Sewing, Refashioning, Repurposing & Thrifting Through Life

DIY Solar Light Chandelier

Here’s a quick and easy way to take an old chandelier and some solar garden lights (we had some already) and turn it into a pretty outdoor light fixture for your deck or patio. Mr. Restyle bought this chandelier for $5 and he did most of the work, which is why there aren’t pictures of all the steps, unfortunately.


Old garage sale chandelier

He removed the shades, wiring and and sockets and put our daughter to work in spray painting the entire thing with Rustoleum in Satin Nickel. He then inserted wall plugs where the sockets used to be. Wall plugs are those little plastic plugs that get hammered into drywall to help support pictures hooks.

wall plugHe removed the stem from the bottom and the cap from the top so that he had the solar light in 3 separate pieces.

Solar light disassembled

Our lights had a hole at the bottom of the solar shade, like this.


Hole at bottom of shade

He inserted a washer and a screw into the hole and screwed this to the wall plug that was inserted earlier and then put the top cover back on. When he was done it looked like this.

New solar chandelier

New solar chandelier

And at night, all lit up. It looks so pretty.

Solar light chandelier magic.

Solar light chandelier magic.

Next up, I’d like to add a solar table lamp and some pretty mason jar solar table lights or candle holders.

solar light chandelier


Pretty Storage Box

My daughter’s done school for the year which means she has much more spare time. She took a plain old storage box (no before picture) and really made it pretty. All you need to do this is a cardboard box (the kind you can find at a dollar or discount store), some spray paint and a bit of lace fabric.

I happened to have this piece of lace from an old skirt.


She wanted to change the original colour of the box so she spray painted the entire thing with a base coat in grey. Lay the fabric over the box and use a complimentary or contrasting colour to spray the material. Once the fabric is removed you have something like this.


It’s so pretty and fits nicely into the decor of her room.

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Totally “Green” Kitchen & Where The Heck Have I Been?

I seem to have disappeared all winter, much like the melting snow outside my window. I hope there is still someone out there that is actually reading this blog and can forgive me for my absence. It has been a brutally harsh winter and my commitment to this blog has not been at all where I wanted it to be. I do apologize and hope you stick around with me for things to come.

Just because I haven’t been blogging doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. I had all these grandiose plans to show you all my wonderful cold weather thrifted (fabulous) outfits but let’s be honest, I did not feel like dragging my camera and tripod out in the bitter cold and snow all winter and indoor shots of me in my bedroom just ain’t gonna cut it for most readers. Spring is in the air and I’m going try my darndest to get this back up and running.

When I wasn’t lounging in my PJs all snuggled up in my favourite chair, I actually was off my butt and doing stuff around the house.

Mr. Restyle and I have been working on our basement kitchen for the past few months now. He did MOST of the work but I did lend my hand where I could, trying very hard to just let him do what he does best and hoping he wouldn’t veer off my design plan too much.

It started with obtaining this old kitchen from someone who was in the process of a house flip. Solid wood, ugly and about to be thrown away – just what we were looking for! It makes me cringe when I see people throwing away perfectly good, solid wood without a second thought. My neighbours are doing this right now. Their entire first floor is out in the dumpster. One of my favourite TV DIYers, Nicole Curtis of Rehab Addict would not approve! Doesn’t anyone think about the enviornment? If you want to replace stuff, stop and think about redoing it yourself or give it away! Ugh! Don’t even ask me about granite countertops. I hate them. Can I say that? i don’t like granite, mostly because EVERYBODY has them and I don’t want to be like everybody and also because granite is a nonrenewable resource. Rant over. Our goal was to see if we could finish this using old or reclaimed stuff, partly to save money and partly to say “We did it!”

old kitchen

Ugly, old brown kitchen about to be hauled to the dump. Perfect!

It took quite a bit of planning when it came to how to best configure it. There were a LOT of cabinets, but hey, who doesn’t need tons of storage in the basement? Let me say that this is a second kitchen whose main function will be for the kids to grab a snack or for extra prep space for large family gatherings and that is it. We will not be putting a full table and chairs in here.

We started by painting those horrid brown cabinets out with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old Ochre. I got some bleed through on a few of the doors and wasn’t happy with it, so I ended up priming them and finished it all off with 2 coats of clear wax.


All painted out with new handles picked up at Habitat for Humanity and countertop ready for install.


The fridge and stove we’ve had for years. The over the range microwave was picked up at Goodwill. Perfect condition and clean.

Mr. Restyle is pretty creative. He came up with the idea of framing out the electrical panel to make it look like a window. There is actually no window in this room. That’s why you’ll see a cut out wall by the sink as the office right next to the kitchen has the window. If we’d closed off the wall this kitchen would’ve felt like a tomb.

electrical panel

Prepping th

Here it is done. Excuse the wood filler around the frame. That part’s not done yet!

He even put a light inside. He says it makes it look like it’s the sun shining in. Bless him but that’s adorable. Tacky maybe but adorable.


