One easy update, one not so easy update

Not too long ago, I found these 2 uber icky chairs at the Salvation Army. I knew I could make them pretty again so grabbed them and started on my updates.

One of the updates was super straight-forward. I sanded, oiled and then reupholstered. The update didn't take long and didn't cost much either! $10 for the chair and a few bucks for the fabric... So maybe $15 plus a few hours worth of work and I was done!

I might keep this chair to go with another update. I'll post photos of them together this weekend and you can let me know what you think!


The second chair was a little more work - I had a 'vision' for the upholstery that added some extra hours onto this update. I decided I wanted to turn this chair into a princess chair for a little girl - AKA I needed to go with bright, fun colours. I picked up some pink paint, Watermelon was the name, and first refinished the chair.

Next I used some bright green canvas I picked up at the Salvation Army for a few dollars. I then stitched on some felt flowers using my Singer then reupholstered the seat.


The custom upholstery took longer than anticipated but I think added a super happy touch to the final piece. My second update was pretty pricey - $15 for the chair, $10 for the paint and a few dollars for the fabric. In total, the update cost approximately $30 plus labour.


It was so great to work on some furniture updates for a change. Here's hoping I find more furniture to re-love... Maybe there will be some garage sales this weekend that I can check out!

How to know if you're a hardcore DIY-er

I realized this past weekend that yes I am hardcore when it comes to DIY-ing... Or should I say upcycling? Repurposing? I think I'm pretty much lovin' all of it. How do I know this? Well here's the top 10 reasons as to why I think I'm hardcore...

Reason #1: I have nails & screws in my purse. The screws are for a chair update that needs screws to adhere the seat to the chair. As soon as I'm close to a hardware store I'm picking up the 4 screws and completing my chair update.

Reason #2: I saw these drawer pulls on a furniture update from Knack Studios and realized I am jealous of them. They are lovely! So really who else but a hardcore DIY-er would have drawer pull envy?!

Reason #3: I'm addicted to searching out inspiration via before and after posts on Better After and Design*Sponge.

Reason #4: I drop by my local thrift shops quite frequently recognizing other regulars and getting friendly with the people who work in them.

Reason #5: I seriously have a deluge of projects on the go... I'm always working on something and am always looking out for kewl pieces to work on.

Reason #6: I've kept a few of my projects but I get rid of most of them in order to make room for more projects. Once I've completed an update, it's gone in a jiffy with another one ready to go.

Reason #7: I get bored doing the same thing over and over and OVER again so I'm always on the hunt for something a bit different or challenging.

Reason #8: I seriously have people at work or friends offering me free stuff. I have a 'reputation'... Yikes! But thank god for people giving me free stuff - I LOVE my free cabinet (thanks Ian!).

Reason #9: Not too many people know what 'upcycling' is... I do! :-)

Reason #10: It's the end of March and I'm pumped about spring because... Garage sale season is gearing up!

That's my list... Anyone have any additions? Can anyone relate?


My chair update teaser

Oh what a weekend! I'm all bleary eyed from sewing today and working on my upholstery projects. I am so close to having 2 chair updates complete - it's darn exciting!

I started the weekend finishing up the pink chair update. I tweeked the paint then shabby chic-ed the finish. Once I finished up the shabby chic finish, I added a couple of coats of varathane. The chair is now ready for the reupholstered seat!

Today I cut out the green canvas and then pinned my felt flowers to the canvas. The felt flowers are a dingbat from Dafont called Saru's Flower Ding. I thought the flowers would add a fun, retro vibe to the canvas. I love the bright green canvas with the bright pink paint of the chair. Note this chair is for a little girl so I thought I could go a little crazy with the colours and design. Here's hoping I'm right!

The real time sucker on this update was the addition of the flowers to the canvas. Not sure why it took me so long but it took me awhile to sew the flowers on.

My other chair update is also nearly complete. The chair was easy enough - I sanded, I oiled and I was done. Love it!

Tonight I'm working through the upholstery. I'm using my stash of Liz Claiborne fabric. If I decide to keep this update then I can pair it with my chair update from last summer

Tomorrow's the big day - I'll have both chairs complete then I'm moving on to more chairs. Seriously I have no idea how many chairs I've updated but it's A LOT. :-)


Spring is FINALLY here!

