Saturday, April 7, 2012

Reupholsterd Chairs!

Well here they are!  Finally!  The reupholstered chair project!

Truth be told, I've had 3 of the 4 done for about a month, but I didn't want to post until all 4 were finished.

Here is the GLORIOUS before and after photo!

CAN YOU EVEN STAND IT!????  I sure cant :)

For Part 1 of this project click HERE to see how I repainted the chairs.

Reupholstering a chair turned out to be pretty easy.  The first one took me about an hour to do, and the last one probably only took me about 20 minutes.  So as soon as you figure out your technique for the first one, it obviously goes a lot quicker.

Supplies you will need:
Good Scissors
Staple Gun - you need either a corded one that plugs in, or one that is powered with an air compressor
Hot Glue - depending on your chair

Step one:  Once you've removed all of the original fabric and foam, cut your foam to the size of the seat.  I got a big roll of foam at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon.  Batting will go over this so it doesn't have to be extremely precise.

Step 2:  Add batting.  I got mine at Joann with a 40% off coupon.  I bought 3 yards for this project.

Once you've cut the batting to a size that will wrap around the chair well, flip the chair over and put it on your table, or another working surface.  Pull the batting taught, and start stapling away to attach it to the bottom of the chair.  Then trim the excess.

Step 3:  Add the fabric.  Turn your chair back over, and much like you did with the batting, cut a piece of fabric that you know will wrap around to the bottom of the chair.  Also, if you have a pattern like I do, make sure it is lined up straight.

Then flip the chair over again, and put a few staples in to keep the fabric in place.  At this point on some chairs you may be able to just start stapling away.  My chair has a few more intricate parts with the legs, so I had to figure out how to work around them.

For the back legs of my chair, I cut away excess fabric, and folded the fabric under to make a nice edge around the legs, and then I just stapled the fabric on the side and back of the chair tight.

The front legs are a bit different and have some detailing and I added nailhead trim to them.  My first step for the front legs was to pipe hot glue around the decorative legs so that I could glue the fabric in exactly the place I wanted it to be.

I pulled the fabric tight and stuck it to the hot glue.  Then I took an exacto knife and ran it over where I had put the hot glue to cut off the excess fabric.

Then I was left with this:

At this point you're pretty much done with the chair.  I pulled the rest of the fabric tight to the bottom of the chair and stapled it.  You could add any kind of trim to the chair to cover this edge up.  I chose to use nailhead trim.  For this, I purchased a nailhead trim kit from Beacon Fabric.

You could just buy the upholstery nails and nail them all in a row.  But this kit makes it much easier.  There are nails on a row, and you nail a real nail in place every 5 nailheads or so.  I will say that this project probably would have looked a little better if I had used all individual nails...but it was much faster and easier and there was much less profanity on my part by using this kit.  I do however think that if you used this kit on a much bigger project - a headboard or something- it would look better than individual nails.

You must nail the upholstery nails in with a mallet, NOT a hammer.  A hammer will dent the nails and dent and chip paint off of your project.  Just get a mallet already.

Once you're done, this is what the finished trim will look like!  Beautiful!

Then flip the chair back over.  Pull all of the fabric tight around the bottom of the chair, and staple the crap out of it.  Then trim away all of the excess fabric.

I am SO pleased with how these chairs came out!  And I'm so proud of myself for doing it myself :)

This project cost a little more than I had planned, but that is because I purchased a much more expensive fabric than I had thought I would.  That's really the factor in how expensive an upholstery project will be.  Plus, I bought about a half a yard more than I thought I needed...just in case.  But I can definitely use the extra fabric in another project some day.

Here's a breakdown of my costs:

Chairs off of Craigslist: $30 total
Foam: $13
Batting: $5
Fabric: $100
Nailhead Trim Kit: $20, but I only used about 1/4 of the kit, so $5

PRICE PER CHAIR = $38.25!  I think this is a pretty fabulous price!

Happy Upholstering!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Paint Chip Calendar

Happy Monday!

I made a very easy and very inexpensive calendar recently. It's so cute and I had seen one like it on Pinterest a long time ago.

It's made with paint chips from your local hardware store, which are FREE!! And free is spectacular! Now you'll need quite a few because you can only get 1 to 2 squares out of one of the paint chips. You'll need 35 squares, so that's probably 17-20 paint chips. Pick a color you like, or that coordinates with your decor, and gather all variations of that color, some lighter and some darker.

I bought a $5 frame at Walmart and I painted the frame white. I had some thick white drawing paper that I purchased at Michael's a while ago, and I used it to as my background. You could also use poster board, or regular white paper, or even whatever piece of paper comes with your frame to cut as your backing.

