How to Furnish Your Walls at the Thrift Store

Gallery wall made from thrifted items!

I have a hard time spending a lot of money on wall art. I feel horrible saying that. I got my Bachelor’s degree in art, so I – of all people – totally understand the effort and talent that’s required to create good art. Honestly, I’m just cheap. While I might occasionally splurge for a print or photo I really love, my home is hardly a museum. I can’t afford to fill my walls top to bottom with one-of-a-kind art pieces. Continue Reading

How To: Bed Bug Free Thrifting

created at: 09/29/2010

Two months ago I got clean. I stopped buying used furniture and other cast-off household decor. Until last Friday. One little left hand turn off the road to Lowes and I was back at my favorite Goodwill store. Oh so what?  I’m not throwing my money away. I’m making charitable contributions. It was different this time. (I mostly bought slick surfaced goodies.)See, my new session of upholstery classes started Wednesday night and one of my favorite students, Nikkole, was back. Continue Reading

Two Silver Leaf Lamp Makeovers

As far as I know nobody but nobody decorates with shiny brass anymore. That means there’s a boatload of cast-off brass lamps available for transformation. Abby saw beyond the brass, got to work with some silver leaf, and spruced up this reject to a more understated elegance. Now it coordinates with another one of her rescued lamp makeovers.

So these are the BEFORE pics.

Silver leaf, new shades and Voila’. You can see how Abby transformed the shiny brass here and how she figured out how to tone down the shiny silver leaf on the second lamp when it looked a little too much like aluminum foil. Continue Reading

Goodwill Kid’s Rocker Moroccan Makeover

created at: 06/30/2010

One late afternoon I stopped into my local Goodwill store. Immediately, I spied this vintage child’s rocker in the furniture area priced at a measly $6.99. Old, worn out, and saggy, I was a little interested, but not quite sold until I saw someone else become very interested in it. It was ON! I slinked around looking at other junk, all crouched down and ready to pounce if he put it back. I spent a minute or so looking for wooden trays and then peeked back around and saw he had passed on it. Continue Reading

Dear Goodwill, Are You Getting Too Big For Your Secondhand Britches?

created at: 03/25/2010

Image: Shelly Miller Leer

Table purchased Saturday at a city wide 1/2 price sale at Goodwill.

In one out of ten posts I usually mention a shopping trip to Goodwill. For me, it’s Mecca, one of my favorite places to relax and do some serious creative thinking. I promote you; I laud you on your good works and pure mission, etc. However, the prices on used furniture and furnishings have skyrocketed beyond realistic value. I mean, come on!!! Continue Reading

Wednesday Night Upholstery: Before and After

created at: 2009-07-16

Classes are filling and expanding. I wish everyone could come to my home studio (basement) and learn fast and easy techniques to transform your Goodwill trashy furniture into upcycled beauties.  The new class started last night and each one brought a simple piece and a difficult piece. We got started on the easy ones first to get the feel of the tools, staple gun, and to fully understand why upholsterers charge the prices they do. Here’s a perfect example of Beginner’s Instant Gratification. Continue Reading

DIY These Fancy Felt Wine Carriers

created at: 2009-05-19created at: 2009-05-19

You can’t imagine my joy when I read the ApartmentTherapy LA post today informing us that felt showed up as a sure trend at ICFF. For so many reasons, felt is fabulous! It’s natural, insulative, easy to sew, easy to mold, comes in various thicknesses and colors and it doesn’t fray or ravel.

created at: 2009-05-19

It’s the wonder material. These wine totes made by Graf & Lantz  are very DIY-able.

You could easily purchase some leather shoulder bags or belts at Goodwill and rig them up to adorn this sewn wine quiver or the sewn wine totes above.   Continue Reading

How To: Four Lives of a Modern Side Table

created at: 2009-04-22

Good thrifting advice is to go ahead and buy a piece if it stands out from the ordinary. What stood out about this table? The legs. Modern, sleek, solid wood and sturdy. The supports are also solid and can be used again, I’m sure. The table tops are a composite wood covered with formica and  a plastic band around the edges. See three more very different looks you can get with this $6.99 Goodwill table.

created at: 2009-04-22

created at: 2009-04-22

Used as a prop for a tech trade show, the white surfaces looked good but were not holding up. Continue Reading