Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping

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I’ve made some progress this weekend on the desk for our kitchen. This was the keystone in the decision making process for the color of our cabinets. I wanted to see what the color would look like in the kitchen, on a real piece of furniture before spending big bucks on cabinets. I’m happy to say that after trying a few different colors, I’m in love with Copen Blue by Sherwin Williams. I think the skies might have just cleared and I heard the distant chorus of angels singing “Hallelujah!” Yes, it was that big of a moment!

You can see this beautiful blue in The DIY Show Off’s Beach Eclectic Cottage Room that she designed for Shaw with Cassity from Remodelaholic.

This week will be a busy one, I have several projects to start; several to finish; need to pull a permit and I REALLY need to order a refrigerator. If you have one you absolutely love, I’m open to your suggestions. Currently we have a 18 year old side by side. I’m thinking a 25 cu ft or larger french door fridge might be better suited to a growing family of boys.

But, I’m sure you aren’t here to listen to me ramble. So, instead I have a tutorial for making a bench cushion with piping.

Before we get started I wanted to let you in on a little secret: The bench cushion and side table fabrics you see below are actually shower curtains!

You read that right. Shower curtains are not only inexpensive, but they are durable and can stand up to moisture. This makes them perfect for outdoor use. I bought both of these at Target for under $20 each!

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Kilz Clean Start Primer Giveaway and Refinishing a Garden Bench

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Happy Father’s Day! I hope all you Dads and Grandfathers out there have a fabulous day. We love you and we wouldn’t be here without you! Speaking of fathers, I was asked by Parentables to write about the best advice my Dad every gave me. I wrote about how my Dad’s actions spoke louder than words. You can see a very adorably funny picture of my Dad and his three girls HERE (3rd slide).

By the way, I’m glad so many of you got a good laugh from my prom picture. I’m so thankful that perms and dyeing my hair is a thing of the past. Okay, I admit it, I might have a few highlights added now and then.

Getting down to business. You may remember my garden bench that used to be a Craig’s List bed frame.

Well, it wasn’t weathering the elements too nicely. Or maybe I should say it was weathering them poorly. Regardless, I really liked the bench and decided to strip it and start over again. I believe the main problem was that the bed frame was not solid wood, it was glued pieces. Then, if you factor in that I used spray primer and spray paint, the rain and moisture got in easily and caused the wood to swell and some of the glued joints to come undone.

But, the bench was still structurally sound, so we moved it onto the screen porch and I got ready to refinish it.

Refinishing a Weathered Garden Bench

Safey First, (as Meri-K will tell you.) Because I was sanding and scraping the old paint I had to wear eye protection and a dust mask. I also wore ear plugs while sanding and gloves to keep my hands from getting rough.

Materials:

  • Power Sander
  • Sand Paper (100 grit & 220 grit)
  • Purdy Paint Tool Scraper
  • Wire Brush
  • Gloves
  • Safety Goggles
  • Dust Mask
  • Wet wipes
  • Primer
  • Roller & Tray
  • Brush
  • Paint
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Clamps
  • Wood Glue
  • Toothpicks

Instructions:

Begin by using the wire brush to remove any flaking paint and to get into the grooves of the spindles (and other hard to reach places.)

Tip from a Handy Girl: I am about to share with you a helpful time saving trick, so pay attention. If you have a power sander that holds the sandpaper with a clip. You can stack your sandpaper. I put the 220 grit on the bottom, then put the 1oo grit on top of that. After sanding my bench with the 100 grit, I simply tear off the top sheet and expose the finer 220 grit.

Sand down the bench with a rough 100 grit paper first, then follow up with a finer 220 grit sand paper.

Secure any loose pieces of the bench. To use Gorilla Glue, you need to moisten the two pieces that you will secure.

Then put a small amount of Gorilla glue onto one of the pieces.

Clamp the joined pieces and allow to dry overnight. (By the way, don’t waist your money on cheap clamps. That little black & orange number below just bit the dust last weekend. My Irwin clamp is a CHAMP!) Check back after 30 minutes to wipe off any Gorilla glue that has spread out of the seam.

Because the posts on my bench were really falling apart, I decided to remove the ball finials.

Use a saw to cut both finials off.

Patch the hole using toothpicks and wood glue.

After the glue has completely dried, saw off the toothpicks.

