Lace Tabletop

I scored this cute little table at an auction.  At first glance it looked perfect so I was excited to get it for such a steal.

However, once we got it home we discovered it had a small nail-hole in the top.  My husband removed the nails and noticed the piece was engineered in such a way that the legs would just slip into slots and become extremely sturdy without the need of fasteners of any kind.

After he put the table back together, I had the (more) difficult task of choosing a paint color.  I opted for a blue-green chalk paint (I added Plaster of Paris and water to make my own).  Although, I was happy with the color, something was missing… AND there was still a hole in the top.  So I dug through my stash of linens and found an old tattered lace table cloth.

I placed the tablecloth on the table, centering the design as much as possible and spray painted it with white paint.  Using a smaller cloth I repeated the process on the lower level of the table.  After the paint was dry, I sanded, lightly distressed, and waxed the entire piece.  This technique helps to hide the small hole as it just blends in with the rest of the distressed look.

I hope you like the outcome as much as I do.


Vanity Update – update

After much searching and nearly two years of work (and procrastination), we finally have a finished vanity.

If you missed the BEFORE, you can check it out below, or visit the “Vanity Update” link for the full transformation journey.

It took some time to find the perfect mirror as the original dresser did not have one.  I was actually torn between two different ones but ended up with the one below and I am quite happy with the finished product.


Project Update

Over the past few months, I have worked on a few projects for my booth.  Here are a few before and after photos.  Thankfully most have already sold but the blue table is still available.

A Couch to Swoon For!

via Daily Prompt: Paint

A few months ago I found this swan fainting couch for a mere $20.  I loved the fact that it was a fainting sofa and that it was so inexpensive so I jumped at the chance to make it something more.


It had some damage; an angry cat and a wobbly let but, all-in-all, it was sturdy and fixable.


We started by taking the entire piece apart.  We always work carefully and take a lot of pictures so we will know how it goes back together.

My initial hope was to strip the finish and bring out the natural wood and reupholster with a light colored fabric.  However, when we tried to strip the finish it was nearly impenetrable.

We tried several techniques and products but eventually gave up.  The wood under the finished was very usual and would not take stain well so we stopped working in the couch and started some other projects.

Finally, after a few months of research, I decided to go ahead and paint the couch.  I am not a fan of painting furniture but this had to be an exception as the wood was nothing that would take a stain or could even be treated to preserve the natural look.  (I am thinking it is made of Poplar).

I started by cleaning out all of the little nooks and crannies and wiping down to remove any dust and grime.  Next, I primed each piece with Kilz.

Once I added a couple of coats of paint, it was time I took the piece inside so I could add the finishing touches.  Even though it may seem less practical, I like to do the detail work in my house.  My shop tends to be dusty and I hated to risk messing up the white finish.


I decided to go with an antiquing glaze instead of distressing by sanding (not a fan as it tends to damage the wood).

This was my first large project with the glaze and I was very pleased.  Just look at the detail!

Next, it was time to add the seating.  Since the original board under the foam was broken, we chose to cut a new piece of plywood for a nice sturdy seat.

We were able to reuse most of the original foam.  I used the original fabric for a pattern and began the task of rebuilding.


It took some time and much “discussion” over the correct way to add the seating but we finally agreed to disagree and did the best we could.

I have a few more staples to add and the trim but it looks like it will be a beautiful piece.

TA DA!!!!  Finally Finished!  (now to get it sold)



Nana’s Yellow Table

It must be something about owning a yellow house.  Everything yellow seems to catch my eye.

When I found this table in my mother’s house after she passed away I thought it was too cute to throw out so I decided to take it home and show it some love.

I started by taking it completely apart and sanding it down.  Some of the dowel rods with missing in the rack so I had to purchase and cut new ones to fill in the gaps.

Then I applied 2 coats of white paint and put it back together.


Once the table was back together, I had to start working on the top.  There was a hole in the top where a lamp was once attached so I to seal the hole with wood filler and paint over it.

A few months ago I ran across a table online that had been tiled using old broken china.  I loved the look and set our to find the perfect pink plates to do something similar.  However, I never was able to find the right plates for the job; or to complete the look I had in my head.

While garage sale shopping with my girlfriend, I stumbled upon a set of 10 plates for $3.  I initially passed them up but finally decided I could not pass up a $3 deal… surely, I would find SOMETHING  to do with 10 daisy plates.

Eventually I got impatient and decided to forgo the pink table top and opted to use the yellow daisy plates for my little magazine table.


I carefully cut each piece and laid it out on my work space so the pattern would line up.  After I was sure I had enough tiles cut, I placed them on the table top to see exactly how I wanted it to look.  (please be sure to wear gloves and safety glasses)

Once I had it all laid out like I wanted it, I used tile adhesive to attach each piece to the table top.  You can do this a couple of ways:  you can spread the adhesive on the full table using a tile trowel or you and do like I did and put the adhesive on each individual piece and lay them one at a time.

The reason I chose to do it that was is because all of the pieces were different widths and shapes and it was nearly impossible to get them even.

I let the adhesive dry overnight and added non-sanded grout the next day and let that dry overnight.  The next day, I sealed the grout with grout sealer.

I had initially thought about leaving the table while but the yellow daisies seem to get lost in the white table so I decided to paint the table yellow and add a light brown glaze to bring out the golden brown tones of the daisy petals.

Finally, it was time to add a coat of poly.  I always try to use poly just to add extra durability.  The last thing you want it for your paint to chip away.

