Category Archives: Fabric

Reupholstering a Mid-Century Chair from Craigslist

chair makeover
I’m a Craigslist newbie. Never sold anything on Craigslist, never bought anything on Craigslist, was actually kind of scared of Craigslist until recently. I’m not here to say that you should or shouldn’t be afraid of Craigslist… (that’s up to you), but I am here to tell you about my positive experience on this virtual marketplace.
I turned to Craigslist recently because I just couldn’t seem to find a chair that I loved for our new office. Usually if I can’t find an item that I love in stores, I turn to local thrift shops, and eventually garage sales and estate sales. Unfortunately during the Chicago winter, garage sales and estate sales are not really an option. What’s a girl to do?!
My answer: she should introduce herself to Craig and his fabulously resourceful List. Enter Craigslist. After a little searching in my area, I found this $20 mid-century chair and immediately contacted the seller. After a few friendly email exchanges… the chair was mine! With a carload of trusted family members (for back-up of course), I drove to a local suburb to pick this bad boy up. Here’s what the chair looked like when I got it home…
Less than desirable, but oozing with potential. I had to really enforce the “oozing with potential” to my pick-up squad; they weren’t as sold on that part as they were on the “less than desirable” part.
My plan was to clean up the wood & reupholster the fabric. I liked the neutral look that the chair already had going on, plus I had some other “loud” design elements in mind for the office, so I wasn’t sure that a loud fabric would compliment my plan. I decided to stick with the cream look and bought some reupholstering fabric from JoAnn for $6 on sale (of course). I also bought a layer of cushion to apply under the fabric for a little extra padding.
Before I could add those clean layers I had to rip off the old fabric, which was more like old wall paper? Now that I think back, I probably could have just adding my padding and fabric on top of the existing stuff, but I wanted to start fresh, which I am still feeling mixed about.
When I ripped off that layer of grossness, I found even MORE grossness. I’m not even sure what this next layer of “stuff” is, and to be honest, I’d rather not put too much thought into it. I closed my eyes and scraped the excess “stuff” off of the wooden base. I used this reupholstering tutorial to re-cover the seat after it was clean. With a layer of padding, some reupholstering fabric, and a staple gun, the whole cushion took about 30 minutes or less.
Next up: cleaning up the wood. This was the easy part actually. I sprayed a little Pledge all over the chair and wiped it off. That’s really all this seat needed because the wood was in pretty awesome shape, other than needing a good clean/shine.
It was already looking better! For the dramatic reveal, I reattached the new cushion and ta-daaaaaaaa:
A gorgeous mid-century chair on a rookie budget! For less than $30, I had a new desk chair with a lot of personality!!
What a difference a little TLC makes…

The subtle stripes on the cushion help give the plain-Jane, or should I say JoAnn, fabric a bit of a personality. Plus, it’s no secret that I just can’t resist a nice stripe.

I had no doubt in my mind that a little elbow grease and some sweet talking could make this wood shine again and bring this Craigslist treasure back to its glory days!
Since there is not a desk in the office just yet (soon, hopefully!), the chair currently doesn’t have much of a home. Once we commit to a desk idea and make it happen, this chair will hopefully be a part of the equation. For now, it looks pretty darn adorable in our office and adds a little more mid-century charm to this space.
I know I won’t be doing all of my shopping on Craigslist in the near future, but I am definitely adding it to my list & checking it twice. You heard it here first people: I have officially jumped on the Craigslist bandwagon! Hopefully it can find this lonely chair a partner-in-crime… #deskdreams
Bridget DIY Playbook
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Simple Shamrock Canvas Art

shamrock canvas art
It would be completely inappropriate to let St. Patrick’s Day pass without doing some project that included a shamrock here on the ol’ DIY Playbook. I actually have a shamrock hanging in my house (above my front door to be exact… thanks Gram!) all year round. But this week, I significantly increased the shamrock count, thanks in part to this super SIMPLE shamrock canvas art.
easy st. patrick's day DIY
Supplies:
Any size Canvas (I used mini ones I had left over from a previous project)
Fabric (possibly an iron to de-wrinkle the fabric too)
Scissors
Shamrock outline (I traced mine by putting white paper up to my computer screen and pulling up a google image of a shamrock. If you want it to be a tad bigger than the image appears, zoom in on the screen)
Hot Glue
Ribbon/Twine
Embellishments (optional)
Alright, so you’re going to start off by ironing your fabric.
trace shamrock
I then used my shamrock template (see supply list for more details) to trace a shamrock onto the BACK of the fabric.
Cut shamrock
Cut the shamrock outline out of the shamrock…
… and hot glue it to the canvas! I added a few ribbons and pieces of baker’s twine I had laying around to the canvas for some added “greenery” and voilaaaa – – the super simple shamrock canvas is DONE-ZO!
shamrocks
The second time around, I hot glued a background fabric onto the canvas and then added the shamrock on top of that pattern.
shamrock fabric art
kitchen art for st. patrick's day
One of the shamrocks was layered into my kitchen “corner” alongside both of my Irish grandma’s staple recipes (more on that story here).
shamrock art
shamrock & twine

