Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to upholster over a cane back chair: Take two!

This method is seriously a big-time improvement.

 Before we begin, some notes and reflections: 
Reflection #1: Really take the time to cut your fabric as close as possible to where you want it to go. Trying to trim off the excess like a pie crust after you've glued it is pretty difficult. Plus, you've got fraying to contend with. 

Get your materials together: Batting, glue gun (glue gun sticks, obvi), Fabric and spray adhesive if you have it. 

I put two layers of batting down, using the spray adhesive to hold it in place while I worked. 
Then, cut your fabric as close to size as you can, and begin to hot glue it around the edges. My method for this is put the glue as close to the edge, directly onto the caning and carefully place your fabric over it. 

And it should look generally like this. 

Easy, right?! 

Now just add your trim of choice and you are done on the back! 

The front is just exactly the same thing. 

Two layers of batting, hot glue and fabric. The secret is to trim trim trim before gluing to get a really good fit. 
I have it shown here without trim so you can see. The batting really gives it a nice comfy-lookin' poof doesn't it?

Ah, sweet success! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Does this not look wonky?

Well, it totally does, right? Gaaah! I tried to do the stretched canvas approach, whereby I streched the fabric across the opening on the back and stapled it in place, and used the gimp trim to cover up the staples. Bad idea. 

So, I cast that chair aside (for now) and focused my attentions on my pretty distressed gray chair of the set. Yes, this one chair is different from the rest of the set. I was in an experimenting mood. Don't judge me! 

I love how this gray chair turned out. The patina is just too pretty for me to paint over to just plain white. So I kept it. And decided to try another method for upholstering the back since the caned back was busted through. 

Oh, hey, what's that? Yeah. Totally looks like a chair. An awesome chair. Woot woot.

It's not trimmed, but is this not so much better? Forget what I said about using cardboard to upholster over a caned back. Well, no, don't forget it. You could still use it for simple shapes, but this is WAY easier when you have a fancy shape that you need to get exactly freaking right or else it just looks like it belongs on the short bus. Like this guy: 
Blerg. Anyone know how to remove trim that's been hot glued on? Anyone?

I'm working on the full tutorial on how to make your upholstered caned back NOT suck, but the gist of it is: 
You need batting,  your fabric, scissors and a glue gun and that is it. 

If you've got spray adhesive it makes things that much easier for you. I used staples at first. no. don't do that. Not necessary. Glue gets it so much more precise every. single. time.

P.S. The wonk-ified chair is the back to my ikat upholstered french chairs! I'm totally gonna do it, you guys. I have 3 of 4 chairs in various states of non-matching-ness, so I really ought to quit typing and start upholstering.



Thursday, March 24, 2011

Crafting Kabosh

Man, the crafting Gods really don't want me to get anything done today! Seriously, I was all crazy nervous about doing these chairs, and I finally got up the guts to start, and it was just not happening, folks. The method I wanted to use, that I used for this chair:

did NOT work for these. 
Cause of the fancy-schmacy back, I couldn't get the poster board cut quite right. So. Where does that leave us?

Now, I've never used a stapler to upholster onto a frame, it's mostly been just upholstering around a cushion, but I know that the manual ones would kill your hand in 10 seconds flat. So I borrowed an electric one from my father- in-law, who has pretty much every tool known to man, and it was MISSING A PART. GAAH! 


Don't you just HAAAAATE when you get the balls/time/all the rest of the materials to do a project and the roadblocks crop up?

Anyway. Now I am sitting on my ass, giving my unfinished chairs a death stare and grumbling. Good story, right?

I fart on staple guns.

All I want to do is put 

onto THESE

Thanks for taking this ranting journey with me. 
On the bright side, I am going to cajole my hubs into getting me sushi take out for dinner tonight! 
Sweet, sweet consolation. 

Your grumbling, sushi-eating pal, 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chalkboard Buffet

I had such a blast working on this piece. It was a super ugly 70's server, but I saw huge potential when I saw its fold out top: 

I love the versatility of it. You get lots of room when you need it, with little big impact on your day-to-day space. I wanted it to have a really worn look. So the word of the day working on this was "bejesus"As in, " I'm going to distress the bejesus out of this thing". I really took that mantra to heart. 

