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    This Mother’s Day, Get Creative with a One-of-a-Kind Gift from Goodwill®

    Annette poses with reupholstered chair

    Shelly LeerEvery time I happily enter a Goodwill store, I think, “I should be blogging for Goodwill® so that I can show people how many fabulous home furnishings they can create from all of these goodies!”  I guess I hounded them long enough, because now I get to do just that!

    I’m Shelly Leer, author of modhomeec.com.  I run a DIY teaching studio with the same name, and I write DIY projects for HOUZZ.com, as well as penning a weekly DIY column for my local newspaper, The Indianapolis Star. Through the years, Goodwill has been my main source for supplies of all kinds. Not only have I saved money, but the entire creative process of imagining what I can create out of what’s available holds great appeal for me.  My basement is a literal stockpile of key finds that eventually become a part of some future design.

    Stockpile of Chairs

    Having owned my own upholstery business for close to twenty years, and now teaching upholstery and DIY classes, I continue to make regular stops at select Goodwill stores in my area. Sometimes I’m looking for specific items, other times, I’m scouting for raw materials that will inspire me to create one-of-a-kind show stoppers. Since we’re all thinking about Mother’s Day, I thought I’d show you a piece of rescued furniture that most people would pass up.

    Goodwill Unfinished Chair


    One woman I helped, Annette, saw the above chair as a diamond in the rough, and bought it for a meager $19.99 at her local Goodwill store. She then transformed it into a custom upholstered, diamond-tufted beauty for her living room.  Of all things, the previous owners had apparently tried to spray paint the fabric!  When you find items like this, you need a keen eye to look beyond what’s in front of you to what the possibilities are.


    Unfinished Goodwill Chair

    Not only did Annette end up with a practical, newly upholstered piece, she learned a valuable skill and had a jolly good time in the process.

    Shelly Leer poses with Goodwill chair

    If you’re feeling crafty this month, swing by your local Goodwill store and look for a piece you might be able to rework in time for Mother’s Day. Even if you don’t want to take on a big project, stores are filled with one-of-a-kind small pieces that can be up-cycled into jazzy little accessories in a few hours. Have a crafty mom? Give her the complete package — a piece of furniture she can get creative on, along with the tools, supplies and a class to learn how to do it.

    And remember that a gift from Goodwill is one that keeps on giving — 82 percent of the revenue from your purchase helps women and other individuals build stronger families and vibrant communities.

    Stay tuned for future posts, where I’ll be showing you how to imagine, design and create projects you’ll be proud to show off as Goodwill-sourced furnishings.

    Shelly Leer
    has been taking apart furniture and restyling it for more than 20 years. A graduate of Butler University with a degree in design and textiles, she is the owner of the ModHomeEc Studio in Indianapolis, a fully dedicated teaching studio offering DIY classes and workshops. Shelly runs the blog ModHomeEc.com is currently a contributor to HuffPostHome.com, HOUZZ.com and the Indianapolis Star. She has previously been a featured writer for Curbly.com and a contributor to ApartmentTherapy.com Chicago. Her projects have appeared in Country Living Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, the Design Sponge at Home book and three DIY books published by Curbly.com.
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    • Lara Gilbert
      May 8th, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Hi! I have a small, recliner that my 4 year old son uses regularly, I would Looooooooooooooooove to reupholster it! I can’t find anything that has made me comfortable enough in reading it that I felt as though I could do it on my own, I was wondering if you could be a ray of hope?

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