From Dark Antique to Nursery Chic

Mandy BeforeThis stunning before and after transformation comes from a first time customer. Mandy was looking for a medium-sized changing table or dresser for her daughter’s nursery. Something cute with enough storage for diapers, clothes, etc, but low enough to use as a changing table. One of those tough-to-find sizes, for sure. This rich antique dresser, with its original locks and intricate detail, really caught her eye. It was missing two lock plates and was too dark for her space, so she knew it would take a little elbow grease. With loads of help from the little one’s grandpa (her father-in-law), this dresser got a complete makeover. They found two matching lockplates, sanded the whole piece, painted it this beautiful aqua, and changed the knobs to make it a bit more frilly. Mandy AfterThe whole project, including paint and materials, wound up costing them about $250. Not a bad deal for a charming one-of-a-kind piece that will last their newborn for years and years! We’re so thrilled that you found such a fun & practical project on your first time in, Mandy! Who knows what you’ll find next time….

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Before and After: Oak Dresser

Sue is our Store Credit Queen. She’s always bringing us bundles of goodies to sell and turning her store credit into fun, one-of-a-kind projects. This time Sue really outdid herself. She took a gorgeous antique bonnet dresser (which she purchased in our “Clearance Zone”) and gave it a whole new life! It really did need some TLC, but we think this lovely, curvaceous dresser was well-worth the effort.

BeforeSue originally planned to re-stain this classic piece, but reconsidered after further inspection. It seems that it had been painted white and then stripped. There was some waxy finish applied after this process which would have made re-staining more difficult. You can never really know for sure what happened in the previous lives of antique furniture, but who doesn’t like a little mystery, right? And of course this staining road-block didn’t stop our creative friend, Sue. She decided to take things in a completely different contemporary direction and turned to our friends at Funky Fresh for some inspiration. She purchased CeCe Caldwell’s chalk paint and got to DIY-ing! She sanded and applied a dark stain to just the top surface of the dresser which adds some nice contrast to her creation. After painting, the dresser was slightly distressed for a shabby chic quality.

Check out that snazzy new knob. Gotta love furniture bling!

Check out that snazzy new knob. Gotta love furniture bling!

This antique bonnet dresser has had a very successful adoption process. She now resides comfortably in Sue’s bathroom. Her hobbies include holding toiletries and bath towels, meditation, and day dreaming about her past lives, which began around the turn of the century. And look at her! She’s still kicking! We wonder where she will end up next….

 

Thank you for reading and remember that you too can earn $5 in store credit and be Mimi’s-famous. All you need to do is send us “before and after” photos of your very own Mimi’s  transformation and tell us a bit about how it was done. Hope you enjoyed this edition of Mimi’s “Before and After”!

 

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Fun and Simple Before and After

Earring holder

Our very own Mimi’s employee and crafter, Jenni, had this brilliant idea of re-purposing a vintage gold frame into a vintage-inspired lace earring holder. Not only does re-purposing older items recycle but it also puts less of a strain on the economy and the demand for new products. Way to go, Jenni!

You too can create a cute vintage earring holder.  All you need is vintage-inspired lace (Sew Green, Quilter’s Corner anyone?), a staple gun, and a frame of your choosing. Simply stretch the lace tightly across the back of the frame and staple in the corners and voila! You now have a repurposed, adorable earring holder!

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A Thrifty Guide for the DIY Bride

shabsweddPlanning a wedding can be a truly exciting and creative endeavor. Mimi’s would love to help you find inspiration for your wedding, save some money,  and decorate to reflect your love of  re-use.

Whatever the style of your nuptials, the chances of finding pieces that pull your look together are limitless at Mimi’s. From sleek, well-kept antiques to aged wood and shabby-chic detailing, Mimi’s has seen it all! Previously-loved items are coming in every single day!

So How Can Mimi’s Help? With sites such as Pinterest and The Knot, wedding inspiration is always at your fingertips. When they give you the ideas, we give you the materials to make it happen! We have shelves and displays full of unique, antique, vintage, trendy, and one-of-a-kind pieces to help make your vision a reality. We have also compiled some of our favorite ideas here to get your creative gears turning!

Here are some of our favorite DIY ideas that you can easily pull together with one of our most popular Mimi’s items: Mason Jars.

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-Dreamy Lighting: Hanging jars from trees or building supports is a great idea for evening receptions! Want something more than just clear glass? Get creative and color your jars in your personalized wedding colors! Or lace ‘em up for a more nostalgic look. Use mismatched sizes for a more visually engaging display.

- Table Displays: Fill the bottoms of your jars with glass beads, add water, and use the beads to anchor colorful flowers. Add a floating candle for a romantic glow.

