How to Recover a Butterfly Chair

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Do you have a butterfly chair that is sun-faded or has hideous fabric on it? I bet you thought it was a lost cause, right? Nope! With a sewing machine, some new fabric and a little spare time you can recover that ugly butterfly chair and have a new one. Okay, so I didn’t recover it with green fabric in honor of St. Patrick, but what could be greener than a good old upcycling project! Believe it or not, this was a much easier project than I had anticipated, so don’t get scared by the curves. You can “sew” do this! ;-)

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

I stumbled upon this chair at Goodwill for $9.99. Normally I wouldn’t spend this much for a sun-faded chair, but because I was working on the school library makeover project — and we needed more comfortable seating — I bought it.  After all, we would have had to pay at least double for another comfy chair.

How to Recover a Butterfly Chair | Pretty Handy Girl

Luckily, I had some soft leftover fleece fabric that I could use to recover the chair. I wish I had measured how much I used, I think it was a little less than 2 yards.

Materials:

  • 2 yards of fabric
  • Coordinating thread
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Old butterfly chair + old cover

Instructions:

1. Remove the old cover from the butterfly chair frame. Lay it on top of your fabric (both right sides up.) [Read more...]

Video Tutorial: How to Reupholster Dining Chairs and Protect the Fabric

How to Easily Reupholster Your Chairs | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Easily Reupholster Your Chairs | Pretty Handy Girl

In the very beginning of this blog I showed you how to reupholser a yard sale chair. Almost four years has passed and I learned a lot since then. I hope this tutorial will be more helpful to anyone who wants to reupholster a simple dining chair. But, most of all, I want to show you how to protect your fabric seat after you put in the effort to recover them.

How to Re-upholster a Seat and Protect the Fabric | Pretty Handy Girl

Let’s get this chair party started!

Materials:

How to Re-upholster a Seat and Protect the Fabric | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Drill with screwdriver bits
  • Pliers
  • 5-in-1 Painter’s tool (or thin pry bar)
  • Fabric (upholstery fabric will hold up better than thin fabric)
  • Staple gun
  • 3/8″ staples
  • Hammer
  • Safety glasses

Instructions:

Turn your chair upside down and locate the seat mounting screws. Unscrew them all to release the chair seat.

How to Re-upholster a Seat and Protect the Fabric | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the chair cushion onto a flat surface. Pry up the staples with the 5-in-1 tool and/or the pliers. [Read more...]

Valentine’s Day Garden Flag from a Placemat

materials

I love making unique garden flags. My go-to material for these outdoor accessories are Dollar Tree placemats! You read that right. $1 fabric placemats! But, if you don’t live near a Dollar Tree and you have old placemats, you could upcycle them into a Valentine’s Day garden flag!

A few years ago, I made this Let it Snow flag:

Although it doesn’t seam to convince Mother Nature to bring us some white powder, it has held up nicely in the cold and rain. I’ve since set out to create a garden flag for each season. I have a Fall themed flag and a Summer flag. So, why not a Valentine’s Day flag?!

Start by collecting some supplies. Feel free to substitute what you have on hand.

Materials:

  • Dollar Store placemat
  • Ruler
  • Soap sliver (pencil or disappearing fabric marker)
  • Letter stencils (I chose a set by Martha Stewart Plaid)
  • Round paint brush
  • Tulip Fabric paint (white and black)
  • Tulip glitter fabric paint
  • Tulip glitter transfer sheets
  • Fabric scraps (red, pink and white)
  • Polyester stuffing
  • Scrap fabric, towel or rag (for ironing the glitter iron-ons)
  • White thread
  • Scissors

Begin by ironing the fabric you will be using (including the placemat). Use caution when ironing the placemat, the DollarTree ones I bought are polyester and needed a cooler iron. [Read more...]

How to Sew a Custom Canvas Tote

canvas tote 1

Pretty Handy readers it’s Jaime again from That’s My Letter here today to share useful sewing project.  How to sew a custom canvas tote complete with painted monogram:

canvas tote

This tote makes a great everyday bag or purse, just big enough for all the important stuff but not too bulky.  The finished size is 16″w x 9″h x 8″ square at the base, and the handles extend about 6″ in height.

canvas tote 13

The tote is fully lined and includes an interior zippered pocket.  The zipper is easy as pie I promise!  I’ll show you how down below.

