Midday Fix: DIY upcycling project ideas from Frank and Sherry Fontana

Frank and Sherry Fontana

The series, Downtown Shabby, airs on the FYI Network Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m. CST.



  • Framed burlap coffee bags:
  • Materials –

Store bought canvas on a frame – or you can make one (for most - it’s easier and cheaper to just buy one).

Burlap coffee sacks – easy to source and very inexpensive – if you want to go with old retro flour sacks – they are usually harder to source and more expensive.

Water based polyurethane.

Tools –

Tape Measure


Staple gun


Chip or other inexpensive brush

Steps –

Take the burlap bag and lay it on a flat surface – place the canvas on top to figure out the surface space needed form the bag – it’s unlikely that you’d use the whole bag – just the most interesting part with the graphics.

Add roughly 3” on each side for enough material overlap.

Use scissors to cut out the area to be mounted to the frame along that extra 3” measurement.

Take the burlap and lay it down upside down on your flat surface.

Lay the canvas on top of the burlap and center it.

Starting in the middle of any side –wrap the burlap around/over the edge of the frame of the canvas to the back and use your staple gun to secure it in place.

Starting in the middle of the side – staple at least every two inches going from the middle to the corner.

Now go to the other side and repeat the process heading in the other direction.

Do this alternating method for each side – gently pulling taught the burlap as you go.

If you go slowly and carefully – the alternate method of stapling and pulling the burlap should get you a nice taught surface when you flip the project over.

If you choose to seal the burlap once its framed – apply two coats of water based poly (allow for 30 min dry time between coats).

This will keep the burlap taught and in place over time – plus add a slight sheen.


  • Paint brush Vase:
  • Materials –

Tapered vase

Enough brushes to cover the surface

Banding or ribbon to tie around and add a finishing touch

Tools –

Hot Glue Gun

Hot Glue Gun Sticks

Steps –

Clean the vase off with a glass cleaner.

Insert a glue stick into the gun -  let heat up.

Always be careful of the tip of the glue gun – it’s very hot and can cause a sever burn to your skin or other surface quickly.

You don’t need a huge amount of glue or each brush – just dab a dot of hot glue on two areas of the brush handle and press it firmly to the glass vase for a few seconds.

Make sure to attach brushes to the vase at a slight angle – if not you’ll wind up with gaps at the base of the vase – maybe that’s a look you want – but if you want solid coverage – use the angle method.

Once vase is covered – use a piece of wood banding or ribbon to wrap around the vase- just adds a nice finishing touch.


 Decopauge Map Chair:

  • Materials -

Chair (or chairs)

Map of the country or world

Glue- one that dries clear

Water base poly urethane

  • Tools –


2 Chip or other inexpensive brushes

Small paint tray

Sand paper

Box cutter or other sharp knife

  • Steps –

Lightly sand the front wooden surface of the chair (s).

Cut the map with the scissors into whatever shapes you’d like.

Pour some glue into the small paint tray and using the brush – brush the glue onto the pack of your map pieces and apply to the wooden surface of the chair.

Smooth out the piece and use the brush to get rid of the excess glue.

If you’re using glue that dries clear – you can brush the excess right over the front of the pieces applied to the surface – this will help keep the piece in place and also act as a sealer coat.

Repeat these steps till the surface area is covered.

Once the glue has dried – take your box cutter and placing the edge of the blade at an angle on the edge of the wood – cut off any excess of map pieces.

Once your edges are clean and clear from excess map pieces.

You can either brush on more glue to seal the edges or you can use a water base polyurethane to seal the entire wooden areas of the chair.