The Craft Must Go On: Upcycled Rock N’ Roll Bar Stool

A few months back, I came across a wooden bar stool at Goodwill for $5.99. I liked the size and design of the stool, and thought it would make a great decoupage piece.


I decided to upcycle the stool with a Rock N’ Roll theme,  and since it was to be a gift for my husband, I chose the Irish Rock band Thin Lizzy as a subject. The band is one of our favorites and have a vast catalog of great music.  This initial vision took a back seat to the holidays, and various other projects. The idea seemed doomed afer one mishap after another involving this project.  I abused this stool, and used it to allow smaller painted projects to dry.  When I attempted to prime it, the spray can malfunctioned splattering the primer.  (I believe the can may have been too cold) After the bar stool was dry, I sanded off the “lumpy” paint by hand.  Creating yet more work for myself, while attempting to smooth out an air bubble on the initial decoupage print, I tore a hole in it and had to scrape it off only to start all over again.  Despite all of these blunders,  the project managed to come together.  Turns out I found a much nicer print, based on the album cover for “Nightlife” The print featured a black panther on the prowl like the one featured on the cover below.

Thin Lizzy Night Life

I painted the entire chair in black and red alternating the colors.  It took several coats to obtain good coverage.  Once dry I applied Mod Podge to the seat with a foam brush.  I carefully applied the printed logo and smoothed it out carefully with my hands doing my best to avoid tearing or wrinkling.  I painted the area not covered by the print red, creating a bull’s eye effect on the seat.  Once all the paint was dry, I used Mod Podge to cover the entire bar stool.


Finally, my crafting nightmare showed some “Nightlife” after much adversity.  More importantly my husband seems happy with the result. Now we just need the bar..

Wanna see more chair restyles from “On The Upcycle?  Click Here



Best Foot Forward: Upcycled Dress Shoe Repair

When I was young, I remember my mom taking me to the mall to visit the Shoemaker.  It was much more common back then to have your shoes repaired.  I remember my mom getting Taps on her shoes to protect the heel and make the shoes last longer.  I did a bit of internet research and was surprised to find that Shoemakers still exist, although not in quite as large numbers as thirty years ago.

Everyone has that pair of shoes that they love.  It is hard to part with a pair that fit well and are comfortable.  Recently, my employer  adopted a casual business attire policy.  After five years of being able to come to work dressed in t-shirts and sneakers, this left me scrambling for an appropriate work wardrobe.   I went to thrift stores mostly, and picked up a wonderful pair of shoes.  They have a block heel and were extremely comfortable for a dress shoe.  One of the problems I encountered was getting used to walking in dress shoes.  I scuffed up the back of the heel pretty badly and the sole began to separate from the shoe.  I was not ready to give them up, so I share with you my first pair of “Upcycled” shoes.



This was a total experiment, but I figured I had nothing to lose since I could not wear them in their present condition.  The first repair made was to the sole.  I used a high temperature hot glue gun to adhere the sole back on the shoe.  I used two sticks and applied generously.  I put my hand inside the shoe to apply pressure, while the glue dried.  I then painted the heels with black acrylic paint.  Once the heels and soles were dry I applied a layer of Mod Podge with a paint brush,  I then added another layer of polyurethane for added protection.





So far they are holding up well despite the repairs.  The true test will be the hot glue and every day wear.

Stories of a house From | Inspire Me Heather

{stories of a house} my quote wall | Inspire Me Heather.

Since the last several days have consisted of me battling a nasty winter cold and the weather (Over 12 inches of snow last evening) I wanted to share with you a great Mod Podge project from Inspire me Heather.  It consists of a wall decorated with favorite quotations.  I would love to create a wall like this leading up to our attic, or down to our basement area.  I think I would try decoupage tiles, or even coasters.  I thought this was a fun project and I wanted to share it with all of you.

So.. I am putting down the snow shovel, and tissues, and moving on to my next upcycle project..

