Friday, May 31, 2013

Top Ten How To Host a Garage Sale Tips

The Top Ten How to Host a Garage Sale Tips

 Part of spring cleaning is purging all that cool, old stuff that has been gathering dust in your basement, attic and/or garage. It's prime time for garage sales (or yard sales, tag sales depending on your regional dialect)! I have hosted many a yard sale over the years, so here are my tips to help you hock your wares like a pro!
  1. Everything must be clean. Dust off the surfaces, wipe down any schmutz. Clean items are much more appealing.
  2. Price and label everything! And be sure your price to sell. Remember, you're not a retail store, you want this stuff to move. Be ready to negotiate but have a visible starting price. True garage salers love to negotiate and they will try to negotiate with you, so make sure your know your rock bottom prices in advance.
  3. Display, display, display. Think of it as your own mini pop up store in your house. Make vignettes. Merchandise like objects together in a way that is visibly appealing. Raising things up off the ground is always a good idea. Borrow tables if need be, but getting things off the ground makes it easier to shop, and neater in appearance too.
  4. As you work on your display, be sure to hang up all clothes. Do not place in a box or pile. This will only lead to a big mess and make it harder for your customers to shop. You can make one price for clothing items: "Shirts $2". 
  5. Set up a cashier station. Have a money box with plenty of change, a calculator, tape measures, extra pens and pencils, newspaper and recycled grocery bags for packing fragile items.
  6. Sold stickers are a great tool. I like to use BIG RED SOLD stickers. It's makes people excited and creates a sense of urgency for those tire kickers.
  7. Speaking of tire kickers and sold stickers, never put anything on hold. If they want it bad enough they will come back for it. That saying "if you love something, set it freee..." totally applies here.
  8.  Signage is huge! Make easy-to-read signs, using BOLD, bright colors that can be seen from the car as folks speed by. Place your signs at busy intersections in and around your neighborhood. Make sure the signs VISIBLE from the road! You can also raise awareness by advertising on Craigs List, posting on Facebook, and through the classifieds of your local newspapers.
  9. Provide water, or lemonade- my son makes a killing at his lemonade stand! Something cool and refreshing on hot summer days can help loosen the purse strings.
  10. Be Ready for the earlybirds. I always just let them buy- better to sell stuff early then be stuck packing it all back up at the end of the day. 
Have some of your own tips you'd like to share? I always love to get new ideas, so please post comments about your favorite garage sales strategies. Good luck and have fun!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Before and After: 1902 Old Portland Home Kitchen

As I mentioned in a previous post we spent six weeks remodeling our 1902 Old Portland home. I searched high and low for the most amazing salvage pieces to incorporate into the remodel. Have a look at the before shot of the kitchen:

I found the most amazing 4' x 6' work table with cast iron wheels, that was destined to become the kitchen island. Can you find the hand in this photo? That disembodied hand belongs to my oh-so-talented framer, Bill Early. It may not look like much in the photo below but just wait for the after photo...

Pretty incredible transformation, eh? In addition to the kitchen island there were so many unique DIY touches I added to make this room really cook!  The 1’ x 10’ fir plank that I have been hoarding for the past 8 years finally finds a home as kitchen shelving. I made the two lights over the island from giant glass jars and the floor is original wide plank doug fir. What do you think?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Found Free on the Side of the Road: New DIY Project

DIYers dream is finding stuff on the side of the road. Sometimes it's all about timing. I scored big recently  driving by somebody who was cleaning out their garage. “Free?” I asked. “Yes,” she said, “take it all.” I was so excited I thought I was going to pee my pants! Here’s a teaser of my first DIY project for the trade magazine, Today’s Vintage. It’s an old cast iron ground cover plate and  I have 9 more just like it. What would you use them for? 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Behind the scenes of a great book

My best friend in the whole wide world, Joanne Palmisano has put to bed her second book, to be released next year.  How cool to have my home featured in both books, Salvage Secrets being her first.
But even though we are buddies to the end, she and I sometimes don't see eye to eye.  Take my first photo by photographer and laughing partner, Susan Teare  Joanne wanted something professional and approachable for Salvage Secrets.  Me by the fire.  OK, I have to admit, I do like the photo but...

I've been told by others (and many times by Joanne, because BFF's say it like it is..I am slightly on the loud side personality wise. So I thought this was the more fitting photo.  It didn't make the cut, but it does bring some giggles to the three of us, every time we look at this.

Wait until you see the next photo of book number two she wrote!!  She made me swear not to show it.  I'll give you a hint, it involves finger pointing and another fireplace!?!  It won't make the cut either, but don't worry I'm not shy...I'll show you soon enough.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Secretary Gets a Facelift

On my last trip to the Goodwill “bins” I saw this beat up, old secretary; missing the piece of wood that covers the front. But I couldn’t stop staring at it. I called my DIY buddy, Joy Corgain, who just so happened to be in the neighborhood and was able to drop by. I said, “Joy, this secretary has your name written all over it.” She agreed and quickly bought it. We bungeed it into the back of her small car and the sad looking secretary was off to get a makeover. Look at the incredible transformation!  The yellow just pops!

 And that little piece of ribbon that acts as a drawer pull is so sweet. The best part? She’s selling this beauty for only $275. Buy it before I do! You can reach Joy here: 

Monday, May 13, 2013

DIY bookshelves and Table Lamp on TV

Part of the fun of what I do is sharing my DIY ideas on TV.  Here's a clip I did on KOMO TV 4 Seattle a while back on my book shelves and Simply Spray  project.  We set up right in the heart of their newsroom and boy oh boy did we cover a lot in just seconds!

Friday, May 10, 2013

HGTV DIY Hanging Mason Jars

Check out my latest DIY project for, inspired by my grandpa Buzz.

Goodwill Hunting: Five Dollar Find Gets a Makeover (Draft Needs After Photo)

If you haven't seen the May edition of Today's Vintage magazine, my latest column highlights a project spurred on from a successful adventure in Goodwill hunting. Sometimes, it's just too easy! These stools may not look like much at first, but for a mere $5.00 I couldn't resist and I knew I could give them a new lease on life and add a little hipster decor flare.

They started looking a little something like this.

But after removing the seat...

Applying a little spray paint...

As you can see, this was $5.00 well spent! If you love them as much as I think you will, I am happy to say they are up for grabs. That's right friends, I am selling these little treasures. Interested? Send me an email:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Favorite DIY Clothes Pin Projects

I have always had a love for wood clothes pins. They are part of a generation past. My grandma Peterson would always hang the clothes to dry on the clothes line and as a child I loved walking through the rows of white sheets. Now a days, we rarely take the time and “put the clothes out to dry” (my grandma’s saying). But that doesn’t mean clothes pins have to go bye bye.

I made these for Country Living magazine:

This unframed mirror is transformed into a mid-century modern inspired sunburst.

A formerly plain Jane side table has a unique decorative edge.

This one is made with a salvaged door header. Fun and functional!

If you want more ideas for wooden clothes pins, the Country Living article can be found here. They are still inexpensive and easy to come by.  The Dollar Store or any craft store sells them, cheap, cheap, cheap.