The Interior Frugalista: 2017

May 25, 2017

How To Transform A Vintage Bookcase Into A Farmhouse Cupboard

I'm on a mission - no new paint comes into the workshop until the existing paint cans are empty. Kind of a challenge when your mind steers toward all the colors you don't have.

The only vision I had going in was that I wanted this Vintage Double Glass Door Bookcase from 1957 to look like a Farmhouse Style Cupboard.

I hemmed and hawed about what color to paint it because it will be going to my booth. I had a strong urge to play it safe with white, which was very hard to resist considering I had a full can of white chalk paint in my stash.

Vintage Bookcase to Farmhouse Cabinet After

I had half a can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Old Violet leftover from Old Violet: A 1940's Waterfall Sideboard and another in Arles leftover from Waterfall Headboard Bench With Leather Hide Seat. While my brain said no, my gut said throw on the first coat and go from there...and so I did.

Vintage Bookcase To Farmhouse Cupboard with Chicken Wire Doors

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this makeover, I should mention that today is Furniture Fixer Uppers day. That means six talented furniture reimaginers coming together to bring you six fabulous furniture makeovers.

How To Transform A Vintage Bookcase Into A Farmhouse Cupboard

I was contacted by a local company who was in the process of moving and no longer had room in their much smaller office for this bookcase. Lucky for me I acquired it and this is what it looked like...

Vintage Bookcase Before Farmhouse Cupboard Transformation

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.

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May 11, 2017

How To Quickly Refresh A Perfectly Fine Wrought Iron Plant Stand

...and not feel guilty about it. We have a saying in our house, "if you stand still long enough, she'll paint you". Such was the case with this perfectly good wrought iron plant stand.

Aqua Painted Wrought Iron Plant Stand

There was absolutely nothing wrong with it but you know what? Just because we acquire something, whether it be from a family member or friend, doesn't mean we have to keep it in its original condition if we don't like the finish.

I loved the scroll detail and scalloped skirt around the top but I hated the dark antique bronze finish. In my mind, they were just begging for a pop of color.

Aqua Wrought Iron Plant Stand Makeover with Potted Mums

Same with those lovely curvy legs and scroll base...

Aqua Scalloped Wrought Iron Plant Stand Base

Besides, if I didn't give myself permission to make it my own, it would most likely end up in the corner of a room somewhere collecting dust.

This is normally where I share a before picture. As I was about to press the button on the spray paint can I asked myself if I'd taken a before picture. 100% certain that I had too lazy to go back inside to check, I got busy.

Ahem...imagine this plant stand in an antique bronze finish.

How To Quickly Refresh A Wrought Iron Plant Stand

I only needed these three supplies and an afternoon to get the job done.
Supplies for quick Aqua Wrought Iron Plant Stand Refresh
Disclosure: Below is the supplies I used to complete this project. Affiliate links are included so you can see what products I used or recommend. 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.

Supplies List

Painting The Plant Stand

Before painting the stand I gave it a good scrub, using a toothbrush to get into all the nooks and crannies. I made sure it was completely dry before applying the paint.

I sprayed two light coats of Aqua, letting the paint dry an hour between coats. My preference is to flip the piece upside down and paint the underside first.

Spray Painting Tips

Remember to always use spray paint outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
Shake the can for around a minute before use and often during use.
Hold the can around 10-12 inches from the surface.
Spray lightly in a back and forth motion in long steady strokes.
Wait an hour between coats.
Paint will be completely dry after 24-hours.

I wish I had the before picture to show you a comparison because this pretty Aqua made the plant stand come alive.
Wrought Iron Plant Stand spray painted Aqua

Adding A Protective Finish

Normally at this point, you would apply a clear coat protective finish but I had other plans. I wanted the beaded detail around the perimeter of the top and the scroll detail to be highlighted in white.

I imagined this plant stand being both indoors or outdoors and so using white wax was not an option. Instead, I applied white glaze and once fully cured (in about 3-weeks) it will provide a protective coat.

Aqua Wrought Iron Plant Stand with white glaze

Tips for applying glaze

Dip just the tips of an inexpensive chip brush in water to dampen (not saturate) the bristles. This helps the glaze move along the piece better. Next, dip just the tips into the white glaze and apply it over the paint in long brush strokes.

