Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tutorial: Upholstery My Way

Well here's a little tutorial for you all. This is a one up from just wrapping a seat. I think it's kinda fun to add fabric to a plain wooden chair--even when you can't just pop off the seat and wrap it in fabric. 

So, are you with me?? This is a bit long . . .

Supply List:
Dacron or 10 oz.+ batting
1" or 2" foam
Electric staple gun
Needle nose pliers
Several sharp razors
French gimp trim or other decorator 1/2" or wider trim
Hot glue gun and glue.

1:  Cut your foam to size--I used 2" for a cushy seat. 1" will give you a trimmer, sleeker looking seat.

2:  Loosely staple your dacron in place. No need to be exact or pull hard--you just want to keep things from sliding around on you as you pull your fabric.

Note: Dacron is the padding you'll find at your upholstery stores. It's more crush resistant than regular fabric store batting you'd put in a blanket and will hold up longer.

3: Trim your corners of any extra bulk by pinching them and trimming the wedge.
4: Like this:
5:  Place your fabric on your chair with your pattern straight and centered. Loosely cut or rip your fabric to size so it's easy to work with.  Remember you need enough to wrap around the bottom edges.
6:  We interrupt this regularly scheduled tutorial to show off how stinkin' cute my kids are cleaning my store to earn quarters for the candy machine.
7: Back to work. You have a few choices for finishing the bottom edge. If you don't want to use french gimp trim (will show you this later) then you can nicely finish your edge by folding it over and stapling it along the edge.  Option 2: which I will use the rest of the time--is to simply staple and cut the excess with a razor.  I will cover my ugly edge with french gimp trim at the end.  Once you decide your method, secure the complete front edge to each corner, leaving the sides of the seat loose for now.
8:  Still facing your seat front, pull your fabric back firmly on each side, making sure your pattern is square. Place a temporary staple on each side to hold your fabric square while you work on the back side. A temporary staple is placed by angling your staple gun so that one edge of the staple sticks out.  Picassa was being funny and it wouldn't let me add a nice big arrow pointing to my temp staple in the picture below, but hopefully you get the idea.

Close up of temp staple.
9: Folding your fabric forward from each corner, snip diagonally to each corner. This will allow you to wrap the fabric around each side. CAUTION: Snip slowly. You can always snip more, but you can't unsnip what has been snipped!!

10: Pull your fabric through the back. Pulling tight and evenly--gripping with your whole hand, not just your fingers--staple your fabric into the crevice. Always work from the center to each edge when stapling. Fold the fabric over at each edge so you have a nice finished corner.
11: Using a SHARP razor trim very close to the staples.
12: Next remove the temporary staple from one side.  Since you didn't place your staple tight, these will usually just pull out, but if you have delicate fabric use your pliers.  While pulling the fabric BACK and DOWN with your full hand grip, staple the fabric under the edge of the chair.
13: After you finish each side, you should have a little pocket of fabric at the front corner on each side. We will use this to make our pleats. Take this pocket and pull it straight out.  This will help you center your pleat evenly.
14: Now pull it down. You should have a nice two-sided pleat.
15: Holding the fabric in place staple your pleat under the lip of the chair.
16: Using your uber sharp razor, trim closely to the staples.
 17: Hide all those ugly edges by hot gluing french gimp cord over the top!
 18:  Voila! Beautiful upholstered chairs!!

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Before and After

I got a request recently for more before and afters . . . so here you go! I promise to try harder to remember to take the before shots . . . just so hard when you're in the zen to remember those little things!

 This was an old English sideboard we had intended to leave as is--but enough customers commented on how much they liked it if it wasn't so heavy looking!
Well, finally I caved. Yeah, so it didn't really take much convincing on this piece! I totally agree it felt way to heavy.  


Painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (TM) Old Ochre and Clear Soft Wax. Light distressing and new knobs added--I would have left the old ones, but one was busted off and there was just no way to repair it.
Hints of Chateau Grey peak out under the distressing. The interior is painted in Chateau Grey as well.

 See that little peak of Chateau Grey?? Love that!
This one is for the shop--Check the finished pieces button for pricing and availability.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Playing with Color--girly style

Before I was a mom, wait, Mom--that deserves caps right?!?

I really never bought into the whole super commercial side of children's clothing wear. My girls would wear cute, but funky and unique clothing!  I totally had in mind what they would wear. No license wear here!

