Archive | Craigslist, Yard Sales and Thrifting Finds RSS feed for this section

Kubb Messenger Bag

22 Mar

Remember this post last fall about the Kubb set?  Not long after, I set about making a bag for the Kubb set.  I sewed, I took pictures, and then I needed Velcro. This project has been sitting in my sewing room waiting for Velcro  for months, but I finished this in five minutes the other morning.


To figure out the sizing of the bag I did a little measuring of my Kubb pieces to figure out how big I wanted the bag to be.  This might look like scribbling to you, but it helped me cut my pieces.

  • One piece 22″ by 10″ for the bottom
  • Two pieces 10″ by 16″ for the sides
  • One pieces 22″ by 16″ for the front
  • One piece 22″ by 29″ for the back, and flap
  • One piece 4″ by 40″ for the handle

IMG_0047While wondering around the suburbs of Eagan my friend Johnna and I stumbled up on a garage sale with yards and yards of  upholstery for sale- many of it in smaller pieces in bags for $1 and other larger pieces for $1 or $2 per yard.   Most of these came from those big bags for $1!  First I laid out the pieces to know how they would go together with right sides facing in. I began by pinning them, then sewing together the back, bottom and front pieces. To reinforce the seams I sewed a tight zig-zag stitch.


I then carefully pinned the sides into the front, bottom, and back piece as seen above.

IMG_0050This is what the corners looked like when it was sewn together.


This is what it looked like right side out.  I had nice square corners that the Kubb pieces would fit into nicely.

IMG_0053This is the bag sewn together before I turned the edges over.  Because this will be used for yard games I wasn’t too worried about having the most perfect edges. I turned them over once along all the edges not yet hemmed- if you wanted a cleaner edge you could line this bag or double turn the edges so the rough edge was no longer visible.

IMG_0055Now to create the shoulder strap.  I opted for one long strap that could go over the shoulder or across the body. Taking the long piece of fabric, I folded it in half lengthwise with the right side facing in.  I then pinned the long two edges together and stitched them together with a straight seam. To flip the fabric rights side out, I used a scissor as seen above to push the fabric back through onto itself.

IMG_0056When this was complete I turned in the fabric on the other end of fabric that was left opened and stitched across the end.

IMG_8908 I tacked both ends on the inside of the bag and reinforced it by sewing across the end several times. If you look closely you can see this above.

IMG_8906For the last step I added a piece of velcro.  I first sewed the velcro onto the top flap, then filled the bag and measured to see where the second piece should appear. I pinned it in place, emptied the bag and sewed a small square to keep it in place.


I had an extra piece of fabric I quickly sewed into a bag to hold the dowel throwing pieces. This way they wouldn’t easily fall out of the bag.

IMG_8905Here is a close up of the bag.


Here is the full view of our new Kubb bag. I think it will transport easily to parks, camping excursions or in and out of the garage for a backyard game of Kubb. I plan on making a few more to fit the Kubb sets we have already gifted others!

Happy Friday everyone!


Corralling My Electronic Devices

7 Mar

Do any of you have a mess of cords somewhere in your home that you JUST CAN”T STAND?!  A few years ago I found a solution to a mess of cords that included the cable connection for television and Internet and a mess of chargers for phones and other devices that kept finding their way to this corner next to the armoire that I keep my television in.  Unfortunately, the cable cords weren’t long enough to reach to the armoire so I couldn’t hide it inside. In addition they sat in front of the heat vent where dust bunnies seemed to congregate on my wood floors and add to my frustration every time I swept the floor.

Enter this wicker chest I found at a garage sale one day.  I think I paid $5 for it.


I gave it 2 to 3 coats of spraypaint win this orange rust color.  Then I got out my utility knife and a very sharp scissors and cut a whole on the back.


I knew that I cut could away a section of the wicker to allow the cords in and out.  Here is a photo of what the inside looks like.

IMG_8826It keeps this mess of chargers and electronic devices hidden away.  Now I simply sweep under it and around it to keep the dust bunnies at bay!

