Happy Halloween Y'all!

Pumpkins carved for Halloween

Even Sexy Rexy is getting in on the action...but he isn't pleased about it!

The cat dressed up for Halloween

We don't go all out on Halloween like we used to when the kids were little. Other than our pumpkins, this is pretty much it for decorations. I made this wreath last year - that's about as scaaaaaaaaaary as I'm getting!

DIY Halloween Wreath

Close up picture of the Halloween Wreath

Have fun tonight everyone!
Read More

Office Got A Tweak {Room Makeover}

Hi Everyone, hope you had a nice weekend! Ours was a busy one painting, tacking, installing hardware, and dismantling a pallet. We have three room makeovers on the go at the moment - why do just one when you can do three!

It all started with some Pinterest inspiration. I came across this and a few other pins featuring the Bedford Collection from Pottery Barn.

I fell in love with this look and then thought to myself, "wait a minute I have a similar custom made unit sitting in the guest room with nothing in it". It was built many many many years ago...okay, not that many... for Mr. Frugalista's childhood bedroom. It was later passed down to each of our children at various stages of their childhood.

Custom desk unit before in the guest bedroom

This was it's last childhood incarnation.
Custom desk unit before in our daughter's old room
I dragged that baby out of the guest bedroom and into my office lickety split and got to work making it look more "officey".  And so the office makeover began...

I had already painted it white when our daughter's room was converted into a guest room but those handles just had to go.  I don't know how many finger nails I broke trying to pry the drawers open.
Custom desk unit before with old handles
The wood handles were glued on - try removing 40 year old handles without damaging the drawer fronts!  I did it but not successfully on some drawers.  Nothing that a little Dynamic Dyna Patch couldn't handle.
Custom desk unit after with new hardware
The drawer in the desk unit had some graffiti so it needed a little makeover. First I had Mr. Frugalista make some drawer dividers that I painted white. I lined the drawer with some pretty paper and added a glass knob for some glam.
Custom desk unit drawer makeover
Take a look at these Before and After pictures - it looks so much more professional now.

Custom desk unit before and after View A

Custom desk unit before and after View B

This is my office Before the makeover:

Office before makeover View 1

Office before makeover View 2

This is my office After the makeover:

Office after makeover View 1

Office after makeover View 2

Office after makeover View 3

Office after makeover View 4
My office feels much larger now and it is definitely far more functional! Next up...the guest bedroom makeover (coming soon).


Read More

Three Image Transfer Techniques {tutorial}

Oh my, a few months ago I decided to try the art of image transfers. I was nervous at first and have since tried a few different transfer methods. This has become my new love! I get lost in the process and loose awareness of everything around me (except for the music I have blasting from my MP3 player). Oftentimes I'm so engrossed that I loose track of time, forget to eat, and am startled back to reality when Mr. Frugalista opens the shop door after his return from work.

Today I thought I would share a few of my projects and what transfer methods I used. We'll start with my most recent...

Tray with coffee graphic for our kitchen coffee station

Carbon paper (Graphite Paper) image transfer method

This has become one of my favorite transfer methods! I've been using good old fashion carbon paper that I've had around the house since the 90's. Apparently the "now" product is Graphite Paper - which I haven't tried yet.

Using Microsoft Word, I insert and manipulate the graphic to the size I want. Then I print it with my laser printer on bond paper. I slip a sheet of carbon paper behind the graphic and tape it onto the surface I'm working with. Using a pen I trace over the entire graphic pressing hard to ensure a good transfer. With fine art brushes and watered down acrylic craft or chalk paint, I hand paint over the transfer. I have never had a problem with the carbon smudging when I apply the paint. Here is a close up of the coffee tray using this method.

Coffee tray using carbon paper image transfer method

I used the same transfer method when making this gift for the Grand Opening of the Apple Box Design Studio.

Sign using carbon paper image transfer technique
I embellished this one with a wooden picket fence and a mini bunting flag banner that I made with scrapbook paper and a red Sharpie.

Modge Podge or Gel Medium Image Transfer Method

With this transfer method you need a mirror image before printing, especially when there is text. I cut around the areas of the graphic that I want transferred. Using a foam brush I apply an even coat of Modge Podge over the good side of the image. Then I place the image side onto the surface I'm working with and gently rub it to ensure good contact and to remove any wrinkles and/or air bubbles. Let it dry (I prefer overnight).
Modge Podgeor Gel Medium image transfer technique

With a spray bottle I wet the image (not saturate) and with the ball of my finger I gently rub to remove a layer of paper. I let it dry and repeat the process until I'm satisfied with the clarity of the image. In the picture below you can see how the image looks after removing a couple of layers of paper.

Removing layers of paper using Modge Podge image transfer technique

Once completely dry I apply a couple coats of Modge Podge to protect the image. On this one I decided I didn't like the image on a white background.  I repainted the plaque with Graphite chalk paint, carefully painting around the image. I painted the scalloped edge with Old White chalk paint (pretty much reversing what I'd done originally). I was much happier with the contrast!