Memories of Paris: Upcycled Drink Coaster Wall Hanging

Since my upcycle adventures started last April, the word has gotten out to family and friends.  I am on a upcycling mission!  The best part of all is that others are starting to see ordinary items normally discarded or not used in a different light.  The original purpose of an item can be changed and restyled.  Instead of discarding something that can no longer be used, it can be modified so that it may have a new useful new purpose in your life.

Such is with the case of this project I am about to share with you.  My sister brought me a set of coasters she purchased during a trip to France.


They are lovely and feature famous scenes and landmarks, but she felt the beauty of these coasters was wasted, and she never used them for their original intended purpose. It seemed a total waste not to display these in some way.  She asked me if I would I be able to do “something” with them. I love a challenge so I accepted the task, although at the time I really had no idea what the project plan would be, but luckily she was OK with that!

I held on to the coasters for a while, and kicked around a few ideas in my head.  Then one night I was lying in bed unable to sleep when I remembered this little wooden wall plaque.


It was an item I had picked up at Goodwill a few months back.  When I purchased it for a dollar, I had no idea how I would use it.  Then it hit me!  It would be great to create a vertical wall hanging featuring the tile-like coasters.  She has a pink and brown french themed bedroom that I thought this would look perfect in.  I created my first chair upcycle for her.  A ladder back chair in pink and brown colors, known as  The Pillow Case Makeover.

I cleaned and primed the piece with a while latex primer.  Once dry, I painted the face of the plaque chocolate-brown.  The edges I painted pink.


I applied Mod Podge matte finish to the painted areas. Once the Mod Podge was dry and clear, I used a high temperature hot glue gun to attach the coasters to the wood lining them up and allowing the same amount of space between them. I applied the hot glue generously and adhered them carefully one by one.

My sister seemed happy with the end result.  I have never been to France, but have a feeling I would love it there.  Everywhere you look is inspired by art, and hopefully looking at these images will bring back all the great memories of her trip!



Happy To Be A Sunshine Blogger


I am always extremely flattered when a fellow blogger takes the time out of their day to nominate my humble little blog for an award.  It means a lot to know that others enjoy what I am doing, and helps me to keep going.  I would like to personally thank Kim from for nominating “On The Upcycle” for a Sunshine blogger award. According to Google consensus, this award is given to those bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others.  It is also a great way for bloggers to get to know one another.  Please be sure and visit Kim’s blog and say “hello”!  She has a site you can get lost on, so many amazing ideas!

Rules For this Award are:

1. Share 11 facts about yourself.

2. Answer the 11 questions that were asked by the blogger who nominated you.
3. Include 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
4. Notify your nominees about this post.

Lets see 11 facts about myself…

1. I love animals and have a dog and two cats (and my daughter’s goldfish Dorothy)

2. My favorite food is Eggplant Parm

3. I have one tattoo, a set of paw prints on my foot

4. I have a Diet Soda addiction.  I know “not” good..

5. My husband and I have been “together” for almost 13 years.

6. We eloped and were married in Virgina.

7.  I went to college for art, but dropped out to pursue an animal health sciences career.

8.  I have  donated my hair 5 times to “Locks of Love”

9.  I have been to over 50 music concerts in my lifetime.  I lost count!

10.  I love vinyl, and I love to collect LP’s

11.  I prefer all things retro and I am a “throwback” at heart!

Now, I answer the 11 proposed questions about myself.

1) Let’s start with something important… White, Milk or Dark Chocolate?

Milk Chocolate is my favorite, but I have rarely met a “chocolate” I didn’t like.

2) Coffee or Tea (or something totally different?)

If I had to choose, I would say Coffee, but I also love hot chocolate!

3) Where do you find your inspiration?

The miracle that is my daughter inspires me and all the great bloggers and crafters all over the world.

4) Monday mornings… love em or loathe them?

