Monday, October 20, 2014

Updated Kitchen Chair

So I've replaced my kitchen chairs, thank goodness because the old ones were incredibly rickety but we needed a computer chair.  We have a really nice, high back and padded one but in this house the computer is off the kitchen and I didn't want that eyesore there.  Also the computer sits on laminate flooring right above the bedroom of our basement neighbor and I couldn't imagine trying to contain that noise.  So while we're in this house we're using the least rickety chair.

Years ago I gave them a makeover so they looked like this


But now they were dingy and disgusting and I was ready for a change.

Using some foam leftover from the couch I beefed up the padding and found a scrap of fabric in my stash that worked perfectly.

It looks cute, is way more comfy and works great at the computer.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Laminated Kitchen Shelf

This project is hardly worth blogging about and I'm far more proud than I should be but it's my blog so here goes anyway.

In my kitchen I had this one really deep cupboard and it was almost useless because there weren't any shelves in it.

We rent our home so I wasn't sure just how to add a shelf.  I was going to add thin strips of wood on all three sides for the shelf to sit on and that would have worked just fine but I didn't love the idea of it. I also figured I'd use some plywood and paint it white and it would be better than what was there but not great looking.

Then as usual my Mom came to the rescue. She looked in her basement and found an old laminated shelf that we cut to fit, then as the icing on the cake she found a strip of laminate that you iron on to the front.  It fits right in.

What I'm really proud of though was how I thought to hang it.  I zipped over to Home Depot and picked up some of those little metal pegs that are used on adjustable shelves.  You know the ones, when you have a shelf and there are lines of holes, you slip the pegs into the holes on all 4 corners and it's nice and secure.  So I bought the pegs for 42.48 and drilled 4 holes, tapped in the pegs and popped the shelf on.  It took about 10 minutes.
The shelf is way more useful now and it looks so nice I'll just leave it there when we move. You're welcome next tenants.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Emerald Ottoman and Pillow

You saw my couch yesterday but that space wasn't quite finished, I knew I needed a pillow and and wanted an ottoman, so I made both.

I followed a tutorial to make the ottoman here and I happened to have an end table that I could use. We've had it since we were first married and I didn't ever love anything about it.  It suited our needs but it was orangey, boxy and too tall.  The top had also got pretty scratched up after all our moves so this was the perfect use.  I chopped off the legs, painted them and then followed the tutorial above. I have possible plans to jazz up the legs a bit but I'll show that if it eventually happens.

Also it turns out this fabric is really hard to photograph and this is the only picture I took that is usable.  The fabric is satin which is a pretty risky choice but it was all I could find in the right colour, I don't imagine it will last terribly long but I'll hope for the best.

My favourite part of this project was when I let Catie prime the legs for me, she was so proud of herself and did a surprisingly good job though she was really unimpressed when she couldn't get the paint off her hands (not water based).

I found a small pillow at Value Village that was the perfect size and covered it in the same fabric, using piping around the entire thing.  I think it's incredibly boring and I really wanted to do something with pleats but decided in the end that the couch and ottoman had enough going on and left the pillow plain. I'm sad it's boring but I think it's the right design move.

So now you've seen the couch and you've seen the ottoman, let's put them together.
First, here's how the corner looked when we first moved in.  You can see the table/soon to be ottoman in by the couch. Pretty hey?  I think people thought I was crazy to put all that random stuff together, and that rug look so awful with the couch :)

With all the changes it now looks like this and it's my favourite spot in the house. Notice the new lampshade I scored for $8 and the slouchy basket to keep a cozy blanket in.

And a couple more photos for good measure.


Now I just have to keep little girls with messy hands away.

