DIY Easter Basket Project 

Rainy days and Mondays blues took on a whole new meaning with this DIY  Easter basket project.

Rainy day are made for indoor activities.  Good thing I love thunder and lightening and find them intensely beautiful ’cause we’ve seen a boatload of beauty over the last few days.


Today’s blogging soundtrack is courtesy of the Spotify Discover Weekly  playlist which changes every Monday.

First in line on this week’s list is Laughter in the Rain by Neil Sedaka.

Serendipity plays here.

rainy day

The DIY projects I do tackle are born out of necessity more than enjoyment.

When my antiques shop was open, I didn’t think twice about upholstering, repairing, or refinishing DIY projects.  Bottom line profit played a huge role in those decisions.

A fond memory of a beloved Easter basket and the futile search for one like it accounts for this DIY Easter basket project.

moving day


When the big move of 2010 took place, I left the packing and moving from the old house to the new to us house to Dave the Builder while I packed up my parent’s house for their move.

Three houses.

Two moves.

One colossal undertaking I do not recommend to the faint of heart.

In the moving mayhem, Dave made the executive decision to part ways with soooo many things I would have kept.

Whatnots and doodads can easily be replaced, but certain items qualify as irreplaceable.   One such item is the handmade Easter basket my mother bought me in 1974.

A group of ladies residing at a local care facility made the most beautiful  Easter baskets from plastic dry cleaning bags.

The plastic was pulled through a simple green berry basket, knotted on the inside, and trimmed.  An undone wire hanger shaped to fit and tightly wrapped with plastic dry cleaning bags became the basket handle.

I loved the basket, and kept it all these years.

The more I thought about it, the more I knew I wanted an Easter basket like it.

Ebay, Etsy, and the local treasure shops did not have anything even remotely close.  I saw several tutu baskets, but that’s not what I want.

As Patsy Cline said to Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter, “anything we can’t buy, we’ll make.”

Hello, DIY Easter basket project.


Begin with a bamboo Easter basket from the dollar store.

I figure if I mess it up I’m only in for a dollar.


A few pieces of scrap tulle left over from Christmas allowed for me to practice.

Once I mastered the cut and feed, it was on to the fabric department at Walmart for four yards of white net and eight yards of light blue tulle.

The texture of the white net makes it easier to fill in gaps and when fluffed out give a nice full coverage of the area you are working with.


Supply list:

Bamboo Easter basket
8 yards light blue tulle
4 yards white net
1 roll 1½” wide white grosgrain ribbon
Easter grass
Speckled Easter eggs
Hot glue gun
Glue stick
Binder clips



I worked with two lengths of fabric and multiple layers.


I cut the tulle and the net into 12″ strips for layers 3, 4, and 5, and  8″ inch strips for the layers 1 and 2.

More layers make for a fuller look, and shorter layers around the basket rim beautifully cover and conceal the bamboo.


Feed a strip of tulle or net through the spaces in the basket with half the strip on the outside and the other half of the strip on the inside of the basket.

After an exhaustive and empty-handed search for my crochet hook, I just used my fingers to feed the fabric through the basket.

Yes, I made a couple of larger than need be holes in the basket.

You may notice the blue and white ribbon in the image below.

If you make the same uh-oh simply cut a piece of ribbon, feed it through, bring it up catching the layer above, and tie with a knot.  Trim the excess ribbon and problem fixed.

Tulle and net are forgiving, and when fluffed and fanned out cover a multitude of DIY sins.


Work with a two blue tulle strips to one white net strip repeat all the way around each layer of the basket.


Fluff and fan out each side of the fabric to desired fullness.

Trim each layer of tulle and net down to the desired lengths to create extra fullness.

tulle-net-speckled-eggsFire up the hot glue gun.

Use caution when using a hot glue gun so you don’t burn your fingers.

glue gun

Use a binder clip, clothespin, or hair clip (you get the idea) to hold the ribbon in place.


Wrap the basket handle with the ribbon.  Secure the ribbon to the base of the basket handle with several drops of hot glue.


Trim each layer of the tulle and net to desired lengths to create extra fullness and correct any unevenness.


Complete the look by filling the basket with Easter grass and decorative Easter eggs.