IMG_8824Here is the full wicker container with the flip-top cover. While we keep the cover closed it is easy access to the electronics hidden inside.

What ingenious ways have you found for hiding away electrical cords?

A Salvaged Seat

14 Feb

I work for a non-profit organization managing volunteers and coordinating donations. Today I spent much of my day traversing the Twin Cities in 15 ft. truck picking up and dropping off donations with my colleague.

We received three great chairs along with a table for our residents, but the seats were worse for the wear after spending some months on a porch.


I wouldn’t want to sit on that. Would you? So I brought them home tonight to give them a little make-over with some fabric.

I think I’ve already mentioned one of my favorite past-times is garage and yardsaling in the summer.  One day this summer I stumbled upon a woman selling loads of upholstery fabric scraps for cheap at $1 a bag. I also bought some larger pieces between 2 and 5 yards for less than $5 each-also a steal of a deal. I now have a chest full of upholstery scraps that looks like this at the moment.


In hunting through the scraps I found two coordinating pieces big enough to cover three chairs.


I first removed the seat by unscrewing the four screws that held it on underneath. I then layed it on the fabric- you can see the wrong side of the fabric and the underside of the seat here.  I used a sharpie as I didn’t have a chalk pen to quickly trace out where I should cut off extra fabric- you’ll see the pink line above.


I pulled the fabric taut on side and stapled two or three staples along the edge of the side beginning in the middle.  (I used an Arrow model T50 heavy duty hand stapler that I have had for ages with 3/8 inch staples. I bought this years ago to reupholster a footstool and I’ve used it dozens of time since- it really is a worthwhile tool to invest in!)Then I pulled it taut and stapled the fabric on the other side slowly making my way to the corners on two opposite sides.  I then repeated those steps on the other sides- checking my work every few staples to make sure things were taut without stretching it too tight.


Then I finished the corners. I first folded one corner in more and stapled it.


I then pulled the other side taut, making folds as I needed to and stapled it again a few times to make sure it was secure.


This is a finished corner.


I then attached the bottoms using the same four screws I took out of each. They went in fairly easily and I was able to poke them through the new fabric where the original holes had been covered.


While the fabric is a bit formal for the blond wood, I think they turned out pretty great and will make some of our resident’s pretty happy. I have to say they turned out well for a project I completed under an hour that didn’t cost me a penny. Stay tuned next week for another project from my upholstery stash!

Lunchbox Dollhouse

10 Jan

This was one of those projects that took weeks to come together, but was fun nearly every step along the way.  As the daughter of a high-school coach, my three year old niece gets brought along to games weekly for which she shows little to no interest at this age.  She plays with her “babies” for hours on end and I thought this might be a simpler way for her to bring babies and play house than dragging a bag full of dolls with her.

I started with a small purple metal lunchbox I found at my favorite Salvation Army store for  just a few dollars.  I went through my stash of scrap-booking paper and found a wood grained piece for the floor and bright colorful stripe for the wallpaper on the walls.  I traced the paper and cut out pieces so that it fit for the floor, and for the walls.  To adhere it to walls I laid a piece of cardboard in the snow, just outside the back door. On these I laid the pieces of paper upside down (one at a time) and gave them a quick spray with 3M Super 77 adhesive. I then quickly brought each piece and the super 77 in and adhered them to the lunchbox. Here in frosty MN when you don’t have a heated garage space, using aerosol adhesives can get tricky. The spray worked better than I expected. You can see the floor and the walls in the photo below.

Since it was the holidays, I wanted to give the dollhouse some festive decorations.  I found the holiday lights in the scrapbooking section on sale for about $2.00.   I then found an old magnet and applied some of the left over wall paper to the magnet with super 77.  I cut it into small pieces then used a piece of tape to adhere the lights every few inches to the magnets.  They will now stick to the wallpaper and ceiling allowing holiday lights to hang, but also blend in to the paper. I also cut out the shape of Christmas tree on a piece of felt and attached the lights to the front and the magnets to the back with a dab of hot glue.