 The funnest part? The fold-out chalkboard top! Please forgive me, I had no chalk so I couldn't write a fun little message for you. But I just love the idea! You can change it up for any occasion, which is my opinion of ideal entertaining-ware.  Buut I'll probably just write inappropriate things. Like "poop". 
 Extreme close up! Woooah!

Ain't she pretty?

If this post were a president, it'd be Abraham Linkin:
A Beach Cottage
Miss Mustard Seed


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Super Exciting Things Afoot

Well, over the weekend I finished my buffet/ server but of course I forgot my camera cord to upload. *Dumb*

In the past week Zach and I got pre-qualified and have since been house hunting like nobody's business.  We are super excited to announce that we found ' the one'  I don't want to say too much, in case I jinx it,  but here are the facts. Facts don't jinx, right? 

We put an offer on a historic 3 bedroom 2.5 bathroom house, built in 1923, that hit pretty much everything on our 'wish' list *Hint: It's got a pool AND an outdoor fireplace* Seriously. It's awesome. Like, on the national register of historic places awesome. Plus, there is no reported paranormal activity- I asked.  :D 

Of course the listing agent thinks I'm a freak for asking, but they have to disclose it, you know! There's a legal precedent! (Holler for friends in law school!)

That offer was accepted (Sweet!) and we just had the home inspection yesterday. Things are moving along, and while there are still so many moving parts and things that could fall through, I am just so so so hopeful that this is our house. We didn't see another one that even came close to what we want, so if it ain't this.... it's rental city for the next who-knows-how-long.

So please send your finger-crosses/ 4 leaf clovers/ wishbones this way!! P.S.  If anyone wants to make this their birthday wish when they blow out their candles, let me know and  you totally get a pool party at Casa Schaffer (that's my last name, by the way, did you know that?)  next year!  I pray to sweet little baby Jesus that this will all go through.

OK, back to sending up those house prayers. 


Friday, March 18, 2011

For Japan With Love.

Taking a moment to be thankful, and sending prayers to those who have lost everything. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

$5 Chevron Side Table

Happy St. Patty's Day! I have to say I am ashamed. I am Irish and totally forgot. However, I chalk that up to going buckwild in the name of good St. Patty this saturday past. 

I got this little guy for $5 at a thrift store some MONTHS ago, and didn't know really what to do to jazz him up. 
And then when my Valspar free paint sample arrived, it came to me! 


Also, are we noticing a color gravitation? 

'Cept here's the thing, I really stink at measuring and consistency. Kind of two things you need when doing chevron. I, on the other hand, respond very well to tracing. I very much like not having to think too much about what I'm doing. 

So I cut out this here triangle. 

And traced it out on the tabletop. (Jasper is helping)
And taped it off (not pictured) 
And painted it (not pictured) Trust me, really not that interesting. 

Done! Whee! 

And it doesn't suck! Ah, the luck of the Irish! 


If this post was a president it would be Abraham Linkin:
Shabby Chic Cottage
Miss Mustard Seed
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Sisters of the Wild West
Primitive and Proper 
The Shabby Nest

Friday, March 11, 2011

Perfect Fabric Happy Dance!

As this title suggests- I found the perfect ikat for my french dining chairs. Whee! 

My needs were simple, yet the search was extensive and HARD. I went through dozens, literally dozens of samples. Ordered swatches online, waited impatiently for then to arrive, then I compared, scrutinized and compared again. Narrowed it down only to realize that the fabrics I selected were $30/yd. Yeah, no. 
I considered scrapping the idea once or twice. 

And then yesterday my swatches from LS Fabrics showed up. And this beaut was among them: 

 Me: "oOOooh!" This could work...

OH! This is it! Yes! Yes! Yes! 
I sprint to my computer, whip open the screen, type the URL feverishly only to find ....

SON OF A....

I started praying and googling at the same time that I could find this PERFECT fabric. Well, I did. Except it was $44/yd. Yeah, no.  So I did what any mature adult would do. Spent the next 12 hours grumbling. 

But never fear, friends. There is a light at the end of that tunnel. Because TODAY I found this: 
From Tallahassee Decorative Fabrics

*Insert Liz Lemon manic laughter* I BEAT YOU, LS FABRICS! I WIN! AND FOR $1 less! HA! 

Anyhoo, I ordered it and now I am mucho excited.

The End. 


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I Flippin' Love This Chick

Not only does she have rockin' style, I more or less peed my pants reading her blog today.  Who is this, you ask? None other than Bri at Me, You and a weiner

Dear Bri, 
Let's be buds. 
K, thanks. 