I cut all of the paint chips to a 1.5" x 1.5" square with my paper cutter. Then I laid all of the squares out so I could see how to space them all out evenly. Then I just stuck them all on with some glue dots. Glue dots are little dots of glue on a roll and they are used in scrapbooking if you aren't familiar with them. They are amazing little buggers...BUT they stick and you can NOT remove them once they are stuck. So stick with caution! You could easily use a glue stick or even tape for this project.

Then I put the frame back together, hung it up with command strips, and it was all ready to write on with a dry erase marker! And yes...I'm that busy :-/

I love it! Definitely make one if you do too!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Creating Storage in a Small Space

The house I rent is a small house.  It has 3 bedrooms and 1.5 small bathrooms.  When I moved in I knew bathroom storage would be an issue.  Here is the before photo of my 1/2 bath, which is the bath in the master bedroom...ZERO storage:

After Pinteresting a bit, I came across some inspiration for storage in a small bathroom.



I picked up some Lack shelves from IKEA because they are very sleek and modern and they looked - key word here - LOOKED easy to install, and they are very inexpensive.  They were only $14.99 each and I purchased 3 of them.  2 for the half bath, and 1 for above the door in the full bath.
Here's the thing abou the Lack shelves...they don't come with hardware.  IKEA doesn't give you hardware because they don't know what kind of surface you will be screwing the shelves into.  I used my studfinder and where I needed my shelves to hang, there weren't any studs.  Also, on these shelves the screws are placed 10 inches apart or something, and in American homes the studs are placed 8 inches they won't line up with your studs anyway.  I actually think that it's much easier to put in an anchor and screw into that, than to screw into a stud....but I have very wimpy arm muscles.  Plus, an anchor will actually hold more weight.

I am not completely ignorant when it comes to hanging shelves or building things.  I grew up working in a woodshop, so I'm pretty "with it" when it comes to this stuff.  I purchased a few different screws to try: 2 kinds of drywall screws that 'say' they need no anchor, and 2 kinds of screws with anchors that I've used before.  After about a day of trying, and numerous curse words, and creating massive holes that needed to be filled to try the next screws, I will tell you that none of those things worked.
So naturally, I googled "how to hang an ikea lack shelf"...and what do you know??  Thousands of results pop up with people having the same problem!!!

The general advice for what worked was a toggle type anchor.  I went to Lowe's the next day and bought these:

These are EXACTLY the anchors you need for this shelf.  They worked perfectly and I had the dang shelf up in about 10 minutes....geez.
Here is the end result of my above the door storage in my full bath:

Here is the finished storage in my 1/2 bath:

So, if you too decide to hang a LACK shelf somewhere in your home:
A) Use a level to draw a line on the wall where you want the shelf.
B) Use the anchoring metal part of the shelf along that level line, and mark where the screws will go. 
C) Use an awl to create a large hole on your screw mark to put the anchor into.
C)  Use these exact anchors and screws from Lowe's.
With these steps you should have your shelves up in no time at all.

After I hung the shelves I needed storage baskets.  I bought about 10 different baskets and I finally found the perfect ones at World Market.  Mine are the Betty Water Hyacinth baskets.  I purchased a couple of beige canvas bins from Target as well.

I had a larger basket at home and no where to put it, so I took 2 'S' hooks and hung it to the towel rack in the half bath.  There really is no need for a towel rack in a half bath, so I use this basket for things that I would normally have on the bathroom counter.

What do you think of my storage solutions?


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Creamy Avocado Pasta

In honor of St. Patrick's Day 2012, I'm going to share a great green recipe :)

Who doesn't love cheesy, white, terrible for you, fat laden sauce on their pasta?  No one on this planet.

I came across this recipe on Pinterest that creates a creamy pasta sauce with no cheese or cream.  So it actually turns out that this sauce is vegan.  It does have fat from the avocado, of course.  But that's good fat - or at least that's what they're telling us.

This recipe takes about 2 minutes to make this sauce and you can enjoy it on any pasta, or even on rice.  You can add whatever vegetables and protein you would like, and of course you can sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top - which I did, and it was even more fabulous than it already is.

The recipe is here from
Avocado Cream Sauce

Here it is as well:
• 1 medium ripe avocado, pitted
• 1/2 lemon, juiced
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1/4 cup fresh basil, packed
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4-1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
• 2 servings of pasta 
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add in your pasta, reduce heat to medium, and cook about 8-10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth and scrape down sides of the bowl - I used my blender.  Now add in the pitted avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy. You can add a touch of water or oil if necessary.
3. When pasta is cooked, drain in a strainer and place pasta into a large bowl. Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately. 
Please note: This sauce does not reheat well due to the avocado. Please serve immediately.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Turning an IKEA LACK table into a cute upholstered ottoman

I'm still waiting on my fabric for my chairs to come in, so in the meantime, I did this little project...

