The Tale of the White Cotton Twill Tape

Simple shades for a few dollars form Lowes, simply covered with the twill tape and tied off.

Simple shades for a few dollars from Lowes, simply covered with the twill tape and tied off on the interior.

A lifesaver indeed.  I had four lampshades that needed to be replaced.  Two were for some vintage boudoir lamps and two were for a pair of wall sconces.  All four were in both my bathrooms.  I wanted something refreshed, not precious.

I looked online, but finding neutral shades in the right scale at the right price that weren’t 50 shades of boring became a larger task than you would think.

Then I had an epiphany.  I had a 100 yard spool of 1 inch wide white cotton twill tape that I had ordered from Amazon by mistake.  It occurred to me there may be some DIY synergy if I could somehow find a way to use it to re-purpose the shades I already had.  At $29 for the twill tape, it would be incredibly cost effective and maybe, dare I say it…clever.

Judge for yourself.

I hope you find some inspiration.

All the best~


Downstairs bathroom - Before. Sconces that weren't in the budget to replace, needed some updating. The shades were full of debris from the renovation and really couldn't be salvaged.

Downstairs bathroom – Before. Sconces that weren’t in the budget to be replaced and needed some updating. The old shades were full of debris from the renovation and really couldn’t be salvaged so I had to come up with something.

After. New shades, an old shelf and my collection of antique apothecary jars.

After. New shades, an old shelf and my collection of antique apothecary jars.

Still trying to get the hand of proper arrangement. It's an art, for sure and I haven't mastered it yet.

Still trying to get the hang of proper arrangement. It’s an art, for sure and I haven’t mastered it yet.

Oval Scalloped Shade - Before.

Oval Scalloped Shade – Before.

Downstairs sink - After. This vintage shade required a bit more work (Thanks, Mom). A few hidden basting stiches to keep the twill tape in place around the curves. It diffuses the light well.

Downstairs sink – After. This vintage shade required a bit more work (Thanks, Mom). A few hidden basting stiches to keep the twill tape in place around the curves. It diffuses the light well.

Round Scalloped Shade - Before.

Round Scalloped Shade – Before.

Round Scalloped Shade without it’s original covering.

Upstairs bathroom Before.

Upstairs bathroom Before.

After. The lovely scalloped shade was a perfect foil for this treatment. Adds some panache to the vintage white hobnail lamp.

After. The lovely scalloped shade was a perfect foil for this treatment. Adds some panache to the vintage white hobnail lamp.

Mercury Glass Patterned Votives – How To.

Re-posting this blog article because it is one of the most requested articles from my site.  I am still thinking about the variations on this technique and when I will have time to share them…

In the mean time, I hope you find some inspiration.



Twinkly Light. Just lovely.


I like a little mercury glass for that touch of elegance that it brings.  Flash photography can’t quite showcase the twinkly quality of the mirrored paint effect, however, in person…it is just lovely.

Since my post yesterday, I have gotten quite a few emails asking about the technique used to make this antiqued, mercury glass votive.  I was planning to post this later in the week, but have moved the post up a couple of days because of the requests.

Let’s get started!

Here is what you will need for this project:

  • Glass vessel
  • Looking Glass Paint (online or at Walmart in the spray paint section)
  • Embossing folder/machine
  • Paint tape
  • HVAC tape (also called foil tape, it is 2″ wide and is found at home center stores, like Lowe’s)

Before you get started there are two important things to follow explicitly in order to have success, and trust me on this…I made these mistakes a few times:

  • When you have applied your foil tape to the glass: BURNISH, BURNISH, BURNISH.  Simple finger pressure will do, but if you don’t press down on every part of the foil, you risk not having a clean image remain when you pull the tape off.
  • When you paint the glass vessel, go very, very lightly on the paint.  Micro bursts of paint with very thin coats.  You don’t want more than two coats and don’t try for heavy coverage…the tape won’t be able to remove the negative space so that the image emerges.

Lastly, no worries.  If you mess up, just scrub the inside of the glass with a sponge and some elbow grease and the paint will come right off and you can start over.

As a foot note for this project, I tried this technique with other paints…but it doesn’t work.  I tried using a copper paint for a fall project and regular spray paint has different properties and the tape usually takes the entire spot of paint off with no image remaining.

