Thrifty and Original Light Features

Whenever the time changes and it starts to get dark earlier in the evening, I start trying to add additional light to my home. I just love lights and the warmth they give off. They provide excellent ambiance during the holiday season and create a cozy and homey feeling.

This year, I have 2 light features I’m especially thrilled with. Both are created from secondhand items and they provide a unique look.

Light Fixture, Vintage, Birdcage, Bird Cage, Pendant Light, Crystal, Light Bulb

Vintage metal birdcage with pendant light and antique-style light bulb.

This is a vintage metal birdcage that I’ve hung a decorative pendant light in. I chose one with a crystal-like shade because I wanted the light to reflect in all different directions, like a chandelier. Originally I wanted to use a small chandelier but I couldn’t find one that would fit inside nicely. I think I still achieved the same effect though. Although they are kind of pricey, I splurged and purchased one of the antique-style light bulbs from Lowes. I really love the way it turned out and how warm the light is.


Light Fixture, Vintage, Birdcage, Bird Cage, Pendant Light, Crystal, Light Bulb

Vintage metal birdcage with pendant light and antique-style light bulb.

birdcage2The second light feature I recently made, was really simple. I found a wooden case of an old clock from the early 1900’s at the Goodwill. The clock pieces weren’t all there anymore, but the case itself and the woodwork was beautiful, so I had to get it!

DIY Old Clock Case Light Feature

Antique germanic clock case, turned upside to set on a mantel. Secondhand mason jar with bulb lights inside.

Look at the beautiful domed and beveled glass! They wanted $30 for this solid piece and I thought it was totally worth it. I added a secondhand mason jar that I got for .29 cents and put battery operated bulb lights inside (Big Lots). I love that you see the glowing jar centered through the antique domed glass. So pretty!

oldclocklight2Both of these projects were relatively simple but add so much character to my antique buffet and family room mantel. And best of all? They are the only ones of their kind. Mission accomplished!



DIY New Home or Wall Decor Door – Shabby Chic Style

I have a fun new project that is pretty easy and fairly inexpensive. I love to rummage through the IKEA “as is” section just to see what treasures I may find. Sometimes I find great linens with cute patterns to use as fabric. Other times it’s a slightly damaged picture frame that can either be repaired or painted. In this case, I came across their cabinet doors. They are all random shapes and sizes and usually are only a few bucks. I found a cute long skinny one I wanted to use to make this project:

DIY Shabby Chic Door Wall Decor

Perfect for a housewarming gift, wedding gift, or just a cute wall piece to add to your existing home.

The cabinet door I chose was 1.99. I don’t have pictures for step by step directions but the directions are pretty self explanatory so I will list them in order and if you have any questions let me know!

1. The first thing I did was clean it. Obviously it’s a good idea to clean the object before painting it.

2. I used a dark brown flat paint to sort of “prime” the piece. The main reason I did this though was to create a dark layer under the white paint to show through when I distressed it.

3. After that dried I used vaseline in the areas I wanted to distress.

4. I sprayed a white satin spray paint over the entire piece and let that dry.

5. Then I rubbed off the vaseline areas with a paper towel once the white paint had completely dried, to reveal the distressed areas.

6. There will already be a hole drilled in the cabinet for some hardware, so all you have to do is find a knob you love to add to it. I love the knobs at Hobby Lobby, and they are ALWAYS on sale, so I found one that looked like a mini antique door knob. I think it ended up being about $3? They also have adorable crystal knobs too. I would just take a look and try not to be overwhelmed!

7. Finally, to get the text on, I opened a document in Illustrator that was the same size as the top and bottom panels of the door. My panels were 2″ x 6″. I’m sure you could use a word processing program as well. Or you could draw a rectangle in any program the size of the top and bottom panel just to give you a reference, then select the type size and style to fit within the panels. The dimensions just help you choose the right size of text so that it fits perfectly on your door.

8. Print this text out and hold the paper up to a window and flip the paper over so you can see the text through the paper. Then you want to take a pencil and lead the entire back of the text. This is a similar method to when I did the chalkboard clock, only you’re using lead instead of chalk.

9. Flip the paper back over to the correct side and center the paper and text onto the panels and secure the paper in place with some tape so it doesn’t slip. Then you want to carefully trace all the letters onto the top and bottom panels. You can use a pen or pencil for this.

10. Once you remove the sheet of paper you’ll see the traced lettering onto the door.

11. You want to use a thin paint pen (color of your choice) to go over and fill in the letters.

12. You can add some sort of hanging hardware on the back if you want it to hang on the wall, or it looks good on a shelf just resting as well. I will say though, that if you decide to hang it on the wall, you’ll need to cut off some of the screw in the back to help it lay flush with the wall.

DIY Shabby Chic Door Wall Hanging

Makes a cute addition to a mantel!

And there you go! I hope the directions made sense. I have been busy working on my Etsy shop to raise funds for our adoption so some of the projects I post may not always have pictures to accompany every project but I will try to do better!

And if you are a) too busy to make any of the future posted projects or b) want to support our adoption fund, visit my Etsy shop at: and you will be able to purchase most of the items I blog about here from now on. I would be eternally grateful! All profits will go toward us getting our little girl home!

Hobby Lobby Clearance Rocks!

Hobby Lobby doesn’t always have a great selection of clearance items (80-90% off), but when you find something it is seriously the best. It’s even better than thrift store prices most of the time.

I was in there the other day and I saw that these were on sale:

Hobby Lobby Clearance

My husband wanted to know what the heck these were. I didn’t really know how to explain that they were purely ornamental and didn’t serve a purpose. He thought one of them looked like a septor and then mentioned something about how they reminded him of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.

These are far too dark for my liking but the clearance price was… wait for it … $2.50! They had all been marked down from between $20-$30, to only $2.50 a piece. And I had been waiting to find something I could try the shabby chic painting method on. These fit the bill.

I’m sure many or all of you have seen the technique on Pinterest where you use Vaseline on an object you want to spray paint, and put the Vaseline in areas where you want the paint NOT to adhere, thus creating a shabby chic/ antique appearance. You just wipe away the Vaseline areas after the paint dries with a cloth or paper towel. It’s just that easy. That’s what I wanted to try with these. I already had white spray paint and Vaseline, so I was ready to go. hobbylobbydecorpainted

This is how they turned out. I still have 2 more to paint but I’m considering doing another color on those. I was very happy with the results and eager to change out my mantel decor for the Spring.


As you can see I also used this method on the blue picture frame behind my new decor. Worked like a charm. The frame is one of the $2 IKEA frames. I also found a cute little bird’s nest from Dollar Tree to put in the glass vase. The candle holders are from a thrift store. I purchased those about a year ago.

DIY Shabby ChicI tried the technique on an old lantern I had in our basement. I found it on clearance at the local grocery store two summers ago because it was missing the glass panels. The white mirror is from the thrift store. I found it on their 50% off day and it was only $1.50. I ended up painting it though because it was kind of a yellowish cream color. I wasn’t digging that.

Pretty much everything on my mantel cost less than $3. It’s still a work in progress but it’s nice to finally retire the winter decor and freshen things up a bit.

The moral of this story is ALWAYS check the Hobby Lobby clearance aisle. I swear that my Goodwill would’ve charged $10 for each of these. But then again, the Goodwill by my house thinks they’re a fancy department store. (I know they aren’t all like that).

Spring Mantel Decor

I figured you might want a full view. I apologize that my pictures aren’t of professional caliber.