Have you ever been walking through a thrift store looking for your next upcycling project and saw something that screamed “take me home and turn me into something awesome!” That’s what happened with this little retro coaster set. It was the proverbial puppy looking at me with big brown eyes. Well, maybe not quite that dramatic but I just knew I could do something special with it, though at the time I had no idea what. So I set in my basket and off to to the checkout I went, along with a few other finds.
It sat on my craft room shelf for quite a while as I pondered what I might create with it. Then I did what I always do when I have a “crafters block”. I called my daughter Jennifer. And thus from that old brown retro coaster set a beautiful gold and white picture holder was born. Nothing warms my heart more than an upcycling project where I give an old item a new home. FYI this is also fits into our Buff Your Stuff series so you might want to take a peek at those other items. Speaking of which, you’ve got to check out two of our other favorite things made from another time that seems to be in abundance in thrift stores: Brass candle holders. First is our Classy Jewelry Stand and the second is a Portable Recipe Holder!
Retro Coaster Upcycling Project Supplies
- Old Coaster Set
This is what the coaster looked like straight out of the thrift store.
It needed a little cleaning up.
I also had to remove the top pieces.
Then the spray painting began!
I found that a spray paint cap was the perfect size for tracing my photos.
I found photos I wanted and traced them.
I then cut them out.
There were just enough trays for each family member to have a photo with one extra so I made a special circle with our family name and printed it out to go on the very top tray.
I used Tacky Glue inside each tray to adhere the photos.
Then I pressed each one in place.
Have you ever had a time when you’re really in the mood for some sort of change in your home but your budget just won’t allow for it at the moment? #raisedhand Well, this is where our geometric door decorations come in handy. For the price of a roll of Washi tape (About $3.00) you can have an awesome looking closet door in 15 minutes or less. And it’s a pretty sizable statement piece to boot! Plus, it’s easily removable, which makes it perfect for rental homes or if you’re the type of person who likes to change things frequently.
Speaking of cheap ideas with big effects, we’ve also got another Washi Tape idea that will blow you away. It’s our Huge Wall Calendar. You’ll also notice a really large $100 bill decor item. That was an upcycle made from a piece of throw away foam that comes in furniture. (Waste not, want not!) You can get the pattern and instructions for that Cash Statement Piece Wall Decoration Idea Here.
Geometric Door Decorations Supplies
NOTE: DO NOT USE ELECTRICAL TAPE. It does not work. It stretches and falls off. This comes from experience. Ü
We suggest using a piece of paper and drawing out your design ahead of time and then just copying it with your Washi tape onto the door. Placement does not have to be exact.
Don’t throw away that old furniture! All you need is a little paint and, in this case, you’ve got a Modern Geometric painted dining table. Pretty amazing transformation isn’t it? This is part of our “Buff Your Stuff” series whose sole purpose is to inspire you to transform old things into new! Or even new things into different things! The key word here is “transformation”. And boy did we accomplish that in this case. So look at all the photos below and get inspired! This project was completed by our daughter Amy whose home is a masterpiece filled with before and afters! Check out some of her other spectacular ideas such as How to Turn a Working Console TV into a Piece of Art , DIY Cash Statement Piece Wall Decoration Idea and Refurbishing Furniture with Modern Colors.
Painted Dining Table Photos
This is the table as it was purchased from a thrift store.
First thing we did was add some yellow to the metal bottoms.
Next we painted the legs and edges of the table black. Then the side boards teal. The triangles you see are cut from black Washi tape and stuck on. Done!
The two chairs were purchased from Hobby Lobby. They are very sturdy, just make sure to buy them on sale. Everything at Hobby Lobby rotates on sale. Plus every week there’s a 40% off printable coupon on one item! You’ll see it at the top of their site here.
Just a quick before of the dining room area.
And an after photo complete with wall decor. The pug painting was also purchased at Hobby Lobby.
This shows our first attempt at using thrift store chairs. It was a FAIL. Ü
Doing a contact paper countertop makeover has been a popular way to inexpensively cover up an old ugly countertop. Granite contact paper is typically used as it resembles a real granite countertop and while if done well it looks awesome, this comes with a variety of inherent problems. Well, we’re going to show you how to fix almost all of them on one fell swoop! And if your looking for other great inexpensive fix-up ideas check out our Frugal DIY Bedroom Makeover Ideas and our Classy Living Room Ideas on a Budget.
PROBLEMS WITH A CONTACT PAPER COUNTERTOP
- Seams. There’s no way around having seams and even with pattern matching they tend to show. With granite paper you can’t match patterns and they show up more. Accept it.
- Water can get under the seams. If it does, they will start to peel up.
