Category Archives: Thrift Store Score

DIY Upcycled Rolodex Recipe Card Organization System

DIY Upcycled Rolodex Recipe Card Organization System | dreamgreendiy.com @ehow

I can’t remember if I’ve ever officially admitted this, but, truth be told, I’m pretty much useless when it comes to any action in the kitchen. Well, aside from breakfast that is. I can make a mean poached egg or plate of French toast, but that’s where my motivation ends. Let’s just say that when I was a single gal, I used to eat boxed Mac & Cheese almost every night (when I wasn’t gorging on French toast, that is) and I hardly ever spent more than ten minutes analyzing a recipe card.

But then John made his way into my life and saved the day. My hubby is a whiz in the kitchen and is always putting together delicious dinners that come packed with thoughtful, health-boosting elements that I would never even dream of making on my own.

DIY Upcycled Rolodex Recipe Card Organization System | dreamgreendiy.com @ehow

Now, to clarify, I wouldn’t say that I’m a terrible cook, per se. It’s really just that I’m on the lazier end of the spectrum, and just hate the idea of intentionally meal planning and then later having to pour over a recipe card. So, in order to make the meal-planning process a little easier on myself to encourage more kitchen time, I decided to turn an old 50-cent Rolodex box into an Upcycled Recipe Card Organization System. You can see how I did it over on eHow by clicking that link.

While scrolling through the tutorial, you’ll also find my free printable download for peel-and-stick recipe card organization labels. What makes this system a little unique is the fact that I’m not telling you to stuff your existing recipe cards into a Rolodex box. Instead, you’ll be encouraged to print the labels and then write out the name of your favorite recipe, the title of the cookbook it’s in, and the page number before peeling and sticking the labels to the business-card-sized Rolodex pages. This system is much faster than having to rewrite entire recipes, and encourages us to break into our collection of cookbooks more regularly.

DIY Upcycled Rolodex Recipe Card Organization System | dreamgreendiy.com @ehow

Hop through to eHow now where I’m sharing the full breakdown on how you, too, can upcycle that vintage Rolodex you’ve been holding onto (or, at the very least, the one that you’ve been dreaming of snagging from the antique mall).

My favorite part, aside from the OCD organization factor? That hint of pretty pattern on top of the box! That’s actually a scrap of Blooms wallpaper care of This Little Street and Spoonflower, which you may remember from my DIY retro record cabinet makeover. It’s amazing what a little color and pattern can do to a simple, utilitarian object, wouldn’t you agree?

What’s your favorite recipe or cookbook?

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A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Reveal

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

AllModern

Yesterday, I showed you the inspiration behind our mid-century sunroom makeover—which came together with the help of the fine folks over at AllModern—but today is all about the tangible transformation. In case you missed Monday’s post, be sure to click back (either now, or after you’ve scrolled through the photos) to get the full story behind this space and our goals.

And a little added bonus is that I had the chance to break down my tips and tricks for mixing vintage and modern furniture and accessories over on domino! Check out the story here, but before you do, I can’t wait any longer to share the photos that Andrea Pesce took of our sunroom. So, scroll on and prepare to start longing extra hard for summertime—I know I am.

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

Those billowy white curtains were actually a DIY project that I cranked out quickly one unassuming weekend leading up to the shoot. Only about midway through the project did I realize that it might be something worth sharing, but alas, it was too late to break out the camera for photos and I had a deadline to meet, what with the photoshoot looming. So, I’ll just quickly run through the process below.

The main ingredient? A single white twin flat sheet, which just so happened to be the perfect dimensions for our short-yet-long windows, and cost WAY less than ready-made curtain options from the Big Box Store.

  • STEP ONE: Purchase one white twin flat sheet.
  • STEP TWO: Iron the sheet to get rid of the creases.
  • STEP THREE: Fold the long edges of the sheet in half to find the center (or measure and mark).
  • STEP FOUR: Cut the sheet in half with sharp scissors
  • STEP FIVE: Use iron-on hem tape to clean up the cut edge.
  • STEP SIX: Add curtain clip rings to the top of the sheet curtain panels, and loop onto a curtain rod

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

See that oversized hanging basket chair in the corner? It’s a big, big reason for just how monumentally in love I am with the revamped room. The chair came by way of our favorite mid-century furniture and accessories dealer in Lynchburg, Galaxie Modern. I had seen it during a quick and random stop in back in the summer, but the piece hadn’t been priced yet. Then, John and I went back a few weeks later with our hearts set on a new dining room table (which we found), but after finding out that the basket chair was still there, I just couldn’t leave it behind.

