The Interior Frugalista

August 24, 2016

Guest Feature on Tell Us Tuesday Series (The Painted Drawer)

Hello everyone, I apologize for being a day late for another edition of Frugal Decor Tuesday. Today, instead of sharing a thrift store find that I breathed new life into, I have a special treat that I am pretty excited about. A little peek into what makes me, the gal behind The Interior Frugalista tick!

Suzanne from The Painted Drawer featured me as a Guest Blogger in her new Tell Us Tuesday series. Each week Suzanne asks her featured guests a few questions ranging from the artistic to running a successful creative business. Her goal is that by hearing from such a diverse pool of creative people, those reading the series will take away interesting and different perspectives about everything from painting furniture for fun, working on their homes and creating their own style, or starting a blog or business for profit.


I've been following Suzanne for some time now and consider her a friend. She is a very talented Furniture Artist and her painting techniques are beautiful and inspiring. When she asked if she could interview me for her series, I was honored to be included amongst the talented bloggers she has featured thus far.

Here is a snippet of that interview...

Do you consider both writing your blog and working on a project to each be a creative process?  Which do you prefer?

Absolutely!  It is the reason being a DIY blogger is so appealing because I can exercise my love of writing and keep the creative juices flowing with my furniture and home decor pieces. I love them both equally and if I am spending too much time on one or the other, I feel off balanced.

To see the rest of the interview, I invite you to visit The Painted Drawer. Hopefully, not only will you learn a little more about me but will also walk away feeling encouraged and inspired to embrace your creative side.

While you are there, be sure to catch up on the series and meet the talented and much-admired bloggers interviewed so far.

I'll be back on Friday to share more DIY Rustic Wedding Décor from my daughter's wedding on August 6th. I'll be including some photos from the wedding venues. Until then...

August 16, 2016

DIY Rustic Tiered Wedding Cake and Cupcake Stand

Welcome to another wedding edition of Frugal Decor Tuesday! I know I keep promising but soon I will post action shots from the wedding. Until then here is a 4-Tiered Rustic Wedding Cake/Cupcake stand that we made for our daughter's wedding.

DIY Four Tiered Wedding Cake and Cupcake Stand

Pinterest has been our best friend in the planning stages of how to pull off a DIY Rustic Wedding and our inspiration for building this wooden cake/cupcake stand was no exception. There were several that caught our eye until we decided to build our own version of this cake stand.

Pine fence boards ripped on the table saw to size were used to build our version. The top layer was cut to create an 8-inch square, the second layer at 10-inches, third at 12-inches, and the base at 14-inches.

Precut boards stained and whitewashed for Rustic Wedding Cake Stand

After they were cut, each board received a wash of Dark Walnut stain followed by a whitewash of chalk paint. Food safety was not a concern as the Wedding Cake Topper was on a cake base board and the Whipped Frosting Cupcakes in liners.

Tiered Wooden Whitewashed Wedding Cake Cupcake Stand

PVC pipe cut 7-inches high and sprayed painted white were used to support each layer.  It's hard to see in the photo above but the PVC pipe was wrapped loosely with white tulle to pretty it up.

A threaded rod was screwed from the base to the top tier and the bolt countersinks so the cake would sit level on the board. This made the stand easier to transport because the wedding took place an 8-hour drive from where we live and could be reassembled at the venue. The PVC pipe shown above was simply slipped over the rod between each tier.

Threaded rod used to assemble Tiered Wedding Cake and Cupcake Stand

I cut some roses from my flower bed to pretty up the top for these photos but just wait until I share the amazing cake we ordered for the top tier and the rustic custom cake topper from Etsy is even cuter. But you'll have to wait for the action shots to see those.

Top layer of DIY Rustic Tiered Wedding Cake and Cupcake Stand

Imagine a wedding cake on the top tier and beautiful lavender whipped icing cupcakes on the rest of the layers.

Sprayed painted PVC pipe wrapped in tulle for Wedding Cupcake Stand

I can't wait to share how pretty this looked beside the head table!

Bottom layers of DIY Rustic Wooden Wedding Cupcake Stand

I am so thrilled with how this DIY 4-Tiered Wooden Wedding Cake/Cupcake Stand turned out. Hint: the cake stand plays well with the table centerpiece bases but you'll have to wait to see those in a few weeks!

