December 30, 2011

Reupholstered Chair Cushion

My brother's wife asked me yesterday if I might want to reupholster her sister's chair. I haven't done any reupholstering yet but I was ready to try!

I ran by Home Depot this morning and picked up this guy...

It's an Arrow T50PBN Staple/Brad Nail Gun. It's "heavy duty" and I liked that it does brad nails as well. You just never know when you'll need a nail gun and my husband's air gun is a little intimidating and a lot of work to get all situated. As I read that aloud my son reminded me that it's REALLY loud too, hahaha.

I should mention that this staple gun was NOT loud. Usually the noise of stapling will make me jump over and over, but this one was nice and quiet.

Here's the chair:

It was handed down to them by family. Isn't it gorgeous?? Well, if you ignore the pink seashell fabric ;)

The cushion just sits on four corners underneath, no nailing or screwing required, which is nice.

I started by removing the black fabric that covered the bottom of the cushion. I used a flat head screwdriver to pry up the staples and if one end got stuck I used a pliers to pull it out.

After that I laid down the fabric and cut a piece big enough to cover the cushion. I started by stapling the fabric across the front making sure that the pattern was straight.

Then I stapled a few times across the sides and back just enough to hold it in place with the pattern very straight. 

Then I tackled the corners.

I just folded them over like wrapping a present, stapled, then trimmed off extra fabric and stapled some more to hold it really well.

Of course, there were some obstacles. Trying to make sure the back corners matched each other perfectly, and the front corners, well, let's just say I was a little stressed!

See how the fabric is stuck in that crevice there? 

It made the front corners just a little complicated :)

When I finished all of the corners and tested out the cushion in the chair a few times I re-attached the piece of black fabric over the bottom. I just stapled it back on trying to cover any of the other staples that were holding the seat fabric in place. Basically, just making the whole thing look tidy and finished.

I staged it in my living room, but if I'm able to I'll get a picture of it in it's new home for you. It's going in their home office. Isn't that fabric perfect for a home office? It also was very durable and not stretchy at all, which made it very easy to keep the pattern straight.

Well, I guess that will be the last project of the year for me. I have a lot of things in my mind for this next year. I hope to refinish a lot of furniture and get really creative with it. Furniture does seem to be my #1 passion. 

I'm also planning on making our office into my sewing room/project room. It's in the basement and is where I paint my furniture when it gets too cold in the garage. I have a lot of sewing projects for that room that I've been busy pinning on Pinterest. :) In fact I just ordered some fabric to make a cover for the sewing machine I received for Christmas :) I can't wait for it to get here!!!!!

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December 28, 2011

Some Love for Pinterest

How do I love you, Pinterest?

Let me count the ways.

I love you on your very best and very worst of days.

I love to see you laughing and dancing in the rain.

And even when you lose your shoes I love you just the same.

Oh wait. That's my favorite book to read to my little guy :) But really, I LOVE Pinterest. When I don't know what to make for dinner I just hop on and look over my recipe board for some inspiration. When a birthday is coming up I can look for recipes, decorations, and even homemade gift ideas.

Well, Christmas was no exception. With 6 family parties in the course of 3 weeks (4 of those parties in one weekend!) I needed hor dourves, desserts, breakfasts, and potatoes! 

With a lot of work and a lot of lists I had the whole week planned out to a T. On Friday I started my cooking/baking which included, North Pole Cupcakes, Santa Hat Brownie Bites, Twice Baked Potatoes from Pioneer Woman, Oreo Balls, Chex White Chocolate Bark, Dill Dip, Pesto Pinwheels from, Cinnamon Baked French Toast from Pioneer Woman and cubing cheese and summer sausage. The only things I took time to photograph were the North Pole Cupcakes..... 

.....and Santa Hat Brownie Bites

They were both easy to make and looked super adorable. The twice baked potatoes were SO GOOD. I was delighted that there were too many and I was able to freeze about 10 of them for an easy side dish later this month! 

The Baked French Toast was a favorite too, it will become a regular in our house. Oh! And the Pesto Pinwheels were really yummy and super quick to make, I'll be bringing them to parties often. 

It honestly was the best Christmas I've ever had. The kids had so much fun, Scott and I were completely overflowing with Joy all weekend long. I had to fight back tears of happiness during the beautiful Christmas Eve service at our church and again while cooking breakfast listening to Scott play with the kids and their new toys.

I hope that your weekend was wonderful as well!! And that your homes are recovering as slowly as mine is ;)

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December 21, 2011

Chicago Family Fun

Well, if it seems I've been absent the last week it's because I have been. I spent the beginning of the month doing all things Christmas decor and have been trying to make up for it this past week. I THINK I finished shopping today, but you know how that goes....

I started another side table makeover last week. It was going great, and then my mom and dad's Christmas party took over, my grocery shopping took over, my lists of things to do before Saturday night TOOK OVER! 

So while I have no furniture or decorating to share today I thought I might share some Christmas fun that my family and I have been having in the last couple weeks around Chicago.

