February 21, 2014 at 1:00 am

Handmade

Designer turns 'drab into fab' with silhouettes and more

Weiner family and pet silhouettes are displayed over the head board in the master bedroom. (Todd McInturf / The Detroit News)

The idea was 20 years in the making, but Loren Weiner Re-Designer, a Birmingham-based decorating business, was finally launched last August.

Birmingham resident Loren Weiner, a busy stay-at-home mom of two young girls, ages 7 and 8, soon realized her dream after “converting a large storage room (in the basement of her home) into a mid-century art studio” where she turns vintage furniture, wall decor and light fixtures into unique home accents. She calls it “turning drab into fab.”

“It’s something I’ve been working toward for as long as I can remember,” says Weiner. “I’ve always purchased things and revamped them.” Her favorite makeover finds are old chandeliers “because they can completely change a room.”

Weiner’s furniture redesigns include not only breathing new life into upholstered pieces, but also retro items like fiberglass chairs from decades ago. Her passion is working with “anything that looks like a throwback to another era.”

She also offers customized work, and says, “I have people come to my home and very often will sell things right out of my house, or people will see something in my house and place an order.”

As a nostalgic wall accent to complement her redesigned furniture and chandeliers, she also makes framed silhouette portraits, made popular before the invention of photography. On March 6, Weiner will teach a class on how to create a silhouette portrait at the Community House at 380 S. Bates St. in Birmingham. Fee is $26, and supplies are not included.

On March 27, she’ll conduct a “Vintage Shopping Tour” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at a cost of $28 per person. “I’ll be teaching students how to find vintage decor items and how to haggle for them.” Tour participants will meet at Vogue Vintage at 23622 Woodward in Pleasant Ridge. You can register online for either class at www.tchserves.org/ or by calling (248) 644-5832.

Framed Silhouette Portrait

Level: Beginner

Estimated time: Two hours

Tools: Camera, printer, a sharp pencil, sharp scissors, X-Acto knife, fine point marker, spray adhesive

Supplies: A clear/sharp profile picture, foam board, cardstock, 2 pieces of contrasting paper (e.g. black and white), picture frame

Instructions

1. Print profile picture out on card stock.

2. Outline/trace around head with marker.

3. Carefully cut out profile along line with scissors and X-Acto knife on foam board.

4. Use cutout as template to trace out on final paper.

5. Now, carefully cut out profile from permanent/background paper on foam board.

6. Measure around inside of frame and cut permanent/background paper to size.

7. Mount picture to permanent/background paper using spray adhesive. Let dry.

8. Put profile picture in frame.

Contact Loren Weiner Re-Designer at www.lorenweinerredesigner.com or email loren@lorenweinerredesigner.com.

Detroit News Staff Writer Jocelynn Brown is a longtime Metro Detroit crafter. For more news and giveaways, visit her blog at detroitnews.com/crafts. You can reach her at (313) 222-2150.

Loren Weiner of Birmingham with items from her collection. (Todd McInturf / The Detroit News)