Just have fun.  This is a technique that has a lot of possibilities…only limited by your imagination!

Send me pics of your finished product and I will post in a future blog article!



Remember to click twice to bigify!




The $1821 Kitchen

It seems appropriate to re-post my very first blog article that I published almost a year ago.  I still love my “new” kitchen.  I hope you enjoy the transformation and find some inspiration for the new year.





More. Free. Labor.

I’m in love with my cottage.  However, the kitchen left much to be desired.  I have lived in the house for almost nine years, and only done minor painting to the cabinets and had the floor professionally done a couple of years ago.  In October,  hankering for a change, I wanted to re do the kitchen in a really impactful way under two important conditions: a budget of $1500 and cosmetic changes only.  I had to work with the existing flaws of the kitchen.  No ripping down sheet rock, no moving electrical junction boxes, etc and nothing structural.

I just longed for something simpler.  For a while, I wanted everything on display.  Scouring antique stores, ebay and flea markets…everything had to have a great container so it could be on display.  But too much of having everything on display starts to feel cluttered and the kitchen never felt clean…even though I clean on a regular basis.  Plus it was kinda exhausting making sure everything was always looking perfect because it was all out in the open.  Some closed door storage and major editing was in order.

Truth be told, I met only one of those two goals.  I went over budget by $321 because of taxes, delivery fees and unforeseen product substitutions that were more costly.

Still, it is a darn good kitchen for the money.  It is a very personal kitchen, not just because I did the work but because it navigates the way I do.  Having lived in the house for almost nine years prior to this undertaking, I inherently knew and understood what I wanted and needed out of the kitchen.  I am not sure I would have the same harmony with a kitchen that I designed and built without having lived in the house first.

I did all the work myself in 14 days, but I have to share that my wonderful neighbor, Darlene Kirksey, spent a day helping me install the counter tops which were too heavy for me to lift on my own and my ever helpful yard man, David Keel helped me with demolition on Day One.  Props to my lovely friend/neighbor Kathy Burt for bringing me a sweet surprise of dinner from my favorite burger joint since my kitchen was torn up and I was way too tired to fix even a sandwich.  Lastly, I need to thank Gus Tinajero, the GM at IKEA and his assistant.  He worked, in good faith to get me the countertops I wanted and offered GREAT customer service.  Over the next few weeks, I will be highlighting several individual projects within the renovation:

  • Beautiful spice storage using lab bottles (click here)
  • DIY Pendant Lamps (click here)
  • Re-purposing an upper cabinet as a lower cabinet
  • Re-engineering a four drawer cabinet for the better
  • New life for old cabinet doors (click here)
  • DIY roman blinds (easy peasy for anyone, even a beginner)
  • Pantry Pride (click here)
  • Organizing recipes with a deconstructed book

Here are the before and after pictures.  It’s a little hard to tell in some of them, but the after pics are shown directly to the right of the same spot in the before pics. For additional kitchen and home tour pics, click here. Let me know what you think!

Remember to click twice to bigify!

Love Always,Cindy

As a post script, I am submitting this article for consideration for a feature in Cottages & Bungalos.  Stop by the blog when you have some time, there are some terrific entries already:

[hana-code-insert name='cottagesbungalos' /]

[hana-code-insert name='Half Banner' /]


[hana-code-insert name='cottagesbungalos' /]


Anatomy of a Redesign – Part 1

I would describe myself as a nester.  I would also tell you that like alot of people, change is challenging.  However, you would never know these things about me by looking at my house and the evolution of my style over time.  I am constantly changing things around.

I never know when or why the inspiration to change something will hit me.  I had just such a moment in my dining room when I realized one small change would change the entire dynamic of my dining-living room space.

Once I have the idea of what I want to do, the next step is the floor plan.  Here is the current floor plan, to scale:

Dining Room Current Floor Plan

You can see from this lay out, the space is very small (narrow) so the options are limited.  The new floor plan will open up the space visually as well as practically, by improving traffic flow and allowing more space for the living room furniture by kicking it (slightly) into the plane of the dining room.  Here is the proposed new floor plan:

Dining Room Proposed Floor Plan

Here is the “to do” list:

  1. Build window seat
  2. Swag lamp over to new dining area
  3. Move antique cabinet to where the bench is
  4. Find a new home for the bench
  5. Make window seat cushions
  6. Remove leaf from dining table
  7. Store two of the four dining room chairs

Cost wise, this is a very economical re do that will have major impact.  The materials for the window seat should be $200, give or take.  Beyond that, since I already have the fabric, I only need some foam for the bench cushions which I would estimate to be appr. $50.

