80’s Towel Bar Shelf Repurposed

Hello awesome friends! It’s time for another victim of the 80’s heart obsession! Hey, I’m guilty too…had several of these pieces!

Here is what is getting a facelift today:

I love finding pieces that have function! This was on clearance, marked down to $2.98…come on now, clearance at the thrift store? Now you know it’s gotta be some kind of pitiful. I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I love.

It’s that darn heart! I have come to the conclusion that there is almost no way to camouflage the hearts on these pieces. I could add a medallion of some sort over the heart, but you would still see it from the back. And since I sell my pieces, that just doesn’t work for me.

So when I find these pieces, I am looking for the possibility that the part with the heart can be removed. If so, it’s a winner!

Luckily this was one of those pieces, and that was the first thing to go!

A little wood filler in those holes and a light sanding and you would never know that piece was ever even a part of this shelf.

The door was another issue. It had to go, but I didn’t have the heart to throw the cross stitched piece away. I tucked it away and maybe something will become of it some day.

I cut a new door using the old door as a pattern:

I used my miter saw to cut it out.

Then I gave the entire shelf, including the door, a coat of Dixie Belle’s Driftwood. Except I really felt like white would work better, so I ended up painting the shelf white…

Ahhh yes, better already. This is DIY chalk paint in Behr’s Bit of Sugar. (Recipe HERE.)

I kept the door in the Driftwood color though and added white stripes using FrogTape for delicate surfaces:

I gave the stripes two coats and removed the tape as soon as I applied the second coat.

Are you ready to see how it turned out??

80's Towel Bar shelf repurposed into necklace storage from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

Good-bye, 1982!

I thought the petite size of this would make it perfect for keeping necklaces organized, but of course, it could still hold a hand towel.

Removing the heart piece and changing out the door were such easy fixes and gave it an instant update.

80's Towel Bar shelf repurposed into necklace storage from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

Everything got a little sanding with 220 grit sandpaper, and then I sealed with Dixie Belle’s Clear Coat in a Satin Finish.

80's Towel Bar shelf repurposed into necklace storage from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

This little glass knob from Hobby Lobby is one I use often when a small knob is needed…

80's Towel Bar shelf repurposed into necklace storage from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

And you know I love me some stripes…especially this neutral color combination.

80's Towel Bar shelf repurposed into necklace storage from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

Each necklace can easily be unhooked as needed, and this would hold a lot of them!

80's Towel Bar shelf repurposed into necklace storage from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

The door compartment could be used for smaller jewelry pieces…

80's Towel Bar shelf repurposed into necklace storage from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com


80's Towel Bar shelf repurposed into necklace storage from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com


80's Towel Bar shelf repurposed into necklace storage from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com


80's Towel Bar shelf repurposed into necklace storage from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

That’s two projects from this thrift store haul done, several to go!

See that lattice-door cabinet HERE if you missed it!

This is next on the list:

I’ll be back Tuesday sharing what became of this one!

UPDATE: Check out how I reimagined this funky thrift store tote HERE now! 

I’ll leave ya’ll with another 80’s leftover that I redid last year:

See what became of that one HERE!

Have a great weekend! 🙂



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  1. Mary Kaiser says

    Wowza, so cute, you did it!!! Love how that turned out. I love the stripes also. I do have a question though, I have a small 8 oz. jar of Behr sample flat paint that I want to mix into your chalk paint recipe, but I am not sure how to do it with only having 8 oz. of paint. Can you help me with how to do that? I have a small project that I want chalk paint for and picked up a sample color I liked but do not want to mix a whole quart. Please let me know your thoughts on doing that. I already have Calcium Carbonate, just not sure how to mix only 8 oz. Thanks for another great inspiration post!!

  2. Sheila DelCharco says

    What a transformation! Simple changes but a huge impact!

  3. Hey Christy, I love how you take on the 80’s hearts! I look at some of them in my Goodwill and think, “What would Christy do?” Your staging for pics is so great, but be honest, do they sell?? Also, how do your striped pieces sell? I know your coastal market is different from my Georgia market, but I just wondered in general, if you had success with stripes?? Thanks for your time!! Love what you do!!

    • Ha ha thanks, Debbie!! This particular color combo of stripes usually does very well here. Not only does this neutral color combo suit the coastal crowd, it satisfies shabby chic lovers too, or those that love a touch of pretty but have a neutral pallet! I do have a gray and white striped dresser that I’ve been sitting on for a while. I share booth about updates every six months or so and you can see what pieces move in and out. See the latest one here: https://www.confessionsofaserialdiyer.com/booth-update-november-2018/ Thank you! XOXO

  4. Janice Holt says

    Now that is just as cute as it can be. Love these pieces you do.

  5. Christina in SW FL says

    Super cute Christy! I don’t know why I expected the door to fold down rather than out! That’s the way my mind works. Love the stripes.
    Have a fun and creative weekend!

  6. Michele D Branham says

    Love it!

  7. Sweet!! Such a fun new look and useful too.

  8. How cute,did you save the heart lol? Can’t wait to see what you do with that mirror.

  9. Wendy Howell says

    Love your posts! I can’t wait to see what becomes of the drop leaf table. I have one here crying out for help. It’s sitting in my basement with boxes of Christmas decorations on top and I think it deserves a bettet retirement home than that LOL.

