DIY projects, DIY Projects & Decor

Antique Sewing Machine Makeover

I have been keeping a look out for an old sewing machine base and I was lucky enough to happen upon one for $45! These babies usually go for over $100!

This one needed a good cleaning. After wiping it down though, it still looked dull and rusty. I found a product called Rust-oleum Rust Reformer. It covers metal with a black protective covering that stops rust and allows you to paint over it. I liked the way it looked straight out of the spray can. The mat finish was perfect.

I did cover the Singer logo and the sides with blue tape. They still had the original gold tone I wanted to maintain.

The top was made from wood I had stashed. I used Dark Walnut to stain it.

The handles on the sides were a 50% off buy from Hobby Lobby. They have the best knobs and handles!!!

This beauty is not going to make it to my booth. I’m keeping this one! 🙂

But I will be keeping my eyes open for another sewing machine base! Or two!

Antique Sewing Machine Makeover

DIY projects, Thrifty Finds

New Life for a Vintage Door

While antique shopping a month or so ago, I came across four old/vintage doors. At $10.00 each, I bought all four.  As usual, I had no immediate idea what I was going to do with them. They were just cool and I had to have them. 😉

Cabinet door makeover 1.jpg

I decided to make a cabinet to hang on an empty wall in my kitchen. It’s the area where we keep our cat’s food and water bowls, so I thought the cabinet would be a good place to store her food, (in really cute containers of course!) instead of on top of the fridge.

Cabinet door makeover door without glass.jpg

I didn’t take pictures of all the steps, but it’s a simple piece to make. First I took a hammer and GENTLY tapped on the wood spindles in the door to pop out the glass. To my amazement, the glass stayed in one piece. Once the glass and spindles were out of the door, I sanded, spackled and painted the door with white chalk paint. After the paint dried, I attached chicken wire to the inside door using staples.

Cabinet door makeover shell.jpg

For the cabinet structure, I got really technical. (NOT!) I laid the door flat on the ground, and build the structure around the door. I used 1 x 8s for the sides and scrap pieces of 2 x 4s for the bottom and top. I used my Kreg jig to attach the sides together. As you can see in the above picture, I forgot to flip over the bottom piece so the Kreg hole wouldn’t show. Ugh.

I added leftover trim to the top and bottom of the cabinet then stained everything Provincial by MinWax. The door is hung to the cabinet with it’s original hinges. I added a knob to the top corner that turns to open and close the door.

I nailed bead board to the back of the cabinet. (Bought at Lowes and cut to size there.)

Cabinet door makeover finished1.jpg

I added three shelves inside the cabinet. They are 1 x 6s, cut to size, then covered in grass cloth wallpaper I had on hand. I choose to use the wall paper because I didn’t want to wait for paint or stain to dry. (I’m an impatient DIY-er!) I just wet the paper, wrapped the shelf and was good to go.

Cabinet door makeover finished11.jpg

It’s not perfect, but it was fun to build and it adds character to a space that had nothing going on. So next time to come across an old door somewhere, bring it home. You just never know… 🙂

Antique Booth, DIY projects

Antique Booth Display Shelves

I’ve had a booth at an Antique Mall for more than a year and a half now. In that time I have realized (rather quickly!) that I will not get rich anytime soon. But that’s okay… ‘cuz I’m having fun!

With that said, I don’t want to spend oodles of money on a display/storage piece that I’m not going to sell. And since my booth does not have walls, I need free-standing vertical storage/shelves to display merchandise.

So, what to do…? Make my own display shelf. I had a couple of shutters I picked up at Habitat Restore years ago. I don’t even remember my reason for buying them at the time. Because I can’t remember how much they cost either, they are technically “free” in my mind. See how that works??

shutter shelf 3

I removed some of the slats by wedging a hammer in between the slats, then twisting the hammer. (Please wear safety glasses!)

shutter shelf 6

Once the slat broke in two, the pieces came right out from the sides.

I laid the two shutters side by side to make sure I removed the correct slat in each one.

shutter shelf 2

I had a partial sheet of plywood in the garage that, magically, was the exact height of the shutters! That became the back of the display case. I attached the plywood to the shutters with wood glue and a pin nail gun.