You can add any monogram or name to personalize the tote.  Then you’ll be making canvas totes as gifts for all your friends.

canvas tote 3

The square base makes for a nice wide tote and the canvas is super durable:

canvas tote 2

Materials:

  • drop cloth canvas (1 yard)
  • blue canvas (1/2 yard outdoor patio fabric Sunbrella or the like)
  • lining (1 yard)
  • medium weight fusible interfacing (1 yard)
  • firm interfacing – 9″ x 9″
  • 1 1/2″w cotton webbing (1 yard)
  • 9″ zipper
  • lightbox
  • small paintbrush
  • acrylic paint
  • sewing machine, thread to match, iron, seam ripper

Materials Cut List:

Base:

  • 1 – blue canvas 9″ x 9″
  • 1 – lining 9″ x 9″
  • 1 – drop cloth canvas 9″ x 9″
  • 1 – firm interfacing 9″ x 9″

Body:

  • 2 – drop cloth canvas 10″h x 17″l
  • 2 – med. fusible interfacing 10″ x 17″
  • 2 – lining 10″ x 17″
  • 2 – blue canvas 4″h x 17″w

Handles: 2 – 1 1/2″w cotton webbing @ 17″l

Instructions:

canvas tote fabric cuts

Step 1: Cut materials (see cut list above).

canvas tote base

Step 2: Prepare base.  Sandwich drop cloth, firm interfacing then blue canvas. [Read more...]

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench with Furry Upholstered Lid {Lowe’s Creator Idea}

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Every month Lowe’s challenges me to create another unique project to share with you. This month’s challenge was creative storage ideas. Have kids? This is a unique storage solution using a galvanized tub and a furry upholstered lid. It’s the perfect place to store and corral all that kid clutter in your child’s bedroom. The storage tub doubles as a bench and a step stool. Don’t be deterred if you don’t have children, the storage bench could be used for magazine storage and much more!

Grab these materials and tools and follow along with me (and my 13 year old assistant.)

Creating the Galvanized Storage Bench and Lid

Materials for the Galvanized Storage Tub and Lid:

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

 

Instructions:

Turn the galvanized tub upside down on the plywood. Use the sharpie to mark approximately 1/2 – 1″ out from the edge of the tub. [Read more...]

Hanging Ornaments Table Runner by At the Picket Fence

How to make a hanging ornaments table runner | Pretty Handy Girl

I have half of the dynamic duo from At the Picket Fence today and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Heather and Vanessa are the sibling duo who create and blog about their beautiful homes and share scrumptuous recipes! I’m honored to have Vanessa here today to share this brilliant Ballard Designs knock off project.

How to make a hanging ornaments table runner | Pretty Handy Girl

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Hi there! I’m Vanessa from the blog At the Picket Fence and I’m so thrilled to be visiting here today! Brittany’s kinda my hero and is helping me find the courage to tackle more DIY projects. Come 2014 my house isn’t gonna know what hit it! At this time of the year more than ever, being frugal is the name of the game and I love to try and come up with creative gift giving ideas for friends and family. Today I’m sharing with you a so simple, no-sew project!

I just love me some Ballard Designs. Don’t you? But, their prices don’t love me back. So, I have to resort to knocking them off. That always sounds so wrong doesn’t it? Kinda has a Bonnie and Clyde ring to it. I’m just going to think of it as imitation being the sincerest form of flattery! This is my version of their hanging ornament table runner from last year and just to prove how very très frugal this really is, here’s the cost difference:

Theirs ~$79.00 …….. Mine ~ $15.00

How to make a hanging ornaments table runner | Pretty Handy Girl

Supplies Needed:

  • Drop cloth cut to size of runner you want (don’t wash the drop cloth first!)
  • Fabric squares or remnants in color/patterns of choice
  • Twine
  • Ribbon in coordinating color
  • Glitter Paint writer in color of your choice

Instructions: [Read more...]

DIY Fabric Coasters

DIY Fabric Coasters

DIY Fabric Coasters

Hi everyone! I’m more than excited to be here at Pretty Handy Girl with Brittany and to be joining the amazing team of contributors. Are you enjoying the fabulous Très Frugal DIY gift ideas so far?

I’m Jessica and I blog at Decor Adventures, a place for you to find furniture makeovers, home improvement projects, craft and lots more DIY and home decor inspiration. Not to mention how to survive decorating a 113 year old house.

