Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Easy as 1 2 3

Last week I sat in the kitchen/Dining room and looked at our chairs. Being a thrifty family we picked up our dining set at a rummage sale. It was ugly but we couldn't afford new and our current chairs were quite literally falling apart. The chairs had a faux leather cushioned seat and while it was mostly comfortable it was hidious. There were holes and cuts and spots that were rubbed thin. The frame was sturdy and there was still a lot of cushion left to the seat. I figured I would try my hand at reupholstering the chairs. Now I've never reupholstered anything in my life but I watched a lot of home improvement shows so surely it couldn't be that hard. It wasn't!

Step one was figuring how to take the seat off. Thankfully that was simple it was being held on by four screws on the underside of the chair.

Step two was removing the faux leather. It seemed like each chair had about 40-50 staples holding that awful fabric on. Thankfully they pulled out easily and a pair of needle-nose pliers came in handy for removing any staples which were left behind.

Step three was cutting the new fabric. I used some indoor/outdoor canvas we had picked up with every intention of making a lean-to storage for behind our garage. I cut the fabric with about an additional four inches on each side.

Step four attach the fabric. I used my $4 staple gun that I picked up when our home depot went out of business. I started with the front and than pulled it tight and attached the back. Corners were a bit tricky but once those were done the sides were simple. Just had to make sure the fabric was pulled tight. I used only about 30 staples per chair.

Step five was to put the chairs back together. I simply put the four screws back in the bottom and called it good. Now my chairs look much nicer and are much more my style.

Now if you were careful you may not need step six. Unfortunately I got a bit careless during step two and had several cuts on my hands from when staples mange to fight back during the removal process.

Step six is bandage your hands while sitting on your newly reupholstered chairs.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

All Tied Up

Friday was spring break for my kids and my daughter and I had plans to hit up the thrift stores. There seems to be an increasing number of thrift stores in our area and I was sure we could find something to upcycle. Due to a not so wonderful snow/rain storm this that resulted in the highways being closed and decreased visibility we only got to hit up three of the thrift stores. That was apparently enough as it didn’t take long before something caught her eye…ties. She was in heaven she found an abundance of ties with pink and purple in them, her two favorite colors. She wanted bout 20 of them, we compromised and she got to pick ten. I wasn’t quite sure what we were going to do with them but I was sure we could figure something out.

We made the trek home a drive that in normal weather should have only taken 5 minutes took nearly 30. Traffic was at a standstill due to the layer of ice forming on the roads. Once we got home she ran inside with her bag of ties, to show dad her treasure, he just looked confused. She dumped the bag grabbed two fistful of ties and twirled around and that is when it hit me. I could make a skirt. I knew I would even have enough to make her doll a matching skirt. That night I went about pulling the ties apart and sewing them together. It made a wonderful skirt and with the length and the elastic waist it is sure to fit her for a long time. If I ever decide to undertake this task again there are a few things I’ve learned that would improve the skirt.

  • Use ties that are of a similar material and weight
  • Use ties that are similar sizes
  • Use a tie or coordinating fabric for the waistband rather than folding down the top to create a waistband
What matters most is that for only five dollars I was able to sew my daughter a skirt which she loves, that she helped design, and that is completely unique. Next up a second skirt her doll can wear that will match.