We were given an AMAZING gift of a family pass to the Museum of Science and Industry earlier this month and immediately put it to use. As in, the NEXT DAY :)

Living a half hour out of the city you'd think we would be taking advantage of all the great opportunities there are. But, as usual, life gets busy and we're lucky if we get there twice in a year. But with a season pass to the museum we'll have an inexpensive fun day that includes driving past the Sears Tower (my son's fave). Oh, excuse me, the WILLIS Tower. Yeah, it will always be the Sears Tower to us Chicagoans ;)

The fun starts with a room filled with model trains that go from Chicago to Seattle. This was a favorite for Casey this year. 

For Christmas there was a tree for each Country of the world. We made sure to find the Netherlands.

Remember when I told you about Delft? Case in point :)

Casey couldn't wait to ride on the airplane again, he remembered it from our last visit 2 years ago.

It's actually suspended in the air above the first floor trains. Casey did NOT remember THAT part! :)

There's also plenty of John Deer fun to be had in the farm area.

Do you SEE that face?! Just imagine bouncing around, shifting gears, and making the noises to go along with it :)

We didn't try to see everything in one trip, I was well aware that 2 hours of walking around was more than enough to result in this:

Over the weekend Scott took us to see the holiday lights at the Brookfield Zoo. There was a bit more traffic than last year, but they had plenty of parking. Once again, we don't try to see everything in one trip, everyone picks an animal for the "Must See" list and then if there's time and energy we squeeze in some extras.

There's plenty of lights, music and, of course, animals!!

The weather has been strangely warm this December, so walking around wasn't too bad. And by warm I mean 30 degrees at 7pm :) Of course, the animal houses are always a welcome burst of warm air though! 

That's the hubby, Scott. He's been sporting the beard upon my request for a couple months now. Isn't he a hunk? :)

Overall December has been a wonderful month with lots of family time and fun memories. I'm super disappointed that Christmas is only 4 days away, I think it went by faster than ever this year. But I guess that's just how life goes, the older you get the faster it flies by. 

I hope to finish that table in the next couple of days and share it. I hope you're having a great month too!!

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December 14, 2011

The Sticky Side Table

A couple months ago I was driving through my neighborhood on garbage day and saw a nice side table out at the curb. I immediately stopped to rescue it. Now I'm still a bit new to picking things up off the curb and it can feel a little embarrassing, ESPECIALLY when the family is sitting at their dining room table staring at you out the window! Luckily I was on the phone with Scott so I at least could laugh with him about it while it was happening :)

So what did this table look like?

The top of it was S T I C K Y. There was a mysterious purple spot that seemed to be a melted popsicle or something....and also a smaller sticky red spot. I tried to clean the sticky areas with goo-gone and it didn't work. Then I tried a Mr Clean Magic Eraser and it wiped right off. I love those things. 

I sanded down the top since there were so many uneven spots, especially where the pink roses had been painted on.

The feet of the table were metal but had been painted over. So  instead of trying to strip the paint off I just spray painted them with some antique bronze. 

I decided to paint the table with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White. It's just such a classic looking table I didn't really have a vision of it being colorful. It only took 2 quick coats, just 1 in some spots. I distressed it just a little on all of the edges. Then I waxed it. This had me sweating....I've been having a hard time with my wax drying/hardening. I know I must be putting it on too thick, but no matter how hard I try I end up with sticky spots. I contacted my chalk paint stockist, Michelle from Di Lucca Designs, and she suggested I apply the wax with a cloth. I took her advice and it worked like a charm :) Hopefully I can put sticky furniture behind me for good now!

I used clear wax all over and then some dark wax in the detailed areas. I stopped by Hobby Lobby and picked up about 6 sets of knobs and didn't like one of them. So I went to my bedroom and stole some little knobs from our dresser that is a hand-me-down from Scott's childhood. It will get beautified one day, but for now that drawer works just fine with 2 knobs instead of 4 :) I spray painted them to match the feet and it's all done!

And I have some great news! I found a consignment shop to sell my furniture! :) It's very exciting just to know that something you created is for sale in a store! But I should stop celebrating until I actually SELL something ;) The shop is called Mindy's Classic Finds and it's in Elmhurst, Illinois. Mindy is great and every time I go in there's all new stuff! I've been shopping there for the last year and always look forward to my next trip. So if you're in the area check her store out!! 

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December 11, 2011

No Mantle for the Stockings!

Oops! I meant to do this post yesterday but got a little distracted....

After living in our home for 3 years I've finally come up with a solution for hanging our stockings. We have a wood burning stove which means no mantle and we don't have a railing to our 2nd floor either.

While walking through Hobby Lobby last month I came across  the clearance isle. I didn't even know there WAS a clearance isle! I saw some cute decorations and things and then I found lettered knobs. They were originally $3.99 each, marked down to $1.99 each and then to $.79 each!!! I stood there staring at them trying to figure out what on earth I could use them for. And then a pin from Pinterest popped into my head.

