Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Princess Chair

This will be a quick post today, but all anyone ever really wants to see is the before and after, right? :)

Next up in The Redhead's Room is this accent chair. I spied it in a thrift shop for $10. Something about it caught my eye - the curvature of the legs, the cute scalloped top - it had some definite "girly" potential.

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She got the usual treatment: Sand, prime, paint, and I used leftover fabric and carpet padding from the ribbon board project to get rid of that gross ratty velour and give her a cute new seat.

The result - fit for a princess? I think so!


Budget Breakdown:
Chair: $10
Fabric, Paint, Padding: Free [left over from previous projects]

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mirror Makeover

Ever since I started envisioning The Redhead's Room, I knew the furniture would be white, the shapes classic and the look timeless for a little girl. So in my searching I've been scoping out just that--you've seen some of the fruits of that labor in some recent posts. I lean toward wood, and classic moulded trim.

I knew I wanted an oval mirror, and since those can be pricey, I've just been keeping my eyes open for a deal. The best I could find were these at our friend Hobby Lobby... but I wasn't crazy about either one:

This one was the right size, shape and color, but I wasn't crazy about the little scrolly detail (too shabby chic for my taste), and all the distressing:

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This one was more my style with the beveled edges and moulded detail on the frame. I would have to paint it, but that's no big deal. I wasn't thrilled with the beaded detail on the inner circle, but I preferred it over the scrolls on the previous option:

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Each of these is $70 at Hobby Lobby, king of the 50% off sale. But even at half off, $35 is a great deal, but I thought I could find even better. [This is, after all, a Design on a Dime challenge! :) ]

Lo and behold, I was RIGHT! My aunt hosted a garage sale about a week or so ago [the very same where I scored the nifty jar for my ribbon]. I was helping out at the till and as our first customers of the morning started trickling in, I looked up and staring straight at me was this great mirror! [and yes, the Hawkeye flag reflection in the mirror was totally intentional. Gotta represent the UI :)]:
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I loved the look. Then I saw the price sticker and I LOVED IT MORE. For a mere $5, Goldie the Mirror was going to find the perfect home in The Redhead's Room.

I taped off the glass and went to work. This paint job only took a couple hours, and about 5 coats to get an even look. That gold was determined to show through! I didn't use Primer because I was lazy and wanted to jump right in, but in hindsight that probably could have eliminated about 3 coats of paint [my standby, leftover Valspar Gloss White], an hour of dry time and about 4 instances of "you're kidding me -it's still not covered??!!??"

But all in all, Goldie is now Whitey and I am in love:

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Budget Breakdown:

Since all my paint and supplies were things I already had, my only cost was the mirror itself:
$5 (hooray!)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Garage Sale Makeover

Sometimes the tiniest details make all the difference.
I found this at our recent garage sale. My cousin was selling it for a whopping 50 cents! The jar is made of nice, heavy glass, and it's huge! The perfect size to contain all of my ribbon scraps in my craft nook.

[ignore the gnarly gnawed-on dog bed, please]
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All it took was a quick coat of paint, some new hardware, and it's a whole new jar!
I sprayed a quick 2 coats of Valspar's Flat Black, and took a brass knob that I found at the HforH ReStore and gave it a coat of Rustoleum's Chrome spray paint. [Note: the chrome paint looks great, but don't use too many coats - it gets gummy very easily and subsequently won't dry]

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#3 - Ribbon Board

So The Redhead went for many moons without any hair, save for a smattering of orange peach fuzz:

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Rather than resort to coveting the flowing pigtails of other children, I joined the ranks of ridiculously obsessed women and started outfitting Miss Red in fun headbands, clips, and giant flower bands the size of Rhode Island.
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[above photos copyright nFocus Photography. She is awesome. Just sayin']

Judge me if you must, but you can't tell me that's not some serious CUTE right there. It's science.

SO, having amassed quite a collection of clips, bows and bands, I realized that some sort of organizational tool for these accessories would be necessary in her new room [especially now that she actually has HAIR! HOORAY! :)]

I've seen ribbon boards galore at a host of places, but I wasn't feeling the typical diagonal-ribbon, tufted look. I'm more of a "clean line" type of gal, plus, I wanted a finished edge. I won't lie, this project ended up more involved than I had originally thought, but I'm still really pleased with the outcome and glad I custom-made what I wanted.

I started with this open-backed frame I had in the Decorating Dungeon [my basement storage room, for the newbies]. It was an unfinished frame that at our townhouse, held a bought-at-Michaels-for 4-bucks matte and print of Van Gogh's 'cafe at night' -you can kind of see it over the wine table in this picture.

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So, we moved, the frame moved, Van Gogh met a new friend at a garage sale and found a new home, and I painted the frame black. In the process of that project, I broke the glass, and the frame was unceremoniously dumped back in the dungeon. But, it was perfect for this project! And free! I gave it a couple coats of the same white semi-gloss I used for the round frames. Easy stuff. First step after that was to measure the inside of the frame to see what size board I would need.
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I had originally planned on cutting a piece of plywood or MDF for the backing of the board, but in the garage I found some scraps of pegboard left over from when Mr.V. cut me a board to organize all my crafting atuff. So, free again!

