothecary jars) filling in with different heights, and textures while maintaining a sense of balance. All of the items used were things I’ve accumulated mostly from thrift stores or garage sales.


(I made the sign with a scrap of wood, white acrylic paint and a laser cutter- this was a project at a summer camp I taught several years ago.  You could easily do something similar with a stencil or vinyl die cuts)


The white sand and various candles were left over from our wedding. The shells were a find at an estate sale a few months ago- HUGE bag for maybe $2. The shell looking thing inside the apothecary jar is actually dried fungus from a potpourri mix I picked up at a recent rummage sale for .25 cents (remainder of the mix is in the other apothecary jar on left side)

Fill in with jars and vases of various sizes, spread the shells out so they look scattered and you have yourself a summer mantel. 🙂 little cost, huge satisfaction!

I plan to pick some fresh blooms from the garden to put on either side in the galvanized buckets, but that would require it to stop raining.  The blooms needs some love from the sun!ll.

I’m linking up to these blogs: Someday Crafts
Photobucket/ Visit thecsiproject.com

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Filed under Flow of Creativity

End Table: Trash to Treasure

You may have seen the Basement Reveal post, where I show the 6 months of time, talent and treasures we invested in a family/play room in our basement.  Well now it’s time to add some furniture.  Currently the furniture in our basement is less than stellar (can’t complain over hand-me downs) due to the lack of funds and abundance of existing furniture. I’m finding creative ways to make the space appealing.  Thanks to some insights from All Things Thrifty and her thousands of amazing furniture transformations I mustered up some courage to attempt to transform an end table.

I found this end table at Goodwill for $3.50 (sorry I suck at capturing the entire process- this picture is actually after sanding, and taken from my phone- but hopefully you get the idea).

The table seemed simple and straight-forward, which was ideal for the “man’s room.” So I sanded it down, just enough to rough it up.  Took a can of Rustoleum white primer to it.

Than I went to town using the paint that was left over from the basement.  The paint was a close out (Fresh Air brand) from Home Depot, and unfortunately they printed “Custom Color” on the label…seriously, it had a name with a card when I asked you to mix it Mr. Paint stir man. I digress.  A few coats of the, we’ll say mustard color then left to dry overnight.

Phase 2 was to mix some black acrylic paint with Ralph Lauren Glaze- brush on, then wipe off.  All things thrifty has a few video tutorials for you to follow. I made the mistake of using a dry rag, which pulled some of the yellow paint off.  I also made the mistake of putting too much on and taking too long in between putting the glaze on and wiping it off.  Either way it meets my first time expectations. The husband liked it, so that really was a blue ribbon in my book 🙂

Here’s a functional shot where you can see it in context with our existing mismatched furniture.


Tip Junkie handmade projects

If anyone has ideas for recovering an avocado green recliner, tan leather love seat, and dark green/cranberry plaid recliner couch…you have my complete attention.  Small budget/big ideas is my approach.  Not to mention the double recliner couch will stay in the basement till I die, it’s a beast to move!

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Filed under Flow of Creativity