Like I said. That was before I had children. And before I had 3 year old girls.
And back when I thought I would get to have ANY SAY WHATSOEVER in what my children wore.

And I definitely didn't buy into the pink is for girls theory. Personally, I think baby blue is gorgeous for girls.
Yes, well apparently my girls didn't get the memo.  And I quote:

Dear Heavenly Father:
Please bless pink piggy,
and pink heart,
and pink flower,
and pink bunny,
 and pink . . .

Because now I know. Pink should be accessorized by rose, fuchsia, magenta, and blush.
Duh, Mom!
So, any mom of little girls will get why this dresser is the stuff little girls dream of!
Pink on pink accessorized by pink!

My hubby pulled this dresser from my nanny's boyfriend's pick up truck as he was hauling it to the dump! It was totally falling apart--but in the way you want to have something fall apart! Just coming apart a the seams.  A clamp and glue pulled it back together. And  few new drawer glides.
I added the wood flourishes to girly it up. 

  Here's a good angle shot that shows the slightly pink hue of the knobs.

 Annie talks about color mixing here on her website.

And here is an image of how she mixed Emperor's Silk with old white to achieve different hues of pink:

Adding Old White

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How's a girl to decide?!?

People always assume I have a beautifully decorated home.
 And that each piece is painted.

Well . . . neither is true.
Let me explain. No, there is no time. Let me sum up.
(10 bonus points if you can name the movie.
10 more bonus points if you just reread that with a Spanish accent.)

I choose not to decorate because I know myself.

Consider the following points
 (as I do each time I have a moment of weakness, and I start to think about decorating)

1--When I make a creative choice I have to live with (as opposed to sell) it takes me a LONG time to make that choice.

2--Once I've made my choice I take a LONG time getting it just perfect. I have to make several samples just to be sure.

3--After I've taken a LONG time making the design decision and a LONG time in research and preproduction--I feel close to my creations. I LOVE them. Really it's creepy. I just like to sit and look at them.  Kinda stockerish

4-- And after all this time and effort I love my piece.

5--SOOO, when my kids quickly dismantle and destroy my beautiful work of art--I mean fast. Really fast. nanosecond fast--I become a very grumpy grouch. Well, that's probably sugar coating it, but I'll let you figure out what I really mean.

6--So we go with the current design theory. Slip covered couch--hand me down from sis. Washed OFTEN.  Free Craigslist TV.  And all sorts of other unpainted furniture that syphons through my house on a random pattern. I'm 'acquiring' the pieces I really love for the day when I might be able to reasonably expect my kids emerge from the Masters of Destruction phase.

Think I'm kidding? 

Last Saturday My 3 YEAR OLD waited till everyone was outside with the nanny, ran back in, locked the door and stood in the window eating the center out of every Mint Oreo in the bag and sticking her tongue out at the nanny.  I'm not entirely sure this girl came with a conscience. It might have been missing from the package.

Yes, I know we should have a hidden key. We did. We keep using it and forgot to put it back.

Now times that times 4!! Even the baby is getting in on the act.  A week ago he sat and watched his big sister climb up on the kitchen counter to get into the no-no cabinet (that's were all the stuff you don't want your kids to have is-- meds, vitamins, band aids, markers, glue sticks, GLITTER).  And then proceeded to climb up the exact same way. Sigh, what's a mom to do? 

Anyhow, this long monologue (as if a blog could be anything else!!) is to express my utter delight when my hubby painted this table for the store and I realized I had found the color I want to do my dining room table!! This is a mix of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Graphite & Paris Grey. And for some reason the top has a very slightly striae effect which I LOVE!!!!

Of course when I finally paint my table it will sit in the basement for a full 6 weeks to make SURE it has FULLY cured. If the table shows any sign of weakness, my kids will pounce at first opportunity.  Like a lion watching the baby lamb.  But when I do finally commit to actually decorating my house with a purpose--as opposed to decorating by sheer accident because you set something down and 6 months later it's still there . . .  I think I'm going to have to work this color in!  

 OOk, so I guess you can see where I stopped painting last summer when I opened the store. There was a pile of stuff here that night, and well, this is how it stayed.
 Even a gal who finishes everyone else's to do list, has a to do list of her own!
 And do you see this sheen!  Two coats of Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax buffed to perfection.
My hubby has mad skills!

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