Electrical panel “window” with the “sun” shining through.

The sink and faucet are more Habitat Finds. Mr. Restyle sanded the sink to make it look brand new. He used sand paper that is used on cars, not the paper you buy at Home Depot. It’s extra, extra fine and did a fabulous job, though personally, I didn’t see the need. The sink is deep which I love.

Sink and counter. All that's left is the backsplash and electrical sockets.

Sink and counter. All that’s left is the backsplash and electrical sockets.

More counter and cabinets.

More counter and cabinets.

Our original plan for the counters was to find some old, solid wood doors but we searched everywhere and came up empty. Plan B was some maple, which Mr. Restyle installed and I stained using Danish Oil. Danish Oil becomes food safe after it cures but man, does it EVER stink while you’re applying it! We used Watco Danish Oil in Medium Walnut. The trick with Danish Oil is to pour it directly onto the wood (like a small puddle) and just use a sock over your hand or a soft cloth to go with the grain. I think I did 2 or 3 coats. It dries very quickly. I love the contrast of dark counters with light cupboards. I think eventually we’ll seal the counters with Waterlox or something similar. The edges were finished off by applying a wood veneer. The veneer is applied with an iron, which heats the glue. The veneer was also stained with Danish Oil.

Here are a few more shots from the other side of the room. The plug from the microwave to the wall socket is temporary. There is actually power above the microwave but in order to do finish this off, all the power to the house has to be turned off. It wasn’t feasible to do this during the frigid winter we’ve had.


Temporary power to the microwave.

This is actually a great idea for this corner. Instead of wasted space, there is a fake cupboard behind to the side of the stove. The original plan had the stove sitting where the small counter is but we decided it looked disjointed that way.

This is actually a great idea for this corner. Instead of wasted space, there is a fake cupboard to the side of the stove. The original plan had the stove sitting where the small counter is but we decided it looked disjointed that way.

Since we didn’t want a table in here, we opted to add a small counter area for snacks.


Snack counter is essentially a “table” made by his truly, attached to the rest of the countertop on one side with legs on one end.

A close up of the legs made from pipe. Isn’t Mr. Restyle getting better and better? He came up with this on his own and THEN saw something similar on Pinterest. Ha! Excuse the mess. There are still a bunch of baseboards to go up down here and doors to be hung or painted.

Pipe legs.

Pipe legs.

Chairs are a Goodwill find. They were a cherry wood kind of reddish colour that wouldn’t work down here so they got the same paint as the cupboards and some new upholstery. Easy peasy and so fresh!


2 fresh new chairs.

And lastly, have one of these in your basement and need to cover it up?

Water metre to be hidden.

Water metre to be hidden.

There didn’t seem to be an easy way to hide this thing. It’s between the kitchen and the fruit cellar and totally in plain sight. Here’s what we did. We got this credenza at GBF (charity thrift store). We both love vintage and for now it will stay as it is without changing the colour, painting it or replacing the hardware. Eventually we can store barware in here. Funny thing about this when we brought it home, Mr. Restyle asked one of our boys to help unload it. Our son asked “What is it?” Mister replied (as a joke) “It’s a coffin.” When he removed the back panel, he noticed the letters R.I.P. scribbled on the back. Creepy, huh?

Vintage cabinet.

Vintage cabinet.

It doesn’t stop there. We had to make it actually fit in the space. Here’s what the mister did.

Cut off the back to make it fit, take out the drawer and cut off the back part of the drawer just enough, then put it all back together.

Cut off the back to make it fit, take out the drawer and cut off the back part of the drawer just enough, then put it all back together (something like that).

Thanks for sticking around for all that. Let me know what you think! I’ve been so empowered by this project (we both have) that we are going to be updating our main kitchen. Oak cabinets anyone? I have a great idea for those that does not involve the landfill and also for a true butcher block counter that will be much better than the one we did down here.


Retro Lamp Redo

Picked up a couple of these lamps a while back. They did not have any shades when I got them.


Although I kinda liked them the way they were, I thought a pop of colour might be nice as both the walls and the sofa in the living room are a cream colour.

I removed all the hardware before spraying.


Sprayed the base in gold as well and then put everything back together.



I think once this room is done, the blue on the lamps will tie in nicely with the accent pillows of the sofa.

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Rockin’ Guitar Lamp

I am blessed to have many wonderful and talented friends around the world. This idea reminded me of what you can do with old musical instruments. I had seen guitar cases turned into coffee tables, old keyboards turned into wall shelves and even entire shells of baby grands turned into bookcases but when my dear friend Mike posted his guitar lamp on Facebook recently, I thought it was pretty awesome and a great example of what you can do with something that really reflects your personality. Mike is a rockin’ kinda guy, who up until recently played in a band in his spare time. In his words, this project came about by taking “an old junker, drill, light kit, and a little stain. Turned out pretty cool.”

Yes, yes, it did turn out pretty cool!


