Thursday, March 7, 2013


Pin It Yes, I know - I couldn't come up with anything else...  But you'll understand in a bit.

Long time no see, huh?  I've been so busy lately trying to finish up some projects just so I can start some more that will sit unfinished for months.  Crazy, right?  I truly believe that a doctor would diagnose me with DIYADHD if given the chance.

I've been working on one of my favorite projects that I've ever tackled!  And today I finished it!!!

I REUPHOLSTERED A CHAIR!!  I've been wanting to reupholster this beast ever since I picked it up in a Goodwill Store in Virginia.  Yes, I even thrift on vacation.   I bought this guy and his matching cousin, the ottoman for twenty bucks about six years ago.  Been that long, huh?

Nope, I didn't even bother to vacuum the cat hair off of it before the picture.  Why?- it was about to be stripped neked!  We've lived with the chair and ottoman this long - it's been okay but only because I've been busy doing a million other things.  But I knew there were great things in it's future.

Fast forward to the day I ran upon All Things Thrifty.  Seriously - this was life changing.  Anyone who knows me knows that I'm no slouch when it comes to DIY projects.  I can pretty much hold my own.  However, the thought of re-upholstering something made my blood run cold. Brooke does the BEST tutorial on How to Reupholster a Chair.  It was just so straight forward and clear  that I thought, I could TOTALLY do that.  Her how-to is full of tips and shortcuts on how to tackle something like re-upholstering furniture.  I love you, Brooke.

Well, if that wasn't enough, then I discovered  Seriously, it's the Holy Grail of online fabric stores.  I don't know which website I spend more hours on - Pinterest or Fabric. com.  AND with no intention at all of doing anything remotely to do with reupholstering something, I discovered THE fabric: Richloom Solarium Outdoor Alinea Floral Garden - $8.98 a yard.  AND I had a code for 15% off AND it was free shipping AND I didn't have to pay  sales tax!  Bam!  Take that JoAnn!  The fabric for my chair and ottoman only ended up costing me a little over 50 bucks!

Then if that wasn't enough,  my husband and I were at the HD and they had a pneumatic staple gun half price!!  Kizmet?  Or the Bermuda Triangle!  I don't know but for whatever reason all the stars aligned for me to re-do this chair.  (That is one HUGE tip Brooke shares - get a pneumatic stapler - if you have the compressor - it's the key to life!)

At this point in the journey, I could swear I heard the voice of Betty Quinn (mom) saying "what are you waiting for, Jayebird?"  It was my mom that raised me to believe I could pretty much do anything I put my mind to.  Now, in all honesty, would I have made the move had my fabric cost me $39.99 a yard?  Doubtful.  That's why I love!

So, I'm not going to do a step by step tutorial on what I did.  Seriously go to ATT and check Brooke's tutorial out.  Basically, you take everything off, use the existing fabric as a pattern and put everything back, in the reverse order.  Simple as that.

Why, yes - that is contrasting piping.  So freaking simple!!!  Just buy extra wide bias tape and reuse the existing rope/string to make the piping.   One tip that I will share - I didn't use it on this chair but I'll be using it soon on some pillows - DON'T pay retail price for "piping/rope" from a fabric store!  Go to the Dollar Store and buy this:  

There were a few other parts to this project that I wouldn't describe as completely normal.  The chair desperately needed some webbing to give it some support (that had long since vanished!)  I honestly tried to give JoAnn the business.  I went with the intention of buying five yards of this:

JoAnn wanted to sell me hers for $9.99 a yard.  At that point the webbing would have been the same price as my fabric!  Surely the world wide web could help me out!  I found it at a number of websites for around .85 a yard!! What the fudge???  JoAnn  - seriously, who do you think you are?  So I ordered it online and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Apparently everyone else discovered that JoAnn was trying to price gouge us!!

While at the thrift store last saturday, I found a giant bag of karate belts for $3!  I kid you not.  I thought, why wouldn't these work.  Hence, the title of this post "MacGyver meets Karate Kid III"!  It was awesome.  And can you believe I don't have ONE photo to show you?  Suffice it to say, I wove the belts and stapled the bejesus out of them until I had one stable "deck".  So there are about twenty very colorful karate belts that will forever be part of this chair!  There were two other bags of belts at the thrift store - why, oh why didn't I buy them???

This chair is part of the master bedroom renovation that is in process.  The reno only includes fabric.  Lots and lots of fabric.  Damn you!  Stay tuned.

Who else has taken the plunge and done something totally out of your comfort zone?  As Nike says "just do it!  Please share!!

Best Blogger Tips
  • Share On Facebook
  • Tweet This Post
Blog Gadgets

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Pin It I have no problem admitting I grew up in the 70's.  The 70's rocked!   The 60's gave up a few good tunes - the 80's....well with the exception of one Jon BonJovi, that decade was a downright embarrassment.  The Eagles, Journey, Kansas, Boston, Frampton....I could go on forever but I have to move on to some other stuff the 70's gave us - the not so great stuff...

