Easy, adorable, no-sew re-upholstered footstool

beforeafterUpholstery is one of those DIY projects that can be really easy or really tough! I’ve done a couple chairs (one here), one with help from an upholstery class. I have a recliner I’d love to reupholster, but I am definitely not experienced enough to attempt it. However, there are some very simple upholstery projects that require no more than a staple gun, glue gun and some scissors – these include most dining room chairs, benches and footstools. These are the upholstery projects I – and you – can do!

Awhile back, I picked up this ugly footstool at a thrift shop for $5. I was drawn to it because the lid opens to reveal storage – reminded me of a mini piano bench. And the stool itself was in great shape – the wood was not scratched, the hinges worked perfectly, and it really seemed like it had never been used. (Probably because it was ugly!)

I had some leftover faux fur from a cape and muffs I had made for a friend’s wedding. I knew the fur would be perfect for this little bench that was just screaming for a girly makeover.

DSCF0505Materials

  • Faux fur or other fabric – enough to cover with a couple inches overhang on each side to staple down
  • Fleece
  • Padding (I used the existing padding – it was still in good shape)
  • Staple Gun
  • Screwdriver
  • Glue gun
  • Sample-size paints from the home improvement store
  • Primer
  • Paint brushes – small brush, larger brush and sponge brush for ombre legs

Step One: Prep
Remove the hinges and all fabric from the lid. Determine if the padding from the lid is in good enough condition to reuse. Clean the wood with TSP or similar cleaner. Sand wood with fine grit sandpaper to scuff up any stain or paint.

DSCF0516Step Two: Primer
Primer is key, especially if there was an existing finish on the bench. I had plenty of leftover primer from other projects. You can also use a paint/primer combo – but if you do, I recommend a little heavier sanding first to get through the existing finish. Coat the body, legs, and inside the storage area with primer. Odds are, the legs of the bench unscrew like mine did. I unscrewed them to apply the primer and paint to the body and then loosely screwed the legs back in to paint and primer those also. This keeps primer and pain from gunking up around the tops of the legs.

WP_20140317_010Step Three: Paint
Again, I had some leftover white paint from other projects. For the pink, I went to Lowes and got a $3 sample paint in a darker pink. My bench had a groove running along the bottom edge. This was perfect for me to paint pink. If you don’t have any such details, you can always use painters tape to create a stripe. Or just keep it solid.

For the legs, I wanted to do an ombre pink, starting darker at the bottom of the legs, moving lighter as I went up. I used a couple paper plates to mix the dark pink with the white to blend three shades of pink. Starting with the lightest shade, I painted the entire leg. When that dried, I started a third of the way down or so with the medium pink paint and a sponge brush, blending in the medium pink. Then, after that dried, I sponged on the dark pink. It turned out as good as I had hoped.

DSCF0575Step Four: Cover with fabric
Cut out the fabric you’re using to cover the top of the bench. Make sure you leave enough overhang on each side to fold over and staple down. If you are using faux fur as I did, there is a definite trick to cutting the fur without making a huge mess. DO NOT USE SCISSORS! Use a razor blade or knife to the back of the fur to cut just the backing. (see here for more instruction). Once you’ve cut to size, put the padding between the lid and the cover. Wrap the cover fabric around and staple down to the lid. I found, with the fur, that I did have to trim the fur a little shorter to have the staples stick better. Also, with thicker fabric, you may need to trim out the corners for them to lay a little flatter.

Step Five: Finish
To make the inside of the lid a little more appealing, I covered the center with white fleece. I trimmed the fur so that the fleece laid flatter, and then used a glue gun to attach it to the underside of the lid. Then, screwed the hinges back on and DONE!

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Handmade cake plate

IMG_3409One of my favorite sites put out this great book with so many DIY projects. One of my favorite projects is a DIY cake plate. This is an easy project that allows for so much personalization. And the primary pieces required can be found inexpensively at your local thrift store!

Supplies needed:

Plates – dinner plate size is best, or fancy china
Glass candlesticks
Clear epoxy
Goo Gone

 

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Summer BBQs–Festive decorations for your parties!

IMG_3802Summer is finally upon us! Which means it is time for summer BBQs with friends! In Seattle, summer doesn’t really begin until the 4th of July, which is truly a perfect excuse for a party! Here are some fun, easy, and INEXPENSIVE ways to create festive decorations for your holiday party table.

One day, while home sick from work, I was watching the Nate Berkus show and was inspired by an episode on thrifting. He had a segment with a fantastic blogger, Mr. Kate, who created a beautiful holiday table with all thrift store finds. With a little bargain hunting and couple cans of spray paint, you can do the same.

Do a little shopping

Mr. Kate went into the thrift store imagining beyond just what she was seeing. Sure, that ceramic eagle figurine w/ the muted pastel colors and the weird eyes looks pretty creepy now, but spray painted white, it’s a great accent for a 4th of July table. Those slightly rusty metal bowls have great lines, and with a couple coats of navy blue and a cloth napkin liner, they could be the perfect bowl for your buns. And, at 30 cents a piece, you can spray paint the handles of thrift store silverware for a fun look. Whatever you can’t find at the thrift store, you can supplement at the dollar store. I found plates and napkins at the Dollar Tree – they fit in perfectly!

Here are my finds: Continue reading

Thrift Shop Mojo

I am a thrift store junkie. I remember when I was a kid, we didn’t have a lot of money. Every summer, my family spend a week in Auburn, WA at Lake Tapps. Auburn had tons of thrift stores and we’d go each year to pick up clothes for the school year. So, I wasn’t the most fashionable kid in the school, but I learned to love the adventure. That love for thrift stores persists today. I’d say about half my shoes and clothes come from thrift stores – a handful of handbags too! It used to be a necessity for money reasons, but today, I can afford new clothes. But I am used to thrift pricing now. ($100 for jeans?! HA!) And honestly, I just love the challenge and the hunt for a great deal.

Thrifting has become trendy recently. One of my favorite blog sites, Hello Giggles, has a whole series of posts about thrifting. The new CBS show 2 Broke Girls (which I find funny, but all my friends think it sucks) had a hilarious episode where the street-smart broke girl took the former rich-bitch broke girl to the Goodwill. Especially in today’s economy, and with increased sensibilities to ‘green living’, thrifting is a fantastic money-saving, reduce/reuse/recycle option. All it takes is some common sense and a sense of adventure. With a dash of patience. And hand sanitizer.

Look for these

Clothes. This is the easiest category. I only own one pair of jeans that did not come from a thrift store. Most of my dresses (I have a lot!) are from thrift stores. You will need to try things on – especially jeans. I have to try on 15 pairs for every 2 I go home with. But I have some nice jeans – Hilfiger, DKNY – and not a single pair cost more than $9.99. I have found cute tops, great sweaters – never spending more than $15 for any item. Here are some of my faves:
IMG_3579b  IMG_3577IMG_3499b

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