Tag Archives: repurpose

Square lampshade redo

In my quest to finish my little man’s big boy room, I decided to add a few more projects to the list.  One was a new lamp that was more fitting with the rest of the room.  This idea started when I saw this lamp shade at a thrift store for $3 and a recollection of the 20,000  tutorials to recover a lampshade. Interestingly I never found a tutorial for a square lampshade, so here’s my stab at it!

While I pulled some ideas from a few of them, I followed the tutorial from shanty 2 chic the most.

I started by cutting down a seam and then carefully removing the outside layer of fabric (Keep the liner on). Try to keep the fabric all in one piece as that will be your template for your new fabric.  Good thing I read the tutorial before attempting this, because I’m totally that girl who just rips everything apart and then tries to figure it out later.  You’ll end up with just the lampshade skeleton

Because my lampshade was square, and my fabric didn’t have much give to it.  I ended up cutting 4 pieces and sewing the edges together.  This was different from all the other tutorials I had seen. I added 1/2″ of extra fabric all around my previous fabric template before cutting it out. Then just ran a stitch connecting all 4 sides. I trimmed the excess fabric off about a 1/4″ from the seam to make it less bulky and allow it to look more smooth.

Place the new fabric over your lampshade skeleton. (sorry for the bad lighting.  Some project are done best at midnight!)

I used my cameo to add an acrylic barn red-painted stencil of the number “10” to coordinate with my little man’s decor and vintage car theme. I was afraid that it would have been too hard to paint this once the fabric was on the lampshade, so I chose to do it before.  I don’t know if I would bother doing it that way again.

I placed the new lampshade over the skeleton.  Using E-6000 and clothespins I stretched the fabric, glued with e-6000 and held in place with clothespins.  Oh I should mention that I cut all the corners at a diagonal (essentially cutting the bottom corner off) to make the fold over and gluing much easier and again to make sure it laid smoothly on the lamp shade.  I clipped the top of one side with clothespins to hold it in place, then glued and clipped the bottom.  I did each side then waited a few minutes before moving to the next side.  I did all 4 sides on the bottom of the lamp shade before tackling the top.

To finish it off I added my own DIY bias tape to the top and bottom of the shade using excess fabric cut into strips long enough to wrap around the bottom and top of your shade.  Fold over a side and iron, then fold over the other side iron.  Wrap around the bottom of the shade and use e-6000 to glue on.

This little project inspired me to make my own lamp, and night stand too.  Stay tuned, you might even see little man’s vintage care themed bedroom reveal yet this summer?!


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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


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t-shirt headband {repurpose}

Since the arrival of my little girl, I am all about creating accessories for her.  While she was blessed with a full head of hair, I’d love to add “pretties” to dress her up, however her hair is so fine and slippery that nothing (including headbands) stay on her head or in her hair.  But that doesn’t mean I won’t try…

In celebration of her 1 moth birthday I thought I’d try something fun.  I used my husband’s white t-shirt to make this little headband.

Using a sleeve from a white t-shirt, I cut 5 strips then pulled on them to make the edges roll.

Initially I planned to just braid it, but it seemed to thin and boring.

Then I found a tutorial for a 5 stranded braid, which was more of what I was looking for.  Since Ashley from Make-it & Love-it has a fabulous tutorial on a 5-stranded t-shirt braid, you can go there for the complete tutorial.

Source: makeit-loveit.com via Heidi on Pinterest

After completing the braid, I simply sewed the ends together and glued (e-6000) on a fabric flower (recycled from gift wrap).  I think she looks pretty darn cute with the little accessory.

Sharing at:

Not just a Housewife, Home Stories A to Z, Cherished Bliss


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Priceless gift {Memory Jar}

There comes a point with certain people who gift-giving becomes very difficult. They don’t need anything, you feel like picture or heartfelt gifts don’t seem like enough for all they do. Enter the Memory Jar Homemade gift. Think of the memory jar as a scrapbook in a jar (just to note the pictures I am sharing are from the same type of project, but for special dates with Grandma).

As a family we came up with over 52 memories and either typed them or wrote them on sheets of paper. Some were stories, or sayings that would make us laugh, some were personal memories shared and signed by that individual. Each one was unique. The idea was that grandma would have at least 1 memory to reflect on each week for a year. There are many variations to this project so feel free to let your creativity flow.

To start, I typed up all of the memories shared, printed them on different colored paper.  If I were to do this over, I would format the document into bigger text boxes so I could include some pictures or a personal piece of artwork on the backside. I also left a few blank spaces for her to write down her favorite memories for the year.  We have even talked about having this be our after dinner game- to review all the memories in the jar and then as a group think of additional ones to add.

I found a tin with a lid at a thrift store and spray painted it White (Rustoleum Heirloom White to be exact). When it was dry I glued some festive ribbon on it to dress it up a little.

I cut up the memories into individual sheets so she could pick one at a time.  Simply put all the memory slips into the tin and create a cute little title for the lid.

As I stated earlier, this particular was from a grandchild who lives close and was made with lots of activities to do with grandma.  Our title was simply grandma’s memory jar!