Every house needs some family photos framed and hanging on the walls, right?  I took photos of my nieces family, minimized them, put a black frame around them and then printed them in color. For fun I also found an image of a television, Candyland, some books and images of plates of food.  I then used the super 77 to adhere them to an old magnet (reuse!) and cut them out with a scissor.

photos on magnet with edits

I also found a table and bed at the Dollar Tree for $1.00 each along with some small figurines that could call the doll house home.


I removed the existing bedding on the bed and painted them both with an acrylic paint in a bright pink sure to impress my niece.  I took fabric and made a small pillow, sheet and blanket. In fact the fabric was the extra hem left over from my bridesmaids dress I wore in my niece’s parents’ wedding nearly ten years ago!


In the photo below you have a clearer view of the floor, and the dollhouse decorated.


For the finishing touch I used my Cricut and cut out my niece’s name with Vinyl to adhere to the outside.  I also gave her extra magnets if she’d like to decorate the lunch box herself.


Here is another view of the inside with the books and food and game on the table.


IMG_1244It was definitely a hit!  I hear she has used it quite a few times already!

I’m linking up to:



3 Jan

My husband and I are expecting our first baby in the spring, so I must forewarn you all that this is likely the first of many nursery project posts in the coming months.  We started tackling the nursery over the holiday break, and first up  is a changing table makeover.

We are grateful to have recieved some hand-me-down nursery furniture from my husband’s brother and his wife.  The changing table is in great shape, but the look of the wood was a bit rustic for the style in our house, so I decided to give it a little makeover to create our own look.  Here’s what the changing table looked like before (the top shelf folds down for the changing table):

Ikea Diktad Change Table-735827

I had found a few things on pinterest that inspired me to do something fun with the drawers of the dresser, but I decided the first step was to paint the whole thing white, regardless of what I would do with the drawers.  So the hubby was tasked with priming and painting this bad-boy white (loving how this pregnancy stuff gets me out of a lot of the dirty work – I just get to be the artistic director!).

You can see more details on my furniture painting method in this previous post.  I’ve found the main thing is to use a small roller vs. a brush.  Here’s the AFTER picture of the first phase of the white changing table:

Changing Table After

Next up is to decide if I’ll do anything fun to spice up the drawer fronts.  Here is some inspiration I’ve found on Pinterest.









Sweater Pillow

13 Nov

A couple weeks ago, I made some napkin pillows for my living room.  This week, I’m trying out another pillow option by re-purposing a sweater.  I’ve had a knit pillow on my knitting to-do list for ages, but figured this would be a quicker solution in the mean time.  I picked up this Men’s XXL cable sweater at a thrift store for $3.00.

I had picked up a lumbar pillow form from Ikea a while ago for a few bucks.  When I placed it on top of the sweater, the width of the pillow fit the width of the sweater perfectly, which meant I could use the existing side sweater seams for my pillow cover.

I used my rotary cutter to cut the sweater just below the sleeve line.  I decided to keep the finished bottom of the sweater and would figure out how I would close this side – maybe buttons, pins, or even a zipper.

Now all I had to do was sew the top seam.

I then inserted my pillow.  I’m going to play around with how I want to close the bottom of the pillow, but have left it as is for now.  Let me know if you have any ideas!

Here’s the finished pillow.


Paint it blue and it is brand new!

8 Oct

I haven’t made it to as many garage sales this summer as I typically do, but on the days I’ve made it out I’ve had such great luck! This is a quick project to show you what a difference a quick coat of paint can make. Generally a few times a summer I’ll have a big bbq and invite friends over for the evening.  I’ve had a few different vessels to contain silverware- none of them worked as well or looked quite the way I pictured  them in my minds eye.  Then I found this for a $1.

A little more dated and country than I was looking for so I gave it a few coats of paint with a can of Rustoleum in Lagoon I had left over from the pots I painted in this post.  Isn’t this a cheery blue? I can’t wait to use it!

And it has this lovely little handle that moves as well!