The other was added to my white shelving unit.

chevron shamrock
shamrock art super simple
shamrock stem
shamrock canvas
I just love how the fabric choice allows you to add a little bit more personality or  even a “fun” twist on St. Patty’s Day decor. Of course, these simple canvas pieces would be adorable in traditional plaids or a Celtic knot designs, but the chevron and polka dot twist was a much welcomed change from traditional Irish decor.
simple shamrock art
You still have a little time before the weekend and even more time before the BIG DAY, here’s your chance to whip up a little art to make someone in your life extra LUCKY. ‘Tis the season….
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Jan’s New Kitchen Stools

Stool-at-breakfast-bar

Remember back when I was “paying rent” with DIY projects for my mom? Well here is one final project that I never showed you guys.

On a flea market trip back in August we spotted 2 wooden kitchen stools for $4 a piece. My mom was in some serious need of some kitchen seating, so we scooped those bad boys up and happily handed over our $8.  2 months later and the chairs were still sitting in the garage. #oops

After hemming and hawing over what to do with them, we (finally) came up with a gameplan. Find a fabulous fabric for the seats and freshen up the stool with new paint. Boom, we could do this in a weekend!

Online Fabric Store

I ordered the above fabric from Online Fabric Store to go with the soft green tones in my mom’s kitchen. I sometimes get nervous ordering fabric online, because you never really know what it may look like when it arrives. Luckily, Online Fabric Store never disappoints.

Mail package

A few yards of this gorgeous green were shipped directly to my mom’s house, and we had no choice but to get this project underway. No more procrastinating…

The wood chairs were not in the best shape, so we sanded them until the wood was smooth and even. Then we primed and painted them a pretty off-white color.

yuck reupholster me please

Next, the main attraction…those seat cushions! They were pretty grizzly and I was so ready to cover them up with this gorgeous fabric.

Cutting fabric

We reupholstered the 2 seat cushions following the same tutorial from my nailhead bench project. Measure, cut, and staple. Newbies don’t be intimidated, you can totally do it.

Pinning fabric

Rookie Tip: If your fabric has a pattern and you want it to stay in a certain position, we recommend using small sewing pins to secure the fabric. That way when you pull the fabric tightly on the back to secure with a staple, you don’t move the pattern off-center. The small sewing pins will keep your pattern in place, so your seats match and line up.

Stapling fabric onto seat cushion

Dozens of staples later, and our cushions were good to go.

Reupholstered kitchen stool
green and white fabric

We reattached the cushions with the original hardware (make sure you hold onto all of those little screws) and all the sudden Janimal was ready for a breakfast party in her kitchen.

breakfast bar stool

Doesn’t it look nice?

Reupholstered stool
Casey DIY Playbook
What do you think of that fun fabric??
 
(Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Online Fabric Store. However all opinions expressed are 100% our own and are not influenced by Online Fabric Store.)
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4 thoughts on “Jan’s New Kitchen Stools

  1. DIY Playbook

    Ramo,

    We just used a paint brush for the small nooks and hard to reach places. And then used a small roller for the larger areas. I definitely recommend sanding first, then priming, and then do at least 2 coats of paint.

    Hope this helps!
    Casey

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4 thoughts on “Jan’s New Kitchen Stools

  1. DIY Playbook

    Ramo,

    We just used a paint brush for the small nooks and hard to reach places. And then used a small roller for the larger areas. I definitely recommend sanding first, then priming, and then do at least 2 coats of paint.

    Hope this helps!
    Casey

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Basset Hound Storage Seat

basset storage seat

I love Target. There’s no denying it. The place is nothing less than ah-mazing.

Stylish…yes.
Full of colorful patterns…yes.
On trend…always.
Affordable…my favorite part!