It’s a priceless gift that you can make on the cheap.  Trust me, we had so much fun, not just making it, but going through all the memories she’s pulled since we last visited.  It’s almost become a memory-maker of it’s own!

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The DIY Club

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I’m dreaming of a White Christmas {Candlestick accents}

That title isn’t cliche- I LOVE snow and the color white.  There is just something so elegant and magical about white with touches of pine boughs.  You may recall my mantel display where I became obsessed with my new-ish white Nativity set from a garage sale…let me remind you!

So throughout my house this year I’ve been a bit stuck on the idea of white accents.  Hence the next project,  Thrift Store Candlestick Makeover!

I’ve been empowered this past year by the power of spray paint.  I’d be remiss to not share my affection for Rustoleum Heirloom White spray paint.  Since our introduction this summer I have found a thousand and seven things that get a complete facelift with a few little shots of heirloom white love and 10 minutes of my time.  The fact that I’m a complete cheap skate might have something to do with it too.

When I met completely-out-dated-yellow-flower-candlesticks at goodwill for 99 cents for the pair, I somehow visioned a future much more fulfilling with them in my house.  A few coats of Rustoleum paint and they have been born again. I like them so much that I have used them for everything except candle holders (yet).  They are some how adequate all by their lonesome.

Add a few red ball christmas ornaments and they become the best end table accents for my living room 🙂

If you haven’t been following Fostering a creative Life, you may want to check it out for lots of homemade ideas for the Countdown to Christmas Series 🙂

This project is being shared at:
Domestically Speaking

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Thrifty Pottery Barn Clock

I hate throwing any building materials away.  In fact I’m constantly looking through my husbands “trash” and hoarding supplies that I could repurpose.  Such is the story for my Clock project.

I have been wanting to make a clock for some time.  I love clocks, not that they have much influence on my lifestyle since I am always late (yes, I’m one of those people), but in home decor I am drawn to them.  So it was no surprise when I saw this fun little inspiration, from Pottery Barn, that I had a little lust and envy.

Just so happens the $129 price tag took care of that immediately.  A few key things I liked was the wood look, the dotted outside border, and the black numbers.  Keeping these things in mind I accumulated things to make my version of the clock.

My Materials: Scrap Lathe (wood pieces from walls in old houses), acrylic paint, silver brads, wood glue, piece of MDF board, clock “guts” and house numbers, hammer, and access to fancy power tools (drill, band saw, and optional other technical tools)

My budget: Less than $10. (MDF $1.) (Brads $2.50) (Numbers 5@.25=1.25) Clock hands ($1.)  little time and love

We finished out basement this winter, and in doing so we tore down an old lathe and plaster wall.  I scraped all the plaster off about 10 pieces to prep it for paint.

Using off-white acrylic paint I “roughly” painted the tops and sides.  When I say roughly I used a foam brush and just put enough paint on the pieces to add some color, not completely covering the wood.

close up after painting

Then I took a piece of MDF board that I purchased from Habitat Re-Store (I’m an addict, just an FYI) for a dollar.  My handy husband, who is much more efficient at operating power tools than I, cut a 12″ diameter circle in the MDF and added the “hole thingy” in the back to hang it.  Seeing how I wanted mine to hang flush to the wall, and the weight of the MDF was quite heavy, I opted to also have him cut out a piece in the center of the MDF to house the clock guts.  I just picked up whatever MDF I could find which ended up being 3/4″ thick. (pardon my lack of  knowledge of clock parts- hope this makes sense). Note: I know that the chances of people having the power tool that makes the fancy hanging hole in back is slim.  You could easily modify to use saw-tooth picture hanger, or wire across the back to hang.

Then using silver brads, I attached the lathe pieces to the MDF circle.  I wanted the silver brads to make the outside circle design (black dots on the outer edge of the Pottery Barn clock).

As you can see, I didn’t want a specific pattern or striped look to the face of the clock, so I used different length and paid attention to where the edges lined up.  In order to be sure that the brads held I applied a layer of wood glue to the back of each piece then adhered to the MDF circle.  I also drilled little hole to make hammering the brads into the wood/MDF a bit easier.  After all the pieces were attached I trimmed down the pieces that were hanging over the edge of the MDF circle.

I found these house numbers at Habitat Re-Store for 25 Cents each. While they didn’t have an entire collection they had enough to convey the style I was looking for.    One thing about using house numbers, they were a little big.  Fitting all the numbers in was a bit cluttered, so I had to come up with an alternative to make this work.  I might suggest a larger clock face.

Trying to find smaller numbers was a challenge so I took it upon myself to free-hand the remaining numbers.  I used a black paint-pen.  The clock guts (par that makes it work) I had from a clock that died, but I found new hands at a rummage sale.  I just painted the hands black to match the numbers.

The final product:

It was perfect for the husband’s basement decor.

Liking to these party’s
Home Stories of A to Z: Tutorials & Tips Tuesday
Not Just a Housewife: Show me what you got
The Creative Girl: Something I whipped up

Sugar Bee Crafts: Take a Look Tuesday
Todays Creative Blog: Get your craft on
Someday Crafts: Whatever Goes Wednesday
Miss Mustard Seed: Furniture Friday

DIY Club


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