I’m really looking forward to sharing my ideas for how you can make your home a beautiful and meaningful place too. Today I’m going to start with an easy and super cheap fabric project, DIY fabric coasters. I love sewing and find it to be a relaxing yet productive activity. When I’m done making something like a table runner or reupholstering an ottoman I always try to think of what I can do with the leftover fabric. These small coasters were just the solution. Plus they make a great gift idea and tis the season for giving something specially made by you. Your family will love them, I promise. Here is how to make DIY fabric coasters.

Supplies:

  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Scissors or cutting mat and rotary cutter
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Pencil or disapearing ink sewing marker
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Batting for in between is optional, but I did use it

Instructions: [Read more...]

DIY Kids Cloth Napkins Tutorial

kids cloth napkins

kids cloth napkins

Hello Pretty Handy Girl readers, contributor Jaime back again to share an earth-friendly, fun and very useful tutorial as we begin to think about back to school!

Let’s make personalized cloth napkins for kids, I promise they will be the talk of the lunch table at school this year!kids cloth napkins1

I was sending my kids to school nearly every day with a large paper towel to place on the lunch table, gosh knows I don’t want my kids eating directly off the school lunch table!  Then it occurred to me that using all those paper towels was extremely wasteful.

The solution: make them personalized cloth napkins which can be washed and reused AND makes for most stylish lunch spot at the table! [Read more...]

Patriotic Denim Bunting Tutorial

denim bunting

denim bunting

Summer is unofficially here and I’m back to share a patriotic sewing project that uses denim! Yes, another way to repurpose those old holey (or should we say too tight?) blue jeans.

Nothing says 4th of July better than red, white and blue and this denim bunting is just that.  Blue denim combined with red and white gingham ruffle trim makes the perfect pairing and a great project to repurpose those worn out jeans.

denim bunting2

I think you might just be able to use this idea at your next backyard party regardless of the holiday, it’s chic, a little bit country, a little bit western and everyone loves denim.

I started with a pair of holey jeans that had seen the dryer one too many times and quickly made them into the cutest bunting decoration anyone with a little sewing skills could tackle. [Read more...]

Making an Upholstered Bench from a Coffee Table – DIY Talent Madigan Made

Look up there! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no wait…it’s Madigan Made! That’s right, Shannon from Madigan Made is here and she leads a double life. She’s the Clark Kent of the blogging world. By day, Shannon is a pharmacist and by night she moonlights as a creative magician and blogger.  This creative genius casts magical spells on ordinary objects and turns them into extraordinary home furnishings and décor.

One thing I love about Shannon is that she never fails to amaze me with her transformations. They are always fresh ideas and the fact that she has the energy to complete DIY projects and hold a full-time job leaves me speechless. Check out just a sampling of her projects.

And now I see some sparks glowing in the distance. They are moving towards us at warp speed, which only means one thing…Madigan Made is in the house! [Read more...]

Fabric Backed Open Kitchen Cabinets – DIY on a Dime the Tutorial

I’m back to show you the updates I made to my kitchen. Remember the plans I shared with you?

Well, they have been implemented and I LOVE the results! Best of all, the materials I bought cost me under $25 and that included the white dish set. But, the cherry on top is that I can easily reverse the changes if we move (or get sick of the look.)

And now, I present to you:
Fabric Backed Open Shelving for the Kitchen

When we first met these sad cabinets, they were dark, dreary and had an eclectic collection of mugs:

Within only a few hours (minus drying times), I had a stylish new look that is bright and cheery!

Follow along for the tutorial and the 50 cent tour (please deposit your pocket change on the way out.) Just kidding. I’ll let you in for free.

Materials:

  • Drill or screwdriver
  • Small plastic baggie
  • Foam board
  • Fabric
  • Packing tape or Duct Tape
  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife
  • Metal edged ruler
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Iron
  • All purpose cleaner
  • Rag
  • Sand paper
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife

Optional: 

  • Primer
  • Paint brush
  • Small paint roller
  • Paint
  • Shelf Paper

Difficulty: Easy

Step 1: Empty your cabinets.

Clean the insides with an all purpose kitchen cleaner.

Step 2. Starting from the bottom, remove the screws from the cabinet door hinges. The last screw should be the very top hinge (to keep the weight of the door from wrenching the screw out of the wood.)

Put screws into a ziplock bag and label your cabinet doors in order so that you can return them to the appropriate cabinet opening at a later date.

Now you should have a clean slate like this:

Step 3. If your cabinets are dark inside, you may or may not decide to paint the insides. (Be sure to check with your landlord if you are renting.) I chose to paint mine because the interiors were so dark. If you want to skip this step, fast forward to the next step.