Once dry I applied clear soft wax along with dark wax to give it an aged appearance and then carefully distressed the scalloped edge and graphic using fine sandpaper. You can see in the picture below how much better it looks with the graphite background. This was a birthday gift for a friend who is an actress in her local theater group in the Netherlands.

Plaque after using the Modge Podge image transfer technique

Here is another birthday gift that I made for a friend using the same transfer method. She is lucky enough to be getting her own Craft Room soon and so I made a sign for her new space. She is a talented Crafter who does a lot of sewing, so I thought this graphic was perfect. The colors on the image were muted so I dry brushed paint over top and I used stencils for the letters. After protecting the sign with wax I distressed it with fine sandpaper to give it a bit of a vintage vibe.

Sign using Modge Podge image transfer technique

Paint Resist Typography Transfer Method 

This is a fun method for making vintage looking signs. I found an old piece of wood outside in our wood pile. I cleaned it up with some sandpaper and painted it white.  I then applied vinyl letters onto the sign (you can see step-by-step instructions of that in my post The Sign I Just Had to Have).  I painted over the entire sign in red and while the paint was still wet I removed the vinyl letters carefully with a craft knife.  Once the paint was dry I sanded the entire sign to give it a worn look.  I then applied clear and dark wax to give it an aged appearance.

Sign using vinyl letter paint resist transfer technique

The same process was used on my Welcome Sign. I didn't distress or antique this one.

Welcome Sign using vinyl letter paint resist transfer technique

A DIY Welcome Sign Post using an old banister

So there you have it...a quick lesson in three image transfer techniques! There are several others that I haven't tried yet..."yet" being the operative word! I hope my post today has inspired you to try at least one of these image transfer methods. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!
Read More

Antique Balloon Back Chair Makeover

Mr. Frugalista and I were so excited when we inherited this lovely Antique Balloon Back Chair from his Uncle's estate. Those curvy legs and carved details fit right into our decorating style. While the red velvet seat had a faint stain, otherwise the chair was in excellent condition.

It has been a well-used chair in our home and for many years sat at a long cherry wood sofa table we used as a writing desk in our living room. Sadly after one too many gatherings and surviving two kids and a dog it started to look worn and tired, much like it's owners.

Antique Balloon Back Chair After Makeover

This is what it looked like before. You can see the fabric is well worn and there are knicks and scratches on the wood frame.

Antique Balloon Back Chair Before Makeover

An Antique Balloon Back Chair Makeover From The Inside Out

Antique Balloon Back Chair

Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this post so you can see what products I used or recommend to complete this project. If you make a purchase through the links, there is no extra charge to you and I will receive a small commission to support my blogging wardrobe with a fresh new set of pajamas (don't judge). See my full disclosure policy.

Painting the frame

First I filled the knicks and gouges in the wood frame. Then I gave the chair a coat of Old White Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ and all those lovely carved details popped.
Balloon back chair chalked in Old White

When I went to start the second coat I noticed dark spots coming through the paint. Paint bleed from the tannins in the dark wood. I brushed a coat of shellac over the first coat of paint before applying the second coat and it worked like a charm.

Distressing the finish

Using 220-grit sandpaper, I lightly distressed the paint along the edges and spots along the legs that would normally see wear and tear.
Balloon Back Chair Chalked Painted and Distressed

Waxing the frame

I applied a thin coat of clear wax, also by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ using a round wax brush. Before the wax dried and working in sections, I applied dark wax making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies and wiped away the excess with a lint free rag.

Dark Wax Tip: 

A great way to get deep into the nooks and crannies of a piece with dark wax is to use a small inexpensive chip brush and cut the bristles down to 1-inch high. It is my go to brush for this purpose.

Changing the plan

Because the fabric on the seat was showing wear but not torn, the plan was to chalk paint the upholstery in the color Duck Egg Blue. As I was about to get started I noticed something didn't feel right underneath that fabric.

Deconstructing the chair

Upon removing the fabric I noticed the first layer of cotton batting was still in good condition. So far so good.
Original cotton batting layer on antique chair

I was expecting horse hair underneath the batting but surprise - it was layers of stinky, dusty, messy straw.
Straw stuffing in old balloon back chair

Once I removed the bulk of the straw I noticed the burlap base was ripped and disintegrated.
Disintegrated burlap layer on old balloon back chair

Replacing straw and burlap I can handle but what was waiting underneath, I was not prepared for.

Suddenly I had flashbacks of all the gatherings where this chair had been used and realized how forgiving the poor souls who had to endure hours with springs poking up their butts and never once complained or said a word. Talk about embarrassing.

You can see in the photo below the twine had broken in several spots, leaving those springs standing at attention.
Deteriorated spring twine on old balloon back chair

At this point, I am very nervous.
Loose springs in antique balloon back chair

After a good clean with the shop vac, I was very thankful to discover the webbing was still in good condition and that all four springs were still tightly attached.

