One of the projects we have started is taking apart a chair. Neither of us have done much upholstering, but this chair was too good to pass up. After cramming it in to our tiny car, we got started pulling staples out. The plan is to take apart the chair piece by piece, cut new fabric pieces using the old ones as a template, and put the chair back together. The chair cost $9.99 at Goodwill, and we found several yards of fabric at goodwill for $5.99. Total investment so far is about $16.

Here is what the chair looked like initially:

We love this chair for it’s shape and of course the awesome buttons. Once we got the chair home, the staple-pulling began. Lots. and lots. of staples. We started pulling off layers of fabric, batting, and cardboard support. The piping came off and we stripped it down to the core frame, burlap support, and usable foam.

The batting scraps have gone in to our suet feeder to help birds with nesting. The fabric pieces we’ve carefully taken apart so that we can begin cutting our new pattern.

Since this is an on-going project that we have not yet completed, we will post updates along the way. The next step is to cut out the fabric, acquire new batting, and re-cover the buttons pulled out of the chair. Then the re-assembly can start!

Light switch covers

March 30, 2011

This is a quick and easy project if you’re looking to spice up a room without a lot of money or commitment. We’re in the process of transforming all of our boring, white/cream outlet covers, which really don’t match the paint anyway, into something more fun. We’re not afraid of color, so some of our paint is pretty intense, and the boring outlets really stood out as an ugly sore thumb. So now we have these:Downstairs bathroom outlet

The method for making these is really simple. You get some craft or scrapbook paper that has a pattern that you like, and trace your outlet cover with about a quarter inch extra on every side.

Downstairs bathroom light switchThen, using decoupage paste or something similar, you glue the paper to the flat part of the cover. You’ll have to cut tiny diagonal slits in the corners to fit the curved edges of the plates. Once your paper is firmly glued to the flat part of the plate, and your slits are cut, glue down the sides, one at a time. You should still have a little overhang from the extra you gave yourself earlier.

Bedroom Light switch

You may have to hold each side for a minute to let your glue set up. The heavier your paper was, the longer you’ll have to hold at this step. Once your glue is all the way dry, you can go back and trim your edges flush with the plates. This is also the time to cut out the hold for the light switch or the outlets, and poke through to your screw holes with an xacto knife.

Bedroom outletOnce you’re done trimming cover the entire front of your plate with decoupage paste or some kind of finishing/sealing product. This is important because it makes your plates more durable and less likely to get dirty. Especially with the light switches, where people are constantly touching that area.

Bathroom switchesThen you’re done! Hang your plates back up and enjoy your little splashes of color. If you’re renting, or just unwilling to commit, we replaced some of our covers at the Habitat for Humanity Re-store, a thrift store that supports Habitat for Humanity by selling building materials for about $o.50 each. We probably spent about $10 on scrapbooking paper at a nice scrapbooking store. This is a project that has had a ton of impact in our house, all for a grand total of about $12!