8/16/10

Barstools Made Beautiful

This week I finally made time to get a project done.  A project which has been needing my attention for, well, lets just say a while now :).

Behold the lovely before picture.  Yes, though I'm ashamed, I will admit that this is what my barstools have looked like for waaayyy too long.  I know, yuck!  And I'm sorry to any guests who politely sat down on these beauties while secretly cringing inside.

The green fabric was actually microfiber that my husband bought to recover the barstools and surprise me for my birthday a couple of years ago.  Sweet thought.....not so sweet fabric (sorry hon).  Microfiber is supposed to be very easy to keep clean, and some types very well may be, but not this stuff.  Water stains it. Seriously.

So I've been wanting to recover these for a really long time, and I finally did it! 



The first thing I did was remove the old, yucky green fabric, then I measured out my new fabric by placing the seat onto it and cutting around it, making sure to leave enough fabric to work with on each side. 



To attach the fabric to the seat, use a staple gun.  Start by stapling one side, pull the opposite side tight and staple it.  Then do the two other sides the same way until you have one staple holding the center of each of the four sides.


Then you'll want to do the corners.  This part can be a little tricky.  It's a little like wrapping a present, just a lot more difficult :)  No, it's really not that bad, you just have to give it some practice.  The most important thing is to make sure you are pulling it TIGHT.  Tuck one side under the other, pull them tight, straighten and tighten, staple, pull again, tighten again, staple and.....voila!  You've got it perfect, (or dang close to it).


Now, some perfectionists would have to have it looking as pretty on the bottom as it does on the top...not me.  Who cares what the bottom ends up looking like as long as I've got enough staples in it, and the top looks nice and smooth.


So are you ready now to see the result?  Drum roll please...........


               Before:                                                                                                  


After:
 

And here's a picture of all four chairs together.  Don't they look happy now?!  I just love the way they turned out.  It's amazing how such a small change can make such a huge difference.  My kitchen just looks so much cuter now! 


For anyone who might want to know, I purchased the fabric on Joann's website.  It was a special order fabric made for indoor/outdoor use.  It's supposed to be a lot sturdier and easier to clean than regular fabric....and I think it will be.

Tropix Outdoor Canvas is the brand name and the fabric is called Maxime Thyme (Waverly Sun N Shade also has some really nice prints, I ordered some for another project I'll be doing.)

The reason I ordered my fabric online as opposed to in the store is because not only was the shipping price cheaper online, but it was also much quicker.  It was on sale for $8.99 a yard, and I purchased 2 yards.  I paid about $4 for shipping, so my grand total was about $22.  Pretty good bang for my buck, don't ya think!
  
 I'm linking to a before and after party at Thrifty Decor Chick



I Need More Time!

There's one bad thing about decorating projects.....they take time.


I have so many projects planned.....so many things around my house that could be improved....so many wonderful ideas for decorating....so many closets I should clean out....now if only I could find the time!
 
This summer is seriously flying by, and in some ways I am really NOT looking forward to school starting again.  Going back to the daily grind of making sure all homework gets done, making sure kids get to and practice piano, orchestra, dance etc. makes me a little tired just thinking about it. 

But I have to admit there's this tiny little part of me that's jumping up and down and shouting hooray! looking forward to it, just a bit.  Six hours a day with only one little one demanding my attention.....oh what will I do with all of that free time?  Hmmmmm.

7/6/10

The Antique Chair Mystery


I have a mystery on my hands, and I need some help getting it solved.

I bought these lovely antique chairs on one of my junk sprees at the DI (Utah's version of goodwill).
 
I had almost decided against buying them, but there was a little voice in the back of my mind saying Brooke at All Things Thrifty would be so disappointed if I passed up the opportunity to glaze these beauties!
So I bought them with the plan to refinish and make them gorgeous. 


It wasn't until after I made had my handy hubby go pick them up for me and we were unloading them into the garage (a.k.a. old furniture storage place) that we noticed these nifty little tags on the bottom of each chair.

Two things caught my eye..."The Singer Company"...who hasn't heard that name before?...and "Rockefeller Plaza, NY".

"Hmmmm", my mind started thinkin', maybe these little beauties are worth more than the $15 (each) that I paid for them.  Or maybe they really are just old junk that needs to be made beautiful again.
The problem is, I just don't know!

I've tried researching online and I've discovered that the Singer Company, which is famous for it's sewing machines, did branch off into furniture for a short amount of time beginning in the sixties.
But I can find no evidence of any other Singer furniture anywhere online.

