Easy Upholstery Webbing Spring Banner

How to Make an Easy Upholstery Webbing Spring Banner - An Oregon Cottage

Are you ready to make a super easy spring banner (or garland – have any idea what the difference is?) from upholstery webbing and chipboard letters like I promised after sharing our spring mantel last week? Seriously, if I were to have a specialty here on the blog, it would be quick & painless crafts […]

Add Old-House Character with Easy DIY Door Trim

Add Character to a Doorframe with Molding - An Oregon Cottage

One of the simplest ways to add old-house character to a newer house is to add moldings to interior windows and doors that are only painted sheetrock. Well, duh – I’m certainly not giving you any new information there, am I? Why write this, then? To give you the permission freedom to go ahead with […]

Announcing An Oregon Cottage’s Home Tour Page!

House Tour on An Oregon Cottage

It’s finally here! I finished creating a page all about our cottage where you can see our home in a ‘tour’ format: a photo of a room or area with a brief introduction with links to more detailed posts for further reading. You can NOT know what a relief this is to have done and […]

Vintage Valentine Mantel: Quick Decor

Vintage Valentine Mantel Update with Sheet Music & Printables - An Oregon Cottage

I’m actually not someone who likes to decorate for every holiday – does that make me a bad blogger? I like to make seasonal updates – adding leaves in the fall, evergreens in the winter, flowers in the spring, and seashells in the summer – more than any specific holiday decoration. The notable exception being […]

Make a Knitting Needle Holder with Vintage Linens

Vintage Linen Knitting Needle Holder Tutorial - An Oregon Cottage

Did you all know that I have a slight obsession with vintage linens that feature handmade needlework? It’s something about realizing all the time, work and talent that goes into each item that just hits me and I simply can’t leave them moldering in a thrift store. I’ve made quite a few things with them […]

DIY Remodeling at AOC: From Ranch to Cottage

An Oregon Cottage Before and After

You know what? I’m actually surprised that I don’t get tired of looking at the before and after photos of our house, which is probably because I can’t believe how far we’ve come (although it has been almost 10 years…). But I know you guys might be getting tired of it – so I’m happy […]

Distressed Wood-String Art Heart


This cute string art heart decoration uses a cast-off piece of wood, small nails, and embroidery floss for a simple and sweet craft that you make using items you may already have. It makes a fun valentine’s day decoration – but it’s not only for the holiday, it also works as a gift for anyone you’d […]

DIY Remodeling at AOC: The Great Room

Remodeling Series Entry Before and After - An Oregon Cottage

Today I’m continuing our look down our diy remodeling memory lane here at AOC by sharing updated photos and links to read all about how we transformed our great room from a dark and dreary place to a light and bright space we enjoying being in! You can go here to see why I’m updating […]

DIY Chalkboard Subway Sign {a Restoration Hardware Knockoff}

Chalkboard Subway Sign Restoration Hardware Knockoff - An Oregon Cottage

This Restoration Hardware catalog-inspired diy chalkboard subway sign is one of my favorite thrift store transformations to date – right up there with my Ballard Burlap Bulletin Board that makes a perfect jewelry holder. I’ve been drawn to all of Restoration Hardware’s subway signs for awhile now (except for the price, that is) so when […]

DIY Remodeling at AOC: The Bedrooms

Bedroom 2 Remodel Before-After - An Oregon Cottage

I hope you enjoyed looking at our bathroom remodels last week (if you wonder why I’m sharing these updated diy remodeling posts with you, I wrote why here). I know I enjoyed going down memory lane…well, I didn’t need to be reminded about tiling the bathrooms, though. That was a little diy nightmare. Those of […]

21 Inspiring Thrift Store Transformations

21 Of The Best Thrift Store Transformations Around - An Oregon Cottage

You know how I love a good thrift store transformation, right? I’ve done an entire 31 day series in addition to numerous makeovers of the thrifted goods I find (many copying catalog items, too). So you’re probably not surprised that I’m drawn to a good makeover whenever I find one and I’ve been loving all […]

DIY Remodeling At AOC: The Bathrooms

Main Bathroom Before and After - An Oregon Cottage

I’ve been hard at work behind the scenes updating old posts in preparation for creating a ‘Cottage Tour’ landing page (one of my goals for 2014, if you recall) with the goal to have the page ready to go by the end of January. With that in mind, I’m going to be sharing my progress […]

Loving Gift Idea: Make Flax Seed Warming Pillows with Men’s Shirts

Flax Seed Pillows from Men's Shirt sleeves - An Oregon Cottage

I just had to show you all this incredibly thoughtful take on our popular diy Flax Seed Warming Pillows that my friend, Mary, from Front-Porch-Ideas-And-More shared with me! When someone takes inspiration from something I wrote about, puts their own spin on it, and makes it into something beyond special – well that’s just a […]

2013 Top DIY & Gardening Projects

Top 10 Recipes - An Oregon Cottage

Here we are at the end of another year – can you believe it? One of the things I enjoy about the turn of another calendar year is looking back at the previous year to see what’s been accomplished, what I learned, and what I still have (actually would like) to do. So this week […]

Homemade Peppermint Mocha Gift Baskets

Peppermint Mocha Gift Basket - An Oregon Cottage

Our family loves peppermint mochas and we always try to combine a trip to Starbucks with a holiday movie as a special treat sometime in December. But, goodness are they expensive! And since I knew that it was basically hot chocolate, coffee, and a bit of peppermint syrup I thought I could save some money […]

DIY French-Inspired Vintage Linen Tea Towels

DIY Painted Linen Tea Towels - An Oregon Cottage

I love, love rustic vintage fabrics like grain sacks, burlap and linen. Occasionally I’ve found actual vintage items in thrift stores, but really when I think about it that was years ago before thrifting became popular and Pinterest gave people so many ideas! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen anything of decent quality. Now […]

DIY Vintage Glass Candles {Using old pillar candles}

PB Knockoff - Vintage Glass Candles from thrifted glass and used pillar candles - An Oregon Cottage

I hope you guys are finding some inspiration to see old, worn out or cast off items in a new way through our ongoing handmade gifts series! Today’s handmade gift I’m sharing with you is one of my favorites (right up there with my burlap jewelry board): diy vintage glass candles, hacked from the pages […]

Black & Gold Monogrammed Coasters {Pottery Barn Inspired}

PB-Inspired Monogram Coasters- An Oregon Cottage

I just realized that bringing old things new life is a little sub-theme of this blog, isn’t it? Whether it’s a cast-off item, leftover food, or worn out clothing, I love reusing it! Today I’m sharing a set of monogrammed coasters I made from an, um, interesting coaster set I found at a thrift store […]

Thrifted Chalkboard Placemats

Thrift Store Transformation-Chalkboard Placemats :: An Oregon Cottage

Oh, guys, I have been so excited to share these chalkboard placemats with you! They are so cool and fun for all ages, and while they do make a great handmade gift, I’m totally keeping these for myself. They will look great with the thrifted chalkboard napkin rings, don’t you think? I’ve actually been wanting […]

Simple Bar Stool Makeover

Simple Bar Stool Makeover Before and After | An Oregon Cottage

Do any of your makeover projects start because you own something that is serviceable, but just isn’t working anymore – either because things around it have changed or because you’re just tired of it? That was the case with three basic barstools we bought when we first moved into our house. As you can imagine, […]

Thrifted Chalkboard Napkin Rings

Chalk Napkin Rings from Thrift Store Finds Make a Great Gift! An Oregon Cottage

You all know how much I love a good thrift store transformation, right? Well I’ve got a bunch of new makeovers for you over the next few weeks – and they just happen to make wonderful handmade gifts, too. Yes, you heard that right: thrift store + a little diy = cool handmade gift. I […]

Quick Basketweave Knitted Throw Pattern

Quick Basketweave Knitted Throw

I’m so excited to share this quick basketweave knitted throw with you today as the next project in our current handmade gift series. I haven’t shared any knitting projects with you before and I’m not sure why because I knit almost every day. I find it very calming and really look forward to my knitting […]

Coral & Green Master Bedroom Reveal

ORC Bedroom Makeover-An Oregon Cottage

Here it is – the final week of the One Room Challenge (special thanks to Linda of Calling it Home for creating this fun challenge that helped motivate me to finally act on the ideas I’ve had for our bedroom for ages). Ready or not…and I’m a little of both, actually! But mainly ready: The goal […]

15 Minute DIY Sharpie Pillow {Number, Monogram, Ampersand…}

15 Minute Sharpie Pillow :: An Oregon Cottage

Yes, it’s a sharpie project for this installment of our Handmade gift series! I often resort to using a sharpie when I need a quick way to create something cool like a monogram or document fabric. And this DIY sharpie pillow is not only done in 15 minutes, it’s adorable and adaptable to anything you’d like […]