Add a curtain rod finial on top of the sawed off posts.

It looks like those finials were there all along!

Clean your bench off with a damp rag to remove any sawdust.

Cover the entire bench with one coat of KILZ Clean Start Primer. Want to know why I use KILZ Clean Start primer for all my projects now? Read how much I love it in this post where I used the same primer for painting a bamboo rug. I’m never buying any other primers (unless I’m priming a tricky surface, then I’ll use BIN 1-2-3 oil based primer. But, I won’t be happy about using that stinky stuff.)

After the primer has dried, use a piece of fine grit sand paper to gently remove any burrs or imperfections.

Then wipe off the bench with another damp wipe. I used Benjamin Moore Impervo Semi Gloss paint for the top coat on my bench. It leaves a really tough coating and will hold up to wear and tear.

Roll on the paint in one area. Then follow up with a brush to even out the paint. Remember to run your brush in the same direction as the grain of the wood.

Lightly sand after the first coat has dried and finish up with a second coat of Benjamin Moore Impervo paint. I didn’t add polyurethane, but if you are really concerned about a piece of furniture that will be exposed to the elements, go ahead and add two or more coats of polyurethane.

My bench should successfully last outside now for three reasons:

  1. I moved it inside the porch and out of the direct sun and rain.
  2. I primed the bench with a good quality brush-on primer (instead of a spray paint type.)
  3. I brushed on two coats of paint making sure I got into all the cracks and crevices of the bench.

Here she is in her newfound home, our screen porch:



Would you like to try a gallon of the KILZ Clean Start Primer for yourself? With zero VOCs and the quality that is standard in all the KILZ products, this primer is a must have for the DIY painter!

The wonderful folks over at KILZ have offered to give one gallon of this amazing liquid to one of my readers.

Here is how you can enter to win!   Sorry this giveaway has ended.

Disclaimer: The products mentioned in this post are products that I use and stand behind. The opinions expressed in this post are authentically mine. I was sent a gallon of KILZ Clean Start Primer and the Irwin Quick Grip clamp to try out, but I was not paid or swayed to write favorable things about the products. If I don’t like a product, I won’t write about it. And I certainly won’t pass it off on my valued readers.

 

 

Spring Vignettes and Mantle Décor

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Ahhh, the birds are chirping and the flowers are in full bloom. The azaleas in our yard look like fireworks exploding with color.

I long to open the windows and let in the sounds and the sweet smells.

But, alas, the pollen bomb is still in full dumping mode.

I’m not going to let that get me down. I decided to bring the outdoors in and finished switching out my Valentine’s Day decorating (yup, I like to get the most out of my seasonal décor.)

So, without further ado, here is how I’m celebrating Spring!

I saw the window idea at Classicly Amber (via Pinterest) and had just pulled a few old windows out of a curbside pick up pile. Speaking of Pinterest, if you haven’t tried it yet, you are missing out! It is a great place to “pin” ideas you see and be able to refer back to them easily.

Beth at The Stories of A2Z gave a tutorial on using Pinterest HERE. She’s the one who introduced me in the first place, so I’ll let the master show you the ropes!

I always make it a point to refer back to the original source if I get an idea somewhere else. (Granted, some things are so widespread amongst bloggers, that it is hard to credit the original source.) Pinterest has helped me keep all the ideas together and makes it easier to find the original source. Plus, you can follow other people’s pins and boards. Feel free to sign up and follow mine HERE. Then you can steal my ideas before I blog about it…just kidding!

The striped pedestal holding up the plant is actually a cake stand I made recently using a plate and a candlestick. I’ll be blogging about it later this week, but trust me it is nothing new. You’ve probably seen this trick somewhere else.

This little adorable birdhouse was lovingly painted by my 7 year old son. I always have a stock of $1 birdhouses that they like to decorate on a rainy day. This one brings so much sunshine into my heart.

I love how easy this centerpiece was to create. I rested the ceramic bird into  a shredded paper bag nest. Then set the nest on top of a ceiling medallion ($3 at a yard sale) and surrounded the medallion with ivy.

And finally, my favorite: a robin’s egg nest that I made with chicken eggs.

You can view the tutorial for making the eggs and nest at TLC’s Parentables today.

If you struggle with decorating and creating vignettes, you might want to read a few of the guidelines I use when designing groupings and seasonal décor HERE.

Entering this post into the CSI Spring Decor and Vignettes challenge:

Visit thecsiproject.com

Turning a Craig’s List Bed Frame into a Garden Bench

While visiting one of Raleigh’s local shabby chic boutiques, I fell in love with a sweet bench made from an old bed frame. But, the $350 price tag meant that our relationship was not meant to be. So, I began scouring Craig’s List for the perfect bed frame to make into a bench in our front yard. Finally, I found a full sized cannonball bed frame that looked very similar to this one:

The bed was in good shape. It was made from real wood and it had wooden side rails. Best of all, the price was $40 (and I didn’t have to drive more than 3 miles to buy it!)

After researching the web for ideas on how I wanted my bench to look, I found this site: http://www.robomargo.com/bench.html which has many photos of bed frames turned into benches.

Then I stumbled across Karla’s bed over at: http://itsthelittlethingsthatmakeahouseahome.blogspot.com

Her husband had declared the bed frame a piece of junk when she asked him to turn it into a bench. I can’t help giggling now that I’ve seen the finished project:

Isn’t this bench A-DOR-ABLE!
Update: My middle Pretty Handy Sister (Yes, I actually have 2 Pretty Handy Sisters) just informed me that she had made these garden benches in the past: http://www.alanamous.com/v/Projects_001/GardenAccessories

So, here is my best effort at directing you through the transformation from a bed to bench (I neglected to photograph the process on this project since it was a pre-blog project.

Begin with the headboard and footboard, and set the side rails aside for now.

I pre-measured another bench and determined that I preferred a 18″ seat height. Luckily the footboard worked perfectly in my plans. But, I needed to trim 3″ off the bottom of my headboard legs.

Then determine the depth of your bench. I wanted mine to be 18″. (This is a little deeper than a chair (15 – 16″), but it allowed for pillows behind our backs and a more substantial size.

Your footboard needs to be cut in half so it can become your arm rests. You might have to trim more from the center as I did to achieve your desired bed depth.

What you are left with is two sides for your bench:

Now you need to grab one of your side rails and cut it down to size for the front skirt of your bench. Simply measure the distance of your headboard from post to post:

Then cut your side rail to this exact width. (Or if your bed frame came with metal sides, you can use a 1″ x 6″ x 8′ pine board instead.)

Now you will need to build a frame of 2″ x 4″ boards for stability. This frame needs to be able to fit between the front skirt piece (side rail cut to size) and the back of your bench (the headboard).

This is a picture of my bench tipped over so you can see the base support structure built of 2 x 4′s (in red).

Now you have all the components to construct your bench frame.

Attach the arm rest to the back of your bench (used to be the headboard) by pre-drilling holes through the bedposts and then screwing in 3″ long wood screws through the post and into the arm rest. Be sure that the arm rests are securely attached.

Here is a picture showing the screws from the back of my bench. and how the arm rest looks when attached.

Next you will attach your 2″ x 4″ frame to the back and sides of your bench. You can use screws, nails, and/or L-brackets to attach it.

Then, you can attach the front skirt piece (cut down side rail of bed) to the 2″ x 4″ support base using small nails or brads.

You are almost done with the construction! Time to cut some wood for the seat of your bench. I used two 1″ x 10″ boards cut down to size. Then cut out notches to fit around the corners of the bed posts.

Then use small nails or brads to nail your seat to the bench 2″ x 4″ frame.

After assembling my bench, I added wood putty to fill my nail holes and then caulked all the seams to keep water out of them.

I finished off my bench with one coat of spray primer and 2 coats of Rustoleum French Lilac spray paint (the color my boys picked out!)

Unfortunately, I neglected to coat my bench with polyurethane, so you will notice that the paint has chipped in places. After a few rain storms, I realized that my bed frame was made from several layers of wood that was glued together. So, you will also see some gaps in the wood. I plan to add a few more screws and a few coats of polyurethane to my bench to help stop any more weathering.

But, in the meantime, won’t you come join me for some cool lemonade in the shade?

Step right this way.
Did you spot the blooming hostas and hellebores?
 Oh, you were too busy staring at this lavender beauty?
Won’t you sit down in the cool shade…
…and sip some nice cold lemonade with me?
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Feel free to comment, especially if you have any questions.