When Better After reader Jeanie discovered this headboard and picket fence at the local Goodwill, she automatically assumed they went together and bought them both.

I can’t say that the same thought would have occurred to me.  I would have been like, “Cool, a headboard. I will paint this and make … a painted headboard! And perhaps I can take this fence and use it as … a very small fence!”

But she saw possibility in the pieces, and assembled them into …


Headboard turned bench | betterafter.net

Headboard turned bench | betterafter.net

Only the cutest garden bench you ever did see. Well done Jeanie! I am appreciatively clapping at my computer screen right now.

If I haven’t quenched your thirst for headboard makeovers, I’ve got a few more here, here,  here, and here, and also this one that I forced my brother to make for me.

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Crossing Over

Did I ever tell you about the time I won a blue ribbon in the county fair when I was a child? I probably didn’t, it’s a pretty boring story.  I’m going to tell it to you anyway.

So, I didn’t raise a pig, or grow a record-breaking turnip.  I didn’t bake an award winning pie.  It was for cross-stitch.  Cross-stitch.  Like what geriatric pilgrim women did for fun in the 1800’s. I stitched the word ‘PEACE’ in white thread on pink fabric, and someone gave me a blue ribbon for it, probably because they just felt bad for the weird little eight-year-old who liked to cross-stitch.  Like, go kick a ball or something, you poor kid.

But I still do a little cross-stitching occasionally, because I am an 80-year-old woman at heart, and proud of it.  And cross-stitch is totally hip these days anyway.  I was just ahead of my time, yeaaahhh.

So get ready for some cross-stitch that will blow your mind.

beat up - rocking chair - before


Rose - Rocking Chair - Makeover | betterafter.net

Ka-BLAM! Is your mind sufficiently blown? Isn’t that genius? I love it so much.

From Larissa at Prodigal Pieces who totally deserves, like 10 blue ribbons.

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A few days ago while I was searching for terrible free things on Craigslist, I came across an ottoman that was so hideous I didn’t share it. You couldn’t even tell what it was.  But it wasn’t the shredded and stained fabric that offended my delicate senses the most, it was the fact that the seller spelled like this: ‘automann.’  NOW COME ON!

But that brings me to a helpful point.  If you are searching for something specific on Craigslist, it never hurts to misspell your search term. For instance, if you’re looking for a dining set or a bureau, try searching ‘dinning sets’ or ‘burros.’  This is exactly how my brother scored a Duramax diesel truck for a STEAL. The lister had erroneously put a space in the word, spelling it “dura max,” which meant hardly anyone searching for a ‘Duramax’ saw his ad.  My brother was able to swoop in and get a steal of a deal without any competition. So keep that in mind!

And now, pretty ottomans. Julie beautified this plain little seat with gold spray paint and faux fur, two things that I think could probably fix at least half of the world’s problems.

silver and gray vanity chair before


Faux Fur - Vanity Chair- Makeover |betterafter.netSee it at Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss.


Cara loved the shape of this bentwood ottoman, but was not a huge fan of the faded flesh-colored leather.  I don’t blame her, ew, see also: gross. But she had a secret weapon in her back pocket, a product called Rub and Restore, which I’ve never heard of, but apparently it’s made for exactly this.

She used the ivory color, and reports that it looks and feels as soft as regular leather. I’m going to have to look into this stuff fer sure. It looks brand new! More to see on her blog The Project Addict.

leather - ottoman - before


White - Leather  - Ottoman -  Makeover |betterafter.net


PS: Did you see this DIY deal-of-the-century? Don’t wait, time is limited!

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Getting Spicy

I’ve got a random mix of chair makeovers for your eyeballs this morning. They are all very different, with their own personalities. Like the Spice Girls.

Let’s call this one Retro Spice. Yvette was on the hunt for a first-time project when she discovered this offering from the Salvation Army. A sad little oatmeal-colored thing, reaching it’s little baby chair arms out for a hug.  Well, now she’s a star!  Oooh, and it’s actually a pair. A duet!


tan chair - before


White - Fun Fabric -Chairs- Makeover | betterafter.net

I’d say Yvette nailed it. Look how well she lined up the fabric, this doesn’t look like a first-timer project at all.


This next girl is the backbone of the group. The senior member. We’ll call her Old Spice.  She’s been around the block, but she still knows how to rock.


White - Rocking Chair - Before


Black - Family - Rocking Chair- Makeover | betterafter.netFrom Shelly at 100 Things 2 Do.



If we wanted to include a Posh Spice in the mix, this is our girl.  Eden at DIYHER dismissed that matronly mauve fabric and brought in a cheeky cheetah print instead.

Maroon - Chair- Before

Leopard - Chair- Makeover | betterafter.net

Me-YOW!  She’s going to climb the charts, if she has to claw her way to the top!


And finally we have Sassy Spice. What else can you call a chair that’s been doused in hot pink paint? That’s right, paint! No upholstery skillz needed here. Shanna used several coats of plaster paint to achieve this look.

Peachish - Arm Chair - Before


Bright Pink - Arm Chair- Makeover | betterafter.net

“Isn’t that going to feel all crunchy and weird?” you are probably thinking. Nope! After a light sanding of her final coat, Shanna applied a paste wax and reports that it feels soft and smooth as leather.  Get all the details at Restoration Redoux.

Girl power!

PS: Posh Spice was/is my favorite Spice Girl, in case you were wondering even though you probably weren’t.

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