Painted Faux Grain Sack Barrel

5-DSCF4024Painted Faux Grain Sack Barrel

1-DSCF4008I’ve had this barrel for several years, but since I no longer have a barn to keep it in, it has been in storage. I had used it to store craft supplies in, but moving it into the house in it’s original state was not happening. I like old and rustic, but the stains just didn’t appeal to me. The coffee cup puts the size into perspective.

The barrel is made of heavy cardboard, the bottom and the lid is wood and there is a metal ring around the bottom edge. I painted it all white, but it was boring. Since it was not only going to be used as storage again, but also as part of my home’s decor, it needed a little something-something.

2-DSCF4016I decided to give it a faux grain sack appearance. I masked off stripes on the top and bottom using painter’s tape.

3-DSCF4017The tape made painting nice crisp lines super easy.

4-DSCF4026But I still wasn’t done. The fleur-de-lis stencil I had used on the small end table a few weeks ago was sitting nearby.


5-DSCF4024It added just the right finish to the lid of the barrel.

I have a few more barrels of various sizes that could also be improved with this restyle. Yay!


Hutch Makeover

5-DSCF0998This was the particle board hutch I referred to in my previous “Junk Finds” post as a nightmare. Ordinarily I restyle furniture to sell, but I have never felt confident about painting particle board. I needed additional cupboard space in the house we just moved into, so I decided the $12 price tag was worth the effort for something I planned on keeping.

1-DSCF0974I cleaned the hutch well, but I resisted the urge to sand. I was afraid of sanding through the top layer and exposing the particle board underneath. I have seen the effects of particle board that has gotten wet and I didn’t want to take the chance it would happen on this hutch. Not sanding posed the biggest problem. Would the paint stick effectively? I think it did, but I would never sell it. Scratches or scuffs in the paint still appear too easily.

2-DSCF0981I removed the broken and torn cardboard backing and added my own backing using wood from my stash. I like the look, even though it’s not visible on my finished hutch. It was also needed to stabilize the hutch, so it was all good.

3-DSCF0983I gave the whole thing a coat of primer, then I mixed a few leftover paint colors and P of P to get the shade of chalk paint that I wanted. It took two coats to get the coverage that I wanted.

4-DSCF0984I love the weathered look of painted furniture, but I usually achieve that with sanding. Since that wasn’t possible this time, I finished up the painting with a dry-brushing of white paint.

I reattached the lower doors, but the top was completely open. That wasn’t going to work for me. This hutch was going to be used to store unsightly craft supplies.

6-DSCF1006I considered making a door, but I went the easy route. I have a lot of lace curtain panels. I simply cut the bottom to the needed length and hung the curtain inside the opening using a tension rod. Eventually I might add curtains inside the bottom doors, but for now I think it will work.



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The Itsy-Bitsy Bathroom

08-DSCF0357As I mentioned before, the home I am living in now is small. Figuring out how to organize and decorate is a challenge, but I am determined to make it work and give it my personality.

First up…the bathroom.

Yep, there is only one in this house. Making that work with four people isn’t the challenge I am addressing today though.

03-DSCF0324The bathroom is the size of a closet. Yes, I am standing outside the door for this shot. The bathtub/shower takes up half of the room…,

04-DSCF0325…while the sink and the toilet take up a quarter of the room. I am standing in the bathtub.

15-DSCF0367That leaves a quarter of the room for standing. Uh huh. Count the tiles and do the math. There is no ventilation and no electrical outlets in the room.

The sink is a pedestal sink. If the bathroom was larger I would love that, but it eliminates needed storage space and prevents storage space from being added. The medicine cabinet is the only storage space available…unless you count the little shelf above the toilet.

Finding ways to add storage was a true test of my skills. I found lots of ideas on Pinterest, but several issues blocked the ones I liked from becoming reality.

05-DSCF0326The dream of a long, shallow cupboard on the wall next to the tub was my first disappointment. The (non-functional) wall heater protrudes from the wall…

07-DSCF0330…and the top edge of the tiles sticks out 3/4 inch from the wall.

