Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kleenex Box Make Over

Here's my latest thrift store find. A kleenex box. Now this wooden box had a yellowish, white wash finish to it. It was priced at $1.50 at our local Salvation Army. I have kleenex boxes all over the house (my family has allergies & we use alot of tissues!) Kleenex boxes have came along way in their pretty designs, but I usually buy in bulk and don't always have control over the variety they put in the packages. These tissue boxes can be pretty expensive to buy new in the stores. Especially for decent looking ones that aren't plastic. So at $1.50 I thought this was a steal!!!

I started out by sanding down what I could with my handy, dandy Craftsman palm sander. I finished up with the hard to reach areas by hand. Then I got out some of the stain I had left from my son's dresser makerover. You can see that here.

First I used one of those sticky cloths to get all the sawdust off the kleenex box. Then I used Minwax Wood Finish in Red Mahogany since I had some on hand. I just brushed it on. I followed up with my Minwax Water-based Polycrylic clear satin spray paint & WHOLAH! A new, refurbished Kleenex box!


Monday, August 30, 2010

New Series: Etsy Treasure of the Day

I am starting a new series, or sort of my wish list in Etsy. If you haven't heard of Etsy yet, you have to go check it out. It is a FABULOUS collection of amazing handmade & vintage treasures. http://www.etsy.com/

I just heart going on Etsy and seeing what artists from all over the world have been up to creating. I get very inspired just looking through the beautiful art and vintage pieces.

Thus, I am starting on Monday's, a new series called "Etsy Treasure of the Day". It will be my picks on what I am loving right now.

I have to start with my Fall wishlist of trying to become more sustainable. I saw these
"Mid Century Modern Orange Towel House - Dispenser for Paperless Unpaper Towels" from Made in the Redbarn.
and fell in love. This is a convenient, stylish way to kick the paper towel habit!

They come in a great selection of funky bright colors, or more neutral if that is your style. They also sell
Paperless, Reusable, Eco Friendly Unpaper Towels to go with them! What a genius idea!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Silhouette Giveaway...Go check it out!!!

Head on over to "Under the Table & Dreaming: http://www.bystephanielynn.com/ and leave a comment to win a Silhouette!!!!

You have up to 6 chances to win! Go check it out now!
Good Luck!

Art Wall Inspiration Photos

Here are some more art wall inspirations while we are at it. If you like to display photographs, or anything else for that matter. Here is some inspiration for myself & for you too!

I wish I would have bookmarked where I got each one of these ideas. Sorry to any of you that I used your pictures. Most of these I had saved in my inspiration files long before I had any idea I was going to start a blog. Hope this helps get you some inspiration for you walls!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Frames, Frames & more Frames

Now the past few weeks I have been busy on my youngest son's art wall in his bedroom. And luckily, I was able to do it at a very low cost. Basically some spray paint and ALOT of thrift store picture frames helped me get the job done. Are you noticing a theme??? I just HEART spray paint!!! I use it all the time in all sorts of projects. Basically if it can sit still long enough, I can & will spray paint it!!!

I basically look at the art/picture frame section of every thrift store I go into. I am ALWAYS on the look for sturdy & cute frames. I am a big photographer, I take pictures very often of my family, friends, and everyday events. So I can never have enough frames!!! I don't pay much for them. I have gotten them for as cheap as 10 cents at a garage sale and I usually don't spend over $3.00. I don't pay any attention to the color, or finish. The only thing I really look for is a way to hang it on the wall or display it, and that it is sturdy. You can often get large frames for very little.


1. I start out by taking them apart. I put the glass and backs aside.
2. Then I clean each frame to make sure they are clear of dust & dirt.
3. I prime the frames, then spray paint them. (I have to admit, sometimes I may skip the priming, I can be impatient at times :) )

Then VIOLA! A wall of photos that look great because they have that one common denominator....COLOR!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thrift Store Bookshelf Redo

I found this bookshelf at my local Salvation Army for $3.00 a few months back. I didn't really have a specific spot for it when I bought it, but for $3 bucks I couldn't pass. Besides the fact it was really sturdy...I just loved the decorative cutouts on each side.