Lamp Makeover, Pillows & Cabinet Styling {ORC Week 5}

Bedroom cabinet vignette on An Oregon Cottage

Oh, man, I only have one week to complete the master bedroom One Room Challenge I started five weeks ago! I was visiting the coast last weekend, so I have some making up to do this weekend to be ready for the reveal next Thursday. My main project left is the duvet which I’ve decided […]

How to Paint a Barn Quilt for Your Home

How To Paint a Barn Quilt :: An Oregon Cottage

Welcome to the first week of our Handmade Gift Series! Today I have a special treat for you – a guest post from Mary of Front Porch Ideas and More. When she shared with me her colorful (and easy) barn quilt she made with recycled bead board for her foyer, I begged asked her to […]

How to Hang A Plate Wall {ORC Week Four}

How to Hang a Plate Wall- An Oregon Cottage

Welcome to week four of my bedroom refresh one room challenge! Since I realized last week that I wasn’t actually supposed to be showing you the room, but only the specific items I was working on (so that there will be some sort of ‘reveal’ at the end, duh!), I thought this would be a […]

Handmade Gifts on An Oregon Cottage

Handmade Gift Ideas An Oregon Cottage

With the end of the Tuesday Garden Party for the season, I thought it would be fun to look towards the holidays and run a series about handmade gifts. I LOVE both getting and giving handmade gifts at any time of the year, but I always like to highlight them at the holidays because I […]

Plate Wall & Coral Additions: ORC Week Three

White chair: coral pillow & pouf - An Oregon Cottage

Two more things were checked off the to-do list this week for our one room challenge refreshed master bedroom. That’s good. What’s not so good is that one of them is causing me to rethink one of my previous projects, which is going to add another project to the list. Ugh – not good. But I’m getting […]

Thrifted Oil Paintings Gallery Wall and A Basket: ORC Week Two

Thrift Store Oil Paintings Gallery Wall

Week two of my master bedroom one room challenge {ORC} found me scrambling to finish something to be able to share with you! But that’s actually one of the reasons I signed up for this challenge – there always seems to be things that get in the way of acting on the ideas I have had for […]

One Room Challenge: Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom Plan-ORC :: An Oregon Cottage

I’m so excited to be able to participate in this fall’s One Room Challenge! Have you heard of it? It’s a semi-annual event that is the brainchild of Linda from Calling It Home where she and 19 other bloggers pick one room to redo in a 6-week period and blog about their progress weekly. I’ve enjoyed […]

Gold Burlap Wrapped Candles

Gold Burlap Wrapped Candles :: An Oregon Cottage

Do I have a super simple craft for you guys today! Really, it’s so easy it’s almost not a craft – but it does include spray paint (which you probably know by now that I love, ha!), so I’m going with craft. The reason I’m sharing this with you is the reason I share everything […]

Quick Antique Dresser Restoration

Easily Restored Antique Dresser - An Oregon Cottage

This is one of those posts that was totally not planned, but I just have to share this quick antique dresser restoration with you! Our recently graduated nephew has come to live with us while establishing himself in Oregon and that meant an overhaul of our son’s room (see his previous surprise extreme room makeover […]

New Gazebo Furniture

Gazebo Patio Furniture

While we’re continuing to work on painting our trim and walls (the floors have cured and we get to move the furniture back today!), I thought I’d share a fun update to our gazebo. When I posted about our major backyard makeover last fall the gazebo looked like this: While I love our antique ice […]

Wood Floor, Painting & My Best Painting Tip

baseboard after paint

Hi there friends! Guess what we’ve been doing? I mentioned we were refinishing our floors over the weekend – and not getting any Addictive Tomato Chutney or Roasted Tomato Sauce made with all the tomatoes that have decided to ripen all. at. once. – in the Tuesday Garden Party. Well, that led to a couple […]

How To Easily Repair A Round Post-and-Rail Fence

How To Repair a Post-and-Rail Fence

When we moved into our house eight years ago, it came with a post-and-rail fence – the kind with round posts and round rails. It was looking a bit worn at that time with some bent rails and moss growing, but all the rails were at least intact. However, over those years the moss gave […]

How To Make a Desk with Ikea Trestle Legs and Old Wood Flooring

Salvaged Wood Trestle Desk

This is a guest post from none other than my better half, Brian. I am not a finish carpenter – I’m not even a rough carpenter. So things had to be pretty desperate for me to decide I was going to make a desk for my home office. What I found was that it was […]

Easy Ikea Butcher Block Countertop Cutting Technique & Video

Dark stained Ikea wood counters

Here’s a follow-up to our kitchen remodel that we’ve been meaning to share with you that wasn’t covered when we talked about the kitchen remodel details: how Brian found an easy and accurate way to cut our Ikea butcher block countertops using a circular saw. We know how popular these counters are firsthand: they were never […]

How To Add Cottage Curb Appeal

How To Add Cottage Curb Appeal :: An Oregon Cottage

As you’ve no doubt gathered, I like a bit of cottage around here. To me a cottage isn’t necessarily a certain style, but more a mixture of a lot of styles – a place where everything you love lives together beautifully. It usually includes at least some classic, vintage, and time-honored decor and architecture. And […]

How To Turn a Vintage Window Into a Mirror

seasonal mantels with window-mirror

Last year I began the process of turning a multi-paned vintage window into a antiqued mirror that I could use on our mantel. It’s a fairly large window and any similarly sized mirror I found was beyond my budget (yeah- usually close to $100). This window had come from a building recycling business in our […]

Crafting in Kosovo

Kosovo crafting

One of the highlights for me on our recent trip (of which there are many…is there a limit to highlights?) was getting to plan and present an easy craft to a group of ladies in Kosovo. This group, consisting of ladies from the village where we were staying as well as from a sister church […]

Easy Canvas Chalkboard Menu

Easy Canvas Chalkboard Menu :: An Oregon Cottage

When I was working on my last canvas project (a thrift store painting turned word art that I used to create our spring mantel) I thought it would be fun to use the same process to make a canvas chalkboard where I could write our weekly menu. I’ve used computer printed menus for years that […]

Diamond Pattern Twine Drum Shade {Wayfair DIY Challenge}

DIY Twine Lamp Shade :: An Oregon Cottage

I’ve been reading a lot about Wayfair.com recently (tagline: ‘a zillion things home’) and seeing some fun projects that have been completed by other bloggers through their DIY Challenges, so I was thrilled to be asked to participate in their current challenge with supporting sponsor, Hometalk.com (Have you signed up yet? You can follow me […]

Small Office Update

Office-workroom Update

Okay, admittedly this office update isn’t huge or spectacular, but sometimes it’s the small things that reap big rewards – and for very little effort – so you know I had to share about it! I mentioned in last week’s post on my thrifted Tiered Pie-Tin Stand that I moved around some things in my […]

Tiered Pie Tin Stand {Thrift Store Transformation}

DIY Tiered Vintage Pie Tin Stand :: An Oregon Cottage

Have you guys seen the tiered stands/organizers made from weathered, old pie tins and cake plates? Me, too – and after seeing one highlighted months ago in a Country Living article, I put the materials to make a tiered pie tin stand on my list of things to look for at thrift stores. Here’s what I […]

DIY Chalkboard Monogram

chalkboard monogram plaque :: An Oregon Cottage

Do you guys remember this thrift store plaque I made into a chalkboard last fall during the 31 Days of Thrift Store Transformations? I had hastily drawn a ‘B’ on it at the time, and our daughter added holiday words or drawings as the seasons changed, but my plan had always been to add a […]

Thrift Painting to Word Art

Thrift-painting-to-Word Art

I’m so excited to share my latest transformation with you all, which is going up a day early to participate in this winter Pinterest Challenge! So let’s get to it: how to turn an ugly (come on, gotta call it by what it is…) painting into some awesome art. When I found this amateur canvas […]

Pom Pom Flowers

pom flowers in bottles

Hey there, friends! After last week, I was looking for a fun project that could be done quickly, bring some color to our January white dining room, and make me smile. I think these pom pom flowers fit the bill, don’t you? I love seeing them lined up on our dining table. They’re so cheery […]

Apothecary Jar Transformation

apothecary jar after

Do I have a fun thrift store find and transformation for you all today! You never know what you’re going to find at thrift stores, garage sales and such, which of course is part of the “thrill of the hunt.” I’ve gotten into the habit of making quick walks up and down the aisles every […]

Top DIY Projects from 2012

Top 2012 DIY Projects

I hope you enjoyed revisiting some of the best recipes from 2012 yesterday – I know it’s always interesting to me to see what proved to be popular from the previous year. Which is true for today’s list of the top DIY projects from 2012 as well. I wasn’t surprised at what topped the list, […]