**Update** I've been using this ottoman for about a month already and I really dislike it.  The fabric is all wrong (that's what I get for trying to use satin). 4 of the covered buttons have popped off, there are water marks, the fabric doesn't hold the pleats and it's an all around failure.  I've already ordered new fabric so an update will be coming. Hopefully take two will be more successful.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Love Seat Reupholstery


So I moved into this new house and it has a bonus room upstairs and room for a sitting area off the kitchen.  I only have one set of couches though so I thought I'd do a quick search on Kijiji and see if I came up with any little love seat's for a good price.  This beauty was waiting for me, two of them in fact, and even more amazing, they were free. I had only planned on taking one but Mom convinced me to get both, one for her, one for me and we'd re-cover them together. I've never re-covered a couch but I've felt like all my projects have been leading me in this direction and it was inevitable. It killed me to have it sit in the garage for a month until I had fabric/time/moved into the house.


I called a friend and she so willingly offered her husband and his truck to go pick it up with Brad and I was set.  It was only used in an office, meaning it was in great condition though the padding on the arms was pretty weak but I loved the shape of it, now to decide on fabric.  I knew I wanted to go with something dramatic, I wanted a statement piece, something showy and not even a little bit safe and I'm also in love with emerald green right now.  With that in mind I searched and came up with Bankura Emerald, it was love at first sight :)

I suppose I should prepare you now for a ton of photos that are to follow and probably more detail than you wanted.

First lets see how the couch fit in the space.

Despite being super ugly it really is the perfect size and if you have a little vision you can see how that mess above will turn into something awesome.  So notice those couch legs?  (the crooked one is only crooked because it had to be removed in order to fit in the house) Apparently it wasn't tall enough so they added some painted 4x4's as legs, awful and they were first to go.  I found some curvy legs to replace them and then the staple removing started.  Two days of it to be exact, that is a serious job that I don't wish on anyone.  My hands were sore by the time we were done and I think there were about 1000 of them, but we finally got it to look like this.

The foam on the arms was disgusting though and disintegrated if you looked at it leaving an orange, crumbly mess everywhere so we bought a eggshell mattress pad and used that to cover up that ugly grossness. Eden's favourite activity was to hit the arm and watch the foam fall. The back wasn't too bad so we left it as is though we did cover it with a layer of batting later. The seat got some new batting too so it looked like this. Better already.

From there the real fun started though.  The seat was first and then the arms and they were super satisfying. The green piping really makes them pop.

It's coming together.

And here's my Mom, she was the main stapler while I was the sewer and cutter and everything else-er. So Mom keeps getting mad at me because I only ever post pictures of her in her work clothes, I promise she owns other clothes :)

The back was the most satisfying though, it starts out looking like this, a hot mess hey?

Then you add some burlap

Some batting and fabric until you get this really professional looking finished piece, though I didn't have quite enough fabric and if you look close my back is in multiple pieces. Not as noticeable as you would think though.

And here it is, all finished with the new legs.

My favourite part is how the pattern on the back looks like one piece and it continues up from the seat, that was definitely not an accident.

 I love the puffy back.

And how about a side by side comparison.

It looks so much better in the space but you'll have to wait to see that until tomorrow, I have a couple accessories to show you first.

Moral of this story, if you think you can re-cover a couch you are right. Now my couch was easier than some because it doesn't have removable cushions but that still would have been very doable.

Here are my inexperienced tips if you decide you want to try this.

  1. Use the right tools.  Mom has one of these staple remover that was worth it's weight in gold, I was wishing I had one too, her hand was far less sore than mine, I just used a screwdriver and pliers.
  2. Don't even attempt this without a pneumatic stapler (one that hooks up to a compressor). You'll hate the process if you have to pound in every one with a hammer after.  Ours worked like a dream.  
  3. Give yourself lots of time, this took almost 4 complete days.
  4. Don't take shortcuts.  You'll spend a lot of money on fabric and probably some on a couch too, it's not worth a shortcut if the end result is compromised. Working with someone else really helped with that, we kept each other from doing things improperly and we would also remember steps that the other person forgot.
One last point, I mentioned above that we re-covered a couch for my Mom too but we didn't have enough time to finish hers before she had to go home so you'll have to wait a bit to see hers, it's awesome too though in a completely different fabric.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Kitchen Table and Chairs

My family was in desperate need of some new chairs.  The table we had was nothing great either, it was free and had that orange stain on it that was so popular but it did the trick.  The chairs however were another story.  We had 4 and were afraid to sit on 3 of them.  One of them especially had become Catie's chair.