So I started by sanding it down, I primed it, and then spray painted it a glossy black. A fairly simple overhaul. This was the beauty in the end. And it found a good home in my son's room for all his books, bugs & stuffed animals!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My son's Artwall FINISHED!

So I finally finished the makeover wall I did for my 2nd son's bedroom. His bedroom theme is Bugs. He LOVES anything bugs, snakes, frogs, basically anything creepy crawly. Remember my inspiration from www.younghouselove.com
Photo courtsey www.younghouselove.com

Here is my end result! Not only do I love it, but so does he!


Monday, August 23, 2010

2nd "FREE" Chair Makeover

OK, Granny S. came through again! She found me 2 more chairs! She is my lookout in her area. She lives about a 1/2 hour away in the next state so she keeps an eye out for me on budget furniture and other cool finds! Here is Ugly Duckling #2.
This one will be a bit harder, as it came with no fabric on it. So I needed to figure out my own pattern, and how much fabric I would need to get the job done.
I first started out by sanding down the legs/arms & spray painting the over all frame with Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Ivory spray paint in Gloss finish. I LOVE Krylon due to the fact it dries in 10 minutes in less. I am very impatient, and when I start a project, I like to tackle as much as I can in one sitting. This helps me achieve that! :)
After the spray paint dries (10 mins or less), Then I start piecing the fabric back on. I finish it off with a couple packages of decorative tacks and my "Ugly Duckling" has indeed became a Swan!!!
P.S. The fabric came from Hancock Fabrics in their outdoor fabric collection! I got it 55% off! Gotta love a deal like that!
I am linking up to: Tatortots & Jello Weekend Wrap Up Party

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I am still very, very, very new at this blogging thing. I was reading over at Madigan Made (http://madiganmade.blogspot.com/2010/05/disclosure.html) about her journey into this blogging world, and one of her tips was to get a disclosure statement. I followed her advice and her link over to: http://disclosurepolicy.org/ 

It is a FREE service and this is the disclosure information for my blog:

Sustainable Chic Designs

This policy is valid from March 3, 2010.

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me.
For questions about this blog, please contact timich@hbci.com.

This blog does not accept any form of advertising, sponsorship, or paid insertions. I am hoping someday, I may have people who want to advertise or sponsor! That would be blog heaven for me! We write for our own purposes. However, we may be influenced by our background, religion, or experience.

The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Those advertisements will be identified as paid advertisements.

The owner(s) of this blog is not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owners. If we claim or appear to be experts on a certain topic or product or service area, we will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Just for the record, I am NOT AN EXPERT on anything I write about in this blog! I am what you call a jack of all trades but a master of none! This blog is just about my creative journey, things I get inspiration from and my passion for sustainability.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org

Thanks for letting me get that little tid bit out of the way in my adventures of blogging!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Budget Artwork for Kid's

My son C-man's room is still sorta stuck in Nursery Land. Well since he is now 5, I think he needs a soon to be a Kindergartner makeover. Hence my dresser makeover post. That was just the start and let me tell you, it really got my creative juices flowing. Now once again, I found inspiration over at http://www.younghouselove.com/
I just LOVE everything about their style! It's so fresh & modern. Right up my alley. Here is my inspiration:
Photo Courtesy of: http://www.younghouselove.com/

Now remember, I am going for an older theme, but this is the first in the projects I am creating to get a similar look.

I started out by using just standard old Microsoft Word. I typed up the alphabet with inserting my son's name amongst it. I used the Broadway font size 72.

Then I change the colors to highlight the entire alphabet in one color and his name in a coordinating other color to make it stand out.

Finish it off by printing it out on the Advanced Photo setting on your printer with Photo quality paper. Frame it in a cute frame & Whola!!! Instant art on a budget for your nursery or child's bedroom!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My VERY FIRST Knock Off Wood Project!!!!

I have been following the blog 
www.knock-offwood.com for months!!!

