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!


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