Bean Refashioning: Military Jacket

Hand-me-downs.  Love them.  Half of my closet was my mom’s and sisters’…and then there’s one piece from my Grandma.  Yep, you read that right.  This jacket…
IMG_7653…was my Grandma’s.  She asked if anyone wanted it over Christmas and it took me a minute, but I knew it had potential, so I grabbed it. 

But, obviously, something had to give if I was ever going to wear it in public.  First, I took out the sleeves to make them a tad longer.  I took out this seam…
IMG_2651…and that’s it because there was another seam underneath that kept everything nice and finished.
I’ve never taken in a jacket before so I was a little intimidated by this refashion, I’ll be honest.  But, since it was free, I didn’t have much to lose if I messed up.  A bunch of seam ripping and another try was Plan B and donating it was the worst case scenario.

First, I zipped it up and turned it inside-out.  Then I laid it out so that the side seams were right at the sides and the jacket was flat along the edges.
IMG_2880There was a litte more fabric in the front of the jacket than the back so that’s why the above picture shows a little buckling on top.  It was more important for the sides seams to line up since that’s where I’d be sewing than for the jacket to be laying perfectly flat…if that makes any sense.

For sizing, normally I might just try it on and figure it out from there but with a belly and no waist, there’s no figuring out anything that way.  So, I grabbed my favorite white blazer that I know has a great fit and used it for sizing.

First I marked out how much I wanted to take the sleeves in.
IMG_2881I lined the two sleeves up along the top and used a white sewing pencil (technical term?) to draw a line onto the military jacket that followed the bottom of the white blazer’s sleeve.

Then I lined the armpits up, starting at the point where my line for thinning out the sleeve ended at the armpit seam, and used the same pencil to draw a line down the military jacket that went right along the edge of my white blazer.
I made sure to press down the white blazer with my hand along the place I was penciling so that it was totally flat while I traced its edges.
Next, I pinned everything into place, making sure my edges and armpit seams were lined up, and sewed a straight stitch right along my white line.
A repeat on the other side of the jacket, a pinking shears to cut off the excess fabric (eventually I’ll serge the edges), and that was that.

mil jacket2military jacket:  hand-me-down – $0
sequin-embellished top:  hand-me-down (mom’s) – $0
maternity jeans:  hand-me-down (friend – thanks Grace!) – Old Navy
boots:  Target (purchased on sale 2-3 years ago but here’s a similar pair* on clearance!) – $22
grand total:  $22

I can’t exactly zip it up at the moment but that’s totally fine by me – spring and summer don’t necessite zippers unless it’s the fly really, so looks like this chick is in the clear. 

I’ve had a military jacket on my wish list for awhile now so I’m happy I came across one for free, even if it did cost me a little bit of time.  :)

Thanks again Grandma B!

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mil jacket

*affiliate link similar to combat boots I purchased from Target

Bean Refashioning: Ruched Tunic

I’m back with another $1 thrift find! (Read the backstory in Monday’s post.)

I was really excited about this tunic:
IMG_7651I thought it’d be perfect for spring with this growing belly and since it’s a size larger than I normally wear and a loose fit to boot, it will hopefully fit up until b-day (and then post-post-post-pregnancy maybe I can take it in a tad).  Also, I’m a sucker for pieces that have a little bit of unexpected or added detail and so this one was right up my detail-loving alley with the side and front ruching/gathering…only after I put it on, that front gather didn’t sit well with me.  It was kinda awkward.  If the tunic were a little longer on me, it probably would’ve been fun but it just hit me weird.

So, away it went.  No sewing necessary with this one, just like Monday’s sweater dress.  All I had to do was rip out the threads holding that ruching together in front using my handy-dandy seam ripper.
IMG_2859It probably took me ten minutes to get all the thread out and that was going pretty slow, making sure I only grabbed the thread and not the tunic so as not to make any holes.

When I had all the thread out, this is what I had going on:IMG_2860
A quick spray with some water and an ironing had it looking like the ruching had never been there.


