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Tank top totes - after

Tank top totes - before

Before you pack away your summer clothes for the winter, you might want to set one of your tank tops aside to make one of these easy totes. The best kind of tank tops to use for this project are ones that have front and back necklines that are the same height—or very close. Otherwise, your tote bag will be lopsided. The brown tote is reversible, so the pockets can be on the inside or outside. I made that tote small because the straps were thin and wouldn’t hold a lot of weight. The magenta tank top had a gathered neckline in front and back, so a gathered bottom was ideal. A pink store-bought flower pin finished it off. Read more »

DIY magnetic picture frame - after

Supplies for DIY magnetic frame

What can I make with an old picture frame that’s missing glass, a free fabric sample from FabMo, and an 8- x 10-inch LoRan magnet board that my friend Chris gave me? Another friend, Kristi, had an idea: a mini magnetic board. If you add a few more magnetic boards, frames, and coordinating fabrics, you could hang a whole collection of magnetic frames on the wall. They’re perfect for school photos, business cards, or other small ephemera. And you can easily swap out the fabric to fit the season. Read more »

Salvaged window shadowbox - after

Salvaged window - before

Why anyone would paint over window panes is beyond me. But that’s exactly what someone did to this window that I bought at a salvage yard for $20. It took a couple hours to scrape away all the stray paint and caulking, but the effort was totally worth it, considering I now have a fun beach-themed shadowbox. I tore all the tropical photos out of travel magazines. I can think of many other uses for salvaged windows, so there might be more window projects to come. 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 »

Fabric covered dining chairs - after

Fabric covered dining chairs - before

I found these chairs curbside with a “free” sign taped to them. They have a nice shape but suffer from two problems: a shoddy paint job and cracked seats. I knew I could fix both issues. I wasn’t settled on the how part until I saw what Melissa did to her tables at ikea hacker. Perfect solution for these two chairs. The fabric serves as decoration and camouflage. Read more »

DIY pillow cover with zipper

I’m redecorating my living room. Red has been lovely, but the colors of the sea are calling me. (I’ll post a before and after when my living room is done.) I like Ikea’s Fjädrar inner cushions, but none of Ikea’s pillow covers go with my new color scheme. So, using a cover that I bought in the As-Is section for a couple bucks, I figured out how to make my own. Plus I decided I was due an easy project after last week’s marathon. Read more »

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My apologies to those of you who had difficulty with my site this week. I tried something that didn’t work. It’s back to the old design until I work out the kinks. While I do that, I thought I’d post a project from two years ago. I bought a bunch of canvas tote bags, fabric markers, and stencils and went wild. While I admit I overdid the “It’s easy being green” theme, I had a lot of fun—and they made great gifts. Read more »

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