I won’t go into anymore of the mushy-gushy details of my not-so-secret love affair with this place, I’ll just show you one more reason why I can’t get enough of that red circle and dot!

Target Ottoman
Enter this $5 storage solution. I found this navy cushion for five bucks. Yes you read that right, a 5 spot bought me this cushion in the post back-to-school college dorm aisle. It was the perfect combination of cheap, functional and fashionable, so of course I scooped her up and brought her home.   
Target storage ottoman
The top of this little bin was removable and allowed for some secret storage. Double bonus. If you know anything about us rookies, you know that we love us some secret storage solutions.  
navy and blue living room
So I decided to place both of these five dollar treasures in my family room. Not only do they offer some secret storage, but they also double as some extra seating in the room. #doubleplay
Navy ottomans
I mean, how cozy are these puppies?
Navy storage seats
Put a lid on it and you can’t even tell what secrets are stuffed in each of them.
gray and blue family room
But wait, I wasn’t done with these just yet. I still wanted to add a little extra personality to these tiny treasures. Hmmmm…
basset hound coffee mug
That’s when I was inspired by this charmer. Matt has a basset hound that he absolutely adores, and I loved the idea (and opportunity) of adding a personal touch to the ottomans. I knew Matt would love this idea and in turn, I would love them even more! #compromise101 
how to iron onto fabric
Step 1: Trace your basset template (pic found on google image) off of your computer screen, just by taping a piece of paper on your screen and tracing away. Cut out your hush puppies. 
iron on template
Step 2: Using this tutorial, I attached interfacing to the white fabric and traced the template onto the wrong side of the fabric.  
Fabric and interfacing
Step 3: After cutting the fabric/interfacing combo, all I had to do was peel away the interfacing and iron on the puppy.
Iron on fabric
Step 4: Iron the fabric onto the middle of the ottoman…
dog silhouette outline
…and enjoy your hard work. 
iron on silhouette
If this isn’t puppy love, I just don’t know what is? 
Dog silhouette on fabric
Thanks to my happy place, I was able to steal $5 seats that have stolen my heart, added secret storage to our place, and scored me some major bonus points with the man. How do they do it?! 
Add silhouette to fabric
Navy Target Ottomans
Dog Silhouette Ottomans
To all of our dog lovers out there…. what do you think?!
Bridget DIY Playbook
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5 thoughts on “Basset Hound Storage Seat

  1. DIY Playbook

    Thanks Kellie! I find most of my pillows @HomeGoods. My rule is not to pay over 12 bucks for any one of them… it’s like my little pillow challenge. I guess restrictions like this are necessary for a pillow addict like myself.

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5 thoughts on “Basset Hound Storage Seat

  1. DIY Playbook

    Thanks Kellie! I find most of my pillows @HomeGoods. My rule is not to pay over 12 bucks for any one of them… it’s like my little pillow challenge. I guess restrictions like this are necessary for a pillow addict like myself.

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Making over a Mousepad with Fabric

mousepad makeover
Haven Swag Bags
Remember this picture from our Haven recap post? We are grinning because those swag bags are filled with all kinds of DIY goodies. Bring on the freebies!
Wicked Good Fabric

This adorable box of fabric from Online Fabric Store was tucked inside my bag. I instantly knew I liked this company after reading “wicked good” on the box. Love it.

But I was even more in love with them after I saw the fabric inside…

Burlap and blue fabric

Plenty of burlap, and a pretty blue pattern. Score!

Since I’m not busy shopping for furniture or home decor, (due to my current living situation) I decided I might as well spruce up something around my mom’s house.

That’s when I saw this boring & blah computer mousepad.

Functional? Yes.
Pretty? Ummmm Nope!

So I got to work using the fabric and a few other supplies…and 10 MINUTES LATER I had a trendy mousepad all ready to go for the Janimal’s desk.

