Kerry Messer, VA, US

Growing up with my mom and grandma in the antiques business makes me feel right at home with musty, dusty artifacts. But when Im on the hunt Im thinking about repurposing rather than retail.
I teach my preschooler, middle schooler, and high schooler at home, so busting out the power tools to transform neglected pieces is a type of pressure relief valve for me. My husband is super-handy, so we love teaming up on projects. Our biggest conquest to date was the restoration of a 210 year old Colonial Revival home in Olde Towne Portsmouth, VA. That 10 year venture prompted us to move on to a low-maintenance new home.
Event-planning using free and thrifted supplies is a challenge I love. Typically that means helping a sweet couple with their wedding or helping out with a special occasion at church. I love creating settings that captivate attention in order highlight Gods goodness.
My husband quips, When I married you I had no idea you wanted to paint the whole world. Well, not exactly. But because were made in the image of the Great Creator, we find real joy by making our little corner of the world beautiful...and for me that includes curb-shopped and junk-tastically crafted treasures.

You are invited to join in my adventures here:


Gender: Female

Member Since: 11/12/2008

Subscribe to my RSS Feed


From Sad Side Table to Sunny Revolving Book Case

A neglected but functional revolving table takes on a whole new spin with stenciled numbers and a coat of sunny chalk paint.

Valentine Photo Wreath

Photos of loved ones take center stage with some TLC and a few scraps of upcycled goodness.

Valentine "Chandelier"

A vintage lamp shade frame and thrifted floral supplies turns into a "chandelier" with a touch of paint and a little baker's twine.

Decorating with Vintage Globes

Globes aren't just for libraries.

Headboard Jewelry Display

 Discarded headboard morphs into a handy jewelry display.

Christmas Vignette from Children's Toys

The barnyard gets the Christmas treatment.

Art Canvas Turned into Rectangular Wreath

Rescue a canvas bound for the trash. Rip off the painting and use a roll of burlap ribbon to created stapled folds all the way around. Voila! Rectangular Wreath!

Mod Podge Makeover

3 pieces get new leases on life thanks to decoupage.

Girly Flair for my Thrifty Chair

I wanted to use these linen hand-me-down "pants" even though they looked horrible on me, so I put them on my chair! 3/4 yard of fabric & a staple gun made recovering the seat a snap I cut the...

The "Redeeming Tree"

A fun alternative to the traditional "to-do list".

Wash Tub Fairy Garden

Worn-out wash tubs create the perfect setting for fairy campgrounds.

Vintage Valentines Around the Home

Home is where the heart is, so we're spreading some Valentine's TLC throughout the house using some junky vintage goodness.

Vintage Wedding Reception

Vintage Fair-Style Wedding Reception

Vintage Glider Becomes Best Seat at the Wedding

This gussied up thriftstore find made a mighty fine focal point for a lovely June wedding.

Mr. Chipley

A former convenience store potato chip display becomes a friendly Lego shelf.

New Life "Cooked Up" for Worn-out Pots

Vintage Club cooking pots get a new lease on life as planters.

JunkMarket Style Nursery

Outfitting this nursery was a family junking affair that cost less than $300.

Instant Coffee{House}

Turn a gym into a cafe in short order!

Sewing Drawer as Riser

*Sewing machine drawers work as perfect risers on the mantel *Pages of old hymnals create subtle backgrounds on canvas *Reversing vintage books allows you to spell out an inspirational message

Art Canvas turned into Rectangular Wreath

Rescue 2 items destined for the trash heap with a staple gun, glue gun, scissors, and a roll of ribbon as your only tools. Create a custom rectangular wreath in under an hour. 

Recent comments

Re: Vintage Valentines Around the Home

Aww, you're sweet. Have a great Valentine's Day, friend!


Re: ceiling fan angel wings

So much fun!

Re: Floating Buffet

Fabulous idea, and it looks great!

Re: Washstand Harp with a twist

Okay, not sure which I love more...this genius project or "Bob's Your Uncle"! =)

Re: From Sad Side Table to Sunny Revolving Book Case

Sue, you absolutely made my day. Wow. Your kind words have given me such a boost (and a rather large grin, I must add!). Thank you ever so much.

