Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Recovered Dining Chair Tutorial

Ready for another tutorial? I've finished up a custom job recovering some breakfast chairs and decided I'd do my post on that. It's such a simple update that can make a world of difference in a room. If you have kids, you know what I mean (why is it so hard for food to stay on a plate or in the mouth?!). Here's a few tips before we start:

  • If you have kids, pets or tend to be messy, use either an outdoor fabric, one that's wipeable (like microsuede, leather or vinyl) or laminate a piece of whatever fabric you like. You can by the small laminating rolls for around $5-10. I buy mine at a discount warehouse so I don't know what they typically retail for.
  • Give yourself plenty of fabric! I've cut it close more times than I'd like to admit and it's stressful! Not to mention there's no guarantee you'll always be able to get more (depending on where you got it).
  • Check the integrity of the seat bottom. I had to re-cut seat bottoms for my example because the originals were made from mdf and finally gave out after 20 years!
  • Be careful not to strip the screws out. Slow and easy does it. Not too much torque on the drill!
Alright.  Here's the finished reupholstering job:

Amazing what fabric (and new seat bottoms) can do!

And here's the original:

(Would you believe I forgot to take the before picture?!?!?!? I just realized that as I was hunting for it. Sorry! You can see the original cream fabric in the pics. You're not missing anything!) Here's a snapshot  of what the bottoms were looking like. At least I remembered to take a picture of that!

The owners didn't realize they were broken. I was afraid they might not like how the new chairs were no longer "contoured" to fit the backside so well!

Step one:
Gather your supplies.

1. chair/chairs to recover
2. fabric - measure each direction of the chair and add about 3" each way. If you are using a repeat, be careful to allow for waste. The bird fabric I used on my French Table Redo had a ton of waste!
3. a pneumatic staple gun is preferable, but an electric or manual will work
4. staples for your gun - I use 5/16" (not wire). LOTS of them.
5. scissors
6. needle nose/wire cutting pliers
7. drill (and bit equal in size or slightly smaller than screws holding seat in if replacing seat bottoms)
8. a "claw" tool 
9. replacement padding if needed (look at what you're removing and use the same if possible, unless it needs "beefing up". I like to use an egg crate mattress topper!
10. plywood (basic 3 ply will work) if redoing bottoms. Get a big sheet and have Lowe's/Home Depot cut it down for you. Cut pieces larger than seat measurements by about 1" each direction (they don't measure well sometimes, so you might want to even add another inch each way!)
11. jigsaw if making new bottoms and safety equipment (goggles/gloves/close-toe shoes/dust mask)

Step 2:
Remove seat bottoms with drill or screw driver. Careful not to strip the screws out!

Step 3: 
Remove all the old staples and fabric if reusing bottoms (this is the tedious part!).
If not, see if pad is salvageable by cutting off fabric carefully.

This is where you'll use that claw tool and the needle nose pliers. I tried using a staple remover. Don't bother. It's faster with the pliers.

"The Claw"
I have no idea what this is really called:)

Grab and roll instead of trying to pull straight out.

 Step 4:
If replacing seat bottoms, use old bottom still in tack as a pattern and trace it onto your pre-cut plywood.
Old seat bottom on top of new board to cut.

Trace pattern on new board.

Step 5:
Clamp pre-cut plywood piece to a cutting table or something sturdy and cut with jigsaw along traced line.
LOOK OUT for pieces falling on toes (ask me why:)!

Cutting out new seats.
New bottom and old pad.

Make sure padding overlaps slightly as shown here. This protects users from hard edges.

 Step 6:
Lay seat bottoms with padding on fabric and position ALL cutouts on fabric BEFORE cutting.
Make sure you can get all them out of the fabric you have. Be very careful of how stripes, patterns or repeats fall on the seat bottom. Give plenty of extra on all sides and allow for padding thickness.
CENTER! Attention to detail is critical here. 

Carefully align pattern if there is one.
Step 7:
If laminating fabric, do so after cutting out pieces. 
Cutting will cause the laminate to come loose along the edges so it's better to cut first.
In addition, the laminate I buy is only wide enough for one seat bottom at a time, anyway. 

Step 8:
Center padding on bottoms and attach with a spray adhesive if possible.
(not mandatory)

Make sure it fits!

Step 9:
I like to wrap the chairs with a thin layer of batting first (stapled just like the fabric)
to get the foam shaped right before putting the fabric on.
Keeps it smooth.
Don't overlap corners of batting. Just pull together and clip corners off with scissors, otherwise it gets to thick and bulky in this area. They make a spray foam adhesive to seal the corners together or you can just stitch them together with a needle and thread. This step is not mandatory. Look at what your replacing and just go with what they did if not sure.

Step 10:
Lay bottom on fabric and pull fairly tight, putting one staple in the center on each side.
Then go back and work your way out to the edges, alternating sides across from each other to keep the pattern straight and fabric smooth.

Use your whole hand to pull tight (watch the pattern!) instead of using just your fingers.