Normally you brush on glaze and immediately wipe off the excess. Instead, working in sections, I thinned the glaze by moving it with my brush over as much of the surface as I could before having to reload.

Scalloped detail on Aqua Wrought Iron Plant Stand Makeover

On the top, I applied the glaze much the same way in long even brush strokes. I left the glaze a little thicker in the nooks and crannies and divots in the metal, especially on the scrolls and beaded detail on the top.

White glaze over Aqua painted Wrought Iron Plant Stand

I love how the white glaze softened the Aqua paint color.

Quick Wrought Iron Plant Stand Makeover

Now that the wrought iron plant stand went from dark and boring to bright and fresh, I could see it welcoming guests on a front porch or adding a pop of color on a backyard deck.

 Aqua Wrought Iron Plant Stand Refresh

If taking a spray paint can to this wrought iron plant stand makes the difference between it being put to good use or hiding in the basement, then doesn't it make sense to paint it...guilt free?

I hope I've inspired you to pick up a can of spray paint if it means putting that acquired plant stand or metal furniture to good use.

You will find this project linked to these fabulous PARTIES.

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May 4, 2017

10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas for those living in long-term care

If you've been following me since the Fall then you'll remember back in October we made the difficult decision to move my Mom into a long-term care facility. As the first Mother's Day since her move approaches, I'm struggling with gift ideas. What do you get when Mom only has a small hospital-like room? The gift can't take up much room, shouldn't be too valuable that it risks being stolen,  and falls within the facility's safety guidelines.

As I struggle to come up with ideas I thought perhaps some of you may be experiencing the same challenge. So today I'm sharing 10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas that provide comfort, hold precious memories, and hopefully bring joy for Moms, Mother-in-laws or Grandmothers living in long-term care.

*This Mother's Day Gift Idea Collection has affiliate links which mean that 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.

10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas

For Those Living In Long-Term Care

CLICK ON IMAGES or TEXT to be redirected to Amazon for product details and/or to purchase these great items.

You Are Loved, Throw Pillow

As soon as I saw the sentiment on this pretty pillow my heart melted. What a lovely daily reminder to have on a bedside chair or at the head of their otherwise institutional looking hospital bed.

Twin Patchwork Bedspread

Most long-term care facilities encourage personal blankets or bedspreads to give the room a homey feel. As we recently learned, an expensive duvet can mysteriously disappear. This pretty patchwork quilt style not only conjures feelings of comfort but is inexpensive and machine washable.

Lavender Skin Lotion

Frail skin tends to get so dry and the staff at Mom's facility encourages us to keep a supply of body lotion on hand for them to apply before bedtime. The scent of lavender should help calm and relax Mom before bed.

Paper Flower Arrangement

While flowers are always beautiful, sometimes it is a danger to have real plants within arm's reach, especially with Alzheimer's patients. This is a great alternative that keeps on giving colorful blooms throughout the year.

Floral Hospital Gown

It is difficult for staff to put a regular nightgown over Mom's head now that she can no longer dress. These pretty floral polycotton open back gowns provide complete coverage but make it easy for the staff to slip on and off.


With Mom in a wheelchair, it is so much easier, and I'm sure more comfortable, to put a pair of slippers on rather than shoes. The hook and loop strap on these pretty Champagne color velour slippers it much easier for staff to slip on and off. They come in multiple colors pretty colors too.

8-inch Digital Photo Frame

I love the idea of family being able to upload photographs into a digital photo frame. I especially like that this frame comes with an auto On/Off Timer so the light from the screen isn't bothersome at night. Even better is that it has a video player so you can upload video clips of special events she may have missed.
M808z 8-inch 800x600 High-Resolution Digital Photo Frame - Micca

Multi Picture Hanging Display Frame

If the facility your loved one is in does not allow digital photo frames because of the electrical cord factor, this is a great alternative. I love how this has 30 clips and adjustable twine so family can easily interchange photos with recent events. 

Inspirational Wall Art

I think the sentiment on this adorable Metal Pigeon Heart Garden Wall Art is so fitting. It could be hung on the wall with a photo collage or on the room door.