I picked up two boards at Lowes for the shelves. They simply slide through the shutters where I removed the slats. I gave the shutters a quick paint white wash to brighten them up.

shutter shelf 4

Simple! And cheap. The boards from Lowes were $5.00 each and they cut them in half for me. Easy! I know a sewing/craft room that could use this shelf unit too!

shutter shelf 5

DIY projects, Uncategorized

Cedar Slice Floating Wall Shelves

FLOATING SHELF GROUP 4Just before Christmas, I picked up a couple of cedar slices while at an antique mall. Why? Cuz I thought they looked cool. What I was going to do with them was not determined at the time of purchase. Just had to have them.

This week one of those slices became 2 wall shelves.

Both slices had a slight split down the middle. I used that to decide to cut the wood slices in half.


The back of the shelf is made of 3 pieces of wood, 12 inches long. I used wood glue and my Kreg jig to attached each piece to the other.


Next, I gave the back piece a “white wash” by brushing on some chalk paint, then rubbing it in with a paper towel. The cedar slice in attached to the back board with glue and screws from the other side. Left over trim pieces were stained and attached with glue and pin nailer for added detail.


Da Ta! Unique floating wall shelves. They will be going to my booth soon. 🙂
























DIY projects, Thrifty Finds

DIY Bookend Ends

ugly duck1These ducks started out as tarnished brass bookends. I picked them up at a thrift store for a few dollars. I immediately added them to my booth, thinking I could sell them fairly easily.

Well, they sat there for a couple of months. Then my sister came to visit and when she saw them in my booth, her comment was “those are some ugly ducks”. She was right. The ducks came home with me.

The first thing I did was spray paint them white. Then it got too cold outside to give them a second coat, so I brought them inside to hand paint them with white chalk paint. After a couple of coats, I gave the ducks a careful sanding.

Using leftover wood, I attached two pieces of wood in an “L” shape, using wood glue and my Kreg jig. After staining the wood bookend bases, I used glue to attach to ducks to the bases. No more ugly brass ducks.

ugly duck4

ugly duck3

ugly duck5ugly duck1





DIY Projects & Decor

DIY Christmas Village Houses

wood house 10Last week I decided I would be a watercolor painter. Bought the paint and the paper, painted a few landscapes, then discovered I suck at it.


This past week, I thought it would be fun to be a maker of Christmas village houses. This worked out a little bit better. 😉

I have oodles of scrap wood in the garage, so this was a cost-free project.

wood house 1

I made a template for the two “peak” sides of the house. I should have made the roof angle 45 degrees, but I didn’t. A 45 degree angle would have made cutting the roof pieces a whole lot easier. Live and learn.

wood house 2

I started out using wood glue to put the house together, “clamping it with painters tape. I finally got smart (or un-lazy) and brought the nail gun in to the house. MUCH faster than waiting for glue to dry!

wood house 3

My green tape “high-tech” clamps. Whatever works I say.

wood house 5

My miter saw does not cut angles larger than about 47. Making the cuts for the roof tip nearly made me crazy. So I gave up and improvised.

wood house 6

I took a small wood dowel and glued it to the top of the roof peak to fill in the gap. It’s not perfect, but it made it round and smooth and easier to attach the music sheet paper to the roof.

wood house 8

I decoupaged music sheet paper to the roof and door and painted the walls of the house a light blue. The trim around the door and the shutters were stained with a touch up stain pen. (Who knew touch up stain pens would come in handy?) Then I applied decoupage glue on top of the music sheet paper and sprinkled “snow” on the roof.

wood house 9

The next house I made was decoupaged in music sheet paper. The roof is covered with wired ribbon, cut in half and hot glued to the wood on the roof. This house has a 45 degree angle roof, which made it oh so simple to miter the roof pieces. I used wood trim pieces to cover rough looking edges.

wood house 10

Getting ready for Christmas! Now I’m working on a Christmas village house made from paper. Stay tuned. 🙂

Linking to:

The Shady Porch

Finding Fabulous

DIY Projects & Decor

Renewing Your Garage Steps

garage paint

Painting garage steps would not normally be on my radar of things to do. But but my friend, Janet, sent me before and after pictures of her newly painted garage steps and they look awesome!  She kindly offered to let me use her paint to do my steps, so I decided to give a go.  Free is good, right??

