Saturday, September 22, 2012

Looking Beyond #3 - Easy Fixes

Are you a Visionary?

You might be. 
If you buy broken things... 
with intentions of fixing them.
If you see things that could be great
if they just lost some extraneous something...

Consider this wood frame sofa:

At first glance, it has really nice wood details, 
and seriously outdated fabric. Not to mention the 
abundance of pillows. Too many pillows. 

(I think someone tried to bring
this vintage sofa into the 1980's.) 

Here's how it looked at the thrift store:

Wouldn't you have just passed it by?
My grand dog doesn't like it, either.
She hates blue AND plaid.

See how much better it looks by just
removing the extra pillows?
You can actually see the carved wood details.

Humor me. Just try to visualize natural linen here...

FYI - I plan on covering it with drop cloth and adding
some lumbar bolster pillows. After the grand dog moves. 
For now, it's her favorite lounging spot. 
(Surprisingly comfy, and GREAT view of the mail box.)


In previous Visionary posts, we have 
looked at two very easy fixes:
Cleaning and Painting 
all those free and thrifty finds.

Click on the links below to see 

But, really - just thinking about FIXING 
something can be a little daunting - I KNOW.

Before you completely dismiss the idea of FIXING, 
consider that SOME fixes are REALLY EASY.
And they make all the difference in the world!

 None of the following fixes took more 
than one evening - including drying time. 

None required any skills beyond basic 
jeri-rigging 101 skills, or any expensive tools.

Most fixes were done with materials 
I had around the house - except for 
Looking Glass paint.  (I already 
had the chalkboard paint on hand.)

Easy Fix #1
Recovering a Lamp Shade

Consider the lamp shade below. 
LOVE the shape of it. 
HATE the bow, trim and shine.


What to do? First, Rip off the ribbon. 

Next, grab a piece of burlap big enough 
to wrap around the shade. Trim it to fit.

Glue on the burlap and finish the edges 
by gluing on the seam binding tape. 


Voila! A cool new lamp in less than an hour.
Cost of lamp and shade: Under $4.
Glue and Burlap: had on hand from another project.
Cost of seam binding tape: Under $3.

1 cute lamp - ugly frou frou + burlap =
Cute lamp and shade for $7.

See the original post HERE.

Easy Fix #2
Nice glass shape and size...but that's all!
The lamp below was deconstructed 
and then it was redone.

When I first saw it, it was filled with what 
appeared to be seashells and sand. 

(It was actually shell-shaped SOAP!)

In an evening, it was transformed.
Recognize it now? 

1 thrift store lamp - interior soap and sand
+ a few coats of Looking glass paint 
+ a new shade = a cool new lamp!

Cost: Under $20. 
Time: Under 2 hours. 

See the original post HERE.

Easy Fix #3
(maybe this should have been #1!)

 Question: Did you notice the French-style frame above? 

Here's what it looked like when I found 
it for $3 in a thrift store: 

The only thing I did was remove the print.
1 Cool Frame - 1 ugly print = LOVE.
Cost: $3 
Time: 5 minutes tops!

The next time you go thrifting and
find an interesting but flawed piece
ask yourself a few questions:

Q - Is there something I can simply remove that will improve the design of this piece? 
    • Ugly molding ?
    • Ugly hardware?
    • Ugly or unnecessary doors? 
    • Unnecessary frou frou? Pillows?
Easy Fix #4
More Take-Aways

Industrial, wire and metal pieces are hotter than ever. 
Imagine my delight when I saw these wire baskets!

When I asked how much they were, 
I thought the price they quoted was for one basket.

The price was for ALL FIVE BASKETS. 
They are the perfect size to hold 
extra TP or hand towels and can be
perched on the back of the porcelain facilities.

I can guess why I got them so cheaply:
rickety bamboo rimming the top edge of each basket
was coming off of some of them. They were "broken." 


I didn't want bamboo on my industrial TP baskets!

I used tin snips to cut through the bindings, 
removed the bamboo and they look totally industrial now!

Subtraction could be my favorite subject!

Way back in design school, we had
one lesson I'll always remember:

Sometimes even more so.

Future Easy Fix:
See these little shutters with 
dated fabric shirred inside them?
They're up for a remake soon. 
I plan to sand or strip them a bit, 
and remove the dated floral fabric.
I'll replace it with something WAY cooler. 
Maybe drop cloth...burlap... 
vintage lace or even hardware wire! 

Q - Is there something missing or broken that could easily be replaced?
    • Broken mirror or glass?
    • Hardware, knobs or feet?
    • A missing drawer or door?
Easy Fix #5
Options for a broken mirror

I THINK this was probably a mirror. 
I like the simple detail on the top edge...

Considering my options...
I could have a new mirror cut for a few dollars, 
Or I could use some CHALKBOARD PAINT!!!


If you find a cool old mirror frame, 
there are LOTS of options, 
including cork, book pages, even white board paint!
Check out Pinterest for more ideas.

Easy Fix #6
Chipped wood corner shelf
(This is the first real fix - 
but it was easier than I thought.)

This sweet vintage corner shelf had a broken piece. 
I didn't notice it at the thrift store, and bought it.


When I took a closer look at home,
I cringed. At first I was sorry I bought it, 
though it only cost a few dollars. 

But, with nothing to lose, 
I decided to try to cut the unbroken 
side and match it to the broken one. 
It was easy. I did it with a cheap pocket knife. 
Then I sanded and painted it. 


If I hadn't told you, you'd never know 
it wasn't designed to look this way!

One note of caution:
Check it out. 
A wobbly chair may not be an easy fix. 
A missing door might be easy.

More Considerations for EASY FIX PROJECTS:
  • Don't pay much for anything broken, in case it doesn't work to fix it. 
  • Ease into your projects - start small and easy.
  • Consider your skill level and the tools you have.
  • A successful EASY project is inspiring. A difficult project can leave ANYONE feeling defeated and uninspired to try new things.
  • Do you have friends with skills and tools? Offer to barter for lessons.
  • Check out Google and YOU TUBE. There are How To's for anything there! (Just proceed cautiously...)
Word for the Day:
Isaiah 61:4
They shall build up the ancient ruins; 
they shall raise up the former devastations; 
they shall repair the ruined cities, 
the devastations of many generations.

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