July 17, 2010

If you’re gunna recover a sofa….

…make sure it’s an easy one.

Reupholstering for a novice can be impossible, OR NOT if the project is right.  I have a friend Becca, she called me saying she’d found an awesome settee, and wanted to know if I could reupholster it for her.  My immediate answer was MAYBE.

She’s a portrait photographer, working often with a fairytale slant… cool stuff. http://beccanae.com/
She found this settee with great fragile & feminine bones, so I went to look at it.  I could tell immediately I could totally recover it… no fancy nailing, tacks, piping… I could see it was going to disassemble easily, so I called her back and told her to get it!

I know what is beyond my skills, and most upholstery is.  I don’t have any fancy tools to do it; I have a staple gun.  Lucky for me (or Becca) this settee was hardly screwed together, and easily came apart.  The main back cushion only had 5 screws holding it on… each side piece had 1 screw.  So along with recovering it, I reattached the pieces with more screws in more places, giving it some strength. I also reinforced the frame… you can see how little structure was under the seat…
I won’t go into a detailed how to, it took far too many hours to attempt a how to… but I wanted to share how great it turned out.
So great in fact that I did a little photo-shopping and made myself a new banner for my blog with it!  (You probably already noticed.)
One thing I will share… for the back… I bought a thin sheet of mdf, traced the back of the settee onto it, and cut it out with a jig saw before covering it with fabric… This made the back of the sofa as pretty as the front, with smooth lines much better than the stiff green stuff that came off of it.

Didn’t she choose awesome fabric!?!
PS…. A project like this will teach you: Easy and Quick are not the same thing.
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July 9, 2010

Now the Pedestal is finished!

Remember this....

Well it didn't take much convincing that I DID need to antique the base, and give it some depth.

I know I'm repeating myself, but this is such a handy tip...
Since I used white spray paint on the pedestal, I COULDN'T use the Walnut Stain that I put on everything as my antiquing medium. The oil based stain would wipe off the oil based spray paint.  So I had to water down some brown water based paint, and treat that like a stain.
IF I had used white water based paint, I COULD use the walnut stain... I have a current project where I'm using Walnut stain over white water based paint, and the result is quite different than this... So watch this space if you are interested in seeing the difference. (I will try to post that one next.)
Onto the AFTER:

So, what you see is just watered down paint, brushed on and then wiped off.
I used three rags:
1st one was wet to wipe off the majority,
2nd one was wet to wipe off less -keeping the white paint clean looking,
3rd one was dry to tidy up from the other two.
It was important to me that you could tell it started out white. I didn't want a dingy looking pedestal.  Although I'm not as pleased with these photos as I am with the real thing.  Everything looks better in person eh?

I decided to pair my three $1 chairs with the table that I bought at a yard sale ages ago... you may remember the lovely orange fabric on the B4 pics. Just wish I could find ONE MORE.
If you haven't seen that post, I antiqued them also... so they match great!
Thanks For Lookin'.
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For the girl who has everything and needs a Bucket to put it in.

I do a lot of projects where it’s easiest to just share an idea, and not so much showing how.  Sometimes it feels impossible to share every step, so I take photos and hope to just share the general idea and inspire.  I figure I’m inspired by many things, so maybe I can inspire you simply by sharing.

This is one of those projects. 
I had a tool belt, but seldom wore it because it was so big and full. I felt like I was two people wide trying to do a project & have my tools handy.  I ended up carrying it around, along with a bucket of other misc stuff.

Then I had an idea!  What if my bucket WERE ALSO the tool belt?!  And so it began (with pink thread).
I ‘d been making some things from old jeans, and had scraps of denim on my floor, -so this is what I used.
I didn’t measure with a tape measure, I just held the fabric up to my bucket, I held my tools up to the fabric, and proceeded from there, pinning and sewing a bit at a time.
I learned that cutting slits into denim stops it from fraying as much, so I did this and washed it before I put it on the bucket and filled it with tools.  Now it’s more than a bucket!  “I love having a place for everything!” (shouting toward heaven with my arms raised)

What a Motley Crew of tools.
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