It’s now my absolute favorite seat in the entire house. Whenever life gets to be a little too much to bear, you’ll always find me nestled in that chair amongst the pillows and afternoon sunshine, just swinging my cares away. It’s the perfect cure for my blues, and I love that it matches the era of our 1960s home so perfectly. It’s like they were meant for each other.

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

(DIY Hairpin Leg Side Table)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

I’m incredibly proud (and mystified) to tell you that the plants in the room are still going strong! I remember asking Andrea to come photograph the room as soon as she could since I had little to no trust in my green thumb, but the hanging plants and potted trees on the floor are actually all still kicking. I set a reminder on my phone to water everything once a week on Wednesdays, and so far, so good. We are supposed to be getting something like six inches of snow this weekend though, so we’ll see how well they stand up to the cold. Fingers crossed!

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

(DIY Custom Wood Burned Sign)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

A Mid-Century Sunroom Makeover: Inspiration | Dream Green DIY (Photo: Andrea Pesce)

And there you have it. The very first room that we’ve been able to cross off of our list of spaces to do, and this one couldn’t have been a more satisfying one to complete. The casual, laid-back oasis is the stuff of my dreams, and I look forward to many lazy, loungy afternoons to come this spring and summer. For more information behind our sunroom makeover, be sure to click back here to find out our plans and inspiration, and to learn how to get the look in your own home, click through to domino where I’m sharing my tips for mixing old with new.

Photos: Andrea Pesce
Room resources: sectionalmolded plastic chairswood and chrome dining tablearea rugvintage hanging basket chair, “I LOVE YOU” pillow, vintage coffee table, Modernica floor pot)

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How To Enjoy More Music In The New Year

How To Enjoy More Music In The New Year | Dream Green DIY

One of things on my bucket list to do more of in the new year—odd as it may sound—is to listen to more music. I have found myself naturally drifting more and more towards classical, instrumental music as a stress reliever while working, so I’m hoping to be more intentional about listening to tunes in 2016 as a form of decompression. In case you also find music to be extra soothing in times of high stress (or just when you have some down time) and are looking for creative ways to work it into your schedule, I wanted to share a few tips for how I’ve gotten my tunes in on a daily basis in 2016.

Set up an at-home music station

As many of you may remember if you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time, one of my biggest makeovers from last year was this thrifted record cabinet. John and I spent a couple of days pouring some sweat equity and creativity into this $25 piece of would-be trash, and the two-toned, wallpapered results still have my heart going “pitter patter.”

How To Enjoy More Music In The New Year | Dream Green DIY

How To Enjoy More Music In The New Year | Dream Green DIY

Since moving, we’ve set the piece up downstairs in our finished basement, complete with its own record player and a collection of new and old vinyl albums stacked underneath. Despite the dust you see above (sorry for the bird’s eye view of my laziness in these “real-life” pictures), it has been our go-to spot for playing tunes any given hour of the day.

Happily, you can easily do the same in your own house by adding a record player or set of speakers to a clutter-free surface. Just finish with albums or a place to rest your iPod or phone, and you’re good to go! Bonus points for keeping a collection of bar cart essentials nearby, too.

How To Enjoy More Music In The New Year | Dream Green DIY

Ask for recommendations

Since I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of music listener, I rely heavily on other people’s recommendations for new albums to listen to. I also work from home, which limits my exposure to the radio, so I’m always the absolute last to know the latest hit (I still haven’t heard Adele’s Hello as further proof of my extreme under-a-rock lifestyle).

You may be able to tell from the photos in today’s feature, but I tend to gravitate towards old show tunes and musical soundtracks (with the odd emo band thrown in for good measure), so I love asking friends and family members for musical recommendations. This allows me to push the boundaries of my taste level, and I always end up getting inspired by a new melody or band.