IMG_7671(Kinda random but I keep trying to figure out what that raised line to the right of my popped belly button is and my only guess is that it’s part of little lady’s leg or (rather large) foot?  She’s head down so that’s the only thing that makes sense since I didn’t swallow a whole hot dog for lunch that day.  So weird.  Guess she wanted to make an appearance…)

In the South, you go bold with colors if you want to look like you’ve been here your whole life so these bright purple leggings/tights were the obvious choice.  ;)

IMG_7674tunic:  Goodwill – $1
jean vest:  Target – $7 (clearance find)
tights:  Dirt Cheap – $.75
necklace:  no clue/had it forever
purple pointies:  Gabriel Bros. – $1
grand total:  $9.75 (not including the necklace)

See the side detail? 


I lawv it.

Without those side gathers, I could probably get away with wearing Electric Blue here as a dress but I love them too much to take them out so tunic it shall be forever and ever.

I also tried a belt ‘round the waist upper belly but I wasn’t sure if it made it look like I had one big, blue oval going on in the middle of my person so sans belt might be a better choice for a second colorful outfit:
tunic2scarf:  Dirt Cheap – $1 (originally from Target)
belt/whip?:  JCPenney (came with another top) – we’ll just say $.75 since the top cost me $4 on clearance
tights:  Dirt Cheap – $.75
booties:  eBay* (I got the Tan (FV) and psst, they’re having a BOGO 50% off sale right now!) – $25
grand total:  $27.50

It works really well with my favorite pleather leggings too which is great since these tights probably won’t work for much longer (they’re non-maternity and I tried rolling them under the belly but they’re pretty restricting even so). 

I’m not huge on or good at capsule wardrobes but, if I was, this would be in mine. 

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easy tunic update

*affiliate link to products I purchased – purchasing through my link won’t raise your price one penny but it will give me a few pennies in commission to probably buy some spray paint with…  :)

Quick heads up – I updated the virtual Target clearance rack in the sidebar under ‘affiliates’!  All of those items are under $10 on clearance right now and they were all hand-picked by yours truly.  Target didn’t ask me to post them but I will get a small commission if you click and/or purchase from those links.  Really though, I love rifling through Target’s clearance racks and a ton of the clothes I own are from those racks so I enjoy being able to bring the racks to you too!

Bean Refashioning: Sweater Dress

Once a month our local Goodwills have a 10 for $10 day where you can get 10 articles of clothing for $10 (the catch is that you have to buy 10 items or no tamale but luckily, it’s all clothing so you can get something for the whole family to get your entire 10).  I never usually go just because they always happen to be on days that Anthony isn’t home to watch the kids and bringing kids to hunt through racks of clothing to find 10 items is the equivalent of pulling out 10 teeth to me…you can’t even fool me once on that one.  But, this past 10-for-10 day, he was home and so I went to a store close to our house shortly after it opened.  Aaaaand I’ll never do that again.  Why?  It was crazy!  People were all over the place grabbing stacks of clothes and then sorting through what they wanted over in the furniture section.  There were mountains of clothes piled atop every flat surface over there with their potential owners just sifting through (and then leaving what they didn’t want in piles for the employees to put away…don’t even get me started on that).  Not worth the crazy to me.  I’ll just go on my usual Sunday’s when a certain color of tag is $1. 

Anyway, I regress with semi-traumatizing flashbacks.  So, this past time I went, I managed to grab 10 items of clothing all for myself.  Three of those things were super-nice Ann Taylor Loft items I ended up selling so seven are in my wardrobe.

This sweater dress (tunic on spider legs here) was one of them:IMG_7652(Apparently I was in such a hurry to grab a ‘before’ that I forgot to straighten it over the bell…classy.)

It was an ‘eh, what the heck’ purchase that I didn’t know if I’d really wear or just end up selling but either way, it came home with me for one buck.

I don’t have a super-curvy figure (jealous of those of you who do) so sweater dresses aren’t usually my kind of party, but I thought maybe pregnancy would make it work.  The one thing that bothered me about it though, was that little stitch right at the bust.  I didn’t like it.  So, I took it out.  I grabbed my seam ripper* (everyone should have one of these!) and carefully picked out the thread holding that little pucker together.


Easy peasy.

I’m still on the fence as to whether I like it on me or not and, after looking at these after pictures a thousand times, I’m thinking next time I’ll ditch the military jacket for a thin cardigan because, whoa, it’s a little top-heavy.PicMonkey Collagemilitary jacket:  hand-me-down (refashioned) – $0
sweater dress:  Goodwill – $1
tights:  Dirt Cheap – $.75
booties:  Goodwill – $8
scarf:  Dirt Cheap – $1
necklace:  hand-me-down from mi madre – $0
grand total:  $10.75

I’ll be back with a couple more refashions this week, including the military jacket. 