Summer Wreath

Most facilities encourage hanging wreaths on the doors for a personal touch but also so the residents can easily identify their rooms. This pink peony wreath is so pretty for Summer and at only 14-inches, perfect to hang on a room door.

I hope you were inspired by these gift ideas and found the perfect gift for your loved one.

Happy Mother's Day

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April 27, 2017

Queen Anne Table Cooled With Icicle

One drawback to living in the most northern metropolitan city in North America is that snow and ice are not uncommon in April. That's exactly what was going on outside while working on this month's furniture makeover for the Furniture Fixer Uppers series. While bundled in a sweater to ward off the cold, I couldn't have picked a more suitable paint color for the Queen Anne Side Table I'm sharing today.

Queen Anne Side Table Makeover

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the makeover I'd like to get a little personal, if I could.

I want to share something about the vignette I created for the photographs.

Those of you who have been following my blog know that my Mom has been battling Alzheimer's. Before this nasty disease took over her brain she was an artist. In her early 50's, after having raised seven children, she started painting classes at a nearby senior's center.

Ironically, that senior's center is next door to the long-term care facility where she now resides. In fact, her former instructor's paintings are hanging on the walls throughout the care facility.

While the creative spirit in Mom is no longer, the artist and her work live on. The painting hanging above my little Queen Anne table that I'm sharing today is one of many of Mom's works of art.

Mom's Painting Over Queen Anne Side Table Makeover
Whew, that was hard to write. Anyway, moving on - let us get to the meat and potatoes of today's makeover.

Queen Anne Carved Shell Side Table Makeover

This is what the table looked like before...
Queen Anne Side Table Before

Looking at the close-up photo below of the missing veneer, one would assume that the burled wood grain went deeper than the veneer.

Queen Anne Side Table with damaged veneer
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.

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April 20, 2017

How To Easily DIY A Rustic Farmhouse Tray

It is time for another Power Tool Challenge and the members of the team have been assigned the task of building a tray. Who couldn't use a tray, right?

If you spend any time on Pinterest you've probably noticed the popularity of Wooden Word Art Farmhouse Signs. I've been wanting to build one for the longest time and when I heard about this month's theme, I decided to spin mine into a Rustic Word Art Farmhouse Tray with a copper twist.

Rustic Word Art Farmhouse Tray
These are the materials I used to make mine...
DIY Rustic Farmhouse Tray Supplies
Affiliate links have been included in this post so you can see what products I used or recommend to build this project. There are no additional costs to you if you make a purchase and I will receive a small percentage to support my blogging wardrobe with a fresh new set of pajamas (don't judge). See my full disclosure policy.

Materials List

White Melamine Particle Board
Pine 1 x 2 Lumber
Wood Construction Glue
2 Copper Drawer Pulls
Bar Keepers Friend
Metallic Bronze Sharpie Marker
Fusion Mineral Paint Picket Fence
Minwax Wood Finish Stain Dark Walnut
Dixie Belle Paint Company Gator Hide Poly
Countersink Bore Drill Bit
3/4-inch Drill Bit
Laser Printer
Graphite Paper
1 1/2-inch Brad Nails
Wood Handle Awl

Tool List

Table saw
Miter saw
Power drill
Pneumatic nail gun and compressor

Cut Wood Sizes

Wood Pieces Cut For DIY Farmhouse Tray
The white melamine particle board top was cut with a table saw. If you don't have a table saw, most home improvement stores will cut a sheet to your size preference.

The 10-inch pine 1 x 2 boards are for the end rails of the tray and the hardware will be mounted on them. The 16 ½-inch pine 1 x 2 boards are for the side rails. Both were cut using a miter saw and the tray will be assembled with a simple butt joint.

How To DIY A Rustic Farmhouse Tray

DIY Farmhouse Tray with A Copper Twist

Cleaning copper drawer pulls

Notice how shiny the copper drawer pulls are in the photo above? In the photo below you can see how dirty they were from years of grime. Nasty but the price was right. They were included in a Lot of assorted hardware at a local auction. 

I looked high and low for Bar Keepers Friend to clean them and when I couldn't find any at Canadian retailers I soaked them in vinegar (lemon juice and borax will also work) overnight and scrubbed them with a general purpose scouring pad, being careful not to scratch the metal.