How To Enjoy More Music In The New Year | Dream Green DIY

How To Enjoy More Music In The New Year | Dream Green DIY

Join a vinyl subscription service

I recently learned about the Turntable Kitchen Pairings Box after working with the brand’s two founders, Kasey and Matthew, for a Glitter Guide feature. The monthly mailer service offers subscribers a new vinyl record and a fun new recipe to go along with the album. I just think this is such a clever way to encourage quality time spent over music and food—two of my favorite things—and I can’t wait to try it out! Click through to Kasey and Matthew’s post on how to curate the perfect record collection here.

Oh, and just FYI that this post isn’t sponsored in any way, shape or form. I’m just a big fan of the Turntable Kitchen and their pre-curated service, and thought it might strike a nerve with you, too.

How To Enjoy More Music In The New Year | Dream Green DIY

How To Enjoy More Music In The New Year | Dream Green DIY

Do you have any slightly random New Year’s resolutions for 2016? Or maybe you have your own special ways of incorporating music into your life on a daily basis. Either way, I’m dying to know all about it! And while we’re on the subject of music, what’s your favorite album? I need to add more to my collection, pronto.

(More details behind our DIY record cabinet makeover this way!)

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How To Shop And Style Thrift Store Scores Like A Pro

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

Waaaaaaay back in the summer of 2014, my creative photographer friend, Mallory Benedict, and I popped downtown to do a little photoshoot at Estates & Consignments in Lynchburg, Virginia. We spend about an hour touring the large warehouse space, which—at the time while I was still living in Lynchburg—happened to be my favorite local haunt for secondhand treasures.

The value of Best articles on building a secondary dwelling in Sydney managed by Butz Enterprises, Inc. in the past three years has averaged approximately $293 million.

Somehow weeks after the shoot, life got in the way and the story and photos behind this trip slowly started to gather digital “dust” in my hard drive. What a shame! So I’m finally biting the bullet and sharing the feature with you—read on to learn my tips for shopping and styling thrift store scores no matter where you are in the world.

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

Take A Closer Look

I actually sort of love going thrifting on my own because I like to really take my time. I stop whenever something (big or small) catches my eye, and then I give the piece lots of thought. I step up close, I hold it and turn it around in my hand if I’m able to, and then I step back to see it in context. It’s probably not too surprising to hear, but I’m a visual person and need time to really picture what something is going to look like when placed in our home.

When it comes to furniture, I like to give it the full once over, sitting or laying on it if needed, and looking underneath at the construction. Taking a closer look allows me to judge the value of a thrifted item and offers my instincts time to feel a gut reaction towards the piece.

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

Take Your Time

Again, I really like to take things slow while thrifting. I’ll make one, two, sometimes three laps around the warehouse or thrift store in order to get a good feeling about the pieces that are potential scores. If I feel the need to return to a particular item after passing it by earlier on, this is my sign to seriously consider the purchase.

John and I have been going to a lot of antique malls since moving to Waynesboro, and my methodology is to make a mental note (or even a physical note on paper) of the booth number the piece is in. If, when I’m done taking the full tour of the place, I still can’t get that one mirror, book, chair—whatever it may be—out of my brain, I’ll glance at my notes and go back to pick it up. This, of course, all takes time, but not rushing through the outing allows me to avoid impulse purchasing pieces that I don’t really need.

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

Mix Old With New

As for actually styling said Thrift Store Scores, my absolute favorite thing to do is mix them into vignettes with new, already-owned items. The oyster shell dishes that you see pictured above actually came from a thrift store for less than a dollar apiece. After getting them home, I placed them and a wooden bowl on top of a mirrored tray (two more inexpensive thrifted treasures), and then added jewelry to the dishes and bowl. With the practical styling aside, I filled in with a pretty new book, collection of perfume bottles, and a framed print that I leaned behind the vignette.

Simple as that! The new pieces give the old items a sense of freshness and luxury despite the fact that the secondhand items cost less than any one of the newer pieces did at retail.

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

Arrange And Rearrange

Another thing that I love to do with thrifted items is move them around. The pieces in our home are on constant rotation, and this allows the items to have a long and happy life in our possession.

These photos, of course, all show our previous home before we moved, but everything has since found a new place in our new house. Happily, nothing will ever stay the same, so you may see our thrifted handmade spool lamp (seen pictured above) in the office one day, and the guest room the next. This rearranging allows the magic of finding that perfectly unique piece last for years and years.

