Posted in DIY, midcentury, Upcycle, vintage

Vintage Hangers: DIY upcycles and uses

(Post originally written for the Metrolina Restore Blog 3/23/16…)

One of my accidental vintage collections is vintage hangers. This is a genre of vintage that I’m not event sure I knew existed until I started running into them at Restores everywhere. There are basic wooden ones that have a nice patina, novelty ones for children’s rooms, branded ones that were often used as giveaways for upper end department stores and dry cleaners, wire pants hangers and tons of other  interesting variations.  I started picking them up because they were inexpensive and have discovered that they have many creative uses in home décor too!

Vintage Drycleaner hangers, via

There are so many interesting unique shapes, why not just use them as wall art?


I love the idea of using them to display vintage books, newspapers and magazines or even favorite prints or children’s art:

via decoracion.facilisimo.comption

And this is a clever DIY: as a towel rack in a bath area complete vintage knobs!

For some more DIY and up cycling ideas for vintage hangers check out my Pinterest board on them here. These hangers can sometimes be picked up for as little as .50- just like these I found on our last ReStore field trip to Lincolnton so start scouting for them!

What uses have you found for vintage hangers? I’d love to see….

Posted in Gifts, midcentury, Uncategorized, Upcycle, Vintage 50s, Vintage Christmas

Easy Holiday Vintage Gift Giving Ideas from Mod Bettie- all available at Vintage Charlotte

It’s time to start thinking about vintage gift giving and as usual, you have a long list, right? Let me pass along my top quick and easy and memorable vintage gifting ideas so you can check some of those names off your list- pronto!

1.Vintage Trays and Tins

Everyone loves to receive your baked goods around the holidays…why not gift them in or on a reusable vintage tin or tray? It makes a beautiful and more memorable presentation than tissue or bags and can be used continually throughout the holidays!

Santa trays
Vintage trays with a nostalgic image are perfect to deliver holiday treats!

2. Vintage Ornaments

Of course I love these for their traditional use on the tree but they make such a heartwarming presentation when attached to gifts, used at table place settings/ or centerpieces, around the buffet table or even given as party favors throughout the holidays.


ornaments basket -LGB
Ornaments can be used to decorate gifts and add a vintage touch.

3.Vintage Mugs

These make an adorable presentation when gifted with tea, hot cocoa, candy or vintage linens. Vintage soup mugs can be gifted with gourmet crackers or bags of soup mix.

soup mugs
Dried soup with a vintage mug and vintage napkins makes a great gift!
Santa Mugs basket
Vintage Santa mugs and hot chocolate



4. Vintage Cocktail Glasses

Want to bring the best hostess gift at your next party?  Vintage Champagne coupes with a bottle of bubbly will do the trick, every time…trust  me! See also: vintage pilsners or mugs with a local craft beer, or some swanky lowballs with a favorite liquor- both an equally fab option.

Adding a bottly of bubbly to vintage chamapgne coupes makes you the most welcome guest!
Adding a bottly of bubbly to vintage chamapgne coupes makes you the most welcome guest!


So give the gift of fond nostalgia and give vintage for the holidays! Check out the Vintage and Craft Pop-Up Holiday Shop on November 15 from 11-6 at The Fillmore at the NC Music Factory for these and other great vintage gifting ideas from Mod Bettie and over 50 vintage and craft vendors; stop by and say hi at the Mod Bettie Booth!

Posted in Recycle, Repurpose, reupholster, Upcycle, Vintage 50s

My furniture guru teaches me to look and see vintage furniture in a NEW way…

Oh, I have been hanging out with the very creative and talented Dennis Calderon of Revived Furniture Gallery for the last several months and wow—the things I’ve learned! You may remember the fabulous Danish Mod chair blog post from last month where we upfitted a great ReStore find with new cushions. Well, now we’re taking the next step and redoing an entire chair–which at first seemed almost unsaveable! But Dennis showed me the way, and taught me some valuable vintage furniture upholstery lessons in the process!

