Baby, Baby, Baby, Oh!

Hey kids! Listen up! This post is for you!

You CAN use a sewing machine, right kids? Because you’re going to need one when you make over your high chair, like Megan at Galumphing in High Heels did. (Actually, Megan got her mom to help her with the sewing, so maybe you should do that too).

chevron_highchair_makeoverSo cute!


Ok, what about power tools?  How comfortable are you with those? Because here’s a fun idea. Better After reader Jennifer took this old $2 magazine holder, chopped off the top and made it into a toy crib!

Coincidentally, Jennifer actually found a friend to cut the top off, so that might also be a good plan, if you aren’t adept with a jigsaw yet.  Let’s conquer the toilet first.



Sniff.  You’re getting so grown up.  It seems like only yesterday you were still in diapers. What’s that? You ARE still in diapers? Oh. Ok.

Then here’s a project that your parents might appreciate: a changing table! This $10 yard-sale piece became baby-friendly when Caitlin fixed it up with a new top and Restoration Hardware alphabet knobs, also found at a yard-sale. (Where are these fantastical yard-sales happening, amIright kids?)

See it sporting its changing pad on her blog The Picket Fence Projects.





Next thing we know, you’ll be asking to borrow the car. Or maybe you’ll be asking to paint the car, you little DIYer-in-training, you.

Mac was happy to oblige when her son asked if he could have a blue jeep, and a couple of coats of satin spray paint later, that’s just what he got.

See the process on her blog The Happy Homester.

jeep makeover

jeep makeover after

Want more kiddie makeover goodness?  Take a scroll through my kiddie archives!

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Ogle Maps

You don’t need a map to tell you that these makeovers took a direct route from BoringMcBrokenburg to Snazzy City.  But you DO need a map or two to create these looks yourself.

Better After reader Teresa created this nightstand from a curbside dresser and a spare map of Northern Africa that she happened to have on hand.  I mean, who doesn’t have a few of those on hand?  I’ve actually been meaning to organize my spare maps of Northern Africa drawer, now that you mention it.


nightstand makeover before |


map nightstand makeover |

And Better After reader Sarah spent many hours slaving away over this $3 yard-sale desk, only to finish and spend many more hours slaving away at it; as she’s in her fifth and final year of graduate school.

The world map on top must serve as great inspiration to get that PhD! The only thing it was inspiring anyone to get before was a lighter. Great job Sarah!

desk makeover before |

blue and gold world map desk makeover |


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Sunshine States

It’s National Yellow Day!  That is a lie.  There is actually no such thing as National Yellow Day.  However, there is a National Yellow Pig Day. But we missed it; it was in July.  Next year we’ll celebrate real big, I promise.  That is also a lie.

But I will declare today the Official Day of That One Day When I Showed Some Yellow Makeovers on Better After Day.  I’ll wait while you get your party hats on.


All set? Here we go!


Jenny at Ava Blake Creations dolled up this table with some distressing and a French patisserie graphic, all warmed up in a soft buttery shade of yellow. Tres chic!




Hey, can we talk about So You Think You Can Dance for a second?  I’m so happy Ricky won!  I had him pegged from the beginning.  Can we also talk about Valerie getting second place?  Over Zack AND Jessica?  *eyebrows of unbelievableness* I might have punched my sofa.  But Ricky totally deserved it.

Back to the yellow:

If you have some old side tables, why not paint them yellow?  They will look so great with your blue couch. You have a blue couch, right? That’s what I thought.  Head on over to Lisa’s blog  Pebbles and Piggytails to find out her sneaky cheat for ‘distressing’ their edges.




Cabinets without feet are sad.  Most things without feet are sad.  Except dolphins.  They don’t have feet, and they aren’t sad at all -  just evil.  I said it.  But this cabinet was looking a little glum in it its footless state, so Lisa added some cheer with bright yellow, a geometric overlay, and new feetsies.  See it at Sweet Parsley Home.



So now we know that the easiest way to take furniture from boring to sha-POW, is yellow paint.  Give it another dose of POW with some adorable knobs like Karin from Art is Beauty did here. Sha-POW-POW! That sounded much cooler in my head.

yellow art

yellow art after


And finally, last one from Sarah who brings us this charming vanity makeover, and her lovely assistant who is lurking not at all creepy-like behind it. I’m kidding. I’m sure he’s a very nice and helpful guy and not going to tie you up with that garden hose. No seriously.  I’m sure he’s very nice. This is just what you get when I write posts at 1AM in the AM.

You can see more at Funcycled, and I am going to go see the insides of my eyelids right now.


mustard_yellow_vanity_makeoverHappy Friday!



Do you have a makeover to share?  I’m always accepting submissions!  Send your work my way at betterafter(at)

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How to Stain Your Dragon

Sorry.  I can’t tell you how to stain your dragon.  I just thought that was a catchy title.  Side note: my 7th grader just wrote on a school report that his favorite animal is a dragon.  Do you think I should tell him?  I mean … 7th grade.  And no, I’m afraid he isn’t talking about a Komodo dragon.

Anyhoo, stains aren’t often things we purposely want to apply, unless we’re talking about furniture of course.  “Hey, I stained my carpet today.” That’s a bummer. “Hey, I stained my table today.” Yay!  See what I mean?

So buckle up for a little ride down Stained-On-Purpose Street.

Starting with Sarah at Backwoods Babies. Not only did she attend to this $15 sewing table’s badly damaged veneer (more proof of that on her blog), she gave the top some attention too, with a harlequin diamond design.

sewing table makeover with stain |

aqua sewing table makeover with stained top |

I like how stain can have a more subtle effect.  This bench would feel much different feel if Sarah had painted those chevrons on rather than stained them.  See this bench makeover right here.

bench makeover |

bench makeover with stain |


But who has two thumbs and says stain has to be subtle?  Not this girl.  And not Beth, who happens to be the Stain Master.  (I feel like that name has already been used somewhere…) Here is just one of her many examples of the stain-shading technique she has perfected.  Learn all about how to do it too on her blog Sawdust and Embryos.

buffet makeover |


buffet makeover with stain |

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