10 Most Popular Posts of 2015 (A Year In Review)

Hi Everyone,  I hope you had a lovely Christmas with those you hold near and dear.  Can you believe it's the eve of the last day of 2015?  It feels like it was just yesterday that I was sitting on the beach with my sister and Mr. Frugalista enjoying a bottle of wine during our Summer vacation!

As I do at the close of every year, I spent some quiet Me time reflecting on the blessings, gifts, lessons, and challenges of 2015.  In the spirit of reflection, today I'm sharing the 10 Most Popular Posts of 2015 on The Interior Frugalista.

A Year In Review 2015

10 Most Popular Posts of 2015

When I checked my blog analytics, some of the posts that made the list surprised me. You think the posts that were the most time consuming and challenging would be the ones that would make the list, but oftentimes it's the quick and easy projects that are the most popular.

So without further ado, let's start with the 10th most viewed post in 2015...

10th Most Viewed Post - How To Make An Ordinary Mirror Look Antique

How To Make An Ordinary Mirror Look Antique
I turned an inexpensive mirror purchased at Wal-Mart into fabulous wall art for our dining room.  It was so easy to make and has become the focal point in our dining room.

Tutorial to transform an inexpensive mirror into a Antiqued style

9th Most Viewed Post - Black Old World Map Table

This was a fun makeover!  I used Old World Map wrapping paper, black chalk paint, and dark wax to transform a table that I picked up at a local online auction.

Black Old World Map Coffee Table

8th Most Viewed Post - Garden Bench For Two

We bought a headboard and footboard for a great price one summer afternoon and stored it under a tarp for the winter. A little critter decided it made the perfect All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet! After some DIY TLC, it made the perfect garden bench.

DIY Headboard and Footboard Garden Bench for Two

7th Most Viewed Post - Queen Anne Armchairs Makeover

I did the happy dance when we picked these armchairs up on Kijiji for a song.  After a makeover with chalk paint and new upholstery, they made a perfect pair for in front of our living room window!

Armchairs purchased on Kijiji After A DIY Makeover

6th Most Viewed Post - From Headboard to Dining Bench

When we picked up this headboard and footboard at a thrift store, I knew they would make the perfect bench for our Duncan Phyfe Style Dining Table.

Headboard and footboard transformed into upholstered dining bench

5th Most Viewed Post - Fall Wreath With Scrabble Tile Banner

This is one of those projects that surprised me with its popularity.  It took all of 15 minutes to make and I almost felt guilty posting it in the Fall Ideas Tour.

Easy DIY Fall Wreath

4th Most Viewed Post - Duncan Phyfe Dining Table Makeover

We picked this Duncan Phyfe style dining table up at Goodwill for under $50.00.  I knew as soon as I saw it, that its new home would be in our dining room.  I'm thrilled with the results of the makeover and how beautiful it looks with our built-in china cabinet!

Thrift store Duncan Phyfe Style Dining Table Makeover

3rd Most Viewed Post - Restoration Hardware Inspired French Secretary Desk

French Secretary Desk Makeover
This small Secretary Desk was one of those red stained mahogany pieces with brass hardware that were so popular in the day. When I got my hands on it I gave it a makeover with a Parisian flair. Think Bombay Store meets Restoration Hardware!

French Secretary Desk Makeover

2nd Most Viewed Post - Built-In Bedroom Window Seat and Bookcase

Built-In Bookcase and Window Seat for the Master Bedroom
Since buying this house almost two decades ago, I had envisioned a window seat overlooking our back yard. We are fortunate to have a private yard with mature trees that backs onto a green belt. When we had the window opening enlarged and the window replaced, my vision became a reality.

DIY Built In Bookcase and Window Seat

Most Viewed Post of 2015 - 70's Coffee Table To Upholstered Bench

From 70's Coffee Table to Upholstered Bench
I made this bench for my son and his girlfriend for their new home.  It's been a hit both on my blog and in real time.  I'm happy to report that it's held up well in their high traffic front entry.