Buckwheat, Oat & Cinnamon Pancake Mix {Gluten Free}


If you are looking for a gluten-free alternative to my awesome Cinnamon-Oat Pancake Mix, either for gift-giving to family and friends with gluten intolerances or for yourself, have I got an easy and tasty recipe for you! The thing that’s the coolest about this is that the ingredients are pretty straightforward: no hard-to-find ingredients are […]

Quick Gifts: Clip Photo Boards {From Thrift Store Frames}

Easy Clip Photo Boards

I’ve got another Thrift Store Transformation for you today – this time using a few of the plentiful frames that can be found at any thrift store. These cute framed barrel clip photo boards make great, quick gifts (in fact my nieces are getting some…) and can easily be adapted for boys by changing out […]

Easy Book Page Punch Ornament


Hey friends, have I got a handcrafted ornament you’re going to love today! It’s super quick, super easy, and super cute – can’t beat that, can you? And it goes with any other book page or music sheet decorations you might have made (like these book page rosettes, balls, and paper chains, or music sheet […]

Glitter & Tinsel DIY Ornament {An Anthropologie Knock-Off}


  Hello all! I’ve got a fun and quick catalog knock-off diy ornament to share with you today that uses the thrift store garland from this photo (the deer was made over here, if you missed it): I was actually looking for tinsel garland when I found this at the thrift store, though I didn’t […]

Thrift Store Transformation: A Christmas Deer & Sideboard


This season I’m enjoying mixing rustic and shiny with fresh greens on our burlap and silver mantel and our metallic tree with a burlap ribbon. I had a lot of fun creating this sideboard vignette to coordinate using these items plus apothecary jars, a cake stand, and a cute white deer that started out like this: It was […]

DIY Kitchen Remodel Details {and Cost Breakdown}

DIY Farmhouse kitchen

You know what’s almost as exciting as having a revamped kitchen? Reading all the comments that you guys left on the Kitchen Reveal post! A big thank you for all your sweet comments – they really are the highlight of this blogging adventure. So after leaving you hanging for a week since that reveal post – […]

How To Make a Wool Pom Pom Wreath & Garland {an Anthropologie Knock-Off}


Hello all! I hope you are having a great week and are enjoying this first week of December. We’re still adding to our holiday decorations around here and will put our tree up this weekend. I’m also making more pom poms and thought I’d share with you how easy they are to make, so that […]

DIY Kitchen Remodel: From 80′s Ranch to Farmhouse Fresh


I’m over-the-moon-excited to tell you we are 99% done with our kitchen remodel! AND that we’re not living with this anymore. Can the DIY sigh of relief be heard around the world, do you think? Are you ready? Here’s the kitchen in all her new glory: I’m in love with everything: the counters, of course, […]

Gift in a Jar: Cinnamon-Oat Pancake & Waffle Mix


This may seem odd, but my gift to you this year is this recipe for Cinnamon-Oat Pancake and Waffle Mix. Yeah, a pancake mix. What were you expecting – $100 gift card? {Oh, but you can try for that over here – there’s still time. Edit: time’s up, I hope you entered!} Seriously, this took […]

Wood Counters, Reminders, & Monday’s Menu

wood counters

How’s that for a definitive title? I thought it was a bit more explanatory than “odds & ends” or “everything I can think of” or some some random-thought kind of title. I could’ve written “A Week of Jami’s Life: All About Wood Counters” but even I don’t want to think about all that right now […]

DIY Antique Mercury Glass Pendant {A Tutorial}


Wow, I hope you like this thrift store transformation as much as I do! This is one of those small changes that make a lot of difference – at least to me, ’cause I love our new antique mercury glass pendant. One of the aspects of this antiqued silver finish that is so cool is […]

Kitchen Saga…and a Thanksgiving Week Menu


Does this photo look familiar? That’s because it was in last Monday’s post as well. Why am I showing it again? Because this last weekend was a complete re-do of the weekend before. Painting every cabinet I thought I had finished. Again. Ugh. I had really debated sharing this with you all – I mean, […]

Handmade Gift Ideas

Handmade Gift Ideas

Hello there! Today’s been rather crazy, as you can tell by the getting-the-post-up-before-dinner time frame. Better late than never, though. And I so wanted to get all my past handmade gift posts in one place so you can easily find them as you’re thinking of what to make for friends and family. I’m happy to […]

Painting Thrift Store Lamps


I remember when I first discovered you could spray paint ceramic and metal lamp bases – it was around 2000 and I had two little kids, a city bungalow to fix up, and no money. It was awesome to be able to afford nice lamps based on design and size and not just if I […]

Painting Cabinets & Monday’s Menu

finished cabinets

I’m happy to report that after a weekend of sanding, filling nail holes, and painting, ALL the cabinet bases are painted and I only have one last coat on the cabinet fronts before they can be hung back up. Woot! I didn’t quite get to the caulking, because I really wanted to get things painted, […]

November Kitchen Remodel Update


Uh…where to begin? Let’s see, in a nutshell: A little over two months ago we started on a long-awaited kitchen remodel that I wrote about in this exhuberant article. Other than one sorry posting to Facebook showing how I was canning without countertops, there’s been nothin’ but silence. So much for my grandiose plans of […]

Burlap Jewelry Organizer


For the inaugural edition of Tuesday Thrift Store Transformations (TTST when I get tired of writing the whole thing…), I thought I’d share with you how I’m actually using the .99 bulletin board that I made into a DIY Ballard Designs Monogram Burlap Message Board (featured in the 31 Days series). I decided to change the […]

Thrift Store Transformations Recap {and Small Announcement}


Whew! Here we are at the end of the 31 Days of Thrift Store Transformations series I challenged myself to write all the way back in August. I thought a little recap would be appropriate, but first I gotta say: What was I thinking? Like, could I have picked a more time-consuming topic? Shop for […]

Monogram Burlap Message Board – A DIY Ballard Designs Knock Off


Did you know that thrift stores are THE place to go for corkboards/bulletin boards? At least the normal office-supply store kind of cork boards. It’s a rare day that I go and I don’t see at least one. They’re probably there because they’ve been stained with marker, or the cork has come up in a […]

Thrift Store Chalkboard Plaque


Most of the time you really don’t know what you’ll find at a thrift store. I’ve had quite a few comments and emails over the course of this series about my ability to find things – all wondering if somehow the items are unique to me or the area that I live in. But my […]

Vintage Sheet Music “Joy” Sign

holiday sheet music joy sign

Sometimes when you’re looking through the crowded shelves of a thrift store, something comes to your attention and you can see right away what it could become. When I found a wood item that I’m assuming was a small cupboard door, I knew right away that it would make a great base for a decorative […]

Thrift Store Transformations: Used Books

Vintage books with heart box

We could hardly have a series about transforming thrift store items without talking about vintage and used books, could we? I mean, don’t they usually take up a third of the store? The truly vintage books can be used for things besides only reading them – most folks know how they bring so much to a room, […]

Book Page Monogrammed Tray


After discussing all the ways to use thrift store trays for organizing, I thought I should try my hand at transforming a tray into something a bit more decorative. And what better way than making it into a book page monogrammed tray? Wait. I’m sure there are others, so don’t answer that. Wood trays are […]

Book Page and Sheet Music Decoupaged Coasters


I just love how these decoupaged coasters turned out and I am excited to share them with you – including the steps to make these yourself and a printable for the holiday words I used! Although there’s nothing new about decoupaging coasters, it’s still a wonderful way to upcycle old, outdated coasters into either gifts or […]

Scripted Newsprint Decoupaged Pumpkin


As if rustic turkeys, mercury glass pumpkins, and shelf-styling ideas wasn’t enough, I was inspired yet again by the October Pottery Barn catalog to transform a lowly green plastic pumpkin into an upscale addition to our fall mantel by breaking out the mod-podge. Yep, a decoupaged pumpkin. But not just any decoupaged pumpkin: this is […]

Organizing with Thrift Store Trays

Silver oli-vinegar tray

Trays are always abundant at thrift stores. In addition to using them as decoration or as well, trays, I love to use them to corral things. I find it amazing how the same things just sitting on a counter all of a sudden look nice and organized when they’re housed on a tray. Organizing with […]

Thrift Store Transformations: Jewelry to Push Pins


Costume jewelry is something that’s easy to find at thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets. But figuring out what to do with old clip-on earrings is another thing – unless you make jewelry and can remake them into post earrings. Or, um, that you would even want to wear them as earrings…which is not […]

