"I love my cats because I love my home, and little by little they become its visible soul." Jean Couteau

Thursday, April 11, 2013

upholstery with pretty handy girl

My dad is super handy. He's a fabulous gardener. He builds benches and bar stools. He redoes bathrooms, including drywalling, tiling, and rerouting pipes. When we first moved into our house and my parents came to visit, they thought it was too bad that we kept our ugly blue recycling bin right out in the open in the wonderful hallway nook on our main floor. However, we didn't really have a better option since it needed to be convenient, it was too big to go in our pantry, and there aren't any other closets on that floor. So my dad built us a beautiful box to house our recycle bin. Most of the time we leave the lid open, but when company comes, we can close it up, and the recycle bin goes into stealth mode.

 Now you see it....
Now you don't!

Our house has a beautiful bay window, and I kept feeling like it should have a bench in front of it where I could curl up and read in the sunshine on weekends. So for Christmas two years ago, I asked my dad to make us a bench. We sent him the measurements and stain color, and when my family drove out to visit, he assembled it, and it fit perfectly. 

Then I got on to my part of the project -- making cushions for the bench. Along with that went some other updates to tie the rest of the furniture in the room together. I'll cover that next (no pun intended). 

For the bench cushions, I followed these directions from Pretty Handy Girl for how to make a bench cushion. I bought some foam at Jo Ann Fabrics. I bought upholstery fabric from www.fabric.com. I cut the foam using an electric knife that I borrowed from a friend. Then I followed Pretty Handy Girl's instructions to make my own piping and sew the cushion covers.



The other part of fixing up this room was to un-green the other loveseat and chair that I'd brought from my old apartments. 

Loveseat, back when it was new in my first MD apartment:

I forgot to take a "before" picture of the chair, and this is actually the best shot I have of the ugly green upholstery that was on it:

The easiest part was slip-covering the loveseat. I found a pretty decent-fitting slipcover online at either Sears or J.C. Penney (I forget which). The chocolate brown mimics the color of our sectional in the living room and is a good neutral with the dark red walls. 

I used the same fabric from the bench cushions to cover the chair and throw pillows. For the pillows, I used my 7th grade Home Ec skills to sew the two pieces of fabric together inside out on three sides, then turn it right-side-out, put the pillow inside, and do what may be called whip-stitching to close it up. What might have been a better idea would have been to put a zipper in on the fourth side, so the cover could easily be removed for cleaning. Oh well. 

For the chair, I unscrewed the seat from the frame and pulled off the old fabric. This consisted partly of pulling staples out with needle-nosed pliers, ripping at the fabric, and cutting the fabric when the other two options failed. Then I used that fabric as a template to cut the new fabric and stapled it on with a staple gun. I got Zach to help hold things because you want to keep the fabric tight around the seat while you're stapling. The corners were kind of hard, and I just did my best to get the folds to look decent.

I like how having the same fabric on the bench and chair and couch pillows helps tie everything together in this room.

1 comment:

  1. You must have done well, because until this moment, it never even dawned on me that the brown sofa was the same one you had in your apartment...