End Table Makeover

One of my favorite things to do is scour thrift stores and flea markets…it’s part hobby, part addiction. It’s so satisfying when you find something incredible and look at the price tag and find you can afford it–plus, I think it’s good for the planet to reuse and upcycle rather than buying everything brand new. Win, win!

On a recent trip to a local thrift shop, I found this little side table for only $7. Real wood, adorable little size, it was perfect. But I didn’t love the look of it.

End Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

I was thinking about what exactly I wanted to do with the end table…should I stain it, paint it? And suddenly I just had this vision, I could see the end product and it looked fabulous. It sounds a little crazy but sometimes you just can see it, what it’s meant to look like, you know?

After sanding down the top (it was a little glossy) and priming the whole end table, I picked up 4 sample size cans of paint. Here are the colors I picked:

End Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

I had a lovely little helper along the way. It’s funny, but Ben just always wants to be right on top of you, doing what you’re doing. Even though he just sleeps while you work, it’s still so sweet.

End Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

And after several hours of labor and a coat of varnish to help protect the paint, I was finished:

End Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

You guys, I am so proud of this little side table! Those triangles took FOREVER but the geometric statement is so strong that it’s worth it. I think it’s amazing, because I took something that was very traditional and a little blah, and turned it into something with a modern style that I love! With a little vision and a little paint, you really can accomplish something special.

What do you think of my little project?


DIY: Gallery Wall

Since I got back home in July, I’ve been helping my mom recharge and update our house. I helped her pick a new couch (which is the most beautiful couch in the whole world, in my opinion) and two new modern chairs, we’ve been rearranging and DIY-ing some thrift store finds. All in all, it’s been good. But our living room needed some sort of a statement, it was just really blah. So I proposed the idea of making a gallery wall above the couch, with all of our paintings and little odds and ends. My mom loved the idea, and we got to work! Here’s how we did it:

  1. I collected all of our unused paintings (most of which were done by my brother, my mom, and I) and pictures in the basement, where I knew I would have a lot of room to spread out without my dog trampling all the pictures. I just started putting the pictures together in random assortments, trying to achieve that balanced/unbalanced look, and it took me a few tries but I figured out exactly how I wanted it to look and snapped a picture for reference. DIY Gallery Wall via Imperfect Chevron
  2. My mom helped me hold each picture up on the wall above the couch individually, and I marked the corners of each picture with painters tape to get a general idea of how the pictures would fit in the space and in relation to each other. This took a while, but luckily we didn’t have to redo it–we got the placement right on the first try. Also, I know this picture of the process looks like the proceedings of a lunatic, and maybe it is, but this strategy worked for us! DIY Gallery Wall via Imperfect Chevron
  3. We got out the level and started hanging our pictures, one by one. We used really little nails to hang most of the pictures, and some of that sticky reusable putty to keep the pictures flat on the wall. This step by far takes the most time, because if one picture isn’t perfectly straight your whole wall will look off. But it’s worth the time! And the finished product looks incredible.

DIY Gallery Wall via Imperfect Chevron

We love our little gallery wall, and we’re starting to design and hang another one in the family room, as well. This just adds such a powerful statement to your wall, and ties all of your furniture together into a warm and inviting space. Would you try hanging a gallery wall?


DIY: Sewing Table Makeover

I was the lucky girl to stumble upon my sewing machine and table a couple of years ago in a flea market (1960s Viking Husqvarna and a super cool old sewing table that folds out to give you more room), and I was even luckier that my mom bought it for me for Christmas and had the sewing machine repaired. It’s been a great machine, and I’ve sewed some fun projects on it!

But the table needed a little love, for sure. While it’s very sturdy and well-made (they just don’t make furniture like they used to, am I right?), there was a pretty big water stain on the top of the desk. I’d been brainstorming different ideas for how I wanted to fix up the table, and I originally thought I might paint the drawers a fun color or pattern. But the table is so classic, so pretty and old and well-made, I ultimately decided to stain the top of the desk (where the damage was concentrated) and keep the rest of the piece in its original state.

Sewing Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

With the help of my dad, I sanded down the top of the table with a sander. Pretty sure I found my true calling, sanding with that machine was so fun! I wish I had a picture of me sanding the table, with the work glasses and gloves on! But you’ll just have to imagine it. Lucky for me, only the top of the table was damaged, so I didn’t have to sand down any of the rest of the table.

