Chairs for Two

Yard sales and thrift stores are great places to find really cheap furniture if you are on a budget or just like re-purposing furniture.  Unless you get lucky, most of the furniture you will find in these places is not you usual high quality and attractive furniture.  That is why you have to be able to see the diamond in the rough and think of ways to improve upon the things you find.

These are two chairs I found at a thrift store in my hometown.  This lovely set of two chairs cost me $30.  There is no way I would ever put these chairs as is in my house so I had to find a way to make them look as if I had just bought them from some cute boutique store.

Original Thrift Store Chairs

Original Thrift Store Chairs

The next step was to find some fabric to cover the chairs.  I went to our local fabric store and picked out a fabric that went with the drapes in my living room.  Then I began to recover the chairs.

Recovering furniture can be tricky, but if you start with a plan and lay everything out before you cut the fabric, you will save a lot of time and money.  Trust me, the worst feeling is having to go back to the fabric store because you messed up, made a wrong cut and now need more fabric.  (If this happens, keep trying.  Remember this is a learning experience and it will get easier the more you do it.  Have a LTL attitude.)

Step 1: Cover the backs. For this, I place the fabric inside out on the chair laying the piece of fabric over the back.  Then I pinned the fabric along both side where the seem was going to be.  I then trace a sew line with chalk to follow when I sewed the seem.  (I find it easier to draw chalk lines so you have a seem to follow.)  Next I took the pinned back cover off and sewed them.  I did have to rip out a few seems and redo them, but once I got the hang of it, it went pretty quickly.  I made these very much in the say way you would sew a pillow case.

Back covers have been sewn and put on chairs

Back covers have been sewn and put on chairs

Step 2: Add additional cushion and apply seat coverings.  This part was much easier than the back coverings.  I bought batting to add underneath the seat covers for more cushion.  Batting can be found at your local craft store in the sewing section.  Next I cut a square piece of fabric big enough to cover the seat and hang down 3″-4″ on each side except the back.  I then pinned the seat cover to the back cover and sewed along the back edge to connect the two pieces.  I then used a staple gun to attached the fabric to the bottom of the chair.  I had to get creative at the corners and cut and folded the fabric to go around the legs.

Finished Chair

Finished Chair

And the chair is done!  I repeated the steps for the other chair.  I am very pleased with how they turned out.  They were good chairs to start with.  All they needed was a new fabric covering and they look brand new.  The total project cost about $45 for the chairs, fabric and batting.

Chair 04

Chair 03

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Opening the Door to a New World

Of crafting that is.  This is one of the first major project I attempted after moving into my townhouse.  I got an idea to turn an old, wooden door into a full length mirror.  Only problem: I needed a door.

One rainy Saturday morning, I decided to go antique shopping and look for just the right door.  I stumbled into Cedar Street Antiques and began to look around.  I didn’t see any doors but they had several other interesting antiques.  When I went to check out the owner’s asked me if I had found everything I was looking for.  I told them no and that I had been looking for an old door for a craft project.  To my surprise, he said that he had something out back that just might work…

Original Door

Original Door

That was it.  I had found the door I was looking for.  he told me that it came off of his grandfathers old store in Bremen.  They were doing some restoration work to it but decided that the door was too damaged to use.  I worked out a deal with him to get the door for $30 plus delivery to my house. (It was way too long to fit in the back of my Jeep.)

Getting Ready To Sand

Getting Ready To Sand

Partially Sanded Door

Partially Sanded Door

After getting the 50lbs door to my house. I sanded the door with different grated sand paper, starting with a coarser grade and moving to finer grades.  Now this took quite some time since I decided to sand it by hand not to take off too much of the original paint.  I sanded the door enough to knock off any loose paint and to create a smooth surface.

The next step was to visit my local glass shop where they were able to cut mirrors to fit into the panels of the door.  I then used Mirror Mastic Adhesive to attach the mirror to the door.  I then laid lots and lots of books on top of the mirrors to make sure the adhesive set properly so the mirror would not fall off.

Mirror Mastic Adhesive

Mirror Mastic Adhesive

Once the mirrors were on the door, all that was left was to put on the finishing touches.  I picked up a few decorative hooks from Anthropologie so that I could hang jewelry.  I also painted the door using a sponge stencil to create the look of flowers.  And…

Finished Door Mirror

Finished Door Mirror

Finished Door Mirror

Finished Door Mirror

Finished Door Mirror

Finished Door Mirror

Finished!!!

I am pretty proud of my new full length mirror.

P.S. you will notice that the bottom two mirrors have cracked since I have stated using it.  I am not sure what happened, but I am planning on peeling them off and replacing them one of these days.  So look for another post…