Before and Afters

  • I try to keep this page current, but scroll down the front page for the most recent projects, just in case there’s a project or two that’s not here yet.
  • I recently updated my version of WordPress and see that this page got a little wonky for awhile. Should be good now.
  • Last, what’s a number anyway? At the first of the year, 51 was an estimate of the count to date of makeovers. This doesn’t count some of the non-makeovers I’ve posted, such as the recipe for Chocolate Basil Ice Cream, which everybody likes. The official count starts at 51 with Multifunctionally Green, and there’s plenty of raw materials out there waiting. As always, if you have a question or before/after to publish, send it!
Bark Table
73. Bark Table
found table
dog photo blown up
paint and decoupage
Prairie Chest
80. Oak Prairie Chest
stripped veneer top
lots of sanding
wax finish

24. Floor Lamp
found floor lamp
shade from Cooper Used Hotel Furntiure
covered in Japanese print paper
butterfly table
2: Butterly Table
found by Leahy Park, Evanston
decoupaged stickers from Paper Source on top
finished with paint and glaze

21. Carpeted Flip Flops
beach find
my favorite before and after
lined with found indoor/outdoor carpet
painted to glow in the dark

76: Chinese Red Console Table
found by a dumpster
custom mix paint
finished glaze
3: Mosaic Table
purchased from Ravenswood church rummage sale. Heavy glass top and wood frame.
mosaic tiles bought on Ebay, grout from Home Depot
painted the legs

4: Elizabeth Night Tables
found in Evanston alley
stripped and painted
all over dotted surface, the furniture version of pointilism
5: Octagon Table
found in west Jarvis alley - the UPS guy behind me should have climbed out of his truck to offer assistance in getting it into my car, but no
stripped, bleached and stained ebony
Retro Chest
found at sale near Sunnyside and Hermitage
refinished drawers golden oak stain
painted case in pumpkin. Everybody likes this one

7. Cashmere Sweater Pillow
from a bag of clothes in DePaul area
pieces sewn from sweater and vintage fabric
stuffed with recycled pillow form

8. Button Mirror
bought at apartment sale in Sherman Gardens
covered in collected buttons
Elmer's glue

77. $5 Headboard
found panel
yard sale fabric
staple gun

78. Girl Scout Coin Purse
thrifted patches
fabric remnants
recycled zipper

9. Small Decoupage Table
Ravenswood find
changed from purple to kiwi paint
black paper cutouts

10. Dog coat
thrift store upcycled stadium jacket
polar fleece lined and then quilted
she's on duty

11. Decoupage Desk
found by Indian Boundary park
decoupage elements from library reference book
cream paint

12. Pair of Painted Chairs
replaced cane seat
rebuilt cushion seat
surface patterns with acrylic paints

13. Framed Helvetica
Lettraset stencils
from studio at Grand and Western

14. Storybook Night Table
found on sidewalk in Evanston
replaced finish with white paint
decoupaged children's illustrations on top, sides and drawers

15. Fun With Paint Chips
lack table
paint samples from Home Depot. Wear a coat with pockets to collect them.
clear coat over surface

16. Ribbon Upholstered Chair
lobby chair found on NU campus
upholstered using sewn together ribbon
ebony stain

17. More Fun With Paint Chips
Crate and Barrel schtickle storage piece
Ralph Lauren Paint sample chips
Elmer's glue

18. The Desk Set
thrift shop silverware
Ragstock Japanese obi
sewn into pocket roll

19. Junk Drawers
found at Ridge and Morse
original paint stripped
painted with four colors of leftover paint

20. Twitter Chair
found on north Paulina
jigsawed bird silhouette
Marimekko seat cover

21. Carpeted Flip Flops
beach find
my favorite before and after
lined with found indoor/outdoor carpet
painted to glow in the dark

22. Small Cabinet
rescued from alley near the el
fresh white finish
painted frost mirror

23. Houndstooth Chair
found dorm chair
reupholstered with vintage wool
needs more plaid

78. PIgeon Art for Crumbs
thrift store frames
photoshopped images

25. Patio Table
found table in
southeast Evanston
new pressboard top with shells and grout
repainted frame

26. Three Quick Uses for Chalk Paint
1. on rescued Lack
2. on metal vase
3. for a fancy framed chalkboard

27. Miss America's Dog Coat
thrift shop jacket
custom pattern
iron-on letters

28. Lanyard Office Crafts
discarded wastebasket from the north side
covered in conference badge lanyards
secured with white glue