Be on guard.

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sweater dress

*affiliate link to product I purchased

Hit by Lent

Lent.  This one has been awesome.  And when I say awesome, what I really mean is awful…which is technically awesome in this case since Lent is supposed to be a great time to refashion and prepare yourself for remembering the death and rising of Jesus.  Usually my Lenten seasons are just like any other seasons in life except they’re peppered with a few self-imposed restrictions or additions throughout; those with the hopes of molding me into a holier version of me.

But I’m so grateful.  I’m grateful for the past week.  I found out last Friday that I had somehow developed sciatica in my right leg (I know it’s not uncommon to have it during pregnancy but I’ve never had it with prior pregnancies).  If you have never experienced that, I hope you never do.  It was some of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life.  Two Sunday nights ago I had to call Anthony home from work because I had literally folded down to the ground in pain (and sobs) and couldn’t get up.  It was a crutch in so many ways.  Not only did I have big plans to potty-train Sebastian Monday but I had, hello, three toddlers that are still very dependent at my beck and call.  Not ideal.  Thankfully, oh so thankfully, the South is real big on Mardi Gras and so Anthony was off Monday and Tuesday.  He potty-trained Sebastian while Sebastian was sick with an awful cold.  He cooked.  He cleaned.  He took over.  He’s pretty amazing.

So my first week of Lent pretty much sucked. 

(PS, though it looks like Anthony purposefully tripped our daughter, he was actually going for the ball at the same time she decided to put another foot foward and accidentally tripped up was the name of the game.  No need to alert CPS.)

But, I’m not here to throw a pity-party for myself or to complain about how hard Lent has been so far.  Nor do I want any “Oh, I’m so sorry”s  Like I said, the trials have been blessings in the form of lots of redemptive suffering (What’s that?  Ok, go deeper.) and so I’m very thankful for that.  There are so many people suffering a thousand times more than me and who need my prayers now.

How has your Lent been?  Maybe you’re still struggling with how or what to do to grow.  It’s always so hard.  Do I give up soda like I do every single year?  Do I pray for an extra 20, 30, 40 minutes every day?  I’ve been so inspired by Jenny’s post on acceptance with joy.  I can go down my list of trials from the past week and just accept them with joy…and a deep breath.  It’s been so, so, so good for me.  I really encourage you to read it to help take the monotony out of choosing what you’re going to give up or add this Lent and just sit back in your state of life and let God decide.  

And while we’re on the subject of inspiring reads…

Being on the down and out last week was perfect timing for me to whittle at the unreads in my reader and read this post from Kathryn.  I’m such a do-er (you’d never have guessed, right?) and so not being able to do anything is so hard for me.  But her post made me sit back, look at all of these undone things that I have around here and ask myself whether or not pushing to get them done today is worth it.  I love making my house a home but with my go-get’em personality, I feel like I can easily get wrapped up in a project, in project-planning, or just trying to get something done as fast as I can.  I know that’s not a bad thing persay, but sometimes I do just need to slow down and sometimes it’s worth it to slow down.  And sometimes, hopefully never again, but sometimes I have to slow down because every time I move I get a shooting pain down my back and leg…  However you can relate, her post is a must read. 

Britt said it best – “Lent is Hard”.  It’s a time for sacrifice and change and, when inflicted upon yourself for your own sake, that is hard.  But it is so, so good.  We as Christians fail somewhat if we are content in who we are; in who we currently are spiritually.  There should always be more striving and more fire being added to our flames.  (Pssst…I’m talking to myself more than you.)  The Prayer of Humility has been on my mind recently (the prayer itself is amazing but when Audrey sings her version, I crumble) and I love that she ended her post with it.

So, lent.  The harder, the better.  Easter is on its way and until then “When you pass through the water, I will be with you; in the rivers you shall not drown”  Isaiah 43:2 

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Today is the 18th and I wrote this post yesterday.  Today also happens to be the day of my birth and 15 minutes after we all woke up this morning, our electricity went off and stayed off for about 45 mintues (a very rare occurence at our casa).  It nixed my anticipation and excitement for having my favorite french toast for breakfast and also Anthony being able to stay home a little later since he didn’t have internet to get a little work done.  I just laughed it off and, yep, accepted it with joy because apparently, it’s all par for my Lenten course this year.  Really, it ain’t no big deal.  No pity here.  Worse things have happened and to be cliche “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, right?  See also Romans 5:  3-5  :)

God is good.

