What’s that saying about being poor making you thrifty? I can’t remember. Maybe I imagined it. Either way, I think it’s true. I’ve never been more creative in anything than when forced to work with limited resources, in this case, monetary resources. Because I like to redecorate and still afford groceries, I’ve been learning how to take an idea for something I love but can’t afford.
How does that tie-in to a dresser re-finish? I’ll explain.
There’s a dresser I love at Ikea. It’s beautiful, cream colored with black hardware, 7 drawers, pretty much exactly what I wanted for my room re-model. However, the $300 price tag caught me every time. Whenever I’m going to make a big purchase, I compare what else I could get for that amount of money to decide if it’s worth it. For $300 I could go to the keys for a weekend. I could get a cheap flight somewhere. I could do months of Pilates classes. I could cook a whole bunch of fancy dinners and drink a lot of wine. Sigh. I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
So on to plan B, I headed out to the thrift shop with Amy and Adora. And at Faith Farm I found this treasure. For $60 I found a dresser whose shape I loved. The color not so much, but it was nothing some sanding, priming, and painting couldn’t fix. And of course some black spray paint for the hardware.
So I give you my monochromatic take on a French dresser. I’m excited to see this piece against my book-wall. Let me know what you think!
We fit the dresser in the back of Adora’s car (barely) but that didn’t leave much room for me!
Through the glass door, sanded and primed!
I painted the white first and let it dry for a day, then taped around the top and painted the black top.
All finished! Moved into my room against the book wall.
Room is coming along! Next project will be bed coverings and curtains. Stay tuned…
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Well… actually an update on our couch. I told you here that my mom was coming to help me make a slipcover. She came, she saw, she sewed. I helped…a little. So, now I present to you the slipcover that my mom and I sewed BY HAND in one weekend…and the cushion covers that I sewed. My couch is all right angles and the duck cloth we made the slipcover with had finished sides that looked nice enough to me so we carefully (cleverly) planned the entire thing to have minimal sewing required. The back and sides of the couch were one long cut of the cloth that even came over the top of the back and ended where the seat meets the back of the couch, another piece went from the floor over the front meeting the other seam. Then we had diagonal seems at the top of the two corners, and some in the front where there are rectangular pieces. We ran out of cloth to cover the ottoman, so I put it in the guest room closet for now and I got to say, I think the room looks much bigger without it. So, for about 22 yards of duck cloth (yes, we had to hit up 2 different’ Joanne’s) and upholstery thread and needles I paid about $150. Not too bad, and much cheaper than any new couch, or buying a 13 foot long slip cover. I threw some skinny dowels into the recesses making the couch fit tighter and my mom iced her swollen fingers and we ended up with this beauty…
The dashed lines mark the seams. The seams are identical on both sides of the couch because the couch is symmetrical. There is an angled seam at the top of both corners of the couch that runs down to meet the seat area. A seam along the back of the sitting area, as well as the two sides. We gave extra room for these when sewing and stuffed them down with dowels to keep the couch taught. Then there are square seams on the front of the couch arms.
back corner seam
Front of the arms of the couch, square seams
I love it
So what do you think? It was easier than I thought it would be, we got it done in a day and a half [BY HAND] if we had used a machine, it would have been a few hours tops. Do you want to try something like this? Do it.
Back when I moved out of my first apartment and in with my [seriously ended up to be totally] awesome roommate, Victoria who I met on craigslist; I did a massive change in the style of my room. I went from a whole apartment to living in just a room with a very small closet, so I just picked a theme and I went with it. My entire room was white. My all white room looked so clean – I love love loved it. I thought (and still do) that it looked like it was out of a magazine. I wasn’t blogging back then and I recently stumbled across some photos of my old room, not really a complete view of it but random bits of happiness. So, here it is, the last room I had as a single girl. You were so good to me, Hillsboro Light Towers.
Josh turned a random little table that Devin saved from the garbage for me into a full on vanity by adding light but hiding all cords. I wish I had a shot of my antique map of Auckland in 4 8×10 frames on the wall.
My shelf. I couldn’t commit to painting the canvases so I wrapped them in white wrapping paper. They’re still like that above our couch in the living room.
I got this little stand from a garage sale for free, it was all brown and the door was rattan. That same day I got a helpful Lowes employee to cut a piece of wood into the perfect size to cover the door, glued a filagree wood piece on it and painted it white. I love the way it turned out. Later, my parents wedding photo found its way into that frame.