Crank the tunes and turn this thing on!

mikes guitar lamp

Now I know I need to do something like this in my own home as all 5 of us are also musicians. Thanks Mike for letting me use your idea in this post. Rock on dude!

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Old Ceiling Fan Makeover

In addition to my drum shade chandelier, I also updated our old ceiling fan. Now I have mixed emotions about these things. First, I generally find them rather ugly to look at but I certainly appreciate their practicality. Now I knew I’d never win the battle to take it down completely but it was just begging me to give it a makeover. I mean really, it was begging.

Once again, Mr. Restyle helped me out. Love that man. He was so eager he started removing it before I could take a picture of it in all its fake wood/brass ugly glory but here’s an idea.

Why the man thought if he held up one of the parts that he'd already taken down would fool my readers I have no idea but I let him do it anyway "so they could get the idea."

Why the man thought if he held up one of the parts that he’d already taken down would fool my readers, I cannot say but I let him do it anyway “so they could get the idea.”

And here are the blades already disassembled. Can you hear these things crying “Get us out of the early 90s please! We still remember your first apartment!”


I have seen people paint ceiling fans without taking them down. I do not recommend this and cannot figure out why anyone would attempt this risking spray paint everywhere. It’s extremely important to not spray paint the motor. I’m almost certainly you’ll mess up the mechanics if you do. Lucky for us the brass covering the motor is a separate piece that was easily removed. If yours is different, I would stuff newspaper or cotton or something into all the little holes so the paint can’t get to the mechanics.

Once you have the fan disassembled, cover off any areas you will not be painting. This means the bulb sockets. You can stuff newspaper to cover this area off. We didn’t plan on painting the blades. If you do, be careful not to put too heavy a coat of paint on as it will weigh the blades down possibly rendering your fan inoperable.

For our fan, instead of painting the blades we chose to flip them over. The underside (the side next to the ceiling) was plain wood. Since our goal was to cover the “rattan” look of the blades, flipping them over did the trick.

Once again I used the Rust-o-leum Metallics spray pain in the Flat Chestnut (same colour I used on the drum shade chandelier) which is hanging in our adjacent family room.

Rust-o-leum Metallics in Flat Chestnut. Paint and primer in one.

Rust-o-leum Metallics in Flat Chestnut. Paint and primer in one.

Once it was all spray painted, it was hung back up. The only thing we replaced were the pulls. Ours were missing pieces and we didn’t like the colour.

Updated old ceiling fan.

Updated old ceiling fan.


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A Bright Idea: Drum Shade Chandelier DIY

Drum shade chandeliers are everywhere! Time to update this glass/brass disaster hanging above our kitchen table.

Old glass/brass chandelier pre-update.

Old glass/brass chandelier pre-update.

Mr. Restyle helped on this one because I know absolutely nothing about electrical safety! I forgot to take a before pic of the drum shade we picked up at the thrift store for $3. Make sure you choose one that is wide enough so that there is ample room between the bulbs and the shade. This helps ensure no risk of overheating the shade and causing fire. He shut off the electricity, removed the chandelier and then removed the glass. Glass is all one piece and easy to unscrew.

Time for paint. I chose Rustoleum Metallics in Flat Chestnut. This chandelier would be moving into our family room, which has a lot of browns and creams. This makeover would look absolutely beautiful if you used a chrome or silver spray paint with a white drum shade. Maybe attach some crystals to it. Stunning!

Rust-o-leum Metallics in Flat Chestnut. Paint and primer in one.

Rust-o-leum Metallics in Flat Chestnut. Paint and primer in one.

Before you paint, use some some steel wool all along the brass to rough it up a bit. I forgot to do this part! Ugh! No need to prime, just spray on several light coats making sure to cover the electrical sockets with tape/newspaper after you remove the bulbs.

Once dry, assemble the drum shade over the chandelier and put it all back up.



Another angle.

Another angle.

All lit up, with one malfunctioning bulb. LOL

All lit up.


All lit up except for 1 bulb! LOL



Just a Doorknob

I’m in the ongoing (never-ending) process of restyling my entire house. One of the things I wanted to change was the ugly, 1990s shiny brass doorknobs. I had considered buying all new ones but with something like 17 doors in my house, I knew there was a cheaper way. I mean, have you looked at the price of a doorknob lately? Outrageous!

Shiny brass doorknob that had to go.

Shiny brass doorknob that had to go.

Enter Rustoleum Metallics Spray Paint. This stuff is awesome. There is no need to prime the surface prior to application. All you do is take some fine steel wool and rub the surface.

Rustoleum Metallic spray paint in Satin Nickel.

Rustoleum Metallic spray paint in Satin Nickel.

I chose the satin nickel finish but this stuff comes in several different colours (steel, silver, bronze, copper). Remove the doorknobs from the doors first and spray them outside. 2 to 3 light coats should be sufficient.

When you’re done-new doorknobs and an updated look!

Updated doorknob.

Updated doorknob.

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