- It’s easily damaged because, well, it’s paper. In a kitchen you can’t cut on it or put anything hot on it. In the bath room no curling irons can touch it.
- Edges peel up. If your countertop has a straight edge as the one shown below, the paper will peel away easily where it meets together when anyone rubs against it.
- Be careful. You just have to be careful because it can be nicked with anything sharp or discolored easily.
Those are some pretty big issues considering all the work you go through to put the stuff on. And it does take a good bit of work. But we found a way to make it more sturdy and long lasting. You still can’t set extremely hot things on it or cut on it but water and peeling should not be an issue which is the biggest problem in a bathroom.
NOTE: This is best done in bathrooms mainly because you can’t cut or place hot things on it even with our method. However, if you’re really careful in your kitchen, go for it!
How To Make a Contact Paper Countertop Last
Water Based Polyurethane Gloss Finish. Because it’s water based it doesn’t harm the contact paper. It seals over the seams and edges so water cannot get in. It protects the surface and all your hard work. The only type I found is linked below and made by Rust-Oleum. A little goes a long way. It’s a bit pricey but we use it for all types of things such as my post on how to build a Large Surface Home Office Desk. Buying it in the two quart package can save you almost $15. This is of course optional. You can just treat your contact paper with great care. But if you have kids or just don’t want to worry about being extra careful you don’t have to use it. But if you have edges of your counter like mine, I’d still suggest gluing them somehow as they will find a way to peel just from leaning against them.
FYI This does make it more of a permanent thing. You cannot easily remove the paper later. You would have to do some light sanding to get through the gloss.
Contact Paper Countertop Supplies
NOTE: Once companies realized people were using granite contact paper to cover counters they raised the price of that type so its a bit more costly. Buy enough to cover your counter. If you’re using a pattern that you can match you’ll need more. One roll “barely” did my small countertop.
- Granite Contact paper or other Paper of Choice.
- X-acto Knife
- Yard stick
- Vinyl Squeegee or something with a very smooth edge to press with. A credit card works!
- Rust-Oleum Polyurethane Water Based Gloss Finish Heavy Use (This is the best deal by far) Single Quart Normal
- Good quality paint brush or foam brush. If you’re doing a larger area you might use a foam roller.
This job could be done in a day and ready to use the next day but you’d need to start early to allow yourself to get all the coats of varnish on.
How Long It Took Me
(I’ve never done this before.)
Covering small bathroom vanity: 2 Hours
Clear Coat: 1 day due to drying time of 2 hours in between each of three coats.
Should you decide to not use clear varnish grab one of our free reminders to print and/or frame and set on your countertop! Photos of them printed up are at the bottom of post. Various sizes!
- Scrub and clean your countertop thoroughly and wipe with a clean dry cloth. You want to make sure there is nothing left on it to make the contact paper not adhere to the surface.
- Having someone to help makes it go much faster and makes the paper easier to handle.
- This project takes patience. If you hurry it up you’ll mess up.
This is what our bathroom looked like before we repainted our walls. The house must have been a rental because at some point they had painted over wall paper. Sad but true. For the moment we were looking for a quick fix up so we did a little sanding and hole filling and added a new coat of paint. Eventually we’ll redo the entire bathroom the “right” way and also replace the vanity but for now we were looking for a quick inexpensive facelift. The walls had been painted here. But the counter top still needed some work. It appeared that some past owner had also painted the countertop. It wasn’t too bad of a job, however, they went over everything including the part of the back splash that was metal. I debated what to do and finally decided I would paint the metal parts metallic silver. I chose Martha Stewart’s metallic silver as it’s close to the real thing.
I masked off everything with painters tape.
I probably didn’t need to do the inside parts as those would be painted over anyway but I was thorough.
I painted two layers of silver paint on all the trim parts, allowing it to dry in between coats.
It looked quite a bit better in my opinion.
Now it was time to start on the counter top itself. I grabbed my roll of granite contact paper.
There will be some measuring involved on parts but for the larger areas you just unroll and start. Again, your surface should be cleaned spotless and free of any soaps etc. so that the paper sticks well.
The trick is to make sure you have no bubbles and that it’s even as you lay it out. Use a credit card or something similar to help smooth it down as you go.
When you come to the sink you will carefully press up to it and down into the area around it. Because our sink was curves as many are we were only able to go so far and then needed to start cutting small slits that allowed us to press the paper closer to the sink. Cut a large hole out for the sink, making sure to give you plenty of paper to work with on all sides.
Notice how I cut the paper and moved on. At some point you might run out of paper and have to make a seam. I did not due to how short my counter was. If you do have to make a seam you can decide ahead of time where you might want to have it fall for atheistic purposes.
