Category Archives: Repurpose

How to decorate with Red, White & Blue

In honor of America’s birthday, I thought I’d be a little festive. The vignettes are easy and fun, however the above the cupboard space always proves to be more challenging than you think. I thought I’d share some tips and tricks on how to decorate these spaces with simplicity using art principles and a whole lot of thrift! (Sorry if that isn’t grammatically correct, it’s a phrase commonly used in my neck of the woods)

Side table Vignette: Just a touch of Red, White and Blue and chalkboard word art with some from the Star-Spangled banner to take the stage.

I free-handed the phrase with the help of some old-fashion white chalk and one of my many repurposed picture frames turn chalk board.

Add some country garland, a metal canister on one side (courtesy of IKEA) and a Vintage Blue Bottle on the other and we have ourselves a simple table vignette to celebrate America.

Above the cupboards {Grr, insert frustration here}.  When we bought this house I loved the idea of having the space above the cupboard to decorate for the seasons.  Sometimes I wish I could just leave the same decor up year round, but I simply can’t.  It bothers me to walk into our house and see the same old thing all the time.  It’s like a bad habit, with every change in season I struggle over how to change it up.  There is almost 3 feet of space to deal with, keep in mind the top of cupboards with trim covers nearly 4 inches of the bottom. This means I need to find ways to prop things up with 2 x 4 remnants, and also make sure to include big stuff.  The name of the game, I’ve learned,  is layers and angles.

I used to be into store bought decor, hence the FREEDOM word art from Hobby Lobby.  I have since tried to use only repurposed items and be a little more creative in my decorating to make or reuse items in a different way. The 7-Up crate you have or will see in 42 other pictures.  I use it ALL THE TIME ( sorry didn’t mean to yell, I just really love my old crates).  The candles were a DIY project from my Christmas Collection of projects. The flag pillow was a rummage sale item for 25 cents and the grapevine was cut several years ago from my parents back yard and has been used in various locations including the swag above our wedding arbor. Notice the layers of items overlapping, this help create more contrast and depth to the decor making it more appealing to the eye.  The grapevine acts as a filler without taking over the decor.

It’s also hard to get pictures of “Above the Cupboard decor” so bear with these next couple shots.  From this angle you can see the angles that I used to add some depth and provide focal points.  The angled stars in either corner (3 for a $1 at rummage sale) help draw your eye to the center.  The square red tin behind the lone little start stand help create some contrast and make the little star POP out.  The dark blue bowl (another $1 rummage sale find) grounds the decor with a different height from the other pieces.  Now a straighter but darker image

ALthough it’s challenging space to work with, using  pieces of various sizes and providing some layers of texture and angles for depth you can easily pull together an Above the Cupboard space to honor America 🙂

Linking these parties:
The Kurtz Corner, Home Stories A to Z, Not Just a Housewife, Elizabeth & Co, The Salt Tree



Leave a comment

Filed under DIY Projects, Gift of Thrift, Repurpose

Sew Scary {repurposed wedding dress}

I remember on my wedding night a good friend came up to me at the reception and said “I LOVE your dress, it would be a beautiful baptismal gown” and that little seed was all I needed.  I knew that my wedding dress was not going to get “preserved” in a box.  But after our wedding night, I balled it up and threw (GASP– right?) it in a bag.  A few months later I  took it out of the bag and hung it up in my closet.  About 2 months ago, I thought it was about time to jump into this project before it was too late.  Since I hadn’t even had it cleaned, I did some research on how to do it myself.  (For a tutorial on how to clean your own wedding dress without the hefty price tag go here).  I decided it was time.

I should share a little story here.  I have always been a thrifty girl and our wedding was no different.  I bought my wedding dress from China for $20, I sent my measurements and it was made to fit me (not suggesting that I endorse 3rd world sweatshops, so be nice).  With shipping and some minor alterations it came to about $200.  (For more on some thrifty ideas from our DIY wedding go here).  I have a hard time thinking my daughter would wear my dress when she got older.  Who knew I’d even have a daughter. Who knows what the style would be in 20+ years, not to mention that I’d hate to impose my dress on my daughter for her wedding. Before I cut up my dress, I did remember to grab a few pictures of it (don’t mind that it was at work in the hallway).

Back of dress:

(the lighting wasn’t ideal, so I did some editing to this picture to help bring out the details a bit more)


Front of dress details:

Details of the train:

Thankfully I have a friend is a much more reliable sewer than I, who was willing to help a friend in need.  She had a basic pattern (that we modified of course) to help us piece together the gown.  Here’s a few pictures of the “during” process from wedding gown to baptismal gown. The first cut wasn’t as scary as the first attempt to sew a hem.  Seriously my palms were sweating.

Today my wedding dress shares space between a pile of remaining fabric in a bag for something amazing in the future (not sure what that will be yet) and my daughter’s baptismal gown.

Despite my fear of sewing, I am very excited about how this turned out.  While I tend to be the adventurous type, chopping up my wedding dress isn’t something that I do everyday, so I wanted to make sure every tidbit of fabric was used purposefully.

So there you have it.  I challenged myself to tackle one scary thing, and am overjoyed with the results.  I hope this gown will be one I can hand down to my grandchildren some day to keep the material items from our wedding alive for years to come.

Oh yes, my daughter in her baptismal gown…sure thing 🙂
Little-d-Tales: EllaMae 3 MO. &emdash;
Little-d-Tales: EllaMae 3 MO. &emdash;
Little-d-Tales: EllaMae 3 MO. &emdash;
Linking to:

Funky Junk Interiors, Home Stories A to Z, Sugar Bee Crafts, Not Just a Housewife, Todays Creative blog, Sew Chatty,  Best DIY project of 2012


Filed under Before/After, DIY Projects, Gift of Thrift, Repurpose, sewing

Fear and Loathing

Is there a skill that you envy in others and so desperately want to try? If you remember my post A lesson in recovery, you might have caught onto one of my fears.   There are actually 2 things that scare the crap out of me…sewing and blog design.  The funny thing is I’m too cheap and stubborn to pay for either one.  So what do I do, PROCRASTINATE, like you wouldn’t believe.  I have piles of projects on my list that I just need to jump on and try it.

Thanks to Donna at Funky Junk Interiors she’s having a “one scary thing challenge” that I’ve decided to jump on.  I think she says it best by posting

I’m putting it out there.  I envy people who can sew.  I actually accepted this challenge a few months ago all on my own.  I sucked it up and called a friend to help me start on my big scary project.  Turns out, it was like a walk down memory lane and I totally am excited about trying a few more things.  It helps to have people in blog world (who scare the crap out of me) that are kind enough to share some tips and tutorials along the way such as Ashley, Beth, and Mandy.

Stay tuned, you’ll see my big scary reveal for my first challenge on Sunday! I have to do some research yet on my next “Big scary thing.”


Filed under Blog Love, Repurpose