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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / 1950's Sofa Make Over or Tooting my Own Horn... TOOT TOOT! on: August 13, 2011 06:35:34 PM
We've needed a new sofa for a while now.  Seems like I've been trolling craigslist forever.  Nothing suited my style, my budge or my needs (my husband is super tall and his feet always hang uncomfortably over the ends of sofas).  Then last weekend I went on Kammy's Korner and she raved about this resale shop close to me so I decided to check it out.  This place was huge (They had a fire truck on sale for $15,000!).  I found this 1950's sofa.

It's frame was good and sturdy but the cushions were terrible.  They were thin and covered in this itchy ugly orange and brown stripe fabric.  The fabric on the cushions was a different color brown from the fabric covering the bottom of the frame and from the color combo I'm guessing the cushions were redone sometime in the 70's.  You should have seen the looks my daughter gave me when I stopped and plopped down on it to test it out.  I stood over it for a while scratching my chin.  It is in two parts so I was pretty sure that I could fit it in the truck.  It was stickered at $45.  I decided to see if I could talk the guy at the counter down.  I brought him over and told him my plans to replace the cushions completely as they were so thin and asked him if he could help me out and come down some.  He asked me how $35 would be.  I said wonderful.  He helped me load it into the back of my truck and tied it down for me.  My daughter and I made a b-line for Joann fabrics.  Low and behold it was my lucky day.  Upholstery fabric was 60% off!  Pillow forms were 50% off!  Kimberly and I tested out the four inch foam and the five inch but I decided I could recover the cushions from our old couch with the new fabric and just get new cushions for the back of the couch.  I went with 24" pillow forms.  I originally got four but ended up getting a fifth pillow for the back to give it a fuller look.  I went with a blue tweed upholstery fabric.  I originally got 4 yards but had to go back the next day to get another 3.  When I went back, the fabric was no longer on sale.  I explained my situation to the manager at the fabric counter and begged for the sale price.  She let me have the fabric at the sale price... $13.99 a yard (as opposed to $34.99 a yard!).  Because I spent over a $100 on Sunday I got two $10 off a $10 or more purchase.  I used those to get zippers for the cushions and ScotchGuard (A MUST with kids).  When all was said and done I spent a total of $192.00 for the couch.  I'm very pleased with how it turned out.  The frame cleaned up nicely with a darker finish on it.  This is my biggest upholstery project to date.  Of course, most of it was just sewing cushions since it is a wood frame but I'm still pretty proud of how it turned out.

Here is a close up.

Much better than my home made couch that we lived with for a while.

So, what do ya think?
2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / One Dead Bunny Plushie on: April 10, 2011 06:26:45 PM
When I was growing up if my mom saw a dead bunny by the road she would say "Oh no!  They ran over the Easter Bunny!  Guess he won't be coming this year!"  Always said with a smile and a wink. 

My youngest was cleaning her room the other day and I washed Splat the Cat that I made and posted a while ago.  Being that Easter is just around the corner I had the idea for another dead friend for Splat the Cat and Austen the very flat Boston. 

Here is his bunny tail.

And a face shot

He didn't turn out quite like I had envisioned but the kids love him anyway.  He is fuzzy and floppy.  My youngest didn't want to wait for me to paint the tread on him.
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / 1/4 inch Plywood to Finished Plank Floor on: April 03, 2011 05:07:47 PM

I lived for the longest time with unfinished plywood floors in the master bedroom.  We would get slivers in our feet so we covered it with this jean fabric that we had but it stretched and really wasn't a long term solution.

It was ugly and sad and I complained about it constantly but we really didn't have the funds to do anything about it.  Then I found the solution on the Frugal Farmhouse Design Blog. 


