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...]

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...]

How to Build a Rolling Storage Seat

rolling storage stool

Everyone can always use more hidden storage! What’s better than getting organized with more storage? How about combining it with additional seating!  Jaime here from That’s My Letter sharing with you this easy tutorial for how to build a rolling storage seat.

rolling storage stool final

Of course I couldn’t stop myself at just one seat, I had to make three – they’re just that fast and easy!  The finished size is a generous stool at 19″w x 18″ d x 20″h.

rolling storage stools 2

Lift up that cushioned top and you’ve got tons of storage space:
rolling storage stools 3

To make the rolling storage stool you’ll need the following supplies: [Read more...]

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping

wrap_foam_in_batting

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!

[Read more...]

Make Your Own Back Pillow

wedge_foam_next_2_back_pillow

Okay, no over 40 jokes! Yes, I use a back pillow, and without it my neck hurts. Sadly I lost my way too expensive memory foam back pillow on the airplane trip to Ca. I couldn’t bring myself to buy another one, so I decided to see if I could make one.

This is definitely an easy project. Plus, it is sure to improve your posture!

Materials:

  • 2″ thick foam cushion
  • Batting
  • Fabric
  • Sharpie or fabric marker
  • Coordinating thread
  • Velcro
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Electric carving knife

Instructions:

I used another back pillow as a guide to create the shape for my DIY back pillow:

Here are the dimensions I used for my pillow.

1. Mark the outer dimensions onto your foam.

2. Cut the shape out using an electric carving knife (you can try scissors or x-acto knife, but nothing cuts through foam “like butter” than an old fashioned electric carving knife.)

3. Mark 3″ in from the side on top of the cushion and 1″ up from the bottom on the side. Connect the dots with a diagonal line. Repeat on the opposite side. Then draw a line connecting the points on the front of the cushion.

4. Use the carving knife to cut off the diagonal shapes.

5. Lay the foam cushion on top of the batting.

Use the foam as a guide to cut enough batting to wrap around your pillow form as shown:

6. Cut a piece of fabric that will also wrap around the cushion and and leave an extra 5″ on the length. Also, allow an extra 3/4″ for seam allowance on the sides.

7. Fold over one end two times for a hem. Make sure the hem is large enough to accommodate the width of the velcro. Iron the hem to hold it in place.

8. Sew the hem.

9. Pin the velcro onto the hem you just sewed.

10. Stitch the one velcro strip ont0 the right side of the fabric.

11. Figure out where the other strip of velcro needs to sit and pin it in place. Fold over the raw edge and sew the hem. Then stitch your 2nd piece of velcro in place.

Test the fit to make sure the fabric is pulled snug over your cushion when the velcro is secured.

12. Time to add the sides. Stand your cushion up on its end and draw around the shape, allowing at least 3/4″ seam allowance. Cut two identical pieces (one for each side).

13. Put the cover on the cushion inside out. And pin your end shapes inside the cover.

Cut small slits to fringe the ends of the tight radius turns. Do not cut past where your stitching will go.

14. Carefully remove the cushion from the cover.

Stitch the ends onto the body of the cover.

Trim the excess fabric off the seams.

15. Turn the cover right sides out and insert your cushion into the cover. Hooray! You are done!


I actually use this cushion in the car for driving. It fits perfectly between the sides of the seat.










Rebuilding "Daisy" the Discarded Chair

I have a serious problem. I can’t bear to see a piece of furniture being thrown away. It could be the ugliest, most broken down chair and I still feel the need to save it from Mt. Trashmore. That was the case with “Daisy” this poor ugly chair that I found on the curb awaiting the trash trucks a few weeks ago. I threw her in the back of my car and brought it home.

Two missing parts

 Only when I got home did I assess her condition. Moldy seat, chipping and peeling paint, structurally falling apart, cobwebs, missing parts…

GROSS! Stained and moldy seat.

 …and then a dead roach dropped out! Ewwww! I must be insane.  But, I still saw potential through all the disrepair.

This chair had some serious structural issues. I knew it was a case of tear her down and rebuild. This intro kept playing in my head the during the whole process:

I pulled apart the chair (mostly with my bare hands and then with some assistance from a hammer.)

