makeshift shelves

written by tammy

I found these boards in the trash the other day and thought they would be the perfect way to turn these unsightly paint cans into something useful...


Pick a color and paint the boards.


Measure the height and width of the paint cans.


Measure and cut decorative paper to wrap around the cans.


Wrap the paint cans with paper and fasten with tape.


Layer the boards on top of the cans for makeshift shelves. Much prettier!!


spend share save

written by tammy

spand share save bank

Here’s a project I can’t wait to replicate. Eliza and her mom crafted this project after being inspired by a Spend Share Save box at a friends house.

The idea is simple, start by digging an empty box out of the recycle bin:

start with an empty box

Divide the inside into sections (scotch tape and cardboard):

divide the box into sections

Using a sharp knife, and adult supervision, cut the lid into three pieces to match the sections created on the inside:

spend share save sections

When all the chopping and taping is done, decorate your bank and start dividing up your funds. My favorite part is the ‘share’ section.

Thanks for the great idea Eliza!!


paint samples and paper

written by tammy
is this a trash heap or a piece of trash?

is this a trash heap or a piece of trash?

Once again, I’ve transformed a piece of furniture that has been following my family around since the 70′s. This record hutch used to be some other color? before my mother stained it black in the 90′s. The doors no longer slide and I would have tossed it to the curb, if not for the serious lack of places to put things in my apartment.

paint samples from home depot are everything I dreamed they could be

paint samples from Home Depot are everything I dreamed they could be

Instead of adding it to a landfill, I discovered paint samples from Home Depot. These 8 oz tintable testers come in a variety of brands and can be color matched to anything, all for under $3 a pop!

The last time (and first time) I redid a piece of furniture I went with a semi-gloss, a recommendation from a friend. At first, I was upset to learn that the testers only came in an eggshell finish, but after I was done, I learned that I prefer eggshell for furniture. Try and learn.

prep and paint!

prep and paint!

Preparing this piece for painting was a bit more entailed than I envisioned. After I got started with the sanding, I decided to find a way to get rid of the non-working sliding doors. It took a lot of elbow grease, hammering pulling and prying, but I managed to pop the pieces out one by one. (I saved the pieces for other projects)

oh, the choices...

...oh, the choices...

Once the prep and paint was complete I decided to get crafty and transform this piece of furniture into a work of art.

it's getting exciting

it's getting exciting

After choosing some beautiful paper and carefully cutting out my designs with an x-acto knife, it was time to test out a layout.

layout, decoupage, seal

layout, decoupage, seal

I decoupaged the paper onto the chest with mod podge. I applied a thin layer and then let dry completely before applying another. This is important, because if you try to paint more glue over the paper before it is dry you WILL tear the paper.

the hardest part is aways... waiting

the hardest part is aways... waiting

I wanted the design to lay seamlessly on the chest so I applied several layers of mod podge. The last step is to seal the entire piece with an acrylic sealant so that water will not damage your hard work.

Pretty nice!!

admire     <i>(note to self: take better pictures)</i>

(note to self: take better pictures because these don't do it justice)


chains of love

written by tammy


While boot chains may be the latest runway runoff, this project is more like the poor girls solution to the glitzy holiday party. New boots were not on this year’s priority spending list, so instead I bought two new things for my holiday getup.. bright teal tights and a $20 necklace overflowing with chains. (If you could imagine, the necklace pictured above is actually what was leftover AFTER making boot chains, so I got 2 new boot chains and a necklace all for twenty bucks!)

All you really need to make DIY shoe jewelry is an amply overflowing necklace, some old shoes and needle-nose pliers (pictured on top). Every girl should have a pair of these in the house, both for crafty projects and DIY jewelry fixes.. they have a pointy tip for squeezing tiny pieces and a cutting mechanism near the axis.

how to make shoe jewlery

Pull apart the circle links holding the necklace to the clasp and save them for reattaching. Wrap the chains around your boots to determine the length needed to create your jewelry, and then cut the chain at the appropriate place with the cutting part of the pliers.

Now, reattach the chains in the form you want by inserting the circular link between the two ends of your cut chain, and then squeezing the circle back into shape. I did a wrap-around anklet with dangling ends…

boot chains

While writing up this how-to post Refinery29 conveniently dropped this link in my inbox, check it out for some more great ideas… and then make your own!



written by tammy

update your look

This dresser has been following me around for thirty-some years. There’s a picture somewhere of my mother painting it Sunkist Orange. I was in the picture too… large and in her belly.

Twenty years later, I’m visiting my parents and noticed it’s new ‘wooden’ look. Five years after that they moved cross-country. Guess who got the dresser?

Now, I’m the one to give it a new look. Two coats of semi-gloss and new drawer pulls made this old piece come alive.


Before I repainted the dresser, I did a bit of maintenance. With use, I noticed that the bottoms of the drawers would sag under the weight of my clothes, so I reinforced the bottom board in each drawer with hammer and nails.

Then I unscrewed the old knobs, lightly sanded the dresser, rubbed it down with mineral spirits and applied the first layer of paint.

The hardest part.. waiting 12 hours before applying the second coat.


Instead of just painting and replacing the knobs, I decided that a small investment would take the dresser to new heights. My first instinct was antique looking glass knobs.. but the prices were either too high, or the gratification was not immediate, so I decided to open my options.

After rummaging through countless hardware stores, websites and eBay lists, I settled on handcrafted deer antler knobs from an artisan on eBay, $25 for 12. Since I only needed 10 for this project, there’s a lucky two laying around for something else.


something old is new again

written by tammy

A few years back I snatched a pair of these chairs from the dumpster outside my apartment. They were in fair condition… the legs needed to be detached, sanded and then reattached with some super-strength Gorilla Wood Glue. The seats were also a bit torn, but I put some pillows on top, and they were good to go.

A couple months ago I was out to lunch with some friends from work, and we walked past a reupholstering shop. They were having a vinyl sale, so we popped in for a peek. For $22 I got (a little more than) a yard of teal vinyl with the kitchen chairs in mind.

Since the seats were still in fair condition, with only a few minor rips and tears, I decided to take a short-cut by placing the new vinyl right over the old, eliminating the need for new padding.

The steps are outlined below… click on a thumbnail to view the full sized image.


recreate an old frame

written by tammy

recreate an old frame

A few years back I scooped up these old frames someone left on their stoop for give away. They’ve been gathering dust in the corner for a while now, so I decided to follow my own advice… use or or loose it!

Here is what I did:

(click on an image to enlarge)

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