Posts Tagged ‘thrift store find’

DIY: Tufted Bench Transformation

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Last week, I picked up this dowdy bench with really great lines at a local thrift store.  It was $12.  I transformed it this past weekend with fresh paint, a bit of silk, and some custom fabric covered buttons.  If you want to know how to create a custom tufted seat, follow the tutorial at the end of this post.

Here’s the Before and After:

The first thing that had to go was the original fabric.  Ewwww.  The bench seat was easily removed with a screwdriver, but those side cushions were another story.  I thought they would simply peel off with a little tugging.  I was way wrong.  I had to take the end of a hammer to them, and the inner stuffing completely disintegrated in the process.  Pliers were necessary to get the green fabric off.

 

The paint had yellowed, so I decided to prime it and give it a fresh coat of white paint.  Then I gave it a good coat of spray paint in RustOleum’s ‘Heirloom White’.

Once the bench’s wood frame was completely painted, I recovered the bench with some fabric and a staple gun in some pale green silk.   [That’s “lemongrass” colored silk from Joann’s Fabrics – it was on sale for $8 for 2 feet.] Note:  If you are tufting a cushion, make sure you drill your holes through the seat cushion before you cover with fabric.

 

Tufting Tutorial for a Bench or Cushion

Supplies:

    1. Screwdriver to create holes in seat cushion
    2. Long needles (called Decorator Needles) from craft store
    3. Thin twine or embroidery thread (regular sewing thread is not strong enough)
    4. Button cover kits
    5. Staple gun and staples

Once the bench had been covered in fabric, I created the custom buttons with the scraps of silk leftover and some custom button kits.  These kits make it very simple to use your fabric of choice to create custom buttons for tufting with the same fabric you use to cover your seat cushion.

Thread your decorator needle with the thin twine or embroidery thread.  Push the needle up from the bottom through the pre-drilled hole.  Once you come up on top of the cushion, thread your needle through the button.  Push the needle back down through the hole and pull button tight to fabric to create desired amount of tufting.

 

Use your staple gun to secure the thread to the underside of the cushion.  Staple the thread once, then pull the thread in the opposite direction, and staple it down again.  Secure with a knot.

One final problem with my bench was covering the marks from those previous side cushions.  Rather than creating my own side cushions like I did here and here, I chose to keep the sides open and airy.  I covered the marks from the previous cushions with hot glue and some simple gimp trim.

 

 

 

Bench $12, Primer and Paint $6, Fabric $8, Button Kits $7, Needles $4, Embroidery Thread $1.  Total = $38  Isn’t it amazing what a little paint and fabric can do?

 

 

Isn’t it amazing what a little paint and fabric can do?

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DIY: Chair Recovered, From Bleak to Tres Chic

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

 

There are many names for that paint job we all love so much:  Hand Rubbed, Distressed Off-White, Vintage French, Rubbed Cream,  Antique White, Shabby Chic.   Over the weekend, I developed a unique way to distress without all of the stress !

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Supplies:

  1. Tea light candle
  2. Rustoleum ‘American Accents’ Spray Paint in Heirloom White
  3. Fine sandpaper
  4. Baby wipes
  5. 1 yard silk blend damask from scrap bin
  6. Nail head trim kit (leftover from previous project) with rubber head hammer
  7. Foam filler (optional)
  8. Staple gun, stapler and hot glue gun.

I found this ratty rattan chair at the local thrift store, paid the merchant $8 cash, and walked out.  My husband laughed at me when he saw the stained peach velvet cushion and hole punched through the back of the chair.  “What can you do with that piece of (bleep)?”   Has he learned nothing from this blog?  :-)

Before:

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Step One: Remove seat and give the wood on the entire piece a light sanding with fine sandpaper.  Wipe down with baby wipes.

Step Two:  Did you know that you can use candle wax when antiquing furniture to prevent the paint from adhering to the edges?  Rub your piece with a tea light candle on all of the edges where you want the wood to be exposed.  Gently remove leftover wax ‘crumbs’ with baby wipes, but be careful not to rub off candle wax on the edges.

 

 

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Step Three:  Apply a coat of spray paint (in well ventilated area) to one section of your piece, then wipe the edges with a baby wipe where you want the paint removed.  Work section by section because spray paint dries quickly.   For tight spaces where your fingers won’t fit, wrap a small nail with a baby wipe, to remove paint from smaller crevices.  Repeat with a second coat of spray paint for areas that didn’t get coverage with your first coat.  Let dry 24 hours.

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Step Four:   If your chair is really old, as mine is, you may find it necessary to reinforce the seat with medium foam, trimmed to fit.  Iron fabric so that it is wrinkle free.  Center fabric, and recover chair cushion with your fabric of choice and staple gun.

I had to do something to disguise the hole in the rattan, so I fashioned a rear cushion in four steps:

  1. Create cardboard skeleton of back of chair.
  2. Staple foam trimmed to fit to cardboard.
  3. Staple gun fabric to foam/cardboard.
  4. Stitch “cushion” to rear of chair, then solidify with hot glue application for staying power.

To disguise the hole from the front, I trimmed the silk blend fabric to fit, then folded under the edges, and fastened to the chair with my nail head trim kit.  [See previous post on a fabric covered headboard with nail head trim for more information on this kit and its application.]

Refasten chair cushion to seat bottom, then attach nail heads to seat cushion with nail head trim kit.  You can really see the paint treatment up close in this next photo.

So now this tres jolie chair sits in my traditional living room, next to the piano.

Cost:  $8 Chair, $3 Spray Paint, $2 fine sandpaper, $7 foam filler, $5 scrap of silk blend fabric.  I had leftover polyurethane and a nail head trim kit from previous projects.

Total cost to me = $25  (add another $20 for polyurethane and nail head trim kit).

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