Entry Way–Before & After

Every week I ‘deep clean’ a different room.  It keeps the feeling of being overwhelmed with cleaning at bay if I do one room at a time and one room per week and with kids, that’s about as much as I can do anyway.  All hail to you moms who can scrub your floors and baseboards and clean under couches and beds and dust off ceiling fans every single week.  Truly.  I am somewhat of a clean freak (and Anthony is borderline OCD clean) and I would love if all of those things happened weekly or even bi-weekly around here.  But, like I said, they don’t.  It’s more like bi-monthly and I’m totally okay with that at this stage in life.

This week, that room/space is the entry way.  I’ll scrub the floors, clean the baseboards, vacuum the big return vent, wipe off the chandelier, and then move outside to sweep off the porch.  Usually, the room that I project in is the room I’m also deep cleaning.  So in case you’ve ever wondered why I skip from room to room with projects, that is why folks.  It’s so much easier to get a good after picture when you’ve just super-cleaned the room.  While I’m at it, I also try to make sure that that room is updated on our house tour page.  It’s physical and digital cleaning all in one foul swoop and it all kinda makes me feel real accomplished…especially when the majority of my week is spent translating toddler talk to myself, making approx. 20 bowls of oatmeal and/or pb&j’s, wiping tiny bums, and many, many more things.  Those things make me feel accomplished too, just in a different way.  Mothering is a duty that I love to do because I love my kids more than life but making rooms pretty is therapy (for when mothering becomes, you know, stressful).

But back to the entry way.  There’s a chandelier just sitting up alone in our attic waiting to be spray painted and hung outside on the porch and I was hoping to get to that this week but instead I’m working on some clothing refashions so the pretty light will have to wait until next time around.  We recently snatched up some landscape spotlights on clearance that I can’t wait to put outside so, when Anthony has enough time to do that, it’ll be a good time for me to work on the light anyway.  Then we can just get all the outside lighting up and out of the way. 

So, since the only thing I’m doing in the entry this week is cleaning, it was fun to check to make sure I have updated afters of it all.  I think it’s the before and afters though that really get me. 


We’ve come a long way with around $250, no?

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Anyway, I’ve got a long way to go if I want to get anything done while all the kids are sawing twigs today so I’m out.  The vacuum and the kitchen floor are having a quick wedding and I’m the honored guest.

See ya.

Screened-In…or Out

This post was supposed to read…”You guys!  I’ve been keeping a huuuuge secret from you and it’s all done and ready for your viewing eyes!  We had a screened-in porch built onto our back patio and over the past few months I’ve been having so much fun decorating it on a budget.”  But darn it all, instead it’s going to read…

You guys.  We had a screened-in porch built onto our back patio and over the past few months it’s been so bittersweet, emphasis on the bitter.  Really, the idea was and is amazing and we did get to enjoy several hours of enjoyment out there at the end of the fall but then we found out that our chimney, which is on the roof right above the new porch, is actually rotted out and needs to be replaced.  We would never had known if we hadn’t put the porch on though.  We noticed water trickling down the side of the house inside the porch one day during a big rain which was obviously a problem since we had a big ‘ole roof over our heads.  Then we had water issues on the other side of the porch; the side separating the porch from the outside.  Everytime we had a huge rain, water would leak into the porch between the concrete floor and walls.  Not a little bit of water, a lot of water.  The rugs got wet and muddy.  The furniture had to be moved.  It was a mess and such a huge downer.  Not only did we save up over the past two years to get this thing added on, now we had to once again save up to fix problems that came about after while not being able to really use the porch.  I know, first world problems. 

So, instead of an after picture of carefully curated thrift store furniture and a decorated back porch that I was so excited to make look great on a tiny budget, all I have is this for you:
I love being able to open the french doors in our living room when it’s nice outside without worrying about bugs or mosquitoes coming for me.  I’ll love it even more though when I can just prance out, plop my pregnant self down in the mornings, and drink my coffee aside my loves or walk out to eat lunch al fresco in the summer.

