The Good Shopper Blog

"Canadian pride may not rest on our sleeves, but it resides deeply in our hearts."

Steve Miller


DIY - make an old sign table top!

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

Being that I'm a Canadian sign maker by trade, I appreciate a cool looking sign. However, why waste the look outdoors if you can bring it inside your own home, too?

I did just that with a little table I located at the thrift store. After cleaning it up and giving it a fresh coat of paint, the real fun began.


I personally design and cut my own decals that I use as stencils, however, you can easily use an exsisting stencil for a similar look. Place your stencil or decal where you desire and paint.

Tip: I choose my lettering to sit off center to emulate that the table was imperfectly cut from an old existing sign.

Here's another tip ... these words actually have meaning to me. Think in terms of a favorite vacation spot, your favorite town, whatever you desire. Instant memory maker!

After allowing the paint to fully dry and cure, distress the lettering with a palm sander to age things up. The look really transforms a standard table into something extra special, for very little cost!

Have you tried "signing up" any of your indoor furniture? What would you like something to say?

Photos and design are courtesy of Funky Junk Interiors. The original sign table top tutorial has even more photos if desired.


DIY - How to dry hydrangeas

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

I realize our fabulous Canadian Summer is still upon us and we don’t want to rush into Fall. However after this tip, it’s my bet you’ll be eyeing up your nearest hydrangea in a real hurry!

A fabulous way to keep colourful blooms forever in your home is to dry fresh flowers. For amazing visual impact, hydrangeas are my flower of choice. The bunches are HUGE and the colours can even vary once dried. Here’s a really nifty way to dry hydrangeas so that they maintain wrinkle-free blooms long after Summer has disappeared.

1. Leave the hydrangea blooms on the bush until the end of the season. When the petals JUST begin to turn slightly dry on the tips, pick them ASAP.

2. Set the blooms upright in water and leave them until the petals are fully dried. The water keeps the petals from shriveling.

Tips: It's best to dry them in the container they’ll be staying in if possible, because the petals are very fragile once dried. 

Try drying at different times for different coloured hues. The above was from a blue hydrangea bush in late fall. Pretty amazing how they changed, isn't it?

Happy hydrangea hunting this Fall to you!

 What kinds of fresh flowers do you like to dry?

Photos are courtesy of Funky Junk Interiors. You can find the full tutorial HERE.

For all of Donna's DIYs on Buy Canadian First , click HERE.


DIY - make a cheater board and batten wall treatment

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

If you were to ask me what my Canadian dream home looked like, it would be a rambling old farmhouse chalk full of character. However, since I live in a typical suburban styled home, I desired to give a sea of drywall some added interest, but in a way that would be easy to change out if I so desired.
How to make cheater board and batten walls

1. Coat out your walls in white.
Tip: I like to have the paint store add two drops of dark brown to the mix which removes the blue undertone
2. Paint out some 1 x 2's with primer, then the same white wall paint.

Tip: I used random width sized boards for abit more interest.


3.  Place boards on the wall and insert one screw in the middle. Pivot the board with the help of a level. Once in place, add two more screws. Paint the screws white.
Tip: I spaced the boards random widths apart as well so I didn't have to measure a thing!

The end result is a glorious white wall, loaded with charm, that was super easy and price efficient to create!

(If you wished for a more permanent version, I'd suggest to add caulk to the seams and paint out the entire area one last time.)

So, what do you think? Would this treatment work anywhere in your own home?

Photos and tutorial of the board and batten project are courtesy of Funky Junk Interiors.



DIY- A headboard from a gate

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

It wasn’t that long ago that I was shopping for a headboard. I wasn’t finding anything to die for so I just hung in there... until an old horse gate from a burn pile was discovered. YES!


The size proved to be perfect for my king-sized bed. The added sawhorse at the foot of the bed completed the rustic look.


Adding hooks to the gate offers loads of fun opportunities for ever-changing decor. Today, it's decked out for Summer. What will I do for Fall... or Christmas? Fun!


Installing the gate to the wall was as simple as screwing it into studs. The "messy bed" look was created by throwing loose linens on top of a quilt. The sleepy cat on the bed fully approves! Other unique headboard ideas could be old doors, fireplace mantels or large vintage signs. If an object is the size of the bed, it can be a headboard!


Do you have a unique headboard?


Photos and design courtesy of Funky Junk Interiors. Full tutorial can be found here.


DIY - make a large number or letter

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

If you’ve been keeping up with Canadian (and beyond) design trends in home decorating, you’ll have noticed by now that numbers are a huge hit. Who knew that numbers would be desireable things to hang up on a wall?
 But they are! The premise is that a number resembles a piece of vintage sign history. They also just look cool, and the good news is, if you make one yourself, you can have it say or look like anything you desire.

Want to make one of your own? Here's an easy and affordable way you can whip one up in an afternoon!