1970's Coffee Table Transformed Into An Upholstered Bench

It has been such an amazing blogging year and so much fun to look back at all the projects completed over the year.  What I've enjoyed most, are the friendships and connections that I've made through this little corner of the blogosphere.

I would like to take this time to give a BIG Thank You to each and every one of you for taking the time out of your busy lives to stop by for a visit.  I value your friendship, readership, comments, support, and encouragement more than you know.

Wishing you all a
Happy, Healthy, Prosperous, and Creative
New Year!

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It's a DIY Christmas after all!

Good Morning Everyone! Are you guys ready for the big day? I finally have the halls decked, the baking boxed, the wine fridge stocked, the party hosted, and the presents delivered. Now it's time to do some serious chillaxing.

Before I get too comfy in my armchair by the fire, I thought I would share a tour of some of our holiday decor, most of it handmade by Moi because It's A DIY Christmas after all!

Let's start right where I'm sitting by the fire.

DIY Skating Silhouette Pillows and wooden sleigh makeover

If you only saw that wooden sleigh two weeks ago.  I picked it up at Goodwill for $15.00 and it was UGLY.  First I had to eject poor dusty old Santa and his sack of toys from the sleigh.  Then I sanded, painted, stenciled, and waxed er all up and she's as good as new.  You might recognize the stencils I used from Funky Junk Interior's stencil line.

The Skating Silhouette Pillows I made last year in the wee hours of the morning during a sleepless night after consuming one too many a coffee at Starbucks with a friend.

Fireplace mantel Dickens Christmas Village

I set up our Dicken's Christmas Village on our fireplace mantel for the first time. A lot of the buildings and figurines were passed down from my Mom & Dad. Normally I set it up in our basement family room underneath our second Christmas Tree, but this year I gave all the basement decorations to my children because we hardly go down there since they left the roost. 

Dickens Christmas Village on fireplace mantel

On one of the bookcase shelves flanking the fireplace, I added a wooden church that I decoupaged with sheet music and added snow-tex and glitter.  The miniature tree was a craft the kids made during our annual sleigh ride at Fort Edmonton Park many years ago.

Decoupaged sheet music church

On another shelf, I filled the inside of a cloche that I made from a glass dome and furniture knob with gold Christmas Balls. The wooden sleigh was another Goodwill find that I painted red. The block letters were purchased two years ago at the Dollar Store and painted Holiday Red, Metallic Gold, and old white.

DIY holiday vignette

In front of the window are the Armchairs that we picked up for a song and reupholstered. To add a festive touch I made pocket pillow covers with red chenille leftover from stockings I sewed a couple of years ago.  I hot glued white pom poms to the front and using heat & bond, attached leftover fabric from table runners that I made last year.  The tree top is a round mirror with a clear gemstone sticker glued on top.

DIY Chenille Holiday Pillow Cover

On the other side of the fireplace is our Christmas Tree.  This is the first year in a long time that I haven't wrapped wired ribbon around it.  I've got to say, it was quite liberating!

This year I wanted a less formal tree using decorations from my childhood, vintage decorations purchased here and there, DIY ornaments, and cherished ornaments given to us over the last three decades from family and friends during annual ornament exchanges.  Every decoration on the tree has a story!

Christmas Tree filled with vintage ornaments

Let's move into the dining room where I've hung mercury and milk glass ornaments from the chandelier with red and white ribbon.

Mercury and Milk Glass Ornaments hung from a chandelier

From the dining room, we move to the kitchen where I enjoyed some chalk therapy one afternoon. There is those stencils again!

Chalkboard Christmas Advent Calendar

Down the hall on the way to the loo, I added some Christmas to our gallery wall. The wreath hanging from the mirror came from my sweet friend in Germany. The felt FAITH banner was made by another sweet friend from the UK.