The result will be featured in next week’s blog article.

As always, thank you for stopping by!



This will be removed and the bench (not pictured) will be removed and replaced with the antique cabinet shown in the picture below.

This area will be the new window seat/dining area and this cabinet will remain in the dining room, but moved to another place.

This won’t change, but will now become part of the window seat area for the dining table.


The French Monogram


DIY Upholstered Headboard


I love french monogrammed sheets.   I generally find them when I go to the Round Top Antique Show.  There is a particular dealer, Touch of Europe, who always has quality, vintage linens and I always make it a point to stop by and pick up something.  The question, for me, is always “what do I do with it?”  They are so lovely, but they mostly sit on a shelf which isn’t a great showcase for the beautiful monograms.

One day, I got brave and decided that I was going to use one of my antique sheets to sew a slip cover for a homemade upholstered head board in my guest room.  I have to admit, I was a bit nervous cutting into that sheet.  But I finally just bit the bullet and did it and fashioned a slipcover for the headboard. I used inexpensive white denim for the back and the piping, and the monogram sheet for the front.  If I ever want a slightly different look, I can just turn the headboard around and showcase the plain, white denim side.

The headboard itself was fairly elementary to make.  I just used a piece of plywood, a 2 x 6 and some metal “L” brackets to hold it together.  The foam I purchased online.  I was able to get it custom cut, in one sheet wrapped in Dacron.  The company I used vacuum packs it so shipping is very reasonable.  I found it is much cheaper and produces a better product than trying to buy the foam at the hobby store which is expensive and has to be pieced together.  Click here to go directly to the foam website.

Touch of Europe and Foam For You can also be found on my Resources and Buying Guide page.

Here is a quick tutorial in the DIY headboard and the result.  More pictures of my guest room can be found on the My Home Tour page.

Thanks for stopping by!



It is a freestanding headboard.

The foam, custom wrapped in Dacron attached to the plywood backing with spray adhesive.

Simple "L" brackets attach the plywood back to the 2x6 base.

A slipcover made from painters drop cloth used to help hold the foam against the plywood back.

The trick is to make the painters’ drop cloth slipcover slighty smaller than the finished measurement.  It is a bit of a tug getting it over the headboard, but doable.  This helps the headboard always maintain a full, stuffed look.  Another tip: wash both the painters drop cloth and the denim BEFORE you sew.  This also helps keep that fuller look.

The regular slipcover pulled on.

DIY Upholstered Headboard.

Delicate work makes this headboard special and a great showcase for The French Monogram.


DIY Pendant Lights

Completed Lamp.

Completed Lamp.


Lighting had always been an issue in my kitchen but since the renovation had a strict budget…I had to be very creative.  I needed some lighting over the new peninsula and the solution seemed to be to swag the lighting over from the only ceiling junction box in the kitchen.

All the pendant lights that I looked at, even the simpler designs were budget busters…so I resorted to making my own when I came upon some hurricane globes at Michael’s.  The shape of the globes really spoke to me and I already had an idea to use some rustic, vintage, scalloped tart pans as an embellishment to hide the wiring.

Including the globe, lamp parts and wiring, each of these lamps came in at about $11 each.  I also spent $10 on a special drill bit that was used to drill the hole in the bottom of the globe.

If you want to try a project like this on your own, one thing to look for are glass vessels that don’t have super thick bases.  Thicker bases can take 30 minutes or so to drill through and they can fry your glass drill bits. If you find a beautiful glass vase or vessel that has a thick base that you simply must use…take it to the closest glass shop. They will usually drill the hole for you at a cost of $15 – $25 per hole.   It can get a bit pricey…so just a fair warning from the voice of experience!


Cindy, Samantha and Lillie.

As a post script, I am submitting this article for consideration for a feature in Cottages & Bungalos.  Stop by the blog when you have some time, there are some terrific entries already:

[hana-code-insert name='cottagesbungalos' /]

[hana-code-insert name=’Half Banner’ /]