Marimekko Makeovers!

If Marimekko makes your eyeballs squeal with delight, I’ve got a treat for you.

If you are unsure what Marimekko is, I’ve got a paragraph copied and pasted from Wikipedia for you:

Marimekko is a Finnish home furnishings, textiles and fashion company based in Helsinki. It made important contributions to fashion in the 1960s. It is particularly noted for its brightly colored printed fabrics and simple styles, used both in women’s garments and in home furnishings.”

Okay, now that we’re all caught up, here are some Marimekko inspired makeovers. Fun for everyone!


Claire is a self-professed Marimekko maniac. She has added touches of their iconic designs all over her home, inside and out.



She decoupaged this weather-beaten bench with paper napkins and it’s so darn cute I almost didn’t even notice her equally cute dog. Isn’t he posing so nicely? Who’s a good boy? You’re a good boy, yes you are!

Right. I bet you are wondering how she plans to protect her paper-covered bench. Two words. Yacht varnish. Unofficial slogan: Protect Anything From Everything.

See the how-to on her blog Pillar Box Blue.


As for the inside of her home, Claire was looking for any reason to say goodbye to the beige-colored carpet on her stairs. They are the first thing you see when you enter the front door, so she decided to make them worthy of center stage with Marimekko wallpaper.




Not only a huge improvement from before, but she smiles every time she walks in her home now. Her teenage boys even told her (without prompting!) that they really liked the new look. She said “I know they maybe a bit over the top for some people. They are what we British call ‘A bit Marmite.’ (You either love’m or hate’m).  So far more people seem to love’m than hate’m.”

I bet they do! Also, I had to look up what Marmite is, and was stunned to find out. Ummm, my British friends, can we talk? WHAT? WHYYYY?? Please explain.

See more on her blog Pillar Box Blue.


If you love Marimekko but aren’t ready to make a staircase-sized commitment, here’s a cute little project from Kat at Just Crafty Enough.

She thought she could recreate their most famous pattern, Unikki on a pair of shoes, but her husband thought she shouldn’t bother. It would be too hard. Yeahhhh. Who do you think won that argument?



Kat, of course. “Challenge accepted and accomplished!” She executed it perfectly. Many people have used acrylic craft paint to do something similar, but Kat thought paint pens would give her more control. Unfortunately, she found that fabric paint pens lacked great color saturation. No big deal, she used Sharpies instead, and as you can see, she had no problems with bleeding. They look fantastic.


Next, it wouldn’t be the internet without a Mason jar or two. Linda from Mason Jar Crafts Love created this cute Marimekko-style vase from a plain-jane jar.



Girrrl, you are looking SO influential-Finnish-designer now!

I bet you have everything you need to make yourself one of these today.


And lastly, the only thing in the cards for this card table was a trip to the dump. It was less ‘Marimekko’ and more ‘Jackson Pollack as angry toddler with a hammer.’



But Stacey somehow saw potential here and brought it back to life with a fresh coat of paint and a yard or so of the Siirtolapuutarha fabric in vinyl. If you can’t find vinyl or PVC fabric you could always use … yacht varnish. On second thought, that doesn’t sound very food-safe, so yeah, maybe don’t.

See Stacey’s step-by-step on her blog Addison Meadows Lane.


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Knockoff Knockout

Mirror, mirror,

on the floor,

you don’t do much

for my decor.

Mirror, mirror,

you’re not deluxe,

I guess that’s why

you cost five bucks.

But don’t feel sad,

don’t feel lame,

You just need some glue

and a chunky frame.




And that’s the story of how Alicia updated her $5 mirrors into the Ballard Design knock-off version you see here. And her version probably costs a million dollars less, so it’s the fairest of them all if you ask me.

I’m not exactly sure what glue-like product she used to make the lines in the glass, because my computer keeps crashing if I’m on it for more than 12 seconds at a time. It’s really exciting, you should definitely not try it.

But Alicia can tell you all the details! Take a closer peek at Thrifty and Chic.

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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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I Got Your Back

The quickest way to get someone’s attention is to put something fantastic on your back.  Just ask the Victoria’s Secret Angels. Do you think anyone would give them a second look without those 10-foot-tall angel wings they wear as they parade their supermodel bodies down the runway in their underwear? HA!

Ok, bad example.

Just ask anyone walking around with a pet monkey. Or that kid in school with the coolest backpack. You know what I’m talking about right?

Me neither.

The point is, don’t overlook the back. It’s a great place to add some flair. Kim had a blank little shelf and decided to glam it up, starting with the back.

Damask Antique Mirror Before

Damask Antique Mirror

“Cool, she added a mirror,” you’re thinking. Well wait just a goll’ durned second, partner. That’s no ordinary mirror. That’s a mirror that she antiqued herself with a subtly elegant damask pattern. It was like, a big long process with chemicals and tears. Give her a hand!

Here’s a close up where you can see the pattern peeking through:

Damask Antique Mirror 1

And be sure to check out Kim’s complete step-by-step tutorial on her blog Hunt and Host.


What if your item doesn’t have a back to speak of? Like Emily’s storage cubby below?

Craft Supply Storage Before


Craft Supply Storage

Pshh, easy. You just add one. She cut a thin MDF board down to size, wrapped it in peel-and-stick paper, and nailed it to the back. So cute! And so simple! I think I have at least three pieces in my home that could benefit from a new back. What about you?

But she didn’t stop there. Since this storage cubby was going in in her master bedroom, she thought it needed a little more fancification. She stained pine boards, (they weren’t wide enough on their own, so she added an extra strip of wood in the middle to make it look intentional) and glued them to the top and sides. It’s such a grown up little cubby now!

Take a closer look on Emily’s blog Our House Now A Home.

Moral of the story: Don’t ignore your back. (Or your sides!)


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