I haven't purchased a coffee table for quite some time because my living room is small and it's difficult to find one that is the right size.  So I've been using a cheap IKEA LACK side table as a stand in because it's small and cheap and I had it on hand.  Everyone on the planet is familiar with this table.  They are $7, and come in lots of colors.  But I wanted mine to be cuter.  So I decided I'd upholster it.
Now, I wanted a fabric that was mostly white because my living room furniture is brown and light brown, so I needed something lighter.  But, I couldn't find any white fabric with a cute design on it.  So I made my own.

I got a yard of white fabric and some fabric paint, and I found a pattern that I liked online.  I made a stencil from that pattern and cut it into a sponge.  Then I used that sponge to stamp the pattern all over the fabric.  This was super easy and super cheap!

After I finished stamping, I immediately washed the fabric.  Because I used a sponge to stamp the design instead of just painting, I got exactly the look I was going for.  Kind of vintage and worn looking :)

Now, I wanted this ottoman to be tufted, so I drew an X on top of the table and drilled a hole through the center, and then at the point that was half way between the corners and the center.

I got some 1 inch foam from Hobby Lobby - and I used their 40% off coupon from online.  I put the foam on top of the table, and then covered that with batting.  Then you just turn the table upside down, and start staple-gunning away.

Once you've done that you can put your fabric on.  Now I'm tufting, so the first thing I did was cover 5 buttons with white fabric.  This is super easy.  You just buy the covered button kits from your craft store and follow the directions, and voila!  If you are NOT tufting, you can just staple your fabric on at this point.

You don't want to staple your fabric on and then tuft, because then the fabric won't stretch to get nice deep tufts.  So you stand the table upright - so leaving the legs on is good - and start with the middle button.  Now, I tried using fishing line first, but it was not strong enough.  So I used some twine that I had.  Twine is sturdy and thick and doesn't stretch, so I really liked it for this.  I got a long weaving needle - again from Hobby Lobby - and used it to thread the twine UP through the center hole of the ottoman.  Then you put the button on.  Then you put the needle back through to the bottom of the table.  Then you pull HARD to make a deep tuft.  I tied the twine under the tabletop and around a piece of fabric, to keep it from slipping back through the drilled hole.

You repeat this for the rest of the tufting holes.  Then your last step is to turn the table on its top, and staple gun the rest of the fabric to the bottom, and trim!

That's it!  It really was super easy and only took about an hour to do.  I love the way it looks in my living room, and it was all done for about $10!  You can't beat that!

1.5 yards of white fabric $4
Button Covering Kit $2.50
Fabric Paint $0.99

{nifty button}

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wedding Flowers

I haven't completed the chair makeover yet because it has taken me until now to decide on what fabric I like.  I finally decided on one and this is it:

Dwell Studio Fabric

I've ordered it so it should be in soon and hopefully I'll finish the chairs this weekend :)

In the meantime I've been up to a lot of other projects.  The biggest of which was doing the flowers for a wedding in San Antonio.  Somehow I have a knack with flowers.  This was discovered when my best friend, Natalia, got married a couple of years ago.  The night before her wedding in San Diego, she appeared at our hotel room with hundreds of flowers and announced that we needed to make the bouquets for the wedding the next day.  I just kind of took charge and they turned out really really well.

Since that wedding, I have taken a floral class to learn how to make corsages and boutonnieres.

This wedding was a pretty good size wedding with about 250 people.  I made 30 centerpieces, 6 bridesmaid bouquets, 1 bridal bouquet, 11 boutonnieres, 6 wrist corsages, 2 pin corsages, and 1 altar arrangement.  Everything turned out wonderfully.  Everything looked exactly like the pictures she had sent me of bouquets she liked.  I can't wait to see the pictures from the photographer :)

One typical Adrianne story for you....

When I picked the flowers up from the florist and brought them home, I began filling buckets of water to sort them and put them into.  As I filled the first bucket of water and was placing it on the floor of my garage, I thought to myself "I had better be careful with my phone with all of this water around..."

As soon as that thought crossed my mind, my iPhone fell out of the chest pocket of my scrubs right into the bucket of water!!  I reached in to get it really fast and I immediately backed it up on my computer because I knew I might only have a few minutes to possibly do something like that.