Next, I applied a few coats of a stain that I thought was going to be pretty close to the original stain color and a top coat. You guys, the stain color is the exact same as the original. Ok, I’m sure it’s not exactly the same, but you couldn’t tell the difference if you looked at it with a magnifying glass. It looks amazing!


Sewing Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

I didn’t want to ruin the classic 60s vibe of the table, but I did want to have a little fun and a little happy pop of color somehow, so I picked out some pretty blue floral contact paper at the store and applied it to the inside of the drawers! It’s a subtle statement that I think is really fun, and nobody except me will ever see it, but I love seeing the happy print every time I open the drawers.

Sewing Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

Sewing Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron


Sewing Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

I’ve been dreaming of finishing this project for a while, and it felt so good to tackle it and have it turn out really great. It just feels nice to check stuff off your to-do list, you know?


Holiday Lights DIY

I love decorating for the holidays. The last few years, my family has put out decorations before I get home from school (but they always wait for me to decorate our tree!). This year, my mom bought a little foam craft kit from Michael’s for me to make during my break with the intent of hanging them from the string of lights on our front porch. They look so cute, you guys, when you see them you’ll want to make a string of lights for yourself! This craft is great for kids AND adults. You could even host a little craft party!


For this string, we used a few different craft kits — Santa’s, penguins, snowmen, and owls (my favorite!).

After making the little foam creatures, I poked a piece of telephone wire through them. You could use any type of wire or string, and you could definitely use a hole punch to make it easier.


With the little owls hanging on their wires, I was ready to hang them. I just slipped the wire through one of the cords on the string of lights, and then twisted the wire around itself. And that was all!


This craft is so fun, and you could use the foam pieces for a lot of things! I also think they would make an adorable garland above the mantle or hung above a window.

Have you made any cute holiday decor? I’d love to see it on Twitter, tweet me @kellytraut with #DIYholiday


DIY Pretty Poster

Have you seen those pretty Kate Spade posters with the inspirational phrases and quotes on them? I love those posters, they’re happy and colorful, and I think they have the potential to add a nice touch to a room. But being a broke grad student, I can’t afford to buy “frivolous” items that much right now. So I decided to make my own version, and I love how it turned out!

photo 5

What do you think? Here’s how you can make your own pretty poster!

DIY Quote Poster

You’ll need:

  • Thick art paper or cardstock (I used paper made for acrylic paints)
  • Colored paper for the letters (I used pretty wrapping paper that my grandma had wrapped some gifts in. Reuse all of that good stuff, am I right?)
  • Mod Podge (I made my own using Elmer’s glue and water! It’s extremely easy and inexpensive, I’d recommend trying it!)
  • Paintbrush to spread the mod podge (use a cheaper one that you don’t mind using glue on)
  • Paint (optional)

Let’s get started:

1. Make a plan for your picture. Choose a quote, decide if you want a shape, plan how big your letters will be and the layout of your quote.

2. Cut out letters with your colored paper. I lightly marked the letters with a pencil, and then cut them out.

photo 2 (2)

3. Paint your paper (if you want to!). I wanted a light pink color for the background, and I love how it turned out! But you could easily leave your paper white, if you wanted to!

4. Arrange your letters on the paper. Take your time, You want to make sure that everything is exactly how you want it! I left my letters on the paper while I pasted them on, so I knew exactly where they needed to go.

photo 3 (2)

5. Use your paintbrush and mod podge to glue the letters to the paper. I made my own mod podge, with 1 part glue and 1 part water, and spread the mod podge on the back of my letters before sticking them to the paper. They stick pretty fast, so be careful with where you put them down! After all of the letters were glued down, I went back and painted over them with a thin layer of mod podge–don’t worry, it’ll dry clear!

photo (5)

6. Let dry for at least a few hours, I let mine sit overnight just to be safe since I live in a humid city. Once dry, you can hang it up!

photo 4 (2)

I love how this turned out. This is a pretty easy and quick project that would make for a fun craft night with friends.

DIY: Five Minute Bookmark

photo (2)

It feels a little bit silly writing a post about this project–I had a little scrap of paper left over   from one of my recent paintings, and I don’t like to waste things, so I made a little bookmark!