Once I had my paper laid longways across my counter, I’d go back and do the detail work around the rest of my sink. I make small slits with my X-acto knife, part way down and NOT TOO FAR, just enough to allow me to push the paper around the edge of the sink and curve it around as shown.
Again, you want no bubbles. This might require some lifting and re-positioning. It takes patience and time. Go slow.
You want your paper tucked tightly next to your sink.
More slicing down to allow for the curve. Again, do not go down too far.
Trimming off extra.
Moving onto the other side.
The front edge.
The paper was not deep enough to go to the back which is where I thought I would rather have my seam as apposed to having a seam vertically down my sink. I decided this would show much less.
I cut a piece of paper a bit larger than the area and moved it around to determine where the pattern was the “best”. Remember you can’t match granite exactly.
I then put it in place and rubbed it down.
My piece was going to need a seam at some point. I decided right behind the facet was perfect.
After it was in place I carefully trimmed it with my knife.
I cut the pieces for the backsplash and added and trimmed those, seaming if needed.
I was now ready to trim around the sink. I trimmed a bit high to start.
Then I went back and trimmed it where I wanted it. You’ll notice my sink has a brown area where it was caulked years back. I plan on re-calking around it, so that’s fine.
I bought a tube of waterproof DAP acrylic latex silicon caulk.
I squeezed out a bead around my sink.
Because it is water based I wet my finger slightly.
Then I smoothed it out. Don’t use too much water or it thins it out too much.
If you mess up, you can quickly wipe it off with a damp rag and add more.
Make sure to wipe off any extra with a damp paper towel.
I now have a nicer edge to my sink.
I now need to cut the pieces to go on the edge of my counter. I cut them larger and added them on.
Corners like this are tricky and these areas problematic if the contact paper is not sealed with something as they tend to come up if leaned against.
I then trimmed the sides.
As an added precaution, I dabbed some clear glue under the corners.
Now comes the part that makes your new countertop last. The clear finish.
I added a light coat of this everywhere on my counter where I placed the paper.
Make sure its brushed on evenly. Let it dry 2 hours or until its not tacky. I then added another coat, it dry as before and added one more. Once the last coat is on, let it cure 24 hours and its set!
You now have a beautiful new countertop that will last a good long while.
Here are some close ups to show the details.
The seams are noticeable but because of how the human eye works, most people won’t see them unless you point them out!
You can choose to use this humorous poem to set on your counter or tape to your mirror if you don’t use the clear coating. Or even with it!
Here’s a more standard reminder. Both are a free download on the top of this post.
Depending on your age you might remember having a console TV when you were growing up. They were big televisions with a wood case built around them and were considered a piece of the furniture. Times and TV’s have changed but you can still find these at thrift stores, which we did. This one was $20 and it worked! We decided to give this old TV a modern look for our living room. It’s used solely for gaming. This is part of our “Buff Your Stuff” series where you take old things and make them new! You might especially enjoy our makeover, Refurbishing Furniture with Modern Colors.
Console TV Makeover Supplies
- White and yellow paint
- Silver paint for handles
- Painters tape
This is the $20 TV we found at Salvation Army.
We chose our colors and then taped off areas. The main console was white and we used yellow as a contrast. The gold handles were removed and painted silver.
This is how it turned out!
It’s the perfect gaming TV.
Refurbishing furniture can be as easy as giving it a new coat of paint. And when you pick bright contrasting colors you’ve got a gorgeous statement piece! This is one of our “Buff Your Stuff” series where we take things we own and give them a whole new look. And what a dramatic difference this one is! This is an older unique piece of furniture, that in all honesty, we have no idea what it was originally meant for. But as you can see, with a little sanding and some paint and a few extras it became a lovely storage piece. Our tutorial for a $100 Bill Wall Decoration Idea was the perfect accent piece to place above this piece as you’ll see below!
Refurbishing Furniture Supplies Used
- Sanding paper or tool (We used this great little sander)
- White paint
- Teal paint (links are not exact brands we used)
- Gold paint for accents
- Metal corner brackets
- New knob (We purchased ours at Hobby Lobby)
This is the original piece.
The top flips up for more storage.
We did a quick sand.
Then we decided how we were going to paint it. We chose a vibrant teal and white.
We used some basic hardware to spice it up, painting the corner brackets gold. This shows the final knob we chose after testing out another style you can see below.
We painted the bottom portion of the feet gold.
The wood bar under the lid was also painted gold as were the metal brackets.
We also have a tutorial for the $100 Bill Wall Decoration Idea!
