My First Upholstered Chair!

For the tl; dr crowd here’s the shorthand on my first upholstered chair project:

I have always wanted to learn to do basic upholstery projects so I bought this chair last year with good intentions and little free time:


I liked the lines, and I didn’t even mind the slipper pink fabric and gold trim. I mean, I love tacky stuff, right? But this was cheap and in bad shape so I didn’t care if I messed it up. It was like $7 at an estate sale.

Shoddy paint job? Eh, I knew I wasn’t going to keep it.


So I stripped it, carefully keeping the interior layers (I probably put it back together wrong anyway because I’m clueless). And then I lightly sanded it. I probably could have done a better job sanding but I was more interested in the fabric in all honesty.
IMG_1854Then I spray painted the chair black.

And then the chair sat in the basement for about six months collecting broken dreams. I thought I was going to do double welting as the trim because that’s how it came to me. So I felt like I needed to learn how to make welting. That’s a long side project/story that is pointless here because, after I got going? I realized I’d rather just have gimp trim!

So here’s what I did:

IMG_2846Dale set me up with an awesome work station in the garage–on a table he built that he hasn’t given me pictures of. He’s done a bunch of impressive projects that I can’t show you until I get pics from him.

I used a traditional heavy duty stapler and that seriously and totally SUCKED. I really need an upholstery stapler if I plan to get serious about these projects going forward! It also kinda ruined the chair (which was my fault and nobody can really tell unless I point it out but still). Get a real upholstery stapler. That’s my biggest piece of advice for newbies like myself.


Trying to position the pattern within the frame of the chair was a challenge. I pinned it first and then stapled. IMG_2852

And THEN I trimmed the fabric. Probably a terrible idea. Probably destroyed the cutting tools I used. Live and learn, eh? Top pinned

Put the existing padding in just as it had been before (that was actually in great shape).  And pinned the front to get my staple on. Ugh, my hands were tired!


You can see some of my shoddier attempts at cutting the fabric here. I literally have no idea how I should have done it. I’m going to have to do more reading next time. Heh. I also winged it with folding the fabric over the corners. The book I had didn’t address that style. IMG_2859

Finally, I got to the part that I’m good at: using my glue gun! I pinned the gimp (that’s the edging) all along the fabric to cover up all my most egregious screw-ups. Then I used my hot glue gun to glue down several inches at a time, careful to shape the gimp as I moved around the chair. IMG_2861

I cut smaller pieces and glued them down around the edges of the chair.IMG_2863

Ta da! I felt pretty impressed with myself all things considered. IMG_2864

And a pic of the back, of course. IMG_2865

And, in the interest of full disclosure? I screwed up a bit, too, but nobody noticed until I pointed it out to them. IMG_2872This is the first step in our amazing bedroom makeover (that is nowhere near happening yet). But I like it!

Decorating with Vintage Items

I adore shopping for old crap! So I thought I’d do a quick round-up of cute stuff I purchased for the house recently.


I can’t pass up vintage real glass Christmas ornaments.
These are minis–for our crazy silver vintage tree! I picked them up at an estate sale for $4. blogging_italian-tray

Another estate sale gem! I make cheese plates and other snacks on the weekends all the time and I’m always on the lookout for cute trays. So this one was dingy but had something to it. I bought it for $3 and brought it home and cleaned it and it turned out amazing. It’s super bright and cheerful and it says Made in Italy on the back and I love it. blogging_girl_planter

I adore her! She’s a little lady planter that I picked up at an antique mall for around $15. I have repurposed her to hold some eyeliner and make-up pencils.


Pretty much everything around my office is some vintage cuteness. This birdcage and everything in it minus the pink paper was acquired at garage sales and antique malls. Even the little framed embroidery to the right of the cage was an antique mall find. blogging_birdcage

I paid about $25 for the cage, $2 for the bird (overpriced but he spoke to me), and I got the little blue bottle as part of a huge lot of tiny bottles for like 25 cents each.

blog_huldah_paintingThis little painting is by Huldah (a popular mid-century painter) and the wooden frame is hand-painted  It’s pretty cute though this image washes out the bright red and pink in the painting. She’s adorable.

New Cabinet

Dale and I are always on the lookout for new and better way to store our crap. And we have a LOT of crap. Enter Craigslist! We were going to buy some new shelves and some new storage containers for our new shelves at Ikea. We figured it would be a better solution than the innumerable small plastic tubs that make up our office. Then Dale found a set of drawers on craigslist that just might fit our weird needs.

And there she is in all her 1970s glory! We plan on giving her a paint job someday–probably when we buy a house or have a specific and exciting plan for our office. Anyway, I have a TON of craft supplies and paper and these very large flat drawers were just the trick–and our printer fits in the bottom and the scanner fits on top! So exciting (you have no idea).

Have a peak inside our drawers…this is the embroidery drawer. See the pretty floss!

A drawer filled with scissors and hole punches. That’s right–I have that many scissors. Don’t judge me!

Jewelry making supplies, beeding and wire. No, I don’t make that much jewelry. Why would that keep me from having supplies? I’m too embarrassed to show you my other drawers–needless to say all the ones that Dale didn’t stake out immediately as off limits were filled to the brim!

Even Dale gets some drawers! So far he’s filled one with paper and one with drafting supplies. Heh. He’s got a few empty drawers to fill.

Happy 4th of July–fireworks pics to come–as well as a bunch more photos from our camping weekend.

Vintage Dishes…

Dale and I share a well-known (among our friends and family) love of retro and vintage things (particularly things with a midcentury modern aesthetic–in case you want to get us something!) and our dear friends Lara & Trish (mom and daughter) generously offered us Trish’s mom’s set of dishes from the 1950s. We already use vintage dishes everyday and were very interested! These are the dishes–they are ADORABLE! Pink, with a black and white pinecone/nature theme. They were produced by Taylor Smith Taylor and are the Pink Dwarf Pine design.

LOVE THEM! Thanks Trish & Lara for thinking of us and giving us such a lovely set!