Ruffle Shuffle

There used to be a potato chip commercial years ago, probably around a thousand years ago because I remember singing along to it as a child, and it went like this: “R-r-r-r-r-uffles have r-r-r-r-ridges!” Remember that one?  My sister and I would sing it over and over, rolling the r-r-r-r part so hard that it eventually morphed into a guttural growl, and we would run around screaming RRRRRRRuffles have RRRRRRRRidges!!! at each other all the time, and it was kind of scary.  

Thanks to the power of the internet, I have discovered that old commercial right here, and it is comedy GOLD. From the r-rolling fetishist at the beginning to an unexplainable appearance by Porky Pig at the end, it’s everything you’ve never dreamed of. Please watch it and then tell me your feelings.

Anyway. Today’s makeovers have nothing to do with potato chips or awesome vintage commercials at all.  But they do have RUFFLES!  Because is there ever such thing as too many ruffles?

rufflesYes. Trick question.

But a little ruffle here and there never hurt anyone, and it can give any piece of furniture some girlish flair.  Like this droopy chair that Beck at Beckwith’s Treasures revived.

Blue Ruffle Chair Before


Blue Ruffle Chair

Just the perfect amount of country charm.

And Kim at Exquisitely Unremarkable also wanted to fluff up this little side table …

Skirted Ikea Table Before


Skirted Ikea Table

… so she added a bit of ruffled fabric with tension rods. That’s pretty genius. What an easy way to bring in some colorful fabric or just hide wires.


And this next makeover has nothing to do with ruffles or Ruffles, but it’s got that same country vibe as the other makeovers, so we are just going to go with it mmmkay?

Ocean Blue Buffet with Walnut Top Before

Ocean Blue Buffet with Walnut Top

Samantha at I Love Fabuless Junk won a stare-down with a thrift-store vulture who was ready to pounce on this little buffet the moment she looked away.  Unblinkingly, she stood strong and was able to bring it home, where it serves as a chippy and distressed TV stand today!

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Hotline Ring

*ring ring!*

Hello, you’ve reached the Furniture Rescue Hotline. How can I assist you today?

Hi. I need your help. I don’t know what to do.

Well, that’s what I’m here for. What’s the story?

I … I found a dresser. It looks bad … really bad.

It’s ok. We’re going to get through this. How bad is it?

It’s missing some drawers.

How many drawers?

ALL of the drawers.

Ok, ok.  Stay calm. Is the dresser in a safe location?

Sort of. It’s in my garage. Next to seven other dressers I’ve ‘rescued.’

Oh boy.  Has your husband seen it yet?

Not yet.

Good. That’s good. We still have time.  Do you have access to plywood, stain, and beadboard?


Great.  Listen carefully and stay on the line.  Here’s what you need to do.  You’re going to break down four drawer spaces. Use the plywood to create a bench, then line the rest of the empty drawers with beadboard.  Paint it a pretty color and stain the top. Drag it into your entryway, dress it up with pillows and adorable accessories.  Boom. It’s a totally unique foyer bench and totally NOT another rescue dresser. Your husband will be none the wiser.


Cream and Wood Storage Bench Before


Cream and Wood Storage Bench


Yes! I’m here. It worked. It worked! It looks beautiful. I don’t know how I can ever thank you.

Don’t thank me. Just doing my job.  But you can thank Brooke over at Start at Home for the ingenious idea.

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Dying for a Change

You know how sometimes you can meet an attractive person, but then as time goes by and you get to know them better, the more UNattractive they become? I’ve known a few people like that in my day.  Same goes for the opposite. You might initially think a person is rather unattractive, but as you get to know them better and discover their awesome/hilarious/fun-loving personality, all physical flaws melt away, and you find yourself totally enamored.

That was sort of the story with this yard-sale chair.  At first, Sarah was repulsed by its overpowering ugliness. Then she sat down and quickly realized her tush had never been more comfortably embraced by any other chair.  She couldn’t bear to leave it at the yard-sale. Her husband was unconvinced.  Then HE sat in the chair.

They bought the chair.

Still … it was eye-searingly ugly. Sarah decided she would try to dye it, to help it stand out a little less.  I didn’t even know you could do this, but apparently all it takes is a few bottles of Rit dye and one of those high pressure tank sprayers that you can find for around $10.

Blue Flowered Fabric Chair Before


Blue Flowered Fabric Chair

She says “In the end, I now have an uber comfy chair that is thankfully more decade appropriate.  The entire make-over cost less than $20, including the cost of the chair, the sprayer, the dye, and the scotch guard.  Now instead of this chair being an eyesore, it is not only a unique, beautiful piece, but a real conversation item for those familiar with how it looked before.”

Check out the whole process on her blog Backwoods Babies.


And for another groovy trip down Seventies Street, check out this bench that Better After reader Shannon found at a rummage sale for five bucks. FIVE BUCKS! I would have bought that too, even if I had no idea what to do with it. I would have probably just kept it in my garage for months and months until my husband offered (threatened) to give it a one-way ticket to Dumpstertown.

Funnily enough, that’s exactly what happened to Shannon.  Once she realized her husband was probably serious, she hustled down to Hobby Lobby and found some adorable fabric on clearance …

Blue and Pink Rocker Before


Blue and Pink Rocker  copy

… and gave this old girl a bright new look. Isn’t it sweet? This is Shannon’s first ever project! Let’s all give her a collective high-five!

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A Tuffet Act to Follow

Ottomans have nearly as many names as they have functions. They are also known as footstools, hassocks, tuffets, and poufs. If you really want to impress your friends, next time you throw a party and need more seating, just say something like, “Excuse me while I go fetch my party hassocks.” Everyone will think you’re super cool.

Unless of course, your ottomans are in sad shape. That’s a surefire way to kill a party. You might as well just run out of food and unplug the boombox at that point. But don’t worry! Your pooped poufs can be saved in no time.

Blue and White Ottomans Before
Blue and White Ottomans

Stephanie at Studio 36 Interiors simply recovered her torn-up tuffets and they look better than new. She has a tutorial on her blog and makes it look incredibly easy. It’s basically sewing straight lines. You can do this.


If your footstool has bigger problems, like this one from Estella that was clearly unraveling, don’t fret! You don’t need to be some kind of weaving wizard, you just need to know how to wrap a present.

Bird Ottoman Blue Before


Bird Ottoman Blue

Yep, that’s the basic gist of what happened here. She tore off the string completely and stapled on heavy duty webbing instead, then fleshed out the sides with cardboard (cardboard!) and batting.  The fabric was wrapped around and stapled on, with the beautiful bird embroidery sewed to the top. See the step-by-step on Estella’s blog Star of the East


But wait! She had so much fun with that makeover, she decided to do another!  She wanted a kitchy and colorful look for this little ottoman, and when she found a piece of needle-punch embroidery in her stash, she knew it was a perfect match:

Colorful Ottoman Before


Colorful Ottoman

I’m not sure what it says, but I’m betting on “party hassock.”

If you want to see more, plus the *real* translation, head on over to her blog Star of the East.

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