You won’t believe how easy & inexpensive it is to do a dramatic fireplace makeover! All you need is some normal paint and a wadded up paper bag. No kidding! You can even use those small bottles of craft paint though you might need two or three. You’ll seldom see such an amazing difference for such little time and money.
Fireplace Makeover Supplies
- Brush to clean the bricks thoroughly before painting.
- House Paint 1 gallon, semi-gloss, for grout color and brick base. A cream was used for the sample.
- Paints for the brick surface. Typically one or two colors but its up to you. This type of craft paint works great. You’ll need a few bottles. Grey was used for the example.
- Bristle Paint brush
- Wadded up piece of paper bag
- Water-Base Polyurethane 1 quart (optional but a very good idea to keep the paint from wearing off)
Detailed Printable Instructions
Below we show you a close up view of the steps needed to paint your brick fireplace. As you can see it was an amazing difference for ours!
Brush the dirt off the entire fireplace making sure to get into the indentations.
Paint your brick with the color that will be your grout color. Make sure to get into all the crevices due to how porous brick is. Make sure the grout is covered well between the bricks.
You will now use the paint that will be the main brick color. You can add water if desired to make it thinner.
Wad up a piece of a paper bag tightly and dab it into the paint. Blot any excess paint off the bag before starting if needed.
Starting at one side of the brick start dabbing the paint onto the brick.
Determine how much or how little you want on the brick.
This is the brick blotted lightly and evenly.
In order to make it look a bit more realistic either blot more of the same color on parts of some bricks. I chose to use a darker grey to go over the brick in spots. After the coats have dried, it’s a good idea to cover the brick faces with a coat of sealant to help protect the color.
This is my finished brick. Your color options are endless for a fireplace makeover!
Work your jigsaw puzzles in style with this quick portable DIY work station and storage set. (You might recall our mini puzzle holder and mat post.) We feature a 1000 piece puzzle. The main board is made from an old large dry erase board and a foam sheet to create extra working mats. When your not using it you can slide it under the couch or bed!
Jigsaw puzzles are great for learning to focus and pay attention to detail. They promote patience, goal setting, collaboration and concentration, qualities which are important for kids and adults alike. When I was younger my dad always had a large family puzzle in the works on a card table and we would sit down and work on it anytime we felt like it. It was a relaxing activity that gave a sense of satisfaction and brought the family together. Roy and I have done puzzles with our kids and my dad and mom now have the pleasure of doing puzzles with their great-granddaughter. Traditions are awesome things!
Jigsaw Puzzles Work Station Supplies
NOTE: We used an old dry erase board we had lying around. Because the front was worn and also because the frame had gaps around the edge we chose to use the back for our puzzle mat so we painted it white. You can use the front if you purchase a new board for your puzzles and then no white paint is needed.
- Wood Framed Dry Erase Board. For a 1000 piece puzzle you need a 36″ x 24″ size.
- Handles (these are mainly for decor)
- E6000 Glue for handles
- White acrylic paint (see note above)
- Silver paint for frame, if desired
- 1 white foam sheet
- Utility knife to cut the foam sheet
- Roll of Washi tape (we used this one to match our silver frame)
This post features Ravensburger Bizarre Bookshop 2 1000 Piece Puzzle.
This 35″ x 23″ wood framed dry erase board was perfect for my main puzzle mat. I had painted the frame around it at an earlier date for another purpose.
The front had a gap around the edge and I was concerned about the puzzle pieces sliding under it.
The frame on the back of the dry erase board was snug so that was used for the front of the mat.
Two coats of white interior paint was used to cover the back of the board.
The frame itself was painted silver to match our living room. I protected the inner white mat with sheets of paper taped into place.
The frame was then spray painted.
Two silver drawer handles were added to the ends, mainly for looks.
The handles could not be attached in the typical way so small holes were drilled down into the frame on each end. One end at a time was completed. The holes were filled with E6000, a very strong glue, and the holes in the handle was also filled. The handle was then put into place and the board stood on end and allowed to dry overnight. This was repeated the next day for the other handle.
A piece of white foam board was used to make two extra working mats.
Measure and cut the foam board into two pieces that are the size you desire.
A strip of matching Washi tape was cut for each side.
The tape was folded over onto the back on each side to give it a finished edge.
Any extra was snipped off.
The work station is now ready to use!
We found all the edge pieces first.
We then put the frame together by matching it up to the photo.
Next we decided to find certain colors and gather those.
The extra mats come in very handy!
When not in use you can slide your puzzle under the bed or couch.
These small plastic drawers for organizing parts can be used for oh so many things! And you can glam them up quick with some paint and gems. This one was used to hold office supplies on my desk and I redid it to match my larger parts chest I made over to organize office supplies. You could use these in a variety of areas in the home such as the bathroom for makeup or on the kitchen counter. I use two of them for my craft room organization.