Some photos for your enjoyment: 
This is an ikea hack-ed dresser. Can you believe it? You can see the progression here
Her gorgeous home has more than enough high-style-for-peanuts-prices-DIY to feast your eyes on, but it's her commentary that makes this a trifecta of entertainment. 

That's one bad ass wiener. 
Oh and I'm seriously jealous of her DOG's bed. 
'Nuff Said- check this lady out. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Anthropologie Hack Candidates

Guys. What a haul I had last night at Goodwill. Seriously. I just found out it was open 'till 8 p.m. (score!). I got a couple of nifty knick nacks to aid in my upcoming St. Patty's/ Easter Decorating. But the crowning jewel of my finds is this FOLDING CHAIR. 
This may not seem that exciting to you, so let me explain. I have been wanting to go Anthropologie hack on these chairs for EVER. 

Yeah you read that right, almost $200 smackers for a FOLDING CHAIR. Oh, did I mention that my goodwill folding chair cost $3.49?? BooYAH! 

AND now that I ordered my sewing machine, I can make matching double welt cording. Mwahaha! 

P.S. I like how that picture makes my flip flops look dainty. My size 10 feet are anything but. 

I also got these mirrors: 
For a grand total of $15 buckaroos. 

They each have a different pattern on them, and they're all in great shape! I was thinking about maybe trying to make it look like aged carved wood to tie in my cherry wood dining table (seen peeking through) and do an acid-eaten mirror thing: 

What do you think? Should I go the weather-beaten wood route, or do it some bold color like teal and glaze them? 


Monday, March 7, 2011

Sew What?

I think I want to get a sewing machine. I want to make all kinds of cool shizz like pillows. Yes! Pillows with ZIPPERS!  Also, I may wish to make dog bed for the kiddos (who are actually dogs. I don't make my nonexistent human children sleep in a dog bed). I am appealing to you crafty chicas out there to give me some feedback if you have any! 

I'm thinking about purchasing this dude here: 

At almost $90, its an investment, but I think you get what you pay for with this type of stuff. What do you think? Any other models/ brands I should look at? 


Weekend Finds! Hint: It's a pup!

Hi. Remember me? Yes, I know I've been MIA the past few days, but that's because I am a new (chihuahua) mommy again! 

Everyone, meet Jasper! aka DJ Jazzy Jeff. He is a 6 lb 14 oz  3 year old Chihuahua Mix that we adopted over the weekend as companion and annoying little brother to Cali, our 10 lb (probably more) 3 year old Chihuahua Mix. 
This is Cali hiding from her new playmate. 

Can I just say that rescue dogs are the sweetest? They are so grateful to be in a warm, loving home and they will pay you back tenfold in love! 

I will be back soon with more gratuitous pictures of puppies! You know you're excited. 


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Different Glazes for Different... Phases?

Woohoo! Thursday! 
Lately I've been fooling around with glazes. I really like how a glaze can add depth and, depending on which one you choose, can totally change the look of whatever your item is. 
Remember my candlesticks from my weekend finding? 


Before you start hitting your computer screen- yes they are different colors! I painted them my super pale gray "oops!" paint that I used on my art-deco side tables and then distressed them. THEN I 'glazed' the right stick with regular old dark walnut stain from Minwax that I had lying around. Pretty much I just wanted to see what would happen. As you can see, you get a whole heck of an all-over color, since the stain is not water-based like a typical glaze, you have a much harder time wiping it off, and much more stays on. BUT, as you can see compared to the unglazed 'stick, you can see a lot more of the detail of the actual piece. I personally prefer the one on the left. I think I might try a black water-based glaze to give it some depth in the cracks, but not all-over color.

These poor chairs. I was also experimenting with glazes on THEM this weekend too. I must have been really obnoxious as a child with all this curiosity. I couldn't get the detail by showing the whole chair, so the first two are of the top, second two photos are of the legs. 





I know what you're thinking. Margaret, aren't these the same chairs that you were just talking about totally re-re-doing yesterday? Yes, yes they are. I told you I was downright nutty. I did these when I was thinking about making them into the french-country-ish style. I think I have since decided to go bold with them. Go big or go home!

What about you guys? Any good tips to share on glazing/finishing? And color combos or formulas you've found to just hit it out of the park when you're going for a certain "look"?