Monday, March 2, 2015

Quatrefoil Couch Upholstery

Alright, I finished this couch quite some time ago and have put off blogging about it for long enough. I'm super happy with how it turned out, writing about it is just such a long process and I'm always worried that I add in details that no one but me care about. So heads up, this will be a long story with lots of pictures.

 This couch started with a completely different couch. A friend of mine found a couch, with a matching chair that looked a lot like this. We were both in love with the potential and though completely out of my experience we were convinced we could do it. So we borrowed a truck and made an appointment to pick it up and then we got there and we were stood up. The person apologized and wanted us to come back but by then I'd lost all momentum. I'd also started to look into how much covered buttons would cost (between the two pieces there were hundreds of them!) and it was going to be a lot. I was also pretty concerned with what we would find under the fabric since they're so old. In the end, and I'm sure it was for the best, we passed on the furniture.

I felt bad though and wanted a couch for my friend so when I came across this one, also for free and I knew I'd found a winner.

I am aware that it's super ugly. But here's what I imagined the finished piece looking sort of like.
This one obviously isn't my photo. I should credit the original site but I can't remember where I found it. We decided to not use piping so mine doesn't look quite as crisp as this one but no piping was the way to go. Just a little bit better hey?

So one more time, here's the original couch, sad and droopy.

And how I transformed it.

Now let's get down to details, starting with fabric. I like to order from They have such and incredible selection at prices no where close to what I can find in Canada. Shipping to me is really expensive but I ship it to the states and have family pick it up for me. It takes longer to get to me but saves me at least $50. So we spent a lot of time on fabric choice, finally picked one and here's what it looked like. Cute hey?
I was horrified. I had messed up. The fabric was gorgeous but wasn't upholstery weight at all. It wasn't wide, it was just a basic cotton and could not be used for upholstery. So here's my final plug for, they have a 30 money back guarantee. You send it back (at no extra cost) and they'll refund it. So I was much more careful and my friend and I ordered a similar fabric that I think was a much classier choice.

Once the proper fabric came it was time to make some box cushions. I like to make them first so when I'm done upholstering the couch I am actually finished, not just starting on cushions. I knew I hated the look of the four cushions on the back of the couch and my Mom happened to have some foam I could replace them with so I created a cardboard template and used that to cut two new cushions. Then I wrapped new batting around the old cushions, it made them seem brand new.

So I made the best box cushions I've ever made, lined up the pattern, they were perfect the very first time (I should have known it was too good to be true).

The main challenge with this couch was the importance of lining up the fabric so each piece continues onto the next. Here's the bottom cushions, the first ones I sewed and I about fell over when I saw how great they turned out.

Look at those sleek zippers and how the patterns continues from one panel to the other.

And then the back cushions. Everything was moving along so smoothly and dreamy.

Brad and I hauled the couch inside  but I wasn't willing to put these beautiful cushions on a disgusting couch so I threw some sheets over the base and tried them out. I didn't take a pictures with both of them on the couch so you'll have to use your imagination.

They were perhaps a little tall but perfect otherwise, or so I thought until I sat on them. That new foam was so hard! The couch wasn't going to be comfortable at all. I really couldn't leave it like that so I took the old cushions and glued them together to make two large cushions instead of four small. Then I wrapped them with batting and they were a pretty good fit. So I took apart my first covers, cut new ones, sewed them, put them on and somehow they were way too small. I had super compressed them and now they were too small for the couch. I took them apart again, cut and sewed new covers again and sighed, because this time they fit. They're perhaps a hair too big but I was too afraid to make them smaller.

Luckily this couch needs lots of strips of fabric and I was able to use almost all of those scraps so I didn't end up wasting as much as I initially thought (make sure you notice the pattern matching on those back cushions :).

Finally done with the cushions it was time for the base. Staples were removed and I stripped it down.

Not surprisingly it was disgusting and I ended up throwing away all the old padding. I posted this pictures on Facebook and I loved my friend Jane's comment, "Every time I think you've bit off more than you can chew... Can't wait to see the reveal!" I got a good chuckle out of that.

This couch was interesting though. The nasty fabric on the bottom couldn't easily be removed, it was hooked to the springs and I was not messing around with that so I vacuumed it really well and I left it where it was. I hand stitched the foam to the fabric to keep it in place, then I stretched nice new fabric over top.