The inside of the porch is currently filled with a bunch of thrifted bamboo furniture waiting for a makeover, a wood-frame couch I made over specifically for the porch (that you can get a glimpse of here), a patio table set, and a couple of rolled up rugs.  The floor is so dirty because we learned, after cleaning all the mud and dirt up after the first rain, that it’s just going to get dirty again with the next big rain so why clean it?  Anthony (and our generous friend Alex!) has been working really hard to put in a french drain right outside the porch to solve the water problem (and it looks like it’s a definite cure so, yay for that!) and he’s trying to carve out some time to fix the chimney himself.  Right now it’s half taken apart and sitting with a huge blue tarp over it to keep the water out…I’m sure our neighbors love it.  Thankfully, you can’t see it from the front.

I’m really so excited to share the finished space with you.  I’m hoping to use only $200 to get it to “oasis” status.  We’ll see how I do.

Here’s what our back patio looked like before we had the screened-in porch put on:
It covers the entire concrete area and the extra space is really awesome for the kids…well, it will be once they can actually use it.  I’ve got plans of stenciled floors (still trying to convince Anthony of that one…) under a couple of great rugs, comfy uphostered bamboo furniture, a separate but open living and eating area, and lots more.  Two hundred bucks max…can I do it?

Stay tuned.

So Tuft

I mentioned in (Ash) Wednesday’s post that we finally rereupholstered the ottoman in the living room (previously a coffee table…read all about that extravagant transformation here).

The fabric on it majorly clashed with the pixelated rug we got two Black Friday’s ago and so I’ve just been living with that awful marriage for the past year.  In that time, I’ve been scheming about what kind/color of fabric we could reupholster it with that would jive with the rug.  My good friend Jesse suggested a cognac leather which sounded and looked amazing in my head but I really was longing for something a little more comfortable; something I could put my footsies on that was soft and not cold to the initial touch.  Velvet.  Yes, it had to be velvet.  Jewel-toned, green velvet.  Yep.  I had my mind made up.  There was this beautiful green lodged in the rug and I’d pull it out in velvet form for the ottoman.  Except any and all searches for that color of velvet on the net gave me nothing and when I did find something that might be what I wanted, I chickened out in ordering because I was scared it wouldn’t be the right color of green.  Computer screens can be such liars and ordering swatch after swatch can get expensive.

Lucky for me, there’s this incredible fabric store about 35 minutes from my house.  I never get there anymore though because driving 35 minutes to unload the kids into aisles of fabric would be like, so dumb.  I’d be trying my best to keep them close to my person and not running down aisles or hiding behind fabric that they unrolled and, oh wait, that they’re now using as a blanket on the floor…oh my gosh, this was monstrous mistake.  I’d leave with nothing more than frazzle.  But, and that’s a big but (I like big…no?  Okay.), also lucky for me is that one of my closest friends just moved two minutes away from that glorious fabric store and so she graciously watched the girls for me for a bit a couple of weeks ago while Sebastian and I went and scouted fabric…and found some!  It wasn’t the velvet and it wasn’t a plain linen I almost bought in the green I wanted.  I went a tad outside my comfort zone and bought a woven green upholstery fabric – woven with strands of cream, bright blue, and bright green that altogether made one nice shade of jewel green.

Anyway, I bought it and I really wasn’t planning on writing a whole ‘nother post on how we reupholstered the ottoman since the first one was detailed enough but then, when the time came to reupholster, I had some frustrating issues with the buttons so I thought I’d make someone’s life a little easier and share my solution.

But let’s backtrack to before I even got my hands on the buttons…

I spent one naptime last week taking the old fabric off the ottoman (which I have along with the buttons if anyone is interested in using it to reupholster and tuft something!) and then took the kids outside to roughen up the base a little with some sandpaper.  Time and kids had already started wearing through my paint job so distressing it seemed a better and easier option than repainting, for now anyway.

After, to show distressing:

IMG_7637(P.S.  I should write up a little post on how I lightly distress but until then, basically all I do is take sandpaper and lightly sand away the paint on the edges of a piece.  I don’t do every part of each edge but skip around so that some edges are painted and some are sanded to the wood below.  It’s so easy and mistakes aren’t really possible.)