I just LOVE the fact that at my own leisure, I can build FAB furniture from high end brands such as Pottery Barn, Land of Nod, Ballard Designs, etc. She empowers women everywhere to "build it without their husbands"! I have been drooling over her plans and FINALLY got around to building something. I started very simple, as I have literally no experience building anything. Not even a birdhouse folks! I choose the Simple, Cheap, & Easy Console Table as seen here:   

I have to say, I surprise myself once again! (I seem to do that often! :) ) It literally took me about 3 hours to complete the table. I followed her plans almost to a T. I had a little problem with my wood not being very straight. I did the best I could. Menard's doesn't carry a very good selection for the cheap pine boards they sell. I literally spent an hour looking over boards and following her advice on how to select good boards, as talked about here:  http://www.knock-offwood.com/2009/11/how-to-select-good-boards.html
Needless to say, I did walk out of Menard's with the best that they had to sell that day, but still not every board was straight.  Here is my end result:


Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Look what I scored today at Target's Dollar spot area ($2.50). It is fun, fresh & funky. I just LOVE the color. It holds a 4x6 photo and my plan is to somehow rig it to go on my fridge to keep me uber organized this upcoming school year. Will post later as to how it finds a home!!


OK, I have to admit, I have a soft spot for anything retro! And I got the inspiration to makeover a new dresser for my son when I saw what Sherry & John did over at http://www.younghouselove.com/

Here is the FAB redo I am referring too. 

Courtesy of www.younghouselove.com
Go check it out here:  http://www.younghouselove.com/2010/03/nursery-progress-refinishing-a-veneer-dresser/

So when I came across this dresser at my local Salvation Army, I fell in love. But at the price of $40 dollars, I sadly walked away. But since I am a frequent shopper there, I checked back with my dresser several times over the next month. And within 4 weeks, I have to say it was marked down several times. (I don't think they like large furniture pieces taking up their showroom floor). But this last time I checked, it had been marked down to $15. SCORE!!! It was finally in my price range (I know, I am CHEAP!). But this proves that if you have some patience, you can get a unbelievable deal! So here is my little beauty, she needs a lot of TLC but I was up to the challenge:



As you can see, she was beat up pretty badly. Hence why no one else grabbed her for over a month but me! But I saw the hidden potential and I couldn't wait to see her glow!
I started off by cleaning her thoroughly. I use baby wipes for this, my kids are way past the baby wipes stage, but I still keep them around for messy situations & furniture clean up.
My next step was to sand her down, which I used my handy dandy craftsman hand sander which I got for my birthday this past year from my Dad & Step mom. This step took the longest. Once I got her all sanded down, I used some of those tacky rags to remove all the sawdust and make sure my surface was clean. Then I started staining. I used the same stain as Sherry & John....Minwax Wood Finish in Red Mahogany.  This step took no time at all. I let it sit overnight in my garage and the next day finished her off with Minwax Water-based Polycrylic clear satin. I applied 2 coats over the entire dresser, and 4 coats on the top of the dresser for extra durability. And here she is:

 Not bad for $15, huh??

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"FREE" Chair Makeover


Hello All! Today I am going to show you my fabulous FREE Chair Makeover. This is one of the three chairs I am currently working on. I have to say, it turned out way better than I expected. It is the first chair I have made over. I have done lots of dining room chairs, benches, etc.

She sure is Ugly, but ya gotta love FREE.

I started out by taking all the fabric off piece by piece. I tried to keep it all in tact as much as possible (sometimes hard with old fabric). I will use the pieces I remove as my pattern for the new fabric. It is also how I will decide how much fabric I need. Once I got all the old fabric off I take this time to sand down the legs and arms and paint or re stain in this case.

While I am waiting for the stain to dry, my next step is to take my new fabric and cut each piece out until I have all the pieces I need to reassemble my chair and WHALA! A beautiful, NEW chair! Only about $30 in fabric, staples, and decorative tacks. (I always watch for fabric sales at Hancock Fabrics. They have their 40-55% off sales frequently. I never pay full price for fabric!