In my twenties, I was married with two children and BROKE. We didn’t have Internet access like today, and I literally would call my bank nightly to see what checks cleared and what the remaining balance was in my account. It was a nightmarish way to live, but it taught me a lot.
Today, I was telling my older two girls about how I would use my talents to get what I needed (or to save the day from checks bouncing). I knew how to sew and make crafts. Craft shows were so popular where I lived in Virginia, and I would make cute clothes for children and sell them at the craft shows. Bringing in $200.00 was enough to feed my family for a couple months back then.
The point I’m trying to get across is that everything I do now and everything I’ve accomplished all goes back to the beginning where I learned to be frugal and make do with what I had in life. It was a really hard road to travel, but I learned so much from it. Being materialistic never came into play. Wants versus needs always came into question. I even had a theory about sale items and stated to myself, “If I didn’t want it at full price, I still won’t want it at sale price.” That was to prevent myself from being sucked in by a super sale and purchasing something that might never be used or worn.
So, if you’re on that road right now or just dislike wasting money or throwing good items away (or not so good, but need a face lift), look at all of this as an experience to learn from and try not to let life stress you out. Use your talents to make the most of what you have. I don’t accept you telling me that you have no talent because everyone has SOMETHING. No matter how old you are, you’re never too old to learn something new, and the one person you need to count on to tell you to step forward and give things a try is yourself.
So, today, I wanted to share something with everyone that is so simple. There are quite a few of us who, over time, were the recipients of furniture that someone else didn’t want. Now, I was always thankful for the hand-me-down furniture because I couldn’t afford furniture on my own when I was a young woman starting out, but what can happen is that you may have outdated pieces, mismatched bedrooms, and things that, if you HAD the money, you know you might not think twice about tossing.
As time progresses, I’ll show some more things you can do with furniture. My suggestion is to take your pieces and make them work for you. Really look at them and imagine how you could bring them up to date. Could you make a slipcover? Paint? Refinish? If you have real wood items, you do NOT want to toss them. What you want to do is beautify them and make them your own.
For this small project, I had furniture that my mother had given me for a bedroom set for my girls. I had purchased matching pieces from the company to add to what my mother had given me, but the company went out of business shortly after I ordered two more pieces. When I set up one of the bedrooms, I realized that all I had for one of my daughters for an end table was a cheap pine table I had put together years ago. The end table had only cost me $30.00 at that time. It really looked like it needed to hit the garbage can, but I had some leftover paint from my mirror project and thought, “Maybe I can make this match with the furniture in her room…”
I cleaned off the furniture and lightly sanded it. I used the spray paint to paint it. It took two coats to completely cover. The secret to spray paint is to spray small amounts at a time. Otherwise, you’ll have a drippy mess.
After allowing the paint to cure, I thought I should use some antiquing polish that I had purchased awhile back at Michaels Arts & Crafts. It was in a small bottle, and a little goes a long way.
I rubbed the polish on and off quickly because it was obviously taking faster than I expected.
The result was an end table that matches the rest of the bedroom. I left the knob the way it was because the knobs on the rest of the furniture were that color. If I had to buy the paint and antiquing glaze, the cost would’ve been around $10.00 to make this furniture come to life again. It was well worn when I decided to give it the makeover. The best part was that I didn’t spend $600 on the matching end table that could have been purchased new to go with the furniture. If you were to walk into the bedroom, you would have never known that the end table wasn’t part of the set.