I was so excited to find JMS online after reading so many of your articles in print. It's such a treat to have a "hang out" spot on the interwebs with creative people who "get" the thing we all share for reviving outcast pieces. We are a unique lot, and I love that we get to pull inspiration from each other. I'm not much for technology & spending time online, but for JMS? Yes, Ma'am! When I can't be digging through somebody's barn or be elbow-deep in grimy projects I can come here and see somebody's else's barn-storming makeover. =)

I truly appreciate your vibrancy and the way you nurture creativity and positivity in others. Keep it up, sista'!

Hugs, Kerry

Re: Ugly Entry Closet to Mini "Mud Room"

Fun! We are Ticket to Ride fans, too. I have a feeling if we lived near each other we would be off galavanting on junk-escapades together. You've got great style. =)


You deserve some kudos, Lauretta. Your designs are smile-worthy! =)

Re: Repurposed Speed Limit Sign Cornhole Board Games

Best looking corn hole game EV-ER.

Re: Dressing up my Dresser...

All of my favorite materials and colors in one place! Love how you used the dryer & the C clamp. And the scripture you chose is a solid reminder for every morning. =)

Re: Spindle Ladder

This is about as cute as it gets!

Re: Cottage Style Mirror

Chic, as always. ;-)

Re: Washboard Organizer

Jasmin, your posts always leave me inspired and looking for what I can go transform next!

Re: Fab '50s Mini Bar

The colors & paint work you did look great!

Re: A Winter Wonderland Mantel

Silver in winter is the prettiest. What a nice arrangement you made! Love it.

Re: Repurposed Washboard to Toilet Paper Holder

So stinkin' clever. I keep wondering what you do with these ideas when they strike you like lighting. Do you have to keep a notebook on your nightstand?

Re: Vintage Holiday at Rue 72!

Amazing tree! Great post.

Re: Christmas Industrial Gear Part Two

Nice touch!

Re: A Little Girl Approach to Christmas

Such a cute idea. I love your new twist on holiday style.

Re: Christmas Uncluttered

You give really concrete reasons for simplification. ;-) Love it!

Re: Space Heater Lamp/Clock!

Very cool! Or should I say, hot?!

Re: Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Love the spunky touch with the artichokes! Great color combination, too. So inviting.

Re: Vintage Halloween

These are my favorite kind of Halloween decorations. So cute.

Re: Dressers with Broken Drawers. No Problemo.

This is so pretty. You do great work!

Re: Custom made bench


Re: Fall Wedding Decorations

You did a fabulous job. This look is fantastic!


Re: Simple (boy, do I mean simple) fall decorating

I like what you did with the rake. Super cute.

Re: Resurrecting the Past ~ Scaffolding Plank Table

Love it.

Re: Singer Sewing Base Wall Shelf with Yardsticks and Gym Wire Locker Baskets

I would love this for our laundry room! Way to be creative on this one. Love it.


Re: Decorating with Vintage Globes

Aww, you're kind, Jim. Thanks.


Re: Labor Day Bookcase

Nicely done!

Re: vintage furniture with a cow hide lick! BEAUTIFUL

This looks so rich!

Re: Framed Pumpkins

Such a cute idea!

Re: Kitchen Canister Fixed Up

Wow, that cleaned up so well!

Re: Chair Makeover

Wow, what a difference!

Re: A Falloween Porch Redo with some New (Old) Junk Finds!


Re: Old Washbins Have So Many Uses

So fun!

Re: Custom Carved Dragonfly Table

This is beautiful. Real artistry.

Re: A Shabby Little Adventure!


Re: My Hands are Tied...Literally

Dear me. I just love this! You're one clever lass.

Re: The JMS Project Runway Challenge is On!

Judging by the supply bundle the end products will be fabulous!

Re: From Farm to Table!

Very pretty!

Re: Bring an Industrial look to the table

What a fun riser!

Re: Repurposed First Aid Wall / Jewelry Organizer

What a fun look! All of the colors and textures make it so interesting.

