Browse Tag: do it yourself

Estate Side Table Flip

If you haven’t checked out the Estate Sale Finds post and video I recommend reading those first as you’ll get more of the back story on these two matching side tables.

The paint I used for all my previous flips was the wall paint I picked up for $18 at Walmart, the Glidden brand in three colours. It worked exceptionally well at the time and now I realize that was probably as I was painting all the items outside in the heat of summer and they dried fast. I bought the same white paint to try to cover these end units and it was a complete disaster.

First I removed all the handles and hammered out the damaged ones that were stuck on the drawers. Once it was just the bare unit I was able to do a light sanding over the entire thing. Wiping them down afterwards to remove all the excess dust.

These units had a fair amount of dings from regular wear and tear, one had a faded cup stain burned into the wood surface. If you want the finish to be pristine I would recommend using wood fill to fill in all the chunks missing but for me I feel like it adds more character. The hutch I redid in my living room actually has fake “intentional” dings in it to look more rustic… it would be believable if they weren’t so symmetrical haha!

One unit had two coats of the barely-there white paint I had bought originally, very faint and a waste of time to be honest. So I scratched that idea and decided to use the exterior Tremclad that I was using for the oil tank and mailbox outside earlier in the day. Normally I go for a standard white so that all the furniture can be interchanged in any room at any time… but lately the grey has been popping up throughout my house, especially in the bedroom where these two pieces are going to go.

Now this paint includes a primer base within it and I think that makes a world of difference, its thicker and has better coverage. Much like makeup, its better to coat with a primer first. I applied two coats of the Tremclad paint over the exterior of the unit letting it get a bit thicker overtop of any nicks in it as the paint is thick enough that it will fill in any flaws. The finished ended up very smooth and solid. Finally I applied new handles and knobs, the same ones I buy in bulk from Walmart that I have used on previous flips. This keeps with the flow of my furniture too even though the colour is different.

I created a video while doing this flip that will be posted this week, stay tuned!

DIY Make A Retro Mirror More Modern!

If you cannot see the video above please check it out on YouTube: https://youtu.be/T6_hftzAYSs

I picked up this mirror at an estate sale a few weeks ago and wanted to give it new life. Most of the mirrors I find have really unique shapes but dated finishes such as this faux wood one. The paint I had intended to use was bad when I opened it thanks to it freezing in the car, my bad, so I used basic white acrylic paint which did a great job!

Flipping a 100 Year Old Desk

For a few months my sewing and jewellery studio has been in shambles as I wanted to repurpose the hutch I had refinished into two separate pieces. The base was far better suited for me as a computer desk now located downstairs in my bedroom. The top half of the hutch stores my bead containers so I needed a surface for that to sit on. Its rather large but I managed to find a simple base table for it.

Then came the issue of needing a table or desk for my sewing machine and newly added serger (a gift from my mother’s friend Margaret). I had been distracted with other things for a few months and would pass by the room, look at all the bags of things on the floor and immediately walk back out.

One day it came up in conversation that I was still waiting for the right piece of furniture for the space that wasn’t too big that could work for a sewing desk. My dad mentioned a piece of furniture that was pulled out of an old Masonic Lodge building that had closed that he was using out in the barn for woodworking materials.

We went out to look at it and I thought, hmm that could work! Naturally he said I could change it any way that I wanted, you had to know that would be my first question. The surface was very scratched and rough from 100 years of use in the main foyer of the lodge. I’m always attracted to the unique shape of older furniture so I could see definite potential!

I grabbed the only can of white paint left in the house and began to work away at it. The tricky part about painting a dark stained piece of furniture stark white is that it bleeds through. About three coats were done, to be honest a fourth couldn’t hurt. The drawer is still a mystery to me as in two places it is leaking through the white bright blue.

Its honestly the strangest thing no matter how many layers of white paint it still leaking through blue! Oh well, adds character right?


Before & After Updates

I haven’t shown you an update on the home renovations, the before and afters that I adore so much! I’ve recently joined a DIY home decor group on Facebook and it got me thinking about the progress of my own.

15171194_1008303195966152_5943799071639004587_n Kitchen

This room has experienced the greatest change out of all of the ones I’ve done so far. It feels like a whole new space with fresh grey cupboards and open concept shelving. I am loving the grey palette lately, it makes my apple green accents pop! When I have extra cash I look forward to expanding the kitchen and replacing the laminate floor.

15181427_1008314459298359_3884252533415913348_n Living Room 

This is by far the most cozy makeover in the house with a fresh coat of Sea Spray paint by Glidden it adds a whole new life to the room. I felt the natural palette the previous owner had throughout actually darkened the rooms rather than brighten. To be honest I have never chosen a colour like this before but it has done wonders for the space.


15230587_1008320125964459_6341422854961468318_n Bedroom

This poor girl has suffered a great deal since I moved in. As you saw with my last post the wall was completely destroyed by the cement porch that was installed on the front (my guess was as a selling feature so they didn’t care about quality) and had zero in the way of water sealing. The wall is still under construction as I write this, the wall to the right which you cannot see!


15284840_1008356522627486_366935915709318331_n Bathroom
This is the downstairs “en suite” bathroom, a very basic room with awkwardly too much space that I think I was able to fill and make more impressive. A deep claw foot tub would have made excellent use of the extra space, however that requires money. I changed the wall and cupboard door panels to the same Zeppelin grey as upstairs and added some long sheer curtains for focus.


Basement Renovation

Let’s take a break from clothing for a bit and discuss the heavy stuff. When I looked at the house in the spring I knew right away that the awkward wallpaper was hiding things, as the choice in paper, especially in the basement – didn’t suit the room and looked to have no real purpose. The previous owner chose a very bold black and white damask print, that super thick sticker wallpaper to hide all manner of sins. The house had been professionally painted (except the door frames where you can see the original colours) and behind wall fixtures they suspected would not be removed. The basement was painted a soft khaki beige which didn’t go with the harsh black and white print, but they tried to make the staging look like it was there purposely.

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Curvaceous Calves

14732280_975973969199075_3060862929111866196_nIf you are one of those lucky individuals that is the right height-weight-muscle ratio to fit most tall boots, stop reading this post. If you are me my calves are considered “too big” for the average tall boot width perhaps based on my 5.75 shoe size and 5’3 height. I spent 15 years of my life dancing twice a week so the muscle is certainly there hiding underneath. I hear it at the store all day long, women asking “who did they make these to fit?” then you see a tall slender woman walk by with minimal meat on her legs and the light bulb goes off.

Most are made to fit models so that it looks flattering in the magazine and on the website. It also depends on where the company is based, what their general sizing is. These Fly London boots came into the store, much more worn than what we would typically accept but I knew I was buying them regardless of the wear and tear. The issue came instantly when I realized I couldn’t get the boot on without an alteration thanks to my curvy calves. 14720622_975975602532245_6367736462522267529_n

I popped over to Fabricland and bought a thick black elastic that I hopefully could insert down the back of the boot. Fortunately the seam is straight centered down the back of the boot which made it easier to open up and insert the elastic. I stitched the elastic in place by hand and tied the laces back up. They would look better with a longer elastic so I could do up all the grommets but that’ll be for another day.

I tried them out (along with my new hairstyle) yesterday at the store and to be honest that’s the first day I didn’t have sore feet. Apparently two insoles and thick socks did the trick!

 

Saying Goodbye to Union Street

Since paying off my car in November (or realizing I could go ahead and pay it off at any time without penalty!) I realized that with the help of my budgeting system I am able to save decent money and live off a smaller amount of income. I am working very hard at a few jobs and doing my best to live comfortably. I decided recently that I was close enough to start the process of looking for my first home.

The first step in making this decision come to life is giving notice on my rental house, cancelling services and beginning the process of finding out about the legalities of buying a home including mortgage, insurance and fees required. What I am looking for in a home is that of my current rental, a cute older home that has had some renovations done but still holds its original unique character. As I will be living there alone I do not need a ton of space but I do hope to have a decent yard that I will be able to actively use and garden.


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The Living Room

I have rented many apartments in my day, but this was the first real house, a semi-detached 100+ year old home in an old suburb of Kingston. When I toured the space I knew it needed considerable work but that’s never an issue as I enjoy the renovation process. At first glance it needed a solid cleaning, holes filled in and fresh paint.

The living room I’ll admit, is rather busy looking at the moment. I change it around every 4 months which is also when I do a deep clean of every room. I love my thrift treasures, artwork and trinkets so naturally it can look packed very quickly, but I assure you it is nice and cozy when you are physically in the room.

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Tour My Wardrobe

If you cannot view the video above please check it out on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8YL9TtVNLM

People often say to me “wow you must have a huge closet!” well there are a few ways to respond to this. Yes and no. I live alone and have a two bedroom home so therefore I have a master bedroom that can be better used to make my life easier. Complete with sewing station, garment rack, makeup desk and storage.

My closet was reconstructed by my father as it was not useable in the state it was in. The bar was located deep into the back of the closet, one shelf above the bar that was installed too close to the bar, so I wouldn’t be able to hang any clothing on it as is. My father lowered the bar in the back and installed a second one at the front of the closet – easily enough space in this deep closet for two rows of clothing.

I use the back row for off season so currently it has my summer tops and dresses, as well as my vacation clothing. The front is what I use most frequently. Yes there’s also the garment rack, and this is because it was offered to me so I wanted to make use of it to keep myself organized. It actually fills the empty space in the room as well as giving me a place to sort my ready-to-go business outfits for mornings when I must be up and out the door before 6:30am.

As I say in the video this home is exceptionally old (close to 100 years old according to my landlord, at least a good 75) and was not built with decent lighting or shelving of any sort. All storage would have to be created using thrifted cabinets, bookcases and desks. It makes for a lot of furniture and a cozy atmosphere.
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How to Hem Jeans

If you cannot view this video please view it on YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3_lYrfOSN0

I went through all my blog posts and was surprised to see I haven’t posted a tutorial on how to hem your jeans or pants! I have done this basic tutorial in the form of a YouTube video so that you can follow step by step how I change my pants to be slightly shorter. I find most women do not sew anything for themselves, let alone alter their own pants to fit. Unless you’re buying new you can’t pick and chose the length of your jeans! Most times I end up with pants that are way too long. The only time I don’t have to alter them is the boyfriend or cropped style which is mean to be capri length.

I hope you find this tutorial useful! Be warned if you are highly trained in the art of sewing, I do not use correct terminology – technique or fancy bells and whistles. This is a basic, beginner tutorial to get by!

Camo Print

camoprintThis outfit is iconic, as many of you probably don’t know, I abhor camo print. I don’t like hunting, I don’t like camouflage, I dislike it being worn as normal clothing. I was drawn to this blouse however, despite my dislike of the print – in this particular piece it doesn’t bother me at all in fact I was drawn to it because I love green.

Like almost every small blouse I try on lately, this one is no different, I couldn’t get my bicep into the sleeve. Without hesitation I chopped the sleeve off this one too and wouldn’t you know it, instantly fits perfect. Everything is easier in sleeveless!

This blouse was fun to play up with jewellery as I have a few stackable bracelets in turquoise, green and brown tones as well as a matching necklace I made a few years back.

Full Colour or Bust!

brightfloralskirt Ah yes, a new favourite! I’m sure I say this in every post, but its okay to have a ton of favourite newly-created looks!

Much like most of my other outfits, these pieces had to be altered in order to suit my body shape. This New York & Co floral skirt really didn’t fit at all when I tried it on, but every now and then there are pieces that you just have to have no matter how much work they will involve in the end. I took it in two inches to make it a high waisted style and brought up the hem about the same amount so it came closer to the knee. Anything past the knee on my height makes me look frumpy.

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Purple? Yes please!

purpleblazer Much like my beloved outfit from a few weeks ago sporting a boyfriend blazer for the first time, this purple one had me instantly. This outfit really fell into place randomly the day the blazer arrived as I do not actually have any purple in my wardrobe. This top (which I thought was very cool) did not sell at the store so I thought hmm, I wonder if that would work. I took it home, tried it out and thought it just needed one final piece.

I have created a new line of wearable art and conveniently one of them was a blend of purples! A few adjustments for length and voila a very stylish setup!