Two DIY projects to share that aren’t tutorials

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You know I’m pretty good at sharing simple DIY projects that are sort of “hey here’s something I did that you can do too that isn’t really a tutorial,” right? Well I’ve got two more to share! More of those small DIY’s that make a big difference!

Upcycle a thrifted footstool

I recently found this inexpensive footstool at Goodwill. It was new in the box, meaning “some assembly required,” meaning it’s not a vintage piece at all. In fact it looks like it is straight out of the Lilian Vernon catalog. (You know what I mean, right? Those mail-order catalogs that sell everything from electric heating pads and pet beds to rain gauges and housecoats… Lilian Vernon and Fingerhut are two I can recall – my aunt used to call them “cockey-lockey catalogs.”) Anyway, $9.99 brand new and mine for $3.99.

I quickly put it together by screwing on the legs (DIY!). I wasn’t crazy about the fabric, but it did have a sort of old-timey tapestry look to it. And the framing was, to my surprise, solid wood. I had a thought that maybe if I painted it using chalk paint, it would look more aged. Now this is not, as I said, a tutorial, because really it was just a few simple steps: remove the top (storage inside!), paint the wood with chalk paint, distress the edges with a sanding block, finish with a coat of clear wax, and put the lid back on. I think it turned out rather sweet, and I like the fabric just a little bit more because the green paint coordinates well with it. At some point I will probably get a bigger piece of foam and re-cover it, but it’s fine for now. Maybe needs fringe?

So now this is me updating this post just five days later, because a quick after-dinner stop at a consignment store on Friday night yielded the perfect piece to use as a new top for my little footstool. I snagged a memory foam pillow almost the exact size of my footstool lid for $1.15, so Greg cut a new piece of wood for me and I used a bit of beautiful rose-floral drapery from my fabric stash to cover it. It went from being so-so mass-produced footstool to being an absolutely charming custom cottage tuffet!

Cottage footstool

Replace a dated light fixture

My dear little home-sweet-mobile-home was still sporting its original 1970’s dining room light fixture, and I’ve been on the lookout for a new one. I finally found this fabulous shiny gold chandelier – WITH CRYSTAL PINEAPPLE! – on Facebook Marketplace for just $25. This project was even easier for me than the last one, primarily because I let Greg do it. My job was to stand behind him while he was on the stepstool and be prepared to throw myself under him if he fell over backwards. Fortunately that didn’t happen, so installation was uneventful. Within literally 15 minutes, my new pineapple chandelier was gleaming above the dining table!

I am SO delighted with this piece (ha! get it? de-LIGHT-ed… because it’s a chandelier! Oh, I crack me up!)… the only think it might need is crystal baubles dangling from the bobeches, but I will have to actually replace the existing bobeches because these don’t have holes to hang the crystals. I think it would look extra-fabulous though, so I’ll be on the lookout!

Have you made any home updates lately? I seem to be on a roll with the small DIY projects, and I’m hoping to get several more things done before it’s time to start working in the garden.

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