Thrilled to the Bone

Remember that little talk we had about “good bones?” I’m sure you do. It was like, yesterday.

It’s something you say, for instance, when your grandma gives you her hand-me-down furniture. “Oh, wow, thanks Grandma! This settee has such … good bones!” Because you don’t want to be rude and hurt her feelings, even though she probably knows it’s a threadbare piece of junk and she’s laughing to herself about foisting it off on you.

Well, Grandma, let’s see who gets the last laugh, shall we?



Oh, what’s that grannie? You didn’t realize how awesome it could look recovered in linen and painted gray? Well TOO BAD SO SAD! Jk grandma I love you. But no, you can’t have it back.

From Jan at Chairished Furnishings.


Another great time to use that phrase is when you’re caught sneaking cast-off furniture from someone else’s dumpster: “Oh hey neighbor! I’m just … uh … rescuing this chair. It has great bones. I couldn’t resist. Don’t call the cops.”




And then after you get out of jail, you recover and paint the chair, and everyone agrees that indeed, the chair DOES have good bones, and the cops and the neighbor apologize and there’s probably a parade in your honor.  This is just one possible scenario.

From Better After reader Katrina, a teenage DIYer!


The only thing the old bones needed on this pair of chairs was some way to tone down that orange glow.




The cushions were in great shape, so Shelly at 100 Things 2 Do simply deepened the stain color for a richer, more natural look. It’s like the difference between a fake tan-in-a-can and the real deal. (Like I would know, I’ve been tan exactly 0 days of my life).


The fabric on this chair was also in good shape but a little dated and distracting.




Beck at Beckwith’s Treasures recovered it with a simple teal tweed so the emphasis would be on, you guessed it, dem bones.


Lastly, this pair of chairs from Michelle at 4 Men 1 Lady. If you ever run across a set of these, grab them and don’t let go. Because if you can look past the heavily-tufted velvet cushions …




… you’ll see a shiny, modern, chic, fabulous set of chrome bones. I super love this look so much. And I’m also naming my band The Chrome Bones.


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Homemade Suede

Have you ever wondered how suede is made? I can tell you. No, I can’t. But I can tell you how to fake suede! A suede charade, let’s say.

First, start with a homely old chair. This one comes from an era when we all thought beige, brown, and rust were a striking color combination. Personally, this is the only time I prefer those colors together, but if a desert camo colorway is your thing, you do you my friend.

If not, take your homely chair outside and paint it!




Yep, that’s paint, and it feels as soft as it looks. I know plenty of people have tried painting upholstery, to varying degrees of success. Some stunning, some … less so. The secret is the type of paint you use. I’ve painted a chair with latex paint, and that results in a smooth vinyl-like feel. But for a supple, suede-like finish, chalk paint is the answer.

That’s what The Shabby Bride used here, and she said “When done correctly (i.e. thin, non-saturating coats of chalk paint followed up with wax to protect), it will NOT crack, it will clean nicely with a damp cloth, and it will feel like soft leather!”

Check out all her tips and tricks in her step-by-step tutorial over at All Things Thrifty.

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Hack Job

You know how sometimes you accidentally chainsaw your furniture in half? It happens. (It doesn’t hardly ever happen, but it does happen, and I know this because it happened to me.  Although it wasn’t really an accident, just kind of … unexpected? Remind me to explain this story someday).

Anyway, sometimes you get carried away playing with power tools. You figure, “Hmmm, this old coffee table has been sitting in the garage for way too long. We really need to donate it or haul it away … orrrrrrr … *rnnnnn rnnn rnnn rnnn rrrrNNNNN* <– That is a chainsaw sound in case you can’t tell. I can do a pretty good imitation of a chainsaw if we ever meet in real life, just ask.

And next thing you know, you have two halves of a coffee table. Your next move is obvious.




You turn them into a set of benches for your entryway, of course! That’s exactly what Melissa did. Aren’t they the perfect size? Big enough to store shoes and sit on, narrow enough to squeeze easily into a small space. Pretty brilliant.

See more from Melissa and her coffee table entryway bench on her blog 320 Sycamore.

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Stool Service

If you’ve ever wanted to make a fairy garden and you have an old rectangular metal stool lying around, then TODAY’S YOUR LUCKY DAY!

If you don’t know what a fairy garden is, here you go. I searched fairy gardens for you. Give that link a click and prepare to be overwhelmed with cuteness.

Jenny thought it would be fun to make one with her sons, only they technically made a gnome garden. A gnome garden is basically the same thing as a fairy garden, but sounds way more manly.

After their dogs destroyed the first attempt, Jenny decided they needed to elevate it, and so that’s where the stool came in. She built a garden box and attached it to the stool, and now it makes for a great showpiece in the yard and the dogs can’t attack it. You have to see all the adorable details on her blog Paint Yourself A Smile. My favorites are the tiny rocks painted like strawberries!

If you’re wondering where to get supplies for your own gnome garden, I recommend Gnome Depot.

(Gnome pun intended).


And here’s another stool makeover, only this one simply became a cuter stool.

Black and White Stool  Before


Black and White Stool

Doesn’t it look so plump and comfy? I love the fabric Alana used here.  If you’ve ever wondered how to reupholster something circular like this, she gives a great play-by-play over on her blog Threadbare Cloak.

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