Friday, July 20, 2012

I want one too!

After my last ottoman re-upholstery job for my friend, I had some serious furniture envy.  For a while now, I have wanted something (a table, an ottoman) to go between the two chairs we have flanking our fireplace.  When I placed the soft cushion-y ottoman in that spot to take pictures for my last blog post, I knew that a fabric covered ottoman was the perfect solution.  Even though it's still the pit-of-hell-hot outside, I envisioned the husband and I sitting in front of the fireplace, warming our toes on a shared ottoman.  Now, I just had to find one that would work. 

Luckily, it was the first weekend of July and Kansas City's West Bottoms district was open for business.  I LOVE going down to these sales once a month.  It's like a vintage resale/restore paradise.  Stores like Good JuJu, Bella Patina, Broncante Bliss and about 20 others open for the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday of every month with tons of one-of-a-kind items.  Potentially overwhelming amounts of furniture, home decor items, vintage clothing and jewelry are ready for the taking.  In my opinion, it's best to go with a specific item(s) in mind, otherwise you can be totally lost in a sea of "stuff."  Some people might like this idea...but when it's 100 degrees outside and you are cruising around old buildings without AC, I'm all about zoning in on the task at hand.  

After about 3 stops at various stores, I found this beauty for $20. 

It was the perfect size and shape...and for 20 bucks, I didn't feel guilty for spending money on something that wasn't for the nursery!  Not quite sure when black crushed velvet was all the rage (maybe in the early 90's??...maybe never!), but I knew it wouldn't take much fabric to make this piece work in my home.  I played around with some different fabric concepts and settled in on a light beige animal print with a brass nail head trim accent.  I thought it would be neutral enough that it wouldn't fight with other furniture and accent pieces in the room, but yet give a touch of interest and personality.  I found the fabric through a Google Images search of "light cheetah upholstery fabric."  To my delight, I found someone on selling a remnant piece of expensive Calvin fabric.  It was the perfect color, texture (heavy woven cotton), size and price.  I paid $32 for 2 1/4 yard (this was literally the exact amount I needed)...such a deal!!  The nail head trim was found here.  As soon as the fabric and trim arrived, I went to work.

First, I took the black fabric off.  I decided to keep the top layer of fabric on because it was sewn into the cushion.  I carefully (can't make a amount of fabric here!) cut the right size fabric for the top and 4 pieces for the 4 sides. 

I stapled the top piece around each side, lightly pulling the fabric taut.

 I spent some time on the corners making sure they looked as tailored as possible.

I sewed the 4 sides together to form a box.  Turned the ottoman over and slid the fabric into place.

 Here, I used upholstery tacking strip to make nice, straight folds for my side seams.

 Make sure you keep the staples close to the top of the fold you created.  Otherwise, the brass tacks will not hide the staples.  (learning from mistakes!)  Photo of stapling the side fabric to bottom of frame not shown, although it should be pretty self explanatory.

Attaching the tacking strip is actually pretty easy.  It is much easier to use the strip tape instead of the individual nails on a job like this, since all of my nail trim lines were straight.  Get a small tack hammer like the one I have in the picture.  I was lucky enough to raid the husband's tool box and find this perfect little tool.  You might want to wear gloves in this step...or maybe it was just me, but my fingers were cut from the sharp metal edges on the strip.

And...scene.  Here she is...isn't she lovely!

Here is a picture of the living room with her new companion.  It fits so perfectly!

Total cost for the project was about $85.  Such a deal!  So glad I have projects like this to keep me and my 7 1/2 month belly occupied in the AC on my days off from work. 

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Goodbye Granny, Hello Chic!

My dear friend back at home has inherited a ton of awesome furniture from family over the years.  Every piece is in great condition.  You should see her dining room set, it's amazing!  The only exception is a heinous chair and ottoman she has in her living room.  Well, really the bones of the furniture are fine, it's the fabric that needs some serious updating. 
We went to the local Hancock Fabric store and found this amazing heavy duty upholstery fabric on clearance for $6.00 a yard!!  We bought all that was left on the bolt and at $18.61 later, we were in business.  Such a deal! 

Here are some progress pictures of the transformation along with a short recap of what I did to transform this grandma ottoman into something more modern and chic.
First, I ripped off the lovely skirt.  Yikes!

Then, I made a template for the top piece of fabric

I cut out the top piece and added 1" to each side to allow enough seam allowance.  Normally, I would only cut an extra 1/2" to 3/4", but I gave myself a little extra since the fabric was so thick.

Here I am sewing the piping for the top and bottom of the ottoman.  Here is a great tutorial on how this is done.

The following steps are not pictured (I was focused and forgot to take pictures...sorry!):
-Cut 2 pieces for the sides (1 long + 1 short = 1 piece). Sew them together at both ends.
-Sew the top piece and the piping together. (See previous link for instructions...I'm clearly not a good instructor!)
-Sew the top piece with the piping to the bottom piece. Make sure you pin this well. You don't want the 2 pieces of fabric to move on will look dumb and uneven.
Staple each side, starting from the middle out to the ends.

Here is how I handled the corners...I folded them down and secured the fabric as I was applying the piping trim.  I thought it looked the best, but then again...I'm not an expert...but I worked for me.

I was a little unsure how I wanted to handle the bottom piping.  Looking back, I should not have cut off the excess like I'm showing in this picture.  It would have been much easier to staple with the extra fabric.  Alas...I made a few errors with the staple gun, even though I was VERY careful not to get my staples into the hard part of the piping as I secured it around the bottom edges.  I cut it off because I thought it would look the best around the corners.  In hindsight, I should have just cut off the excess around the corners and used a glue gun to secure.  Oh well, live and learn.

Tada!!!  Short side view

Yeah!  It looks SO MUCH BETTER!! 
Total cost for materials:  About $20
Total time investment:  About 3 hours
This was such a fun project...I decided to find an ottoman to recover for my own home.  I found a little gem at a local flea market for $20.  It's the perfect size and certainly the perfect price.  I can't wait to share that project as well!

Hope everyone has a great week!