DIY, Fashion

3 Ways to Upcycle A Damaged Blouse


One of my favorite things to do is score great finds at thrift shops, and I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I found this great, funky plaid silk blouse.  Though a little “loud,” I though it’d be a great Christmas season top.  However, when I got home from the shop, I discovered a rip along the button line.  It wasn’t a fixable problem, but there are plenty of alternative uses for great fabric!  Here are 3 ways I up-cycled this plaid blouse.



I wanted to still wear this as a blouse under cardigans, so my first project was to make a Dickie.  Most people have super dorky connotations of the Dickie (aka Christmas Vacation) but they are definitely back in style, in a much more chic way.  It gives you that button up look without the bulkiness of layering it under a sweater.  Here is an easy tutorial on how to make one.  Mine is definitelt not perfect, and it’s a bit uneven, but you don’t notice the imperfections once it’s under my cardigan.



Using some of the sleeve fabric I made a retro bow headband.  I’ve made them before, so I just winged it, but for a detailed tutorial, click here.




Since there were ruffles on the sleeve, I was able to make a super easy flower brooch by cutting off the ruffle, twisting it around and securing with thread.  I added a white covered button from my button box and a brooch pin on the back (secured with super glue).  For a similar concept, this link is a great option for a variety of different fabric flower brooches.



Grab a little helper like mine, put some Netflix on, and you have yourself a great winter project!

Decor, DIY

Chalk Spray Paint for Furniture

When when my husband and I moved into our home last year, we discovered our dining table, perfect for our small apartment, was swallowed by our new, large dining room.    I had been waiting for a good replacement, when a family member was kind enough to give us their beautiful inlayed wood dining table! The table was vintage and the perfect size, but now we needed more chairs to fill the space.


Luckily, they also gave us two chairs, which had great bones, just needed a makeover.


Though mismatched, our existing chairs are dark grey and black and go together well.  The new additions needed to add to the eclectic vibe while still being color cohesive.  I decided on black for the wood, and to reupholster the seats in a similar dark grey to the existing chairs.  However, I’m the first to admit I hate a lot of prep work when it comes to furniture upcycling.

Chalk Paint is the answer to my furniture prepping woes! It doesn’t require sanding, usually doesn’t require multiple coats, and is durable.  However, for a small project like two dining chairs, a quart of paint and sealer for $30+ wasn’t ideal, so I looked for alternatives.


I discovered Krylon Chalky Paint and it was sooooo easy to use! It dried super fast, had great coverage, and only took 1.5 cans ($4 each on sale with a 40% off coupon at Michael’s).  It’s smooth to the touch, so it didn’t require a sealant and I had the chairs painted and reupholstered in less than a day.  If you are looking for a more detailed review of Krylon Chalky Spray Paint spray paint, I recommend this post.

Here are the results! They are a great addition to our eclectic dining room.



DIY: Felt Flower Clutch

Inspired by the beautiful, rich colors of fall fashion, I wanted a new colorful purse to add to my wardrobe without breaking the bank.  I found this mustard yellow clutch for $8.99 on Amazon and an idea was born! This flower clutch was fairly easy to make and just took a couple hours to make. I chose felt because it’s super cheap (mine were $0.39 a piece), comes in lots of colors and the edges don’t fray when you cut the fabric.  With a little glue, thread, and felt, you can make your own felt flower clutch too!image


* Clutch purse

* 3 different colors of felt for flowers

* 1 piece of green felt

* small gold beads

* super glue

* sharpie

* Large needle

* thread in similar to color to each flower

* fabric scissors (or scissors sharp enough to cut felt)



1. Trace out a rough outline of each petal and leaf with sharpie. I did between 10-14 for each flower depending on their size    (I did 5 for each layer of the rounded flower, orange and blue, and 7 for each layer of the pink flower). I did two leaves for each flower.  If you aren’t comfortable drawing out your own petals, you can download this file with some great flowers you can print, cut and outline.



2. Cut out each petal.  Like me, you will probably have some sharpie showing, so make sure the petals are flipped to the “clean” side when they are eventually sewn together.



3. Roughly arrange the petals and leaves on the clutch to get an idea of how they will look together.  Each flower is two layers of petals for depth.


4. Prep needle and thread with color of first flower, with a knotted end. Make sure the thread is approx long enough to go through all petals.  Take two petals of one flower and slightly overlap ends at the center of the flower.



5. Thread needle through petals twice to secure petals together.


6. Add another petal, slightly overlapped, and repeat step 5 to secure.


7. Thread the remaining two petals to complete the first layer of the flower.


8. Layer the remaining petals on top in between the first layer of petals to fill the gaps and add depth to the look of the flower.  Thread and secure these petals on to the first layer to complete the flower. Knot off end of thread and prep needle with new thread with knotted end.


9. Thread needle through middle of flower, add gold bead, and secure by looping through to back of petals.  Thread needle through front of flower again, as close to previous bead, and form a rough circle of beads to mimic the center of a flower.


10. Fill in center of gold bead circle to complete flower center and knot off thread.


11. Repeat steps 4-10 for other two flowers. Once complete, arrange on clutch with two leaves on each flower.  Carefully super glue each flower and its leaves to clutch.  Voila! Super colorful felt flower clutch!





Tropical Inspired Glassware Now on Etsy

Inspired by my love of tiki culture, I decided to make a few sets of tropical glassware!  Made with waterproof grade gold vinyl and sturdy glasses, these would be a great addition to your bar collection! (Still recommend to hand wash because of delicate designs) Each is a set of four.