This product is called Rescue It!” by Olympic.  It’s a wood and concrete resurfacer that seals weathered or damaged wood.  Janet bought this paint at Lowes, where she was told people rave about the stuff.  It really did a fantastic job!  It sealed the wood on my stairs and hand rail.  Now my garage has pretty steps.  Who knew I even cared!  Ha!!

renewing garage steps
I brushed off the steps to get rid of dirt and cobwebs. I did not give them a big scrubbing. (Mostly ‘cuz I’m lazy.)
renewing garage steps
Next I taped off the back of the steps (the vertical wood) and painted the steps with Rescue It!. I also painted the railing.  My Dad will be happy to see this! No more splinters. 😉

garage steps

After two coats of Rescue It dried, I taped off the brown edges to paint the vertical wood a Glossy White. And that’s it! It may not be completely dry until Christmas ‘cuz of all the rain we’ve been getting these days, but they look good! 😀

renewing your garage steps

janet stairs before and after

Linking to:

Elizabeth andCo
DIY Show Off
Nifty Thrifty Things
I Heart Nap Time – Sundae Scoop Link Party
Suburbs Mama

Flamingo Toes
Three Mango Seeds It’s Overflowing

DIY Projects & Decor

DIY Framed Mirror

Framed MirrorA lot of people take down their “builder grade” bathroom mirror and replace them with a store-bought framed mirror or simply add a frame to the existing mirror.  I did.  Every last one of them has been changed in some way.  And the mirrors I took down found a home in the back of my closet.  ‘Cuz one never knows when you might wish you had a mirror. 😉

What I wanted to make was a big floor mirror.  You know, the kind that leans against the wall. Sadly, all the mirrors I had saved were not tall enough.  On to plan B… a mirror for my entryway table.

I had all the materials on hand, except for two pieces of moulding I wanted to stain.  I picked those up at Lowes for around $10.00.  Even though, at some point, I did purchase all the wood and supplies I used for this project, since I can’t remember when, or for how much, it’s automatically “free”!  (That’s how it works in my head, anyway.)  So in other words, this is a $10.00 project!!

Framed Mirror

I had the plywood cut to the size I wanted.  It’s about 2 inches bigger than the mirror on all sides.  After applying mirror adhesive to the plywood board, I placed the mirror down and added weights to help secure it.  My “weights” for this project were books, magazines and baskets of laundry in need of folding.  You use what ya got. (And what you got a lot of! :D)


Next, the trim was added.  My cuts did not turn out perfect, but wood putty saved the day.


More moulding!  This time my miter cuts were much better!

PIC 10

I used wood glue as well as my nail gun to attach the wood together.  I LOVE that nail gun!  After wood putty and sanding, I taped off the glass before painting the frame an off-white.

PIC 11

Used two coats of paint, sanding after each coat.

PIC 13

I distressed the edges and corners of the frame with sandpaper.  Then, using leftover dark brown paint, I dry brushed a very little bit of paint on the high spots of the frame to make it look old and weathered.

PIC 14

A slightly wet paper towel worked perfect for wiping off any spots that had too much paint.

PIC 15

The last trim piece I added was to the inside frame.  For contrast, I stained the trim a dark walnut.  Be sure to stain both sides of the moulding before attaching.  The mirror will reflect the back side of the trim, so you will want it cohesive.  Once the stain was dry, I attached the moulding to the mirror with clear silicon adhesive.

PIC 16

A close up look at the painted frame.

Framed Mirror

It’s finished!  Now I’m thinkin’ the table needs to be repainted.  Same color as the mirror??? 😀  My work here is never done. 😉

Framed Mirror

Thanks for stopping by!