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

What are your tips for shopping and styling thrifted treasures? I can’t wait to hear your methodology so that I can rethink and renew my own thrifting adventures now that we’re in a new town!

(Photos by Mallory Benedict)

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Thrift Store Score: Blendo Glasses, A Bust + An Artist Lamp

Thrift Store Score: Pastel Glasses, A Bust + An Artist's Manikin Lamp | Dream Green DIY

First of all, on this beautiful Monday morning, I have a question for you. What are your strategies for hunting down Thrift Store Scores? For me, it’s all about keeping one single idea in mind—or really, one single question: What would Emily Henderson do?

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, chances are good that you’ve picked up on my obsession with basically anything and everything this designer / blogger / stylist does. Emily’s aesthetic immediately spoke to me when I caught her on HGTV’s Secrets From A Stylist, and I’ve been hooked ever since. So, now whenever I’m wandering through a thrift store or estate sale, I tend to consider pieces as though seeing them through her eyes. Of course, my own inclinations inevitably work their way into the decision, but Emily’s retro inspiration tends to keep me on track so that my purchases feel natural and intentional.

Thrift Store Score: Pastel Glasses, A Bust + An Artist's Manikin Lamp | Dream Green DIY

All this to say, that my most recent trips to the thrift store have proved especially fruitful because of my need for more quirky conversation pieces à la Emily H. First up is my new light-up artist’s Manikin. By the way, apparently that is the proper term/spelling for these little wooden models—I Googled it more than once to confirm. I guess I should know this, what with all those hours spent in the drawing studio in art school, but I never did soak up that particular nugget of knowledge.

Thrift Store Score: Pastel Glasses, A Bust + An Artist's Manikin Lamp | Dream Green DIY

But I digress. At any rate, I couldn’t let this little guy go. I saw him at Circa in Charlottesville, Virginia, on one trip, and actually went back for him a week later because I couldn’t get him out of my mind. At $18, it wasn’t a steal, but it turns out that this handmade table lamp—made by a local designer, Ray Alderman, who seems to have sadly gone out of business—retails for much more. Although John made fun of me all the way home for purchasing the lamp, I couldn’t be more in love with it, and see it styled on a bookshelf or end table.

Thrift Store Score: Pastel Glasses, A Bust + An Artist's Manikin Lamp | Dream Green DIY

Thrift Store Score: Pastel Glasses, A Bust + An Artist's Manikin Lamp | Dream Green DIY

These pastel Blendo glasses also have a funny story. About two months ago, I purchased a pricey set of nearly identical pastel bowls from—you guessed it—Emily Henderson care of her Flea shop. Not a day later though, I got a very nice email from someone on her team that the collection had actually already been sold to someone else and that the shop hadn’t updated properly.

My money was refunded, and I immediately hopped onto eBay to track down a similar set. By way of comparison, the set from Emily cost over $100, and the set I found on eBay cost $45. As fate would have it though, I lost the auction to someone else, and dropped the search thinking it was doomed. Then, while visiting my sister in Williamsburg, Virginia, I happened upon the pitcher and glasses pictured here for…WAIT FOR IT…$7. Yes, seriously. $7. I guess sometimes it does pay to be patient.

Thrift Store Score: Pastel Glasses, A Bust + An Artist's Manikin Lamp | Dream Green DIY

Thrift Store Score: Pastel Glasses, A Bust + An Artist's Manikin Lamp | Dream Green DIY

And rounding out this Emily Henderson-themed collection of Thrift Store Scores is my brand-new-to-me clay bust portrait. This little 6-inch sculpture was a splurge at $50, but I love the shelf styling possibilities. I first caught sight of it on Emily’s blog in this post about styling a mantel, and clicked through to the Etsy source she had listed, never thinking that the one-of-a-kind piece from Sawdust Gideon would still be available. But it was, and I couldn’t stop myself from bagging it for myself.

Thrift Store Score: Pastel Glasses, A Bust + An Artist's Manikin Lamp | Dream Green DIY

Thrift Store Score: Pastel Glasses, A Bust + An Artist's Manikin Lamp | Dream Green DIY

It’s actually quite beautiful in person from all angles, with lots of pretty (yet subtle) texture and tiny markings on the surface of the clay. The piece is also super lifelike, which I love. Although I didn’t take many 3D design classes while in art school, I always appreciated it the most—particularly figure sculpture. This might just be my new favorite thing.

