2020: Favorite thrift store makeovers

There’s nothing I love better than a good makeover, and in 2020 I did quite a few of them. Here’s a look back at my 10 favorites.

No. 10: Concrete Chicken

Concrete garden statue of chicken, after makeover
chicken statue before makeover

I played around with cement a few times in 2020. One of my first experiments was with this paper mache chicken.

I found her at a pay-by-the-pound thrift store, and since she was feather light, I tossed her in my cart and brought her home.

I thought her distinctive shape might make her a good candidate for a cement skim coat makeover.

No. 9: Painted Lamp Shade

vintage Blatz logo painted on black lamp shade
Faded striped drum shade, before the makeover

When I was cleaning my basement, I decided to throw this faded old striped drum shade into the garbage.

Then I had second thoughts and fished it out of the trash can.

No. 8: Halloween Pillow

Curiouser & Curiouser Halloween pillow
Curiouser & Curiouser Halloween tote bag

My “Curiouser & Curiouser” pillow started life as a tote bag.

As makeovers go, this one should have been simple. I just had to remove the handles, sew a zipper into one side, and stuff a pillow form inside. But as a crafter with minimal sewing skills, I struggled.

Despite my stupid mistakes and wonky stitch lines, the pillow looks great. (As long as you don’t look too closely.) 🤣 

No. 7. Vintage Thread Box

vintage thread box covered in black chalk paint and white grain sack stripes, after the makeover
vintage thread box, before the makeover

This handmade thread box was a thrift store find. I’m sure lots of shoppers passed it by because it was so beige and boring. I spiffed it up with some chalk paint and grain sack stripes. (You’ll have to read the post to see how pretty it is inside, filled with colorful spools of thread.)

No. 6: Painted Desk With Concrete Top

black desk with concrete top, after makeover
particleboard desk, before makeover

When my son moved out after college, he left this old particleboard desk behind. I didn’t love it, so I decided to give it a makeover with some black chalk paint and a cement skim coat on the desktop.

No. 5: Toy Barn Advertising Mural

toy barn with miniature advertising mural painted on the end and an opening on the side
wooden model barn with red walls, an aqua roof and beige window frames

A newspaper story about a vintage advertising mural on the side of a local barn inspired me to give my own little toy barn a makeover.

No. 4: Green Secretary Desk

painted green secretary desk
vintage secretary desk before the makeover

I bought this dark, dingy secretary desk for a song at a thrift store — and then spent years dithering over what to do with it.

It was too French and too formal for me — but I was too nervous to start hacking it up and painting over the dark wood.

This summer I finally forced myself to get on with it. And I couldn’t be happier with the results.

No. 3: Salvaged Furniture Pediment

salvaged furniture pediment
salvaged furniture pediment before the makeover

If this furniture pediment looks familiar, it’s because it was originally attached to the secretary desk I posted about in No. 4. After I hacked the pediment off, I tossed it out back, thinking it was destined for a date with the Cestkowski Family Fire Pit. But when the shiny veneer started to chip off in the rain, it got a reprieve.

No. 2: Industrial Style Jewelry Box

industrial style concrete jewelry box
industrial style concrete jewelry box, before the makeover

What to do with a hopelessly dated Early American style jewelry box?

Remove the frilly trim, give it a cement skim coat, and change out the hardware, of course.

No. 1: Bleached Wood Chair

bleached wood office chair
bleached wood office chair before the makeover

My bleached wood office chair was more of a makeunder than a makeover.

I sanded off the shiny finish, then wiped the chair down with bleach few times. The bleach stripped most of the dark color out of the wood.

Pretty sure I’ll be bleaching more wood in 2021.

Thanks for reading, friends — not only this post, but throughout the year! I’ve never been a very consistent blogger. I craft and write when I have free time, but when I get busy with real life stuff, the site goes dark for weeks (or months) on end. I appreciate all of you who hang in there and come back when I do!


4 Replies to “2020: Favorite thrift store makeovers”

  1. I enjoy reading your stories and love seeing your projects. Keep on thrifting, crafting and collecting when you can. Peace and blessings to you and your family in the New Year.

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