 


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-Drinking Glasses:  You can use mason jars as glasses for a fun and easy-going vibe. And, because the majority are marked with ounce measurements, they make it easy to control portions and make mixed drinks a breeze. Tie a piece of twine or ribbon around the neck of the jar for a touch of color and rustic charm. Use chalkboard paint to provide a surface for each guest to write his or her name. Once everyone gets up to dance and mingle, you’ll be glad to have a way to individualize your glasses.Jar Vases

-Vases: Mason jars make flower arrangements easy and extra-charming! Pick up some “frog lids” to hold your display in place. Frog lids can be purchased for as little as 75 cents a piece or can be made if you’re on a tight budget.

-Wedding Favors: Make all natural sugar scrub or jam, fill the jars with candy, or even plant your own herbs prior to the wedding and send the guests home with their own sprouts! (Frog lids are best for the sprouts.)

 

 

But what if mason jars don’t fit into the theme of your special day? Mimi’s has plenty of other nifty ideas for you to consider!

Furniture is becoming a more popular wedding accessory. Mix and match vintage chairs for ceremony seating, use rustic cabinets and tables to hold goodies for guests, or use a vibrant screen to accentuate the atmosphere. At Mimi’s, you’ll find all sorts of previously-loved pieces ready for the picking!

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Wedding Chairs

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Craving a shabby chic vibe? Try using vintage or antique mixed china! It’s an adorable style and a great option for low-budget weddings.

Stop by Mimi’s often to find a big variety of cute mixed china at affordable prices!

And the mixing doesn’t need to stop at place settings; mismatched vases, flatware, and drink vessels are a fun way to create a unique atmosphere for your guests.

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Of course Mimi’s can’t outfit ALL your wedding needs. But you can still make every corner of your wedding sparkle with re-used flair by stopping by some of our fellow consignment shops.

Dresses

Mimi’s isn’t a dress shop (as any of our regulars would know), but we’ve chosen to highlight Dressella’s, a gown consignment shop in Trumansburg, New York. They have a large array of dresses for everyone from the bride to the flower girl! Check them out to see dresses they are currently carrying or consign your own!

 

Fabrics

Fabric Bouquet

Looking for sheaths of fabric for DIY wedding crafts? Check out our neighbors at Sew Green located on Cayuga Street (right next to The Commons). Sew Green offers an array of cloth scraps, brand new fabrics, and recycled fabrics all at a fair price. They are just waiting to be re-purposed by you! Make your own table cloths, wrap your bouquet in strips of fabric, and get crafty! The possibilities are endless!

 

 

 

If you use items from Mimi’s for a creative wedding project, please show us how it comes together! When you send us your “before and after” pictures and tell us a little about how you made your creation, we will give you $5 in store credit. We’ll even write about your project on our blog or Facebook, so you get to feel Mimi’s famous! Whatever your wedding-style fantasies are, stopping by Mimi’s is a great way to get creatively inspired. Come see what we have in store!

 

 

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Staff Pick: 1972 Polaroid SX-70

polaroidThis sweet retro camera is so stylish that we couldn’t resist consigning it here at Mimi’s! In addition to having a beautifully crafted leather case, the camera itself has stylish leather accents. We were immediately smitten. After researching the specific model, we learned that the Polaroid SX-70 was the first of its kind to eject and develop a photo in moments. So not only is it beautifully sleek, it’s also a nifty chunk of history! Without this little fella, “shake it like a polaroid picture” would never have made any sense! Thanks, little friend.

If you love vintage trinkets but aren’t a photography expert, you’re in luck! All of the original instructions are included. One glance at this comprehensive user guide, and you’ll be itching to bust out and get artsy. How nifty!What about film, you ask? Well, this camera may be 40 years old, but you can still buy new film for it online.

Whether you are a Polaroid connoisseur, a 70′s enthusiast, or just appreciate a neat Mimi’s find, we think you’ll love this blast from the past! So put down that smartphone, come by Mimi’s, and get nostalgic for a good old fashioned Polaroid!

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Before and After with Daddy Van’s Furniture Polish!

So you finally found it: the perfect chair that feels like it was made for you, the vanity you dreamt about as a child, or that perfect table with the weird dimensions which seemed impossible to find…. BUT it needs a little work. The wood is dull and sad from years of wear and you know you’ll never get around to refinishing it. Sound familiar?

Fear not, fellow Ithacans, brightening up those solid wood diamonds in the rough just got a whole lot easier. Mimi’s now carries Daddy Van’s Beeswax Furniture Polish, a non-toxic, American-made, miracle worker. It makes a huge difference in the luster and feel of your wood furniture with minimal effort!!

Don’t believe us? We took it for a spin ourselves on one of our dining tables.

DV1This beautiful, antique, and solid oak table was in storage for years. Its original finish has long since worn away and the dull grey color distracted from the hearty beauty of the solid frame. So, let’s see what Daddy Vans can do…

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I used a clean cotton cloth (a discarded onesie from our sister store Mama Goose, naturally), and got to work. It’s unscented and completely non-toxic so I didn’t have to worry about fumes or safety gloves or anything; I just dove right in!