Thrift Store Score: Pastel Glasses, A Bust + An Artist's Manikin Lamp | Dream Green DIY

And I now feel the (jovial) need to ask that you refrain from judging me too hard for my over-the-top fan girling this morning—we’ve all got our designer crushes! Do you have a designer or style that you always keep in mind while hunting for Thrift Store Scores? What has been your proudest treasure this year? And if you’re local to the Waynesboro or Charlottesville area, where should we go next for secondhand goodies?

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Our Mid-Century Wall-Mounted Mailbox Makeover

Mid-Century Wall-Mounted Mailbox Makeover | Dream Green DIY

Whenever you move into a new house, there are bound to be a few funny little challenges to work though. You have to figure out what that mysterious light switch goes to, investigate the source of every late night noise, and figure out the eccentricities of every new-to-you appliance. Although I wouldn’t say that I was exactly prepared for figuring out all of these little details post-move, they were all pretty easy to work through in the end with a little trial and error. One thing that did surprise me though was the issue with our address.

Mid-Century Wall-Mounted Mailbox Makeover | Dream Green DIY

It’s a long, sordid tale, but it turns out that we are the only house on the block that doesn’t sport an 1800 number (as in the house next to us is an 1800 number and the one on the other side is, too), so delivery men and visitors almost always have trouble finding our home. It’s gotten so bad that we’ve had UPS drivers call for directions while sitting right outside our driveway, not realizing that they were in the right spot.

The problem really stems from the convoluted numbering system and the fact that our house is the odd man out, but the previous home owners also happened to hang pretty miniscule house numbers and an oddly placed mailbox, which perpetuated our issues.

Mid-Century Wall-Mounted Mailbox Makeover | Dream Green DIY

So over the weekend, we hung brand new chunky numbers right on the side of the house, and I also took things one step further with an updated—and properly installed—wall-mounted mailbox with giant vinyl house numbers for easy identification.

First, we had to pry the retrofitted metal post mailbox off the wall where it had been bolted into the brick. Because the box wasn’t technically made to be mounted to the wall, it was a bit of a hassle to open the door—instead of opening smoothly, it sort of scratched against the side of the house. So we battled the mailbox out until it was finally on the floor of the carport, and then I got to work cleaning up the vintage brass box that I bought off of eBay for less than $40.

Mid-Century Wall-Mounted Mailbox Makeover | Dream Green DIY

A little bit of Brasso was all it needed to clean the mailbox right up and, although I didn’t get it perfectly un-patinaed, the majorly dingy sections look almost as good as new. To finish, I buffed the cleaned surface with a towel, and then John and I turned our attention to hanging the mailbox.

Mid-Century Wall-Mounted Mailbox Makeover | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Wall-Mounted Mailbox Makeover | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Wall-Mounted Mailbox Makeover | Dream Green DIY

It turns out that we got majorly lucky here because the holes just happened to line right up with the bolts that were used in the previous mailbox. We simply loosened the screws, slipped our freshly cleaned brass mailbox right on top, and tightened the screws once more. A masonry bit attached to our electric drill would have done the trick though in case you’re looking to hang your own wall-mounted mailbox to brick. The only thing missing at this point was personalized identification.

Mid-Century Wall-Mounted Mailbox Makeover | Dream Green DIY

For this final phase of the makeover, I put a piece of black peel-and-stick vinyl onto a 12×12 StandardGrip Adhesive Cutting Mat that I had on hand to go with my Cricut Explore Air cutting machine. Next, I uploaded a quick house numbers design into the Cricut Design Center, and cut the vinyl out in all of 10 minutes. To finish, I peeled the numbers back one by one using a Weeder Tool, and carefully stuck them on the mailbox in the lower righthand corner.

Mid-Century Wall-Mounted Mailbox Makeover | Dream Green DIY

With that, we were done! It was a simple update, but one that looks a lot better and helps make mail deliveries a little less of a headache. Stay tuned later on for a follow-up blog post, which details one final DIY project that we’ve tackled to combat our house number woes. Do you have any house number horror stories to tell? Got a clever house numbers DIY project to share? Do tell in the comments below.

