Meet Allison from Refunk My Junk

You guys are in for a treat today! My friend Allison from Refunk My Junk is here to share some of her amazing paint projects. This girl knows how to turn any old furniture trash into treasure. Trust me, this girl’s got talent! Come say hello…

Howdy, How to Nest for Less ladies!  I’m Allison from Refunk My Junk, and I am so excited to share my story and a few of my projects with you today!

One thing Erin and I have in common is that we are both just average gals who love to be creative.  I think our message is somewhat the same: You don’t have to be an interior designer to make your home look look fabulous!  And you don’t have to break the bank doing it!

Two years ago I started Refunk My Junk as a hobby.  I was a Vice President at a corporate bank and about to have my first baby.


I just wanted a place to share my furniture painting projects with my family and friends because they were always asking me how I refunked my furniture.  One thing being a banking professional taught me was to be frugal with my money, so instead of buying new furniture when we bought our house, I refunked what we had instead.  Once I had painted everything in my home I started buying furniture, painting it, and selling it on Craigslist.  Again, it was still a hobby, just a fun thing for me to do to release creative energy.

Here is one of my first Craigslist sales…

My little blog started to grow and I noticed a demand for Furniture Painting Workshops, so I bit the bullet and decided to host one.

About a year into my hobby I decided to incorporate Refunk My Junk so I could write off some of the expenses it incurs.  I also got a booth at a multi-vendor market to sell my painted pieces of furniture.  Again, mentally, Refunk My Junk was still a hobby to me.  But I kept at it, hosting workshops every month, and growing my blog.

Then in January of this year a real game changers happened to me. I became a retailer for CeCe Caldwell’s All Green, NO VOC, paint line.  The demand for a no-odor paint that required no sanding or priming was evident in the feedback I received from my workshop students, and so I decided just to go for it!

My business started to grow so quickly I had to make a tough decision.  Leave my job with a fancy title and expense account or trade in my high heels and business suits for Refunking full time?  My husband and I prayed about it and after many late-night discussions, I left my job to Refunk full-time.  It’s been 2 months since I made the switch from corporate professional to professional crafter and I couldn’t be happier with my  decision!  You can read more about my road to self-employment here, here, and here.

But enough about me!  Let me share my passion for painting furniture, the real reason all of this came about!

Here are a few Refunked and repurposed transformations I have been up to recently!

I painted my dining room table, that I purchased in Craigslist for $125.00, using the new Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint line I will be carrying soon!

I transformed this old trunk into a Union Jack coffee table.

I also challenged myself to stretch a 4oz sample of paint and see what I could accomplish!

And get inspired for fall with this blinged out pumpkin project.

If you are ready to see more I would love for you to hop on over to and check out what other projects I’m getting myself into!

You can also find me on





Erin, thank you so much for having me over at How To Nest For Less today!  I always love seeing how you are Refunking your home on a dime!

Allison, Mommy, Wifey, Junk Lover, and Professional Refunker

DIY Hooded Frog Towel {Guest Post from Crazy Little Projects}

Hello! It’s Amber from Crazy Little Projects saying hi!

Years ago I used to make a lot of these hooded frog towels for friends as baby gifts, but for some reason I quit making them for a while. I have to say, when I made this I was reminded just how cute they really are. My 7 year old is begging me to make him one now. And the best part? I really could! These hooded towels are great for newborns clear up to young kids. Toddlers, preschoolers, everyone.

Isn’t this froggy cute?!?! OK, maybe it’s partly the adorable model too. I’ve also done a ladybug and a monkey and will introduce a new towel each month.

Frog Hooded Towel Tutorial and Pattern

These towels take maybe 30 minutes to an hour max and cost less than $10. Not bad! And guess what? I have tutorials for a duck, monkey, dragon, ladybug and others coming in the future.

What You Need:

Green bath towel (I got mine at Target and it cost about $4-5)

Green hand towel to match the bath towel

Small amounts of white and black fabric

Iron on transfer paper

Small amount of red fabric (I usually use fleece or felt but any will work)

Green, white and black thread

Pattern pieces for eyes, nose and tongue

To start, snip all the tags off of your towels and hand towels to get them out of the way.

Then cut your hand towel in half the hamburger way (as in not the long skinny hot dog way, but the short, fat, hamburger way.)

Fold the edge of the hand towel over about 4 or 5 inches. Pin it in place and sew a straight stitch.

Baby Hooded Towel Pattern

Simple enough right?

How to make a hooded towel

With the leftover half of your hand towel, cut out your green frog nose from the pattern piece you printed. Cut two and then sew them together leaving a couple of inches open on the top (the straight part) so that you can turn it. Then turn it.

Cut two:

Stitch together leaving opening on top straight part:


Don’t worry about sewing that opening closed. That will take care of itself when you attach the nose to the towel.

Now do the same with your red fabric and the tongue pieces-cut two, sew them together leaving an opening at the top and turn it. If you are using felt you can just use one layer and not sew it.

Flip the hand towel over. Center your nose on the hand towel right along the stitch line you made previously. Stick the tongue up under the nose right where you are going to sew so that you will catch it in there too while you sew the nose on and then do a fairly tight zig zag to attach your nose.

See how the tongue is under there:

Zig Zag along the nose to attach it:


Cut out two white eyes and two black eyeballs from the pattern pieces. Iron them onto the iron-on paper and then iron them into place on your towel:

Now, using a very tight and fairly narrow zig zag stitch (applique), sew around them first in white on the white parts then in black on the black parts:

While you have your black thread in, add some little nostrils to your nose. Flip the nose out so that you can work with it. Then I just use the same tight zig zag stitch and go forward about an inch and then reverse over it one time. You could do this before you attach your nose to the towel if you prefer, I just like to wait until I have my black thread in anyway.

There’s your frog face!

Now, fold the hand towel in half with the face on the inside and zig zag the raw edges together to form the hood.

I like my frog to have more of a rounded head rather than pointy. To do this, fold your head like this:

And stitch a straight line across the top triangle part like this:

Then you can just snip that tip off if you want.

And now you should have a nice, cute frog head.

Frog Hooded Towel pattern for Toddlers

Next you need to sew your head onto your hooded towel. I have sort of a fancy way I like to do it with a little pleat that makes the towel wrap around the kid even better. You can do it that way or you can just center it on your towel and zig zag it in place. I recommend using a zig zag to keep it nice and secure.

Here’s how to do the the pleat if you want it:

In the center of the towel right where you want to sew your head on, make a fold like this:

How to make a frog hooded towel

Pin it in place and zig zag it together:

Now, sew your head on with a zig zag stitch like this: (see the pleat?)

And ta da! You have an adorable little frog hooded towel!

Large hooded towels

Really-your kids or your friends or whoever this is for-they are going to LOVE this!

Hooded Towel for Infants and Toddlers

See also:

Monkey Hooded Towel Tutorial

Hooded Towel

Ladybug Hooded Towel


Like I said, more tutorials for hooded towels coming on Crazy Little Projects…ducks, monkeys, dragons, ladybugs, owl, maybe a shark? Butterfly? Tiger? What do you want to see first? Other ideas? I think I will do a towel a month, so stayed tuned (like me on facebook, RSS, Twitter, Pinterest) to see more!