We will be having some guests this weekend and have been trying to get our new house ready. These were some of our inexpensive weekend projects.

– Garage sale picture frame makeovers ($2 project)
– Framed chalkboard ($4.99 project)
– Goodwill serving tray painting ($3.50 project)
– Garage sale folding chair painting ($1.89 project)
– Garage sale wooden chair painting ($13.99 project)
– Chalkboard jars (free project)

At a garage sale last weekend we found some frames for $1 each. The only issue was the missing backing to hang pictures on. First I took the liberty of painting the frames black (I used a basic acrylic paint) and then fitting them with some leftover cardboard from our recently purchased IKEA table.  The paintings that I wanted to frame were not quite large enough for the frames so I ended up painting the exposed cardboard around them. It might look nicer if I used cardstock or some other kind of matting paper, but the paint was free … so I just used that. The paint happens to be a complementary color with the painting because I used the same paint when I made them last year. Convenient!

Total cost: $2 for two frames. Acrylic paint: free (I have a bunch already) and cardboard: free.

When the boyfriend moved out of his last apartment he had some old, unused frames that were left by some former housemate. I called dibs and they have been sitting around waiting for a project ever since. It was hard to decide on which project to use them for. I like the idea of turning frames into brightly-colored spray-painted frames, old frames for jewelry holders, for chalkboards and for branch art.

The unfortunate part is that the larger frame had no backing or glass, so when I realized I could use cardboard (see: first project) I cut some to size and then found that there is such thing as chalkboard contact paper. A large roll was about $4.99 from the craft store. So I just put some on the cardboard, secured the back with some small nails, and voila! Framed chalkboard! The boyfriend has been enjoying writing me silly messages on it and decided it should be hung in the kitchen for easy access. Now I can do a weekly menu on it (love this one from sixsistersstuff) if the boy will stop writing silly things on it. 🙂

Total cost: $4.99 for chalkboard contact paper. Frame: free and cardboard: free.

This week I found a plastic serving tray at Goodwill. I liked the shape, but the colors were ugly and the plastic was turning yellow. I bought spray paint for my folding chair project anyways, so I used the leftovers on the tray. It took two coats with basic black spray paint to cover all the way. After it was dry I added some gold accents with gold acrylic paint (I don’t intend for this to be used directly for food). It took maybe an hour with drying time, and it looks sooooo much better. I might use it for a drink holder or to serve coffee on.

Total cost: $3.50. Tray from second hand shop: $3.50, can of basic spray paint: free (bought for other project) and acrylic paint: free.

I saw this awesome project a few weeks ago about colorful folding chairs on Pinterest, and decided I wanted to try this. We found a $1 chair at a garage sale that was pretty beaten up. We sanded down the original paint (the boy helped me on this part) then I painted it with one can of basic enamel spray paint and voila! Better than new, plus it matches our black table.

Total cost: $1.89. Chair from garage sale: $1 and can of basic spray paint: $.89.

We added four wooden mismatched chairs to our dining room last week, all from garage sales. I think we spent a total of $30 on the chairs, which was SO much cheaper than buying new chairs from any store. We even looked at folding chairs, and those were being sold for $10 each! Anyways, I’m very happy with our mismatched chairs. The only downside is that one was painted bright white, which doesn’t match with our house at all. Solution? Repaint! I bought a 1/2 pint of black latex paint for $3.99. I used a medium grit sandpaper before I painted, then it took two coats to cover all the way.

Total cost: $13.99. Garage sale chair: $10 and quart of latex paint: $3.99.

I loved my chalkboard mug project so much that I needed another one. Our pantry has needed organizing for some time now, so I decided to make some chalkboard labels for my collection of glass jars. You can usually find mason jars at second hand stores for about .25 cents, and I personally love reusing glass salsa and peanut butter jars. I use jars for storing everything. I think my mother is to blame for this one..

Anyways, same instructions as last time. Use Pebo porcelain chalkboard paint, let dry for 24 hours before baking. After baking, prep the surface by chalking lightly. Enjoy!

Total cost: $0. Random assortment of glass jars in my house: free and leftover porcelain paint: free.


The boyfriend’s reaction to this project “You are such a good housewife.”

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