Mid-Century Wall-Mounted Mailbox Makeover | Dream Green DIY

Cricut

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Touring Our New Mid-Century Modern House!

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

What a roller coaster these last few weeks have been! I can’t even begin to explain the emotional havoc this process has inflicted on my brain, but I can finally, finally say these four beautiful words: we are finally home. In the midst of our whirlwind last minute move last week, I found out that we wouldn’t be able to get Internet set up at the house until this coming weekend, so I’m hustling through my mountain of emails and to-dos while parked here at a table in Panera. I am likely going to be disorganized for one more week, but I hope to finally get back to normal by the end of the month.

Since my web time is limited and I’ve got lots of things to take care of behind the scenes, I’ll simply share the “before” photos of our new home with you now without explanation. I’ll be back to share much more behind each room and what we have in mind, but if you want to shout out your own ideas, be my guest! To see a sneak peek of the space with furniture, hop over to Snapchat and give me a follow—my handle, as always, is @dreamgreendiy. Happy Monday!

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIYMid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIYMid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIYMid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIYMid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIYMid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIYMid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIYMid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIYMid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIYMid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIYMid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Modern House Tour | Dream Green DIY

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How To Give A Retro Record Cabinet New Life With Paint

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIYI’ll go ahead and start with the bad news, which is that I’m officially on lockdown from purchasing any new-to-me vintage pieces until we sell our home and move into the next one. The good news though is that my job as a DIY blogger sometimes requires me to make vintage purchases in order to give you—my dear, darling readers—a jolt of inspiration and maker motivation. So, when Glidden® reached out with a challenge to put their High Endurance Grab-N-Go interior paint to the test, I couldn’t say yes fast enough knowing that it put vintage furniture back in the “go” zone for a painterly makeover.

My latest mid-century furniture redo? An old, stripped down record cabinet that John and I picked up from our local Habitat For Humanity Restore. This piece—which you can see in its original state below—cost us just $25, but was worth its weight in gold when you take that cool wooden lattice work and sleek shape into consideration. Although John was admittedly skeptical (and none too pleased to add an extra piece of furniture to our inventory), he also couldn’t deny the cool factor. So, into the Subaru it went and home with us it came.

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIY

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIY

As you can see above, the piece came completely bare bones. All of the inner workings and speakers had been yanked out, leaving the cabinet sad and unfunctional. All of that is destined to change though in due time. Despite the fact that you’ll see it in this post decked out with our portable tabletop turntable, we have plans to eventually outfit the cabinet with a proper record player that fits the interior space. Speakers also will be ordered and set into place behind the lattice, but for now, it sits in wait in our basement, just begging for a new house and new room dedicated to record playing.

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIY

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIY

But let’s back up to the beginning of this before and after process. First, we needed to give the cabinet a thorough cleaning, so John and I took our time removing the 6,000 screws (that’s almost not an exaggeration), and he used his shop vacuum to get rid of all the cobwebs and dust circa 1950. Next, came the all-too-important sanding step.

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIY

We started with a rough sandpaper on our Dewalt hand sander, and then moved on to a finer grit. Since my plan was to paint just a few areas of the cabinet (namely, the top, the legs, the lattice frames, and a few key sections of the front of the cabinet), we localized our sanding to those areas only.

Because we were in a bit of a hurry with a looming deadline and an already-planned trip out of town for me, we skipped the sanding of a few areas, and we paid the price later on. I hesitate to admit this mishap to you, but at the same time I want you to be able to learn from my mistakes. Make sure to thoroughly sand all of the areas of your own cabinet where you plan to paint, otherwise your paint won’t properly grip the surface. We made out okay in the end, but our finish might not be quite as long-lasting as it would have been had we taken our time. Lesson learned!

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIY

Of course, for the painting step, we were thrilled to test out a can of Glidden’s High Endurance Grab-N-Go paint in white, picked up at Walmart. The self-priming formula made it a cinch to knock out this phase of the project, and the color was (no joke) spot on from the very first stroke. I specifically wanted to use a bright, crisp white to act as a high contrast counterpart to the existing dark wood finish of the cabinet, and Glidden’s Grab-N-Go paint ended up being the ideal complement.