Once the pegboard was cut, I needed to layer something soft. I was planning on foam, but then I went to Joann's to pick up fabric and foam and discovered how ridiculously expensive foam is. Considering what you're getting, it's a pretty big racket, I think. No thanks. I had a backup plan: A couple months earlier some friends of our family installed hardwood flooring and had a really nice carpet remnant [plus cushy carpet pad] that they offered up for our [currently unfinished] basement. The remnant and pad were larger than our basement space, so I lopped off a rectangle of the padding and trimmed it to fit my pegboard. I used spray adhesive to keep it stuck to the board, but I don't think that step was a must-do.

I laid out my fabric, wrapped it around the pegboard, and attached it with a staple gun.
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Onto the ribbon. I chose 2 different widths of the same ribbon to create a little visual depth, but you can use whatever floats your boat - different colors, patterns, etc.
I cut the lengths to there was enough to wrap around teh edges. I measured one side first, then attached the top and bottom rows with the staple gun. On the other side, I attached the top of the ribbon, then wove each piece through the first side, like a basketweave, before attaching the bottom.
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Once your ribbons are in place, just fit the entire board into your frame. I chose to reinforce the edges with Gorilla Glue (let dry overnight) and it's very sturdy.

The finished product (sorry about the wacko lighting):
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All ready for clippies!
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Budget Breakdown:

Frame, Paint + Pegboard = Free (found around the house)
Fabric = $4 ($8 for 2 yards on sale at Joann's sale + coupon.. don't even think I used close to a yard - plenty left over.)
Ribbon = $2 (2 rolls at $1 per roll at Michael's)

Project Total: $6

Thursday, June 24, 2010

2 (3) in 1!

I'm blogging 3 projects today, mainly because they're finished (finally!) and they're all going to end up in the same place, eventually.

These are part of my "Design on a Dime" project - The Redhead's Room. Over time I'm pulling together the pieces of her "big girl" room, and trying to be as thrifty as possible while still ending up with a room that defies the laws of cuteness. I'm trying to repurpose things I already have or utilize "leftovers" from other projects (i.e. get rid of stuff and make it useful) as much as possible. These projects were good for that.

So, today we're talking wall decor. I wanted a place for tacking up misc. "treasures"... I was like this as a kid - putting up random photos, tickets, etc. And I wanted something a little fun, and a little different, too. Enter projects 1 & 2 (3 will come in a later post today because it's more involved):

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These frames both came from the thrift store. Both have nice moulded edges, both were round, and both had a price tag of less than $1. (SWEEEET) The larger frame was backless and as you can see, I wasted no time sanding and slapping on a coat of primer. Such a hurry, in fact, I nearly forgot the "before" pic. The smaller frame you've seen before - our scenic "random barn" framed photo.

When I got the picture out of the second frame, turns out our barn art was just a picture cut out of a magazine. Go figure.

So. As I mentioned, I gave Frame 1 a good sanding, and started to douse it with some primer.
I also decided to remove the brackets from the back so it would eventually hang more flush against the wall. I took off the hanging wire, too. (I prefer a single loop on small projects like these, vs. a long wire across the back. It's not necessary for something this light)

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Add paint. I chose a simple white semi-gloss for a nice smooth finish.

From there, I measured the diameter of the circular opening, then used a compass to draw a circle on a square of cork I had left over from putting up inside a cupboard door.
(Like this:
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Disclaimer - not my cupboard door. But similar)

I cut out the circle, and used my trusty Gorilla Glue to adhere it to the inside of the frame. Once it dried, I cut a piece of heavy foam core to adhere to the back of the cork, to make it sturdier. (sorry no pics) Let Dry. We'll come back to you in a minute, Frame 1.

Frame 2 was even simpler.
- Remove picture. Laugh at picture. Throw picture away.
- Lightly sand. Prime. Paint (I used the same white semi-gloss.. just the regular Valspar from Lowe's)
- Instead of cutting MDF or something to fit into the frame (which you could totally do), I noticed that the backing piece was nice and smooth on its own, so I just painted right on it. If the frame cost more than $0.59, I might have thought twice about it. :)

I decided to make this little guy a chalkboard. Not only will the pop of black against the white frame provide a little texture and interest, it's the perfect size for little notes like "Love you!" "Don't forget...", and "You're grounded" (HA!), etc. etc.

I used Benjamin Moore chalkboard because it's what I had left over from an older project. But really, I think any chalkboard paint will do.

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I let it dry, and since this frame had a nice closed back I didn't have to do anything else.


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Since Frame 1 was open backed, I cut a simple circle of Kraft paper and glued it to the back to hide my "handiwork". Added a wire loop for hanging, and these little guys are ready to hit the wall!

