Cheapskate Has Fun Creating Her Home



ELLSWORTH — The table was covered in chipped gray laminate and wobbled at the curbside on rusted legs.

It was also free, had a fun ’50s vibe and was the right size for a computer desk.

After a couple of drive-by viewings, the decision was made. The table was coming home.

Transforming the piece from trash to a reasonably attractive piece of furniture took several days, a hot iron and many applications of wood filler, primer and paint.

The iron melted the glue holding the laminate in place. The wood filler, primer and paint made the thick plywood underneath presentable.

After a good scrubbing with steel wool, the table legs were spray-painted black and securely reattached.

The project was a slightly imperfect success. Cost: about $20 for materials.

Cheap chic is in these days.

Hundreds of home improvement and decorating shows, books, magazines, websites and blogs inspire do-it-yourselfers to paint their kitchen cabinets, sew curtains out of bed sheets or fashion wall art from toilet paper rolls.

For some, thriftiness is spurred by financial necessity. For others, making, refurbishing or otherwise adapting items for the home is a form of creative expression.

Some of those creative minds rest their heads against homemade upholstered headboards.

Materials include a sheet of plywood cut to the desired size and shape, foam padding or polyester batting and fabric.

You will need a nail gun to attach the fabric and padding to the board.

Nailhead trim around the edge adds a decorative detail.

The project can be done for about $50. A similar headboard at a contemporary home furnishings store retails for $600.

Smaller projects can also have big impact.

Sometimes all it takes is a can of spray paint.

A few coats of glossy white, apple green or metallic silver can revive an old picture frame or flower pot.

There are plenty of color and finish options available at hardware and home improvement stores.

Owning or having access to a sewing machine provides further opportunities for making affordable décor.

Sew two sheets together to make a duvet cover. Renys sells individual flat sheets at bargain prices.

Or you could make placemats and coordinating cloth napkins for festive table settings.

Recover throw pillows for an added punch of color on the couch or bed.

The Marden’s fabric department has a large selection, particularly of lightweight cotton prints. Most fabrics sell for about $3 a yard.

Aunt Nellies Attic, a thrift store in Holden, sells fabric remnants and sewing odds and ends. Find fabric and supplies at Sewing by the Sea in Trenton as well.

For more crafting inspiration, stroll the aisles at the Craft Barn in Ellsworth.

For more arts & entertainment news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

Cyndi Wood

Cyndi Wood

Managing Editor
Cyndi is managing editor of The Ellsworth American. The Ellsworth native joined the staff of The American in 2007 as a reporter.
Cyndi Wood

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