John and I worked in tandem to paint the legs and front of our retro record cabinet—he brushed on the paint around the lattice frames and legs, and I rolled out the top and edges. We waited about three hours between each coat and finished with a fourth for good measure. Since we chose to add color to just a few surfaces of the cabinet, it only took about 20 minutes per coat. We had it knocked out in record time (pun intended), and gave the fourth and final coat a full 24 hours to dry.

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIY

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIY

With the major areas painted out, we brought the cabinet upstairs and I lined the outside edges of the gaps in the paneling on the front of the cabinet with painter’s tape. Then, I brushed on four more lightening fast coats of white paint. This detail, though quick to execute, easily makes the entire piece. Those three little streaks of white add so much contrast and dimension to the cabinet, and I’m so happy we decided to go for it.

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIY

Another spontaneous design feature was the wallpapered panel. My friend Audrey—the blogger behind This Little Street—just launched her very own collection of wallpaper and fabric patterns in partnership with Spoonflower, and I can’t get enough of the colorful, graphic motifs she came up with. Audrey’s Blooms pattern had just enough retro edge to match the look I was going for with my retro cabinet, so I measured, cut, and stuck it to the back of the lift-up panel on the top of the piece for an added element of surprise. It’s now my favorite part of the entire project, and I don’t think I’ll ever put the top back down again to hide it.

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIY

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIY

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIY

I am such a big, big fan of high contrast painted details on mid-century pieces. I think it’s just enough pizazz to give retro pieces contemporary edge, and it’s my way of compromising with the two dueling sides of my personality—the part that wants to leave wood untouched, and the other part that wants to go bold with color or contrast. Now I’m off to search for the perfect system to really bring our redone retro record cabinet back to life.

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIY

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIY

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIY

How To Paint A Retro Record Cabinet | Dream Green DIY

To see my review of the High Endurance Grab-N-Go interior paint with even more thorough of a breakdown, click through here—and be sure to check out the other reviews if you’re not quite sold on taking my word for it.

As a bonus, Glidden® also is giving one of you a $50 gift card to Walmart so that you can put your own dreams of a furniture or room makeover to life. To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below, and for an additional entry, write your own review on Glidden.com and then leave a comment here saying that you did to confirm. Contest ends September 16th at midnight, so don’t delay and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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How To Clean And Polish Thrifted Brass

How To Clean And Polish Thrifted Brass | Dream Green DIY

Although I’ve been trying to curb the habit as of late, I will always and forever be a lover of all things vintage. Thrifting is one of my all-time favorite weekend activities, and thus, our home is filled to the brim with retro conversation pieces. It’s all the thrill of the hunt, as they say, and brass is my biggest weakness. That said, a lot of secondhand brass treasures come with a secondhand patina that, in some cases, is charming, yet in others is just plain gross. So, today, I’m teaching you how to effectively clean and polish your thrifted brass items using my go-to, ultra simple method. Read on for the details.

How To Clean And Polish Thrifted Brass | Dream Green DIY

Supplies

To start, I’ll introduce you to my little brass cat. I picked this pint-sized feline up at the Williamsburg Antique Mall for a mere $6 out of pocket. Sure, he was looking a little worse for wear, what with his orange smeared, scratched up grimy finish, but I knew that a little elbow grease and Brasso metal polish would go a long way in the end. How did I know? Well, in my layman’s terms, the main way that I can tell whether or not a piece can benefit from a good Brasso cleaning is to lift it and hold it in my palm. If it feels disproportionately heavy in comparison to the object’s size, then it’s a genuine piece of cleanable brass.

How To Clean And Polish Thrifted Brass | Dream Green DIY

After getting my little brass kitty home, I stole one of John’s old T-shirts and proceeded to cut it up into three 12-by-12-inch squares. Your squares don’t need to be exact by any means, but you will want to cut up several scraps in order to go the distance with your cleaning.

How To Clean And Polish Thrifted Brass | Dream Green DIY

Next, set up shop in a well-ventilated area (this stuff is fumey!) with all of your supplies close at hand. Carefully open your Brasso and place one folded scrap of T-shirt at the opening. Pour a small amount onto the fabric (roughly a teaspoon) and then start vigorously wiping down your brass object with the wet fabric. The bad news is that this can be a slow process, especially if your brass figurine (like mine) sports an extra thick layer of patina. The good news is that you’ll start seeing results within minutes.