 

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DV2What a difference! That rich oak grain was just bursting at the seams to show itself off! Where once there was a dusty-looking wood heap, there is now a lustrous honey-colored tabletop. And, unlike some other kinds of polish it’s soft and clean to the touch, not oily. Sure it’s got some scrapes and stains that can only be taken out by sanding down, but for the 15 minutes I put into this little project, the results are pretty stellar.

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AND that WHOLE table only took about 2 tablespoons of polish to complete! If you’re a penny pincher, you need not worry about getting your money’s worth from one of these little jars. I very nearly took that onesie on a furniture polishing spree.

Mimi’s now carries the whole line of Daddy Van’s Furniture Polishes and Room and Linen Sprays! The polish comes in lavender, orange, and unscented varieties. The scented sprays are invigorating blends of essential oils for energy, relaxation, and mental clarity. If you’re just itching to try it out for yourself, stop by soon!

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Before and After: Rejuvinated Rocker!

One thing we love about our store is that we operate like a revolving door. When you need a chair, you can find it here. And, when you no longer need that chair, you can bring it back and consign it! One item can journey through several people’s lives and we get to observe it all.

OHeronBefore 1This rocker was on it’s second journey through Mimi’s Attic when it struck the heart of our latest DIY champion, Paul. It had been purchased a few years ago by our owner, Kelly Moreland. She loved it for it’s comfort (it’s rare to find a rocker than hits just right on the back and neck). But with all the rearranging she does, this chair eventually outgrew the spot it was intended for. And so, she brought it back! Because she could! Because that’s what we’re all about! Nifty, right?

That’s how this quaint vintage rocker wound up back at Mimi’s. Despite its charms, it certainly showed its ware. The veneer on the seat was cracked and peeling around the edges, it was missing two spindles under the arms, and many of the joints were loose. Luckily, we had a customer with the ambition and know-how to restore this rocker to its full potential (and THEN some).

Paul, an amateur woodworker, loves projects like this to help him practice and expand his skills. Like Kelly, he was attracted to its uniquely comfortable shape and lustrous finish. He used the original seat to cut and sand a new one using left over oak and ash from other projects. What a beautiful new look! After crafting some new spindles, and re-gluing the joints, OHeron Afterit’s like a whole new piece!

At this point you might be hoping this chair takes a third trip through Mimi’s so you can snatch it up for yourself. But don’t come looking for it any time soon, it’s now his favorite chair! We love the new seat and the skillful blending of wood types. Well done!!

 If YOU have a project piece you bought from Mimi’s, don’t forget to take your “before” pictures! When you send us ”before and after” photos and a little info about what you did, we give you $5 of store credit! We love hearing from you!!

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Staff Pick: Rustic Work Tables

We feel that we need to warn you about these tables. They’re a dangerous combination of charming and beautiful. When you see them in person, you might fall madly and hopelessly in love. You’ll consider moving in together before you’ve even said hello. That warm, distressed grainy surface, that unexpected pop of green… are you swooning yet?  Come and see it for yourself! Perhaps the two of you will live happily ever after…. greentable2greentable

 

 

 

 

 

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And if you have a little one in your life, maybe you’d like to get them their own!! This child-sized work bench is made for some serious play time. Or maybe you’d like to use it as a coffee table that doubles as a conversation piece!? Oh! Or a TV stand! Oh my goodness… the possibilities are endless… You should come in and check it out before one of us takes it home ourselves!

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Cubby Life!

When’s the last time you asked your friend, significant other, or coworker, “have you seen the spare scissors?” Or maybe you have so many tools in your garage without proper homes? Perhaps you have a small business and the mail is out of control!

What better to organize your area than having a space efficient set of cubbies?

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The possibilities are endless! We currently have 2 lightweight, maneuverable organizational cubbies, each priced at only $28! Each come with boxes that fit into the cubbies or they can easily be removed for displayable items!

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Not a fan of the color? Pick up a quick fix of spray paint and go to work customizing!

Mud rooms, offices, garages, bedrooms, wherever you need organization, cubbies are a quick and attractive fix. What will you organize with yours?

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Before and After!

IacovelliBeforeIacovelliAfterThis is perhaps our most dramatic before and after yet! When this bench came to us, it was…. well, it had seen cuter days. The wood was scratched and the upholstery had a purple stain right in the middle. But one of our regular customers, Susan, saw right through these cosmetic errors to the charm that was waiting to be unleashed. She painted the drab worn-out wood a sleek satin black, added more padding, and reupholstered the cushion with a striking zebra print. Then, for a pop of color, she added some snazzy red piping. Just look at that, from sad to pizazz in three easy steps! Way to go, Susan!

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