Prime the insides by rolling on primer over the flat surfaces. Use a brush to get into the corners and crevices.

Once the primer has dried, get out the wood putty and putty knife.

Step 4. Using the putty knife, spread a small amount of putty over the holes where the hinges were. Push the putty into the holes, then scrape the excess off. Allow the putty to dry completely.

Step 5. Sand the puttied holes until smooth.

Step 6. Touch up the putty holes with paint or stain. Add caulk to any cracks or seams at the back of your cabinet. Allow the caulk to dry thoroughly.

If you are painting the inside of the cabinets, roll on paint with the small roller and use the brush to smooth out the paint and get into the grooves.

Step 7. Measure the dimensions of the back of your cabinets. Make sure your measurements are precise (measure twice, cut once is a good adage.)

Cut a piece of foam board using the measurements you just took.

Test fit the foam board into the back of the cabinet. If your cabinet’s face frame is smaller than the cabinet back, you will probably have to bend the foam board to get it in.

Step 8. Iron your fabric. Make sure to iron all the wrinkles out.

Cut the fabric 3 inches wider than the foam board. Lay the foam board on top of the fabric (wrong side facing up.)

Step 9. Tape the edges of the fabric onto the back of the foam board. Be sure to pull the fabric taut.

Fold the edges of the fabric as you would on a gift. Tape the ends to the back of the foam board.

Step 10. Insert the foam board into the cabinet.

Push the foam board firmly against the back of the cabinet. The tension of the fabric and the board against the edges of the cabinet should hold it in place, no need to tape or glue anything!

It is a good idea to try to line up your pattern if you have multiple shelves. (Do as I say, not as I do.)

Start putting your coordinated dishes back into the cabinet. Think about displaying them as you might see in a store.

For visual interest and extra storage, I hung some mugs from the top of the cabinet.

It was as simple as pre-drilling some holes and screwing in white cup hooks. (I did measure the same distance back from the face frame and spaced the hooks evenly. But, I’m a perfectionist like that.)

I am in love with my new kitchen! And all it took was less than $25 in supplies and a few hours.

What do you think?

The best part about this project is that I can easily remove the foam boards…

…or tape new fabric onto the back when I want to update the look!

Can you imagine a cheaper, easier or more glamourous update to your kitchen?

Are you an apartment dweller that is restricted from making permanent changes to your home? Or does your budget limit the renovations you’d really like to make? Why not make a few frugal changes that reflect your own style.

Apartment Guide has changes you can make that won’t break the bank:

Want to find even more design tips for your home? Apartment Guide has budget friendly ideas and DIY how-tos for people in any sized home on http://www.movingtoday.com and http://www.apartmentguide.com/blog/

Disclosure Statement:

Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in their monthly blogger program.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what project to create or what to purchase. Nor did they influence my opinions! We believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Toilet Paper Pumpkins

I thought I’d sneak one more fun craft in before Halloween. Don’t fret, this craft takes about 5-10 minutes. You’ll spend more time gathering the supplies than you will creating it.

My sitter came over to make these pumpkins with my boys. I was a little skeptical when she asked for three rolls of toilet paper, but the results were so stinkin’ cute!

Materials: 

Toilet Paper Rolls
Fat Quarter of Fabric
Sticks for stems
Ribbons
Tissue Paper
Scissors
optional: acorn, sweet gum tree ball or other natural elements

Step 1: Lay out your fabric, and set your roll of toilet paper in the middle.

Wrap 1-2 sheets of tissue paper around the sides.

Step 2: Tuck one corner into the center of the toilet paper.

Step 3: Continue tucking in the fabric, folding any fabric under that won’t quite meet the center of the toilet paper.

Step 4: Fluff your pumpkin sides and work with the fabric until you have a nice round pumpkin shape.

Step 5: Add your stick to the center. You can glue an acorn to the top, or tie your natural elements on using your ribbon.
 Add ribbons or other embellishments if you wish.
Step 7: Enjoy! But don’t tell your prim and proper friend that you have toilet paper on your dining room table! It will be our little secret.

Don’t forget! Tomorrow’s the night that we’ll be drawing one lucky follower who will win a CD/DVD car visor wallet and a $25 gift certificate for Amazon.com. If you are a follower via Google Friend Connect or Feedburner (see my side bar), your name has been entered! Be sure to check back for the lucky winner.