Thrift Store Transformations: Ski Pants to iPad/eReader Cover

ski pants

Did you know the material that ski pants are made of make great protective covers for things like computers, eReaders, iPods and such? Yeah…and maybe they keep them warm in the winter, too. See the complete tutorial for how I transformed these thrift store ski pants into a cover for Brian’s eReader here. This is […]

Thrift Store Furniture Transformations: Benches

old chair bench before-after

One of my favorite thrift store furniture transformations of all time is this bench made from a pair of broken lyre-back chairs. And it was not my idea, nor did I do any work designing it or putting it together. No, my contributions were decorative – paint and covering the bench top (one day I […]

Thrift Store Furniture Transformations: Table and Chairs

table and chairs after

As part of our 31 Days of Thrift Store Transformations, I wanted to highlight some past posts that show how old furniture can be transformed for a new generation – to be used either for its original purpose (today’s post), or in a whole new way (coming tomorrow). Thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, and […]

Faux Antiqued Mercury Glass Vases

Faux Antiqued Mercury Glass Vases

I love how easy it is to transform .99 glass items from a thrift store into antiqued (or regular shiny) mercury glass imitators! Honestly, I often can’t tell a difference between real mercury glass and fake – and never from a distance. I have to pick it up to really tell. For less than $10 […]

Thrift Store Transformations: Tin Pitcher

Transformed tin pitcher

This was a fun transformation of a thrift store tin pitcher that was quick and easy. The before and after tells most of the story: The pitcher was marked down to $1.50 (go figure – no one had wanted this?) and I sprayed it with Rustoleum’s Heirloom White paint at the same time I sprayed […]

Turn a Thrift Store Dresser Into a Bathroom Vanity

thrift store dresser to vanity

One of the more popular posts here at AOC has been How To Turn a Dresser Into a Vanity. I had always wanted to take an old dresser and convert it into a vanity and we were finally able to a few years ago as part of our master bathroom remodel. Since this dresser was found […]

Painted Animal Figurines

painted thrift store animals

Single-colored painted animal figurines – like owls, ducks and dogs – are popping up all over blogland and are a popular way to update and use these cast-off items in decorating. Whether it’s a pop of bright color like blue or yellow, or a serene white, this is a great way to upcyle some of […]

Thrifted Mantel Styling


This is part two of copying catalog styling with thrifted items – see part one here. In the last few years (thanks to Pinterest and the lovely blogs I read) I’ve enjoyed changing out our mantel for the seasons. I use the same steps in mantel styling that I do for shelves – find an […]

Copy Catalog Shelf Styling with Thrifted Items


When I painted the ceramic turkeys and transformed an orange pumpkin into mercury glass, one of my goals was to use them to decorate for fall – on tables, shelves and our mantel, like I had seen in catalogs and magazines. Table and shelf styling doesn’t always come naturally for me and I like to […]

Make Your Own Mercury Glass Pumpkin

mercury glass pumpkin

This mercury glass pumpkin makeover is another thrift store transformation that was inspired by the fall PB catalog. Honestly, I don’t normally get so many ideas from one spot, but this was just one of those catalogs that had me going, “oh- I can find that easy!” or “what a great idea” and so on. […]

Thrift Store Transformations: White Ceramic Turkeys


Like my fall mantel the inspiration for this thrift store transformation came from the October 2012 Pottery Barn catalog – specifically this guy caught my eye: He’s listed as a rustic ceramic turkey and he’s big – 15″ high – and comes with a big price: $159.00. Ouch. Surprisingly, he’s not available anymore and it’s […]

Thrift Store Transformations: White Trophies

White Painted Trophies

I usually find a lot of inspiration when I look at magazines, catalogs, and advertisements – not only for decorating ideas (or, um…even to actually buy something…), but for things that make me say, “I can make that!” And when you regularly shop at thrift stores, garage sales, and flea markets, you start to get […]

Upcycle Old Lamps

spray painted lamp

It’s only day 9 of the 31 Days of Thrift Store Transformations and you’ve probably already noticed a trend: I use a lot of paint. You’ve probably all heard that it’s the cheapest and easiest way to update rooms – and the same goes for items that have seen better days. Whether it’s a cutsey […]

Organizing With Baskets


I don’t think I could do a series on thrift store items without doing something with baskets, could I? I mean, there’s usually a whole section dedicated to baskets. Unfortunately, most of the baskets have handles, which is great at Easter when you’re hunting for eggs, but not for much else that I’ve found. Which […]

Napkin Rings and Cloth Napkins

Thrift Store Napkin Rings

What can you do with an assortment of thrift store napkin rings? Especially when: You don’t use napkin rings (well, very often) They don’t go with your decor You already have a couple of sets moldering in a closet somewhere I actually thought all these things about napkin rings not so long ago – and […]

Using Vintage Suitcases

Vintage Suitcases Used for Storage

Every once in awhile you can still find vintage suitcases at thrift stores, flea markets, and yard sales. They aren’t as plentiful as they were years ago, but they are out there, so it’s something I always keep in mind when I’m “thrifting.” Why suitcases? Because although we don’t use theses hard-sided vintage cases for […]

Metal Chairs Makeover

revive a vintage metal chair

These metal/wire ice cream parlor chairs have been in our family since our kids were little. We found them at a flea market and they served for many years as our kitchen table chairs before becoming mainly outside chairs (we’ve never been able to win the wood-floor vs. metal chair-leg battle…). Because they have arms, […]

DIY Outdoor Chandelier Tutorial {Using Vintage and Found Items}


One of my favorite projects for our recent gazebo update was making this outdoor chandelier out of objects I already had – including one that was destined for the dump. I invariably feel good when I get rid of things and clean up, but this is one time I’m glad I hadn’t felt the need […]

Thrift Store Transformations: Chalkboard Cachepot


Paint is one of the easiest and fastest ways to upcycle old items you find all the time at thrift stores, flea markets, estate sales, and…well, you get the idea – anywhere that people are getting rid of stuff. Some of the items are so, um…odd, I find myself shaking my head and wondering, “what […]

Turn Vintage Linens Into Cafe Curtains


I’ve found lots of vintage linens over the years in thrift stores: pillowcases, small tablecloths, napkins, doilies, and multiple other pieces that leave me scratching my head as to their use. Most of the time I had no idea how I would use them – I just couldn’t bear to see these beautiful handmade creations […]

What To Look For At Thrift Stores {Intro to 31 days}


Well, here we are at the beginning of October – are you ready for 31 days of An Oregon Cottage posts all about thrift store transformations? I hope I’m up to the challenge and that you guys aren’t tired of me by the end of the month (shucks…). Actually, what I hope is that you […]

31 Days Announcement & Monday’s Menu


For a few years I have followed The Nester Place’s 31 Days series during the month of October. Last year more than 700 bloggers signed on to participate along with the Nester, so it was pretty hard to miss. I admired the blogs I followed who committed to writing every day for the month of October. […]

The Backyard Makeover

backyard reveal

Hey there! I can’t believe that I’m finally able to share with you our finished backyard makeover “deck-to-outdoor-rooms” project that we started way back in February of 2011. Yep, that’s a year and a half ago. I guess I don’t need to reiterate that DIY projects take awhile, do I? We worked on it when […]

Garage To Living Space: Before and After


Note: I originally wrote about our house’s transformation from a 1980′s ranch to a “what-year-was-this-built?” cottagey-farmhouse in a multi-part remodeling series during the first year of AOC. I am updating these posts by showcasing new “before and after” shots of each room and going into more details (want to make sure you don’t miss anything? Subscribe by email here or RSS here). We […]

Gazebo Reveal

Gazebo Reveal

What happens when you take a weird structure in the corner of a deck and tear out the deck around it? Make it into a gazebo! Which is exactly what we did when we tore out a huge, rotting deck… a year and a half ago. Well, we might (ok, often) take extra time for […]

How To Dry Plums

how to dry plums

Of all the fruits I preserve in some way – freezing, canning, or drying – dried plums are probably my family’s favorite. They are simply a wonderful chewy-tart snack that we eat almost as fast as I can dry them. And they are NOT prunes – they don’t have that off-putting texture or smell, nor […]

All About The Kitchen Remodel

kitchen counters before

This is a sight I’ve been waiting to see for eight years: demolishing the 30-year-old tile in our kitchen, wha-hoo! Which means we’ve started the last stages of our kitchen remodel which was begun when we sprayed everything with white paint in 2004 right after buying our house and was continued when we retrofitted a cabinet to […]

French Bench Makeover {Using Drop Cloth And A Sharpie}


I’m happy to report that another project from my unfinished project list is checked off! This happened to be probably the easiest one of all and turned out to be really fun. Remember this French-style bench I found at a local thrift store: This style is actually hard to find here where we live, so […]

DIY Wood Tags Three Ways


You might have realized by now that I’m always on the lookout for simple handmade gift ideas that I can recreate for a fraction of the cost. In fact, you can find a whole series on handmade gifts here. I think homemade gifts are fun to give (and get!) because there’s a little bit of you […]

The Evolution Of An Entry

Entryway Changes

Note: I originally wrote about our house’s transformation from a 1980′s ranch to a “what-year-was-this-built?” cottagey-farmhouse in a multi-part remodeling series three years ago. I will be updating these posts over the next few months by showcasing the “before and after” of each room and going into more details (Want to make sure you don’t […]

Chicken Coop Progress!

