Our daughter, Kathleen, and her husband, Patrick, bought a 1950’s ranch style home.  It was a well kept house on a beautiful lot with mature trees and in a wonderful location close to Patrick’s work.  But the house was too small for a growing family.  When they purchased it, the house looked like this:


…and months later, after lots of planning and decisions, and elbow grease, it looked like this:



katie house with grass

Once the home was finished, they needed furniture to fit the generously sized rooms.  Why buy it when you can make it yourself?  It is much more fun that way!

First, came a long table that we painted with chalk paint.  When Kathleen bought it, the table looked like this:

table in the store

…and after she elongated it by taking the apron off of the back and adding it beside the apron on the front, it looked like this with the new chalk paint and wax:


Next, there came a need for a nice cabinet for the bathroom to hold towels and to have hidden storage.  We found one at a thrift store and used more chalk paint.  Actually, it was a dining room china cabinet so it has glass shelves and it is lighted from within. 

Katie's cabinet

With two successes to her credit, Kathleen decided that she wanted a trumeau mirror for the master bedroom.  Actually, she wanted two of them.  One would go on each side of the bed.  In 18th century France, trumeau mirrors were original hung in stately homes between two windows or above a giant fireplace to provide a decorative element and to bring dramatically more light into a room.  A picture is worth a thousand words, so here are some beautiful trumeau mirrors:

Laurel Trumeau Mirror transitional-mirrors

The two above have been simplified and pared down to the most basic details…not fancy embellishments here.

from Cote de Texas

You can see that a trumeau mirror is a mirror on a back board with added moldings and embellishments.  Kathleen and Patrick figured out how to make their own.  Here is the finished product!

katie's trumeau mirror

katie's mirror

She bought plywood, molding, a pre-made mirror from a big box store, and ordered ornate composition material embellishments over the internet.  Just one is finished, but one more is in progress as I type.  When they are hung, I must take a photo of them in their new place of honor on each side of the master bed.

Our eldest daughter, Beth, has discovered a new hobby that gives her hours of enjoyment…sewing.  In less than a year, she has made quilts, curtains, a backpack, children’s clothing, and even bean bag chairs.  She has sewn baby bonnets, dresses, and a delightful and useful changing pad with pockets for the diaper bag.  Her possibilities are endless and she just keeps getting better.

My point for today is that whether it is sewing, refinishing furniture, or making trumeau mirrors, you should try.  Where there is fear there is no creativity.  There is endless satisfaction in telling someone, “I made it myself.”

Create and be happy!