So Glad I said Yes!

I'm sharing a garage sale frame transformation that I almost didn't buy, but am so glad that I said Yes to!
frame before

Nope, this is not the story of how Mr. DIY proposed to me. Although that's a really great story and obviously has a happy ending!

This is the story of one hot summer day in SW Florida. Little DIY and I had spent the morning going to yard sales and we had not found much.

We were hot, tired, hungry and reeeeaaaly thirsty. SW Florida in the summer is not my happy place.  As we were driving home, I saw something that made me pause......A sign that read, "Storage Unit Estate Sale".

Whoa! I slowed the car down and I read it out loud.  I looked at little DIY and she looked at me.

And then Little DIY said, "Let's go mommy, I'm sure we'll find something really great there!" Uh, no!  Not exactly.

I don't recall her exact words, but I know they were accompanied by numerous moans and groans and the multiple whines that can only come out of the mouths of 6-year old children. I quickly found $.50 in the console and told her she could buy whatever she wanted at the sale for $.50. (Great mom, right...manipulation by bribery - and cheap too!)

Suddenly the whining stopped.  A gleam came into her eyes.  We were good to go. The hunt was on!

I found some vintage blue mason jars for pennies and a few other small items.

Then I spotted it.

frame before

Leaning casually against the garage door. This massive black, gold and red-framed picture frame? mirror? It was hard to tell because it was missing the center. It was just a big, empty, ornate frame.

The sign on it said $30.  As soon as the guy saw me looking at it he said, "You can have it for $20."

"Oh no," I said casually, "I was just looking at it. It's pretty neat, but it's too big and heavy and I have nowhere to put it."  I honestly meant it.

I kept walking around, looking at other things....but couldn't get the large molding and details of this frame out of my mind.  I walked up to it again, leaned my head to one side and tried to visual another color....maybe leaning against the wall? But did I have room for it? I mean, $20 is still a lot to pay for something that you don't need and have nowhere to put.

painted frame details

white ornate frame

The man was back. He was relentless, this guy. "$15 and it's yours," he said. Hmm, this was starting to look better. Obviously the guy was a negotiator and really wanted this frame off his hands.

"Will you take $10 for it?," I asked, still not completely sure I wanted it but not willing to let it go either.


When I lugged it in the door, Mr. DIY took one look at it and said, "You should do some research on that. It might be worth something."

Yes, he's right...but you see, driving home, it suddenly came to me what this frame would become.  I would paint it white, distress it slightly and lean it on the wall above my piano.  I could hang a wreath on the top and the empty shell would frame it out.  I had it all figured out. No research was going to be taking place on my end! It's present state was dark and dreary and I didn't want to keep it that way.

I broke out the paintbrush and went to work creating my masterpiece.
 painted ornate frame

Mr. DIY couldn't believe I'd painted it, but I was happy and above the piano it went.

frame on piano

I decided to create a chalkboard with the frame, inspired as I was by Courtney's fabulous one at French Country Cottage. All it took was some MDF cut to size, 3 coats of chalkboard paint and it was ready to hang and draw on.

DIY chalkboard from an empty frame

DIY chalkboard

fall art for chalkboard

I have a soaring wall in my living room and it was the perfect spot to hang a big piece like this. I love that I can change it up with the seasons or customize it with a giant monogram or a favorite saying or verse or quote. Chalkboards are so personal.

Is there a moral to this story?  You're never too tired to stop at one more yard sale?!  Let's just say I'm glad I did and I'm glad I said "Yes."

If you are still with me, kudos to you my friend :)

And by the way, in case you were wondering, little DIY spent her $.50 :)

The End

Update: Two years later, I'm still glad I made the decision to buy this huge frame and paint it white! It is a focal point of my dining room!

white chalkboard at DIY beautify

bringing beauty to the ordinary,


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  1. Little DIY is a great shopper, but very discerning! Believe me!

  2. This is a gorgeous piece!! Fantastic job!

    1. Thank you so much! I told Mr. DIY I don't care if it's worth something, I'm going to keep it anyway :)

  3. Such a cute story and I love love love the frame. Thanks for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  4. It worth a lot if you like it I always think
    love the chalk board in the frame

    1. Thanks so much!! Having the chalkboard makes it so much more functional :)

  5. I think it's probably worth some serious bucks. I love it, it's so beautiful painted white.

    1. Thank you Jeannie...I think it's much better white..I love the dark in the creases :-)

  6. What a beautiful frame. You did good. I would have painted it white too.
    Have a wonderful week,
    @ Eclectic Red Barn

    1. Thank you so much Bev :) I figure you can never go wrong with white!

  7. I have been on the hunt for the perfect frame for this very purpose! I haven't been lucky yet. Would you mind sharing the size of this frame? TIA, and it's absolutely beautiful. I'm envious, but totally inspired!


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