Andy came and did a shoot in my room once. The black guy in a white room jokes were plentiful.
A shot from Andy’s shoot
Messing around with Andy’s camera
When my sweet parents stayed with me…sleepy little love birds.
When my parents came to visit and stayed with me, my dad said I had saved him the cost of a hotel. So, he got me this white TV and called it even. He loves to try and be ‘logical’ when spoiling.
I have to admit, living on a1a with the ocean on one side and the inlet on the other was amazing. Totally a God thing that I got to experience this for $500 a month.
So, what do you think?
How beautiful our couch used to be
…because you may actually fall into my couch these days.
When we got our 13 foot long 8.5 feet deep couch of craigslist it seemed like the greatest deal we’ve ever scored. And it was! For two or three solid months.
The the cracks started. And continued.
Then the cats discovered the feel of fake leather under an extended claw. That continued.
Then cracks gave way to full on tears on well worn sections and the simple peeling away of the top layer in other sections. And so on and so on.
Then I read some random blog where the woman said tent repair patches will blend in to the leather and stay on. She lied. The patches however did take off in big chunks the parts of the couch that were just starting to peel. Thats… helpful.
Now I’ve resorted to ducktape, which you may be thinking is hideous looking, but it literally can’t make this couch look worse. My goal is at least to close the giant gashes and stop the peels from falling on the floor by ducktaping all of them together.
All because, hope is on the horizon. Hope in this case, is my moms amazing talent at anything she’s ever attempted. This talent extends to sewing. My mom and Dad have promised to come and visit Josh and me soon. My mom already knows that as soon as she gets here, operation couch cover goes into effect. I have no talent for sewing and zero experience making slip covers so we will see how that turns out. I promise I’ll post whatever we come up with, no matter how bad it turns out.
Time will tell, do you sew? Do you sew slipcovers? Do you want to sew my slipcover?
Proud little giraffe
Meet my little Giraffes. These buddies have been sitting on both ends of the top of our entertainment center since Christmas. I had bought them to make them into weird bookends for a friends Christmas present, but I waited too long to start. So, in the grand tradition of gift giving, I bought that friend something impersonal, and unimpressive at the last minute.
So they sat, for a long time. One day in a cleaning rage I decided on top of the entertainment center was a better storage place than the corner of the dining room where most of my ‘crafty Christmas’ supplies had been piled high and left to die as I was out buying last minute gifts.
Giraffe Make Over
Well boredom and free time have collided and today, they are getting a makeover. I will take these boys from “Why do you have toy giraffes on top of your tv?” to “What are those creepy white statues? Is that a Giraffe?” so fast your head will spin! All with the help of my little friend spray paint. Now, the color was such a tough choice. I had both white and bright purple spray paint in my craft drawers and because I’m poor, spending $3 on a can of another color was simply out of the question…so I went with white.
Look at them now. Handsome little guys. Still so proud. A little less blatant about their origins of the Target Dollar Spot. I like them. Welcome home, gentlemen.
What do you think?
Our Blue French Horn
I remember the first time I saw this thing. Sitting on my friend (now husband) Josh’s desk in his room at his parent’s house. I placed it immediately and thought (not for the first time) that he really over committed when it came to tv & movies. I’m sure at some point I’ll broach the subject of the life size storm trooper displaying on a mannequin that has found a permanent home in our guest bedroom, but not today.
I too was a faithful ‘How I Met Your Mother’ viewer, so I understood the reference, just not the reasoning behind having a blue french horn.
I also remember months and months later when he showed up at my apartment to give me my birthday presents with the horn in hand, filled to the brim with sunflowers. I knew this had symbolism to him and as was my habit at that age, I panicked and forced my friend Devin to keep it at her house.
It went from her house, to Josh’s apartment when he moved, back to his parents house, to my next apartment, and finally to the place we made our home in. There is absolutely no easy way to display a french horn so after nearly a year of it sitting in a closet or at the top of our bookshelf, I tied it up with some string and decided that was good enough.
It’s not the most beautiful wall hanging I’ve ever seen, but it has something that very few things in our house (besides ourselves) have; it has history.
A few months ago, after I had hung the horn on the wall, I found out something that I never knew. He bought it for me. He met me, and he knew. He liked the reference to the show and as he has a tendency to do, he dove right it.
Josh went online and bought the only french horn he could afford, bought it, and painted it blue. Then he waited. He waited for me, it waited for me. Now it’s in our home. How beautiful.