Hallway Gallery Wall decorated for the holidays

As you head down the stairs to our front entry, I decorated our banister with lighted evergreen garland and hung the chenille Stiletto and Hockey Skate stockings with care.

DIY Stiletto and Hockey Skate Stockings

My thrift store wreath embellished with holiday picks and ornaments hangs on the large entry mirror.

Thrift store wreath embellished for the holidays

You may remember these Large DIY Holiday Lanterns from the Home For Christmas Tour last week. They light the path for guests during the holidays and long into the dark winter months.

DIY Outdoor Holiday Lanterns

If you like my DIY Christmas decorating ideas, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

DIY Christmas home tour

You may also like the fun Wood Slice Holiday Coasters I made for cocktail hour. I also turned patio candle holders into Large Lighted Holiday Ornaments.

May the peace and blessings of Christmas be yours!

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DIY Holiday Pallet Wood Centerpiece Box {Guest Post}

Hi Everyone,

Are you ready for Christmas?  Whew, it's been a race to the finish line over here as I prepare for our annual Sleigh Ride Open House this weekend.  I'm so looking forward to visiting with family and friends, watching holiday movies, and relaxing over the holidays.

Do you miss the scent of a real Christmas Tree?  I sure do and I find that pine scented candles and room sprays just don't cut it.  So I came up with a way to get the scent and a beautiful centerpiece too.

Today I'm thrilled to be sharing my DIY Holiday Pallet Wood Centerpiece Box with Fresh Greens Tutorial over at my friend Larissa's blog at Prodigal Pieces.  I'd love it if you popped over for a visit to say hello and check out the tutorial HERE!

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Canadian Prairie Girl's maiden voyage to Hobby Lobby!

Last week  I accompanied Mr. Frugalista to Southern Ontario to attend his Christmas party. We arrived a few days before the function so my friend Denise and I could do some retail therapy while the boy's were at work (her husband is a colleague of Mr. Frugalista).  On the first day, she and I headed across the border to Niagara Falls, New York.

Since I started blogging, I've been seething with envy reading about all the amazing finds my friends to the south have found at places like Joannes, Target (the Canadian stores were not the same), Kirklands, and Hobby Lobby.  Now you have to remember, I live in the Canadian prairies where border crossings to the U.S. are more than a day trip.

Canadian Prairie Girls Maiden Voyage to Hobby Lobby and Kirklands

Denise and I pull into a parking lot and on the building in front of us I see those two red neon words and I swear I heard angels sing and beams coming off each letter.  My heart rate sped up and I couldn't get out of that car fast enough.

This is where I should be inserting a photo of me in front of the store beaming ear-to-ear while wiping sweat from my brow.

We enter, my friend heads towards the washrooms and I am left standing in the doorway with my mouth dropped down to my toes. I look to the left, then to the right, a few steps ahead and I can't move. Like how do you choose an aisle when you just want to run in every which direction?

An adorable wood and metal sleigh ornament

Denise found me in the Christmas aisle and I'm like a kid in a candy store.  Shouting across the aisles, "OMG, look at that!" "Did you see this?" "I can't believe these prices!"  And so we walked, and walked, and walked as my shopping cart got fuller and fuller.

This is where I should be inserting a photo of my overflowing shopping cart but who has time to pull out a camera phone! 

Then we hit the furniture hardware aisle.  I swear I could have sat on the floor in the middle of the aisle crying like a baby.  Too much eye candy for this prairie girl to comprehend.  How do you pick when there are so many choices?   Needless to say, that heavy bag went into Mr. Frugalista's suitcase.

An assortment of furniture knobs purchased at Hobby Lobby

Three hours of pure retail joy and I could have easily gone for another three.  I think Hobby Lobby needs a Starbucks in the center of their stores.  Shop for three, stop for an espresso to refuel, and keep on keeping on.

Red metal steaming coffee mug wall art

Then we went to Kirklands. H-E-double hockey sticks yah!!! A repeat performance by this Prairie Girl who clearly has to get out of her bubble more often.

