Friday, July 22, 2011

Progress on the upholstry

I went back to work on the chair today! Guess what? It had been so long since I'd been there to work, I'd forgotten how far I had gotten last time. What a pleasant surprise to find this:

The first thing I did today was sew the cording. Then the teacher re-sewed it because I didn't do a very good job (it was my first time sewing cording-I'm learning).

Then we put the chair back together! It's getting exciting. We tightened the nuts and bolts and it's actually a chair again.

Then we moved to the arms. We put burlap over any gaps.

Then placed more cording around the arm. Next I stapled the fabric just under the cord. Then I had to go home because seriously, that -what you just read in a minute or less-took me 3 hours.
 Hopefully I'll actually finish the chair next week!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

making over a $5 table

I found this table for $5 at Mod Mood, a very cool consignment store in Wheat Ridge
Here's the table:

It's not bad, but the laminate top was too ugly for me. I decided to try decoupage. I looked up some tutorials on the internet and bought some Modge Podge. You should know-these tutorials led me astray. First, I painted the table with an off-white/Ivory high gloss spray paint. Then I tore out pages of a book. I used a spray adhesive (wrong) to keep the pages in place and trimmed around the edges. It looked AWESOME.

Then I applied the Modge Podge (wrong) and all the pages immediately wrinkled and bubbled. It looked terrible.

So I tore it up.

I tried again (I found another tutorial-also wrong). This time, I applied Modge Podge to the table, put the pages down, modge podged the top-results that were even worse. I ripped it up again. I made another trip to Hobby Lobby and talked to someone who had done decopoge before. To my surprise, she told me not to use Modge Podge, instead to by this laquer called "Triple Thick". So I made a 50/50 mix of Elmer's glue and water. I would paint that onto the back of a page, lay it down on the table and do that again and again until the table was covered. Then I applied the Triple Thick and left it alone. Here's the result:

There are still bubbles, but I'm going to live with it. The Triple Thick stuff leaves a nice hard surface, I think spilled yogurt and applesauce will clean up easily from the table. And if not, I can re-do it again!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

reupholstering a chair takes forever.

This summer I decided to learn how to reupholster. I realized very quickly a few things: 1. Just because I learn how to reupholster this chair doesn't mean that those skills will transfer to another chair 2. Reupholstering is slow work.
I found this chair at a garage sale for $4. It seemed sturdy and comfy and cheap, so if it didn't work out, hey it was only $4, no big deal.

First we measured. Oh, if only I'd known what I was doing when I picked this chair! It's so huge. I measured and we determined that it would take 12 yards of fabric! 12 yards! For those of you who know nothing about fabric, upholstery fabric is about $10 and up per yard. I was planning on selling this chair or giving it away, but now I couldn't figure out who would buy this chair for $124+labor costs. I went to Denver fabrics and-it was a miracle!-found fabric for $1.00 per yard. It's a little strange-it's got monkeys and fish, but I liked the colors and frankly for $12, I couldn't pass it up. 
But I'm getting ahead of myself. The covering with fabric doesn't come until the chair has been stripped-staple by staple by staple. 

Once inside, we determined that it was a pretty good chair-filthy, with candy wrappers, dog fur and sunflower seeds, but still a solid chair. 
The next step in reupholstering-after stripping it of basically everything-depends on what part you're doing. We weaved (wove?) some band thingies in the seat for stability, put in this super soft cotton and covered it with something called  dacron (if you have tactile issues, you will HATE this stuff). Then we cover it with muslin. Thanks to Project Runway, I knew what this was! Spread and smooth, spread and smooth then staple. Check out this staple gun that I'm using:
I asked the instructor if she ever had the urge to take the staple gun and just spray staples into the wall. She said no (but I definitely wanted to do that). 
On to spreading and smoothing the fabric. here are the arms:
Finally it's starting to look like a chair. And this has taken days to get to just this point. 
Finally, the seat is re-covered:
See the fabric? Not so bad for $1 per yard. So much work has gone into this chair, though, I'm starting to wonder which piece of furniture currently in my house will end up in the garage to make room for this chair. Partly because I'm working so hard on it and partly because I know this is a quality chair.
Later this week I will continue to work slowly at finishing this chair.

paint chip animals

A few months ago, I was inspired by this picture:

from cozylittlecave. I don't have stairs, so I had to think about what I could use paint chips for. Now, this blogger at cozylittlecave got a lot of negative comments about taking these paint chips for free, and she defended herself saying she told the people at Behr and home dept what she was doing and they were fine with it. I figured since she did all that legwork getting the ok from HD and Behr, I was good to go.
My first stop was Goodwill, where I picked up some frames, then to HD for the paint chips, then Target for some poster board.  I freehanded some animals on the poster board, then cut out them out. I arranged the paint chips on another paper (for most of them, I used the print that came in the Goodwill frame). Then I laid the animal cut-out on top. Like so:

If I were to do this again, I would get a paper cutter and paper from a craft store. This way it's less shady and it's not any additional work since even with the paint chips you have to do some cutting because they've got the name of the color printed on them.