So I need help --- I'd hate to refinish these if they have any value in their original state, but I'd also like to get them done and out of my garage if they're just old, ugly chairs.

Does anyone, anywhere out there know anything more?  Have you seen anything similar to these or other furniture that is made by the Singer Company?

Any suggestions to help me solve this mystery would be sooooo wonderful!!!

Hope your Independence Day celebrations were wonderful --- mine were!

Thanks for reading --- have a fabulous day!


7/2/10

Small Town Excitement

I live in a cozy little town in Northern Utah.  If you were to drive down Main Street on any normal day, you would see mostly older homes that are well kept and attractive.  You would see nice yards and big, shady trees lining the way.

But if you were driving down Main Street with me yesterday, this is what you would have seen:



Chairs, rope, blankets, canopies and yes, even caution tape set up all along the street.  


People must be saving their spots for a parade, right? 

Ummmm....right.


Only the parade isn't until Monday at noon, four days away folks!

Hey, can we help it if we all get a little bit excited for the biggest event this city has all year.

I mean, you can get your grocery sack filled half way up with candy if you've got yourself a good enough spot.

Of course, I would never go save my spot four days early.  I just roll my eyes and shake my head at those overly-anxious folks who just have to have the best spot. *sheesh*


I am excited for the parade though.  My two daughters are going to be on a float with their ballroom dance team, so that should be fun.  

And we're having some family come to watch the parade with us.....

....Speaking of that, there's going to be quite a few of us.  We're going to need a pretty big patch of grass for all of us to sit.....  


....Ummmmm, sorry,  I gotta get off the computer and go round up some blankets and chairs!


Happy 4th of July!




7/1/10

Patriotic Door Hanger


Is it just me or is the summer flying by waaaaaay too fast?! I think I just barely realized that the 4th of July is this weekend! That means parades and barbecues and fireworks --- and people coming over --- and I haven't put up one single red, white and blue decoration yet! What the heck's wrong with me?

If you're thinking the same thing ---- calm down --- it's not too late to put together something fabulous for your front door, where everyone is sure to see it.


This door sign is cute, simple and best of all ***thrifty*** (what's more American than thrifty?!) I had quite a few of the supplies already, but I did buy 3 cans of spray paint, hinges and transfer paper. I spent about $15, with the transfer paper being the most expensive item ($7.50), but it can be used over and over, and I only used a little of the spray paint --- so really it probably cost less than $10 --- wooot wooot!!


I put it together in only a couple of hours (that includes time out to pour a couple of bowls of cereal and change a stinky diaper :)


Here's how to make it:



First, unless you are very good at painting words freehand, you'll want to print out the words you're going to use. I used a different font style for each word and I made the fonts as big as I possibly could. I was using "Paint", which allows a maximum sized font of 288.

I didn't actually end up using the top and bottom fonts pictured, but you get the idea.



The wood I used is just a sheet of MDF (aka plywood). You'll want to measure your wood according to how big your words are going to be. I had my handy hubby cut them 21 inches wide, then the middle piece is 7 inches high and the top and bottom pieces are each 6 inches high.

I gave the wood a really quick sanding just to get rid of any potential slivers, (I've learned from experience, *ouch*!)

Next comes the spray paint. This is a small enough project that you could use a brush if you really wanted to, but why would you? Only kidding, you do whatever makes you smile :)

I for one though, have been converted. I now worship spray paint --- okay, maybe worship is too strong of a word, but I. do. love. the stuff!


Here's the paint I used for this project:
These can all be purchased at Walmart for $2.67, which is by far the cheapest price I've seen anywhere.

First, prime each board. This type of wood really, really soaks up the paint, so you MUST prime first unless you want to be putting a dozen coats of paint on.

For this project I used the Krylon primer because it was cheaper and I figured I didn't need the Kilz brand for this small of a project. The Krylon worked okay, but I definitely could tell a difference in the coverage, Kilz just works better.


When you're spraying make sure that you've got your wood pieces spaced far enough apart that you won't be getting any over-spray.


Once the paint is dry enough to touch it's time to sand the edges. I like to sand before the paint is completely dried and hard because it comes off much easier --- so don't wait too long.



The next step is to glaze the pieces. Using a paintbrush, apply a thin coat of glaze to the entire board including the edges. I used a chocolate brown-tinted glaze for this project.

You don't need to wait long before you start removing the glaze. Lighter colors will show the glaze better than dark colors, so you'll vary the time you leave it on depending on the color you're glazing over.

