How to Upcycle an Old Frame

I’ve got a real quick and easy DIY for you today- making an old frame new again with just a little paint.

To get right down to it- frames are expensive. Super expensive. So what you should do is keep an eye out at thrift stores for decent frames and get those instead- and don’t just look through the regular old empty frames, look for the ones with the terriblely dated art too. Look beyond that old art and right into a sweet, sweet $3 solid wood frame that there’s no way you could buy anywhere else for that price.

old frame, wooden frame, diy frame


I picked up this bad boy about 4 months ago for $3 at the Habitat Restore and have been hoarding it ever since. The art was old and faded and the wood had seen better days, but I knew with just a little spray paint it could be awesome again.

during Collage


First, I removed all the staples that were holding the art in, then I also removed the hanging wire because I want to display it vertically and not horizontally. I spray primed the whole thing then gave it 3 coats of white paint. After the white was dry I then painted the inside of the frame teal with a leftover test pot I had laying around- I thought it gave it a little extra kick because the pure white was looking a bit stark. Once it was dry I flipped it over and used a staple gun to reattach the hanging wire.

upcycled frame


I got out some leftover black poster board from my Halloween window display and made a mat (matte?), then hung it up right outside our bedroom door with a picture from our wedding.

Our wedding colors were teal and black, so the inside of the frame and the mat are a little homage to that.

If I’m being honest, it’s actually still a little too country looking for my taste, but it’s not in a prominent place in the house so I think I’ll live with it a bit and see if it grows on me.

how to upcycle an old frame


What do you think? Are you ready to run out and scoop up so many cheap frames for your own art? If you are… call me. I’d totally love to come.




PS- If you entered our giveaway under the name Thecape Onthecorner then check your email. Because YOU are winner winner chicken dinner. Congrats!!

DIY Halloween Window Display: How To Guide

Yesterday I shared with you my newest Halloween decoration (and a $200 gift certificate giveaway!!) and today I want to break it down and show you how you can make your very own.

This looks far more complicated then it really is.

This looks far more complicated then it really is.

First up, the BEWARE sign. I bought a $7 plywood drawer insert from Home Depot and had them cut it in half long ways for me (which they do for free).

beware sign

  • Give the boards a quick spray of primer
  • Paint them the color you want your letters to be (I chose silver), then coat it a few times with glow in the dark spray (yes! it works, it’s just impossible to capture on camera).
  • Print out your letters (I just used Microsoft Word and made each letter the size of a piece of paper), then cut them with either scissors or an exacto knife
  • Trace the betters onto your board with a pencil and paint around them in the color of your choice (I chose black)
  • Then do it all over again because you want your project to be 2 sided, so you need 2 signs

That’s it- so easy! No tools needs, just paint and a steady hand.

Next, I got a 4ft x 3ft piece of acrylic in the window section of Home Depot. This was about $30, but you can probably find an old window pane in a Restore or on Craigs List for far, far cheaper then that. I used Rustoleum metallic silver spray paint and a spray bottle with a water vinegar mixture to muss up the board a bit. Then I realized I didn’t take any pictures, so here’s some pictures from the tutorial I used:

see 17 apart blog for more details

see 17 apart blog for more details

You only need to do this on one side of the acrylic sheet because it’s transparent. Once the 2 signs and the acrylic sheet are all dry you need to sandwich all 3 pieces together with spray adhesive, I used 3M adhesive spray that was leftover from another project. After I sprayed them I left it on my kitchen table for about 2 hours to dry (with a bunch of books on top to weigh it down).

Once it’s dry, finally, you have to create the silhouette- the most difficult and time consuming part. Particularly because I went with a twisty, curly, Tim-Burton-y tree.

halloween tree how to

  • I bought double sided poster board so I could see my drawing easier (black on one side, orange on the other). I taped 2 posterboards together then free handed my tree on it with a pencil.
  • I cut out the tree with an exacto knife (which took for-ev-er), then painted the orange side black with craft paint. After it was painted black, I went over it with some Martha Stewart textured metallic paint to give it a little depth.
  • Once your painted tree is dry, adhere it to the acrylic board. This time, I used regular spray adhesive because I felt the 3M stuff was too thick and might do weird stuff to the poster board.
  • Flip your display over- you will be able to see your tree through the acrylic sheet but you will NOT want to cut that nonsense out again. Instead, just paint right on your sheet tracing the outline then filling it in the same as before.
  • Whew! Have yourself a drank, girl. That was a lot of work.

Place in window and decorate!

halloween window display

I know this seems like an excessive amount of work, but honestly I really enjoyed the painting. It was super relaxing and a fun day project. Plus, you can do this for anything- you can make a plywood WELCOME sign to hang above your entryway or you can make a colorful balloween silhouette to announce a birth or birthday. I went with a spooked out Halloween display, but really you can do anything.

Got questions? Leave them in the comments. And- don’t forget to enter THE GIVEAWAY to try and get $200 to either Home Depot or thanks to!!