    • Thank you so much, Wendy! I will be sharing that with my Furniture Fixer Upper gals the week after next, but I’ve already started on it! Maybe you’ll be inspired to tackle yours! XOXO

  10. Haha, oh my those heart pieces. It was cutesy farmhouse…farmhouse is still popular- it’s just grown up a bit. (Wonder if 30-40 years from now people will say that about all the galvanized stuff?). Love how this turned out. And I love the idea of using it for necklaces. Can’t wait to see the next victim, um piece transformed. 😉


    • Yes that look has grown up quite a bit. I wonder that too…all the shiplap. etc. Will we look back at it and think what on earth? Like we do when we see wall paneling ha ha! Thank you, Cecilia! See ya Tuesday! XOXO

  11. Debra A Wise says

    From the 80’s to modern. Great makeover Christy!

  12. Hello
    I am glad to know that we keep the cross stitch embroidery, it is so beautiful, I imagine it in the laundry room. ah! I also have shelves with a heart, but I have not had the heart to remove them hahaha, although I hope to have the courage to eliminate it soon, I know it would look better without that. Also, that heart is not easy to clean the dust (I like easy to clean furniture)
    Your shelf is beautiful, another beautiful furniture and a good job,congratulations
    I learn a lot with you and your work.

    Me alegra saber que mantenemos el bordado de punto de cruz, es tan hermoso, me lo imagino en la lavandería. ah! También tengo estantes con un corazón, pero no he tenido el corazón para quitarlos, jajajaja , aunque espero tener el coraje de eliminarlo pronto, sé que se vería mejor sin eso. Además, ese corazón no es fácil de limpiar el polvo ( me gusta los muebles fáciles de limpiar )
    Es hermosa tu repisa, otro hermoso mobiliario y un buen trabajo , felicitaciones
    Aprendo mucho contigo y tus trabajos .

    • Yes, Karine, I really appreciate the work that goes into those stitched pieces! I may frame it for my laundry room eventually. Thank you so much! XO

  13. Wow!!! What an improvement. I love it!

  14. Mother Deer says

    This is such a clever upcycle. You continue to amaze me with your creativity and professional execution of these projects. It’s so fun to read your blog and wonder what you’re going to conquer next 🙂

  15. So cute. Can’t wait to see your next makeover–trying to figure out what that “holder” would have been used for. Any ideas? I have lots of those mostly pine items with “heart” cut-outs also. It definitely was an “80’s” north-american wide phenomenon. I live in Canada. Thanks for the inspiration as always and Happy New Year to you!

    • Thank you, Carolyn! One of the holes of that odd piece had a rubber piece in it like you would see around the bottom of a votive holder that can be inserted into a candlestick, so I’m assuming it held a bunch of those? I’m not sure what you would do with a whole caddy full of candles though! And yes, we all loved those hearts ha ha! Happy New Year! XOXO

  16. Cute as can be! I love your ability to salvage that poor 80’s stuff. So classy now! I need to do something with the little cabinet I picked up a couple months ago… I forgot about it, haha! At least now that I’m remembering it, you have me inspired to get to it! ???? Thanks!

  17. So much better!

  18. Thank you for not throwing away the cross stitch! Some of us who watch or make videos on FlossTube (YouTube for stitchers) try to “save the stitches” when we can, most often from thrift stores. I happen to recognize that design: it was from either “For the Love of Cross Stitch” or a companion magazine, both by Leisure Arts. I think it would have been fun to put a different, more contemporary, cross stitched piece into the opening, but if you’re not a stitcher and don’t know anyone who is, that obviously wouldn’t work.

    • Oh no I do try to keep those pieces as I appreciate how much work they are to make! I love your idea to replace it with something more modern! XO

  19. Gosh you have such a talent with knowing EXACTLY what to do with these pieces 😮 Your hubby must be so proud of you 🙂 Well done once again xo

  20. Marcie Lovett says

    Nope, never would have guessed it. How you see beyond the homely facade of these pieces! Every time you give a preview of the next project, I think “there is nothing she can do to make that better.” And I’m always wrong! You’d think after all this time I’d realize you can make something fabulous out of almost anything. Keep surprising us, Christy!

  21. Love this so much. One suggestion s hooks cute ones of course would make it easier to access the jewelry

  22. Melanie Hennessy says

    Hi Christy,

    I’m very inspired with your work and creativity. I was wondering what the difference was with Dixie Belle’s Clear Coat and Annie Sloan’s Clear Soft Wax. I noticed in some of your projects you use both of these. I’m new to chalk paint and wanted to understand better so is one better than the other?



    • Thank you, Melanie! I used to use Annie Sloan’s clear soft wax to seal everything mostly because I use a ton of white, and I had yet to find a brush-on sealer that wouldn’t yellow. That is until I tried Dixie Belle’s satin clear coat! I love it and so far I have not experienced the yellowing that others have left behind. They both work great, but using a brush-on sealer like the one from Dixie Belle is definitely easier! Hope this helps! XO

  23. What a difference with that 80’s heart gone! You made this cabinet so cute now, it will certainly sell quickly at your booth!

    • Those hearts are like a death sentence for these poor pieces! Glad I was able to save this one! Thanks, Kaycee! XOXO

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