Large metal coffee mug to hold Keurig K-cups from Kirklands

Isn't that metal coffee mug just adorable and so perfect to hold k-cups!  How could I resist this Merry pillow - the green color is so perfect with my color scheme.

Green Merry holiday lumbar pillow from Kirklands

I have a thing for birds and when I saw this little shiny Noel Cardinal I couldn't resist. See the adorable skate toothpick holder on the right? I don't know how it happened, but things seemed to be landing in my shopping cart.

Silver Noel Bird and Skate Toothpick Holder from Kirklands

On Saturday morning, Mr. Frugalista and I went shopping again,..for a duffle bag to carry all this crap retail goodness home on the plane!

This is where I should be inserting a photo of me slumped in a chair at the Air Canada Lounge with two bulging carry-on bags at my side.

Now that I'm back home and recovering (my post surgery knees are killing me), it's time to put away the craft apron and put on the baking apron.  So while I'm getting messy with some flour and a rolling pin, I want to remind you that this week at the DIY Sunday Showcase Party we are hosting a $120.00 Paypal Cash Giveaway.  Who couldn't use extra cash during the holidays!   One lucky winner will be announced at next week's party.

Paypal Cash Giveaway at the DIY Sunday Showcase Party this week

Are you all ready for the holidays?  If you're chillaxing with a hot beverage and want to enjoy some Christmas pretty, check out the Christmas Ideas Tour where 28 bloggers shared four days of holiday inspiration starting with mantels, then wreaths, tablescapes, and thrifty crafts.   That is where I joined the tour and shared my Patio Candleholders Repurposed for the Holidays.

Patio Candleholders Repurposed for the Holidays for the Christmas Ideas Tour

There was also the Home For Christmas blog hop hosted by Hometalk.com and CountryLiving.com where over 150 bloggers shared their DIY holiday inspiration.  You can follow that fabulous blog hop where I share my Large Outdoor DIY Holiday Lanterns that we made to flank our front door.

Large DIY Holiday Lanterns for the Home For Christmas blog hop

My most popular posts during the holidays for the last three years has been my Eight Easy Steps to Decorating Outdoor Pots for the Holidays where I share a tutorial on how to fill outdoor flower pots with fresh greens.
Decorating Outdoor Urns with Natural Greens for the Holidays Tutorial
Once I incorporate all my recent purchases (the ones that were not gifts) into my holiday decorating vignettes, I'll be sharing more pictures with you next week.  Oh, Hobby Lobby and Kirklands, how I wish thee were in Canada!

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Grandpa's Dining Table got a new look!

Good Morning everyone!  I thought I'd sprinkle a furniture makeover in between the holiday decorating posts I've been sharing with you these days.

One of my awesome blog readers who I've never met or don't know by name told her daughter about my blog. Her daughter then contacted me about doing a makeover on her grandfather's dining table. She recently renovated her home and wanted to keep the table for her dining room. Many emails transpired over several weeks and the end result was Grandpa's Dining Table got this new look!

A client's Grandpa's dining table makeover After

This is what the table used to look like...

Grandpa's Table Makeover Before

It took only moments for me to realize the top of the table was a very thin veneer and so I had to sand it VERY carefully. Using a 1/2 Sheet Sander with 100 grit sandpaper I removed the shiny finish. Next I switched to 180 grit sandpaper, being careful not to press too firmly. The remainder of the finish that I couldn't get off was removed by hand with 220 grit sandpaper. It was labor intensive but worth the extra time to get down to the bare wood.

Grandpa's Table Makeover custom chalk paint color to match chairs

I sanded the base of the table lightly to give it some bite for the chalk paint to adhere. Then I mixed a custom white paint color to match the new dining chairs purchased for this table. It took a little playing but as you can see in the photo above, it's pretty darn good match!

Grandpa's table makeover after first coat of stain

I applied one coat of Minwax Wood Finish in Dark Walnut.  I only left the stain on for five minutes before wiping off the excess because we didn't want the table to look too dark.  You can see in the photo above it was coming off a little orangey.