Fabric wrapped mousepad
Is this a revolutionary craft? Not at all. But, it was free and took me hardly any time at all. That’s a win in my playbook.
Tracing Fabric
I first traced around the mousepad, leaving about 2 to 3 inches on the edges.
Mousepad and cut fabric
Then I attempted to cut (I’m a lefty…cutting is hard for me. Like reaaaal hard) the fabric.
A hot glue gun came in handy to secure the fabric on the back of the mousepad. I started with a dot in the middle of each side and pulled tightly as I went along. (Similar to the technique I used while reupholstering this bench)
Rookie tip use a spoon to push down the hot edges
Since the glue is hot and the fabric is thin, save your fingertips and use a spoon to press down the glue. Or else you’ll have some scalded finger pads. Ouch.
Rookie Tip wrap fabric like a present
Corners are always the hardest part to tackle for any project like this. Just do your best, and fold them down like a present, and secure with glue.
Blue Fabric Mousepad
Bam, you’ve got a fashionable new mousepad in less than 10 minutes!
Fabric mousepad and computer mouse
Now it’s your turn! Find the perfect fabric and spruce up your own boring mousepad.  Then get ready for plenty of compliments from your coworkers about your bright new desk accessory!
Casey DIY Playbook
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Mini Seat Makeover

  (Disclaimer: We have partnered with New Uses to bring you this post. The information and opinions expressed are 100% our own, and are not influenced by New Uses.)
How charming is this vintage seat?

When I saw it at New Uses, I couldn’t resist myself. Before I even got it to my car, I had big plans for this little charmer.

My plans, you ask? Number one, ditch the gold base. Although I love me some glamorous gold, I wasn’t feeling it for this project. I wanted new, fresh, shiny, glam.
Number two, trade the green leather cushion for some nautical stripes. Are you surprised?

Step One: Detach the cushion using a simple screw driver.

Easy enough, right? Now you’re left with the simple gold base that needs some new color.

Step Two: Pick a spray paint color and go.to.town! Since I already took off the cushion, I didn’t even need to use painter’s tape, such a DIY treat.

Step Three: While the paint is drying, pick out a new fabric and reupholster the cushion. I have absolutely z.e.r.o. experience reupholstering, so if I can handle it… I swear you can too!

I used reupholstering fabric from JoAnn Fabrics and bought 3/4 of a yard.
Step Four: Tightly wrap the fabric around the cushion and staple close to the edge. Staple as many times as you can. The corners were a bit tedious because this cushion was round. I kind of just winged each curve until the fabric laid nicely.

Step Five: Cut off the extra fabric.

Step Six: Use the old screws to re-attach the cushion to your newly glamorous silver base!

Step Seven: Enjoy the fruits of your labor. This vintage cushion is now oozing new preppy-ness and I love, love, love it! Tune in tomorrow to see what other DIY project I paired this lil’ cushion up with. Any guesses?

I’ll give you all the scoop tomorrow morning @ 7am. You bring the coffee, I’ll bring the dramatic DIY. Until then…

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#RookieDIY: Upholstered Bench with Nailhead Trim

IMG_9762

Upholstery projects can be incredibly intimidating.

Trust me, I’ve been there.

Dining room chair before and after wood to white

In fact, my first ever DIY was reupholstering 4 dining room chairs. They were in Mike’s family for decades, and his mom gave them to us to makeover. #nopressure

We were absolute newbies, and I remember googling every step of the way.

Fast forward 2 years, and I’m still a bit intimidated by upholstery projects. But, I also know the instant “wow” factor new fabric and paint can bring to an old piece of furniture.

Old wooden bench before cushion upholstered

So when Mike’s mom gave us this adorable stool to makeover (she should be our furniture dealer), I took the challenge on without fear (okay maybe a little bit.)

Upholstered Bench
Project Stats:
Minor League Level DIY

Supplies Needed for Wood:
-Medium Grit Sanding Block
-Spray Primer (I used Rustoleum)
-Spray Paint (I used Rustoleum in semi-gloss White)
-Mask
-Gloves

Supplies Needed for Cushion:
-High Density Foam
-Quilt Batting
-Spray Adhesive
-Box Cutter
-Scissors
-Fabric
-Staple Gun
-Staples
-Decorative Nails (I found mine at Jo-Ann Fabric for about $2 for a box of 36)

