a thrifty makeover.

I’ve got a quick thrifty makeover to share with you guys today.

I picked up this item at the thrift store over a year ago.  I’m guessing it was meant to hang on the wall next to the phone (remember when phones were hung on the wall?) with a pad of paper for taking messages (remember writing messages down on paper?).


Sometimes I like to pick out stuff that is hideously ugly just to see if I can re-purpose it, and this one is an excellent candidate.

Especially when you notice that the sheep are textured.


I know that back in 1983 or so someone hand-painted those sheep and absolutely loved them, so my apologies to the 80’s crafter who made this.

First things first, I had to sand down those textured sheep.

That was pretty simple.

Next I just added a couple of coats of Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Farmhouse White.  I sanded to distress and got a nice little bit of chipping.  Then I gave it a quick coat of Salad Bowl Finish (a.k.a. MMS 100% beeswax).  Then I embellished with a couple of rub-ons.


Rub-on’s can be tricky with milk paint.  The plastic sheet that the rub-on’s come on is just slightly tacky on the back and sometimes that will be enough to pull off some milk paint.  So if you are going to use a rub-on over milk paint, be sure that you have removed all chipping paint first.  You can see below where the top half of the “8” came off with a chip of paint.  In this case I think it just blends with the overall chippy-ness, but I have had rub-on’s take off an entire section of paint and leave nothing of the rub-on behind, which doesn’t look so good.


Also, rub-on’s can dry out and no longer work.  If you ever decide to pick up some to try, be sure to store them in their plastic sleeves so they don’t dry out.  The rub-on’s I used for this project all came from Hobby Lobby.  The “Cherish each Moment” is from the scrapbook sticker aisle and the numbers are from the Tim Holtz section (which for some strange reason is tucked way in the back of my store away from the scrapbook supplies so you may have to hunt around for them).

So, I’ve turned an outdated useless item into a unique photo holder.


Unless you still have a wall mounted phone and like to write down messages, in which case you can still use it for that purpose too.

24 thoughts on “a thrifty makeover.

  1. Not a baaad idea at all! Sorry Quandie. Couldn’t resist. That turned out marvelous. Love the rub ons and the chippy paint! Must confess, I wemt through a sheep-ish phase in the 80’s. Glad to see you make something so cute out of this. Inspires me to pick up something at the goodwill and rescusitate it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cute idea. I pick up wooden “things” at the thrift store all the time but I don’t think I would have thought of this! Good tutorial on milk paint choppiness, that is something you are really good at. (Along with many other things) is that a photo of you and your mom? I love the photo!


    1. The baby in the photo is my mom, and the woman holding her is her sister, my aunt Marilyn. They were something like 14 years apart in age. That’s always been one of my favorite photos.


  3. My memory retention isn’t what it used to be. I didn’t realize Hobby Lobby carried Tim Holtz rub ons. I am sure you have mentioned it before.
    Darling project it never ceases to amaze me how you manage to keep churning these ideas out.


    1. Yep, and yep. But as I mentioned, the Tim Holtz stuff is tucked away in a back corner so you may have to hunt for it. My only complaint about the Tim Holtz rub-ons is that they are so small. I wish he would come out with some larger designs.


  4. I had a sheep phase too…even had a set of three “fluffy” ones. Lol. Ahhh…the good old days…I also, at one point, had a bright yellow and orange kitchen (early 70’s), which was pretty garish …although ay the time, it was spot on. The sheep were definitely ’80’s…kitchen was blue and pink then. A little trip down memory lane, thanks to your little sheep. So cool you could repurpose this!


    1. I was wondering if you would remember this one Meggan! It was a long time ago, I think maybe around this time last year, that I picked that up. We need to get another thrifty Thursday on the calendar … although probably not tomorrow if the weather predictions are anything to go by.


    1. Absolutely. I’ve actually had to work at developing my eye in this regard. I tend to pass things by without contemplating their potential, so I have been working on that skill.


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