Since I have had quite a bit of time on my hands, but not loads of money to entertain myself, I have been thrifting my way through the Detroit metro.  I have gone to all the thrift stores with in a 20 mile radius, and I have had soooo much fun.  I guess I love the thrill of finding treasures and even more with my new house to fill.  So here are a few of my favorite ‘treasures’ that I found:

This vase was marked as $6 which I thought was a steal for something that I did not have to alter (I think it is from Target originally), but when I got to the front it was 50%.  Wahooo!  I did not realize that all the decorative items were 50% I would have bought sooo much more if I had known while I was browsing, but the baby was getting fussy by the time I was checking out.

This frame I bought for $1, because it had the 1/2 off sticker color of the week.  It says on the back that it was handmade from driftwood.  It doesn’t look so bad in the picture, but it is pretty dinged up, so I am going to paint it when I have time.  I have been eyeing these frames from Pottery Barn Kids:

I think that with some paint this frame could look very similar, the problem is that I forgot to pack paint brushes and painters tape.  Also, I have resolved to not buy things that I know I have at our other house so I will just have to wait until Sunday when my things are being moved into our new house!

This was my first thrifting purchase here.  I could not resist, although now I am working through some ideas for Gab’s room and it doesn’t fit the color scheme.  I know I can put it in the play room in the basement.  It is so cute I almost don’t want to use it as a cubby/shelf because then the turtle will be hidden.

While I am on finds for Gabs, here are things I found while sort-of-thrifting:

It was more like dumpster diving.  I was out walking the dog and I saw these in another apartment’s trash.  First I wondered whether they were really throwing these away, and then the next time I walked the dog I decided that since they were still there it was a sign.  So I grabbed them and went running to my apartment (I know I looked so creepy).  They were covered in fur and a little bit stained, but nothing that a little vacuuming and cleaning didn’t undo.  Besides these I also found this:

It also had all the bins that fit on it.  One dowel was missing and another one was broken, but that is a really easy fix once we get in the house.  I’m thinking of putting this downstairs in our new basement playroom.  Anyway if this was your garage, I swear I am not crazy.  I just thought that I could use it.

Have any of you gone dumpster diving?



I have had quite a bit of free time lately and no house to work on, so I have been making pillows galore.  The first one I made, I saw in blue at Kohl’s and love the idea for the design.  I was thinking of making it in a mustard color, but when I got to Joann’s I found a very limited selection of felt, so I choose the dark red felt.

In the end I loved the pattern, but was not all that happy with the color.  I think I might give this one to my mom and try again in a different color.  (Please excuse the backgrounds, that was the best I could do in my corporate housing.)

This pillow I used my Martha Stewart stencil.  I bought yellow fabric, stenciled the pattern and then once it was completely dry I stitched it together, leaving a one inch border.  I thought the yellow was a little bright at first, but with all the white it really toned it down.  I even, don’t mind where my stenciling was a little faint, gives it character!

I saw something really similar at the pottery barn outlet, but it was $20 for the pillow cover (I know it was not even that expensive) but I refuse to buy pillows.  I made this pillow for $4 with everything.  I have been buying all my inserts at Goodwill; I buy an old, ugly pillows, wash it and cover it.  The fabric I found in the remnants bin at Joann’s for $2 and the button was $1. I made the pillow, envelope style, with minimal sewing.  I like the end result, although I have no idea where I will use it.

I also saw a pillow similar to this at the pottery barn outlet and decided to make it.  This one was not quite as cheap, around $7.  I got a 1/2 a yard of linen fabric and it was barely enough, I had to get creative with some of the fabric pieces I cut in order to make them fit.  Also, I love these buttons, they are real wood and sooo cute ($1.25, Joann’s).

Here are all the pillows together.  Now, I just need to find places for them in the new house!

Anyone else feel bad about buying pillows, even when they are affordable?

9 squares

I painted one of the walls in my family room chocolate brown and was having trouble figuring out what to put on that wall.  Then I saw this project on Thrifty Decor Chick’s archives and I thought it would be perfect.  I did tweek things a little bit but I pretty much followed her instructions.

I had these boards cut at lowe’s.  I want to give a shout out to the nice man who helped the lady with the baby cut all the squares of particle board.  He could not figure out what I was up to but he gave me way more than the 2 free cuts that the sign said I was allowed.

Then I  went to Micheal’s and found some scrapbook paper that I liked:

I tried to spray paint the edges a blue color so it would stand out from the wall, but it was somewhat of a disaster, so instead I cut strips of a neutral color of the paper and modgepodged them on the sides to cover the particle board (and the blue spray paint mess.) In the end it was a little bumpy but it looked good, so I modgepodged the main paper on the front of all the boards.  The problem was that not all my boards were exactly 12″ x12″ so the fit was not perfect, but I made due.

Then Sarah actually nailed her squares to the wall, hubs said, “No.” to that idea, so I put hangy bracket things on all the backs and put nine nails on the walls.  Everything was measured perfectly and I even used a level, but due to the difference in the board sizes it is not quite perfect.

But I love it!  Hubs not exactly in love (I think engineering brain again) but he will come around.  I like that it adds color to the wall and works with the dark brown.

Another picture just for fun.

I will be down with my family room sooner or later, I swear.  I need to stop procrastinating!

Good night!


I linked to:
The Shabby Nest

Geometric Pillow

On Friday I had to take a half day to watch the baby and by some miracle she slept for almost the whole afternoon, so I took advantage of this time and attempted to make a pillow I had in mind to try for awhile.