Plastic Drawers Makeover Supplies
- Scrapbook (12×12 sheets) or contact paper of choice
- Hot Glue
- Plastic parts chest similar to this
An old dirty plastic drawer I had in storage.
Cleaned it up and gave it a couple coats of spray paint.
This one had removable knobs so I popped those off.
I used a clothespin on a stick to hold them while I spray painted them silver.
Then I glued small gems into the center.
Measured the drawers for liner.
The front of the drawers were curved so after cutting my liner paper, I traced the end.
Cutting the curved end.
Placed my liner in each drawer.
I keep this on my desk to hold all types of handy items.
If you’d love to have a chandelier but can’t afford one here’s an inexpensive way to do it. Buy one at a thrift store and do a chandelier makeover! We did it and the effect was stunning. All it took was a can of spray paint! We replaced a dated ceiling fan light in our living room. This is one of those simple makeover that make a huge impact. After you’ve looked over how easy this is to do, check out what we did with our Upcycled Ceiling Fan Parts.
For other great ideas where we take old things and make them new check out all our Buff Your Stuff articles.
Chandelier Makeover Supplies
Roy found these two chandeliers at the thrift store. The one on the right is what we chose for our living room.
The chandelier was meant to hang down a bit using the included chain but we wanted to flush mount it as our ceiling was not high enough to allow for the chain. We removed the extra cord and chain after we painted it.
Using painters tape, we covered all the bulb sockets.
Then we gave it three good coats, allowing to dry in between.
This is what we were replacing.
Roy took down the fan.
See those fan bulb covers? We used those in our Upcycled Ceiling Fan Parts post.
Now to hang the chandelier.
My dad helped out while Roy wired it in.
Because our fan was not connected to a light switch, rather than rewire things we added a pull chain mechanism to the light by drilling a hole in the base.
The finished chandelier. A beautiful change.
Painting outlets rather than replacing them is incredibly easy to do. If you’ve got wall outlets that don’t match, you’ll love this quick and inexpensive fix! When we bought our home we repainted all the rooms. However, the outlets ranged from the basic cream color to dark brown. I really didn’t want the hassle and cost of wiring in new ones so I found a quick way to paint them that takes seconds! You can even paint the wall plates if you want.
If you’d like more ideas on how to turn what you have into something awesome check out our Buff Your Stuff page. You’ll find things like how to Stencil and Paint Carpet or how to do a Quick Chair Makeover plus other great ideas.
Painting Outlets Supplies
SAFETY: It’s also a good idea for added safety to turn off the breaker to the outlet you are painting. Though not shown here its an added good idea to place a little cardboard or a small piece of folded up paper towel into the slots to protect them even more before painting. You want to keep paint out of the slots. Plus it will keep them from working. Home inspectors test for a connection only. Paint can cause that to fail.
NEVER layer paint onto outlets. If they already have been painted over just get new ones to be safe.
- Cardboard or foam board approximately 14″x14″
- Utility knife
- Spray paint of choice
- Masking tape (optional to hold cardboard in place)
You can also paint the outlet cover plate if desired though those are fairly inexpensive to purchase.
Remove the cover plate.
Trace the cover plate onto the center of your 14″x14″ cardboard.
Cut 1/2″ inside the outer lines. This keeps the paint from getting on any part of the wall.
Place your board over the outlet. Depending on how close you cut it, it might stay in place. You can also use some masking tape to hold it if needed or have someone hold it while you paint.
Give two or three very light coats of spray paint onto the outlet, allowing it to dry in between. Very light coats will not cause any problems as far as going into the plug slots. Though I suggest stuffing a little cardboard or folded up paper towel in each slot for added protection.
Cover plates are very inexpensive, however, old ones are also easy to paint.
My office has a small window seat. The cushion itself was made using a plain piece of thick foam that was cut to fit, then a slipcover was sewn to go over it. (My dad had made it for me.) I recently redid my entire office and I wanted to do a quick recover of it so it would match my new decor. I had recently learned about upholstery pins which are basically small spiral thumbtacks. I had previously used them to hold a bed ruffle in place and decided to see how they would work to recover my window seat cushion. (Spoiler alert: They worked great!)
If you’d like to see some of the other things I created to match my office check out our DIY Large Mouse Pad and my Organize Office Supplies in Style posts! This post also qualifies for our Buff Your Stuff series where we give a face-lift to things we already have.
Upholstery Pins Recovering
- Material of choice
- Upholstery Pins
My window seat before recovering.
The material I chose plus a pack of upholstery pins.
Push the pins in.
