Month of makeovers, Day 14: It’s happy hour!

I usually bypass the stack of framed art at the thrift shop. Never found much in it. Not even any interesting frames.

Till yesterday!


This beauty was buried under a stack of framed prints, of the kind you find at the big-box stores. And it just screamed, “I’m vintage! And unhappy! Get me out of here!”

So I did. Paid the $3 ransom the price tag was asking, and brought it home.

At my workspace, I pull off the back of the frame—it’s just barely holding on two sides.

back of frame

Out comes a surprise—it’s not a hanky, it’s not a pillowtop, it’s a miniature flag!


It’s been folded over and taped down with super-sticky packing tape. Not good. The adhesive in any tape is really tough on fabrics.


Especially one that’s over 40 years old. 1968! I was  wearing plaid skirts and knee socks that year! And how can you not love a name like “Happy Hour Enterprises”? It makes me want to pull out a martini glass, even though I don’t like martinis.

I think the fabric is acetate, which makes me hesitate. Acetate really should be dry-cleaned. It’s fragile and prone to tear when it’s wet. But it’s got that sticky tape residue on it. I decide to take a chance and wash it.


First, a basin big enough for it to lie flat. Then I grate some soap into the basin—detergent could be too harsh—and dissolve it with tepid water.


Why, yes, I do use Fels Naptha soap!


Then I push the flag down into the soapy water. And hold my breath for 3 minutes. Will the colors run? Will the glossy acetate finish go dull? Will it shred into a thousand raggedy pieces?

None of those disasters happen. Yay!


I rinse the flag, sandwich it between two towels, and iron on low heat. One of the grommets has come loose and there are a few threads hanging from the unfinished edges. I wonder why the original owner didn’t bother to cut the string ties from the grommets.


It’s Happy Hour at last!

I’m not entirely happy yet with this project—it needs to be something, something where it won’t need to be washed again. Maybe framed under glass on a vintage tray? But I’m out of time tonight. Go have your own happy hour and come back another day to see what’s next.

See the entire list of projects for our Month of Makeovers HERE.