Linking to:
Not JUST a Housewife – Show Me What Ya Got
Home on the Way – Twirl & Take a Bow
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Coastal Charm
Knick of Time Interiors
Elizabeth & Co.
It’s Overflowing
DIY by Design

DIY Projects & Decor

Pottery Barn Knock-Off Wall Art

Update:Apartment Therapy featured this wall art on their website.  😀

I love Pottery Barn.  I don’t always love the prices.  While flipping through the recent catalog I saw this rustic wood wall art.  A whooping $399.00!  Knowing I have a pile of scrap wood in the garage, I just about did the happy dance at the project I knew I was going to tackle.  I love power tools.  I love wood!

I bought a 2x 4 foot piece of plywood, a few extra pieces of wood, a couple of sample size paint jars, and some tacks.  It only cost around $40.00!  Everything else I had… a lot of wood pieces, glue and leftover paint.  Most of the wood I used is considered “craft” wood.  It comes in short lengths and is thinner than regular wood.  I did combine it with “regular” wood though.  It gives the piece some dimension.

Pottery Barn Knock-Off Wall Art
My Pottery Barn Knock-off version.

Pottery Barn $399.00.   Laurie $40.00!

Pottery Barn Knock-Off Wall Art

The design was not planned.  I cut each piece as I went along.  HINT:  When you have the layout you want, take a picture of it.  Just in case you mess up the design later on while you are painting the wood pieces.  You don’t want to spend HOURS and HOURS trying to put the thing back together, only to remember you DO have a picture you could have looked at.  By that point, bad words may have been said, drinks may have been drunk, and your family may be afraid to be in the same room as you.  Just saying it could happen. 😉

Pottery Barn Knock-Off Wall Art

The next step was paint.

Pottery Barn Knock-Off Wall Art

I applied the paint with a cut up old t-shirt.  That way I could rub the paint on like a stain allowing the wood grain to show through.

Pottery Barn Knock-Off Wall Art

Each piece was glued down to a 2 x 4 sheet of plywood board with Tite Bond Wood Glue.  Blue tape is always handy for extra support.

Pottery Barn Knock-Off Wall Art

The Vodka is for weight, not for drinking. At least not in that moment anyway. After all the pieces were glued down, I distressed each piece with sand paper to lighten the paint colors and to give it a worn out look.

Pottery Barn Knock-Off Wall Art

I found these tacks at Lowes.

I lightly sanded the tack heads so they looked distress as well.

I’m not sure where I’m going to hang it yet.  I may add some trim around the edges.  This was a FUN project.  Although I used a power saw to cut the pieces, it can be done with a simple miter box.

This Pottery Barn knock-off project was a great way to use up most of the scrap pieces of wood I had accumulated.  And my garage is a little bit cleaner now! 🙂

Pottery Barn Knock-Off Wall Art

Pottery Barn Knock-Off Wall Art

Power of Paint

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DIY Projects & Decor

DIY Wood Sign

A few months ago, I picked up a couple of old barn wood planks at an antique store.  As usual, I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do with them, although I knew it would be a wood sign of some sort.

Today, I made a very simple, personalized sign with one of them.  This is a very easy project!  Of course you can use any wood, old or new, to do this stenciled sign.

wood sign
This board is weathered, battered and has old nail holes in it. It’s beautiful! 😀
wood sign
I used Powerpoint to print this out. After finding the font and the size I wanted, I just cut out the letters to make a stencil.
board paper cut out 2
I use to teach pre-school, can ya tell? Look at those nicely done cut-out letters. All my kids were very accomplished scissor users when they graduated pre-school.  Ha! 😉
board with paint
I used a stencil brush and left over paint. Always pounce your brush on a paper towel before you begin. Less is more when stenciling!
board on wall
I still need to place pictures in the frames, but finally this wall is complete.  Question… Why does 1995 looks so old and seem so long ago??  Was I even old enough to get married?  Wasn’t I just a baby?  1995 is like… last CENTURY!  Oh crap, I am old!
board wall closeup
Yep, 1995, the year I was born married.  I still have one more board. What to do, what to do…

Linking to: House on the Way