We finished our bedroom in a weekend.  My knees ached and my back was killing me but I love the results.  If anyone wants to take on a project like this let me just share one thing that I learned the hard way.  I topped off my plank flooring with two coats of poly.  After the first coat I turned the overhead fan on to help it dry and to help with the smell.  When I went to put the second coat on, I didn't turn the fan off.  I should have.  The second coat started drying too quickly while I was working it and there was one spot by the door where some drops of poly can still be seen.  It's just one spot but I've definitely learned a lesson.

You can see in the above photo the drops going across a couple of boards and also one spot where the poly formed a line.  You don't see the discoloration like you can in the photo that is from my flash.  It's just a texture on the boards.
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Motor Home Mess to Sewing Room Sublime! on: April 03, 2011 04:38:46 PM

My Dad pulled two of these sad captains chairs out of the motor home that he is redoing and asked me if I wanted them.  I have a thing about chairs so even though they were in sorry condition and very filthy I smiled and said sure.  I knew I needed a new sewing chair so I set to work stripping this one down to its skivvies. 

If anyone else attempts this let me tell you that it is a DIRTY job.  I recommend a dust mask and protective eye wear.  There were a ton of industrial strength staples holding all the fabric on to this ugly girl.  The first bunch of staples out and I had the seat off.

It took quite a few more to get the rest of the fabric off and I knocked my knuckles more than once but when they were finally all off this was how she looked.

Luckily, despite the discoloration of the foam it was in good condition and I didn't have to replace it.  I then took my stitch ripper and took the pieces of the cover apart.  It was very holey and almost fell apart on me but I pieced it back together and used it as a pattern for my new cover.  After I had the new cover sewn together and pulled on I had to sew it back into place because the frame was metal not wood so I couldn't use my staple gun.  I then made a couple of matching fabric covered buttons and added those to the back and the seat.

I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.  And it's my first upholstery job! Not to shabby don't you think?

I'm going to tackle the second chair to replace my computer chair. 
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Lined Jute Baskets Made from Computer Paper Boxes tutorial on: March 06, 2011 07:46:50 AM

So my 11 year old daughter has some very specific ideas as to what she wants for her room which is currently a WIP.  For her closet she wanted some lined baskets.  I tried getting her to pick some baskets at our local thrift stores which I would then spray paint all the same color and line them.  She, in typical 11 year old fashion, wrinkled her nose at me and said that none of them were big enough for her to do anything with.  Well, the size baskets that she wants cost more than this thrifty mom is willing to spend for the number of baskets that she wants.  I've been mulling over this problem for a while when it came to me.

I had a computer paper box that I picked up from work and a HUGE roll of Jute. I set to work with hot glue gun in hand and wrapped the box completely.  It took a ton of glue but when I was done it looked like this.

I did the same with the lid and then gathered my materials to line the baskets.  Yep, that is a cereal box and an old bedsheet.

I lined the bottom of the computer box lid with the bedsheet and then I cut pieces of cereal box to fit inside the sides of the lid and wrapped them with the bedsheet.  A little hot glue later and this is the finished lining.

I have to decide how to finish off the bottom of the baskets.  I'll probably end up painting them or modpodging them.

Hopefully my daughter will be satisfied with them.  If not, I'm still planning on making more for my craft room.
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Happy Accident Painter's Tape Roses on: February 27, 2011 05:39:35 PM
I was pulling the painters tape off my walls at 3 am when I looked down and realized I had accidentally made a rose.  Well at this point I started making them intentionally (yes I was a little high on paint fumes and exhausted from a day of painting so at 3 am this seemed like a perfectly rationally thing to be doing).  This was the result.

The one at the base of the lamp on the right is the original.
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Upcycled magazine art on: February 27, 2011 05:02:32 PM
So I'm redoing my bedroom after years of living with bad drywall job, unfinished floors, and missing trim.  I'm on a budget.  Most of which is going into the floors.  I'm a naturally thrifty person so when I bought the fabric to make the curtains I wanted I just about choked on the cost of the fabric and the hardware.  Needless to say I knew I needed some art work but refused to spend money.  I was going to have to get creative.  I did lots of "research" until I found my inspiration here


I had tons of magazines that were gifted to me from a cousin who has a magazine obsession!  I went online and looked up bird silhouettes which I printed out, transferred to cereal box board and then used to trace my birds on magazine ads that either had the color or texture that I liked.  I then selected backgrounds for my birds had cut out 5 x 5 inch squares.  A little paste and posterboard later and a repurposed frame and Viola!