Was there ever a more heinous piece of furniture.  And admit it, any of us over the age of 50 had one at one point or another!
And what the hell is that little trap door under the bed for?  I could only guess, having lived through the 70's!

This post is not about renovating a 70's waterbed.  However, it IS about renovating a matching dresser!!!

 Sorry for the blur.  I think I was quivering and asking myself "what have I got myself into now?"

 This guy actually had little apothecary drawers in all these nooks. Don't worry I kept 'em!
And look, it's already distressed!  I don't have to lift a finger!

 What craftsmanship!

I don't really get their "distressing" back in the 70's.  Big chunks of the edges were all "shaved" off in a very orderly manner.  Then some gouges that you could put a measuring tape to, they were so precise! What fun was that?

We needed a TV Console for our new TV and I just knew I could find something at my favorite thrift store.  Husband and I went down on a Saturday afternoon....I saw this monstrosity and knew exactly what I could do with it.  I screamed at husband "Quick, go get someone to write this up for us!"  and then I parked my ass right on top of it.  One guy came by and murmured "you gonna get that?".  Hell, yea - get away from it!  It was marked 80 bucks but because it was a Saturday, it was half price!  I love Saturdays at the thrift store!  And hey, one more year and I can take advantage of senior day on Tuesdays, also!!  Hot dog!

Let me tell you, after having hauled it home, we soon discovered that this thing stunk to high heaven!  I'm not sure what was going on with it.  Plus, someone had taped off all of the top edges of the drawers with masking tape and painted the inside of every drawer black.  Did a darn good job, too.  Except they left all that nasty tape.  So in addition to wiping this thing down with vinegar for the smell, I had to take my blow dryer to the masking tape just to get it off.  Then I had to use Mineral Spirits to remove the sticky gunk.  I'm really having doubts at this point!

But then the real fun began!  

First thing I did was remove the scroll-y old base  and replaced it with a solid piece of cheap base trim.  Nothing fancy.  I knew with the number of cats I had, I would have dust kitties rolling under that thing like a tumbleweed across west Texas! Not to mention cat toys and grand kid toys!

Simple to do and what a difference.  Yep, totally ruining the "integrity" of this period piece. 
Please, give me a break.

I lightly sanded the base.  I knew I wanted the top (horizontal surfaces) stained and the base (all vertical surfaces) a grey blue.  Because I was staining the two tops, I sanded those down to bare wood.  

We removed those cute little wing walls because I hated them.  Husband thought they were fine.  Typical....

Of course, removing them wasn't easy because this thing was built like a tank!  They used crappy wood back in the 70's but boy did they build them right.  Every screw was hidden by one of those little plugs that we had to dig out first then remove the screw IF we even had access to it.  After too much time spent trying to neatly remove those wing walls, I just told Husband to knock 'em off!   Of course after that, vast quantities of wood filler was necessary.  Oops!

I have yet to find a wood filler I like so any suggestions or tips out there would be greatly appreciated!!

I went with a Dark Walnut stain for the tops (doesn't EVERYONE in bloggie land use that color these days?) and Winter Flannel by Valspar.  It was the perfect blue.  Not too baby blue and not too grey.  

BTW, after staining the top, I stood back and said "gee, it looks exactly like it did before I sanded the original finish off"!  Oh well....

And here it is all finished!!!  Ain't she a beaut???

 How great is my staging???!!!!

 Each of these little drawers had white ceramic knobs.  I spray painted them and also some brushed nickle cup pulls and larger knobs for the drawers and doors.  I used my favorite Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.  And of course, I added my own brand of distressing.  Husband made the comment "hey we can put the remotes in these little drawers!"  How many others of you out there laughed like I did when you heard that!?

 I gotta tell ya, I'm not crazy about the doors.  Too cottage-y for me.  But I just didn't have the time or desire to go hunt down new ones or build new ones.  Maybe this summer.  For now, we'll just pretend that Hansel and Gretel live here.

 They're like Hobbit doors!

I can't tell you how happy I am at how this turned out.  It looks awesome in the room and it's the perfect size for that giant TV!  Total, I spent about $64 on everything - the dresser, the paint, the spray paint, the trim.  I already had the stain and sealer.  Can't beat that with a stick. 
 Can you guys tell what a redneck I am?

Anyway, my FAVORITE part of it????

The safety straps to keep that TV from falling on any of my babies - furry or otherwise!

We removed the original flimsy backing that the dresser had - it may have even been card board - seriously!  We replaced it with a plain pine board attached very securely just to the top half.  We cut grommets in it for our wires and then secured the TV.  I was adamant on this after reading about how many children get killed from these falling TV's!  The straps were $16 on Amazon.

Not gorgeous - but no one can see it.  

Honestly, I think I may have exhausted all of my creative juices on this thing. Can ANYONE give me any ideas of how to make this very necessary piece of furniture in our home look better?????

Linking to "Mop it up Mondays"

Best Blogger Tips
  • Share On Facebook
  • Tweet This Post
Blog Gadgets