1. Sketch or print out a number or letter in the font of your choice.

2. On a large piece of plywood, sketch your design. I used chalk.


3. Cut out the shape with a jigsaw, and sand the edges well.


4. Paint it up , hang it up and be proud!

Are you a numbers collector? Where do you like to display them?

Photos and design are courtesy of Donna at Funky Junk Interiors. Full tutorial can be found HERE.


The All-Canadian bedroom on Canada AM

By / Par: Isabelle Remy - Dorval, Quebec

Category / Catégorie: From Isabelle

Nice to be back on the set of Canada AM!


And this time, our segment is a little different… well actually, I should say it’s different in a very BIG way! You see, this time we set-up an entire room to talk about Made-in-Canada: the All-Canadian Bedroom! We wanted to demonstrate how you could create an entire room with furnishings made in Canada.

You can watch the segment here. 


The centerpiece of every bedroom, of course, is the mattress. And the one we are featuring today is an amazing one, made in Quebec by Essentia. It’s the world’s ONLY natural memory foam mattress. All other memory foam mattresse out there are petroleum-based, which means they gives off loads of VOCs that you end up breathing all night long. Not this one. Made from the sap of the rubber tree, to which essential oils, plant extracts and water is added, Essentia mattresses are the ultimate in comfort & health. And yes, there’s even one for your pooch!


On such a healthy base, we just had to seek out the best organic cotton sheets we could find. And we found them at Dream Designs in Vancouver. They come is 16 beautiful colours and I’m so glad we had the turquoise ones to show today. How gorgeous are those!? Made in Canada for over 30 years, these sheets will make you forget all others. An investment worth making, for a good (and healthy) night’s sleep!


And to complete the natural & healthy theme, what better than an alpaca “duvet” handmade by Salem Alpacas in Ontario. Of course, it’s not a “duvet” in the traditional sense of the word, as no feathery friends were sacrificed for the use of their feathers. This one is made with alpaca fiber, a light, natural, renewable fiber sheared from the alpaca (similar to a lama) each Spring. Warm in the winter and cool in the summer, it is also naturally dust-mite resistant and hypo-allergenic. What's not to love about that!


The stylish & contemporary bedside tables and bureau are part of the Fynn collection, made in Quebec by South Shore Furniture. A third-generation family business, South Shore specializes in bedroom sets (master, kids, nursery) and home entertainment units made of particle board and MDF and using recycled fibres. All their collections meet and even exceed the ultra-low North-American formaldehyde emission levels required by the California Air Resource Board (CARB). Their furniture can be purchased pre-assembled in stores, or ready-to-assemble and delivered to your door. It has it all: style, function and affordability! Check out their brand new website to see their entire collection and lot's of great design tips!


And what about that gorgeous Othello upholstered chair made in Winnipeg by Palliser! Confortable, stylish and timeless. A beautiful houndstooth pattern in taupe, with solid dark wood legs. I love the fact that you can mix and match designs and coverings to create exactly the look you want. That's something you can never do with imports! 


And finally, last but definitely not least, how cool is that adult onesie from Strong & Free!? The ultimate sleepwear or loungewear, it’s made with care in Nova Scotia. And yes, it has a “bum-flap”! This is a Canadian premiere and marks the national launch of this awesome must-have. You can place an order here to reserve yours today!


So that’s the All-Canadian Bedroom! Pretty impressive, eh? Again, thanks so much to the entire Canada AM team and especially to Jenny who helped us set-up behind the scenes. You rock! See you again soon!

Happy Canada Day everyone!

Images courtesy of Buy Canadian First members above.


How to make a one board toolbox

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

I adore collecting good ol' Canadian vintage toolboxes. They're just so versatile, making fabulous centerpieces for tables and providing great storage with flair for most anything. However, collecting the antique varieties can be pricey, or the wrong size for what you desire. So what’s one to do? Easy... make one yourself! Trust me when I say that I’m not a pro-builder, so I came up with a cheat sheet method to create a complete toolbox out of one board. Yup, it was that easy!

Here’s how I did it:

1. Find a unique handle of choice.

It can be anything from a branch, an old tool, to a standard dowel. The handle will help dictate how large your toolbox will be.

2. Cut a board down to accommodate  two sides, one bottom and a front / back.

Use two different boards if you desire a two-toned look or different dimensions.

3. Pre-drill holes for the handle, then insert. Screw the rest of the toolbox together and you’re done!

Don’t be afraid to get really creative with that handle. This drill-handled toolbox was a little more complicated to create as the sides required additional shaping with a jig saw, but it was worth the extra effort. The sky's truly the limit where design is concerned.


Are you also a collector of toolboxes? What do you use them for?

Special thanks to fellow Canadian Julie from Follow Your Heart Woodworking for leading a toolbox workshop on my blog HERE!

Photos and design are courtesy of Funky Junk Interiors.

White picket toolbox tutorial is HERE.
Drill handled toolbox tutorial is HERE.