Also, this couch is extra long so the foam I used wasn't long enough so I also hand stitched that together. You can see the seam on the left there on the back and the front but the two sides came together surprising seamless, I also stapled it at the bottom to hold it all in place.

I didn't want the foam on the arms to look puckery so that also got some quick stitching.
And at this point it was a couch I'd actually let my daughter sit on .

I added a layer of batting to the arms to make them extra puffy and then the pieces went on one by one until it was all done (the buttons were finished a little later).

My favourite is the contrasting piping and that piece on the front and how well the pattern matches, this picture is my favourite.

The original couch had ugly gold wheels for legs and they got swapped out for these simple wood ones.
How about a side by side before and after.

And some with the cute buttons after it was moved to it's new home. 

There is a matching chair for this couch so I had planned to cover that in the same fabric but instead we've decided to toss the chair and add two wing back chairs in a co-ordinating fabric to complete the set so you can look forward to those in the future.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Updated Living Room

I love this room. It's definitely my space in the house and I can't seem to quit tinkering.

I used some leftover fabric from the ottoman to make a new pillow.

I like the herringbone on the grey fabric and the way it looks on the chair.

I also added this cute 3D star to my gallery wall. It was a maroon-y red before so naturally I painted it gold (I swear I'm calling it quits on the gold). I have two more pillows to make for the couch (only one of them includes gold) and then I'm not sure I can possibly do anything else to this space.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Emerald Ottoman Take 2

Anyone remember my DIY tufted ottoman? It was green and super cute, for about a week. I had used satin fabric because it was all I could find in the right colour and it turned out to be a terrible choice. It was water marked, didn't hold it's shape and the covered buttons kept popping off. In not very long it looked like this. Notice how the pleats are all messy.

I also just couldn't ever make myself love the square, straight legs. I ended up using a Pinterest image as inspiration and painted them to add interest (surprise, surprise I used gold paint). The fabric is a much better colour and I've been using it for about a month and it looks exactly the same as when I first covered it.

I also added a little more foam and deep tufted the ottoman, it's much closer to what I had initially imagined.

Here's a different view of the legs. I love that they look curvy now even though they're just the same square legs.

I'm obviously not an expert at tufting because it's not perfect but I'm really happy with it. Here are a couple more pictures.

Look how deep those buttons are. I used different types of buttons, paired with a large amount of glue so hopefully they'll remain intact this time.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Deer Head Coaster

So how does everyone feel about the deer head trend? Have you noticed it at all? I sure have and I love it. There are an specially large amount of deer head silhouettes kicking around and I knew I wanted one for my living room.

Plus I have my awesome coffee table. Story for you, my sister-in-law came over and we had glasses of water that got placed onto the coffee table. I sat there thinking about the money I spent on that coffee table paired with the water dripping off her glass and it made me a little crazy until I finally reached over and wiped off her glass. Like a loser. So perhaps some coasters were called for.

I found these teak square ones at TJ Max for $8.00, a perfect blank canvas.

A little modpodge and glitter, paired with a vinyl stencil.

I didn't love the twine they'd threaded so I replaced it with some bakers twine. Probably not the greatest colour but it was that or red and that seemed too Christmasy.

I have four of them but it's a bit much for the coffee table so I've put two of them away.

I can now comfortably forget about the water and my coffee table and act like a grown up yet I also get to love my sparkly, deer head coasters.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Glitter Christmas Lights

This is a project I've been wanting to do now for a couple of years but I hadn't ever got around to it. Enter my Mom who of course, just happens to have the supplies on hand. I brought the modpodge, she had everything else so it cost us nothing.

It was a super satisfying project and so simple.
You just take some old Christmas lights, any colour, coat them with modpodge and then coat them in glitter. Shake off the excess and you have magic, sparkly lights. Toss them in a bowl and you have a cute Christmas decoration.

Mom went with a cute blend of brown, silver and light green.

Surprise surprise, I chose gold and emerald green. I stacked them in this cute square vase and put in on the built in shelf under the mirror in our front entrance.

They're exactly what we wanted, you should make some.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Vinyl Seagull T

I bought a shirt for Eden the other day and while it was cute it was also a little plain so I jazzed it up with some cute seagulls. I was using my silhouette for another project so I used it to cut these out at the same time but you could easily cut them out by hand.

I love this sparkly glitter. They look kind of subtle on the grey but I think they're really cute.

My favourite part is every time I point them out to Eden she makes seagull noises.

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