Grandpa's Table Makeover after second coat of stain

The picture above of one of the table leaves is after a light second coat of stain and that did the trick! I really like how beautifully the stain color looks with the painted base.

Grandpa's Dining Table Makeover with white chalk paint base and Dark Walnut stained top

The entire table was protected with four coats of satin Minwax Polycrylic that was sprayed on with my shop workhorse, the HomeRight Finish Max Pro Paint Sprayer. I'm not being compensated by Minwax or HomeRight for this post - just sharing the love. Look how smooth that top looks!

Grandpa's Table Makeover with sprayed on Minwax Polycrylic finish

I had to add a little Christmas bling for the photos.

Grandpa's Dining Table Makeover with some Christmas bling

I always get so nervous before a client reveal, but I'm pleased to say that she and her husband were happy with the makeover!

Grandpa's Table Makeover with white chalk painted base and dark walnut stained top

Another look at the Dark Walnut top and Custom White Chalkk Painted Base on Grandpa's Dining Table Makeover

...and when a client goes home happy, then I'm happy.

Grandpa's Dining Table Makeover After

Now it's time to get messy with some flour, a rolling pin, and an oven!

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Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Holiday Lanterns

I love the look of large metal lanterns flanking a front door during the holidays and I've been wanting some for our home for a few years. But unfortunately, at a price tag of around $100 a piece, they are way over our budget. Being one who never lets a tight budget hold me back from having the things I love for our home, we put our DIY savvy skills to work and made our own large DIY outdoor lanterns with scrap wood that conveniently turn on and off on timers.

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Holiday Lanterns

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Holiday Lanterns

I love how they look nestled in our planters flanking the front door to welcome guests during the holidays. With the festive holiday ribbon removed, they could be used all winter long.

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Holiday Lanterns Flanking Front Door

These are the supplies we used to make our lanterns.

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Holiday Lantern Supplies
Affiliate links are included in this post for your convenience so you can see what products I used or recommend to make these lanterns. See my disclosure policy.

Supply List

2" x 2" x 8' lumber (salvaged from our DIY Patio Water Wall)
2 fence post caps
trim salvaged from our 80's Wall Unit Hack)
wooden pulls (salvaged from old dresser)
1 piano hinge (leftover from Master Bedroom Built-In Window Seat)
1 sheet of 2' x 4' Acrylic Clear Lighting Panels
2 cans Rust-oleum Hammered Metal Black Spray Paint
2 sets Lighted Outdoor Branches
2 rolls of wired holiday ribbon (salvaged from last year's Christmas Tree)
1 strand of faux pine garland
2 strands of frosted berry garland (with 50% coupon)

Glass panels would have cost approximately $60 and Plexiglass would have cost $80, so we needed a more cost-effective alternative. That's when we found the next best thing at a cost of $7.50. It's called Acrylic Clear Prisma Square Lighting Lens Panels used for overhead fluorescent light fixtures and comes in 2' x 4' sheets with different profiles.


Step 1 - Dado cuts to accommodate acrylic panels

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Lanterns Dado Cuts On Uprights

  • 2" x 2" lumber cut 24-inches long.
  • 1/2" deep dado cuts to accommodate 6-inches wide acrylic panels.
  • Dados cut 1/2" from the outside edge with a table saw.

Step 2 - Attach the base

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Laterns Base
  • The base is 3/4" plywood cut into an 8-inch square (we made one for the top as well).
  • Uprights attached to the base with wood screws.