I would love to meet the person who answers “love them”  I am a typical Monday “hater”

5) What is it that keeps you blogging?

I love inspiring others to craft, it is also a HUGE stress reliever for me!

6) Curl up on the couch or night on the town?

Right now, a night on the town!  Such a rare luxury with a 2 year-old!

7) Who would you say is your hero?

My husband.  He works so hard and is an amazing dad, and sometimes I wonder what he sees in me!

8) Best film of all time?

Goodfellas although I am a huge fan of movies and I only pick that one because, it is always the first one that comes to mind!

9) How would you describe yourself in 10 words or less?

An Easy Going, Caring, Creative, Mom who loves life!

10) Do you have a job not associated with your blog?  If so, what is it?

Yes, I am a full-time working mom who works secretarial  in the health care industry.

11) Where else can we find and follow you?

On The Upcycle is on  Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

The hardest part comes next, I must choose only 11 bogs.  This is the most difficult, because so many of you touch me in so many ways and I wish I could nominate everyone.  Please also know that if you decide not to forward the Sunshine award on that is OK too. I am simply glad I am able to visit each and every one of you and thanks for sharing a bit of who you are with the world.

And the Sunshine Blogger award nominees are:

A Hundred Years Ago

Story By Modcloth

Crochet Adventures

Crafty Staci

Alison Brickman Makes It Work

Confessions Of A Refashionista

Mod Flowers

Brave New Home

Source Of Inspiration

Making A Life

A Curious Gal

Want to pass along the award?  Here are 11 questions:

  1. Why and When did you decide to start a blog?
  2. Tell us something interesting about you.
  3. What is your favorite TV Show?
  4. Dog or Cat Person (or neither or both!)
  5. What is your favorite season?
  6. What inspires you the most?
  7. Do you have a nickname?  If so how did you acquire it?
  8. What is your favorite sport?
  9. What is your favorite Holiday and Why?
  10. Sports car or Pickup Truck?
  11. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
  12. M&M’s or Reese Pieces?  Have a wonderful Week!

The Toilet Paper Roll Experiment: Part Two

Just think of all the toilet paper rolls that are discarded each day!  They serve their purpose and are tossed in the trash can without a thought. When I walked into the bathroom at work, I noticed a few sitting there waiting to be discarded.  Since my upcycling mission started, I tend to look at things a bit different.  I especially love to take something that most certainly would end up in the garbage and give it a second life. I snatched a roll and went home to craft The Spare a Square Project.


The initial project was a success, and I realized these card board rolls can be used in organizing my craft room items.  There are many upcycle ideas on the web when it comes to cardboard rolls. One amazing example, can be found here.  Word got out around the office that I was starting to save these rolls from the trash for a project to be determined later.  Suddenly, they started appearing on my desk and before I knew it, I had quite a few of them thanks to my recycling and equally curious friends.  I think they were curious to see what exactly I planned to do with them!


I was sitting in craft room pondering the idea and I decided to create craft supply wall storage. Initially, I was not sure what I would store inside them, that idea would come to me later.

First, I painted the inside of the tubes white with acrylic paint.


Next, I looked through the fabric that I had available and decided on a “fun” colorful pattern to decoupage. I cut pieces of fabric that would be enough to cover the outside of the roll.  I applied Mod Podge to the it with a foam craft brush, and placed it on to the fabric.


Once the Mod Podge was applied I “rolled” the toilet paper roll on the fabric, and it adhered nicely.


I trimmed away any excess fabric with a pair of scissors.


I repeated this process with all of them.  Once they were done, I used a high temp hot glue to glue them together. I arranged them in rows. Three at the bottom, then two then one. Like this:


I touched up the white paint in spots particularly around the edges, and once dry, added a Mod Podge finish to the entire project.


Now that the project was complete, I had to figure out what to store in it!  It didn’t take me long to come up with the idea of storing my smaller containers of paint, and it created easy access to any color I need.

