Shoe String Living

Having a Creative and Fun Frugal Life

5 Minutes to a Potted Plant Redo July 15, 2010

Filed under: DIY,Family Room — trntm @ 2:08 am

I’ve been trying my hand at gardening and nurturing plants-which is a bit of a challenge considering that I often kill cacti. My newest baby ivy sits on my brand new redone dresser that I’m still drooling over and I hated it. Not the plant-but the pot.

Enter leftover wallpaper and hot glue. A bit of measuring and careful spots of glue

and I have a brand new pot.

What do you like to do when you have an extra 5 minutes? Check email, play free cell, visit social networking sites, take a walk or savor a piece of chocolate?


Dresser Redo June 5, 2010

Filed under: DIY,Family Room,Home Decor — trntm @ 2:29 pm

Ever since I saw Centsational Girl’s cabinet redo, I knew that I had to do this for my house.


I knew that I wanted a nice buffet for the dining room and I lucked out and found an old dresser on Craigslist. I also lucked out and found crystal knobs at the Restore for $1 each-SCORE!

The dresser had a strange yellow color as seen in its matching mirror.

A quick coat of white paint and pearlized glaze, along with textured wallpaper in the inserts and a coat of silver spray paint for the pulls was all it took

to transform the dresser into one of my favorite pieces.  The piece now stands in the family room as I was lucky enough to acquire my mother’s large ornate German Shrunk for the dining room. Sigh, that piece brings back memories of our time in Germany. Oh, the dresser-yes, I love it. Thanks Centsational Girl for the inspiration.


Making of a Drum Barrel Shade November 15, 2009

Filed under: DIY,Family Room,Home Decor — trntm @ 11:54 pm
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How to make a drum shade for the IKEA Final Lamp.

I wish it was as easy as picking up an existing drum shade and replacing the fabric, but take a look at the top white section of the lamp. The entire light kit is housed in there and it doesn’t leave room for a traditional lamp shade. After much trial and error-including taping paper to the existing shade, adding skewers to elevate fabric attached to the hoop, I finally got a more permanent way to “attach” the shades.


  • Wooden Embroidery Hoop
  • Enough fabric or heavy-duty paper to go around the hoop. I used three 12×12 sheets of textured scrapbook paper.
  • Glue Gun
  • Floral Wire

1. Take the floral wire and cut two pieces that are about 1.5 times the length of the diameter of the hoop.

2. Wrap the ends of the wire around the hoop and form an X.

3. Glue the paper to the hoop, take care to make sure the edges are aligned. You could add ribbon to the top and bottom if you wanted more trim. If you’re using fabric, you should probably wrap the fabric over the hoop a little bit and then glue it.

4. Glue the seams of the paper. If you’re using fabric, you should sew the seam. It works better with fabric since you’ll only have one seam-unlike the three seams I had.

5. Place the shade on top of the lamp. You’re done!

I plan on making another drum shade for the light in the ceiling. I’ll probably use the reject brown fabric that I love but it didn’t make it on the lamp shades.


The Making of a Lamp November 10, 2009

Filed under: DIY,Family Room,Home Decor — trntm @ 11:49 pm
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I have been craving these adorable lamps from the Z Gallerie for about a year now but couldn’t bring myself to pay the $170 price tag-ouch! Recently I found a very similar product at Target for about $30 and was giddy with excitement.

The morning I was due to purchase the lamps, I took a look at the current family room lamps from Ikea and was hit with a brain bolt!

What if I unscrew the tall base and made it shorter? What if I added spheres to the base? Since it would cost me nothing to try, I went to work.

Digging in the closet I found 8 christmas balls, grabbed the drill and wire cutters and for the next 20 minutes drilled holes in the balls as Plato watched. Two broken balls and numerous trial and errors on cutting procedures later, I was finished.

FYI: The best cutting method is to mark the balls first with the pole to determine how big you need the hole to be. Drill a hole on each side, then use wire clippers to cut out the circle of plastic. I alternated the shiny silver and matte silver balls on the stand and it looked better than I could have imagined.

I added a DIY drum shade (made from textured scrapbook paper, a wooden embroidery hoop, and floral wire) and whoola, a very adult like lamp for less than $5 and about an hour of labor. To say that I’m in love with the new lamps is an understatement. I spend many a minute happily staring at them and feeling all grown up, then dancing giddily across the room with the cat.

I did purchase those crystal lamps from Target as well, but they will have a home in the master bedroom.

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