DIY Rustic Wedding Cupcake and Cake Topper Stand

In case you missed it, last week I shared our DIY Rustic Wedding Card Caddy and DIY Rustic Wedding Centerpiece Boxes.  Wait until you see what we made as an alternative to clinking glasses for kisses from the new Mr. & Mrs. I'll be sharing that very soon.

August 11, 2016

DIY Rustic Wedding Centerpiece Boxes

I am so excited to finally be able to share the DIY Wedding Decor from our daughter's wedding.  I'll be sharing action shots from both venues later in the month. Today I'm sharing the fabulous, if I do say so myself, Rustic Wedding Centerpiece Boxes we made for each table. 

DIY Rustic Wedding Centerpiece Boxes

My inspiration came from Pinterest and being that we were on a tight budget, we decided to build our own. If you press the link to the original source of our inspiration, they offer custom boxes for sale.

We made ours from pine fence boards and gave the wood an aged appearance with a wash of Dark Walnut Stain.

Pine fence boards cut and stained to make Rustic Wedding Centerpieces

They are 5 1/2-inches square and assembled without any fancy joint cuts with a brad nailer. The operative word here is Rustic.

Assembled wooden rustic wedding centerpiece boxes

In PicMonkey I created a graphic with a heart and the couple's initials. I printed them in reverse (mirror image) onto glossy paper using an Inkjet printer. With the back of a spoon, I rubbed the graphic onto the front and back of each box, giving them the appearance of someone etching a love heart into a tree.

Love Heart graphic transferred onto DIY Wooden Wedding Centerpiece Boxes

The original plan was to either burn the graphic using a woodburning tool or etch it into the wood. After the first attempt, I decided heck no was that happening - who has time for that two weeks before the wedding! Especially when you're making multiples.

Wooden DIY Rustic Wedding Centerpiece Boxes

After a trip to Michaels, a silk flower supplier, and Dollarama to find all the embellishments, it was time to get to work. The wedding flowers were white roses, purple and blue hydrangeas, and lavender with a peacock feather.  The predominant wedding fabrics were burlap, white tulle and lace.

Silk florals and DIY Wooden Boxes for Wedding Centerpieces

I was thrilled when we scored the silver table number holders for a whopping $5.00 a package of 10! Instead of using the table number cards that came with the holders (as pictured), I made custom table numbers with a photo of the bride and groom at the corresponding age of the table number. I'll share those another time.

DIY Wooden  Boxes filled with silk florals and burlap ribbon for Wedding Table Centerpieces

We also made whitewashed wooden trivets for each table for the boxes to sit on along with mini mason jars filled with river rocks and a battery operated tealight. I'll be sharing those another time too.

I'm not going to lie, making these from start to finish was a heck of a lot of work that took several days to complete. But the impact was stunning and I'm proud that we were able to create unique statement pieces for each table on a very tight budget!

In case you missed it, on Tuesday I shared the DIY Rustic Wedding Card Box that we made. Next Tuesday I'll be sharing the amazing DIY Rustic 4-Tiered Cake Stand that we made so be sure to come back to see that.

So what would be your preference, DIY these boxes or buy them custom made?

August 9, 2016

DIY Rustic Wedding Card Caddy

For weeks I've been posting sneak peeks on Instagram of the wedding decor projects I've been making for our daughter's rustic wedding. Now that the wedding is over and I am no longer sworn to secrecy, I will be sharing several of those projects in my new DIY Rustic Wedding Decor Series over the next few weeks.

I promise to also share a few pictures of the Bride and Groom and photos of wedding decor at both venues. In the meantime, I'm kicking off the series with a DIY Rustic Wedding Card Caddy that I made for guests to leave their congratulatory wedding messages.

DIY Rustic Wedding Card Caddy

I made this Wedding Card Caddy back in June at the same time I built several Antique Chair Spindle Garden Tool Caddies. In that post, I share a step-by-step tutorial on how to make them.

Because of it's much larger size, the handle on this one is made from an Antique Chair Leg rather than a spindle.

An Antique Chair Leg for DIY Rustic Wedding Card Caddy Handle

This caddy also has a hinged lid with a slot for inserting the wedding cards. It was cut using a jigsaw with a piece of wood clamped to the work table as a guide for cutting a straight line (as seen in the photo below).