Then, while Anthony finished up a little work one night, he and I sat in the living room together and each did our own thing.  I had my lap desk and everything I needed to upholster some buttons with the new fabric and everything was going great…until it wasn’t.  I got as far as cutting out all the circles (per the instructions on the button kit which are awesome) but when I tried to actually put the buttons together, I all of a sudden found myself sweating and with a hearty case of pre-arthritis.  Because the fabric was a heavy, upholstery fabric, it wasn’t fitting very well into the back of the buttons so the backs could be attached and that left me pushing, prodding, poking, and about to break all of my fingers off.  Seriously, I had envisioned this quiet, peaceful night where Anthony and I would each get our work done in 30 minutes and then we could have a little date.  No, no, and no.  I spent the better part of the night with buttons, on the floor.

But, in the end, I won.  So, if any of you ever find yourselves in a fight with thick fabric and upholstery buttons, here’s how to come out on top…

I started just like I did with the old buttons - I wrapped the fabric around the top of the button, stuck it into the button tool that came with the kit (I used this kit* both times), and plopped a tiny dollop of liquid nails into the middle for extra staying power.IMG_2828(P to the S:  You can see the green I was pulling out of the rug in this picture!  It’s so hard to see it when I photograph the rug overall.)

Then I pressed the back on with the little blue cap that also comes with the kit.  Only, when I released, the back didn’t stick and I was all like “what the hay?!”.
I tried again, and again, and harder, and harder, until I could try no more.  That dang button back just wasn’t going to get in it’s groove because my fabric was so thick.  Grrr…

I didn’t know what to do.  I got out my computer to ask Google for help only all I could find were pleas from people with the same problem or people who apparently didn’t have this problem.  I didn’t really want to buy new buttons since I had already spent moolah on these and loved them last time I used them.

So, I experimented a little.  I only needed nine buttons and there were 10 in the pack so if I ruined one, it wasn’t a big deal.  First I tried using my hammer to hammer the two button tools together instead of pressing them, like you were supposed to do.  The worst I could do was crack the plastic but that didn’t happen.  Nothing happened.  Then I got out my needlenose pliers and set the closed tip in the groove around the outside of the button back and pressed it into the floor as hard as I could.  I did this maybe 10 or so times; all around the back of the button.      IMG_2830

And golly gee, it worked!  The back of my buttons aren’t the prettiest ever but since no one will see them but miniscule dust bunnies, I could care less.IMG_2831

I let the buttons set over night so that the Liquid Nails had plenty of time to dry and the next night, Anthony and I had our date night – tufting and upholstering.

And it was awesome.  And the ottoman doesn’t clash with the rug anymore and that is awesome.



But now we have minty-blue couches, a green ottoman, and cranberry club chairs.  Too many solids and one of them not my favorite on furniture (ahem…cranberry).  So, upholstering I will try.


I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect fabric and thought I was settled on finding some thin charcoal and white stripes, using these striped beauties as inspiration:


[image via purehome]

I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of stripes and I need something that will go with any change I decide to throw in the mix down the road.

But then last week I came across this fabric online, ordered a swatch for a buck, and love it.


Decisions, decisions.  Pray tell my savvy readers, what would you do? 

The only other question is that remains is, will I fight the urge to reupholster and wait until much after baby comes, or will I fall prey to the bug ‘o nesting and do them as soon as possible.  I’m guessing I’ll fall prey to nesting but still have to wait which is a great combo for this semi-perfectionist-need-to-get-everything-done-at-once personality.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.  Before chairs on the assembly line is a master bedroom makeover.  I said I’d have an upholstered headboard diy-ed before Sebastian came and that never happened so here I am, saying it again - I’ll have one before this diva gets here.

I will.

There’s no lack of motivation or desire over here so, if you’re needing some, look no further.  Consider it post-marked.


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*affiliate link

upholstering buttons

Mirror, Mirror…

mirror, mirror, mirror, mirrors on the wall.  Ever since we hung our big ‘ole painting of the Grecian (Italian?) shoreline up on the wall, I’ve been dreaming of flanking it with some mirrors.  I mean, we’re talking dreaming for awhile now considering it’s been on that particular wall for several months.  The living room is the darkest room in the house and recently it got a little darker thanks to a big something I’ll disclose a little later (hold your horses!), so we needed some major help in the light reflection area.  Enter these mirrors, perfect for bouncing light off the opposite french doors to lighten up the space:IMG_2628I found them at Dirt Cheap last month for $2.50 each, which I thought was a pretty darn good deal since the cheapest I’ve been able to find in all my searching over the past few months was $3.00 for some square mirrors.  They measure 8” x 10” so I only needed three on each side to line up with the frame and still have a little room for spacing.  As you can see in the picture above, I got them up onto the wall (using my handy-dandy picture hanger) but just so I could get the nails in the wall to make life easier on myself since I was planning on taking them back down to paint before we called anything ‘done’.