Coop before side_mark

I’m so excited to share with you the progress we’ve made on our future chicken coop! Since I’ve been talking for years about wanting to keep a few chickens on our acre, you all can probably guess how fun it is to finally see it coming together. We started with this three-sided structure on our […]

Ballard-Style Mud Room Shelves {A Pinterest Challenge}


We finally completed our mudroom shelves! This room actually serves as both a laundry room and a mudroom and after organizing the laundry side a few months ago, I was anxious to tackle the gardening shelves on the mudroom side. Uh-em…”anxious” here being a relative term since it was a few months ago. But (hopefully) […]

Dining Room Before and After

Dining Room-before-after

Note: I originally wrote about our house’s transformation from a 1980′s ranch to a “what-year-was-this-built?” cottagey-farmhouse in a multi-part remodeling series three years ago. I will be updating these posts over the next few months by showcasing the “before and after” of each room and going into more details (want to make sure you don’t […]

Craigslist French Chairs

French chairs before

  I have been searching awhile for French-style chairs. Though I probably should clarify that I mean chairs I could afford, because I know that Ballard Designs sells these similar French chairs on sale for $449.00. {cough} So of course I turned to Craigslist. Only to discover that the used French-style furniture that seems so […]

5 Tips To Transition A Kid Room To A Teen Room


There comes a time in your child’s life when you are faced with the moment you’ve been dreading anticipating preparing for: your little baby is a preteen or teenager who has outgrown that little kid room you always thought was so cute. It happens in every child’s life – they want their room to reflect […]

13 Ways To Organize A Workroom WIth Vintage {And Thrifted} Finds


Looking through the photos for my article about updating and refreshing my workroom, I realized that I used many of my favorite vintage finds to organize all the little things that are a part of most offices and studios. Most of the things I now use as containers were purchased super-cheap at thrift stores and […]

Workroom Update: Before And After Photos

Use Vintage Items in Workroom

Ahhhh…. That’s me breathing a sigh of relief every time I walk into my workroom now- a room I walk into every day, so you can imagine the impact this has made on me. OK, that sounded way out of perspective – it’s just a clean and more organized room, after all – but what […]

How To Make A French-Style Bench From Old, Broken Chairs

French Styled Bench

As promised,here is a tutorial on how to make a bench from two old, broken dining chairs in a classic French/European style. We finally finished it enough to photograph for you after I saw folks pinning the unfinished version I posted a while ago. I’m sewing a cushion for it, so it’s not totally done, […]

The Unfinished DIY Post

Garden shelf-1 basket

  Here I am on a Thursday, thinking about what post I could have up for Friday (what- you thought I always had them done way in advance? I am SO not that person). I like to have some sort of DIY article for Fridays (though obviously, that’s not a hard-and-fast rule around here…uh-hem), but […]

Brown Paper Floor Technique: FAQs


My most viewed post and video, by far, is the Brown/Kraft Paper DIY Alternative to Wood Flooring tutorial: how to cover a floor in brown kraft paper to create a great, leather-looking surface. And after having this tutorial get published in Cottages and Bungalows magazine in April 2011 (woot!), more readers and bloggers have tried it […]

Super Easy Spring Candle Craft


I love ten minute crafts, don’t you? These candles I created for our Simple Spring Mantel were so easy to make by wrapping plain pillar candles with burlap. I also used this same idea for our Christmas mantel, except I wrapped the candles in book pages- so you can see how flexible this simple idea […]

Shop The House To Refresh A Bedroom

shop house to refresh a room

Sometimes it takes awhile to come up with the perfect solution for a problem area. Or maybe that’s just me. Whatever. Anyway, this wonderful old dresser and mirror had been gifted to me last spring by a dear friend (when our kids were little I had asked her to think of me if she ever […]

Simple Spring Mantel


Since I loved my winter mantel so much, I haven’t wanted to change it out before now. The daffodils started blooming in our yard this last week and that prompted me to finally give the mantel a new look. I kept the background black window, shopped the house, and did a quick and simple craft […]

Gallery Wall Memories

Gallery wall forks

I mentioned previously that our new gallery wall is full of things that hold memories for us – a print from a place we visited, something from our childhoods, things our children made. Some are just things that I like, but they tell a story, too. Like these forks I found in a thrift store years […]

An Eclectic Gallery Wall

Eclectic Gallery Wall

I’m happy to say that the gallery wall I’ve been working on for a couple of months is finally finished! It’s a bit different than other gallery walls I’ve seen, though I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use a lot of things we already had. To that end, I went looking for […]

Beginner Pinterest Q & A

Pinterest Logo

Even though there are lots of tutorials out there, I’ve gotten a number of questions- here and in real life – about the basics of Pinterest, so I thought I’d do a quick introduction for those who need it. If you are a Pinterest-pinning fool, this isn’t for you, however- I’d love for you to […]

How To Stencil A Drop Cloth Shower Curtain

Want an easy way to refresh your bathroom? Change the shower curtain. It’s by far the biggest thing in the room, so it usually sets the tone for the rest of the room. Unless the rest of the room is a loud, colored tile– that would pretty much grab all the attention. Unfortunately, shower curtains […]

Top Tutorials Post- Not!

This actually should be titled, “Where is the 2011 Tutorial post you promised?” Well, I kinda got tired of all the “Top Ten” posts and wanted to be done with them, already. *blush* And if I’m tired of them, I figured you would be, too. I’m ready to move on to the new year- and […]

Top Ten DIY Projects from 2011

Sometimes it feels like all we do are do-it-yourself projects. One of our kids asked during the summer, “Is this place ever going to be finished?” Little do they know…little do they know. However as I looked back through the year’s posts, I found only 10 that qualified as DIY. Really? Surprised myself there- although […]

Book Page Ornament Tutorial: Accordion-Fold Rosette

Fanned bk pg. ornament

Ornaments made from vintage book pages seem to be pretty popular. There are many different kinds I’ve seen, and I made a few this year to add to our Christmas decorations. I like them all, but my favorite is this Rosette Ornament I made with accordion folds. You definitely get a lot of bang for […]

Vintage Sheet Music Wreath

Vintage Sheet Music Wreath

Here is my favorite new item that I made for this Christmas season and alluded to when I wrote about our new ornaments and decorations using vintage book pages: a vintage sheet music wreath! Isn’t she something? I really, really like what it brings to the entry area of our great room. Since it tops […]

Christmas Mantel Before and After

When we started decorating for Christmas last week, this is what our mantel looked like. My daughter and I collaborated on it – well, it was mostly my daughter, because I was busy making new ornaments and decorations (more on that tomorrow!) However it got done, I think it turned out nice. Last year we […]

Red Beans And Rice: Gift In A Jar


When I shared the recipe for Rosemary Focaccia in a Jar, I knew I’d want a soup or other food that would go along with the bread in a gift basket, so I came up with Red Beans and Rice. I think it would make a unusual gift, with the bonus of a reusable container […]

How to Transfer A Monogram To Wood: The Low-Tech, Non-Artsy, Super Easy Way


I really wanted to do something special and different with these garage sale chairs when I decided to redo them (see the before and after of the chairs here). Painting them something other than white (my go-to color) was the first step. Covering the seats with burlap (really popular right now) was the second step. […]

Queen Anne Styled Chair Before and After

green chair after

These Queen Anne Style chairs have been in our family for more than 10 years- ever since I brought them home from a garage sale in their original maple-brown, beaten up finish. I think I paid $10 for the pair and I immediately painted them a biscuit-white color, which I loved. I covered the seat […]

How To Wrap A Box With A Lid


A couple years ago, I wrote about our family’s easy gift wrapping system. A key component of this system is wrapping sturdy boxes and the lids that come with them separately so that they can be opened without tearing the paper and then be reused from year to year. While the finished box looks complicated, […]

Rosemary Focaccia: Handmade Gift In A Jar


If you’ve read here awhile, you probably remember that one of my favorite things to give are gift baskets. I love how creative one can be with them – I’ve received some of my favorite cooking utensils in baskets – and that they work for a lot of different types of families. Of course one […]

How To Recover Dining Room Chairs

These $5 Craigslist chairs have become one of my favorite furniture face lifts in awhile. They were pretty easy to do and I just love how great they look with the $50 Craigslist table I redid last year. In fact, as I wrote in the before and after for the chairs, I’m actually surprised at […]

Painting With An Inexpensive Handheld Paint Sprayer

Brian and I had always heard that inexpensive, handheld paint sprayers didn’t work and weren’t worth the trouble. We have borrowed a contractors airless paint sprayer a couple of times to paint the entire inside of our house and more recently when we painted the outside, so we know what they can do and how […]

Master Bedroom Paper Floor Problem

In Monday’s post, I alluded to an issue I had last week that involved gluing, crying, tearing, and gluing again. And then I left you hanging. Not very nice of me. I’m sure that some of you have been up at night just wondering what on earth happened. Well, you can rest easy tonight. Here’s […]

Before And After: $5 Chairs

old chair before

Remember these chairs I found on Craigslist for $5 each last October? Um, I know it’s been awhile, but rack your brain and maybe you’ll remember. We needed sturdy chairs and I wasn’t finding any I liked in my price range, so we bought these cheap ones to give us (and our guests!) something secure […]

Does Homemade Deodorant Work?