Until I was left with a skeleton of a chair.

I stripped the paint layers off the chair using the same technique as I did for this chair (see details here.) Unfortunately this chair had 5 layers of paint, therefore it took several hours and several re-applications of Citri-strip to get down to the wood.

If you remember, there were several missing parts on this chair. I had a lightbulb moment when I realized that I could used the spindles from the chair back for the missing parts to connect the legs.

I removed the back spindles.
Almost a perfect size and I had two of them!

I cut down the spindles on the miter saw (but these could easily be cut with a hand saw).

And then notched the ends so they would fit into the holes on the legs. (I did have to enlarge the holes on the legs slightly using my drill and a 3/4″ spade bit.)

Notching the spindles. Cut around the diameter, then cut from the end in towards the first cut. Repeat on all sides.

After dry fitting all the pieces back together, I used Gorilla glue to glue the chair back together.

I clamped the chair tight by using rope to wrap around the chair.

Daisy had also lost one of her decorative corner finials. So, I bought two new finials at Home Depot for $5.

In order to screw on the new finials in, I had to plug the hole with wood. (As promised: a tutorial on filling holes in wood.)

I also filled the holes where the spindles used to be with wood putty.

Next, I primed Daisy. Just a side note here, one reason the original five coats of paint on Daisy were peeling and flaking is that the proper prep work wasn’t done. No sanding to scuff up the glossy polyurethane and no primer. It is so important to sand (rough up your surface) and use a primer. If you cut corners here, you might as well kiss your beautiful finish goodbye in a few years. Especially if the chair is exposed to the elements.)

Finally, I added two coats of white paint (sanding lightly between coats.)

The chair seat was in really bad shape. Therefore I decided to cut a new one out of plywood using my jigsaw.

Trace old seat on plywood, use ruler to make straight lines, cut out seat using jigsaw.

I checked my fit and then re-upholstered my chair. Check out this post to see how to re-upholster a chair seat.

Then for the finishing touches or the frosting on the cake. You can definitely do this step! The inset carving controls your brush for you. Kind of like bowling with bumpers.

And my chair is finished. Isn’t she beautiful!

Hard to believe that 48 hours ago this chair was definitely worthy of Mt. Trashmore.

The chair is super solid now, and doesn’t move at all thanks to the Gorilla Glue.

How about one last look at the before and after pictures?

Want to see more furniture in my guest room? Take the tour here!

Completed just in time for The CSI project, Roadkill challenge.

Visit thecsiproject.com

Adding Nail Head Trim – Give me some bling!

If you are coming here from a link party, this is the final post on my Extreme Rattan Chair Makeover. Click HERE if you want to see the transformation from the beginning. This chair started out as an U-G-L-Y silver painted dining chair that I scored at a yard sale for $5! I handed over my Abe Lincoln and ran before the owner could change her mind. 

Today I will show you how to upholster the front and back of the rattan chair, add nail head trim, and then you can see the final results! Can’t wait, can you?

Well, grab your tools and let’s get crackin’.

Materials Needed:


Nail Head Trim* (Purchased every third hole style trim. It cost $1.25 per yd. on Amazon.com)
Decorative Nails* 7/16″ x 1/2″ – French Natural (sold in bags of 50 nails for $1.70)
Rubber Mallet
Wire Cutters
Posterboard or Tracing Paper
Scissors
Batting
Cardboard
Spray Mount
Hot Glue Gun (with glue sticks)
Screwdriver or cordless drill

* Just a quick note that I measured the areas on my chair using a sewing tape measure so I knew how much trim I needed. Then made sure I had enough decorative nails to fill in every third hole. Always order a bit extra in case you make a mistake or if you miss measure. Plus, as I will show you, I had to end some sections early and add extra nails.

First thing I did was make a template for the back of my chair. I used a large sheet of posterboard (the cheap kind you can buy at the drug store works great!) I used my finger to press hard on the paper and the edge of my chair back opening. When I removed the posterboard, you could see a faint score line. I then cut out the template. (You could alternatively tape several pieces of tracing paper together and draw around the chair backing.)