I’m very pleased with the finished product.

Dave swears it’s prettier than the original one I had, and I think he may be right.

Isn’t it funny how a memory of a beloved Easter basket became such a source of inspiration.

It really is everywhere.

love your style






DIY Dorm Room Decor Ideas

DIY dorm room decor ideas are on the project list for the pretty on a penny back-to-campus crowd.

wheat penniesFlickr

Back to campus condos, townhouses, apartments, and sorority house rooms and the furniture pieces that fill them need decor love too, and decor and DIY design class is in session.


Dorm decor is a study in ever-evolving styles and tastes.  Gone are the dorm days of cinder block bookcases and anything will do furnishings.

Thank goodness the old-school school of thought has taken a page from the book of back-to-campus DIY dorm room decor ideas.

Updates + Embellishments = Wow Factor


Appliques and decorative hardware go a long way in the fight against bland, and a can of gold spray paint or brass caster cups will color your world and furniture legs.

DIY-furniture-embellishmentsWhat You’ll Need:

  • screwdriver
  • decorative hardware
  • tape measure or ruler
  • rosette appliques- see directions below.
  • adhesive caulk
  • gold spray paint
  • brass caster cup

I highly recommended that you paint/finish our appliques before you install them.  Once installed, you can apply any necessary touch‐up paint/finish.

Clean installation surface and back of appliques of all dirt and dust with a clean cloth or sponge.  Make sure that the surface and the back of the applique are completely dry before attempting installation.

Measure and mark the location where the applique is going to be installed.  Lay the applique face down on a soft surface that will not scratch/dent the applique detail.

Apply a ½” bead of adhesive caulk all the way around  the back edge of the applique.  When pressing the applique up against the surface, some adhesive caulk will seep out.

Smooth excess caulk around the applique with a finger or the putty
knife and apply extra caulk that is needed to fill in any
gaps.  Wipe off any excess adhesive caulk with a sponge or damp rag.

MOPPE Mini storage chest, birch plywood

Moppe Mini Storage Chest

Emails delivered and detailing DIY dorm room decor ideas are the gift that keeps on giving.

Brittni Mehlhoff of the blog Paper & Stitch brilliantly shows us how she transformed a Moppe Mini Storage Chest from Ikea into a stylish sight to behold.

Click the link above to visit her post where she shows and tells us how to achieve the look.


Added to the prime DIY project list is taking a vintage office chair found at your favorite thrift shop, yard sale, or curbside boutique and zhushing it up  with a DIY faux fur seat cushion.


Purchase an inexpensive chair pad and get to covering!

What You’ll Need:

  • chair cushion
  • scissors
  • faux fur fabric
  • permanent fabric adhesive

Using a tape measure, measure the length of the chair pad from top to bottom from each bottom edge.

Add 2-4 additional inches to the measurements allowing for the fold.

Most of the faux fur fabrics available at run 54-58 inches wide. Cut fabric to size.

My upholstering formula is not rocket science.

Place the fabric fur side down on a flat surface. Place the chair cushion on fabric.

Working with one-side-at-a-time, apply a line of fabric glue along the edge.

Gently fold the fabric up over side of chair cushion to desired tightness.

Fold corner (like wrapping a present) and continue with the one-side-at-a-time glue and fold technique.

Trim excess fabric from sides and corners and voilà!

Vegan-Leather-Mid-Back-Office-Chair-with-Arms-1 (1)

Take your desk chair transformation a DIY step further with a can of spray paint.

Jessen 1-Drawer White Nightstand

Jessen 1-Drawer White Nightstand

Decorative details take an inexpensive nightstand to luxe heights.


Replace standard issue hardware with designer knobs and pulls and all that’s left to do is marvel at your masterpiece.


Factory primed and ready for paint or faux finish molding rosettes make super chic decorative drawer front accents.

Lining drawers with stylish fabric or wallpaper lends a designer look.

Heron Print Wallpaper Gucci

Dorm room decorating days are here again.  Take a course in smart, savvy and stylish back to campus DIY.






Bargains,Thrifting Finds And Imperfections

A good bargain, the perfect find, and a successful Goodwill run is the lagniappe of my day, and I like lagniappe.

