Before & after category

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Painted & rewored lamp - after

Southwest lamp base - before

Jill Rosenwald lamp

Inspired by Jill Rosenwald's gorgeous lamps found at mainecottage.com

My friend Julie Chai (watch her videos here) at Sunset magazine gave me this lamp base as a project. Southwest isn’t my style, plus it had rusty hardware and a tattered, taped cord. I adore Jill Rosenwald’s lamps from Maine Cottage, but they’re out of my price range. So I decided to rewire and paint this table lamp instead. I got a bit carried away with all the flowers (in eight different shades of green/blue), but it was so darn fun! All the supplies I had on hand, which would make the lamp practically free—except I got soaked on the $50 lampshade. It still beats $425, though. In the end, my favorite part was the super inexpensive DIY round finial. Read more »

Side table - after

Plant stand - before

I decided to try a different take on the tray table I made nearly a year ago. This time, it would have a more practical permanent top. Plus, it’s an ideal opportunity to use more of my furniture nails, which I adore. I’m volunteering at a girl’s camp next week, so I’ll post my next project in two weeks. Hope you’re all enjoying your summer! Read more »

Painted rack with jars of beads

Old spice rack

My first project on Craftynest was a spice rack. So it’s fitting that, nearly a year later, I work on another one. I bought this old Spice Islands rack at a thrift store for $3.50. After dumping out the ancient spices, soaking off what was left of the labels, and laboriously scrubbing the jars, they were finally ready to hold my beads. And a little paint took care of the grimy, discolored rack. Read more »

Salvaged mirror with framed wallpaper samples

Broken window frame - before

“First rule in government spending: Why build one when you can have two at twice the price?” Any guesses what movie that line is from? I loved these salvaged window frames so much, I bought both. This one was a little worse for wear, but it was nothing wood glue and a fresh paint job couldn’t cure. I got the (free!) wallpaper samples from FabMo, a volunteer effort collecting discontinued fabric samples from the San Francisco design community. Thanks, Hannah and Jonathan! Read more »

Fashion accessories valet hanging on the back of a door.

Before picture of the room divider.

A few people have asked me for jewelry organizing solutions. You asked for it, so you got it. (More jewelry storage ideas to come.) I bought this Ikea room divider for $10 in the As-Is section last year. I wasn’t a fan of the black hook-and-loop holding it together, but the individual panels make a handy valet for fashion accessories. One panel holds enough for me, but fashionistas may need the entire room-divider to hold all of their accoutrements. I also think the panels would be classy spray painted black. Right? Read more »

Bulletin board made from plastic mirror

Plastic mirror before hanging on wall

One of my friends referred to this as the “ugly mirror.” Another friend said, “Whatever you paid for it, you paid too much.” I get more excited about a project when I hear comments like that because I think, “Just wait till they see what I do with it. Mwahaha!” For the record, I paid $9 for this plastic thrift-store find. I used leftover materials from three previous projects: shuttered bulletin board, spa slippers, and pants-hanger frames. I only had to buy fabric, paint, and ribbon. Now I just need to find a use for a chipped oval mirror. Read more »

DIY salvaged shadow box

DIY salvaged shadow box - before

Two drawers were left over from my modular bookcase project. I didn’t think they’d be useful for anything but firewood. But upon closer inspection, I began to appreciate the aged beauty of the wood—even the smattering of white paint. Combining the drawers into one shadowbox—and not painting it—was a great way to showcase the wood’s character and history. Thanks again to my favorite neighborhood woodworker for cutting the pieces. Read more »

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