 

Then I fit my template into the back and made any cuts until my template was perfect. Next I traced my template onto thicker cardboard and cut out the cardboard for my chair back.


Now I could start cutting out my fabric. You will want to lay your fabric on top of the cardboard and play with the pattern placement until you are happy. Then trace about an inch outside the cardboard and cut out your fabric. This is where I wish I had followed Centsational Girl’s directions for her Cinderella Chair Makeover! She cut out a piece of batting that was the same size as her chair back fabric. She wrapped the batting around the cardboard and stapled it. Then she used the glue gun to attach her fabric to the cardboard. I didn’t see the need since I wouldn’t be resting my back on the back side of the chair. But, what I didn’t realize is that it would hide the folds in the cardboard. Oh well, live and learn. Luckily my chair back faces a wall so no one will see it.

So, next I pulled out my spray mount, after putting a tarp down on the garage floor that extended about 4 feet in every direction from my cardboard. (Did I mention that spray mount can also travel when airborne? Be sure to cover a larger area than you will be spraying and prop up cardboard or more plastic if you are spraying near something you don’t want the spray mount to adhere to.)

I sprayed a light coating on one side of the cardboard. Then laid it on top of the fabric (Next time I will replace the fabric with the batting – having learned my lesson.) Make sure your fabric (batting) is stretched out so there are no wrinkles. Now, if you are using batting, you will want to get your fabric and lay your cardboard sandwich on top of the fabric.


Now it is time to glue the fabric to the cardboard backing. Heat up your glue gun, and run a bead of glue along one edge of your backing. Fold the fabric over the back (being careful not to burn your fingers on the hot glue like I did) and press into the glue. Carefully fold the fabric around your edges.

At the top of my chair was a heart shape, which required that I cut a few slits into the fabric so I could fold the fabric into the cardboard notch.

You are almost ready to insert your backing into your chair. Before you insert the backing, run a line of hot glue all the way around the back of the chair where the rattan meets the chair frame. Then I set my chair back in place. This is where I realized that I should have added the batting. You can see two slight horizontal lines at the top and middle where the cardboard had a fold in it. So, I hope you can learn from my mistake. Although, I really don’t think it looks too bad (does it?)

Nail head trim time – Make her glamorous!

I pretty much repeated the same process for tracing the back (pressing my finger on the edge of the rattan area.) The front of the rattan was wider than the back. The good news is that once you have your template cut out of posterboard, you can go right to cutting the fabric and batting, instead of cutting a cardboard backer. I used two layers of batting for extra cushion. But, I could have used more.

 

Cut your fabric about an inch wider than your template on all sides. Trace and cut your 2 + layers of batting to the exact size of your template.

Now you are ready to put your fabric and batting on the chair. I laid my chair down on its back so I could work with gravity holding down the fabric and batting. Starting in a corner, gently fold the excess fabric around the batting and lay your nail head trim on the edge of the fabric. Use your rubber mallet to hammer in the first nail into the first hole in the trim. Continue along slightly bending your trim to match the curves on your chair.

 

When you reach a corner, you will need to cut your trim. If you can’t end with a nail hole at the corner, you will want to cut your trim at a hole and add a nail or two next to the hole to finish at the corner. This will insure that you don’t have the excess trim popping up or catching on anything. Then I cut two extra nail head bumps off my trim so that I could start with a hole again.

 

Work your way around the whole back of your chair until you have completed the nail head trim border. I also chose to add nail head trim along the edge of my chair below the chair cushion. Why not?! At only $1.25 per yard, it is has big bang (or should I say Bling!) for little bucks!

 

Now the moment you have all been waiting for. Time to re-attach your seat cushion to the chair. Lay your cushion back in place, and locate the four mounting screw holes underneath. Use your cordless drill (highly recommended over the screwdriver) to screw in the mounting screws.

 

Then, set your chair upright and swoon over your “ugly duckling turned into a beautiful swan!” Isn’t she lovely!

This concludes my Extreme Makeover of a Rattan Backed Chair. I hope you will check back soon as I show you some of our office renovation.

Check out other wonderful yard sale finds
at
The Lettered Cottage – yard sale link party.

Visit thecsiproject.com