Cutting a slot for wedding cards on the lid of a DIY Wedding Card Caddy

The slot and outer edge of the lid was finished using a Router with a quarter round bit.

A Rustic Wedding Card Caddy before the finishing touches

I stained the wood with my homemade Aging Solution (a.k.a. Giggle Juice).

Wood Aging Solution recipe for DIY Rustic Wedding Card Caddy

Wood Aging Solution Recipe:

  • Fill a container with vinegar 3/4 full (I use a large size plastic sour cream container).
  • Submerge a large piece of #0000 steel wool into the vinegar and close the lid.
  • Let it sit for at least 48 hours (I prefer a week).  The longer it sits and disintegrates the steel wool, the rustier the juice.
  • Sometime in that waiting period make yourself a pot of black tea (my preference is Earl Grey but that's just me) and relax.  Enjoy a cup and save the rest!
  • When your juice is nice and rusty run it through a strainer into a glass mason jar (like pictured above).
  • Pour your black tea (through a strainer if you used loose tea) and fill the mason jar.
  • Wear gloves because not only will it stain your fingers but the smell will stay on your hands for days.
  • Apply it to the wood using an inexpensive chip brush. 
  • Apply it in coats, letting it dry between coats until your wood is aged to your liking.
  • I also applied it to the Antique Chair Leg Handle.
  • The acid from the vinegar reacts to the tannins in the wood and creates a gorgeous aged patina. 

DIY Rustic Wedding Card Caddy after aging solution application

After it dried overnight I gave the entire caddy a whitewash with Simplicity White chalk paint.

A whitewashed DIY Rustic Wedding Card Caddy

I tried finding a small heart shaped lock to secure the lid during the reception but unfortunately, couldn't get one shipped in time for the wedding. To improvise I simply glued a faux clay heart lock from Michaels onto the front of a small padlock with E6000 glue. I tied a pretty white ribbon onto the key and gave it to the bride and groom for safe keeping.

In PicMonkey I created a graphic with the Bride and Groom's names and wedding date and printed it in reverse (mirror image) on glossy paper using an Inkjet printer. I held the paper front and center onto the caddy and with the back of a spoon, rubbed the graphic onto the wood.

Wedding Graphic transferred onto wood of DIY Rustic Wedding Card Caddy

Two things we used a lot of in the wedding decor was burlap, wood, and white lace. I cut some pretty burlap and lace circles from a Vintage Country scrapbook paper booklet that I had on hand. With mini clothespins, I attached cute wooden letters to the front of the paper circles to spell the word CARDS and hung them with twine from the chair leg handle.

Card Bunting Banner hanging from DIY Rustic Wedding Card Caddy

The box was built so that the lid can be easily removed after the cards have been read. The bride and groom can repurpose this caddy as a wooden plant box or keep it for storing wedding mementos.

DIY Wedding Card Caddy with lid and bunting banner

On Thursday I'll be sharing DIY Rustic Wooden Centerpiece Boxes made for each table that were filled with florals and burlap embellishments.

You'll find this project linked up at these PARTIES.

August 4, 2016

Farmhouse Style Bentwood Stool Makeover

Hello friends, today I'm sharing an easy peasy furniture makeover that took less than an hour to complete. We picked this bentwood stool, originally from IKEA, up for a song several months ago. Other than dated upholstery, it was in good shape and just needed a refresh.

I knew exactly what fabric I was going to cover the seat with as soon as I set eyes on this stool. Last year I removed a red ticking stripe slipcover from our living room wing chair and had it waiting in my stash for the perfect project. I knew it would come in handy one day and that day was now with this Farmhouse Style Bentwood Stool Makeover.

Bentwood Stool with red ticking stripe seat

This is what the stool looked like before...

Bentwood Stool Before Makeover

The first thing I did was detach the seat and give the legs a good scrub with soap and warm water. Using a sanding sponge I roughed up the glossy finish. To add some depth I applied a wash of dark walnut stain using a clean lint free rag and immediately wiped off the excess stain.

You can see in the picture below how it settled into the ridges and grain of the wood giving the legs a more rustic appearance.

Bentwood Stool Legs with Dark Walnut Top Coat

While the stain was drying I removed the old fabric from the seat and used it as a template for my red ticking stripe slipcover.