And…I decided to hang it like this:


Who needs a square, when you can have the whole roll?


Six Large toilet paper rolls

Mod Podge


Hi Temp Hot Glue Gun

White Acrylic Paint

Scissors/Foam Craft Brush, and a Paint Brush.

Rescued Vinyl And The Magic of Mod Podge

With the holidays officially over and the New Year off to a rather frigid start, I share with you the last project on my Christmas list this year.  Late last month, I posted a tutorial for Sports Inspired TV Trays which have turned out to be a popular item among family and friends. The beauty of restyling these tables are the limitless possibilities.

TV Tray before

These tables are neutral and relatively easy to work with.  One of my upcycled gift recipients is not big on sports, so I thought she might like to have a TV table, but with an alternate theme.  A while back, I created a table from an old record, and a plant stand. I used Aerosmith’s greatest hits record.  The record was not in playable shape, so I decided to recycle the LP and use it for a upcycle project. The family member receiving the gift is a huge Aerosmith fan, and I decided to use the album cover and decoupage it to the table top. Upon further inspection, the cover was in pretty rough shape, so in the end I decided not to use it.  The liner notes; however were in great shape, and a colorful purple with the Aerosmith winged symbol in the middle.


This seemed perfect for decoupage while incorporating something she and I hold close to our hearts~ records.  I have a collection too, mostly stocked through bargain bins.  It is not always easy to tell if a record is playable before purchase, and every so often you wind up purchasing a damaged record.  Not only can you reuse the record itself, but the artwork is perfect for decoupage.  Another example of this can be seen here from a previous post. Long live the LP!


For a full tutorial and some examples of TV tray table redesigns click here and here.

Vintage Wooden Wall Shelf Redesigned

Most of my recent trips to the thrift stores have been utterly disappointing.  It would seem that spring cleaning is the last thing on anyone’s mind.  It’s bitterly cold outside, yard sale season is long over, and the streets are blanketed in snow from our most recent weather event Hercules (Since when did we start naming snow storms??) Everyone seems to be walking around with a post holiday hangover causing many (myself included) to limp into the New Year. Luckily, I still have a few projects up my extremely bundled and layered sleeve to share with you.

Although most of my thrift store trips have been uneventful, Every once in a while I still manage to find something unique.  I came across a really lovely and unique vintage wall shelf with a drawer.  I especially loved the curved sides and the drawer for storage.  It was in rough shape, but that didn’t deter me from placing it inside my cart.

Vintage Wooden Wall Shelf

When I originally purchased the shelf I had every intention of keeping it.  A blunder made during another project intended as a Christmas gift changed that and I had shift the original intention of this piece.

I lightly sanded the item with sand paper, and used a white latex primer to cover the piece.  I left the inside of the drawer alone as it was still in very good condition.  I decided to paint the piece black. This shelf has the potential to be hung in any room, so I wanted the color to go with any decor, and black is neutral. I painted all of the piece except for the drawer and shelf.  I planned to decoupage these areas later and didn’t want the dark color to bleed through the fabric. I used two coats of black acrylic paint and once it was completely dry added a layer of Mod Podge over top to seal it. I had some left over black and white damask fabric from a previous project.  I applied Mod Podge to the front of the door and shelf with a foam craft brush, I cut the fabric to fit as best I could as I would trim away any excess fabric later.  I made sure to line up the fabric design so that the piece would appear symmetrical.  I applied Mod Podge over top of the fabric allowing my nail to work the fabric into any grooves and once it was dry, carefully trimmed any excess fabric with a box cutter knife.

Black and White Damask Decorative Wall Shelf

Decoupage Black and White Damask Wall Shelf with drawer

I love damask designs and this was a tough piece to part with. My favorite project is draped in damask and this would match it beautifully. In the end I was happy to gift it to my sister to go with the chair I made for her in her bedroom, or perhaps it will go in her kitchen?  We shall see, as I offered my services free of charge to help her hang it!