Skip to content

Vintage Makeover – Ugly Chairs

You know those people who see a chair on the side of the road, or a table next to a dumpster and snatch it up to take home and put to good use? I’m a modern version of that. I love going on Craigslist and seeing what’s listed under the “free” section. Even if I don’t get anything, it’s fun to look at something that someone sees as garbage and think of all the cool things I could do with it.

Several months ago, I came across an ad I knew I had to respond to. A woman was giving away three beautifully shaped chairs from the 1970s. What?? I immediately emailed her. They were still available and later that week I was meeting her at her church to pick them up. She seemed surprised that I was so excited about them, but said she was glad they were going to a home where they would be used.

The only thing was…they were a terrible, ugly tan with copper legs.

Photo quality courtesy of my “smart” phone

My first thought was to paint the legs silver and then paint the chairs another color. I’ve read that if you use special spray paint made for cars, you can actually just paint vinyl. So I brought them out to my deck and all of a sudden just went crazy with the paint. I was left with tin man chairs. Whoops.

They sat like that for weeks, actually, because I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I considered just getting rid of them, but then thought I’d at least try to recover the seats and then see if I like them. Bingo! I found some awesome fabric and got to work. Thirty easy minutes later and I was left with fun new chairs!

I threw one of my grandma’s (Angie!!) vintage pillows on each and called it a day.

So for the cost of spray paint and fabric, I have two brand new chairs. The third one? Yeah…that’s still waiting in my kitchen. I’ll get to it, don’t you worry.
What fun vintage/thrift makeovers have you done? 

Sharing with It’s Overflowing, Think Pink Sundays, Thrifty 101

Dreaming of Swing Dancing

Well, Monday is quickly becoming my favorite day of the week. Why? Because I get to share with you all the prettiest things I have found!

This past week I was able to get to several thrift stores and pick out some very cute pieces.

I found this red and black polka dot number at a nearby Salvation Army

 

The best part? I found it’s matching coat in a different part of the store! I love vintage separates because you can mix and match them with more modern things. I can definitely see that jacket being paired with some dark jeans.

 

I also stopped at a Goodwill out in the suburbs over the weekend. I usually find more vintage pieces in the suburbs. There’s so many people in Chicago who are also looking for vintage that the racks at thrift stores can be picked over.

I found this gorgeous 1970s dress. It’s so flowy and comfy that I really wanted to keep it for myself. Don’t worry though, I’ll post it in the shop with the other pieces.

I also found this 1930s top. Those buttons are actually snaps! I don’t often find such old pieces so this was a very exciting find.

 

Did you find anything good this past week? I’d love to see what other people are finding!

 

Fall Prep – Vintage Coats

Fall is just over a week away, you guys! Even though I know there’s still some (lots) of 80 degree days left for Chicago, I can’t stop myself from shifting entirely into fall-mode.

Some people are obsessed with shoes, bags or hats. But I can’t get enough coats. Ever. It’s an issue, actually.

What better way to psych ourselves up for fall that to dream about some lovely vintage coats?

Pretty golden coat! Will be added to shop.

And, of course, bunches of other coats that I’ve found and can’t stop thinking about. For the love of all things fall, someone get me this coat:

 

Available at Crush Vintage

 

Then again, this one would be perfect for apple picking and fall bonfires:
Available at The Vintage Domain
Oh, and this one for date nights:
Available at Ravishing Ruby

And this one too, just because I know my sister would love it:

Available at Dirty Birdies Vintage

 

Well. I’ve officially got a problem. Hope you all have fun dreaming about vintage coats all day.
And have a wonderful weekend, while you’re at it! If you have nothing to do on Sunday, check out the Vintage Garage and pick out some fun vintage pieces. I’ll be soaking up the very last bit of summer at a baseball game 🙂

Favorites from Renegade

This past weekend I enjoyed going to the Renegrade Craft Fair in Wicker Park. If you haven’t heard of Renegade, make sure you check out their website. They pop up all over the country and offer some truly unique vendors with some very lovely products.

What’s that? You want to see some?

These clocks from Uncommon Handmade are maybe the best non-vintage options I’ve ever seen. I can’t stop looking at them!