Even though it was an easy project, and took less than 10 minutes for me to do, I wanted to share it with all of you. I think that it would make a really fun gift for any book-lover, and you could really put a lot into making bookmarks. You could definitely get more creative than I did! It might be fun to use some pretty scrapbook papers to doll it up a little bit…

DIY: 5 Minute Bookmark


  • Cardstock or a heavier-weighted paper
  • Paper, markers, stickers, glitter, or any other craft supplies that you might want to use!


1. Decide on the size of your bookmark. I made a very skinny and long bookmark, mostly because I used a leftover scrap, but I actually really love the look of it–something about it is very dainty!

2. Decorate your paper. I used Sharpie markers to create a simple hearts pattern, and I like the way it turned out. I think it would be fun to make a more intricate bookmark next time, with a more creative pattern.

3. Start reading (so that you can show off your new DIY bookmark, of course)! I checked out 4 new books from the library this week, because I can’t control myself in the library, and I’ll let you know what I think of them. What have you been reading lately?

DIY Cat-Themed Cups

photo 1

I’m so excited to share this DIY with you today because: 1) it’s really easy, and 2) you can customize it however you like! I decided to make my cups pretty with cute cat-themed puns. What will you draw on yours?

DIY Cat-Themed Cups:

1. Gather your supplies. I used plastic cups, which aren’t ideal because you’re supposed to heat the finished work in the oven after drying. So, it’s probably best to use oven-safe glass cups or mugs for this project! I also used a Craft Smart Paint Pen.

2. Plan your design. I practiced my cat puns on a piece of lined paper before starting in on my cups. I wanted to make sure I had the spacing right, and the look that I wanted. After practicing on paper, I dove right in with the paint pen, but if you’re nervous about messing up you can always draw the design in pencil first!

3. Paint in your design, and let it dry for 24 hours. Then, you’re good to go!

photo 2

I added little cat ears and whiskers to this cup, and I love the way it turned out!

photo 3 photo 4

 I decided to add a little cat face on the back of this cup, and even though it’s a little bit uneven I love the way it looks! It just added something special.

I’m so happy with how this project turned out! I think that this would make a great gift–just think how fun it would be to personalize a mug or cup and fill it with little goodies for someone–or just a fun way to make yourself some custom drink ware. I think it would be fun to make a dog-themed set next–I was thinking of using “I ruff you.” Okay, I know it’s pretty cheesy, but I do love a good pun.

Happy crafting!

DIY Felt Garland

I am absolutely in love with garland and buntings. I guess it’s just one of those things, but every time I see a bunting my crafting heart is bursting. One day this fall I was in my favorite thrift shop and one of the vendors had a beautiful circle felt garland in her booth. I gushed over it, and couldn’t stop thinking about it! So recently, I decided to create my own felt garland. But instead of just doing felt circles, I wanted to use felt animal shapes! And it turned out amazing! I ended up crafting 3 different garlands. Here’s how I did it.

DIY Felt Animal Garland

What You’ll Need:
1. Felt. I bought a package of assorted colors in the 8×11 size, but you can buy felt by the yard, too!
2. Cookie cutters. I used a circle shape, as well as animals–I used a bear, a hippo, a rhino, a kangaroo, a cat and dog, and an elephant. If you’re really artsy, you don’t been need cookie cutters: just draw your own shape! I wanted all of my animals to be the same, so I opted for cookie cutters.
3. A sewing machine. To string all of your shapes together, of course!

Let’s Get Started:
1. Pick a pattern of colors and shapes that you want to use. For my cats and dogs garland, I used 5 colors. My shape order was: circle, dog, circle, cat, circle, etc.

2. Trace and cut out your felt shapes, one by one. I used pen, because I couldn’t see the shape well enough with pencil. I used fabric scissors to cut out the shapes one by one.


As you trace and cut each shape, start stacking them in order. When you start sewing, it’ll be very helpful to have your garland organized the way you want it!


Cut out enough shapes to make the garland long enough to hang. My cats and dogs garland has 30 cut outs and is about 4-5 feet long.

3. Sew! I didn’t pin my garland together because it gets out of control pretty fast. So basically, I fed one piece through the machine, lined up the next shape, and then sewed it on. I would recommend backstitching each new piece, to keep your garland from ripping.
And, there you go! Your garland should look something like this:


So pretty, right? You can hang these on the wall, on your mantle, or anywhere else! Here’s where I hung my garlands:




I hope these felt garlands make it onto your crafting list; they’re easy to do and so beautiful to look at. They can really spruce up a room! Happy sewing!