My first thought was to spell out N-O-E-L but I couldn't find an O. So I decided instead to use our initials. I wasn't sure if Scott and I should be D and M (for dad & mom) or just S and H. In the end I decided the kids know we have real names so S and H would be fine :)

I bought a 4 foot piece of 1 by 8 at Home depot for about $6. After planning out the locations of my knobs I decided to cut the board to 25 inches long. 

I stained it with Minwax Jacobean then dry brushed it white with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in pure white, then I white washed over that and distressed.

I marked where I would drill holes for the knobs. The first hole is 2 inches from the start of the board. Then 7 inches over to the 2nd hole, 7 inches to the 3rd, 7 inches to the 4th and then 2 inches to the end of the board. That's why I went with a 25 inch board :) I drilled holes with a bit the exact same size as the bolt on my knobs.

This way I was able to screw in the knob so tight that I didn't need to attach a nut to the back to hold it in. The bolt on the knob was way too long though, it stuck out of the back of the board.

So Scott took the knobs to his friends house and cut the bolt shorter with a grinder that had a diamond blade on it. Yeah, that was straight from Scott's mouth:) Sorry I don't have any pictures, I was at home with the kids.

Once the bolts were short enough I just needed to screw them into the board and I was all set! I used Command picture hanging strips to hang it on the wall. They're like velcro. Scott was nervous it might not hold so I used 6 of them and it's on there very good!!

I'm so relieved that the stocking issue is finally over! I'm thinking that in future Christmas' it's going to be the thing I'm most excited to get out of the crawl space! I just love it that much! :)

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December 9, 2011

Homemade Linen Stockings

When Scott and I first got married we bought nice red and green velvet stockings from Crate and Barrel. Then we added to our family and needed new stockings to all match. So I went to Hobby Lobby and just bought some that were so so. I was never very excited about them and was MORE than ready to find something different this year. So what is a super frugal woman to do? Make some!

I decided at the last minute to make them all different, but I did at least plan to do the boys in brown linen and the girls in light tan. I ended up making Scott's nice and manly and somewhat plain, mine has just a touch of frill to it, Casey's looks like a real sock, and Lainey's is nice and ruffled :)

I love them. They turned out just as I'd hoped, which hardly every happens around here!! :) I was planning on waiting until next year to make a tree skirt to go with them but when the tree fell over the other day spilling sappy water all over the old one I decided now is the time. I'm in middle of making  Miss Mustard Seed's Ruffled Tree Skirt. It's going well, but a little slow.

Anyways, here's my try at a sewing tutorial! I just winged it, or wung it, or whatever ;)

I started with one of my old stockings and a piece of my kids' art easel paper to make a pattern.

I added a little extra all around to leave room for a seam allowance. Then I pinned that pattern to my lining and cut out 2 pieces. One for the front of the stocking and one for the back.

I then took the piece of lining, pinned it to the wrong side of my linen and cut leaving extra room all around. 

After sewing all around the lining as close to the edge as I could I trimmed away any extra linen.

Then I did the same steps for the back of the stocking. Once done I pinned the 2 pieces together with the linen facing toward each other, the lining facing out. I sewed them together going along the inside of the last seam I had made while attaching the lining. I stayed as close as I could to the last seam.

I then turned it right side out and ironed the seams nice and flat. Since this was Scott's I added a cuff. To do that I measured about how long I wanted the cuff and doubled that number. Then I measured across the top of the stocking and doubled that adding a little for a seam. Here's what it looked like.

This is it folded in half with the right sides facing in. I sewed up the side so that from the seam to the fold was exactly the same length as the top of my stocking. After sewing it I folded it over and ironed the seams and folds flat.

I took the unfinished end stuck it inside the stocking and sewed all around.

Then I folded it down and ironed it. To add the loop I cut out a small rectangular piece ironed it in half (hotdog style) and sewed it shut. Then folded it in half (hamburger style) and sewed it into the side of the stocking. DONE! 

For Casey's stocking I did the same things to get started. But before sewing the stocking together I added the toe and heel pieces.

I sewed them on in the middle areas but left the edges unsewn. Then I sewed the back and front of the stocking together with the linen facing toward each other and the lining facing out again.

For Casey's I just folded over the top of the stocking and sewed it along the top edge. Then I added a small piece of tan linen sewing along the top of it and on the sides. Nothing fancy, it's a little frayed and I like that about it :)

For Lainey's stocking I made it like Casey's and just folded over the top and sewed it down. Then I made 4 ruffles and sewed them on. To make the ruffles I took a long piece of fabric about an inch wide and sewed along the top with the widest stitch my machine has. I made sure not to back stitch on either end. Then I took one of the threads at the end and pulled on it until the fabric started to gather. I just pulled and gathered and pulled and gathered until it was as ruffled as I wanted. Sorry for the lack of pictures of this process. I learned it while making Lainey's twirly skirt, you can find the tutorial here. 

For my stocking I made it like Scott's with a cuff, then I made a ruffle and hand sewed it into the bottom of the cuff. Voila!

Hope that all made sense, feel free to ask me any questions if you have some!

Oh! And I'll be sharing about the stocking holder tomorrow!

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