Thrifting, flea market, or auction finds aren’t usually free, but if the find is really good or exactly what you’ve been looking for it’s both a gift and a bonus! When we walked into Goodwill I didn’t know I was looking for a triple switch plate cover, but evidently I was. A bargain archaeologist I am not. I do not like to dig through, over, or under anything looking for something- that’s Dave the Builder’s role.

The switch plate cover was sitting between two other items- a decorative box and some item I can’t recall. The first item Dave picked up was the box. He opened it up and loudly proclaimed, “there’s a hundred dollar bill in here!”  Now I’ve known this man and his brand of humor for 35 years however, the two gentlemen standing next to us have not. Bless their hearts, they almost broke their necks looking to see if in fact a Ben Franklin was up for grabs. By the way, Dave’s comedy routine at our local Goodwill got a huge laugh.

Back to the switch plate. I consulted with Dave to get his mechanical and electrical opinion. With a thumbs up things started to get interesting. I noticed a piece of the bottom banner was chipped off.  I reasoned if I could not live with it I would simply chip off the intact piece on the other side. The persuasive pot was sweetened when I realized  the store was having a special sticker something or other additional 40% off sale bringing the total price to $2.17.  Ring- it- up, baby!

The breakfast area toggle light switch situation was updated to the new and so very improved rocker style.

I darkened the plate with a thin coat of Americana acrylic paint in raw umber. What areas a foam brush can’t get to and the initial coat won’t cover a Q-tip dipped in paint will.

The color deepens the details and camouflages the imperfection. I’m debating leaving the switch plate in its present form. Would performing decorative surgery by removing the detail on the left side in order to smooth out the imperfect edges make such a huge difference to the finished look, or would it not move the needle enough to matter?

As odd as it sounds, the story is found in the imperfection. That’s the wonderful thing about certain items and objects we use in our decor. The story, the memories, and the tales of the hunt that go along with the bargains, thrifting finds and imperfections is often what is so appealing.

Love your style!


DIY Dining Room Chair Redo Considerations

DIY dining room chair redo time is coming around again at Places In The Home.

DIY time is born out of I know exactly what piece, accessory or accent I want, but can’t find it necessity.

The following custom detail must have requirements apply as well to the DIY dining room chair redo considerations checklist:

A supreme case of sticker shock aka having a there is no way  I’m paying   that moment.

The piece would be perfect if only the finish was________  and the   upholstery was________.

Not one nailhead in sight.

Dave the Builder’s mad building, refinishing and reupholstering skills.

Patience is the virtue of a determined interior designer and or do-it-yourself aficionado.

I try not to allow decorative compromise into my vocabulary.

Here at Chez Places In The Home the mantra remains have ideas, will repurpose redo-renovate-reupholster or re anything.

We like to “re” things.


This picture is about three years old, and the only one I can quickly locate showing the first of two sets of six dining chairs I have in my DIY sights.

The upholstered chairs around the oak dining table are one of Dave the Builder’s “you need to get these” fueled purchases.

On a antiques buying trip and between antiques shop and antiques auction shopping.


Let me explain.

Between antiques shop and antiques auction shopping is the time in our treasure hunting day before the antiques auction begins when we scope out antiques shops for shop ready to go pieces.

Time is money, and in many cases it’s a better deal for us to purchase shop ready to go pieces from fellow dealers.

Repair , refinishing and reupholstering costs can negate the deal you think you’ve gotten on a piece purchased at auction.

The Walnut set is Circa early 1900’s.

Each chair has decorative marquetry inlay with  mother of pearl below the arch.

I’ve lost count of how many times I have pulled them from inventory to use at home and added them back to the shop inventory.

Currently they are pulled and first in line for “re” consideration.


The second set of dining chairs under consideration presently reside in Dave’s man cave.

As you can see in the above image, this particular chair will require a fair amount of diy tender loving care.

Our dear friend and fellow antique dealer purchased a container of English antiques over ten years ago.

She hit the dining room chair mother load with this container- hundreds (and I do mean hundreds) of dining chairs in the container.

Dave the Builder swung by the shop to pick up a delivery and our friend asked him if he wanted a set of the chairs.


Dave brought the chairs home and asked me the famous question, “do you think we can do anything with them?”