In this case, I only waited a few seconds before I began wiping it off. I used a clean, damp paper towel and just gently wiped off the excess. Repeat the process until you get the look you're going for.


Here are the three boards after they've been glazed.

This next part is definitely the most time consuming of the whole project. It's not hard, it just takes a little bit of time.

Wondering how you're going to get your cute little words onto the wood?


Here's how: You'll need some wax-free graphite or transfer paper. The best place to find this is at an arts store like Michaels or Hobby Lobby. No, Walmart doesn't carry it, I looked. *sigh*


This is really simple to do--- put the transfer paper (transfer side down) on your wood. Place your printed words on top in the exact spot where you want it to be on your board and tape it down in a couple of places. Then trace the outline of your word and whalaa! --- your word is written.



You're going to paint the letters on and then distress them. I found that it works best to do one letter at a time so that you have time to wipe off some of the paint before it dries --- this is an easier method than trying to sand some off after it's already dried.

You can do this part pretty quickly and carelessly --- you want the letters to look distressed and rustic, not smooth and perfect. Paint it on, and rub some off --- pretty simple.

After painting the words, I brushed over them with glaze to distress them even more.

I thought it would be fun to connect the boards together using hinges. I bought these at Walmart for about $3 (for all of them).

(Be sure that the screws aren't too long for the depth of your boards. I had to buy different screws than the ones that came with my hinges because the others would have gone right through the back of the boards, and scratched up my already banged-up front door).


I didn't want silver hinges, so once again I used some handy dandy spray paint to make them beautiful! I sprayed them with a dark brown, and then a little black. Be sure to spray the top part of the screws too.

When your hardware has dried you can get to work putting it all together. Just figure out the spacing that you want for your boards, and screw those puppies on.

The last step is to attach something to hang it with. I used some dark brown ribbon that I fastened with a staple gun. (Do you think I used enough staples? That ribbon ain't goin' nowhere!)


Now hang your lovely creation on your front door for all of your neighbors to envy enjoy.

You'll be feeling so patriotic, you'll want to deck everyone and everything out in red, white and blue. Well go for it --- be proud to be an American!!!


So do you like this project? Is there something you would've done differently? Have you made something similar? Are you going to make this?

Post your comments --- I'd love to hear from you!


Thanks for reading and have a fabulous Independence Day!!!




I'm linking up:  The Inspired Room

6/28/10

The Aftermath

I promised to share all of the nitty, gritty details of my projects even if they aren't very pleasant. This is the downside of being a furniture transformer / DIYer. The thing is, when you're getting all crafty and handy, you have to have a place to do all of your amazing work, right?

Unfortunately, at our house, the garage is the victim of choice.

I used to like to park my rockin' mini-van *sarcasm* in there, but that's not exactly an option anymore. Not with half the garage filled with old furniture and the other half my kids junk stuff.

Thankfully, my sweet hubby has been pretty understanding and patient with me. See, the garage is usually his domain. He's the one who usually spends time working out there, and he's the one who gets to clean it up --- I've got enough work to do inside, thank you very much.

So when he learned of my new hobby and discovered that his garage would soon be taken over by me, he was surprisingly okay with it --- at least I think so.

When he saw the mess I made,however --- um, he may have lost a little bit of that patience. ;)

Here is a picture of the aftermath of my first project --- I should have taken "before" and "after" photos of the garage too! The after picture isn't so wonderful this time. This is actually after I'd already cleaned up a little bit --- it really was a BIG MESS! I'm going to have to try not to be such a slob next time, but hey, I was working hard, what can I say!

Now that the mess has been cleaned up, I'll be starting on some new projects. :)

I've got some great stuff to work on this week, I can't wait to share it with you!

Thanks for reading --- feel free to comment --- and have a FABULOUS day!



6/26/10

Now that's what I call thrifty!

This morning I had a fabulous grocery shopping trip. It's days like today that make spending time cutting out all of those little coupons actually worth the effort!

This week Smith's is "doubling" coupons, well that's what they call it anyway, but really they are taking any coupon that has a value less than $1 and turning into $1. So, a .50 coupon becomes $1, a .25 coupon becomes $1, you get the point.