Tarnished Copper Pulls for DIY Farmhouse Tray

Chalk paint tray top

To get a smooth finish and avoid brush strokes, I rolled the Picket Fence color mineral paint over the top with a foam roller.
Rolling Chalk Paint On DIY Farmhouse Tray

Image Transfer onto tray

I created the word art in PicMonkey for the top of the tray and printed it on legal size bond paper. To transfer the graphic onto the painted tray top, I centered the paper and secured it with painter's tape. Next, I slipped a piece of graphite paper underneath and traced over each letter with a pen.
Graphite Paper Image Transfer On DIY Farmhouse Tray
To get a unwatermarked copy of the graphic to use for non-commercial use, press the image below.

I went over the transferred graphic with a Metallic Bronze Sharpie Pen to get the look of copper to match the drawer pulls.
Metallic Copper Word Art Ink on DIY Farmhouse Tray

Waterproof Protection

I waited several hours to be sure the ink was completely dry before applying two coats of poly called Gator Hide by Dixie Belle Paint Company. Considering liquids may be spilled on the tray, I wanted waterproof protection over top the melamine.
Waterproof Poly Protection on DIY Farmhouse Tray

Staining the side rails

To make it easier, I stained the wood tray rails before assembly. I love dark walnut stain for a rustic farmhouse look. I applied just one coat with a lint-free rag.
Dark Walnut Stain on rails of Rustic Farmhouse Tray

Pre-drilling holes for hardware

It's important that the hardware is mounted on the side rails before assembly because part of the screws will be concealed beneath the melamine base (see photo after the one below). 

Tip for marking screw holes for handles

  • Cut a piece of painter's tape the same length as the 10-inch pine board.
  • Mark the center both horizontally and vertically with an +.
  • Center the drawer pull over the mark on the tape.
  • Press firmly onto the tape to make an imprint of the posts on the hardware.
  • Use a square or measuring tape to ensure the imprints are straight on the board (we don't want crooked handles).
  • With an Awl, pierce a hole in the center of each mark.

Drill holes using a drill bit around the same size as the screws for the drawer pulls.    
Countersinking holes for handles on DIY Farmhouse Tray
Using a countersink bit (as pictured above), countersink the holes so the heads of the screws do not interfere with the base of the tray (as seen below).
Drawer Pull Handles mounted on Rustic Farmhouse Tray

Assembling the tray

Starting with the handle rails, run a bead of construction glue along the edge of the tray base then using a pneumatic nail gun and 1 ½-inch nails, attach them to the base. Caution: make sure you hit the nail in the center of the base otherwise you'll have nails sticking up over the top or bottom of the tray.

Next butt the joints together for the sides and attach them to the base as above. Nail the corners at the top (as seen below). I didn't try to conceal the nails with filler because I think they add to the rustic charm of the tray.
DIY Rustic Farmhouse Tray assembled with pneumatic nail gun
I love how I have the look of a Farmhouse Word Art Sign in the form of a Rustic Farmhouse Coffee Tray.
DIY Rustic Farmhouse Tray

How To Easily Build A Rustic Wooden Word Art Farmhouse Tray

Before I send you off to see the trays my friends on the Power Tool Challenge Team made, here is a recap of other rustic projects I made for previous challenges. Like this Coffee Mug Holder I made for my daughter's kitchen. I also made a Pallet Wall Art trio for my grandson's nursery. One of my favorite projects was using antique chair spindles to build four DIY Wooden Garden Caddies with French Graphics.

Power Tool Challenge Team Projects

Power Tool Challenge Team DIY Tray Tutorials

Designed D├ęcor - DIY Serving Tray 
Virginia Sweet Pea - DIY Farmhouse Style Tray 
My Repurposed Life - DIY Tray Using Metal Tiles 
My Love 2 Create - DIY Chalkboard Serving Tray 
Create And Babble - DIY Wooden Quilt Square Tray 
The Kim Six Fix - Easy Hexagonal Tray 
Domestically Speaking - DIY Coastal Tray 

You will find this project linked to these fabulous LINK PARTIES.

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