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Hanging postcard tapestry

Last year, I asked for suggestions on ways to display my postcard collection. Everyone had great ideas. But this postcard “tapestry” idea came to me, and I had to try it. It would also work well for photos or Christmas cards. You can easily rotate in new ones whenever you like. I’m planning to make an advent calendar using the same concept. Read more »

Magnetic picture frames - after

Magnetic picture frames - before

Instead of chucking these old mismatched frames, I painted them all the same color, attached magnets, and gave them a whole new life. If only I could give this 1980s fridge a new life—in the junkyard. Read more »

Keyboard stand

Unfinished shaker sofa table

A few years ago, I achieved my dream of owning a Yamaha DX7 keyboard, the synthesizer behind that bell-quality sound of 80s pop music. But, I couldn’t just plop it on top of any keyboard stand. A former roommate gave me an old piano bench, and I found an unfinished Shaker sofa table to match. I shortened the table legs three inches (for correct piano height), then painted both pieces black.

To finish off the scene, I bought black frames at Michael’s and grouped photos of my favorite pilots—including my grandfather—on the wall. Now all I have to do is learn to play something other than Jingle Bells.

Black ornate mirror - after

Ornate mirror - before

Ikea Ung Drill Frame

Inspired by Ikea's plastic "Ung Drill" picture frame

Ever since I saw it hanging on Vanessa’s wall in a photo of her home, I adored Ikea’s plastic “Ung Drill” picture frame ($25), but the cost of replacing the glass with an oval mirror was prohibitively expensive. Then I found this carved wood mirror on Craigslist for a steal—$20. The existing finish was much too multicolored for me, though. You can’t tell in this picture, but the mirror was painted gold, then highlighted with magenta, splattered with black, smeared with a gray wash, and finally sprinkled with silver glitter. I kid you not. I think it turned out quite fabulous painted solid black—which was an easy fix. By the way, I scored that fabulous lattice bowl at a thrift store. Read more »

Bulletin board closed

I found these shutters at a salvage yard. I loved their shape, but couldn’t decide what to do with them. Then it occurred to me that shutters were the perfect way to cover a bulletin board (which can look messy). It hangs right inside my entry—a great place for a message center—and I close the shutters whenever I want to hide the clutter. My favorite part: using red furniture nails as thumbtacks! Read more »

Fabric covered lampshade - after

Fabric covered lampshade - before

I got this lamp for free from two sweet ladies on Craigslist. I love the base, but the shade had seen better days. I couldn’t find the perfect replacement, so I made my own. And I’ve been obsessed with ball finials—which can be pricey. I figured out how to make one for 25¢ + paint! BTW: I hate gold. I detest gold jewelry, brass furnishings, gold lame…you get the picture. I planned to spray paint the bottom of this lamp a different color. Then I found this fabric, and suddenly the gold worked for me. Go figure. Read more »

Framed doilies - after

Framed doilies - before

My great-grandmother lived to be 93. And she loved to crochet. She made me dozens of doilies, collars, and hankies over the years. The doilies are so beautiful that I hated to see them packed away in a box in my closet. But I wasn’t about to scatter them over my furniture either. I decided to frame some, but the trick was finding square frames. I found these four mismatched frames at a thrift store that were the perfect sizes. A little paint, and voilà—a matching set. Read more »

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