Wooden Stool Antique Old Bench
After taking a look at the little stool, I quickly realized it was in need of some TLC.
The fabric was dirty & outdated. The wood had nicks and scrapes. And when I sat on it…well let’s just say my tushy wasn’t too happy.
Wooden bench with nicks and scrapes fabric
My first order of business was to paint the base of the stool. I simply used a flat head to unscrew the cushion off, and I was left with the wood stool.
Wooden bench base with rustoleum primer white spray paint sanding blocks
Once the cushion was off, I gathered my supplies, headed down to the basement of our building, and got to work.
First step was to get rid of the nicks, scrapes, and years of use this little guy had going on. I used medium grit sanding blocks to smooth out the wood, and create an even surface for the paint.
I then took a clean cloth and wiped my wood down with soap and water, to get rid of any dust and dirt.
Rustoleum Primer Rustoleum Spray Paint Semi-Gloss White
I decided to go with a spray primer instead of a paint primer for this project. With all of the little nooks and crannies in the chair (I’m now craving an english muffin), I thought spray paint was the best way to give it full, even coverage. All it took was one light coat of primer.
After waiting a full day for the primer to dry, I spray painted the first coat of paint. I then repeated the process the next night.
While my bench base was drying, I worked upstairs to reupholster the seat cushion.
Wooden Bench cushion base
After pulling off 2 layers of fabric (holy moley dirty & dusty!) I was left with the wooden seat base.
Upholstery Supplies high density foam fabric batting
I gathered my supplies and got to work padding this wooden base.
2inch high density foam airtex
I decided to go with 2 inch foam for extra butt comfort #keepthetushhappy
Measuring high density foam
I measured the padding to fit the base of the wood, and used the box cutter to cut it to size.
Box Cutter to cut high density foam
Elmers craft bond spray adhesive
I then sprayed some of the adhesive onto the wood, to make sure the foam would stay secure.
Next step, covering the base with batting.
Securing batting to a cushion
I cut the batting, leaving 4 or 5 inches around the edges.
Stapling batting onto cushion
Next, I tightly pulled the batting over the top of the cushion. I suggest starting in the middle of each side, and use the staple gun to keep it secure. Make sure you pull the batting tightly.
Batting on cushion
I made my way around the edges of the bench, until I was only left with the corners.
Keep in mind, I’m not an expert upholsterer. But, I do know that when it comes to upholstery the corners are the absolute worst. I just do my best to make it look as nice as possible.
I cut off any excess fabric in the corners, folded the batting, and secured with multiple staples.
Batting secured on cushion seat
Hooray, a comfy cushion!
Now time to “prettify” it!
Gray and white fabric joann fabric
I wanted to keep the bench fairly neutral, simply because I didn’t really know where its final home would be. Going with a gray and white color scheme would allow me to move it from room to room, until I found a permanent home.
This fabric (found at Jo-Ann fabric for 50% off!) was just what I wanted for my neutral bench.
Iron white and gray fabric
This step is optional, but I highly recommend you iron out any wrinkles in the fabric before adhering it to your cushion. That way you won’t have any stubborn creases on your finished product.
Stapling fabric to cushion bench
I used the same technique that I used for the batting, with the fabric.
Corner of cushion with gray and white fabric
Upholstered cushion securing the corner with staples
Gray and white fabric upholstered cushion
I’m really on a nailhead trim kick right now. I love the industrial, yet glamorous look, those shiny nails can add to any piece.
Decorative Nails Silver Nailhead Trim
I decided to give it a go for this project, and add silver nails along the bottom of the cushion.
Ruler to measure space on seat cushion
I spaced my nails about 3/4 of an inch apart. To speed up the process, I measured first and made dots for each nail.
Adding nailhead trim to a seat cushion
Then I used a hammer to tap in each nail into the wooden base of the cushion. They went in way easier than I thought, and I didn’t even have to use much force with the hammer. In took less than 30 minutes to get all of the nails into the cushion…not bad right?
Silver nailhead trim on bench cushion
Silver Nailhead trim on bench cushion white bench
Are the nails perfect? No way. But they really don’t need to be.
Bench Before and After
Pretty dramatic before and after huh? I’m totally loving the new look for this old piece of furniture.
DIY upholstered nailhead trim bench
I found a cozy spot in our bedroom for the little bench.
Bench in front of mirror taking a picture
It’s a great landing space for my purse and shoes after a long day.
White nailhead trim bench with purse scarf and flats
Bench with purse on top
White nailhead trim bench silver nails purse on top
Here is an updated photo of it all styled in our Chicago master bedroom…
nailhead trim bench
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9 thoughts on “#RookieDIY: Upholstered Bench with Nailhead Trim

  1. Esther McNary

    I SO need to do this!!! I really want a bench at the end of my bed!
    Thanks for sharing your lovely project! It is gorgeous 🙂

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9 thoughts on “#RookieDIY: Upholstered Bench with Nailhead Trim

  1. Esther McNary

    I SO need to do this!!! I really want a bench at the end of my bed!
    Thanks for sharing your lovely project! It is gorgeous 🙂

    Reply

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