Linked at House of Rose

Fall DIY Project & $200 GIVEAWAY

Today’s post is so very exciting for me. challenged me and several other bloggers to each create a fall project. They said fall, I chose to hear Halloween. If you’ve been around here since the beginning, you may recall that I love Halloween so much that some decorations stay out in my house all year long. So when I was given $100 to Home Depot to create a project I jumped on it. And then when they said they’d give one of you $200 to make your own project, I jumped up and down.

fall give away2

I came up with the following guidelines for my project:

  • It had to be an indoor decoration because here in Massachusetts Halloween is sometimes rescheduled due to nor’easters- if I put something outside it would probably be ruined by weather immediately
  • It had to be BIG. Go big or go home.

Then I decided I wanted something to fill one of my two bay windows so I added a few more stipulations:

  • It had to be 2 sided so we could enjoy it inside and people outdoors could enjoy it as well
  • Something glow in the dark would be freaking amazing.

Here’s what I came up with:

diy halloween

I apologize for the graininess of the picture- I had to take photos at night so you could see that I mussed up the acrylic, so they’re kind of dark but you can see all the detail on the project itself.

diy window display

BAM! I used a $7 plywood drawer insert cut in half to create the 2 BEWARE signs, a  4ft x 3ft acrylic sheet as the screen, and poster board and paint to create the tree. Then I decked it out with some spiderwebs (also from Home Depot) and a few things I had around the house.

halloween window display

In the interest of not making this post crazy super long, come back tomorrow for the how-to break down :) The sign, the acrylic sheet, and the tree each have a super easy, anyone-can-do-it how to.


NOW HERE’S WHERE IT GETS GOOD., myself, and all these lovely ladies want to give YOU $200 to either Home Depot or (it’s your choice!) to make your own project:

fall give away

Stephanie – Sandpaper & Glue
Gretchen – Boxy Colonial 
Because I have a terrible issue with coding, you can visit any one of those ladies’ websites today to see their project AND enter the giveaway (it’s free to enter and no email spam nonsense is going to happen! DO IT NOW!).
Also, so much thanks to –  a site that I actually do regularly use. Before I go grocery shopping I always, always, always check  to make sure I’m saving as much money as possible. Just search for the products you’re buying, then click on the coupon. It’ll save up your clicks and print your coupons all at once when you’re done- super easy. I don’t just DIY because I enjoy it, I DIY because I must. And saving money in other aspects of my life is key too.

3 Window Treatments That AREN’T Mini Blinds

On Tuesday I posted about some things I wish I knew my first month of home ownership, and it led to some pretty solid conversations but in the comments and in messages. By far the biggest one was that so many of you also did not know about non-mini blind options for your windows. I’m so glad I wasn’t alone on this.

I thought I’d do a quick roundup today of some easy alternatives:

1. Bamboo Blinds. This is by far my most favoritest option. I love them. And yes, you can have bamboo blinds and also (high and wide!!) curtains… in fact I encourage you to do so because it looks freaking great:

bamboo blinds

one || two

These can get a little pricey, but they’re sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s as well as a bunch of sites online. You can get them in a zillion different color shades and a bunch of styles (I like the matchstick style- lots of small strips of wood instead of thick longer ones). Plus they can be paired with light linen curtains or fun patterned curtains, or no curtains at all because you’re broke from spending more then $10 on window coverings.


2. (DIY) Roman Curtains. If you’re like me and you’re stuck with rooms full of mini blinds have no fear! You can turn them into Roman curtains and be instantly more sheek and fascinating.

Roman Curtains

one (no sew!)  || two (no sew!) || three (a little sewing)

I like the heavier fabric look of the curtain in number three, by Homemade Ginger, but I think it all depends on the space and where you put them. So grab a 50% off Jo-Ann fabric coupon, get some amazing fabric, and turn your awful white mini blinds into a work of art!

3. Pelmuts! I literally just learned what this word meant like a month ago, and if you say it out loud more then a few times it just sounds like gibberish, but basically it’s a big old fabric box you can put on top of your window. SO if you have mini blinds already, throw a pelmut up to hide them without loosing the option of having something to pull down for privacy if you want it.

DIY pelmut

one (and more info here) || two || three

I know what you’re thinking: holy crap, my grandma’s house is full of pelmuts! Are you sure about this, Stephanie?  Yes! I am so very sure that this is a viable option and with the right fabric it can be super stylish. Maybe just steer clear the 1950s floral your grandma knows and loves.

So there you go friends, 3 options to help you hide and/or replace your white mini blinds. If you’ve done any of the above, or have some other options, feel free to leave a link in the comments!!




DIY ACTION SQUAD: 15/15 Challenge!

GUYS! Are you ready to be so wow’d by the DIY Action Squad that you won’t even know what to do with yourselves? I sure am. I also MIGHT be exaggerating. But seriously, we’re coming at you today with projects that can be completed in 15 minutes, for under $15. Who doesn’t love that?

Also, we invite you to link up any project you’ve done that meets that criteria too! We’d love to see what you’re up to.