This post is going to get a little personal. As in: something I’ve never told anyone. And since no one (including Brian) ever mentioned it, I’m assuming it was only me who was bothered so much about this thing. Huh? OK, here goes. *deep breath* I smelled. Stunk. Couldn’t stand the smell of myself in […]

Dog Poo On A Jute Rug

What’s wrong with this picture? You can see the beautiful new wood floor that we put in just two weeks ago, but not the jute/wool rug that I’ve been sorta in love with since we put it down. It was a good deal, soft to the touch, and just the look I wanted. The perfect […]

A New Floor

Finally! We were able to pull out all the hideous, stained, tannish-white, 20-year-old carpet and replace it with a prefinished, engineered wood floor. I cannot explain to you how happy and relived I am to have that carpet gone. Relived? Yeah- I seriously didn’t know what was lurking in that carpet. It just really grossed […]

New Herb Garden: Before and After

We are still in the process of our backyard deck transformation- going from a huge, unusable, rotting deck to multiple outdoor rooms connected by gravel paths. Yes, we started five months ago, but it’s one of those DIY projects that we have to take in steps for various reasons- financial, time, and weather. But we […]

How to Paint a Faded Outdoor Umbrella

Revive a Faded Outdoor Umbrella with Spray Paint - An Oregon Cottage

***See Update below to find out how this technique lasted*** We’ve had our black canvas outdoor umbrella for about five years. During most of that time we did not have a garage or anyplace to store it for the winter and the constant exposure has caused the black to slowly fade to gray. Surprisingly, though, it’s […]

Family Work Day: Garden Before and After

I love my family! Remember when I shared last fall how the work day became my new favorite family tradition as we worked together to paint houses and transform yards. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in a day when people come together. We decided we’d have a round of spring workdays spread throughout […]

Easy, Custom Duvet/Comforter Cover

My daughter and I bought the material for this project last November. How does this much time go by? Ugh. She’s been very patient, and I finally finished it today. Seriously. She gets major kudos for not bugging me weekly about it, because she was very excited about it. Back in November. Um, well…I think […]

An Idea For Broken, Old Chairs

broken chair bench

I just had to share with you something Brian’s been working on- even though it’s not done yet. See this old chair? Yeah- it doesn’t look so bad in this picture, but trust me, it was not safe to sit on. As in, coming apart at the seams. And no amount of gluing and clamping […]

Paper Floor Inspiration

Since being featured in the April edition of Cottages and Bungalows, I’ve heard from a number of people who’ve either taken the leap and ripped up their carpet, replacing it with paper like we detailed in our DIY Paper Floor/Alternative to Wood Flooring video, or are planning to. Rachel from Lovely Crafty Home has transformed […]

Backyard Redo Progress

We have made progress in our backyard-rotting-deck-makeover! It’s one of those projects that is moving along slowly, but it is moving along- whew. If you recall, this is what we inherited when we moved to this house six years ago: A huge deck. As in, gargantuan. And very square. And boring. And without purpose (I […]

How To Make A Canvas Log Carrier


Since we moved to a house with a fireplace insert, finding an easy way to bring wood into the house became an issue we didn’t used to have. Well, bringing in wood without leaving a trail of bark and wood shavings, that is. When I saw a canvas log carrier advertised last fall that sold […]

How To Retrofit A Cabinet For A Microwave

As the first step towards a small remodel of our kitchen, adding an over-the-range microwave has made a huge difference already in how we’re able to use our kitchen and counters. However, we had to reconfigure the cabinet above the stove to make this a reality, and of course we are sharing the steps with […]

Before And After: First Step To A Refreshed Kitchen

Range Before (sorta-there were doors on the upper cabs)I shared with you awhile ago that we were planning to give our kitchen a “mini remodel” that will eventually include: new wood counters new sink & faucet beadboard backsplash fixing some holes (literal ones…) in the cabinetry repaint the cabinets with a lighter color replace counter […]

How To Clean And Care For A Cast Iron Pan (Or How I Learned To Love Cast Iron)

Loving Cast Iron

I cannot tell you how excited I am to be able to write about my success with a cast iron pan. Because for many years I was not successful. How many? Twenty years- and I wish I were joking. I aquired my cast iron pan shortly after Brian and I were married- I think it […]

We’ve Been Featured In Cottages & Bungalows!

Do you remember when I mentioned I had an exciting announcement? I can hardly believe I’m able to tell you this: Our DIY paper floor treatment is featured in the April edition of Cottages & Bungalows!! It’s been killing me to keep it under wraps, especially when I’ve heard that other people had already seen […]

Sad Saturday- The Chair Experiment

You know what’s the saddest part about today’s Sad Saturday? That I didn’t even realize until a week ago that I had totally missed January’s Sad Saturday! Never even thought about it. I’d like to say it was because there just wasn’t anything sad happening, but I think it’s just me getting old. *smile* Maybe […]

Are You Ready For Another Sad Saturday?

Well, we missed it in January, but Sad Saturday is back for February! (You can even watch a video Brian did about it!) This Saturday (the 12th) I’ll post a sad tale from around the cottage and provide a linky so you can post something sad, too. Or you can leave a comment, it’s up […]

Two Projects Started

Whoo-hoo- we’re on our way to checking off a couple of projects on our 2011 To-Do List! Notice how I wrote on our way and not finished. Hey, we’ve got to celebrate the baby steps around here. It might take us longer to do-it-ourselves, but it eventually gets done, even if it’s 6 years later- […]

How (And Why) To Make The Best Flax Seed Pillows

How to make flax seed pillows

My whole family loves using these easy-to-make flax seed pillows for everything from sore necks to foot warmers (on cold nights it’s a treat to slide into bed with warm toes!). And they have been one of the most popular gifts I have given as well as one of the most popular things I sold […]

Tutorial: Simple French Baguettes {aka, The Bread You Can’t Stop Eating}

Easy French Baguettes

I’ve been wanting to post this bread recipe for awhile, because next to Easy Artisan Bread, it’s my favorite bread to make. It’s mixed and kneaded in a food processor, (although, like anything, it can be made by hand) so most of the preparation time is spent waiting for the rise. In fact, this can […]

Favorite DIY Projects From 2010

On behalf of all of us here at An Oregon Cottage (Sounds grand, doesn’t it? Much better than the reality of just me, Brian, and two kids who would rather do anything else that help with DIY projects!), I present to you our 10 favorite projects from 2010: 1. Painting the outside of our house. […]

No-Sew (Almost), Painted Burlap Table Runner

So, I’ve been wanting to make a burlap table runner for awhile now. I’ve been seeing them all over the blogosphere, most notably a fringed runner at Cottage and Vine that inspired my fringe (albeit simpler), and Mason Bay who included a tutorial on painting a stripe on the runner. However, I wanted to make […]

Greeting Card Organizer


This is a gift we received from my sister at our early Christmas celebration (make sure to see the other four cool gifts, too) which I couldn’t wait to share with you all. It’s a greeting card organizer that came with cards and even important family events for us to remember and I am really excited […]

Four Terrific Handmade Gift Ideas

suet bird gift

We had our annual early Christmas with some of my extended family over the weekend and I couldn’t wait to share with you some of the clever and unique handmade gifts they came up with! I think I’ve shared with you before that my siblings and I try to exchange simple handmade gifts in lieu […]

Bulletin Board Push Pins From Vintage Buttons And Jewelry

bulletin board push pins

Do you have old clip earrings, pins or costume jewelry stashed away somewhere? Me, too – I’ve picked up a lot of old buttons and jewelry over the years, thinking to use them in crafts. While most are very beautiful they really wouldn’t ever be used for their original purpose anymore. Inspired by cute push […]