Twist them until they are inserted tight.
Makeovers don’t have to be dramatic to be beautiful. I was in need of an extra chair at a second location on my office wall desk. As the area was small I didn’t want anything too big and bulky. I looked through what I had in storage and found this old brown folding chair. It was missing the bottom leg stoppers but other than being ugly was in decent shape. With a little paint and a touch of vinyl it matched my office perfectly. (For a similar idea check out our Chair With Flair!)
Chair Makeover Supplies
- Black spray paint
- Black chair tips
- Vinyl decor (I made mine using my Silhouette Portrait but you can easily buy something ready made!)
The only prep work I did was to wipe down the chair really well before painting.
Because my office colors were black, grey and hot pink I opted for a black gloss. I gave it two coats allowing it to dry well in between.
We purchased some inexpensive rubber chair tips in black and added those to the legs so my new wood floor would be protected.
I have a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine so I chose a flourish I liked and cut it out using hot pink vinyl. However, you can hit up any craft store and find ready made things to put on your chair!
This was the perfect touch.
Yes, even carpets can get a makeover! Whether it’s a larger area rug or a throw rug, you can paint carpet using a stencil and regular interior latex paint. You can paint on a variety of designs from squares or diamonds to circles. We chose a Moroccan design and you can grab the free pattern for that below!
This is just one more inexpensive way to update your home. Need more ideas? Check out our “Budget Bedroom Makeover” series! FYI this project was done by our daughter Jennifer.
Stencil & Paint Carpet Supplies
- Closed loop rug or carpet (A low pile open loop carpet might work if its VERY low and very tight.)
- Stencil of your choice (or ours below)
- Masking tape or chalk pencil to mark the carpet with
- Any indoor latex paint
Moroccan Stencil Download
- Create a stencil out of paper or poster board.
- Start in the center of the rug and work your way out with the stencil using masking tape to outline the stencil shape as shown below. Yes, this is a bit tedious and takes some time to do. Just turn on the radio or watch some TV while you work. You could also use a chalk pencil to outline your stencil if you find one that works with your carpet and shows up well. That would be much quicker.
- After you’ve taped off or outlined your stencil, fill in the areas where the stencil was laid with paint, being careful not to push the paint under the tape if you’re using it. Depending on the pattern used and the type of carpet, a foam roller might work. We used a small bristle brush for ours.
- After it dries, determine if it needs another coat or two.
- After all coats have dried remove the tape.
The rug we gave a makeover to was one I’d had for quite a few years.
This trendy Star Wars lamp is easy to make and costs very little. All you need is an old lamp, spray paint, Mod Podge and some Star Wars material. Check out our other Star Wars crafts page including our Star Wars Boots and a Star Wars T-shirt. This project is courtesy of our daughter Amy Grace. She’s a phenomenal artist and you can find her work at her various online stores.
Star Wars Lamp Supplies
Spray paint your lamp base if desired.
Make a pattern of your lamp shade. This is very easy to do using a piece of butcher paper or newspaper. After you’ve traced it allow 1/2 inch extra on the top and bottom to allow for the fabric to fold over the top and bottom of your shade. Cut out your material then coat the shade with Mod Podge and smooth your fabric over it. No overcoat is needed. Use a small amount of Mod Podge inside the top and bottom rim and fold the fabric over into the inside.
These small plastic parts chest are not just for nails and screws! (As you can see in our Craft Room Organization Ideas.) With a little paint, labels and some bling, you can transform them into a classy and stylish way to organize office supplies. We’ve got printable standard drawer size labels you can use for your own cabinets if desired. Your office supplies never looked so good!
Organize Office Supplies Project
LABEL SIZES & CHESTS: Many of these types of chests have drawers that are generally standard in size but they may vary slightly. These labels will fit drawers that measure approx. 4.5″x2.25″ for the large size and 2″x1.25″ for the small size. Also, some drawers can have a divider slot on the inner front of the drawers. Those cannot easily have labels on the inside but you can attach them easily to the outside. I personally have three different brands and sizes of chests and the labels fit all of them.
- Plastic parts or craft chest. The labels fit this typical size chest.
- Spray paint
- Printable labels below (or make your own)
- Spray adhesive. (Make sure you get the type that allows for temporary bonds and use out outside.
Blank Labels (pdf)
- Remove the drawers from the chest. Spray paint the chest the color of your choice, using two or three thin layers, allowing them to dry completely in between each coat.
- Lay out the drawers, gather all your office supplies and place them in.
- Write the titles on your labels to match the drawers.
- Print and cut out your labels. They are aligned in such a way that you should be able to cut directly between them with no trimming required. (Unless a specific drawer needs it.)