Red Ticking Stripe Slipcover Repurposed

I laid the slipcover on the bed and strategically took it apart, salvaging everything, including the piping.  First, I had to remove Sexy Rexy from the room because one slight move of those tie backs and he was jumping all over that slipcover.

Once I cut the small circle out for my stool I simply stapled it onto the underside of the seat with an upholstery staple gun.  Sorry, I completely forgot to take a picture of that step.

Upholstery Tip:
Lay the fabric over the seat, ensuring the ticking stripes are straight and staple to the underside of the seat. Pull the fabric taut, again making sure the stripe is straight and staple the opposite side to the underside of the seat.


Repeat this step on each side, ensuring you don't pull too taut that the stripe gets distorted.  Work your way around the seat making small folds as you work. Try to get the folds to sit on the underside of the seat for a smooth finish on the exposed side. 


Farmhouse Style Bentwood Stool with Repurposed Red Ticking Stripe Seat

I reattached the legs onto the seat.

Farmhouse Style Bentwood Stool with dark walnut legs and red ticking stripe seat

Now this Bentwood Stool With A Repurposed Red Ticking Stripe Slipcovered Seat has a Farmhouse Style look.

Refreshed IKEA Bentwood Stool with Farmhouse Style

And the bonus, it cost me absolutely nothing!

Farmhouse Style Bentwood Stool Makeover Before and After

Bentwood stools typically come with a wood seat but the person who owned this before added 2-inch foam and batting.  All I had to do was replace the fabric.

I don't do a lot of upholstery but my first attempt a few years ago was this Antique Balloon Back Chair. A client trusted me to upholstered a set of Vintage High Back Chairs for her. But earlier this year I tackled (pun intended) a Bergère Chair With Some Serious Attitude.

Have a great weekend everyone!  It's an extra special weekend for our family as we walk our daughter down the aisle on Saturday.

Starting next week I'll be sharing some of the DIY Rustic Wedding Decor that we made. Be sure to check in on Tuesday when I share the Rustic Wedding Card Caddy.

August 2, 2016

Repurposed Candle Holder and Silver Pedestal Tray

Welcome to another edition of Frugal Decor Tuesday! What do you do when you find a couple of sturdy wooden candle holders and a matching pair of silver serving trays at the thrift store?

Make pretty pedestal serving trays!

Repurposing a thrift store candle holder and silver tray

The silver serving trays were rusted and tarnished beyond polishing and had seen their better days. I felt no shame spray painting them. I forgot to take photos of the wooden candlesticks, originally from IKEA, before grabbing my paint brush so pictured below is after the first coat of Simplicity White chalk paint.

Candle Holders and Silver Serving Trays repurposed into Pedestal Tray

To create a base for the trays, round wooden plaques were screwed onto the candle holders.

Attaching round wooden plaques to candle holders to support silver serving trays

After cleaning the trays I sprayed them with Rust-oleum Painter's Touch Spray Paint in White gloss.

Tip: Painting Silver
The trick to painting silver is not to go over the same area twice while the paint is wet and don't attempt any touch-ups or you will have one hot mess on your hands. Silver takes longer to dry so be sure to allow extra drying time between coats. Wait until after your final coat is completely dry before doing any distressing. 


It took three coats to get complete coverage on my trays. After they dried overnight, I carefully distressed the edges with sandpaper. Two coats of Rust-oleum Clear Spray were applied to protect the painted metal.

I wouldn't recommend putting food directly onto the painted surface as it is not food safe. Place table linens or napkins under the food and/or dishes. These would be great for displaying seasonal items like sea shells and driftwood in a Summer vignette.

Pedestal Tray made with spray painted silver serving tray and chalk painted candle holder

Now here is where I'm keeping it real, guys.

A problem with stability on repurposed Pedestal Tray

I didn't think this project through enough because the base of the candle holder does not provide adequate stability for the size of the tray above. It wouldn't take much for this cake stand to topple over and dump that special cake you spent all afternoon baking splat onto the floor.

I'm on the hunt for something wooden to screw onto the base for added stability.

Repurposed candle holder Pedestal TrayBefore and After

I only pictured one but I made two of these pretty pedestal trays. They both are coming with me to a holiday market in November.

I think pairing candle holders with inexpensive silver trays makes for a pretty Pedestal Tray perfect for displaying seasonal decor or filled with whipped icing cupcakes.