And paint them I did:IMG_7640

I also repainted the big painting’s frame too but I’ll get to that in a second.

Before painting and re-hanging though, I needed to remove the kickstands on the back so that they’d sit flush with the wall.  Basically I ripped them off carefully, wiggling them from side to side so that the metal at the top of the kickstand bent and eventually broke.  Then I just popped out the plugs/screws from the other side of the black backing.


I took each frame off the wall one-by-one to remove the kickstand and paint so I could make sure I marked exactly where it went so I wouldn’t forget.  I just silver-sharpied a little map onto the back of each frame-backing like so:
IMG_2629Make sense?  So this one went in the bottom right corner…

First I primed them with some white Kilz primer I had on hand using a small, flat paintbrush.IMG_2630
I put on two coats because I was going to paint them with leftover wall paint from the living room, and if you remember correctly, the coverage on that was not the best.  So more primer = less bad paint.  The mirror on the left has one coat of primer on it; the mirror on the right has two:

The primer dried quickly so I was able to paint them during the same nap time and then hang them back up later that night.

I’m not done with them quite yet though.  I was hoping to show you a final, finished picture but last week didn’t give me enough time to hash out a plan and execute.  I’m planning on adding some trellis detail to each one to liven them up a little using this pin and this pin as inspiration.  You know what to do, right?  #staytuned

Now, onto the big frame.  The distressed cream-color looks great with the painting itself (and on red walls), but on white walls, not so much.  It just looked dirty to me against the clean white.  Painting it would help fix that and then allow me to fix one of the corners that wasn’t cut exactly to size.  IMG_2652
All I had to do was fill that little gap in with some spackle, let it dry, wipe it smooth, and I was good to paint right over it.  Gap-no-more.

I ended up slapping more of the white living room paint onto the frame and then taking some sandpaper (plus the palm sander when I got lazy) to it.  I’m not really into distressed stuff that much but sometimes when you paint something with a lot of detailed edges one color, like this frame, it can look fake and plastic real quick like.  Distressing pulled the light wood out from underneath and also helps it stand out a little more against the wall behind it.

Here’s what it looked like post-paint and distress:

Then, I got a little crazy and a little nervous by trying a little experiment – adding a thin coat of stain to the flat, recessed area on the inner part of the frame.  Anthony was already a little sad I was painting the frame so when I told him about this plan he gave me the whole eyebrow raise and “Oh man, I can’t watch” thing. 

I used a Minwax wood stain in Special Walnut.  I LOVE this color.  It’s not orange at all (I’m not a fan of orange-hued stains) and has a slight gray hue to it.  Perfect.IMG_2661

Using a paintbrush that was just as wide as the recess, I painted one thin coat inside that recess and that was it!  It took a few hours for the stain to fully dry since I didn’t wipe any excess off when I was done and I love the way it turned out…and so does Anthony, ha!  Because I distressed that area too, some of the stain fell onto the wood beneath creating a very imperfect effect.  No plastic or fake frame look here!IMG_2662

I can’t wait to add the trellis detail to the mirrors but so far, I’m loving how much the mirrors and new paint add to this whole space.


This is what it looked like a few months ago:

It’s coming along!  Did you notice we recovered the ottoman?  The rug never photographs well but the ottoman and the rug don’t fight so much with this green.  The same green is in the rug and I think once I get the cranberry off those chairs, it’ll meld in even more.

I know the loveseat looks a little awkward without one arm but right now, it’s there because having the sectional there just isn’t very functional as far as the kids easily getting to their little play corner.  So, there it sits for now.  I wish I could crop out those chairs too…the color is killing me.  I think I’ve just scooped up enough ambition I need to reupholster them myself though so, even thought it probably won’t happen until well after this baby girl is born, I can’t wait to slap some patterned fabric on them and even change up the look by adding square arms instead.  I’ll have more details on my thoughts later.

I could go on and on about plans but I’ll leave that to another post.

.           .           .

I hope you all have a wonderful (but not too wonderful) Lent.  It’s such a great season to groom ourselves; to toss out the bad and bring in more good.  This post from Jenny today was just what I needed to start off this time.  I hope it inspires you as much as it did me.  :)