I finally decided on over-the-toilet storage as my beginning for building the room. I had first envisioned an enclosed cupboard, but short of building one myself, the only reasonably priced ones I found were made with particle board. With no ventilation in the room I knew that kind of material wouldn’t last long. I settled on a metal one with open shelving.

I ordered it and some canvas bins from

01-DSCF0319They didn’t arrive at the same time, but this was my first delivery. I was kinda worried when I saw the size of the box. To put it in perspective, that is my foot on the edge of the box.

02-DSCF0320This was what was inside. A bath-in-a-box. Yep, assembly required.

The reviews online about ease of assembly were not encouraging, but I am a tutorial reader as well as a tutorial writer…so I put on my big girl panties and got busy.

There were only a few minor issues. Nothing I couldn’t handle. :) The most difficult was the brace bar that connects the side legs together in the back. That bar has to be attached once the rack is in place because it goes under the tank. The problem with our toilet was the pipe for the water supply that comes out of the wall. It just so happened to be lined up exactly where the brace bar was to go. Hubby to the rescue. He drilled two new holes for the brace bar a few inches above the original ones. Easy peasy!

The bath-in-a-box that I ordered also came with a tp holder that stands on the floor and a rack that hangs over the back of the door. The hook that hung over the door was too wide and caused loud clanging whenever the door was opened or closed. Hubby to the rescue again. He cut off the hooks and drilled small holes into the top of the arms. We attached the rack with small screws through the holes.

12-DSCF0363When all these pieces were in place, it was time for the personality.

09-DSCF0358I had used this ladder in the living room of our old house for hanging quilts. It doesn’t work in our new living room, so I repurposed it into a towel rack. Funny how things around me just continue to get repurposed. I think it started out life as a backyard playground ladder.

08-DSCF0357I love, love, love the curtains…but as the only female in the household I had to insist on them. 😉 I already had a white liner, so technically the curtains didn’t need to be waterproof. The curtains I found are basic lace panels with an attached valance.

11-DSCF0362A little art work, the added canvas bins and a matching rug have finished it off so far. I still want to add a little more decor, but I feel better about where it’s going now.


Restyled Picnic Basket

20-DSCN6563Restyled Picnic Basket

Another restyled quickie.

09-DSCN6449I found this picnic basket at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago. I’m a sucker for a basket with a lid. I usually repurpose them into stackable storage.

10-DSCN6451Check out this cute little tray inside.

12-DSCN6455Unfortunately it had problems on one of the handles.

I decided the problems were not big enough issues to turn down this gem. It was only a dollar!

13-DSCN6543I cleaned up the basket and dry-brushed all the surfaces with white acrylic paint.

14-DSCN6546Even the tray got some attention. I could have stopped there, but…

18-DSCN6557…I found a cute apple print fabric that I ripped into strips and wrapped around the problems on the handle. I love it! Perfect fix!

19-DSCN6559The same fabric was used to add a bow on one of the handles.



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Shabby Chic Suitcases

I dug out a couple of suitcases from my stash. I have a lot of them that I have bought or acquired for restyling, but some of them have become storage for other craft supplies. I’m slowly trying to change that.

This pair was pretty grubby, and I hated the color.

The insides were just gross. I love shabby chic, but this is ridiculous! Yuck!

Ewww!!! Do you see the top right corner. I grabbed that and peeled. I did that with each case.

Much better. Finally a surface I can work with.

I decoupaged full pages of old sheet music. No measuring. I just slapped it in. Now that is a shabby chic surface I can live with.

I painted the outside of the cases a creamy butter color, sanded, dry brushed white over that, stenciled and stamped, then sanded some more.

Now the cases are not only great for storage, but they would make a great decorative addition to a room’s decor.

Wouldn’t they be cute filled with guest necessities in a bedroom or bathroom? How about filling them with grandma’s vintage linens? Pictures and scrapbook supplies? Dress-up clothes?

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