Budget Breakdown:
Frame 1: $0.99
Frame 2: $0.59
White Paint: Leftover from Previous Project
Chalkboard Paint: Leftover from Previous Project
Cork: Leftover from Previous Project
Foam Core: Scrap from Previous Project
(You get the idea)

Grand Total: $1.58
Coming Soon: DIY Ribbon Board

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Easy Transformation

I've been needing something in that space... you know, the awkward couple feet between your kitchen cabinetry and the ceiling? When we built this house, I thought the extra-high ceilings were light and airy and wonderful. They still are, I guess, but that space is a major pain. I've already had 3 different things up there in this specific spot, most recently a black wire bowl with green apples. While I liked the color splash, I've moved on. And therein lies the rub.

It's easy to be fickle with spaces like these, which is where thrift stores come in; it's a lot easier to change your mind without getting a lump in the pit of your stomach, thinking about all the money you've wasted on decor.

Enter our latest Goodwill transformation (please ignore the car parked in my, ahem, "workshop")


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I know, it's pretty hideous, right? All "painted to look like tree bark" and such. But the embossed image is nice, and the $2.99 price tag is even better!

I found a can of Rustoleum Navajo White paint at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, ... and that price tag is no lie.. priced at a whopping $1.50! In addition to the bargains found at your local ReStore, every dollar you spend there goes to help an awesome organization. Bonus! This color is a deep, creamy white and also happens to be the same color as my doors and window sills, so hey, everybody wins.
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Two coats and a couple hours later... Voila!

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Easiest. Transformation. Ever.

Budget Breakdown:
Pitcher: $2.99
Paint (whole can): $1.50

Total Cost: $4.49

Monday, June 7, 2010

Thrift Store Finds

My latest thrifting venture netted me some finds that I've already gotten started on. So far they're coming along and I'm excited to update you on the finished projects once they're complete! Here's a look at what I brought home... Any thoughts on what I'm doing? :)

You can typically find a boatload of brass candlesticks at any thrift store (thank you 1986 - 1992!). Pricing, however, can vary. I find prices are typically a little higher for these at Goodwill (anywhere from $2.99 - $4.99 which, don't get me wrong, is still a killer price). I scored this group (plus some neat-o chunky wood ones) at a non-goodwill thrift store for about $1 or less each. Right on.
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You know some grandma somewhere sat at home - or maybe in a nifty crafting class - and painstakingly painted these flowers on this tray. And I'm sure for many years it sat nestled on a bed of lace doilies in her hunter green and plum living room.

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Well, sorry, Nana, but I'll soon be saying Buh-Bye to your flowers, in all their Grandma Glory. Your tray is about to get an update and if it works out, it will be supersweet.

And this little guy is one of those most-often overlooked items at any thrift store; people get distracted by the ugly/dated/weird art, and totally miss the good parts. I see a nice wood frame, with good lines and moulded detail. And yes, a random barn picture.

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Well for $0.69, he is destined be become a part of my Design on a Dime project. I'll post a little later on my plans for his place in The Redhead's Room.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Design on a Dime

That's my mantra for my latest long-term project. I know The Redhead just turned one, but I need a project and this one I've already started, bit by bit. I'm working on her "Big Girl" room, and I'm trying to see how much Cute can be had with the least amount of $$ spent. I have a design plan, and I'll unveil the elements as I complete 'em.

Think I can do an entire room for less than $500? I guess we'll see!

I'll leave you with the "before" (I've got my work cut out for me - Yikes!)

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's a Jungle Out There

Memorial Day we took The Redhead on her inaugural trip to the Zoo. We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather, or a cuter kiddo
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She got an up-close look at the big cats (and they are BIG!) and the giraffes.

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Wasn't sure what to make of all the animals, but she did wave at every one of them equally. How polite.

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The petting zoo was a big hit

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By the time we got to the train ride, she was ready to call it a day. Here she shows her enthusiasm:

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All in all, a great day and a great first visit to the zoo! I need a nap.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Instant Style

This time of year you're most likely to hear me complain about the heat a time or two (or ten). Though I'm slightly less vocal about it, I am, however, a fan of the warmer months for one reason: Everything is in bloom! The landscaping around the house perks up and rather than looking like a barren winter wasteland, we start to see some color! Yay!

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My peonies are opening up in the garden and I love using them around the house. I think fresh flowers are probably the fastest and easiest way to inject a bit of instant style into any room. I've been popping peonies in small clear glass bud vases (clear glass is always a winner and a classic look) all over the place - the bathroom, the kitchen, the mantle, the living room - and I love the end result, as well as the teeny hint of fragrance in the air.
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And I don't care how realistic artificial flowers are these days... there is just no comparison to the real deal.

I love "poofy" flowers like peonies, hydrangea, and dahlias because they have great volume and look awesome in bunches or with just a single stem. I'm also partial to flowers with height, like gladiolas or bells of Ireland because they make it super easy to make a really dramatic statement.

How about you? What are your favorites to decorate with?