Spring mantel decorating - that never wilts!

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

The arrival of Spring appears to be taking its dear, sweet time on the Canadian "Wet" Coast, so I decided to make it happen sooner rather than later. But... with a twist. I love the look of lush green plants but don’t always like the care involved. So I selected a couple of my favorite faux plants and created a Spring mantel. Creating a Spring-themed mantel is fun and easy! Try the following tricks when creating: 

Scale - how large is your fireplace? Choose items that balance well with the scale.

Tell a story - Spring says, "Plants and outdoors",  to me, so adding the window encourages a ‘look outdoors!‘ kinda vibe. Galvanized goods, chippy textures, a garden tool and plants all emphasise  the great outdoors, too

Balance - the window keeps your focus centre-stage, while hugging the centre components.

Play - start with one item that you love and build on that. Keep plunking and playing. You’ll know when it’s time to stop and enjoy. And don't be shy... anything goes!

Now it’s time to light that fireplace, get nice and warm and enjoy the first signs of Spring right inside my own home... while pretending it isn’t raining, of course.

Have you changed out your own mantel decorations for Spring yet? 

Photos are courtesy of Funky Junk Interiors. You can view this full tutorial here.


How to create a wardrobe wall

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

Do you dread rehanging up your clothes in a closet as much as I do? If so, do I ever have a treat for you today! One of my all time passions is working with Canadian-found pallet wood for two reasons. It’s price efficient (aka free!) AND... it’s oh so rustically beautiful. :)


Being that I’m not ‘fond’ of hanging up my clothes (that IS what the bed and floor are for, no?), I desired a wardrobe wall made out of pallet wood. Not only is it a cool feature wall, it’s been truly the answer to my... clothing covered floor. Here’s how I did it!

1. Find your reclaimed lumber of choice.

Old fence boards or  pallets or even new ones, if you so desire! Random boards will do for this design.

2. Sand the wood well, then screw it onto your wall.

Screwing into studs didn't prove to be necessary; it held well. I went for an old style slat and plaster look, so I prepainted the wall white, then purposely left gaps between the slats. Not many boards required cutting when staggered vertically.


3. Screw in a mish mash of things that hook.

For a playful take, don’t overlook random finds such as an upside down hanger. Can you tell I’m not a very serious decorator? :)

 Have fun with it!


4. Go to town and fill up that wall!

This has proven to be a most useful feature in my own bedroom, however it would also totally rock in a kid’s room or even bathroom. How about a front entry? Once you have your own wardrobe wall, you’ll WANT to hang up your clothes just for the fun of it. :)

So... what do you think? Crazy, cool or both? What changes do you think would happen with a wardrobe wall in your own home?

Please use reclaimed lumber at your own risk. Tips on using it safely can be found in my own article HERE.

Photos are courtesy of Funky Junk Interiors and the full tutorial can be found HERE.


Why Buying Canadian First is Huge!

By / Par: Funky Junk Interiors

Category / Catégorie: Growing up in Canada

I am the proud owner of two small, itty-bitty, made-in-Canada businesses. Being little is huge! Allow me to explain. I’m Donna, an artsy, single parent of an awesome twelve year old son, residing in Very Small Town, BC. 


One of my businesses is a sign and graphics shop, called Graphic Impact, where I specialize in designing and manufacturing vehicle graphics. Design and decal fabrication are done at home, then I run out and install at my customer’s location while my son is in school. My passionate side fired-up Funky Junk Interiors, a decorating studio where I flip junky relics into unique decorating elements for the home. Thrifted treasures are found and revamped, then my home is used for staging photo shoots. From there, I submit the write-ups to magazines and blogs for features. I'm also a freelance writer and photographer and am so very glad that Buy Canadian First is part of my lineup! FUN!


But what really makes this story profound is the fact that businesses choose to buy Canadian first, by choosing me, this little Canadian small town girl, over much larger international corporations. They don’t have to choose me. There are plenty of others they could use to either make their trucks look pretty or their magazine spreads or blogs shine. But the fact that they did choose me says something about them. They are supporters of ensuring that my son gets a new pair of shoes every so often and that there's fuel in our vehicle. They know where their money is being spent which also means that they care about us.


In return, I attempt to offer something extra-special so that they call again. How about the very best work I can muster, topped with a sprinkling of true blue passion? When you care about what you do, you tend to conduct business a little differently, wouldn’t you agree? I see it when I visit my hairdresser in her beautifully decorated, cozy basement, for that invaluable one-on-one service or at the unique diner down the road that dishes up homemade fare like no one else. The small town folks, and what they offer, are special, and that's what keeps me coming back to buying Canadian first. I love knowing where my hard-earned Canadian dollars are going and I’m just very glad that my customers appear to feel the same way about me!


What keeps you going back to your favourite, small businesses?


Written by, and images courtesy of, Donna at Funky Junk Interiors.

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