- I attached my labels inside the front of each drawer but you can also attach them to the outside if desired.
- Using a spray adhesive that allows for temporary bonds, lightly spray the fronts of your labels (or the backs if you’re placing them on the outside of the drawers.) I used 3M General Purpose Adhesive which does both permanent and temporary bonds depending on how long you let the glue dry before affixing to the item. I let the spray set for 60 seconds to make the bond temporary. I barely sprayed mine with tiny short spurts as I just wanted enough adhesive to tack the label into place. This allows you to easily replace labels in the future.
- Fill up the chest with your drawers!
My office supplies had gotten a bit out of hand.
I purchased a plastic parts chest.
I spray painted it to match my office.
I set up a card table and laid out all the drawers and then proceeded to fill them up with my various office supplies.
I titled all my labels to match the drawer contents, then printed and cut them out.
I chose to put my labels on the inside of the drawers facing outward. I took them outside and laid them all face up on a piece of old poster board. Then I did a very light spritz on all of them and let them set for 60 seconds for a temporary bond. This way I can change my labels easily in the future if needed.
Add on your bling! I chose rhinestones.
My motto is “you can never have too many twinkle lights” and I’m always looking for ways to incorporate them into my decorating. (You might recall my Easy to Make DIY Twinkle Light Jars I used in my bedroom.)
I’ve had this plain looking room divider for quite a few years and I decided to transform it into something less average, so I grabbed some white twinkle lights and some safety pins and went to work. It looks spectacular, especially with the lights dimmed.
Even if you don’t have a room divider, hopefully this idea will inspire you in more ways to use twinkle lights!
Twinkle Lights Room Divider Supplies
My old room divider.
Measure your lights and decide on spacing. Pin them carefully. Don’t pin through the cord!
See Them In Action
This post is part of our Whimsical Living Room Series.
Your dog can eat in style with these classy personalized dog bowls! (Cats too!) Nice pet bowls can be expensive. Not these! $2.00 was paid for the set. Just grab some nice ceramic bowls at the local dollar store and then add your pets name either with paint pens or labels.
Supplies for Personalized Dog Bowls
- Ceramic or glass bowls from the dollar store.
- Paint pens, labels. (I used a Silhouette machine for mine but any labels can work.)
- Waterproof clear coating of some type to go over labels and any painting you do.
- For paint pens, paint on your design. You can coat it with a waterproof coating if desired or you can place your ceramic bowl in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes which will set the paint. (Make sure the bowl can be placed in an oven.) HAND WASH ONLY.
- For labels, attach them to your bowl and coat with a waterproof coating. HAND WASHING ONLY.
Get some ceramic bowls from your local Dollar Store. Mine only had dark colors. If you can get white ones, you have more options for paint pen colors.
Draw on your designs. If you make a mistake you can quickly wipe it off. If it sets you can wipe it off with rubbing alcohol.
Any type of labels will work as long as you put a clear waterproof coating over them. I had a Silhouette machine I used for mine.
I took an old small wood photo chest I’d had for 2o years and transformed it using some paint and a bit of scrapbook paper. What a difference! Another beautiful cheap decor item via Buff Your Stuff!
Cheap Decor Project Supplies
- Wood button for knob
- Printed poem
- New 4 x 6 photo reprints
This Clothes Hamper Redo shows that there’s not much you can’t make look new again if you try! I’ve had this set of clothes hampers for about 8 years and I love them. I got them on Amazon and paid about $18 each back then. At this point in time they were still very functional but a bit wore out so when I did my Budget Bedroom Makeover. I knew I’d need to replace them with something nicer that matched.
I headed to Amazon again but the only type I could find that were this size and black were these. At $27 bucks a pop (and I needed four of them) it seemed like a poor choice for a “budget” makeover. That’s when I began to wonder if I could give the ones I have a face lift. I got with Roy and he said he could put a small wood brace on the inside to make them sturdier. After he did that I decided to test one and see if it would hold paint well and it did! Below are the simple steps I used for my clothes hamper redo. Grab our free files below if you’d like to use the same lettering. We have it as a PDF and in Silhouette version!
I had everything but the paint.
- Quart of black paint $8.50
- 12 thin wood strips for each one
- two sets nuts and bolts for each one
- White rope
TOTAL COST: $8.50
Download the same text shown. There is a pdf version and a silhouette file version.
I chose a gloss paint. It took three coats.
I was wondering what I would use for new handles when I saw a bunch of leftover rope we had purchased a week before to use for something else. It was perfect! I braided it and had new handles in no time.