PicMonkey Collage

I am trying my best to make my kitchen as organized a landing spot as possible, which started with my canister set cord storage. No matter what I try or intend, basically everything gets dropped in the kitchen and I just need to embrace it rather than try to change my habits. So I created a cute little key holder for the side of my fridge in an effort to stop me from throwing my keys on the counter next to it.

To do this project you will need:

  • scrap wood
  • leftover spray paint
  • hooks
  • velcro or magnetic strip (I used velcro, but I would have used magnetic if I had it)
  • super glue or power drill (keep reading, the drastic difference will be explained)

Because I’m a hoarder, I had all these things on hand. So my cost was $0. However, if you need to get hooks and magnets you’d still safely fall in the under $15 range.

And here’s the crazy easy step by step that anyone can do:

Step One: Cut a hole in the box…… wait, wrong process…. Let me try again:

Step One: Spray paint your sorry slab of wood and hooks. Because these parts are so small, you can totally get away with spreading out a paper bag on your basement floor and spraying them indoors, just maybe do it while your significant other is at work so he/she doesn’t catch you. I did two coats of spray primer and one coat of color- each coat took about 30 seconds and I did it the night before. So technically my 15 minutes was divided up over two days.


Step Two: I used a thin piece of leftover wainscoting to make this project, so I chose to super glue my hooks to it. But if you use a thick piece of wood I would definitely recommend screwing your hooks in for extra sturdiness.


Step Three: Add your velcro or magnetic strip to the back. Most velcro and magnetic strips are sold with adhesive backing.


Step Four: Hang it up & stop throwing your damn keys on the counter. Use your cute new hook!


We can still completely open that cabinet, the hooks only stick out about two inches.

We can still completely open that cabinet, the hooks only stick out about two inches.

Now be sure to go check out projects from KenzTracie, and Emma  & link up with us!

Next Monday we’ll each be featuring our favorites from the link up  so share as many as you’d like and come back next week!


I’m linking up with the “Make It” link party!

How I changed my life with a wire shelf

This whole post is going to sound sarcastic but seriously, the tiniest little thing in the world got rid of a good 5 minutes of frustration that I feel everyday.

Basically, my pots and pans cabinet is a disaster because the lids are (were!!) in a complete state of chaos. Every single time I opened it they came tumbling down, or I couldn’t find the one I wanted, or I’d have to rearrange it completely because they were in the way of other things I needed. And then yesterday the heavens opened up and a light shined down and it was SOLVED.

I have had this white wire shelf sitting around in the office doing nothing since we moved here, we couldn’t find a use for it with the new desk but I did want to throw it out because, well, I don’t want to throw anything out ever. Then yesterday it suddenly dawned on me to turn that sucker on it’s side and use it to organize my lids. BAM:


holy organization, Batman!


Everything is good and right with the world now. You can go about your day.


AND ALSO, bonus, we got an awesome wall map from Matt’s parents the last time we visited them and I’m super in love with it. Right now it’s just hung on the guest room wall with push pins (gasp!) because I’m trying to figure out exactly what I want to do with it. Originally I was just going to frame it out with some trim or molding and call it a day but now I’m thinking I want to coat a board of mdf or drywall with magnetic paint, adhere the map on top of it, and then frame it out. That way, whenever Matt and I travel somewhere together we can mark it off on here without having to put a hole in it.

I am totally on board with the map fad.

I am totally on board with the map fad.

Because I’ve declared December to be the month I get all partially finished projects completed I have high hopes this map with be taken care of by January 1st.

So now I invite you to join in on a little impromptu Facebook chat- are you a 95%-er? Do you get so close to finishing a project and then get distracted by a new one and never finish? Or do you follow through like a rock star?

Stencilled Name Cake

Ok, I’ll admit I’m stalling a bit with this post- but I’ve got several projects in the works right now that are totally worth waiting for. I promise :)

I’m almost positive I got this idea from Making It Lovely, but it was definitely over a year ago and I can’t find it on the site. Either way, it’s so super easy anyone can do it.

The chocolate cake is from I box, I know bad blogger, but like I said I have several other projects going and Papa doesn’t care if it’s from a box or from scratch as long as it’s chocolate. The name is written in powdered sugar and it’s literally so easy anyone can do it.

I’ve got letter stencils that my grandmother gave me, but if you don’t just print out the letters you need on your computer, probably in a thick font like Arial Black, and cut them out- any size you want. My stencils are thick cardboard, but computer paper or construction paper would work just fine because you’re only using it for the outline.

The plaid pattern on the cake was made by just lightly dragging a fork horizontally then vertically across the top- nothing fancy going on there.

Then, just lay your stencil on top of the cake and sprinkle on the sugar! I used a spon to sift it over, because I didn’t have a sifter, and it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Sorry for the terrible picture- between 3 cats and a dog any sort of food decoration needs to be done quickly and efficiently.

And that’s all she wrote! Now it’s time to go see Skyfall…

Oh and hey, have you liked Sandpaper & Glue on Facebook yet? There’s all sorts of extras on there!