Once the backup was complete, it started acting funny.  I put it in rice - like everyone says to do - but the phone was vibrating, and ringing, and flashing, and making all sorts of noises and it would NOT turn off no matter what I did.  So I went to bed and crossed my fingers.  Well, thank the LORD, the rice worked.  Somehow, it's been normal ever since.

But there it is...a typical day in the life.  This kind of B.S. happens quite often to me, and I am NOT deserving of it.  And usually it has some pretty significant financial repercussions.  Fortunately, the iPhone lives another day!

Here are some photographs of the flower arrangements...

If you or anyone you know would like flowers for an event in the central Texas area, let me know!  I can  do what a florist can do for about a third of what they would charge.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Re-finishing Antique Chairs

Project #1 in my new house....  Re-finishing 4 antique chairs.

I recently moved into a new house I am renting, and this house has a dining area.  Before I only had a bar.

So I purchased a antique white table off of craigslist for $80.  And 4 antique chairs for $30 total, with it in mind that I would re-finish them to utter cuteness, even though I have never done such a thing before.  I have painted a couple of old pieces of furniture, and I'm pretty crafty, and not completely ignorant when it comes to woodworking and the like.  But never having done this type of thing before I went straight to the experts for advice....and when I say experts, I mean Google :)

So after a couple of weeks of researching painting furniture, etc on countless blogs, I learned about a paint called Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  Annie Sloan is a lady from England.  She invented this paint that just covers anything, you name it.  Metal, Wood, Plastic, Fabric, Glass, your dog...anything.  Everyone who has used it swears by it because you don't have to sand, prime, etc.  You simply paint.  It's environmentally friendly and doesn't smell.  I immediately decided that I would use this paint based on countless rave reviews.  The problem is since this paint is English, it can only be found in certain boutiques, and it's expensive, but worth it since you don't have to do all of that work.

Last weekend I went to Dallas to a shop that sold it and bought it in Pure White.  I also bought Annie Sloan Wax because it also had rave reviews.  With these things in hand I was ready to undertake the re-finishing.

Chair Before

Step 1:  Ripping the upholstery off of the chairs
This was the tedious part.  First off, there were upholstery nails around the edges of the upholstery.  This took a long time to pry out each one.  Then, it turns out, the chairs were covered with not only the ugly fabric they came with, but a just as ugly mauve colored fabric underneath.  Then there were a couple of layers of cotton batting and a layer of HAIR!  EWWWWWW.  These chairs are old.  And I know that back in the day they used horse hair for stuffing.  But let me just say that that was a mistake.  It is disgusting, and hairy, and filled with dust, and whatever skin and sweat from however many people have sat on these chairs.  SICK.
But once that was done, I used one of my best investments of all time, my Dyson vacuum, and vacuumed all of the grime off of those suckers.

Step 2: One of the chairs was broken
The top was broken on one of the chairs, and apparently was fixed poorly before.  I fixed it with some epoxy :)

Step 3:  Let the painting begin!
In my usual style when excited to try something new...I cracked open the can of paint.  Super-excited.  And then managed to tip the bloody thing over and spill about a 1/2 cup of my very expensive, very important paint out all over the place!  Ugh...the usual.
 Everything I had read said you just slap this paint on, so that's exactly what I did.  A lot of people said that one coat covered their furniture well.  My chairs were relatively dark, so they did need 2 coats.
This paint is really thick and a little of it does go a long way.  And it dries very fast.  I did 2 coats on my chairs and I still have 3/4 of the can left.  I probably needed to do even a 3rd coat on my chairs because some places I didn't cover very well, but I wasn't sure if I was going to make them look weathered, and I was tired, so I left them as is.

Chair after 2 coats of paint

Step 3: Wax on, Wax off
I used my Annie Sloan Wax, which I purchased in clear, to finish the chairs.  I did a lot of research, and it looks like a lot of people use a wipe-on poly coating on their painted furniture, and then they wax after that.  But a lot of people who use Annie Sloan wax say that they'll just use that from now on.
The wax comes in a jar and kind of looks like vaseline.  You just rub in on with a soft cloth, and it makes your furniture really smooth.  Same thing, this stuff goes a long way.  I'm not sure yet if I want to sand my edges to make the chairs look worn, but I can always do that later, and then add another coat of wax.

Step 4:  Reupholstery!
This is the part I dont know about yet.  So can you help me decide?
I originally wanted to paint them white and add robin's egg blue cushions.  Just solid with no pattern.  And I know a pattern might be more difficult to align with the chair, but there are so many fun ones!

Table and Painted Chairs
Now, these are a few of the fabrics I like...which do you like??
This is really just blue

I'm hoping to be finished with them in the next week!

Some other great blogs documenting their process using this paint: