Archives for posts with tag: furniture

I came back to sewing with a vengeance last weekend, taking on my largest (literally) project yet. I had been wanting to cover foam for a bench cushion on my front porch for years, but was too intimidated. Yet, when a friend asked me to re-cover his garden swing I found myself saying Sure.

Not only was this a huge project, but it’s a treasured family heirloom – the swing has been enjoyed by the family since his great-grandparents! Taking a closer look at the pieces I knew I could make it happen, but the shear scale was intimidating. Almost 10 yards of fabric, 5 yards of velcro and over 250 yards of thread went into this project.

I set-up a sewing station, ironing station and two cutting stations (turns out my new porch makes a great cutting table – complete with scissor guide). I’ve never measured and sketched so much in my life. When it was time to do the cover I knew cutting that fabric in the wrong direction meant heading out to buy four more yards of fabric. But, measuring, re-measuring, and measuring again was worth it. I was most proud of letting that set the tone for the entire project. I quickly realized it was going to take longer than anticipated so I cleared my schedule and took my time.

Taking a lesson from baking I knew the only way to end up with a finished product I was proud of and put some good energy into this cozy hang-out spot, I needed to slow down, take my time and enjoy the process. And I did. Not only am I incredibly proud of how well it turned out, but I am proud of the process as well. And… this means when I finally have furniture made for my porch, I can make the cushions!

The Before

The Before

Getting ready... Ironing station placed strategically to watch Wimbledon and the World Cup

Getting ready… Ironing station placed strategically to watch Wimbledon and the World Cup

The new cushion.  Six feet of squishy foam to replace the not so comfy old seat.

The new seat cushion.
Six feet of squishy foam to replace the not so comfy old seat.
What do you see in the fabric? So far we have: mountain bike tires, wagon wheels, flowers, citrus fruit, suns, and sea urchin.

I do love making pillows!

I do love making pillows!

Covering the back we discovered the old layers of fabric. Instead of removing them we added the new one to the mix. It's an honor to be part of this generation's layer of history.

Covering the back we discovered the old layers of fabric. Instead of removing them we added the new one to the mix. It’s an honor to help add this generation’s layer of history.

The After

The After

Cozy enough that it passed the laying down test and graduated from porch swing to swinging couch.

Cozy enough that it passed the laying down test and graduated from garden swing to swinging couch.

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I did my first my home improvement project last year – well first one that I shelled a lot of money out for, that is.

I had my side porch expanded so I could actually use it. I figured evening and weekend work when the sun is out would be much more enjoyable if I was outside. Plus it will give me outdoor space to entertain and an added bonus was covering up a chunk of the yard that used to need weeding.

Since it was finished last fall I haven’t really had a chance to use it and so was stuck with sticker shock. But my friends and family have my back and have been helping me make it useable and cozy and pretty so I’m excited about it again!

I have my great-grandparent’s colorful garden chairs and my nephew painted me a glittery turquoise pot and wooden flower for my birthday. Then the big birthday evening… I came home to find a grill from a friend – and promises to teach me how to use it :). I’d just finished setting it up when another friend appeared with a glider rocker he’d found for free that will make a great reading/work/nap chair.

Finally… the pretty but empty porch is filling up with functional pieces that make me feel loved & happy every time I’m out there.

The sunny Sunday we had today was the inspiration I needed to recover the glider to add a good punch of color to the porch and make it mine (and cover the cushions with outdoor friendly fabric).

I wasn’t completely sure the strategy in my head would work, but figured I had nothing to lose so I dove in. The padded arms were the first to go (comfy maybe, but the look of the bentwood arms wins out) and I was happy to see all that was left were two stand alone cushions and the footstool top. The footstool was easy – I know how to work the staple gun!  For the cushions, I wrapped them in the new fabric and used lots and lots of pins to fit the cover. Then sewed it most of the way, slid it back over the cushion and hand sewed it closed. Bingo, a brand new chair!

The Before

The Before

Good bones

Good bones

The After

The After

Direct comparison for good measure

Direct comparison for good measure

I’m really lucky to have a room that I can use most of the time for sewing & crafts – though it does still need to be used as a guest room occasionally.

As I’m working to set-up the room, my biggest dream was to get the largest table possible into the space. It’s not a huge room, so I knew I couldn’t have something that would always be full-sized. There are a lot of folding tables out there, but most are ugly and many would need to be carried in and out of the room which isn’t ideal. My very talented & creative brother-in-law designed and built me my dream craft table.

It’s a simple, clean modern look that I love and is also perfectly functional.

The table is six feet long and can be one, two or three feet deep. Most of the time I leave it with one leaf open, which is about two feet deep and perfect for most projects.

So far, I’ve used it to spread out photos to finally finish a three year old album from a trip to Asia and I’ve used it to piece, cut and pin together sewing projects.

And the best part is, when it’s time for company I just fold down the front leaf and it tucks in-line with the bookshelves leaving plenty of room to set-up the guest bed.

Now that I have the best craft table ever! (photos coming soon, I promise) I needed a chair to go with it. I few months ago I snagged this freebie outside my office.

Not pretty, but simple and an easy chair to spruce up. Dusting it and taking it apart was step one. Then I sanded down the frame a bit before painting.

Then the fun part… painting. I have a love hate relationship with painting. I love how easy it is t make a huge change to something, but I always get bored part way through. Luckily this still managed to be just an afternoon project. I’ve gone back and forth on the color for this chair, white, grey or turquoise… I have all of them available as leftover wall paint. I finally went with my gut… turquoise!

No need to play it safe with a chair, so I might as well pick the fun color. Fabric for the seat was the toughest part… I even bought a couple different fabrics and of course ended up finding the perfect fit in my scrap stash! (well now I have new fabric calling for new projects I guess…). I’ve always loved this fabric and the dark turquoise matched the paint perfectly. Ironic too, because I originally bought this fabric to recover chairs for the office. While the frame dried, I recovered the seat (adding a bit more foam because it was really hard & flat…).

It was coming together so well and I had to make myself wait until the paint was completely dry. Nothing like watching paint dry… But it did and I got to put the pieces back together.

A perfect fun craft chair!
Here it is in its new home…