Here is a better shot of my frame.

As you can see my floors are still not finished  Undecided
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Pillows from Jacket on: February 27, 2011 04:41:45 PM
I'm in the process of a bedroom redo and I needed some accent pillows.  I wanted a yellow print to go with my new grey walls.  This is what I ended up with:

I found this Jacket at Goodwill and was immediately drawn to the texture and the color.  It was perfect.

I used one of the sleeves to make a cover for my neck roll pillow.  I used the buttons to finish off the ends.

The majority of the body of the jacket went to making the rectangular pillow in the first picture.  The jacket had this great lining so I used it to make this pillow.  I used the existing seams in the lining to give it an organic feel adding a few here and there to continue the look.

9  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Fat Princess Bedside Table on: October 24, 2010 05:43:03 PM
So my daughter has been in need of a bedside table.  When coming home from work the other day I saw one sitting on the side of the road with a free sign on it.  It had a worn maple finish, green marker scribble marks on the legs and a mystery substance (Play doh?  Gum?) in the drawer but it was solid and well built so I snatched it up.  When I got home my husband regarded it with a raised eyebrow.  I waved him off and said don't worry I'll sand it and paint it and it will look great in Lizzie's room.  At this point I was thinking a couple of coats of bubble gum pink for my five year old princess loving daughter's side table.  As I walked in the door a few minutes behind my husband I was met by said daughter bouncing up and down shouting that she wanted princesses and knights and castles.  Well that didn't really surprise me all that much until she started dancing circles singing that she wanted Fat Princess on her side table.  For those that don't know, Fat Princess is a video game where you rescue your princess while trying to steal the princess of the other team.  It's called fat princess because you can feed cake to the princesses to make it more difficult for the other team to carry their princess back to their castle.  Anyways, here is the result of a couple days work.  Sorry for the horrible pics.  I'm working on getting some better shots.

This is the top of the table

A close up of the Princess...

And a castle...

Here's an archer from the blue team attacking from above...

A close up of one of the sides.

This is the other side of the table with the newest two characters, the pirate and the ninja

And a close up of the Pirate...

This is the front drawer.  It was the last thing I painted.  I'm not happy with it.  I'm going to have to think on what I want to do with it.  My husband says that I should paint cakes and goodies on the legs of the table.  After two straight days of drawing and painting I was ready to paint them a solid color.  I'll have to think on it for a while.

10  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / From Skirt to New Lamp Shade on: April 28, 2010 04:59:26 PM
Okay so you know how it is, you walk into a thrift shop and you love the print of some shirt or skirt and you have to buy it even if it doesn't fit you.  That's what happened here.  I saw a skirt and didn't even look at the size.  I just snatched it up and practically skipped to the register.  When I got home I realized that it was WAY to big for me.  So big in fact that resizing it to fit me would have been impossible.  A little bummed but not terribly discouraged I sat it aside for another day.  A couple of months later, while working on my daughters new room, I had an epiphany!  She needed a new lamp and being the hoarder that I am I had this great retro black and white lamp that went great with her purple/black/white theme.  Only problem was the shade was an old fiberglass shade that was creased when my husband squished it. 

This is a similar shade but in much better condition.

Since the skirt that I picked up was so big and the perfect color I decided to use it to cover the old shade. I forgot to take a before picture but here is what is left of the skirt afterwards.

And finally, after cutting and sewing the skirt onto the old shade, a lamp worthy of my daughters new room!

I have to admit, I almost kept it for myself.  But being the loving, selfless mother that I am I rewired the lamp and placed it in my daughters room.  She was very happy.
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