It’s all revealed in my most recent post as a guest blogger for the Metrolina ReStores Blog!




Posted in carpet, Upcycle

ReStore Carpet Remnant REVEAL

Well, today was my first day on live TV as a Restore blogger on Charlotte Today!  But, much to my surprise they didn’t give me the full hour of the show like I imagined they would…so, I didn’t get to talk about what may be one of my most fav ReStore finds yet: this ultra Mid Mod style $6 carpet roll remnant!

Swank-ola carpet remnant from the ReStore-- $6!!!
Swank-ola carpet from the ReStore

My bud Bob Margies-of MHS Interior Carpet Design  –or my carpet guru–as I have now taken to referring to him,  has given me tons o’ good and useful information about carpet binding that I just MUST share. Because you never know when you, too, will come across that roll of perfect $6 carpet at the ReStore and decide that it needs a prominent place in your life!

First Bob gave me some great info about this particular carpet remnant. He told me it had high wool content, which is generally more expensive (jackpot!!!)  and that a piece of this size, a  4″x 6″ could easily run me up to $45 just for the carpet alone. Binding choices for rugs are evidently endless. You can color match, choose a narrow or wide binding size and even leather can be a choice if you like:

Wide binding in sooo many colors
Wide binding in sooo many colors

And even more binding choices:

And more binding color choices!
And more binding color choices!

Your application charge is going to depend on the binding you pick and the way you’d like it done, of course. You can add padding to the carpet if you like ( this piece already had padding) and you can also  work with him to do interesting custom shapes if needed, like around a mantel, for example,  or a special cutout size for a bay window or whatever other fun shapes you might dream up!

According to Bob, binding a standard size like this rug will run about $100. Bob and his team chose the wider orange cotton binding for my rug-because, remember orange is on trend! So this fancy binding costs about $150.

Wide binding and fancy mitered edges! Thanks MHS
Wide binding and fancy mitered edges! Thanks MHS

Purchasing a rug of this size with wide cotton binding and mitered corners could easily cost as much $275-$300 in some shops and EVEN MORE in some boutique stores! For me, the savvy ReStore shopper, however this cost a mere $156+tax, a savings of 40-50%!

WOWEEE! Finished bound rug, courtesy of MHS Interior Carpet Design and the Metrolina Habitat ReStore!
WOWEEE! Finished bound rug, courtesy of MHS Interior Carpet Design and the Metrolina Habitat ReStore!

And I have a cool and unique high quality mod style rug for my screened porch, ahem, outdoor living space that goes oh-so-perfectly with my 1940’s oilcloth furniture:

In place on the porch with the electric fireplace and apt to photobomb doggie Otis
In place on the porch with the electric fireplace and apt to photobomb doggie Otis

Aaaaahhh. It’s even nicer by the electric fire! Buzz Bob Margies at MHS Interior Carpet Design with any questions on rugs, carpet and etc at 704 361-9191; his team is awesome and he is super helpful! You can see some more of his creative work around town and across the Carolinas here.

Posted in carpet, Recycle, Repurpose, Thrifting, Upcycle

Carpet Remnant GOLD at the ReStore

OOOoooo how much fun is a reveal? Very!

In May I attended the ReStore Restyle event at the Habitat Restore in Mooresville with my Restore Blog sisters Cheryl Luckett from Dwell By Cheryl & Jennifer Burnham of Pure and Simple Organizing.

Restore Bloggers Jennifer Burnham, from left, Cheryl Luckett and Donna Scott.
Restore Bloggers Jennifer Burnham, from left, Cheryl Luckett and Donna Scott.