We can sure try!

Under consideration is a combination of colors from the Annie Sloan line.

French Linen, Country Grey, Louis Blue or Paris Grey will be the most effective in achieving a country French result.

A half and half “recipe” may produce the desired color I have in mind for the chairs.

The colors mix well together to fine tune and produce the color which is best for your project.


This is what I have planned for the chairs.

First and foremost, we will be de-Englishing (my term) the heck of these babies.

It will require removal of the ornamental fan wood pieces below the seat.

Some of the stretchers are missing, and in order to keep the integrity of the look we will have to replace all the stretchers.

On second thought, I may not even use stretchers on the redo.

Dave can remove the stretchers, and if need smooth over the area with filler.

Did you notice the water damage on the front legs?

Fine sand paper and a KILZ stain blocker will fix that right up.

Although not always a necessary step, it makes me feel more secure to go ahead and do it in order to eliminate any bleed through.

Nailheads no more will be the next step.

French Antique Hemp, Upholstery, Craft Panel

French Antique Hemp, Upholstery, Craft Panel

Farmhouse fabulous with a touch of French flair.


Although the style of these chairs by no means lives up to this gorgeous source of inspiration seen below, modifications and applications can be made to introduce style options.

antique accent chair zebra upholstery



I’ll soon share images to help show the general idea of where I’m going with this project.

Love your style!



The King Has Left The Building And All I Got Was This Walnut Table

This story comes from our bartering files.  A friend who happens to own one of our favorite sources for architectural and whimsical finds recently attended a festival in New Orleans.  In her buying rounds she found an original oil painting of a Mardi Gras King, purchased it to keep, but on second thought placed it in her shop for sale.

The painting caught my eye the minute I walked in the shop.  I kept going back to it knowing deep down it was coming home with me.   As I was paying for our other treasures I scooped it up and told her I had to have it.

I put it at Hopefully Classic, where it got rave reviews.



I have one very blurred picture of the King that shall remain unposted.  The overhead fluorescent lighting/ white walls motif  throughout the entire antique mall makes it virtually impossible to produce pleasing photos. See the proof of it in the image below.

Instead, I will post a picture of one funny and revered Mardi Gras King, Mr. Will Ferrell.


In the King’s debut week one of our regular customers fell in love with the painting.  He approached me about a trade, and I channeled my inner Renee Zellweger & Dr. Frasier Crane.

He had me at trade, and yes, I was listening!

Dr. Frasier Crane

We both agreed to the terms of the trade, and he did the happy, happy, Mardi Gras Mambo.

Keep the customers happy and the word of mouth positive!

My part of the trade resulted in a Walnut wall table.  It continued to grow on me, and I decided it would be better off finding its new home at my new home.

I get the thing home and it sits for a few months.  The next phase of creativity presented two questions.

The where to hang it one was a no brainer.  The do we try to improve it one I had to ponder.

Being no strangers to DIY projects of course we will try to improve it!

When our son was four years old, he fell in love with the painting Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh.  We jumped at the chance to purchase a copy of the painting for him.  While walking past the painting one afternoon inspiration struck.  Dave was in total agreement with the plan.

Starry Night

Out comes the Annie Sloan chalk paint and the Rust-Oleum tintable chalkboard paint.  When the creative process beckons patience is nowhere to be found.  Let’s just say you use what is available.

Dave primed the table for me with KILZ interior oil primer.  I painted the entire table with Rust-Oleum tintable chalkboard paint in Periwinkle and allowed it to completely dry.

**Important note**

I asked the paint associate to cut the formula by fifty percent (50%) and increase the black tint by fifty percent (50%).

The next step was to paint over the apron and legs with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Old White.


I followed up with a light second coat of ASCP Old White for good measure.   Wonderful stuff!  

I hit the  high notes on the apron and legs with fine sandpaper until I reached distressed goodness.  Dave took over the final stage of applying Johnson Paste Wax.

It’s a pairing I would not have originally thought of.  I am so pleased the colors in the painting complement the color choices we went with for the wall table.

Label this one an accidental selection, but a surprisingly perfect fit in execution.  The table really serves no purpose at this time, but our son’s passport and car keys have a home waiting for them on his next visit home.

Love your style!