It's been a while since there's been a promo like this, so I was SUPER excited! I got nearly everything on my list, and felt only a little bit silly pushing two full shopping carts up to the register. Here's my haul:

The picture doesn't quite give the full effect, but let's just say it's a lotta stuff! Just in case you're extremely bored right now, I'll even give you a little list:
22 boxes GM cereal
15 Grands Biscuits
5 1 lb. packages string cheese
2 country crock butter tubs
10 hunts ketcup
5 bags wacky mac pasta
5 small Dawn Dish Soaps
1 dial hand soap (free)
2 Breyers Ice Cream
10 Totinos Party Pizzas
5 Totinos pizza rolls (free)
2 boxes smart taste pasta (free)
5 betty crocker cookie mixes
5 boxes banquet brown & serve sausage
1 pack Huggies diapers 36 ct.

So what's your guess??? How much do you think I paid for this pantry full of groceries?
$150?? $110?? Nope. Not even close. My total was $85.00 minus $3.00 that the manager just let me keep because she couldn't get her computer to take it off.

To top it off, I found a $25 Smith's gift card in my wallet --- from who knows when --- that I used. So I paid a GRAND TOTAL of $57 Bucks!!!
Woooot Woooot!

Of course my kids were excited about all of the groceries too.......but not for the same reason I was.

Grocery castles???

What can I say, I have creative children!




I get all of my couponing information from an amazingly wonderful website called www.pinchingyourpennies.com

It's where I learned all of the tricks of the trade --- so if you want to become a couponing queen too, check it out!

Feel free to ask me any questions as well. I'd love to hear your comments!

Thanks for reading ---- have a fabulous day!!!

6/25/10

The Transformation of Junk

I've been a very busy girl for the last two weeks. It started when my sweetheart of a Sister-in-law, Jamila, told me I just had to check out this awesome blog about decorating called All Things Thrifty. When I finally found some spare time to sit down and look at it (spare time? what's that?) I was hooked! I love the shabby chic style that she uses, and it's all so simple to do --- I kept thinking, "hey, I could do that."

So the next morning I got up extra early so I could make it to the D.I. right when the
y opened their doors.

Um, did I just say that?

Yes. I. Did. There's no shame in being a D.I. lover --- just ask my sister Heidi --- she has been a shameless D.I. addict for quite a few years now (although, the other day when a lady asked where she got her cute capris, Heidi was too embarrassed to admit forgot she'd bought them at the D.I. hmmm).

I will admit that I have now gotten up early not once, but twice, in order to
get first dibs at the DI --- that place may very well become my new favorite place to shop :)

Imagine my delight when I found these three beauties!






Now, I know you're probably thinking "UUUGGGHHHH!" They're hideous, right?

But I knew they had great hidden potential, and I was really excited to try out the glazing techniques that I had read about. So I brought the bad boys home and gave them a major facelift!

I started by giving them a good cleaning --- which is the worst part in my opinion --- I hate cleaning up other people's stuff! Yes, I do it every day (kids, kids friends, hubby) but to clean up after a total stranger --- to actually have to wipe mysterious hairs out of drawers, can you say
EEEEWWWWWW! seriously.

But once you've got them all spic and span, that's when the fun starts. The first thing I did was give them a good coat of primer. I've learned from my own experience and from the advice of Brooke at A.T.T. that starting with a good quality primer is a must. I've painted other large projects before without priming first, and it takes twice as long because you have to do twice as many coats of paint. Save yourself a headache and prime first.

Next, I spray painted them. Whooo Hoooo for spray paint! I can't believe it's actually taken me this many years to figure out how much easier it is to use a spray can instead of a dang paint brush.

A couple of years ago, I painted this e
ntire thing using a four inch foam brush....it took for-e-ver!


It does cost a little more to buy spray paint than it would just to buy a can of paint, but it's soooo much faster, and we all know that "time is money" right? Right.

After painting, I put on a thin coat of glaze, this time using a paintbrush. On my first attempt, I used a brown tinted glaze. I had the hutch completely finished when I started thinking I wasn't loving it.

I don't know what it was, maybe the brown on white just made it look dirty or something, but I played around a little bit with different colors and decided that I liked the look of the black glaze better.

Sooooo, I started over.

And although I'm sure my glazing technique will improve after practice, I have to say that I really do l.o.v.e. the finished look. A little shabby with a little chic --- perfect!

The furniture cost me a total of $32, and I probably spent about $40 on the primer, paint, glaze and polyurethane. And I spent about 5 hours working on them (including my re-do).

Here are the before and after pictures side by side:





















































Pretty amazing what a little paint can do isn't it. I'm sorta proud of myself. *patting self on the back* :)

Let me know what you think.