It was a such a fun opportunity to be inspired by great designers and their creative upcycling minds and of course, to shop with my genius Restore blog sisters in a fresh new-to-me Restore! This was our collective blogger buggy by the end of the night:

Loaded UP with Goodies from the Mooresville ReStore

We all racked up and I completely scored!!! I got a bakelite kitchen utensil, some fun black,  chrome, glass light fixtures and then in the way back side corner of the store, my headed started swimming when I opened up a roll of carpet (TIP: Open up the rolls of carpet-they all look the same if they’re rolled inward–Eeeeesh!) to discover this truly SWANK-OLA and unbelievably  Mod Carpet Remnant:

Down The Roll

This,  my friends, was a 4X5ish piece of funky cool carpet for ONLY $6!!!! GAH! So orange-y and artistic! and so inexpensive! Double GAH!

So I took my swankola carpet remnant to my buddy Bob at MHS Interior Carpet Design to have it bound and made into a rug for my outdoor living area, which, according to my interior design friends,  is a fun and fancy way for me to refer to my screened porch.  Bob took the $6 remnant to some designers he works with and this is the binding pic he sent to me….

According to Bob’s team-orange is ‘HOT’ in interior design right now…so how fun to be told my ReStore find is right on trend!

Bob was just as excited about my ReStore find as I was and he has already given me so many other great tips about this particular piece of carpet, on the binding of carpet into rugs and home décor items in general–tips I cannot wait to share with all of you! This  new rug will revealed in it’s full Mod glory this WEDNESDAY, JULY 24  at 11:00am on Charlotte Today, when I also talk about some other cool vintage/ midcentury and mod collectibles that I have found at the ReStore over the last year.

Tune in… and then we’ll have it all here, of course too, with tons of fun details to help you out with your own home projects and personal treasure hunting!

Posted in Recycle, Repurpose, Thrifting, Upcycle

The Art and Science of Thrifting

(This post originally appeared as a guest post on the Metrolina Habitat Restore Website)

Thrift hunting for vintage is a real combination of science and art to me. The science part of it is purely statistical….you have to go often to get the good stuff, especially if you are thrifting in a city like Charlotte where there are a lot of people looking for goods.

In addition, it is helpful to think strategically about where the goods you are seeking might be: i.e. “Hey, I like old stuff, maybe I should head to the thrift store closest to houses built in that time period!” and you have to spend a little time on the fabulous interwebs making yourself familiar with the items you are hunting so you can identify (and grab) quickly!

The art of thrifting it much more esoteric but equally as fun and creative a muscle to develop. We all know that it’s no fun just to keep all your fabby thrift finds in a closet–then you’ve possibly just become a hoarder and whoa, Nellie—that’s a whole other blog site! So, when you find a thrifty gem that you know you cannot live without, you should be thinking: how can I use this item in my house? How and where will I display it? Can I upcycle it into something truly unique and cool? Many modern houses have no need for some of the wacky or ubiquitous devices of yesteryear; so can you creatively repurpose it in some clever way for it to be fun and useful to you again? This is where the art of it all comes into play and the possibilities are just thrillingly endless.

Here are some quick personal examples of repurposing some common vintage goods for current use, from my current house project— closet transformed into a dressing room:

1. Vintage frame upcycled to necklace display & organizer–all you need is a frame, paint of your choice and the hook screws!

2. This one’s a twofer repurposing: Vintage Planter (I adore vintage planters and have them everywhere!)  and mug tree into scarf, purse and accessory holder:

3. Vintage Divided Candy Dish and Tall Milk Glass Vases (Both easy to thrift and find ) upcycled into ring, pin and bangle holders:

And here’s one more that took a little more ingenuity – I had an extra Pyrex cloverleaf  blendor (yeah, that’s actually how they spelled it in retro times) jar for my Osterizer beehive blender; doesn’t it make an adorable upcycled light fixture for my breakfast nook? After we removed the blade assembly with a wrench and then took the existing pendant light off, threaded the wires through and voila!  No additional glass cutting needed, only took about an hour and easy-peasy!

These vintage items can all be easily found most any day of the week at the ReStore! Want more fun ideas or in the mood for some advanced DIY? I have compiled some of the vintage fantastic-ness here:  ModBettie’s Cool Vintage Upcycle Ideas on Pinterest!

What cool upcycling or repurposing have you done? I’d love to hear…