25-cent yard sale find transformation

Confession: The hoarding situation in my basement is dire. I absolutely have to clean and organize it before a dog or small child gets swallowed in the clutter. Part of the reason things have gotten so out of control is because I have so many “treasures” down there I just can’t bear to part with. ;) One of them is this 25-cent yard sale find I rescued from the rubble recently:


My goal was to repaint the wooden bottom to look like aged metal, similar to what I did with my Pottery Barn knockoff sign and dumpster chair redo.

So instead of cleaning and organizing my basement yesterday, I got to work redoing my yard sale treasure instead. There’s always tomorrow, right? ;)

I started by giving the wooden base a good coat of my favorite black primer.


After that dried, I brushed on a coat of Modern Masters® Metallic Paint in Warm Silver.


For the second and third coats, I sponged on a combination of Modern Masters Metallic Paint in Pewter, Black Pearl and Smoke. I’ve found the key to achieving a realistic aged-metal look is by layering different metallic colors.


While the wooden base dried, I created a small decorative display for under the glass cloche. I cut out a tiny piece of floral foam using my electric knife.


I pushed a few sprigs of spring faux flowers into the foam and wrapped the foam with burlap, securing it with twine. Done!


I already had all the supplies on hand, so this project literally cost me a total of 25 cents!


Now I should start cleaning and organizing that basement …

Have you picked up any yard sale treasures yet this year?

Garden labels from paint stir sticks

Has spring got you thinking about a garden yet? Well, if you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you know I have a bit of a brown thumb. So although I’ve given up on planting a full vegetable garden (for now), I still like to plant a few kitchen herbs every year. I especially love basil (Caprese salad, anyone?) and cilantro, although I’ve found growing cilantro to be a little tricky. (Any tips on keeping it alive are much appreciated.)

To keep everything straight, I like to use garden labels made from paint stir sticks. You know, the free wooden ones you get when you buy a can of paint.

I trim them in half or thirds using my miter saw. I only do thirds if I believe I can cut them without losing any fingers. ;) Then I give them a quick coat of chalkboard paint, front and back.

While the labels dry, I plant my herbs, usually in some sort of container.

Finally, I add the chalkboard paint stir sticks, using a chalkboard marker to label each plant. Done! 

If I don’t touch or breathe on them too much, hopefully this year’s plants will survive. I love using fresh herbs in my dishes, don’t you?

Thrifty, DIY spring wreath

Although the weather in Pennsylvania hasn’t gotten the message yet, spring has officially sprung! And that means I get to try my hand, once again, at not completely ruining a spring wreath project. (I have a graveyard of “wreaths gone wrong” stored in my basement as proof of my crafting struggles.)

Fortunately, despite gluing my fingers together (I still have adhesive and bits of moss stuck to my fingers as I type this), I consider the spring wreath I made today door-worthy, so I thought I’d share the details of the project with you.


I spent less than $15 putting this wreath together and about one hour total, using materials I picked up at the Dollar Tree and Walmart.


I got the floral sprigs and bubble gum eggs at the Dollar Tree. The Spanish moss, letter “P” and burlap ribbon (not pictured) came from Walmart. As far as the wreath itself, I resurrected an old grapevine one from the basement, so no money spent there.

I started by gluing the Spanish moss to the “P” using spray adhesive.

Faux-Spanish-mossI finally got a clue after making a mess and pulled out a piece of parchment paper to apply the moss and shape it to the letter. The parchment paper doesn’t stick to the adhesive and greenery like your, ahem, hands do.


I stuck the “P” in the wreath, reinforcing it with hot glue.


Next, I wove the floral sprigs into the wreath. I trimmed a few of the pieces shorter with a wire cutter, which helped fill in the gaps and create a fuller look.


Then I took a few bubble gum eggs, positioned them inside the “P,” and adhered them with hot glue.


Finally, I added some burlap ribbon as a final touch. Done!



Have you done any spring decorating yet?