I saw this pillow in the West Elm catalog:

I really liked the idea of he layered felt and I was planning on trying to make it, then I saw the knock off version at Target:

And I actually preferred this one. Since I did not know how this project would go I dug out some felt that I found at my favorite small town thrift store. I found the price tag on the felt:

I had to take a picture of the tag. I bought about a yard of felt for only $.75, what a great deal. I had a pillow that I had made a while back that did not work out and it was a 16″ by 16″. I cut two squares of felt 18″ x 18″. Doing some rough calculations, I figured I would need 3.5″ diameter circles in order to run five across the diagonal. I searched my house with my ruler measuring circular items until I had something with a 3.5″ diameter. The winner was my coffee cup.

I traced approximately 40 circles.

Then I cut them all out. I would recommended some good sewing scissors for this because the better the cut the better the pillow will turn out.

Then I folded one of the large squares of felt on diagonal and measured 1.75″ (Half the diameter of the circles) off center of the diagonal and started my line. Each circle I fold over itself in thirds and sewed it on trying to keep my line as straight as possible. Then where two circles meet I placed another one perpendicular until I had filled my square. I sewed the pillow with the right sides of the fabric facing each other together using a 1″ seam allowance and leaving an opening to stuff the pillow. I trimmed some of the seams, pulled the pillow right side out, stuffed it, and slip stitched the opening closed.

In the end the pattern came out like this:

A little crooked, I know, but a good start. I learned a couple of thing through out this process, first of all measuring would probably be better than guessing and that as I lay down the folded circles, the flap could go one of two ways and the direction of those flaps actually changed the design slightly.

Anyway here is the finished product on my chair and half:

Not bad for $.75 of fun!

If anyone else has attempted this pillow let me know what tips and tricks helped you.


Home Stories A2Z

Today's Creative Blog

Textured Vase

So again lets take a little detour from the home tour. I’ve been lurking around all the local thrift stores looking for things to spray paint lately. Spray painting is my thang lately (Although it is not really the time of year for spray painting.) In my hunts I found a $.50 plastic, pea green vase and I thought that it would be the perfect piece for experimentation.

I ran the first two experiments sans pictures because I was too excited to see what would happen, really I should not have been all that excited because I ended up with this:

  • Experiment 1- Spray Paint Dark Blue; Result- Failure (Too Dark)

I had some cheap blue spray paint and it was not good after I painted it all wrong.

  • Experiment 2- Spray Paint over Light Blue; Result- Better but boring

Then I thought I could put a light layer of light blue over the darker color and get some sort of textured. That failed too.

Then I remembered a post in Thrifty Decor Chick, were Sarah wrapped a cheap vase in jute and it turned out fabulous. (here) So, since I did not have any jute, I used the same cheap neutral yarn that I had on hand. I used tacky glue and an old paintbrush to apply it. I worked in about 1 inch increments slowly winding the yarn.

  • Experiment 3- Wrap in Yarn; Result- Almost there (Needs something else)

After this step the vase was starting to look much better, however I really wished that I had painted the vase white before I wound the yarn. So, I thought oh well I will paint it white now, so I spray painted the whole shabang.

  • Experiment 4- Spray Paint yarn white; Result: Sucess!

Not bad for less than a dollar.  This should be a good addition to my current family room project.  Here are some pics of an arrangement I was thinking about using:

Have a good night!


Home Stories A2Z

Today's Creative Blog

Decorative Filler

I’m going to take a slight detour from the house tour to give you a peek at my current project. I am always finding cute baskets, bowls, and boxes at goodwill or St. Vinnies, but I’m cheap and I never want to pay a lot for decorative fillers.  I love all those decorative balls in the stores and catalogs, but they tend to cost $3 up to $30 or more each. I have lots and lots of space to fill and not lots and lots of money.  So, I had an idea; I wanted to buy cheap spherical things and spray paint them, but I couldn’t find anything. I found tutorials all over the web that showed jute and Styrofoam balls DIY decorative balls.  So I went looking for Styrofoam balls.  The cheapest that I could find them was around $.90 each.  That was too much for me!  So I was looking for something the same size and ended up using this:

We had a bunch laying around and when I went to Walmart to check out the price, the cheapest ones were 3 for $1.76 or around $0.59 each.  So I bought a couple more cans.  I didn’t have jute and since I didn’t know how this project would turn out I used some neutral colored yarn I had from a previously failed project and white toweling and did this:

(In case you can’t make out what I did, I wrapped the ball in the white toweling.)  I just wrapped it as tightly and smoothly as possible.

Then while holding the paper in place I wrapped the yarn around making sure to wrap over where I started.

I wrapped tightly tring to cover the ball in all directions as smoothly as possible. Until I got this:

Then I tied off the yarn onto itself and cut the yarn close to the knot.  Again I am cheap,  and did not want to buy yarn in different colors. Instead, I took 2/3 of the balls outside and spray painted one third, light blue and the other third dark brown, leaving the last third the original neutral color.  In the end I was able to get this:

The glass bowl is one I had and never used. I think it worked out quite well and in total I spent about $4 for everything.  One thing I found after I finished these was that at the dollar store (Dollar Tree) has a set of 4 Whipple balls for $1, which is even half the price of the tennis balls. So, I’m going to get a bunch of those to try some other cheap decorative filler projects.  I’m thinking paper mache (I’ll let you know if it works out!)

Here are some more pics: