Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cookbook Facelift

Yesterday, while I waited for another coat of paint to dry on the round table I plan on putting in the sunroom:

I decided to give my cookbooks a little makeover.  I have never liked how mismatched and disheveled they look up on the shelf in my kitchen:

 So I took some craft paper and my glue gun and went to town:


Here is my shelf now, less chaotic and much prettier I think:

I'll be working on the third coat of (white) paint on the table this afternoon, stay tuned for after pics!  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

With all of the rain we had last week, I decided to do a little poking around at my favorite antique shop to find some inspiration for my sunroom makeover.  Almost instantly something caught my eye.  Hanging smack in front of me was a gorgeous, beveled, gold mirror.  I thought to myself, maybe for my dining area?    But the gold?  Not exactly my style.  I finished looking around at the rest of the shop, and couldn't help envisioning the mirror hanging oh-so-nicely in my dining room.  So, with a little negotiating, I brought this baby home for just $30.  My initial instinct was to spray it bright white.  However, now that I have it in the room, I wonder if the gold matches the mustdardy-colored fabric on my bar stools, and chandelier scrunchies.  I'd love to hear your opinion, gold or white? 

 And here's a little close up of the gorgeous detail...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sitting Pretty

After two months, and lots of band-aids we've finally finished the settee!  When I first spotted this little gem at the antique store, I never would have guessed that it would take this much work to give it new life, but it was all well worth the while.   Note: this type of project will require a team, lots of patience, and many, many band-aids!  Hats off to Debbie and my mom who really ran the show on this one.  I couldn't have done this without you.  Without further adieu, here is a glimpse back at what the settee looked like when I first brought it home:

And here it is now:

A closer look at the detail on the top:

And a side view:

A closer look at the detail on the bottom:

And the leg:

And my favorite part, the pleating in the back:

To really appreciate all of the work that went into this project, here are a few snapshots of the process:


If you would like to take on a project like this, here are a few tips:

1.  Make sure you have a few people to help you.  (if you know someone who has done it before - even better!)
2.  Give yourself plenty of time - this takes a lot of work.
3.  Buy plenty of staples.
4.  Trial and error - it's the name of the game.
5.  Have plenty of band-aids on hand - this can get messy.
6.  When you're tired, give it a rest.  Stepping away for awhile is better than making messy mistakes.

Here are the materials I used for this project:
1. Upholstery fabric
2. Needle-nose pliers
3. Hammer
4. Staple gun
5. Glue gun
6. Foam pad (for seat)
7. Batting
8. Scissors
9. Sewing machine

Start out by removing old fabric from your chair.  This can take awhile - there will be lots of staples (or in my case, nails) and sometimes they are difficult to get out.  Remove old foam, batting etc.  Warning - this can get a little messy so make sure you do this in your garage or outside, or have some type of blanket to catch all of the dust, etc.   Save the old fabric so you can use it as a pattern  to cut out your new fabric.  If you are going to paint the wood on the chair, now is the time to do it.  Next, use the pattern and cut new fabric.  Lay the fabric on the chair.  Have someone else hold the fabric tight while you use a staple gun to staple the fabric on.  Sometimes you will need to make pleats if the fabric doesn't pull tight in some areas (see above for a shot of the back of the chair).  Don't give up - just keep trying new ways of pulling the fabric tight.  Also, in some areas if a staple gun won't cut it try sewing or using a glue gun instead.   Once the entire chair is covered in your new fabric, use a glue gun and glue on trim.  This will add a little pop of color and give your chair a nice, finished look.  Step back, enjoy! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The return of the...scrunchie?

Well, at least just in my kitchen anyway.  Let me explain.  I had some leftover fabric from my stool makeover so I decided to put it to good use.  (Thanks to my  MIL for the idea and know-how!)  When we hung the DIY chandeliers, a bit of the paint on the chains scraped off.  (see picture below)  Instead of trying to touch up the missing paint sections, I made "scrunchies" for the chains.  They are so simple to make and really give the kitchen and dining room a nice touch of warmth and texture.

Here's a close-up of the chain that suffered from the installation process:

And here is what it looks like after the makeover:

...A pic of both chandeliers together:

...The dining room chandelier:

...And the kitchen chandelier:

If you'd like to try this at home, here's how:

1.  Cut long strips of your fabric.  (At least the length and a half of your chandelier chain)
2.  Make a seam by folding the sides of the fabric in and iron flat.
3.  Fold the top down, and iron flat. (See pic below)

4.  Wrap the fabric around the chain (starting at the top).
5.  Use a glue gun to glue sides together.  (Go slow, and do small sections at a time to avoid drying.)
6.  Scrunch up fabric as you move down the chain.
7.  Step back, enjoy!

Well, you're not going to believe this when I tell you, but, I'VE FINALLY FINISHED THE SETTEE MAKEOVER!  Pictures are coming...stay tuned!

Monday, May 16, 2011

A nifty gift

The next time you are looking to make a gift for someone that has a touch of sentimental charm, try making finger-painted flowerpots containing some of your favorite cooking herbs.  I made these for Mother’s day and they were a hit! 

Here’s a list of the materials needed for this project:

  1. Terra cotta flower pots
  2. Spray paint primer
  3. Finger Paints
  4. Potting soil
  5. A mix of your favorite herbs
Simply spray the pots with the white primer and let dry.  I had my little one finger paint the outside of the pots, but if you don’t have a little one of your own, use your own finger-painting abilities.  Or, you could get creative, and paint something interesting with a brush.  Let dry.  Next, fill the pots with potting soil, and plant herbs.  Voila!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bar Stool After Shots!

Well, it's been a crazy couple of weeks to say the least...but I'm baaaack!  Remember my "Early Mother's Day" present?  (to jog your memory, my $25 bar stools)  Well, I couldn't be happier to say that they're finally done.  I got out my handy dandy white spray paint, found some fabulous (and inexpensive) fabric and went to town on these babies.   Here are the before shots of the stools:

...And a close-up of the seats:

And here they are after the makeover:

I love how these have turned out.  The mustard yellow brings in just the right pop of color that I needed in my gray kitchen/dining area.  If you'd like to give some chairs or stools a makeover like this, here's how:

1.  Purchase spray paint in the color of your choice.  (I LOVE white, have I mentioned?   I got 2 cans of white primer and 2 cans of white paint at Lowes, $3.50 a pop).
2.  Remove fabric seats. (I simply turned the chairs upside-down and unscrewed the screws).
3.  Sand the wood, and clean.  (I used any old household cleaner I had on hand).
4.  In a well ventilated area, (I went outside) start spraying. 
5.  Let seats dry.
6.  Take fabric seat cushion and lay out on new fabric.
7.  Pin around the coushin (leave yourself enough extra fabric on the edges so you can staple.)
8.  Cut out pattern.
9.  Place seat cushion back on fabric, and fold sides of fabric onto the cushion.
10.  Pull fabric tight and start stapling!
11.  Rescew fabric seats onto stools.
12.  Stand back, enjoy!

Total cost for this project: just over $50.  Not too shabby!
What's next you ask?  Here's a sneak peek:

I'm also plugging away at the settee and sunroom makeovers, stay tuned for those as well.