taking something old... making something new.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Midwinter Break Part II Le Couch

Okay, so this part of my midwinter break has nothing to do with the wedding, other than it has been looming on my "to do" list for ages and I wanted it done before the wedding when everyone wants to see our house. Before I begin the journey, however, I must apologize for the poor quality of pictures. They're so grainy. I must have had the settings to low quality...not sure.When I lived in Salt Lake, I lived with my dear high school family friend, Jennie. Jennie used to go running in the Avenues every morning and would often come home with some sort of great piece of furniture she found left on the street corner for people to pick up. She got this beauty on one of her runs. The original fabric was the turquoise you see peeking out under the tan cotton that she used as a slipcover for the couch. It was a well-loved couch in our house and took Jennie into marriage. Upon moving from SLC and graduating to "real" married furniture (aka. actually buying it from a store--I'm not there yet, hopefully some day) she bequeathed her beloved couch onto me. This couch sat for two years in Micah's and my little house on the prairie in our "TV watching room." The cushion on it soon became so lumpy and mishapen that when I put this beloved piece into storage, the cushion didn't make it. The couch then sat in storage for six months while I awaited my wedding. And now it was ready for a makeover. How I love furniture makeovers.

Removal of the slipcover reveals the original fabric. Beautiful fabric, but very worn out. The shape of this couch, however, is so elegant and unique!

My next step is to remove the fabric from the couch. This is an important step because I use the old fabric as a pattern for the new fabric. This also gives me a chance to work backward and see how the couch was put together. Let me say, they definitely made QUALITY couches back in the day. This couch was incredibly well put-together which meant that it was a bit of a beast to take apart. (Sidenote: I had to add this picture of me so you can see what a scrub I am when I'm working on my projects. I'm surprised that Bartek still wants to marry me. He gets to see me after days of not showering or changing out of my pajamas. Good man, that Bartek).
Removal of the fabric covering reveals the fatty insides of the couch. This can always be a bit scary, because when foam gets old and dried out, it is gross! It literally crumbles when you touch it. Luckily, this couch was in great condition! The foam is a little discolored, but that's the nature of foam--new foam can look that way when exposed to light. I was grateful that everything looked good underneath.

From here it's the fun part. Now I work backward and start adding my new fabric in the opposite order that I removed it from the couch. As I said before, I use the old fabric pieces as patterns for the new fabric.
Once the couch itself was covered, I bought foam cushions fromt the fabric store and covered them.
Voila! Mission accomplished! I'm in love with this couch. I got the fabric from Hancocks on the upholstery flat fold section where they sell designer bolt ends. I got 12 yards of this on sale for $4 a yard. $48 baby! The foam cushions were the most expensive part at about $70 on sale 50% off, and with piping and thread, I came in with a brand spaking new couch at under $150 and about 20 hours of work. Not too shabby.

Midwinter Break Part I

I have been truly delinquent lately. Though it's not that I haven't been working...it is in fact, that I've been working so much that I have had too much to blog about so it's easier to just not blog. Now I've repented and I'm going to show you everything I've worked on the past few weeks. This last week was my mid-winter break from school and with the weather cold outside, it was a perfect reason to stay inside and create.

My break started off on a Friday with a wonderful party with my girlfriends and sisters. We got together, ate good food, chatted, and everyone helped me with wedding preparations. I regret saying that I didn't take any pictures because we were enjoying one another's company so much, but instead I'll show you a picture of some of the things we did, namely:
~assembled 150 pinwheel party favors
~put labels on 100 wedding bubbles and tied ribbons
~made loads of yarn pom poms for the flower girls to throw
~folded 100 cloth napkins and tied them with ribbon
~folded tissue paper for the dalia flowers
~caught up with old friends and made some new

It was a lovely evening and was so nice to get so much help! This saved me from countless evenings in front of the TV with my paper cutter and pom pom maker! Thank you, ladies!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

side table

Since it is an outdoor affair and the weather is sure to be beautiful, one of the visions I have for my wedding is to have various seating arrangements besides the typical round dinner table for people to sit and chat while watching someone play croquet. So here I am again, planning to use things that will work later in our house. A beautiful vintage sidetable. At my wedding, this will be placed between two brightly colored chairs (coming soon) on the lawn. After the wedding, this will go between our couch (coming soon) and armchair.
Our future house (Bart is living there now) is less than a mile from Goodwill. So I often sneak over there on the way to the house. I love looking for long forgotten pieces with incredible potential. This was one such beauty I found for $7. It has actually been sitting in our living room since Bart moved in and I figured its time to refinish it so he can stop questioning my taste! First I removed the ring from the bottom. It seemed unnecessary and was making it wobble.
Second task, sand down the top. The sides of the table have a strange laminate coating, but I could tell from the top (thanks to the incredible amount of wear & tear that underneath the shiny coating was some wood with a beautiful grain. This sanded beautifully, though unfortunately the ring around the edge was a wood facade and a piece of it chipped off, revealing whatever wood composite they used for the rest of the table.
After sanding it down, I simply put down 3-4 coats of black wood stain. I chose black because I wanted it to turn out a super dark black-brown color and I'm so happy with the result! It looks smashing with my purple lamp sitting on top.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

20 minute ottoman

Our wedding is 62 days away and I'm starting to feel the crunch! I've got a To Do list a mile long, so it's time to crack down and get things done. First item, my second ottoman.
Here's the before picture. An ugly, pink ottoman from a thrift store. Although it's ugly, it's still in pretty good shape, so I did a quick fix on it. Instead of removing the cover and starting from scratch, I decided to cover the existing fabric to speed up the process.
After cutting off the skirt and taking the legs off, I laid the ottoman face down on my fabric and pulled it up tight to staple it to the bottom of the ottoman.

I stapled the ottoman all the way around and pulling it tight, I folded the corners instead of sewing them. Screwed the legs back on and voila! 20 minutes later, an ottoman! I wouldn't normally do things this thrown together, but when I'm cutting it this close, I've gotta do what I've gotta do.