I tend to label my containers in some way, as you can see from my photo from 2008. For these I decided to use my Silhouette cutter. I wanted the labels silver and I didn’t have silver paper. So I took a sheet of white cardstock and lightly spray painted it silver. Then I cut out my text using my machine and used spray glue to attach it.
I found this old photo of my hampers from 2008.
Do you have items in your home that fall under the category of “functional but ugly”? My craft room chair was one such item. I liked it because my craft room is small and this fit in well and it had a soft seat. When I made over my craft room this of course either had to go or get a makeover. I chose the latter! I did a super quick version… no sanding, no priming. I’ll show you my steps on how to paint a folding chair and even recover it if needed!.
- Folding chair (can have padding on the seat or back)
- Spray paint of choice. Rustoleum is an excellent brand for metal. (1 can gave me 3 light coats)
- Material to match. Measure how much you will need. My chair seat took 1/2 yard.
- Leg caps if needed
- Staple gun (for attaching material to seat)
Preparation to Paint a Folding Chair
Remove the seat and/or back if it’s padded. Remove the leg caps. Clean your chair with soap and water well, using a toothbrush to get into the nooks and crannies. Spray paint two to three thin coats, letting each one dry very well before adding the next. This might require doing it in sections as you have to turn the chair upside down to reach all the areas. You are welcome to sand any rust areas and then use primer paint first if desired, though I chose to not do that.
Covering Padded Areas
Pick some nice material for the padded areas. Heavier fabric will last longer. You may need to purchase foam and cut to fit depending on whether the padding is in good shape. I was able to cover right over the vinyl on mine. Lay your seat face down on the material and while wrapping it around staple the edges snugly. I kept mine unfinished underneath as I didn’t care what that part looked like.
The leg caps on my chair were in pretty bad shape and one was missing. So I decided to replace them. The one’s I found were a tiny bit large and would not stay on the legs. To remedy that I took a thin strip of duct tape and wrapped it around the bottom of each leg a couple of times. The caps then fit on snugly.
This caddy came from a thrift store. I love anything organizey so I grabbed it for $1. It’s not that it looked too bad but I wanted a bit more modern style. With a little paint, some paper, ribbon and Mod Podge I gave it a face lift!
Mod Podge, Paint and Colored Paper. I Used Scrapbook Paper.
Paint the parts not covered with paper.
Trace the parts that will be covered onto the paper.
Apply Mod Podge onto sides. Place paper on and apple one or two more coats over the paper, allowing to dry in between coats.
I wrapped my handle with ribbon.
Dressers in the living room? Definitely, at least according to my daughter Jennifer. I’ve had these cheap dressers in storage for a while. They are the kind you put together and can’t hold anything heavier than a few pairs of socks or the bottoms fall out. I never dreamed of using them in my makeover. As it turns out they are one of my favorite pieces. Per Jenny’s direction I pulled them out of storage and for next to nothing turned them into two unique furniture pieces. My only cost was the spray paint.
I also have a Silhouette Portrait Cutting Machine which I love more than words can say. It has saved me its initial cost quickly as I was buying quotes and things for my walls. Now I can make them for pennies! Though I used a quote cut out with my machine on my dressers you could hand paint quotes or designs if you have that skill, which I do not, or use any designs you like.
Steps for Dresser Makeover
1. Removed the knobs on the drawers.
2. Spray painted three coats on drawer fronts, allowing to dry in between.
3. Attached knobs.
4. Decided on a quote and did some measuring and planning to decide how to lay it out.
5. Cut out my quote on my Silhouette Portrait. I had no sticky backed vinyl the right color so I used cardstock.
6. Lightly spray glued the the back of my quote letters and placed on the drawers.
7. Used Mod Podge to paint over the front. This gave it a sheen and held the letters on.
NOTES: There are other steps you can add in depending on your dresser and how resilient you want the paint such as sanding and priming. These pieces were mainly for aesthetic purposes so I just spray painted them and used the Mod Podge as the finish.
When I step into a Thrift Store I always feel like I’m embarking on a treasure hunt. No where else can you find such an array of the strange and unusual. I came across this small old accent table at one for $5.00. It was kinda rough looking but I try hard to never judge a book by its cover. A tiny bit of sanding and paint would it fix right up. I actually didn’t know where I was going to put it when I found it.
This was a pretty simple makeover. A little sanding on top and spray paint on the legs. I painted the bottom an orange tone, which was part of the colors in my living room. Then I painted the top a contrasting cream color. I had finally settled on placing it below my Family Time Zone wall (post 8 in this series). Because of this, I decided to print out a compass image for the top of it. I attached it to the top with a little spray glue. Normally I would coat it with Modge Podge but as I wanted the option to possibly do something different at a later date, I didn’t coat the top. Its mainly for show anyway.