DIY PROJECT: POP OF COLOR FOR MAGAZINE RACK

I picked up this lovely wooden magazine rack for $3 at the local Salvation Army, hoping it would serve as a temporary end table next to my side of the reclining couch. The rack was in good shape, with the knobby end pieces needing to be tightened and the bottom shelf piece needing glue or nails to keep from sliding back and forth. When Charlie inspected my new purchase, he kindly offered to attach a piece of leftover wood to the bottom shelf for stabilization. I love my husband so much.

As soon as Charlie cut and nailed the extra piece of wood to the bottom of the magazine rack, I started priming it with some leftover yellow paint from the kitchen paint project. I was searching for ideas and inspiration on Pinterest about repainting the magazine rack when I briefly glanced at a picture tutorial of adding stickers to the side and painting over them for a textured look. Hmmmmm. I can do that!

Luckily, a packet of heart stickers were just lying around the kitchen counter because I hadn’t found a place for them in my completely unorganized workroom. Eight hearts in the package. Four hearts to each side. I think these stickers were meant for this project! Having the hearts simply run down the side was a simple but pretty design, and I didn’t waste time with a ruler — I just eyeballed the space between the hearts.

I’m really not looking for pure perfection with the sticker placement or my paint job for that matter. As long as the paint drips aren’t too big or outrageous, I’m totally cool with small imperfections. I found myself itching to work on the project during the evenings, which meant sitting in the basement with the box fan. Fortunately, the cats had no desire to help or bother me so I was safe for a few days.

I think I have a magazine rack addiction. After having lunch with a friend and her adorable 1-year-old kid a few weeks after picking up the first magazine rack, we ended up at the Salvation Army store and I nabbed TWO more wooden racks! The darker colored one was $3 — and I would’ve been cool with paying that — but it had a 50% off sticker. No internal debate was necessary. And I didn’t need to talk myself into buying the second rack for the full price of $3.

Was yellow too babyish? Too bright? Charlie suggested placing one of the magazine racks next to the couch and looking at it among the surrounding. My husband is a smart man. I followed his suggestion when the magazine rack was dry enough to handle, and I was pleasantly surprised how much I like the pop of yellow in the sea of rich brown decor. Satisfied yellow was the correct color choice, I continued to paint two of the three racks.

For now the first newly painted magazine rack sits beside my side of the couch and holds my laptop until I can find end tables that meet my high expectations. I’m really happy that I stuck with yellow because it pops next to the brown couch and matches the curtains. The rack is perfect for housing my laptop instead of leaving it on the couch’s armrest. One yellow magazine rack down two more to go.

The second wooden magazine rack was in good shape but it was a little rough around the edges — literally. Maybe whoever made it was aiming for a rustic look because some areas definitely needed sandpaper. After sanding some areas here and there, I simply gave the second magazine rack a few coats of yellow paint over the course of a few days. Now, it sits in one of the bathrooms holding extra rolls of toilet paper. And the third and final magazine rack? Well, that one deserves its own post. Stay tuned.

REFASHION: BAILLY APRIL 15

I have a favorite skirt! For a measly $3, I discovered this beautiful size 3 dress at a consignment store. The dress was absolutely nowhere my size, but I just fell in the love with the colors and pattern of the dress. Really the last thing I needed was another piece of clothing to refashion, but I just love love love the classic colors and pattern of the dress.

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TO BUY OR TO NOT TO BUY — THAT IS THE QUESTION.

Surprisingly, the refashion from dress to skirt was pretty easy. Before snipping off the top of the dress, I estimated where the potential skirt would fit over my curves, marked the area, and sewed a straight stitch to keep the skirt, lining, and tulle — netting? — together. I cut off the top part just above the straight stitch and tried the skirt portion on.

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MY RILEY CAT HELPING WITH THE REFASHION.

Unfortunately, my guess was a little off and I needed to cut a few more inches off. No problem. Again, I estimated where the skirt would fit, marked the area, sewed another straight stitch, and cut the extra inches off. PERFECT! The skirt fit nicely over my curves, and the length was absolutely PERFECT! I loved everything about almost completed skirt.

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ADDED 3-INCH BLACK ELASTIC TO THE WAISTBAND

My last piece of black 3-inch elastic was the perfect length for the new waistband of the skirt. I marked where the elastic fit me nicely and sewed the elastic ends together. I matched the skirt’s back seam and the elastic band seam together and pinned parts of the elastic to the skirt. As I sewed between two pins, I simply stretched the elastic.

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MY BEAUTIFUL NEW SKIRT! I CANNOT WAIT TO WEAR IT!

The whole process took me two Modern Family episodes! I am so impressed with myself! Did I mention how much I love this skirt? Charlie was pretty impressed with the refashion when I detailed my amazing journey of turning a size 3 dress into a beautiful skirt for me. I know my closet doesn’t need another skirt, but I’m not giving up this skirt anytime soon. LOVE!

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Now that my project Collection 26 is FINALLY completed, I need to start a new project! So, introducing the LLY Collection, where refashioned items will be marked with a name that ends in lly. Adelly. Cicelly. Holly. Molly. Dolly. Surprisingly, not too many names end in lly, and I had to research some names in order to have a complete list of 50 names.

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REFASHION: QUILLBY APRIL 15

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For $7, I scored a tiny little purse with beautiful black wooden handles, a beautiful white shirt with a black embroidery pattern, and a small gray T-shirt at an area consignment shop. A few hours later, I snipped apart the shirt with intention of turning it into an amazing skirt!