Re: Vintage Glider Becomes Best Seat at the Wedding

I agree, Jim! =)

Re: Quick and Easy Lath Frame


Re: Vintage Curio Cabinet

Niiiiiice. 35 pieces? Wowzer. How cool to find a designer whose stuff you love and be able to outfit a home with their work. Good going!

Re: Happy 4th of July to All

Dear me. This is the cutest EV-ER! I love the way you think, girl!!!

Re: Midcentury Burlap Beauties

Way to go! Stunning.

Re: Custom Painted Checkers/Game 1/2 Table

I hear ya' on the checkerboard struggle. But it turned out so well! =)

Re: Repurposed Bakers Cabinet

Nicely done.

Re: Lantern with Succulents


Re: Chicken Crate Coffee Table


Re: Repurposed Industrial Factory Machine Base Party Table


Re: How to Present a Wedding Guest Book

So pretty, Sue. Simplicity is the best.

Re: Beware The Zamboni Brushes !!!

Oh my! This is fabulous. You're so creative.

Re: Vintage Hollywood Filmstrip Bows

Now that is creative! These are so glam.

Re: Trunk Table Monster Makeover

A steamer! Why in the world did I never think of that? Oh, no. Instead I have shreddy paper bits clinging to all the blankets stored in my trunk. You're a genious.


Re: Mr. Chipley

Thanks so much!


Re: The "Redeeming Tree"

You're so kind. Thank you! The posts I see here on JMS always get me thinking in new ways. This is such a fun site.


So much fun. Very clever!

Re: Balcony Container Gardening

Gorgeous...every last one! Terrific ideas.

Re: New junk growing in my garden

Everything about your outdoor space is just lovely. The way you describe stuff makes me smile, too. =)

Re: No room for a side table? Use a ladder instead!

That spigot for a necklace holder? Amazing. You have such a signature look. Love it. Your IG feed is so much fun, by the way. =)

Re: Reel Plant Holder

I love this. The color combo & the functionality are perfect.

Re: Collected Junk Office Space...

Love the calm color palette.

Re: Simple Outdoor Table Setting

Perfect color combination. Everything looks so cheerful and inviting!

Re: Upcycled Vintage Cookie/Candy Tin Bird Feeders

Do you sell these online, or just in local markets? They are so cute. You've got a terrific imagination!

Re: New Use for Old Decking

Nicely done. You've got a great eye. =)


Re: Silverware Jewelry

What clever ideas! I love the ones you made from knives, too. Cool.

Re: A New Twist on an Old Idea

Perhaps the coolest the lamp EV-ER.

Re: I'm Creating a New Look for My Home

Sue, that railroad cart bed is FAN-tab-u-lous. Any furniture with wheels is a hit in my book! Your space looks so fresh. =)


Re: JunkMarket Style Nursery

Thanks, friends! It's the thrill o' the cheap. ;-)

Re: Mmm, Mmm, Good!

So cheery! Man, could I go for some soup on this dreary day. Thanks for helping me sort out tonight's dinner plan. ;-)

Re: JunkMarket Style Nursery

I get such a kick out of it. I'm hoping to tackle my soon-to-be-13-year old's room over Spring Break. Thanks for a fun place to share!

Re: A Re-Design Ala-Junk Style!

I'm just seeing this for the first time and I love what you & Amy accomplished. Your space is so inviting. I'm totally going to mooch your idea for growing ivy in beakers...that looks so cool. =)


Re: Barn Junkin' & Pickin' Trip

What an awesome pick! I bet that was loads of fun (and trips to the truck!) I just love that bird cage. I can't wait to see what you'll concoct out of all of that great stuff...especially the vacuum cleaner head. Should be interesting! =)

By the way...our spring birds are back & I just can't wait to fill our hummingbird feeder & see who comes to visit. Yay for spring!



You have great vision. This is so eye-catching & fun!

Re: Kaleidoscope Angel Totem, The world is NOT Black & White


Re: From Sad Side Table to Sunny Revolving Book Case

Thank you all so much! Now if I could just get my 2 year old to stop spinning it so fast that the books fling out...

Re: Repurposed End Table

I love this idea! Our little Westie would feel so at home in something like this, and we're trying to train her to stay off of our light furniture. Thanks for the inspiration!