All sets are currently listed on etsy, including these two cute trays!



I curently have several sets of aqua wine glasses that I can make similar pineapple glasses if the first set is sold.

DIY, Fashion

Bringing Back The Brooch

Brooches and lapel pins have been making a huge comeback, especially among the retro community. They are a great way to add personality to an outfit with minimal effort. Though I own many necklaces, I prefer wearing brooches because of my habit of wearing cardigans. I love adding a bit of sparkle to outfits, but lately I’ve been drawn to resin brooches as well. Quirky and unique, there are a plethora of artists making resin brooches that are a must have for your wardrobe. Here are a few artists I recommend if you are looking to purchase one for yourself!





Although all these handmade beauties are fabulous, sometimes you want to add some pizazz without breaking the bank. For under $5, I made this super cute rotary telephone brooch! Here is the super simple DIY below.


– Pendant (something with a semi-flat back)

– Brooch Pin Back Catch

– Needle Nose Pliers

– Hot Glue or Super Glue

– Nail File (if needed)

After a little browsing in the jewelry section of Michaels, I discovered many cute pendants that could easily be turned into brooches. I chose this rotary phone for its sparkle and vintage flair.



1. Remove the pendant hook with needle nose pliers.


2. Since the metal of the pendant was a bit fragile, the little loop snapped off as well. This left some slightly sharp edges, so after taking a nail file to the top of the pendant, it was good to go! Depending on which pendant you choose, and how easily the pendant hook, you can skip this step.


3. Apply hot glue or super glue (I chose super glue) to the back of the Brooch Pin Back Catch, and stick onto the back of the pendant.

4. Let it dry and voila! Super quick DIY brooch!



Design On A Dime: Vintage Kitchen

Owning my own historic house is a dream come true, I was the type of little girl who watched HGTV over cartoons. However, owning a house comes with many bills and maintenance, so the budget for decor and renovations can be TIGHT. I don’t let this stop me from expressing my vintage style though, especially in the kitchen. Limited on what I could change on our budget, I focused mostly on accessories to make the kitchen become more vintage. With some patience, creativity and some discount shopping, you can too! In this post, I’ll share the ways I made my kitchen more vintage on a budget.



If you are lucky enough to already have open shelving, this is a great way to add color and vintage style to a plain kitchen. If that is not an option in your kitchen, displaying decor above your cabinets is an equally great way to add personality. With the little display shelves to the left of my sink, I arranged various tea cups, bowls and vases in our kitchen’s color scheme (the before mentioned red, black, white, aqua and a touch of gold). Some pieces, like the delicate tea cups, were from a previous personal collection, while others were purchased on sale fro TJ Maxx and Anthropologie.

Since my shelves were quite small, I kept my pieces to a smaller scale. However, if you are decorating on larger shelves (that aren’t needed for functional kitchenware) colorful trays, pottery, vintage tins and antique kitchenware like scales, are great items to display. For decorating above cabinets, vintage wooden crates, large pottery, or antique kitchen paraphernalia. With some diligent hunting at thrift stores, antique malls, and the sales at decor stores, you can come away with some great deals on items to decorate your shelves.



In the picture above, you’ll notice the plate collage. I hung this on the wall above the island to better blend the dining room and kitchen together. It is also a great vintage focal point before entering the kitchen. Plate collages are a classic way to decorate a vintage-style kitchen. To put this collection together, I used a mixture of hand-made and thrifted. I searched several antique stores and goodwill for plates, and kept each purchase at $2 or under. I even bought a couple blank plates and decorated them with sharpie. For the other plates, I enlisted my husband, which included one he made himself and two purchased from another ceramic artist. These were more of a splurge, but really added to the overall theme. To keep the plate collage cohesive but still mismatched, I stayed within a color scheme (red, black, white, aqua and a touch of gold).




When you have some wall to spare in a kitchen, vintage-style art is a great way to decorate your kitchen on a budget. One way I displayed wall art in my kitchen is by dissecting a Rifle Paper Co. coffee & tea calendar. Picking my favorite prints from the calendar that fit my color scheme, I trimmed away the calendar, left the art print and added some scalloped paper to properly fit the prints in my IKEA frames. (FYI: IKEA is a great place to find cheap frames).

Other great vintage-style wall art could be old kitchen adverts, vintage seed packets, botanical prints, and diner signs.



If you are looking to add some color that screams ‘retro or ‘vintage’ without breaking the bank, paint your kitchen door and/or window trim. Cherry red, aqua, mint green, and sunny yellow are a few colors that come to mind when thinking ‘retro kitchen colors.’ It adds that pop or color without being overbearing.

Window valences are another way to add vintage color or pattern. Ginghams, polka dots, toile, and fruit prints are indicative of bygone eras. Hanging a series of vintage handkerchiefs or towels as window valences are also a great idea.



My last tip on adding vintage style to a kitchen is making everyday kitchen objects also display pieces. Instead of storing our bread in the cabinet, I re-decorated a vintage bread box with spray paint and striped paper. I have various pretty jars to store nicknacks on the counter, like the victorian house cookie jar. A retro diner canister holds pretty paper straws, and a little ceramic scottie dog to hold my pen for grocery lists. Instead of storing oven mitts in the drawer, I hang them on cabinet knobs and hooks above the stove. Our olive oil and kitchen utensils are displayed in gorgeous handmade pottery from fellow ceramic artists.

I hope you enjoyed my tips on decorating a vintage kitchen on a budget. Let me know how yours comes along!