Mid-century Chair Rehab

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Last week I posted about the table and chairs I had just scored from the local thrift shop. Here is a peek at one of the finished chairs compared to its original state! I love before and after shots! After stripping stain and varnish, reupholstering the seats, staining, and applying polyurethane, the chairs are done. I especially enjoy being able to see the wood grain in the chairs.

Before & After

Next, I will post a step by step how-to on refinishing wood furniture.


Do-It-Yourself Holiday Ornament Wreath!

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I always see great versions of wreaths made of christmas ornament balls on Pinterest and thought I would try my own. Since I love bright colors and wanted something that didn’t necessarily scream Christmas, I chose balls in blue, purple, green, orange, and silver. As I was picking out a foam wreath from the craft store I found some neat glittery flowers I decided to incorporate.

All you need is:

  1. styrofoam ring
  2. christmas ornamental balls
  3. hot glue gun and extra glue sticks
  4. bow/ribbon (optional)
  5. flowers (optional)

Glass of wine optional.

While your hot glue gun is heating up, remove the metal hanging facets from each ornament. Dab the ornament with glue in two different areas and proceed to attach to foam ring. Glue ornaments to each other in addition to the ring. As you can see above, I chose to build up one area and then work my way around. Finally adorn with bow and you’re ready to hang it!

How to Wrap Small Holiday Gifts Like Candy!

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I love wrapping presents. Probably more than I enjoy finding gifts for people. Therefore, I love different kinds of wrapping paper, not just holiday-themed varieties.

A few years ago, I got the idea to wrap small presents to give the illusion of a piece of candy. It’s pretty simple and looks super cute:

What you’ll need:

  • Paper towel roll
  • Wrapping paper
  • Ribbon
  • Tape
  • Scissors

The present above was a pair of earrings for my boyfriend’s sister. For jewelry, most pieces come in a box, nestled in some sort of soft, fluffy insert. If you have that, wrap your jewelry within the insert so nothing gets scuffed or rattles. Otherwise you can use tissue paper or even newspaper to pad your gift item. Next cut off a small piece of paper towel roll that’s sized to fit your item. Place the item into the paper towel roll and cover with a rectangular piece of gift paper, enough that it hangs about 3 inches over each end of the roll. Tape the paper together on the roll, and then twist each end and tie off with ribbon. Finally use one of the blade edges of your scissors to curl the ribbon.


Thrifty Find: Mid-century Table and Chairs

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A few weeks ago I needed to kill some time before meeting a friend, so naturally I found the closest Goodwill and perused the store. In the back I found a table and two chairs (the third tucked away in the back). I immediately wanted the table, with it’s mid-century style and sleek legs. The chairs…not so much. Only because they looked so worn. But with a price tag of $12.99, who could argue. Since I had to meet my friend, and wasn’t sure if it would fit in my car, I decided to come back in the afternoon and take another look at it.

This is the photo I texted to my boyfriend to see what he thought before purchasing.

As soon as I arrived back at the store, I beelined toward the table only to see an old woman speaking to an employee about it. I was so sad! I asked if she was definitely purchasing the table, and told her about how I had seen it that morning but planned on returning to buy it. She informed me she was mostly interested in the chairs, and could live without the table, and even offered to buy everything and give me the table. I was incredibly happy, and we talked for a little while in the store. The woman said she was just going to put these in an apartment for visiting guests, explaining how easy it would be to update the chairs and reupholster them. She kept asking me if I was sure that I didn’t want to just buy everything. It didn’t take much convincing, and we finally came to the agreement that I would just buy the table and chairs since I didn’t have much money and needed a dining room table.

Stay tuned, as I chronicle this refinishing project.

DIY Jewelry Organizer


Before Pinterest was around I got the idea to use a cork board as a jewelry organizer. Brilliant! And cheap! I just hung the board, tacked some pins and push pins and voila, I had a cheap and easy organizer.

But that wasn’t creative enough. I recently saw a pin for framed cork boards, which got my gears going. I liked the idea, but the main thing that had always bothered me about my one cork board was the tears in it (I found it up for grabs outside a professor’s office). In an attempt to mask the marred material, I wanted to cover it in fabric. Nothing fancy, just a plain color. After picking up a light shade of teal, I decided to paint the wood frame in a bold color.

A few steps in the process.

What you’ll need:

  1. Cork board in frame
  2. Acrylic paint or spray paint
  3. Fabric (the size of cork board)
  4. Putty or palette knife (or a thin plastic knife could do)
  5. Thick cardstock or painters tape
  6. Pins

First cut your fabric piece slightly smaller than the size of the frame. Next, with your putty knife, begin wedging fabric under the frame. I started on one side and then worked my around back to where I started, ensuring to keep the fabric taught as I went.

I originally wanted to remove the frame and pull the fabric to the back and place the frame back on, but my frames were all fastened with large pieces of metal fasteners that I couldn’t remove without damaging the integrity of the wood. So I decided to use a putty knife to wedge the fabric under the edges of the frame. If you find you can pull the frame off, you should paint it before reframing the fabric-covered board. The steps below do no require fram removal.

Now that your fabric is in place, you’re ready to paint the frame. To protect the fabric, I wedged thick paper under the inner frame edges and picked a bright color, orange in this case. I found a tube or orange acrylic paint and coated it twice so the wood was no longer visible beneath.

If you’re worried about your fabric staying put, place short pins (I actually used jewelry wire cutters to shorten the pins I had) in the fabric-covered corners.

Let it dry 30 minutes to an hour, then arrange your pins (always at an angle to ensure jewelry doesn’t fall). As you can see below, I designated my top row for long, thin earrings, and my second row for wide ones, with the pins spaced further apart. Finally place your jewelry on the board and you are done! Hang in an easy access place.

Finished jewelry organizer

Yard Clean Up

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Our yard has turned into an ongoing project because there just isn’t enough time to clean, weed, trim, mow, and rake all of it in a normal period of time. This weekend, we had exceptionally warm weather in Chicago. And since it rained all day yesterday, I decided today would be the perfect opportunity to rake up our yard… or at least one portion. It also happened to be the windiest day, but I pushed through nonetheless.

First let me say that my boyfriend and I have always rented houses, and a responsible tenant, I have always treated a home as if I owned it. After we moved to this house we quickly realized the extent of the horrific state of our almost half-acre yard. Yes, a lot of things were overgrown. But worst of all, the old tenant(s) disposed most of their garbage in the bushes. I didn’t notice howbad it was when we viewed the property. Once we moved in and took another look around the house, we were just plain grossed out by the amount of trash around the yard. The landlord was nice enough to offer a cleaning service, but after removing a full pickup truck worth of trash and trimmings, they barely made a dent.

I finally decided I should do something about the trash when I realized how used to it I had become.

To start, I broke out the rake, rooties (small root trimmers), and hand saw. And my boyfriend came out to help, which was great! In about an hour we cleaned up about a 100 foot stretch of yard running along our patio. With all the wind undoing some of our work and dusk encroaching, we decided to stop. One small step closer to a clutter-free yard!