Sad Saturday- The Porch Cover Fail

Half of our long front porch is covered by the roof. The other half just has a lattice of 2 x 6s beams with 1 x 2s running sideways. This looks nice but lets the sun and the famous Oregon rain beat down on our freshly painted railing and makes the porch slippery to walk […]

Tutorial: iPad or eReader Cover From Old Ski Pants

diy ereader cover

Need a gift for a techie? How about a cover for one of their electronics? This cover is a fairly easy sewing project, although you do need basic sewing skills. Since it’s a custom fit it would work with any size Pad, eReader, or other small electronic device. This project came about because Brian bought […]

How To Make A Wood Table Clock


This little wooden table clock is a really cute and easy gift- even for the “less crafty” among us. It takes just a few easy steps and some inexpensive materials to create this- and not much time involved, either! I made one for myself when I gave these as gifts a few years ago, and I […]

How To Make A Rustic Wall Clock

Rustic Wall Clock

Today I’m going to show you how to make an easy (I swear!) rustic wall clock. This makes a great gift- I made these a number of years ago for my family for Christmas and they all loved them. In fact, they were way more enthusiastic for them than I thought they’d be! Isn’t this […]

Before and After: Thrift Store Lamp

shiny brass lamp before

This is a lovely brass lamp. Maybe someone, somewhere, still enjoys a nice, shiny brass lamp, but me? I’m looking for more subtle lamp bases. Specifically, I’ve been looking for a black lamp to go in the living room after my “mini-makeover” last spring. It needed to be pretty big, and I’ve found those come […]

What I’m Doing On Black Friday

The short answer is, “Not shopping.” I gave a long answer last year around this time, complete with suggestions of homemade gifts you could give if you like to avoid all the “black Friday” hubbub, too. Some of them will sound familiar because I’ve gone into more detail on some for the Handmade Gifts series […]

Handmade Gifts: A Dozen Gift Basket Ideas

cleaning recipes for gift basket

I’m going to be posting a series of handmade gift ideas and tutorials that will run occasionally through the holidays. Though now that I think about it, I’m sure I will want to do more posts for other holidays or birthdays- I don’t want to put myself in a box. “Never put Baby in a […]

Gifts From The Garden: Two Themed Basket Ideas


If you grow your own herbs and vegetables it’s an awesome bonus to be able to use them in gifts to give to family and friends, isn’t it? Making and giving food items isn’t particularly unusual, but are they sure are wonderful, simple, and inexpensive gifts to give. And, as a recipient of some myself – […]

November Sad Saturday

Welcome to the third Sad Saturday where we share our “learning experiences.” Right. Let’s hope I learn not to do this again: A few weeks ago I was making my apple dip caramel sauce for our annual apple tasting. There’s a point in the recipe where you’ve got to stir constantly. As in, don’t do […]

Painting The Cottage: Before And After (And…You Guessed It- Another Video!)

Now that I’ve shared with you all our painting projects, how we chose the color to paint the outside of our house, and our new “family work day” tradition where we got all the trim painted, it’s time to end the suspense and share with you the finished product- in both photos and a video […]

Sad Saturday Is This Weekend

November 13 is the second Saturday of the month, so that must mean it’s a Sad Saturday! Get those posts or stories ready that will make us all feel better about our failures mistakes. I’m either going to give you another recipe disaster or let Brian tell you about one of his sad things, but […]

Family Work Day: My Favorite New Tradition

Last week I told you about a new tradition my sister started in our family, a seasonal work day, and I shared with you the before and after pictures from her backyard makeover. On another work day we helped my other sister’s family prep and spray the exterior of their house. Can you guess what […]

How We Chose Our House Color (Plus A Cool Video!)

Remember back in August when I asked for some help in choosing a color to paint our house? Well, you guys gave some awesome feedback that really helped us make our decision. Specifically, it was mentioned that deeper shades of yellow fade on south facing walls, which I hadn’t really thought about. That kind of […]

DIY Painting At An Oregon Cottage

We’ve spent our entire married life painting one project or another. Frankly, we didn’t have much choice if we wanted to complete projects. But it would’ve never occurred to us to hire out painting jobs, since it was one of the things we could do and would allow us to save our cash for things […]

Work Day: The Major Yard Makeover

My extended family has taken a couple of Saturdays this fall to have “work days” where we tackle a major job at one of our houses. This is such a great way to accomplish a lot in a little bit of time (remember the adage, “many hands…” and all that) and also to have some […]

Dining Table Before-And-After (Plus Tutorial!)

Dining Table After

I’m excited to finally be able to share the before-and-after of our dining table, plus a step by step tutorial so you can do this too, because I found that painting and refinishing is not hard – it just takes a bit of time. So, remember me telling you about this dining table I found […]

Craigslist Table And Chairs

For more than 10 years, we have been “borrowing” a dining table that belongs to Brian’s sister. It’s a mahogany, shiny-topped pedestal table and it’s a beautiful vintage piece, too, so I loved having it to use in our other house where we had a dining room and a breakfast area. We’d use it once […]

Sad Saturday!

Up for consideration this Sad Saturday is a blast from my past that still makes me laugh: A sad, sad attempt at sourdough bread. Or pig snouts. Or UFO’s. Or a pair of really rustic discus. Or…? You choose. I’m laughing to hard to decide. (FYI: I did manage to figure out how to make […]

Second Sad Saturday This Weekend

This Saturday will be the second “Sad Saturday” link party here at An Oregon Cottage*. I’ve got an oldie-but-goodie to share with you, ’cause it still makes me laugh when I see the picture! So think about the funny failures you can share with us, write about it and then come back on Saturday to […]

Sad Saturday

Welcome to the first Sad Saturday! In case you missed the video, Sad Saturday is the place to come on the first Saturday of each month to be able to link your “oops” moments, tell us about them in the comments, or just have a gander at the mistakes others own up to here. Why? […]

The Pew Project Completed

When I wrote about our old pew we’ve had for almost 20 years back in July, I honestly didn’t think it would take this long to rehabilitate her. Gee, that makes it sound like the thing was so bad it took a month of labor to get her back in shape, doesn’t it? When all […]

Announcing “Sad Saturday” and Video

We’ve got a new monthly linky party we thought would be fun that we’re calling Sad Saturday. Huh? You know that recipe that didn’t turn out? The craft that was kaput? The DIY project you had to have someone come fix? How about the duct-taped chair leg? Take a picture, write a quick post explaining […]

What Color Should We Paint Our House?

We need to paint our house and detached garage this fall. Yes, the garage we finished a year and a half ago. I’m sure the neighbors will appreciate this. I really like the look of yellow houses with white trim. There’s something kinda farmhouse-y about it, especially with a long front porch like ours has […]

Making A Vintage Bed Fit A Modern Mattress

Remember when I mentioned the antique bed that I repainted for our daughter’s bedroom makeover? We bought this bed before our daughter was born for $25 out of a barn that it had been stored in for who knows how long. It came complete with scrapings on the foot board from horse’s teeth- luckily on […]

Kraft Paper Floor: A DIY Alternative to Wood Floors {Video Tutorial}


*UPDATE: Check out the definitive FAQ for the Paper Floor Technique where we answer all the many questions we get about this cool solution for any floor issues you may have!* Brian and I have created a video tutorial that shows all the steps needed to create a do-it-yourself floor using brown kraft paper and […]

Teen Daughter’s Bedroom Reveal

BeforeLast week I shared how we were in the throes of a mini-room makeover for our daughter while she was away visiting her grandparents. While it wasn’t as involved at the makeover our son’s room received ( nor was it a surprise) there was still a lot of labor involved. In fact, we are still […]

Organizing Strategies: Card-Making And Scrapbook Supplies


I used to scrapbook more than I do now (the baby books are finished), but when I did, I found I needed a place to store all the little tools, paper scraps and supplies. Not only did I need a place to store them, but I needed some of the papers and tools to be […]

Daughter’s Bedroom Before and (Almost) After

Our daughter is spending a week with her grandparents and we are redoing her room while she’s away. When we mention this to people, most ask if it is a surprise like our son’s bedroom makeover.Uh…no. Unlike our son, our daughter has definite ideas about what she likes and doesn’t like and we’re way past […]

The Pew Project

Today I had planned to show you the “before and after” of the pew I need to restore. Problem is, it’s still sitting in the garage waiting for someone to do something with it. Anyone raising their hand? No? I guess that just leaves me. Sheesh, where does all the time go? Although to be […]

Back to Basics: Simple Straight-Stitch Sewing

If you’ve got bread cooling on the counter, lettuce growing in a raised bed, cards ready for the next birthday, ketchup, mayo, and chocolate syrup in the fridge and jam in the freezer, what better thing to do now than sew some simple projects? And we’re talking projects that can be made with only a […]

Back To Basics: Simple All-Occasion Cards To Make

homemade cards

I hope you have made your first bread and scoped out where you are going to build your first raised garden bed! Today we are talking crafts for Back to Basics Week. But not the kind of craft that makes you feel like all thumbs. No, we’re talking about making cards which easily falls into […]

Vintage Mirror Before and After

vintage green round mirror6

I bought this vintage mirror at a yard sale about six years ago. I loved the shape and carving, so I paid $30 – a lot for me at garage sales. But I’ve never been in love with the gold painted finish. Some of the gold was really gaudy in places and the person who had […]

Is A Closet Worthy Of Beautification?