Re: Save those random knobs and pulls!

Oh man. I have tall stack of old windows and your idea just claimed one of them. Can't wait to try this!

Re: Repurposed Chrome Shelf Supports - Into Trays!

The one with the skate wheels is my favorite! What a great idea. =)

Re: Valentine "Chandelier"

Thanks, SassyCass and Sue!

Re: Old rocking chair

I love your style. It had to be a challenge to paint so close to those spindles, but you kept everything so clean!

Re: Dream a Little Dream -OR- "Could You Please Turn This Old Desk Into a Kitchen Island?"

What a fantastic combination of pieces to achieve your end result. Way to go!

Re: Love Is All You Need

Really creative, cute ideas!

Re: Office Wall Organizer

Such a cute & practical design. So clever!

Re: Biggest. Map. Ever.

Beyond cool. How long did it take?

Re: Repurposed Silverware Box

You've got such a steady hand! Do you use the boxes for something other than silverware?

Re: Vintage Hankie Scarves

This is just too sweet. Do you have a shop, or do you just create for your own wardrobe?

Re: Valentine Photo Wreath

Many thanks for the warm welcome! I am just tickled pink to be junkin' it up with such a fun group of folks. JMS members' ideas are such an inspiration for me!

Re: Piano Pantry

Wow. This is just too cool. Was it really difficult to remove the keys? Did you save them for another project?

Re: Old Chest. New Look

It looks great! You've given me an ounce of gumption to possibly tackle my hope chest. =)

Re: My first retirement DIY project

If this is the first, I can't wait to see what comes next! Great job.

Re: She Got Wheels. And She Knows How to Use Them...

What creativity! I just love "great bones" used in unexpected ways. This piece would be welcome in my home. Nicely done!

Re: Headboard Jewelry Display

Many thanks, Sue and Kathy! It's nice to have some time to fiddle with fun junk projects again...and to have a hubby who's willing to help. ;-)

Re: Headboard Jewelry Display

Thank you, JunkArchitect. I actually wear jewelry a lot more often now that it's not wound up like a skein of yarn.

Re: Headboard Jewelry Display

Oh, suziart, now you've got my wheels turning! My scarves are a tangled up hot mess! I may have to curb shop another headboard. =)

Re: Corner shelves from old doors

This would be perfect for a shop display, too. Nice job!

Re: "Plain Jane" gets a face lift

What a great finished product. I really like how the stain softened the look.

Re: Instant Coffee{House}

Thanks so much shabbychick and was lots of fun. =)

Re: Vintage Cutter Tablecloth Lamp Shades

Way to go! These could pass as Cath Kidson! You make me want to put some floral back in my decor. ;)

Re: Instant Coffee{House}

Aww. Your sweetness just brightened my day. =)
Thanks for providing us with a "Junkers Online Playground".

Re: The Whatchamacallit!


Re: Instant Coffee{House}

Thanks a bunch! Helping with church events is so much fun because the tight budgets forces us to find inventive solutions.

Re: Girly Flair for my Thrifty Chair

It actually pained me to cut the pants apart, but ladies...I looked like a sad sack of potatoes in those darlings! They are much more becoming on the chair. ;-)

Re: Recycled Lunchbox into a New Year's Eve Centerpiece

Uber cute!

Re: Sewing Drawer as Riser

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement!

Re: Art Canvas turned into Rectangular Wreath

Thanks so much!

Re: Seasonal Tool Box Centerpiece

Love this! My mom used the same idea last Thanksgiving by filling a red tackle box with fall leaves and pinecones to use as a centerpiece. It's great for July 4th, too...brimming with hand-held American flags and glitter stars on picks!

Re: Dare to Make it Holiday Challenge

When I laid eyes on this adorable craft I hustled my bustle off to the nearest thrift store. Unfortunately for me, mittens are very hard to come by in southern Virginia! I'll be calling my reinforcments in Syracuse, NY to put out an A.P.B. on all available woolen mittens for the cause of cute Christmas gifts! Any suggestions on where to find a handful of those wonderful rusty springs?