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I snipped off the long sleeves and the collar from the shirt and shaped the body of the shirt into a boxy-ish rectangle. I cut the long sleeves apart into long strips to create a tube for the waistband. This has been my go-to method and so-far favorite method when creating skirts.

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After attaching the tube to the skirt, a piece of elastic was inserted and sewn together. Now, I have a beautiful white patterned skirt! Because of the color, I hope the skirt will look good all year long with either strappy sandals or knee high boots.

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The elastic waistband bothered me — it was really bunchy and not very pretty. So, I took off the waistband and added a new one refashioned from a pair of black stretchy pants from a thrift store. One of the legs was turned into a tube to accommodate a 3-inch piece of elastic.

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I really love using wide elastic for waistbands, and this is the first time I’ve used 3-inch elastic (I usually work with 2-inch elastic). In my opinion, the black waistband definitely makes more of a statement and I just love the wider width.

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SKIRT REFASHION: SUTTON JUNE

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CLARA LOOKING ALL CUTE AND CUDDLY NEAR MY SHIRT REFASHION.

I think I wore this nice maroon lace-ish shirt a few times before deciding I didn’t like it all that much. After snipping off the sleeves and cutting just below the neckline, I slipped on the maroon tube and evaluated its potential as a skirt. The future pencil skirt was a teeny bit too tight but I had a quick solution. A few months ago, I bought a set of four dark brown and lace table placements at a local high-end consignment store.

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MY SHIRT + LACE PLACEMAT SNIPPED IN TWO = SKIRT REFASHION

I took one of the placement and cut it down the middle. I simply inserted a lace panel between the shirt’s side seams. By the way, I hand sewed EVERYTHING. My sewing machine was still out of order, and I didn’t want to clean or do anything productive. To justify watching TV all day, I needed to work on something. Once I have access to a working sewing machine, I’ll reinforce my hand stitches and seams.

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I HAND SEWN THE TOP HEM AND THE LACE PANELS TO THE SHIRT.

I love the addition of the lace panels to the new skirt, which was pretty simple to assemble. Add panels. I didn’t have to mess around with the bottom hem. I just needed to focus on the top hem and simply add elastic to the back part of the skirt. Which by the way, one of these days I will need to learn how to install zippers to evolve my sewing skills. Snaking elastic through the top is simple and my strongest skill when creating skirts.

PIECE OF ELASTIC ADDED TO

PIECE OF ELASTIC ADDED TO BACK WAIST OF SKIRT.

Practice is definitely needed when adding wider elastic to the top of a skirt. And I recently discovered adding elastic to just the BACK of the skirt instead of the whole thing. I didn’t even know that’s possible! After reading a tutorial where a woman used this method, I decided to try it. And now, I think this may be my favorite waist skirt method. Anyway, I love the new skirt even though it might be a more fall-winter skirt.

SHIRT REFASHION: LACE PROJECT 2

The more I wore the red shirt, the more flaws I found. One, the fake second layer wasn’t useful to me. The white panel’s neckline didn’t lay quite right, and the white hemline was shorter than the red hemline. When I wear a camisole underneath a shirt, the cami becomes either a protective shield for the outer sheer or flimsy shirt or a belly guard if the outer shirt is short in length. Rarely do I ever wear a camisole, thinking, “Hey, I think I should wear a cami under this T-shirt because I just can.” I wear camis for a purpose.

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MY RED SHIRT AND MY RILEY CAT

The second issue I have with the shirt is the sleeves. I like the idea of changing the sleeve length anytime I want, but I’ve always worn the shirt with the sleeves rolled up and buttoned. Once I put the shirt on, I don’t want to spend five to 10 minutes fiddling with the sleeves. Sounds petty and lame, but I’m a “throw on the clothes” kind of girl. If I have a little bit of time to spare, I’ll twirl around a few times in front of the mirror.

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READY TO FIX THE SLEEVES

With some time on my hands and my sewing machine still out of order, I sat my tush down in front of the television during a Modern Family marathon and pulled out my needle and thread. I cut off another edge piece from my stash of lace, giving me a ready-made hem! I snipped out the white panel because the neckline wasn’t that low anyway. I hand stitched the lace trim to the hem of the shirt.

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FIXING THE SLEEVE AND ADDING LACE TO THE HEM

I cut off some of the sleeve length and rolled it into a cuff. I hand stitched the cuff in place so I didn’t need to fiddle with it every time I threw the shirt on. I removed the buttons and reattached them a little higher on the sleeve. And the end result? I LOVE IT! I love the red shirt so much more than the original. No more fiddling with the sleeves. The hemline is a bit longer. I’m so proud of myself and my vision.

SHIRT REFASHION: PRETTY LITTLE LACE

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PRETTY LACE PROJECT 1: THE BLUE SHIRT

During a recent trip to a local high-endish consignment shop, I found a beautiful lace piece for a few dollars. As soon as I took the lace out of the bag for closer inspection, all sorts of ideas popped into my mind. The four lace edges would be used to slightly lengthen some shirts, and the leftover lace would serve as side panels to enlarge a few shirts.

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With my sewing machine out of order, I turned to my trusty needle and thread. I cut off one side of the lace that matched the width of my shirt hem. After pinning the lace to the bottom hem, my trusty needle and thread went to work for a few hours. Other than a few pokes to my thumb, the process was pretty painless and simple and made me miss my sewing machine terribly.

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SO PRETTY!

I love the end result, with the lace adding a little pizzazz to a simple shirt. My only concern is the stiffness of the bottom. Maybe after a few washes, the lace will loosen — or not because I don’t work with lace too much. The next time I add lace to a shirt hem, I might use elastic thread. Would that make the hem less stiff? Only one way to find out …