Okay, now what?

Have I mentioned that I've never upholstered a chair before?

I've taken apart old chairs for someone else to upholster.

I've watched the pros do upholstery.

But never have I ever attempted to fix a chair from the inside out, especially an old one.

I called a coffee break and sat staring at those wonky springs while scratching my head.
Balloon Back Chair Makeover staged with fresh picked Peonies

Upholstery 101 - here we come

I remembered I bought the book The Complete Guide To Upholstery by Cherry Dobson several months back.

Thank You, Cherry Dobson, you are my new best friend! I can't recommend this book enough, it is chalk full of easy to follow tutorials.

Putting the chair back together again

One layer at a time, thanks to Cherry Dobson, we (as in Mr. Frugalista and I) managed to put the chair back together again.
Replacing the inside of an Antique Balloon Back Chair

...and here it is.
Antique Balloon Back Chair After Makeover

...and a close-up of the fabric and upholstery gimp trim.
 New fabric and gimp on antique balloon back chair

The before and after...
Antique Balloon Back Chair Makeover Before and After

The chair is being used in our guest bedroom with the dresser we repurposed into a Faux Secretary With Pull Out Desk Top.
Back of Balloon Back Chair After Makeover

Reupholstered Antique Balloon Back Chair with desk

When we inherited this antique chair we also inherited a lovely set of nesting tables. Like the chair, we used them often during gatherings but they started to show wear and tear. They ended up receiving a couple of makeovers, one of which you can find here in the post The Nests Got A Makeover.

If you have a chair makeover in your future or know someone who does, please share this with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

Antique Balloon Back Chair Makeover From Inside Out
Like home renovations, sometimes when you think you'll just give it a fresh update, you are surprised by what awaits underneath.

If I have any message to leave you with, it's that if I can successfully makeover a chair from the inside out, being my first attempt at upholstery, you definitely can too. With the right tools and resources at hand, IT CAN BE DONE.

You will find this project shared at these fabulous link parties.

Read More

The nests got a makeover (Again)

If you've been following me, the nesting tables I'm sharing today may look familiar. Mr. Frugalista inherited them from a family member several years ago. I loved these French Provincial nesting tables the moment I set eyes on them but the tops were warped and had a lot of scratches. For years I've contemplated having them refinished but it seemed like an overwhelming and expensive task.

Over the last two decades, they have sat in various nooks and crannies around our house. I have to admit, I was always a little embarrassed when they were used for gatherings. One day when I was out a few months ago Mr. Frugalista took matters into his own hands and while they did look better, I wasn't 100% pleased with the results.

So, I finally took the plunge and gave the nests one last makeover and I must say, I'm thrilled with the results.

Vintage Nesting Tables Makeover

The Nests Got A Makeover Again

Nesting Table Makeover with chalk paint and French Graphic

But before I go into the details of the latest makeover, I should show you what they looked like when we initially inherited them...

Vintage Nesting Tables Before Makeover

Here they are after Mr. Frugalista took a can of white gloss spray paint to them...

Vintage Nesting Tables spray painted high close white

I give him an A for effort and they certainly were an improvement but not exactly the look I had envisioned. We lived with them like that for about a year before I discovered the amazing Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™.

Nesting Table Makeover with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in Old White

I gave them two coats of chalk paint in the color Old White and distressed them lightly around the edges with 220 grit sandpaper for a timeworn look. Next, I protected the tables with a coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™  Clear Wax buffed to a beautiful matte finish. Then I rubbed Dark Wax into the crevices and removed the excess with a clean rag. 

Dark Wax Application Tip

Cut the bristles of a small chip brush down to about 1/2-inch with scissors. Give it a good rub with your fingers to remove any stray bristles. It works like a charm for getting into all those hard to reach crevices with dark wax. Remember to always remove the excess wax with a clean lint free rag.

You can see the dark wax nestled in the crevices of the tables pictured below...

Nesting Table Makeover after clear and dark wax

While I was swooning over the chalk paint and wax finish the nesting tables felt like they needed just a little something more. Inspired by others I saw on Pinterest where graphics had been added to the tops, I took a browse over at The Graphics Fairy website. She has amazing graphics with French Ephemera and I found the perfect Vintage Wine graphic to use on my tables.

Nesting table makeover with French Ephemera

I printed the image to the size I wanted on my laser printer and then placed a piece of carbon paper behind the printed graphic and traced the details with a pen. I find this method gives a nice dark transfer. Using black acrylic craft paint and a script liner art brush, I carefully painted over the details of the transfer.

While this may not be the easiest image transfer technique, I find it very relaxing and go into the zone

Vintage French Provincial Nesting Tables Before and After
I'm so pleased with the results and now when we host gathers, I'm not in the least embarrassed to serve drinks and food on these pretty French Provincial Nesting Tables.

You will find this project shared at these fabulous 
Read More