Friday, July 24, 2009

Mod Podge with Fabric

I use Mod Podge and tissue on so many items.  It covers well, gives a new look to just about anything and is very user friendly.  I've never used it on fabric, until now.

My daughter is going back to college to a new apartment.  That means she is on the hunt for pieces of furniture to fill up the rooms.  Last week she stopped at a garage sale and picked up a much needing side table for her bedroom.  She paid $3.00 for it and brought it me. It's very sturdy, but very beat up.  Actually, I would not have picked this one up myself.  It really looked like someone had taken a hammer to it.  But she's a college student, on a budget so it seemed like a good buy.

Her bedroom is done in shades of green and orange-giving it a tropical look.  Her bed comforter has large, tropical orange flowers with plenty of fern-like leaves.  She wanted this side table to match.

Since the piece was so beaten up I decided to cover the top and drawer front with fabric.  I picked up some striped green fabric and a bottle of Mod Podge-Hard Coat.  Hard coat gives a tough and sturdy finish.  So sturdy that you can sand it.  It gives a great finish and covers all the sins.

Here is what I did.  I started by standing it down to get it as smooth as possible.  I didn't kill myself over this because I knew later it would be covered with the fabric. I then spray painted the whole thing brown.  This matches all of her furniture.

Don't you just love the old colonial handle on the front?  That's going.......

Above, I am applying a coat of the hard coat Mod Podge.  This has to be done fairly quickly because it dries very quickly. The instructions on the bottle suggest painting the Mod Podge onto the fabric and then laying it out on the surface.  I just founded it easier to paint it onto the table top. Since the fabric I used was a fairly sturdy cotton, it produced no air bubbles.  Air bubbles can be rolled out with a roller.

The hardest part of this project is cutting the fabric straight.  I used a straight edge to accomplish this, but it still wasn't easy.

Once the fabric is placed onto the table I applied three more coats.  I used fine sand paper to sand out all the bumps and then applied two more coats.  It goes quickly and the Mod Podge dries fast.

Here is the side table all completed.  The piece on the bottom was an after thought, but my daughter thought it would look good.  I drilled a hole in the center of the drawer and added the knob.  The knob was plain wood, so I hand painted an orange flower (thinking this would look cute with the orange accents in her room) on it. 

Three dollars-garage sale find-a little work and there you have it.

Someone gave me a pink and brass lamp last year, so I'm working on changing that up so it matches this table.  I'll post that when it's done.

01 02 12

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Sure I go out to the thrift stores, Goodwill and garage sales looking around for bargains that I can do something with.  I've been doing it for a long time.  My daughter and her friends are starting to do exactly that. 

Here are some great examples of turning trash to treasure.  This young lady is moving into a new apartment and needs furniture.  There isn't money in the budget to head over to Ethan Allen's and purchase full sets of furniture so she has used her head and current budget to do the best she can. 

What a great job too.  

Lets start with the microwave cart.  Lauren needed one and this cost her $6.00 from a local thrift store.  She lightly sanded it, applied a primer, painted it and replaced the handles.  Looks great!!



She purchased the items below in a thrift store.  All she has to do now is clean them up and spray them white.  Perfect, like new..........and very, thrifty.

Headboard $10.00

Side table $19.00
Without spending a lot of money and a little TLC, Lauren managed to get herself three very nice pieces of furniture.  I'm glad to see that younger people are realizing they too can get creative without spending a ton of money.


01 02 12

Friday, July 3, 2009

Decorating with Matchstick blinds

Matchstick Blinds

You've seen these in the stores.  They were popular years ago and now are slowly slipping back into favor.  Sold in Home Depot, Lowe's and other big box stores, they come in a variety of colors, sizes and also materials.  They are usually made of thin wood but I've seen them now made of a more durable plastic.
What can you do with these blinds?  The obvious is actually using them as blinds which is what I've done on my screened in porch.  My porch gets very little sun but I hung them up anyway.  They work for privacy, which I need when all the trees shed their leaves. I also just like the look they give to the porch-makes it looks sort of cozy.
This particular blind is "green tea". I have several of these hung in the porch.  They go nicely with the wicker furniture.

Other Uses:

I have an entertainment unit in the den.  Years ago I faux finished the exterior but decided it needed something additional.  I purchased one large matchstick blind to provide an interesting background.  I needed to cut the blinds to fit behind each shelf-not an easy task.  The matchstick blinds are sort of fragile.  I asked someone in Lowe's if they could recommend a good saw for the job.  He told me to purchase a "bear saw".  It's a hand saw with teeth that go in a particular direction.  I think it cost about $15.00 which is a lot of money for a hand saw, but I knew I would use it in the future.  The guy who suggested the saw was very skeptical.  
I took the blinds home, wrapped them very tightly with a series of rubber bands close to the cut and sawed them very gingerly, but it did worked out fine!  Yay!!

The photo above shows how these blinds add interest to the back of the cabinet without spending a lot of money.
I cut them all to fit and fastened them to the back of the cabinet with small paneling nails.  

Another Use:
We have a room with a built in desk (came with the house) that has countless wires hanging in front of it.  There isn't much you can do about it.  I bought some clear wire wrappers and tied up all of them, but the wire still seemed like such an eye sore. I hate wires! I toyed with the idea of using fabric to cover the opening (see photo below so this make sense) but decided that the matchstick blinds would work just as well.

Behind this blind is a bunch of ugly wires.  Now they are hidden from view which is the desired effect. Oh yeah, as an added feature, you don't see legs and feet either.

So you can use these blinds around the house to add some interest.  There must be other uses for them, but so far this is about all I can come with.


01 02 12