Step 11:
Fold in the corners and carefully lay fabric so it creates a smooth edge and lays as flat as possible on bottom. This is the hardest part in my opinion. I sometimes really have to fuss with a piece to get it "just so". Don't overlap too much or you'll end up with a thick corner that doesn't allow the seat bottom to screw back in flush and tight.

Step 12:
Trim off excess.

Finished and trimmed.
Step 13 (optional):
 If you want it to look really professional, cut a layer of cambric or bottom cloth the size of the seat bottom, turn edges under about .5" and press. Hot glue, FabricTac®, staple or tack it over the exposed wood and staples to create a more finished appearance. (If gluing, apply a thin ribbon all the way around the edge. If stapling or tacking, only do corners and the center of each side.) This also helps to prevent unraveling of some fabrics.

Step 14 (if new seat bottoms were cut):
Drill new holes in seat bottoms.
Line up seat bottom on chair as if to screw back into place. Take a drill bit slightly smaller than the screws originally removed and drill into the aligned seat bottom through the screw holes on the seat frame. BE VERY CAREFUL to avoid going to deep and ruining your upholstery! 

Drilling new holes.

Step 15:
Screw seat bottoms back onto chair frame.
Align seat cushion on the chair frame and while holding in place tightly, screw in two opposing corners to hold your position. Then screw in the other two remaining screws. 

Screwing in seat bottoms.
Step 16:
Set out newly upholstered chairs for all to admire!

The finished product.

Well, there ya go. You've got my take on recovering a dining/breakfast chair. Now, I KNOW a bunch of you need to do this, so hop to it. You'll be shocked at how it transforms your room!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Another Cool DIY and Happy Memorial Day

Want to see another really cool DIY recycle project? Like I said before, it takes some really good use of something to make me notice a recycle project. This is another perfect example:

via Matsutake Blog
How glamourous is this lamp?! The amazing thing....is what it's made of. Ready, COKE BOTTLES and DUCT tape!!!!! I love it! The even more amazing thing is I couldn't guess when I first saw it even though I knew it was recycled stuff (and that is how my brain works!). If you've never checked out Matsutake blog, you need to. It's great! Katie gives a full tutorial on how to make this fantastic lamp here. Want to see the before? Check it out:

Just amazing! Have a great Memorial Day weekend:)

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).


Master Bedroom Tour

Ready to see those dust bunnies hidden under the rug and the Gold Fish crumbs I mentioned in my "Movin' On In" post? Too bad. I'm not QUITE ready to show those off. But, I have decided it was time to post a pic of our master bedroom since I went and got your curiosity up with my comment on the portfolio picture from Haute Design out of Charleston, SC. Two of their portfolio pictures were eerily similar to two rooms in my house. Here's the one I said looked so similar to my master bedroom:

Now, before we proceed, let me be perfectly clear that my room is not NEARLY as nice as this one with it's barrel vaulted, bead board ceiling (LOVE it!), but you'll get the idea. Mine is still in the process of being "created" as well. I do not have a bottomless budget to hire a team to come in and redo my room in a matter of a week, month, year ....whatever:)

Let's compare. There's the portfolio room above, and here's mine shot from nearly the same angle:

Our Master Bedroom.
 O.k . Different fabrics, a window seat area versus french doors, an ancient T.V. in place of another seating area, and sheer bed drapery.  BUT, look at placement style and color. See the similarity? Apparently great minds think alike (wink, wink)!

Now for the budget breakdown for you. This is not a total low-budget makeover. This is where we started:

I actually liked the color before. It was Sherwin Williams "Macadamia", but wanted to try blue.

See how the door and window aren't actually evenly spaced out from the corners? See if you notice it in the afters.
The first thing we did before even moving in was to rip out and replace all the carpet. I went with a light sand color praying the new DuPont Serona Polyester fiber was as good as they claimed and worth the money. So far, so good...although it is time to call in a carpet cleaner and see what happens:)

The paint color was nice, but I have never done a blue bedroom for myself and the hubby so I decided to paint it. I went with Benjamin Moore's Brittany Blue but mixed in Behr. (I'm a long time Behr user and it's always been my go-to paint. I have heard Benjamin Moore's is just as good, so I'm thinking my next room painted will be a little test to see for myself.) It's the same color that was used as the background for the mural in my oldest boy's room. Truth be told, as much as I love it, I'm tempted to repaint it Benjamin Moore's "Palladian Blue". It's got just a touch more green in it and it was one of the colors I debated for this room. I've since seen it used and love it. A friend of mine painted all her ceilings in this and they're BEAUTIFUL!

Palladian Blue
Benjamin Moore HC-144
image via House Beautiful
 Gorgeous, isn't it? But, I currently have Brittany Blue which I also love. It's just a little cooler in tone.

Brittany Blue by Benjamin Moore
"Brittany Blue"
Benjamin Moore 1633

I do not believe in buying "cheap" furniture. By that, I don't mean top dollar...just top quality. There are a million ways to find really good stuff that is top quality at a fraction of the price. Our bed was a splurge...BIG splurge. We got it at Ethan Allen. It's their British Classics four poster.