For the past two years we lived in my in-laws house and used their very nice and sturdy table but as it came time to move to our own space we started to remember our chairs.  I follow a Facebook buy and sell page and one day a table and 6 chairs came up for $50.  Even if we only used the chairs that's still a steal.  The only problem is they were hunter green.  Not my style at all.  I couldn't pass up the cheap price tag though so I bough them.  I forgot to take a before picture but it looked a lot like this, only the wood parts are more blonde and less orange.

I did however take a picture of the chairs.

I knew it would be a ton of work but my Mom and I tackled the project anyway, and now it looks like this.

We sanded and taped for days.  Then used a paint sprayer but ended up with such a dreamy, white finish.  I love it more than I expected to and it's been perfect in our new house.

Here they are, all taped up. ready for painting


A couple of the legs had been chewed on by a dog so I filled the marks and they turned out so nice.



I'm especially proud of the parts where the spindles on the chairs meet the seat.  We tried to be careful with our taping and it paid off.


Here's an in progress shot

And check out these table legs. The far one has been painted with a brush, looks so awful hey? The front ones have a coat of paint sprayed on top. Love the difference. Paint sprayer is the way to go.

One thing that makes this table so perfect for us is that it was previously owned by someone who used a wheelchair. To accommodate that they removed the skirt from the end you can see here, it is a perfect fit for Eden's high chair. She slips right under, love it.




I'd love if the stain on the top and chairs was darker and perhaps one day I'll tackle that but for now I'm really happy with them and the finish is perfect for this house, it matches all the other trim in the house.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Spice Shelf of Awesomeness!

I am so super in love with this piece of furniture.  This house has a really nice kitchen with a pantry but despite the room I just couldn't figure out what to do with all my spices.  I have so many and they always seem to end up in a basket so I have to dig every time I need one and it's such a pain.  I started searching Pinterest for spice storage solutions and this one from Classy Clutter was so perfect, I even had the space by my fridge but Brad and I aren't the handiest people.  Sure I can sew and paint but when it comes to the actual building I defer to Brad who is capable but does not have a love of it, meaning it probably wasn't ever going to happen.  I was still dreaming of it but figured it was nothing more than a dream. I mentioned it to my brother and he immediately got up and started measuring.  I knew my spice shelf would happen, if he was interested enough to measure then surely he would help me build it.  We went that very night and bought supplies.  Here it is all finished.

And here is my favourite brother (hope the others don't read this), helping me build my shelf.  He did all the cutting and designing, I was an awesome assistant doing my best to anticipate his every need.

We didn't use Classy Clutter's measurements, just her basic plan and we assembled it different to. We mitered the corners and didn't drill all the way through to add dowels like she did but the idea was all hers.

Once the pieces were all cut he went home and I sanded and painted all the individual pieces.  He then came back and we assembled it.  My favourite part of the painting though was the back.  I loved how Classy Clutter added a chevron design to hers and I knew I'd do the same only with stripes.  I used a tutorial from here on painting crisp lines and I can't believe how great they turned out.
I took this picture and would occasionally check it out on my phone to remind me of how nice they looked and on my phone screen it looked like a digital background.

So here is the space in the kitchen without the shelf

And the same space with the shelf
The handle I actually bought for a different project you'll see later but I accidentally bought the wrong size.  I'd bought it online so I didn't want to return it and this was the perfect use.  And hey, if you want to re-create this shelf and need a handle I have one more up for grabs :)

So the shelf sits on castor wheels and gets pulled out when needed. When not being used it gets tucked flush with the fridge. See how tall those top shelves are?  They even fit the large spice containers.

I also plan on using this for canned goods

 I can't wait to use it!