July 2, 2014

Dining Room Chair Slipcovers

I'm so excited to have finished my first slipcovers!  Granted, they weren't extremely difficult, but their creation is a new chapter for me. Would you like to see?

My plan was to paint only the two armed dining chairs at the ends of our table.  Remember how they looked originally?

And then how I painted them, much to the shock of friends and family members?  (Painting the other six chairs seems too daunting, but don't underestimate my intent to tackle the table legs next...)

My new slipcovers have ruffles....and pretty grosgrain bows....Just like the ones I've admired for years.  I'm very in love with them. 

It was late as I worked on these, so I did not take process photos.  If you are interested in sewing similar slipcovers for your own chairs, Miss Mustard Seed has two amazing tutorials here.  I followed her basic concept of pinning the fabric inside out (I used paint dropcloth; she used muslin), making my own piping out of cotton cord and drop cloth fabric (first time ever using my zipper foot ~ insert a squeal here when I realized how easy it is to sew your own piping!), and sewing ribbon in 20' lengths wherever my chair had an arm, leg or back panel that broke up the ruffle.

After tying the last ribbon, I had one of those moments where I stood back and felt filled to the top with DIY satisfaction.

In addition to the dining chair slipcovers, I also finished this bamboo table a little while ago and wanted to show the finished pictures.

Originally green, I painted the table Behr's Beige Shadow, a taupey color similar to Annie Sloan's French Linen.

After some slight distressing and a little tea-stain aging with Minwax Dark Walnut stain,

...this cute little table with lots of character has found its rightful spot next to the sofa in our living room, its scale perfect.

As my husband and I walked some friends through our house Sunday evening (they just bought a house in our neighborhood and were having dinner with us for the first time) it hit me once again how many items in our home have been refinished, repurposed, or thrifted.  I found myself sharing all the little stories behind light fixtures, furniture pieces, window treatments, and wall colors. Once again it occurred to me that not only do I absolutely love doing this sort of thing, but the process of creating a home is exponentially more meaningful when each room has stories to tell.  The stories reflect so much more of the real "us" than furnishings could ever do alone.

I hope they enjoyed getting to know the real us :-)

June 6, 2014

Union Jack Desk ~ Part 2

I finished the Union Jack desk in my oldest son's room, along with a chair to match.  You can see the Part 1 here.

We are slowly "growing up" his room this summer and his desk received the first overhaul.  I've always wanted to do a Union Jack design and, because we planned to keep this desk in his room during the overhaul (he used each and every drawer!), it was a great place for Union Jack!

His chair was a Value Village find with a torn vinyl seat.  I painted it Sherwin Williams Creamy , distressed a little on the edges, and waxed.  The seat is screwed on from underneath, so I simply removed four screws, lifted the padded seat off its base, and stapled a cut-to-fit swatch of painting dropcloth right over the old blue vinyl.  So cheap since I had extra dropcloth anyway!

What makes the chair special, though, is the number #64 painted on its seat.  For some reason I don't fully understand :-), #64 has been my son's favorite number for years now.  He incorporates it into his email addresses, passwords, etc., so it is only fitting that of all the numbers I could paint on his chair, #64 would be the one.

To paint the numbers, I mixed normal latex paint with Martha Stewart fabric medium (one part medium to two parts paint) which transforms regular paint into fabric paint.

 Martha Stewart 32194 6-Ounce Fabric Medium

I printed the #6 and #4 individually in a Microsoft Word document.  My font was STENCIL, my font size was 500.

Using carbon paper,

Pattern Transfer Paper for Wood 

I placed the carbon on the chair seat first, graphite side down, then placed the paper number over the carbon paper.  Taping to secure, I carefully traced the outline of the numbers with a pencil.  As you can see, the carbon transferred a faint outline of the number to the fabric.

Then, I simply painted in the numbers using Sherwin Willians Stolen Kiss mixed with my fabric medium. (The blue line was simply taped off and painted in Behr's Midnight Blue).

I sprayed the seat with a couple coats of Scotchguard to protect it from stains and spills.  It's a wonderful complement to the desk ~ and a fitting accent for my son.

Next we'll be tackling his two bookshelves, transforming them with paint and pallet-backing like this:


My oldest boy is such a gem; it's been fun working with him to make this space his personalized hang-out zone.  

Blessings on your weekend!