Years ago while reading a Rachel Ashwell book (wish I could remember which one…) I was inspired by her encouragement to add beauty to all the areas of our life. Specifically, she mentioned making the cupboards and closets we see daily into something lovely that would bring us joy. Up to that point I always […]

How To Make a Dresser Into a Vanity

Dresser to Vanity

I’ve always admired dressers converted into vanities. In our city bungalow there just wasn’t enough room in either bathrooms for a dresser-vanity, so when it came time to remodel the bathrooms in our current house I was happy to see there would be enough room in the master bath, but just barely. Although I do confess […]

The Remodeling Series Wrap-Up And A New Video

An Oregon Cottage Before and After - 2004-09

For those of you who’ve been with me from the first part of the Remodeling Series (ahem…last August), I just want to say thank you for letting me write overly-long posts where I could ramble ad-nauseam about my likes, dislikes, failures, and successes surrounding DIY remodeling. So, in gratefulness for reading, commenting, and hanging in there […]

The Remodeling Series Part 7: The Master Bath

Master Bath Remodel After - An Oregon Cottage

This is part 7 of Our Whole-House Remodeling Series. I hope you enjoyed our main bath remodel that I shared yesterday. While I really like that bathroom, I’m excited to show you our master bathroom because I love it! More than a year later I still walk into it and marvel at the changes. This is what we started […]

The Remodeling Series, Part 6: The Main Bath

Main Bath Remodel After - Cabinet Vanity_An Oregon Cottage

I promised this last part of the Remodeling Series so long ago, I’m sure some might not even remember there was a remodeling series. But there was and I am finally ready to finish it by showing you the bathrooms and then doing a closing post on what I learned throughout our whole remodeling process […]

Video: My Best Painting Tip

I’ve painted a lot. Walls, furniture, accessories, exterior siding and trim (finished a year after the house was painted, *ahem*). You name it. I’m not sayin’ it all looked pretty, just that I painted a lot. I’m sure my first paint projects were nothing to write home about. But there’s something to be said about […]

Extreme Room Makeover: Teen Bedroom Reveal

Teen Bedroom Extreme Room Makeover - An Oregon Cottage

It’s time to finally reveal our teen son’s completely redecorated bedroom – whew! Need to catch up? See the Introduction with video here, Day One here, and Days 2,3, & More here for more details about how we accomplished a surprise week-long room makeover in 8 days while our son was on a trip to Mexico. […]

Extreme Room Makeover: Days 2, 3, & More

Make sure to watch the Introduction Video and Day One’s progress if you haven’t yet! After clearing out the room, taking up the floor moldings and carpet, we spent the rest of the week painting, putting down the budget flooring, and going through our son’s things to organize and pare down. Boy, do I have […]

Extreme Room Makeover: Day One

As you saw from the Introduction Video, we had our work cut out for us in re-doing our son’s room in nine days and on a budget. How much did we have to spend? Well, as little as we could get away with (I’ll have the breakdown for you when we do the reveal). Since […]

Extreme Room Makeover: Introduction Video

The first video of the “Extreme Room Makeover” we planned for our son while he was in Mexico during spring break is an introduction and overview of the space we had to work with. As you will see, there’s a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time, and, this is key, on a […]

The Floor Failure (Not!)

June 2010 update: It did work!! I just didn’t wait long enough for the poly to dry- after waiting the recommended time before adding furniture, most of the wrinkles were smoothed out and the ones left were just part of the effect. See the room makeover reveal where my son says “the cool floor is […]

Before and After: Lighting {Old Fixtures Become New}

brass lamp

We are in the process of redecorating our son’s room which we are documenting with a video camera to share with you all next week. In the meantime, I had to share some pictures of the solution to the lighting problems in the room. The lighting in this room was either cheap-looking or really dated. […]

Living Room Makeover Continued: The Foot Stool

After doing the first part of the living room makeover, continuing onto the bookshelves, and bringing the entryway into the same scheme, it’s time for the foot stool we use as a coffee table to receive a facelift. Sometimes I’m seduced by magazines and catalogs that have wonderful, chunky wood coffee tables in front of […]

Entryway Before and After

Entry Before OK, calling this an “entryway” may be exaggerating it a bit, but it is the place you pass through after coming in the front door, so for lack of a better name this is our entryway. I’ve never really loved what I put here, and in the last months have come to really […]

Makeover: Living Room Shelves

Living Room Shelf 1 After

I documented how I started a small makeover of my living room by changing some pillows and a lamp last week. It’s amazing to me how such a small change made me happy whenever I saw it and spurred me on to continue making changes. So last weekend I tackled the bookshelves on either side of […]

The Beginnings Of A Living Room Makeover

When we moved into our current house from our little bungalow in the city, it was more than a change of location for me, decorating-wise. You know how people routinely tear out the walls of old houses to “open them up?” Well, I loved all our little rooms in our bungalow and when I go […]

Fun, Easy Christmas Ornaments

The kids and I decorated these ornaments a couple of years ago and they are still one of our favorites. They sparkle and look a lot like store-bought ones. We use them everywhere- on the tree, in bowls, and on greens down the table with candles. All you need are:1. Plain ornaments-we used silver, frosted […]

Remodeling Series Part 5: Garage Conversion {Offices}

Garage Remodel Workroom Windows - An Oregon Cottage

See parts 1-4 of the remodeling series here. Here again is our hallway from the kitchen into the former garage. In part four of our whole house remodeling series I showed you the room to the left in the hallway, the laundry room. Now it’s time to visit the other rooms that we converted our garage […]

The Anti-Black Friday Post

I’ve been a part of a couple of “Black Friday” surveys in the past week and I’m always the one who chooses “You couldn’t pay me to shop on Black Friday” as my answer.It’s just the last thing I would like to be doing on that day. The crowds. The lines. The fights. And don’t […]

Remodeling Series Part 4: Garage Conversion {Laundry/Mud Room}

Garage Conversion Outside Before - An Oregon CottageGarage Conversion Outside Before - An Oregon Cottage

See remodeling series parts 1 – 3 here. This is what our garage looked like when we bought our house – your typical ranch-style attached garage. We knew the house was too small when we bought it (Brian works from home and the main house consisted of only one large great room in addition to the […]

My Favorite Salsa For Canning-Tutorial

favorite canned salsa

Our family LOVES salsa – if we don’t eat it everyday, at least I think it’s safe to say we eat it every other day. We have been spoiled with the flavor of salsa made with a variety of home-grown tomatoes, peppers, and onions. So every August and September I make enough batches to see […]

Remodeling Series Part 3: The Bedrooms

Bedroom 1 before - An Oregon Cottage

See parts one and two of this series here. The very first week we owned our house, we farmed the kids out to relatives, lived in our little trailer in the driveway and painted the entire inside of the house (our possessions were still in storage after selling our city house). In part two, I […]

The Remodeling Series Part 2: Painting The Great Room

Remodeling Series Hallway Before and After - An Oregon Cottage

Our remodeling saga started the first week we owned our house, even though the first part of this series started with the outside. When we bought our house, every piece of molding, all the wood, doors, ceilings, cupboards, and floors (the ones that were wood, anyway), were stained DARK walnut and the walls were all […]

The Remodeling Series Part 1: Ranch to Cottage

Exterior Front Door Before-After - An Oregon Cottage

I’ve been wanting to do a series about remodeling our 1982 ranch house into a farmhouse-cottage, which was mostly do-it-yourself and on a pretty tight budget! We learned a lot of DIY skills working on our first house – a city bungalow – which helped with this house, though the learning never ends, it seems. […]

Creating something from trash – literally!

A couple days ago I found my 12 year old daughter, Emma, rummaging through the paper recycling looking for old magazines. She’s done this before, making collages that represent all the things she’s into at the moment, so I thought that’s what she was doing again. After awhile she showed me these dogs she created […]

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