Ethan Allen British Classics Bed

We did not buy the whole set...just the bed. It's been worth every penny. I love snuggling down in our bed! Since we up-sized to a king, we also had to buy new mattresses. UNFORTUNATELY, no one bothered to tell us to get the low profile box springs and I was too excited to think straight, so now I feel like the "Princess and the Pea"! I got over the height shock, but haven't gotten over how incredibly comfortable this bed is:) This is the bed I initially wanted:

Ethan Allen Newport Laurel Bed

But for once, the hubby wanted to have a little say-so and felt the British Classics bed was just at little more bulky and masculine. He's so good about letting me do whatever, I couldn't argue because I did like it. Besides, he does have to sleep in it! Guess it's only fair he gets a little say-so (wink, wink):)

Here's some more shots of the room and a little more on the "decor" budget:

The fabric I used for the bed skirt and window seat was what started the whole coastal color scheme in the house. It's Waverly Harmonics Harmony Spa.

Home Decor Fabrics-Waverly Harmonics Harmony Spa : home decor print fabric : home decor fabric : fabric : Shop | Joann.com
 I searched my remnants store for almost a year until I found a stash of it and used in my room.

I love how the sunlight floods in this room.
That trunk was my great grandparents and has been passed down along with another I'm planning to get from my parents at some point (when I can remember!).

The duvet cover is by Sferra and I found it at Ross for...ready? An incredible $7.00! All the bedding came from either T.J. Maxx, Ross or Target. The desk was my father's and I'd love to paint it, but need his "Oaky Dokey". The mirror & serpentine dresser were my grandmother's, and the rocking chair was hubby's great grandmother's! Lot's of antiques that have been passed down. Gives a more collected over time look that I like.

The bed lamps I found at the Habitat ReStore for $8 each. They were shiny brass I spray painted Oil-Rubbed Bronze and found new shades for on sale at Hancock Fabrics. The bed ties are just strips of left over burlap. The bed sheers are just yards of sheering I cut and hemmed.
Ready for a laugh? Because the bed is so high, I had to get creative with night tables until I can buy some pieces I like that are high enough yet not too big and still within budget (harder than you might think!). They are really large plastic trashcans turned upside down with a pressed wood table top laid over them. I covered them with a sheet, cut a pre-made curtain in half for the topper, and laid the glass on top! (Can you believe I just told you that?! I have no shame, do I? Don't answer that!)

I made the seat cushion from more remnants and old sofa pillows.
The curtains are white bed sheets I hemmed and made headers for:)

This is my desk area. It used to just be an awkward space like on the other side, but hubby was nice enough to build me a desk for our first Christmas here to my specs. I love this space (told you my computer was a dinosaur!).

This is the other side of the window seat area. See my stash of fabric?
That's just a fraction of it! I think I have an addiction.

Well, there you have it. You've now seen why I got so excited when I found that portfolio pic on Haute Design's web page. Hope you enjoyed the mini room tour!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Sad Day

I'm so sad. My favorite coffee cup handle broke today!

My Favorite Coffee Cup (sniff, sniff).

Yes, I could have glued it, but I don't want to take a chance with it not holding. I like my coffee HOT! I decided a ceremonial burial in the trash can was appropriate. It's been with me through a lot of painting and projects. I did take one last picture to share with you. Although that is water from rinsing it off, it looked like appropriate tears so I didn't dry it before it's last photo shoot. Good-bye much used (if you know me, MUCH is an understatement!) coffee mug!

A Custom Bed Reveal

I recently refinished this bed for a friend. I'd have shared it before now, but in my hurry to get it to her, I forgot to take an AFTER picture! I've had to wait until we could get a couple of  quick shots in. Can you believe I forgot the most exciting part?!?! 

This is what I started with:

It wasn't bad to begin with, but it was a little rough looking like it had been loved a lot over the years:)

Looking a little beat up.

It was a great old pineapple twin poster bed and we were redoing it for a little boy's room. She already knew what color she wanted - Brick Red Milk Paint. So, I went to work sanding it down some to get all the years of "stuff"  and "love" off of it (including some OLD nicotine that I could barely smell when I used a wet rag to take off the sanding dust!).

To be honest, if it had been mine, I would have been really tempted to leave it like that and just wax or poly it. I loved the rough distressed look for a boys room...besides...that's the look they give everything anyway:) But, this rough look is not her style.

I just loved this roughed up look on such a traditional piece..."juxtaposition", oh yeah!

Instead, like a good painter, I did as I was asked and put the red on. I mean...that's what I was getting paid to do! It kind-of needed just a little "umph", so I took a mix of my acrylic paints and a tiny bit of metallic black and made a watery glaze. I dry brushed super light and glazed over the red, then wiped the excess off. I loved the final look. How about you?

All comfy now in the big boy room. Thanks for the pictures, "friend". I'm still kicking myself for forgetting them!

See the faint glazing?

It is beautiful! O güzel! Es ist schön! Det er smukt! Es hermoso! Il est beau! انها جميلة!
(Yes, I look at my stats:) I appreciate ALL my readers!)

I wonder how long it will look like this in a little boy's room? Hmmmmm.....!

Miss Bee

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