Tuesday, April 16, 2013

DIY Delight

I was going to post this yesterday, but then my beautiful, beloved city was harmed and it seemed unimportant.  I am thankful that myself and my loved ones are safe.  Boston is tough and resilient, we will get through this.  Light always overcomes darkness. 

I know that it's Monday, which should mean a meal plan, but I don't really have one.  Sorry :(  I am entering a grilled cheese contest, so I have all manner of grilled cheese making supplies in my fridge right now.  I'm just going to make meals out of that stuff.  Also, my mom and sister are coming on Friday/Saturday (YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), and we will probably be going out to eat a fair amount; because of that I don't want to spend a lot of money on food that I won't eat and may just rot.  Ick.

In other news, I had a very productive weekend.  I organized some drawers, figured out why some of my dresser drawers stick (hint: because it's IKEA furniture and it wasn't put together quite right to begin with), fixed them, grilled cheesed, switched over to my sweet new domain, and recovered the dining room chairs. 

So I'm not what you'd really call handy.  I can do basic things, like plunge the toilet, but other than that, I have to Google it or call the neighbors.  Often, I do both; Google first and then get frustrated that I don't know what I'm doing and then call.  And I definitely don't do any clothing/fabric related fixing; I barley know how to iron (I own one though, I think that's a positive) and if a button falls off I either have to just leave it, wait until my mom comes next, or take it to the cleaners.  It's tragic.  However, recovering chairs is really easy.  Young House Love has a tutorial on it, which I vaguely followed.  The basic steps are as follows:

Take the cushions off
Cut the fabric to size
Staple it to the chair
Put the cushion back

Flip the chairs over and find where the cushions are screwed into the frame.  If your chairs are old like mine, expect to have to put a little bit of arm strength into this, the screws may have gotten stuck over time.  This is actually one of the most difficult parts of the project.




















After removing the cushion, measure the amount of fabric you'll need to recover, keeping in mind that you have to fold over, so make sure to leave a couple of inches around the sides for this.  Since you will be stapling it to the bottom, don't worry about perfect straight lines.  I got four cushions out of a yard of fabric.  Apparently, I also got photo-bombed by Milt.




















Because I wanted this to look fairly nice, I took the extra step of ironing the fabric before stapling.  It had been folded up in a closet for months, so the creases were pretty well set in there and I didn't want to transfer them to the chairs.  This is about the only thing I can iron, because it's flat.



















Transfer to a completely flat surface; since the cushions I have aren't that big, I used the table.  I didn't take off the old fabric for several reasons, one, it had about million staples in it per chair and I'm kind of lazy.  Also, I can't really see the old through the new, and the old wasn't terribly thick.  I think that if the existing coverage is a really heavy or dark fabric you should take a few minutes to remove it so that it's nicer.  Trim down the fabric a little more if necessary, I found it easier to get nice tight corners with less fabric.



















Now, you just have to fold over the sides, tuck, and staple.  Basically, just wrap it up like a present.  I thought it was helpful to staple one side and then flip it to make sure I'd pulled it tight enough.  If you've never used a staple gun, it's AWESOME.  However, please be careful, they don't have the number of safety features (read: no safety features whatsoever) on them that other power tools have.  Stapling your finger hurts a lot. 



















Last, and this is the hardest part, put the cushions back onto the chairs.  I found the easiest way to do this was to lay under the chair to attach the first screw, that way I didn't have to try to hold the cushion onto the chair while putting it back together.  If you have a friend with you though, it would probably be easier to just flip the chair from the start, then someone can hold the cushion.  Put a towel or sheet down before starting this; you have to apply a bit of pressure to re-attach and unless your floors are immaculate the nice new fabric will get dirty.  I totally wish I had thought of this on chair number one.




















And now you're done!!  See, that wasn't that bad, right?  You've got this.  I love my new chairs and it's a pretty cheap, easy way to update the look of a room. 

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