Before, During and After — The Secret of the Missing Bikini Top

by Katy on April 3, 2012 · 23 comments

I have a number of projects that are in-process at the moment. Some of this is because I need the combination of nice weather + days off from work to make them happen, but it’s mostly because the mood hasn’t struck.

I have decided to sell my $12.99 Goodwill hand-knotted prayer rug. However, I do want to enjoy it for a few weeks before sending it to a new owner. So instead of keeping it rolled up, I’m trying it out over my console table in the living room. I like how it brings texture to the space and lends an exotic flavor to the front window.

Because this rug is on the cusp of being sold, I’m calling it Before:

"Before" the rug was sold, it worked briefly as a tablecloth.

Remember my project chairs? Well . . . one is waiting for a seat, while the other has a seat, but is waiting to be painted. In the end, they’ll both be painted the same color and have the same fabric seats.

We’ll call them During:

Together, they make up one completed chair. However, life doesn't work that way.

It’s good to have a few projects that are less complicated. I wrote recently about the issue of unwanted solicitors on my porch, so I finally constructed a “No Soliciting” sign.

I found an adorable (and free) template on the internet, which I printed out. I then bought this goofy looking wooden plaque from Goodwill.

I’ll call this project After:

Looky at me! I'm water-skiing and my bikini top has blown off. Aren't I fantastic?! What, no? Then I guess it's okay to cover me up.

Yeah, it’s pretty awful. However, it’s the perfect size, has a hanging hook and most importantly, was a blue tag, which meant it was 50% off and only set me back a buck.

A gentle coat of Mod-Podge, (otherwise it would smear the ink jet colors) some origami paper to completely cover the plaque and here’s the end result:

Better, right?! And only you and I know the secret of the topless water-skier. Shh . . .

Have you been working any any projects lately? Please feel free to link them up in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Dogs or Dollars April 3, 2012 at 9:49 am

I dunno. I might keep the prayer rug. I gotta say, I like it.

Maybe not as much as I like the topless water skier you so ridiculously covered up with something *snort* practical. But I suppose there’s no accounting for good taste.



sherry April 3, 2012 at 9:58 am

I, too, think the prayer rug looks lovely, and totally at home, on the table. And the *No Soliciting* sign is perfect. (This is what I love about frugality — the expression of the creative impulse, which we pretty much ignore when all we have to do is go buy something. Finding a creative alternative is so satisfying.)


Katy April 3, 2012 at 10:08 am

I totally agree that figuring out a $1 solution to $10 problem is better than sliced bread. (Enough weird metaphors in the sentence?)



Jennifer G. April 3, 2012 at 10:00 am

I think the topless waterskier could do a pretty good job of keeping solicitors away.

But your sign is beautiful 🙂


Katy April 3, 2012 at 10:09 am

In my neighborhood, the topless water-skiers would attract solicitors.



Megg April 3, 2012 at 11:24 am

That’s what I thought the point was, at first!


KimS from VA April 3, 2012 at 11:16 am

The woman in the plaque makes me think of a character out of “Where the Wild Things Are.” I much prefer what you created and think perhaps I need to make one of my own for my apartment door…if I ever actually feel crafty! 🙂


Megg April 3, 2012 at 11:26 am

I have to admit, I don’t usually like no soliciting signs (I think they’re tacky, although the solicitors ARE really annoying) but I really like yours! It’s cute!


Joy April 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Love this sign! At first I thought you handpainted it–either way it’s a big improvement over water skiing woman. Very crafty and looks brand new~nice.


Diane April 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I adore your chairs! I have a thing for redoing old chairs and both your fabric and paint color are perfect. Enjoy them when you finish up.


Jo H. April 3, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Love that rounded chair in particular.

Great sign!


Jo@simplybeingmum April 3, 2012 at 11:29 pm

I love the idea of keeping the door knockers at bay, but ‘No Soliciting’ translates slightly differently over here in the UK!


AnnDenee March 10, 2014 at 9:14 pm

We have that kind of soliciting in the US too, but they aren’t (that I know of) aggressive enough to go knocking on doors! LOL


Claudia April 4, 2012 at 3:34 am

The sign looks great! Your projects have really inspired me. On the way home from dropping the kids off at school, I found a stretched canvas on the curb with artwork that had been painted by someone’s kid. I brought it home and hot-glued some striped canvas fabric (left over from an old Halloween costume project) over the canvas. It now looks like stripey modern art, and will either made a nice decorative wall hanging or will be turned into a decorative bulletin board. A fun, creative project that cost nothing, and I never would have thought of it had I not started thinking along the lines of doing creative home-decor projects from reading your blog. Thanks!


Katy April 4, 2012 at 6:07 am

That is so awesome! Would you be willing to share a photo of your project?



Claudia April 6, 2012 at 3:38 am

Happy to! Not quite sure how to go about uploading one here–should I email it to you, Katy, or do you have some instructions for me? Thanks!


Elaine in Ark April 4, 2012 at 7:12 am

I need a sign by my front door, too. I want it to say “No Salesmen, No Solicitors, No Jehovahs Witnesses”.

The trouble with that is, people think it means everyone else, not them!

Your prayer rug looks great as a table cloth.

I have a nice rug next to my bed, and last night my dog threw up his dinner on it. I was up in the middle of the night cleaning it up, then getting out the Bissell and steam cleaning my rug and carpet. The dog seems fine today, but I did shut the bedroom door, just in case. These are the time I wish I had wood or laminate flooring.


Katy April 4, 2012 at 7:18 am

Pulling an “all-nighter” sure changes as we get older, doesn’t it? 😉



Paula in the UP April 4, 2012 at 10:27 am

Love the chairs, can’t wait to see the finished product!


Diane April 4, 2012 at 1:11 pm

What did you use for padding on your chair seat? I have a small chair that has an irregular shaped seat. Unfortunately, I ripped off the old cover and padding and forget what it was made of. Thanks!


pat April 5, 2012 at 11:38 am

I love the sign! What a great idea.
And the rug – well originally I thought you should sell it, but after seeing those 2 chairs why couldn’t it be used as the seats? Just an idea…


Thel Burton March 11, 2014 at 9:10 am

Love your projects. The last project I finished was a dogbed made from a wool re-cycled (felted) sweater. I guess I’m gonna have to make another one because both of my dogs seem to like it.


Lisa March 11, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Thank you for posting the link to the sign – it’s super cute and perfect timing. I came home to a post it note on my door from someone trying to sell windows & am glad I wasn’t home. Our windows aren’t even old. These signs will be great.


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