Today was gorgeous! Lots of sunshine and a bit of warmth - the perfect day to update my newly acquired chairs.

First I sanded my $15 chair then primed it. I was able to get the first coat of my pink paint on - it's called Watermelon. Isn't it cute? Wait until I add the reupholstered seat. I have quite the colour combo/design in store for this update.


In-between priming and painting, I sanded and oiled my $10 chair. I'll tweek the finish tomorrow then focus on the reupholstery.


The sanding and oiling definitely made the wood look better. I got rid of the paint marks, gashes and the drab finish it had before.



I should have the chairs refinished this week. Hopefully I can get the reupholstery done in a jiffy! Then both are good to go.


A change of plan

I've made a couple of adjustments in my game plan these days. Things are funny that way... You go along trying this, that and the other thing then find yourself back at the beginning so to speak. I'm back to making stuff for friends and working on individual ideas... Going with what inspires me at the time. So much funner that way, isn't it?

So change of plan #1 - make things for friends for no reason other than to share the craft love. I'm gathering supplies for my Pay It Forward 2011 plan... 5 friends, 5 'surprise' projects to be completed and passed on by the end of this year. I'm working on something for Rob. We used to work together. He was one of the 5 people to comment on my Facebook page for a free handmade project. I'm making something for his daughter Taylor who is beyond cute and has so much personality. I'm excited about making her something since it'll be fun, colourful and hopefully something she likes.

My change of course is sort of inspired by a book I bought at a thrift store recently, 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life. I say sort of since I'm naturally a giver but the book gave me more food for thought. I won't bore you with the details of my 29 days of giving but some of you may experience it whether you like it or not... AKA you will be getting a gift.

Change of plan #2... I'm starting fresh on my stools and using the fabric for these chairs. I have a plan B for the stools and I think the fabric from Dream Designs will work better with these chairs.

The chairs have been refinished so I just need to remove the old fabric and add the new. I'll keep these chairs for my dining room.

Speaking of chairs, I bought 2 chairs today. I paid $15 for this one. I have an idea for it which is a teeny tiny bit crazy so I'm going ot update it then share it. The only thing I'll tell you about the update is that it will involve paint.

This chair was $10. I'm hoping that I can sand it and then just add oil.

Depending on the fabric and how the finish looks, I can hopefully bring out the details in the wood without it looking too dated. The wood is actually really nice.

I was thinking it may look good using this fabric and may make a nice partner for this chair.

Happy crafting everyone... And happy giving! So nice to share the love... :-)


Inspire, make, dream, love

My cork board series is done. Or should I say one of my cork board series is done. I have a few more in the works but for now my series - inspire, make, dream, love - is good to go!

This is an easy update if you have some cork boards you want to jazz up. The only part that is at all time consuming is creating the stencil. I used free vinyl and cut out the text with an X-Acto knife then added the vinyl cut out to the cork.

Next step was to take a sponge and some white acrylic paint then go over the stencil with the sponge...

After that you wait for the paint to dry then remove the vinyl...

Once the paint had dried, I added the screw eyes to the back...

And then added the wire...

Here's the 'inspire' cork board finished and hung on the wall.

The four updated cork boards cost me about $3 - the whole board cost $5.99 and I still have a couple of other pieces left from it! Happy stenciling/updating/re-loving... :-)


Free table update is complete

Today I finished up my latest furniture update. This week I finished painting it and added a coat of varathane. This afternoon I tweeked the finish and now it is officially done. Now I need more furniture... I really miss finding a diamond in the rough and making it gorgeous again!

The whole update cost under $5 plus my time. The table was free, I used up some of my old paint and then the drawer pulls were $1.50/each. Not bad!



I've decided to give the table away. I like the end result but have no room for another table. I'm going to see if any of my Pay It Forward 2011 victims want it. If not then I'm sure I can find a good home for it.

This weekend I also hope to get a bunch of my repurposed cork boards done. I'm also heading up to the Sunshine Coast tomorrow. I'll be dropping by my old haunt the Gibsons Recycling Depot. Here's hoping I can score some furniture, etc from the Share Shed!