27 June 2016

Rescued Chair: Part 2

Well, after stripping the chair of all of its stuffing and horsehair (an entire trash bag full) I can now recover the chair!

Chair reupholstery project
Lucie seems to prefer the chair naked
The problem with reupholstery projects is that they can be expensive.  The printed duck (that's what they call this fabric-its a combo between upholstery fabric and canvas) is $10 a yard on the low end so make sure you get it on sale (or bring your 40% off coupon) because you're going to want to buy an extra yard or two, especially if you have a pattern you're trying to match.  Since I pulled all the horse hair padding off I also needed additional foam padding for the chair, I recommend the 2 inch thick version of whatever brand you prefer, the 1 inch foam pads just weren't cushy enough.

Reupholstering a Chair
Make sure you sit in it to test it out on your tush. 

Reupholstering a Chair
I added batting to the sides for softness without the thickness. 

I also wouldn't recommend doing this part in stages if you have pets around.  I was trying very hard to avoid upholstering any cat hair into my chair in case it finds a future home somewhere with allergies, but that was difficult with two curious cats wanting to know why Mommy wouldn't let them sit on the new cushy thing.  

Reupholstering a Chair
Pulling the seat fabric through to the back
My chair had built in gaps where you could pull the fabric through to the back of the project to staple, this made getting the tight store-bought upholstery look a lot easier.  Don't be afraid to pull it tight, you want this to look like an expert did it.  

If you have a pneumatic stapler this is the time to use it because my hands took a beating trying to tug, pull, tighten, and then press the staple tight each time.  I was using a manual because I was borrowing it so all that was purchased were the staples...but really pneumatic would have been way easier.

The arms were probably the hardest part, I had kept the original fabric off one of the arms and used it as a pattern to try and replicate what the previous owner had done however, even with a template I was unable to create the perfect crisp lines I was looking for.  

Using a Pattern
Save the original upholstery as a pattern-this will make your life much easier. 
Reupholstering a Chair
Adding the side panels

If you're taking apart a chair that's already upholstered I would highly recommend saving the pieces as patterns, this will make your life much easier and hopefully even save fabric.

After adding the arms, I did the back of the chair where you sit and the final piece will be the back of the chair that would face away from the sitter. 

The final step will be adding trim to cover some of the staples and then we will have a finished product!  If you haven't already check out Part 1 of my rescued chair!

08 June 2016

Rescued Chair: Part 1

Well last week was the local community garage sales and someone I knew was unloading this chair with great bones...so I adopted it since she was giving it away.  

Great Bones!

As you can see she had started to reupholster it in this really boring fabric and then gave up (she didn't say why) so I decided to start from scratch and pull everything off of it.  

Back of lovely chair

And then the original horsehair was still a part of the chair and that she had chosen to leave it there during her reupholstering failure. 

Not staying with my chair
So I went ahead and ripped all of the padding and horse hair out so that we didn't have any more weird animal by products in our chair and now I'm left with...a naked chair. 


I decided to leave the burlap because it left a nice "housing" around the springs and gave the back some structure between the arms.  But I think I have removed most of the horsehair (I think there is still some lurking under the springs I can't get to) and now I can move onto the fun part....putting her back together!  


31 May 2016

Crafting Fail

So you know how there are those websites that do Pinterest projects that failed miserably...well this is one of my craft fails...not from Pinterest but the concept is the same.  Something that seemed simple...that did not go well, that I hope you can learn from. 

I "rescued" a bird bath from the curb that had a hole in it.  I thought "no problem, I'll mosaic over it and the  hole will be covered and it will be prettier." 

Seems small enough to cover

Lesson 1:  in mosaic-ing-or any other any craft project. Have the right materials. 

You should not try breaking pieces with a rolling pin...you'll just dent your rolling pin
Quick-drying is not what you want for a mosaic-art takes time!
As you can see from some of the above pictures I did not have the appropriate materials.  I had purchased some plates from the thrift store to break for my mosaic, but I couldn't find a hammer so I proceeded to smash them with a rolling pin.  This will not work, this will result in tiny shards breaking off instead of one large piece becoming several workable pieces.  You should not use a quick-drying medium.  I was using Plaster of Paris, which would have been fine, except it was literally drying before I could get more than a few pieces stuck into it.  Read the directions, get a medium that's meant for what you're doing.  

Lesson 2: Have a plan. 

Mosaics are not usually abstract and if you want it to have some sort of design you need to know and have the pieces ready for that design because your medium is drying while you're thinking, it doesn't stop working just because you do. 

Have the pieces you need ready 
Since I hadn't planned out my design in advance I quickly realized I didn't have enough gold pieces to go around the outside of my flower once I was finished with it.  This is a problem because by the time I go get more pieces of china and break them my medium was dry.  

Lesson 3: Sometimes you have to let go. 

From memespp.com

This was my second (yes second) attempt at doing a mosaic to rescue this bird bath (yes I know my second attempt looks like my nieces did it thank you for your moral support).  That's two times that I failed and I have discovered that I was not enjoying it, and it wasn't worth it.  I literally was spending more money and time into something than I spent on it (it was free remember!).  So this project, we're going to accept defeat...and let it go.  

So the moral of this story is yes, even my amazing self fails sometimes (its actually my specialty). So now go forth and FAIL!