If you are looking for other DIY tray ideas, you can see how I turned Silver Trays Into Chalkboards or how I turned a Picture Frame Into A Serving Tray.

Here is where I could use your help. Do you have any ideas on what I could attach to the base of my Repurposed Pedestal Tray for added stability?

Come back for a visit on Thursday where I will be sharing an IKEA Bentwood Stool that I gave a farmhouse style makeover using an old chair slipcover.

July 28, 2016

Antique Edwardian Octagon Tea Table

I was doing the happy dance when this little tea table came into our house. Normally I would not paint an antique table like this but it had seen it's better days and required some repairs. We purchased it from a local online auction group, my go-to source for furniture these days. I am quite pleased with the paint color I chose for this Antique Edwardian Octagon Tea Table.

I know what you're all thinking, "I thought she said we saw the last of those dang lilacs". Like my other projects that featured them, this table was photographed back in May. I promise, this is the last you'll see of my lilacs that keep on giving!

Antique Edwardian Octagon Tea Table

This pretty table was for sale under my tent at the Outdoor Market in May. I had someone very interested in buying it and left to go find her husband to take a peek. Meanwhile, this happened...

Damaged Antique Edwardian Tea Table knocked over by a gust of wind

It was a cold windy day and a gust of wind hit the wall of the tent where this little table was sitting and knocked it over onto the concrete floor. Of all the pieces under the tent that day, it had to be this one! Thankfully it's repairable and the plan is to return it to the tent in the Fall.

This is what this poor tea table looked like when we acquired it...

Antique Edwardian Tea Table Before

The legs were a little loose and needed regluing and the screws tightened. After a light sand with a sanding block to give the paint some tooth, I brushed just one coat of the color Sage Advice by Country Chic Paint.

Antique Edwardian Tea Table chalk painted with Sage Advice

Using 180 grit sand paper I distressed the edges for a time worn look.

Chalk painted and distressed Antique Edwardian Octagon table

I also used 180 grit sandpaper on the top letting the paint decide where it randomly revealed the wood underneath.

Chalk painted and distressed top on Antique Edwardian Octagon Tea Table

I hit the sandpaper along the ridges of the spindle rail on the base. The paint was protected with a clear wax finish.

Chalk painted and distressed spindle rail base on Edwardian side table

I'm trying to find a way to justify keeping this table after it is repaired. You don't find this style very often and I absolutely love it.

The problem is that I have a table fetish and there are not enough rooms in our home to house the number of tables I just can't part with.

Antique Edwardian Octagon Tea Table Before and After

Do you like to fill your home with interesting side tables? If not, what is your furniture fetish?

July 26, 2016

Handmade Wooden Spa Now Garden Caddy

It's Frugal Decor Tuesday and you know what that means.  Another thrift store find was repurposed or given a fresh new look.

How could I resist buying this adorable handmade wooden spa caddy? Someone put a lot of time and love into this little caddy and being a DIYer, I could appreciate their handy work. I mistakenly assumed that the letters on the front were wood craft letters glued to the front but I quickly learned when trying to remove them, that they were carved into the wood.

Handmade Wooden Garden Tool Caddy Before and After

For a second, I thought about using it in our bathroom for rolled towels and hand made soaps but I wasn't a fan of the blocked letters.  Part of me regrets not sanding the paint from the letters and the hand hewn handle and staining them for a rustic look. It was the perfect size caddy to sit on a bathroom counter.

Handmade Wooden Spa Caddy with Hand Hewn Handle

But sadly, that is not what I did.  Instead, I meticulously chiseled and sanded until each letter was removed. I gave the entire caddy a gray wash with chalk paint and a clear wax finish. I found the adorable galvanized mini garden tools at Michaels and attached them with upholstery tacks.

Handmade Wooden Garden Tool Caddy Makeover

You can see how I transferred the vintage graphic in my Antique Chair Spindle Garden Caddy post.

It sold at the outdoor market in May and knowing the buyer personally, I know she too appreciates the craftsmanship in this adorable Handmade Wooden Garden Caddy.

A transformed wooden spa caddy

Having regrets about this makeover, I'm curious what you would have done.  Kept the carved letters or removed them?

On Thursday I'll be sharing a gorgeous Antique Edwardian side table makeover that I was quite proud of until Mother Nature decided to mess with it.

You'll find this project linked at these fabulous Link Parties.