How-To-Clean-Brass-10

How To Clean And Polish Thrifted Brass | Dream Green DIY

All in all, it took me about 30 minutes of careful scrubbing and polishing to bring my little cat back to its original shiny finish. I probably could have gone on for longer to give him a truly mirror like edge, but (1) I was running out of energy, and (2) I sort of like to see a tiny bit of patina and age because I think it adds to the character of the piece.

How To Clean And Polish Thrifted Brass | Dream Green DIY

The difference was striking even to me. I had no idea that that pretty brass shine was under all of that orange age. The “new” cat is an entirely different color than before, and I’m quite partial to his newly cleaned coat. Try putting Brasso to work on your own treasures, and you, too, might be surprised to see what’s hiding under all of that dirt and grime.

How To Clean And Polish Thrifted Brass | Dream Green DIY

(NOTE: This post is NOT sponsored in any way by Brasso. I just love the stuff and think you will, too)

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Before + After: Mid-Century Side Chair

Mid-Century Side Chair, Before And After | Dream Green DIY

Every now and then I’ll come across a project that is a little bit out of my league, at least in terms of the DIY factor. Take this mid-century side chair as an example. I stumbled upon the piece while scouting at Galaxie Modern for a new-to-us lounge chair for the living room. Our search for a lounge chair was successful, and I also happened to spot an extra goodie that day—the bare chair frame you see below.

Mid-Century Side Chair, Before And After | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Side Chair, Before And After | Dream Green DIY

The piece had originally been painted a dark green, but Galaxie Modern owner, John, painstakingly took the time to strip the frame of the paint and managed to bring it back to its former glory. The only problem? In the process, John lost track of the seat and back cushions, having just the stained and mildewy support pictured below. I spent a little bit of time contemplating all that would be needed to make this chair useable again (i.e. reconstruction, fabric selection, reupholstery, etc.), but ultimately decided to shell out the necessary 20-odd bucks to make the frame mine and then hit the ground running with plans.

Mid-Century Side Chair, Before And After | Dream Green DIYMid-Century Side Chair, Before And After | Dream Green DIYThe main issue that I ran into while researching options was the curved back of the chair. The one cushion that I did have didn’t seem to fit the silhouette of the chair quite right, so after a while, I threw my hands in the air in defeat realizing that this wasn’t something that I was going to be able to DIY and took it downtown to my go-to upholsterer, Phil’s Upholstery.

Tim was my guy this time around and he took one look at the frame and knew what to do. Although I don’t have all of the details since I chose to just let him get to work without bothering him with questions, rumor has it that he had to soak the custom-cut wooden supports in a bucket of water for days and days to make it all bend and fit in place.

Mid-Century Side Chair, Before And After | Dream Green DIY

Since I was in no rush—and neither were they—the chair came back to me several months later, but in perfect condition. The fabric I chose was a subtle, extra soft zig zag herringbone type pattern, and makes curling up with a cat and a book a daily temptation. The finish is a little like suede or microfiber, where you can swipe your hand in one direction and see a darker version of the fabric, and swipe in the opposite direction for a lighter one.

Mid-Century Side Chair, Before And After | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Side Chair, Before And After | Dream Green DIY

Mid-Century Side Chair, Before And After | Dream Green DIY

All in, the frame cost something like $25 (this process has been going on since November, so I can’t quite recall the exact figure), the fabric was about the same and the reupholstery clocked in around $125. A completely custom, completely rebuilt mid-century era side chair with brand new fabric, supports and padding for less than $200? I couldn’t possibly be more pleased.

Locals, definitely be sure to check out Galaxie Modern and go into your tour knowing that Tim at Phil’s Upholstery can bring your visions to life. Oh, and in case you were wondering, not a single word was sponsored in this post. I’m just a big, big fan of these two local shops and can’t sing their praises loud enough!

Mid-Century Side Chair, Before And After | Dream Green DIY

P.S. NON-locals can get in on the action, too, since Galaxie Modern also has an Etsy page! Check it out here.

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