29. Looks Good In Paper
4 Whole Foods grocery bags
tissue paper from a gift box
straps out of JCrew shopping bag

30. Tragically Antique
removed old varnish and stain
replaced with ceruse finish
new cushioned seat

31. Quick Change Chair
from Threads Etc.
fabric from
custom project

32. The Shoes of Vanna White Frame
NU Hippie Christmas frame
wrapped in bubble wrap
secured with staples

33. Perfect Strangers
found pair of mismatched rose detailed chairs
painted chameleon green
new seats covered in vintage wool crewel

34. Decoupage Chair
found Ikea chair
painted and decoupaged with cutouts from old book about fonts
glued with wheat paste

35. Office Space
recycled melamine top
casters from Ebay
unused wood scraps

36. Sharpie Framed Mirror
Rogers Park find
attached to the wall with Gorilla tape
framed by drawing pattern with a blue Sharpie

37. Door Mat
made from found roll of indoor outdoor carpeting
bound and stitched with jute
blanket stitch and chain stitch

39. Luxe Dog Bed
upcycled faux fur coat
reused stuffing from old dog bed
very cozy

39. Magazine Garland
magazine pages
4" x 4" squares
follow simple how-to instructions

40. Tossed and Found Sconce
upcycled ceiling light cover
strung wires on the back
then a strand of Christmas lights

41. New Life For an Old Steelcase Chair
higher education classroom throwaway
cleaned up and ready for grad school
recovered with Ikea orange and black cotton print

42. Recessionista Fashion
Thrift store dress
iron-on Sukie transfers
not so successful

43. Metallic Blue Chair
found on parkway
new cushion and pillow
aqua paint under, dry brushed metallic on top

44. Kitschy Chandelier
formerly simulated wood grain
then a green fixture
now sprayed and strung with silver beads

45. Screen Shade
salvaged screen fabric
sewn onto lampshade frame
sprayed silver

46. Long, Long Coffee Table
painted maize
applique of woodgrain paper
clear coat over all

47. Tic TOC
satellite dish
clock parts kits
old belt

48. Chilewich Swatch Frames
powder pink rummage sale prints
Chilewich textile samples
coat of black spray paint

49. Guerilla Sweater Upcycling
slipcovered potholder
tree wrap

50. Holiday Mini Cabin
Ann Sacks tile samples
bead pendant light
scrap paper tree, chairs, and rug

51. Multifunctional Table
crappy metal cube with a board nailed on top
readers wish I had left it more industrial looking
instead of painting it two shades of green

52. A+ Alley Marketing
found box of frames
old calendar prints

53. Holiday Tree Alternative
found metal stool
fixed leg
string colored lights and merry christmas

54. Shadey
wire lamp shade form
string origami strands
light up and admire

55. Best Couch Ever
found on parkway
red clearance fabric
like new

56. Thrifted Jacket Dog Coat
friendly applique
used lining and shell
free pattern

57. Thrift Store Remake
men's shirt
pleated detail

58. Give It A Whirl
found stool
painted legs
new fabric cover

59. Pair of Ottomans
construction dumpster finds
new stain and fabric cover
iron-on font transfer

60. Store Bag
upcycled flour sack
reusable grocery bag

61. Cube Table
do over of #51
salvaged birch top

62. Mood Enlightener
wall sign
paper, scissors, string

63. Headboard
four drawer fronts
sanded, sealed
hung over Ikea Malm bed

64. Jammin
sugar, lemon

65. Barrel Chair
Shelby Williams design
cream paint
Ikea fabric

66. Good Dishes
thrift shop plates
ceramic paints

67. Decoupage Tray
photoshopped images
found restaurant tray
glue and water

68. Skull Toile Chair
seminary chair
faux silver finish
skullduggery cotton print

69. Reinventing Paint By Numbers
old art book

70. Shabby Chic Writing Desk
simple distressed technique
dove grey paint
shellac coated inside

71. Mini chandelier changeout
yard sale item
vintage beads
white paint
silver painted night tables
72. Silver painted night tables
alley rescue
modern masters silver paint
vintage wallpaper lines the drawers
Project 1: Rocking Chair
straight from the Bates Motel porch, or the Naragansett neighborhood
recovered seat with recycled Custo Barcelona top
replaced old finish with white paint
thrift shirt makeover
74. Oh Shirt
thrift store shirt
cut off sleeves
hem with trim

79. Wire Light Fixture
old plant holder
light kit from World Market
Time Out Chicago project
Pebble Mosaic
75. Pebble Mosaic Table
found frame
collected stones
sanded grout

Page last updated on November 24, 2010 at 10:24 am