Step 3 - Build a decorative top

Large DIY Outdoor Lanterns Scrap Wood Top With Handle

  • Salvaged wood pulls screwed from the bottom onto each post cap.
  • A 7-inch square piece of 3/4" plywood screwed from the bottom onto the post caps.
  • An 8-inch square piece of 3/4" plywood screwed from the bottom onto the 7-inch piece of plywood.
  • Salvaged trim cut at a 45° angle with a miter saw.
  • To allow clearance for the top to open, cut away the bottom half of the trim on the back side only.
  • Trim attached to the 8-inch base using wood glue and 1 1/2" brad nails.
  • Gaps filled with wood filler and sanded smooth once dry.
  • Piano hinge cut with a hacksaw approximately 7-inches long.
  • Drill new holes into the piano hinge to line up with uprights.
  • The piano hinge was attached to the bottom of the lid first and then to the uprights.

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Lanterns Hinged Top

Step 4 - Drill hole for lighted branches

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Holiday Lanterns Base
With a 2-inch hole drill bit, cut a hole in the center of each lantern base to accommodate the lighted branches.

Step 5 - Paint the lanterns

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Lanterns Painted Black
Spray three coats of Rust-oleum Hammered Metal Black spray paint.

Step 6 - Install the lights

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Lanterns Light Installation

Tip for planting and decorating large flower pots and urns

Fill outdoor planters 2/3 full with pea gravel. Use plastic inserts (as pictured above) filled with dirt to set inside outdoor planters. This is very handy if you live in a cold climate like ours where the dirt freezes, making decorating the planters impossible.

The plastic inserts can be brought indoors to decorate in the comfort of your warm home. Inserts also make it convenient to plant flowers in the Spring because you can plant them on a table or potting bench first and simply pop the planted inserts into the flower pots when you're done. Much easier on the back!

Back to the lanterns...
Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Lanterns Concealing Light Cords
Push stems of the lighted trees firmly into the dirt of the insert. Pull the electrical cord underneath the lantern and outside of the plastic insert.

Step 7 - Add Acrylic Panels

I have to apologize for not including photos of this step. I was sure I took some but can't find the files anywhere on my devices.

Use a straight edge and Exacto knife to cut the panels to fit inside the dados (6" x 24") and slide each acrylic panel into the dados.

Step 8 - Secure the lantern to the plastic insert

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Lanterns With Acrylic Light Panels
With #6 3/4" wood screws, secure the base of the lantern under the lip of the plastic insert. Repeat this step on all four corners to firmly secure the lantern so it doesn't topple over during strong winds

Step 9 - Tie festive bows to the handles

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Lanterns With Festive Holiday Ribbon
Tie festive bows onto each handle. I salvaged holiday wired ribbon from our Christmas tree last year that we are no longer using.

I'm all thumbs when it comes to making bows so I use this bow maker tool.

Step 10 - Decorate the base with faux evergreens

Large DIY Outdoor Holiday Lanterns Faux Evergreen Garland

  • Cut a strand of pine garland in half using wire cutters. 
  • Wrap a strand of frosted berry garland onto each half and secure with floral wire. 
  • Insert the lanterns with plastic pot base into large garden pots or urns.
  • Wrap the pine garland around each base and tie two branches together in the back to secure.

Large DIY Outdoor Holiday Lanterns With Festive Holiday Bow

This is what the lanterns look like during the daylight hours. If you look closely in the photo below you can see snowflakes that just started falling as I was taking the pictures.

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Holiday Lanterns In Daylight

What a difference a few hours makes, pictured below are the lanterns at night after a layer of freshly fallen snow.

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Holiday Lanterns At Night

A close up of one lantern during the day.

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Holiday Lantern Flanking Front Door

A close up of the same lantern at night after a snowfall.

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Holiday Lantern Flanking Front Door At Night

I'm really pleased with how unique our large outdoor scrap wood lanterns look and they've certainly been getting attention in the neighborhood. I'm so happy to finally have large lanterns flanking the front door like the homes I so admire during the holidays. Can't beat the price we paid to make ours compared to those that over our budget in the stores.

Here's another idea for outdoor holiday lighting. We turned metal patio candle holders into Large Lighted Hanging Ornaments for the tree in our front yard.

Large DIY Outdoor Scrap Wood Holiday Lanterns

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