08.15.2014 / DIY 101: Recovering a Chair

Let’s start at the very beginning- a very good place to start.  When you read you begin with A B C, when you DIY you begin with…

recovering a dining chair.

diy-101-dining-seat before

I know I often do more involved DIY’s but sometimes I forget to share the basics.  So I figured let’s start with DIY 101.

Recovering a chair can seem intimidating to start off, but once you realize how easy it is to recover the seat, you’ll want to keep doing it!  Maybe that’s the root of my chair addiction.  As you can probably guess with this chair, I’ve already attacked it with a vibrant blue spray paint.  No matter what color the frame, however, that orange velour seat would need to go.  Far away.

First you need to remove the seat.  Normally it’s held on with a few screws from under the chair.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Once your seat is free, go ahead and grab pliers and a flat-head screwdriver and start prying out the old staples.  If your seat is in decent condition and the cushion is still adequate, you can always skip this and cover right over the old fabric.  If that’s the case, skip down to the fabric step.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

You’ll need to take the staples out to free both the fabric and the underlying foam.  I promise, this is the most tedious part, so if you can make it through this- you got it!

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Now for the fun part- putting it all back together!

I used 2 layers of dacron batting for my cushion.  If you want something squishier, you can use a layer of 1″ foam with a layer of batting over it to smooth it.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Start by stapling the top, bottom and 2 sides about 1″ in from the edge.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

After stapling the 4 sides, go ahead and staple all the way around and trim the excess batting.

Next you’ll need to position your cushion on the back of your fabric.  Make sure if you have a directional pattern like a geometric or stripe, that you have the pattern oriented as you’d like to see it on the chair.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Now, with the fabric, you’ll want to first staple the 4 sides as before.  Staple in just a bit from where you stapled the foam so that the fabric will cover it.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Once you have the sides stapled, work inward from each staple.  You want to make sure not to pull the fabric tight otherwise you’ll see the stretching.  Instead, use your full hand to smooth the fabric tight like so.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

 

Create pleats in your fabric as necessary as you go.  You won’t see these on the finished product, but it will help your pattern sit properly.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Continue this all the way around until your entire seat is stapled.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Once the stapling is set, trim your fabric at least a half inch from the staples- any closer and your fabric may fray.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Once trimmed, you get to turn the cushion back over an admire your handy-work.

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Reattach it to the chair and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

DIY 101: How to Recover a Dining Chair via Year of Serendipity

Now you’re ready to give your dining room a whole new look!

 

 

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08.13.2014 / Revived Luggage Rack

On Monday I showed you the “before” a beaut of a luggage rack that was mid-makeover.  I was planning to fix it up to put out for sale at our tag sale this weekend, but a friend offered to adopt this little guy instead.  I hope she loves how he came out as much as I do!

Vintage luggage rack before via Year of Serendipity

I rescued it from an estate sale several years ago- I think it was $15.  I loved the shape and the potential history, I just couldn’t let it end up in the trash.  But it did need some love.

Vintage luggage rack before via Year of Serendipity

In addition to obviously needing new ribbon and refreshed stain, the bottoms of the legs were coming apart and had some severe chipping.Vintage luggage rack before via Year of Serendipity

Using wood glue, clamps, and wood filler, the legs were all patched up.

Vintage luggage rack repair via Year of Serendipity

*tip* I prefer using Dap Plastic Wood to fill blemishes on stained pieces.  I tried both that and Minwax’s Wood Filler (since I ran out of Plastic Wood mid-project) on this and I confirmed my previous ideas that the Dap is easier to work with and takes stain better.  It’ll never act like real wood, but I’ve found this to be the closest.  Not sponsored, just wanted to share my experience.

Vintage luggage rack repair via Year of Serendipity

Once everything was patched, I stained just the parts that had been patched so they’d blend more once I applied the final coat.

For the final coat I decided to try a new stain- Varithane Wood Stain.  There was mixed reviews online, but I found it to be exactly what I was hoping- thicker than regular stain, but not as annoying to work with as Polyshades (which acts more like a translucent paint).

Vintage luggage rack stain via Year of Serendipity

Now for the fun part- putting the new ribbon on.

Vintage luggage rack ribbon via Year of Serendipity

I used staples to secure the ribbon, knowing they’d be hidden when I folded the ribbon over and put on decorative brass nails.

Vintage luggage rack ribbon staple via Year of Serendipity

Because they didn’t go in 100%, I hammered them flat so that there would be no bumps when I folded the ribbon over them.

Vintage luggage rack ribbon via Year of Serendipity

So, a little DIY admission here- this was my first time ever using decorative nails and it wasn’t as easy as it looks. With the hardness of the wood I was working with, they did want to go in without bending.  After much trial and error, I ended up creating the holes with an awl first, then hammering in the nails the rest of the way.

Vintage luggage rack brass nail head via Year of Serendipity

I’m glad I made it work, because look at him now.  All nautical and sexy.

Vintage luggage rack after via Year of Serendipity

Just look at him in action!

Vintage luggage rack after via Year of Serendipity

Fun fact: the blue case is actually an accordion.  My dad’s from when he was little that was rediscovered when cleaning out his Aunt’s house a few years ago.  Priceless.

 

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08.11.2014 / Creating More Work

Sorry guys, I’m at a bit of a loss this morning.  I think I’ve successfully caught up on the jet-lag, but I haven’t exactly caught up on stuff around the house. Well, in all honesty, I pretty much created more work for myself once I got home.  We are planning a group tag sale next weekend with several of our friends and I need to get my act together!  Apparently in my mind, getting set for a tag sale also means finishing a few unfinished/untouched DIYs so I can demand a few extra bucks at the tag sale. That means, painting and reupholstering a few extra chairs and sprucing up this little luggage rack.

luggage-rack

 

When I bought it a few years ago, I think I was under the delusion that we’d eventually use our tiny 3rd bedroom as a guest room.  This is the room now known as my office.

 

I’m also hoping that I can find the time this week… after 2.5 years… to refinish this awesome desk for hubby so we can finally sell his old IKEA desk.

midcentury desk

The desk has only been residing in the basement since I scored it off craigslist for $25 over 2 years ago.  Tsk tsk, Self, tsk tsk.  By posting this, I’m hoping to shame myself into action.  I’ve always had a 2-tone plan for this desk since it’s not in perfect condition.  My 2 options are:

White frame, stained drawers

midcenturydesk_ba_3

via Design Sponge

Or the reverse: stained frame, white drawers

west-elm-2-tone-mcm-desk

via West Elm

I think the desk will dictate which way to go once I really dig in.  Which direction will hide more blemishes?

What’s your vote for the desk?  And please tell me I’m not the only one who creates more work to prep for tag sales?

Happy Monday!

 

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