 

Images from Uncommon Handmade

Ryan Berkley from Ryan Berkley Illustration! had some of the funniest, most interesting illustrations I’ve seen in a while. Just look at that frog! And doesn’t that sloth look like it should say “attorney at law” underneath?

 

Images from Ryan Berkley Illustration!

 

Chicago Cutting Boards had some really different cutting boards on display. They’re not exactly my style, but they’re so beautiful and well-made I couldn’t help but love them.
Images from Chicago Cutting boards
And if you love food anywhere near as much as I do, you’ll probably love looking at the pieces Inedible Jewelry has to offer. They honestly look good enough to eat. Too bad it’s clay…

 

Images from Inedible Jewelry

I could keep posting, but there were so many artists there I’d be going on for hours. If this little sampling looks good to you, pay Renegade a visit next year.

What? You want to look at more clocks? Me too 🙂

 

Both from Uncommon Handmade

Booties and Bags

Lately I’ve been wading through mountains of clothes and needed a change of pace. So I’ve been working this week on getting some accessories photographed for the shop. Yay for things that don’t require me to measure them!

Here’s a sampling of what will be added to the shop by the end of the week:

 

 

 

 

 

There’s still several more items I need to photograph, but thought you’d like a little preview. See anything you like?

Ms. Fix It: I Also Broke It

You know when you find an incredible vintage dress, but it’s just too small? Normal people might realize it doesn’t fit and leave it behind. Me? I tried my best to wriggle my hips into a dress that was clearly made for a woman who was much smaller.

And the result…was not pretty.

I so wanted this beautiful dress to fit that I ripped a couple of the zipper teeth off in the process! I was devastated. I also felt pretty foolish. I mean, this dress is obviously several sizes too small for me.

In any case, I knew I couldn’t just leave it as is. I’m also pretty intimidated by fixing/sewing zippers. Doesn’t it just look like it’d be really hard to do? But good news: it’s not!

First things first. I found a perfect shade of thread.

Then, I slipped the zipper back on track through the gap left by the missing teeth. If you’re fixing a zipper where some of the teeth are just damaged, you might consider pulling a few out so the zipper is easier to slip back on track.

The fuzzy looking threads on the left side of the zipper is where the teeth came off.

This is what it should look like once it’s back on track:

I know, I know, the hole is still there. Don’t panic! Next, turn the dress inside out:

I was pleasantly surprised to find that a previous zipper repair had been done near the original base of the zipper. I liked the idea that maybe 20 or 30 years ago some other size 8 tried to slip her way into a size 2 🙂

Anyway, back to business. Carefully stitch the hole shut, making sure to sew tightly. When you’re finished it should look like this:

The hole is completely shut and you can barely see the thread. Success! Now, turn the dress right side out again and voila!

A once broken zipper is now functional and pretty again!

Look how pretty it is on my friend Rachel:

Now it’s ready for someone to take home and dance the night away in.

And, of course, I learned my lesson too. Some dresses are just meant for other people to have!

A Little Monday Boost

Ugh, Monday.

If you’re most people, Monday’s suck because it means saying goodbye to the weekend and “hello” to the day farthest from more weekend.

But, if you’re me, Monday means finally realizing just how many brownies you ate over the weekend. Yikes.

Let’s cheer ourselves up, shall we? Who doesn’t like to look at pretty pictures of lovely vintage things? No one, that’s who.

Here are some of the great things I found this weekend.

I stopped at maybe one of the best estate sales I’ve been to this weekend. The woman who lived there seemed to have kept all of her favorite clothes growing up. Good news for me, because I left with these 1970s treasures:

 

Don’t you just love that cropped ducky halter top? I was very tempted to keep it, but lucky for someone, it just didn’t fit right. Both these pieces will be in the shop soon for someone to scoop up!
There were some more (very awesome) pieces that I left with, but I have a fun idea for photos. So you’ll just have to wait!
One last little thing I found this weekend that I couldn’t leave behind:
Isn’t it beautiful? Even though it’s not quite fall, we’ve been having some very cool days in Chicago, so this just called out to me. Maybe I’ll fill it with candy corn and those disgusting pumpkin candies. No offense, I know some people love them.
So these are few of my finds from the weekend. Also, if you love embarrassing stories, you’ll probably want to make your way back here tomorrow. Because I’ve got a doozy for you.