Table after

I am very happy with the way it turned out.

Ooh La La

Like many of my projects, I found this old trunk at a garage sale and knew I wanted to do something with it.  It was spray painted with an ugly gold paint over some sort of melted lettering, “Daddy’s work shoes”.

For the first few years, I stored Christmas decorations in it and just forgot about it.  Finally, I decided it was time to do something with the pitiful trunk.

The first thing I had to do was strip the horrible paint off and try to remove the melted lettering.  Initially, I thought it was hot glue but it turned out to be some kind of blue and red melted rubber that came off relatively easily with the paint thinner.

Next, I cleaned the inside.  I tore out all of the paper lining and vacuumed to remove any loose debris.

I decided to paint it an off white and try my hand at distressing.  I am not much for distressing furniture but, as you can tell from the pictures, it was already pretty distressed.

I just do not see the point in sanding and banging up perfectly good furniture to make it look old.  I am trying to come around to this new trend and try to make things others will like so I thought I would give it a shot and enhance the dings and scuffs already present.  After all, if I plan on ever making any money at this, I have to be able to set out of my comfort zone.

I sprayed one coat of primer before adding 2 coats of the off-white then lightly sanded the outside around corners and edges.

Next I broke out a stencil I had purchased and stenciled the top and front of the trunk. After the stencil dried for 24 hours I distressed a little more and added a coat of matte poly to give it a little protection.

The lining was a nice pink fabric I had on hand and I trimmed the lining with a taupe gimp to give it a more finished look and added durability.


trunk lining

It has now found it’s temporary home in my booth at a local flea market.




The $25 Sofa (The Finale)

Well,  I am happy to report the sofa in 98% complete!  I still want to over-stuff the cushions as I am not completely satisfied with the way they turned out.

Yesterday’s tasks consisted of completing the back cushion, adding trim, and additional work on the seat cushions.

The back wasn’t too difficult.  Once I decided on a plan of attack, it went pretty smoothly.  I decided NOT to replace the tufting.  I kept the buttons from the original piece but they would have to be recovered in matching fabric and I would probably have a hard time getting them back in the correct place.

Once the back was secured to the frame I added the cord trim.   I have a few minor burns (they call it hot glue for a reason) but I am thrilled with the finished product.

The cushions still need a bit more “fluff” but I have plenty of time to figure that out.  I may rub a little Tung Oil finish into the wood to give it a little more depth.  I also plan to make a few bolster and throw pillows in a coordinating french print fabric (Ooh la la).

All in all, I am very pleased with my first upholstery project.  I think it will look great in my daughter’s Austin apartment; and if it doesn’t I know the perfect spot for it.

I apologize for the poor quality of the photos.  I really do not feel they do the piece justice.

Thanks for tagging along.

Now on to the next project….

Before adding the back and over-stuffing the cushions

Before and after; not the best representation of either.
                A few close-ups of trim work.



The $25 Sofa (and sew it begins)

Happy Monday, everyone!

I am happy to report that much progress was made on the $25 sofa this weekend.  I admit, I was hoping to post pictures of a completed project but, as it turns out, this reupholstering business is HARD work.  Especially, for someone who did not have a clue how to even begin.

My Saturday goal was to get as much of the base done as possible so I could work on cushions Sunday.

I was able to stain the frame Friday night.  Unfortunately, it was still a little tacky Saturday morning when I got started but I was determined to move forward.

I began by covering the springs with burlap to give it a nice surface to work with; kind of like a painter’s canvas.  I used a pneumatic staple gun to staple to burlap to the wood frame. (If you plan to do any type of reupholstering PLEASE invest in one of these.  I cannot even image trying to do this job with a manual staple gun.)

Next, I place batting and foam on the arms.  This was the last item I pulled off of the original sofa so this is where I decided to begin.  This was also the most difficult as it took a lot of finesse (I would call it finagling) to get the coverage, smoothness, AND to hide the staples.

Once the arms were done, it was on to the seat.  The first thing to do is cushion the front edge-rail.  This is where the bend of your knees rest when you sit down.  The cushions will cover this area so it is also used to help keep the cushions in place (a lip, of sorts).

I was able to find a really cute french print fabric for the finish fabric.  This fabric is sewn to the main fabric and will not be seen unless the cushions are removed.  I stapled the main fabric to the front rail, pulling the finish fabric (sewn to the main fabric) tight over the burlap and stapling it to the back rail.
This entire process (burlap, arms, and seat) took about 8 hours; I did stop long enough to eat a bite but it was pretty much non-stop for most of the day.

Since Saturday was my husband’s birthday, I decided to break at 4:00 so we could do a little celebrating.

Sunday Seating

Well, this is the day I have been dreading.  I have never made seat cushions before.  I have a wonderful, brand new sewing machine my husband bought me for our first Christmas, three years ago, but have never really used it.  I LOVE to sew but, in all honesty, I have to admit the new machine scared the bejesus out of me.  I have always used an old, second-hand, Plain Jane sewing machine.  This new, fancy machine has all of the bells and whistles and is completely computerized.  EEEEK!
I sat down, drug out the instruction manual and started the process of switching out the pressure foot to begin sewing the welting.  Again, something new for me.  I guesstimated how much welting I would need and began the task of cutting 2-in strips of fabric.  I did not want to buy a lot of cotton cord for the welt so I decided to use a trick I found online; I used jute string, instead.  Now, I know what you are thinking, “JUTE?”.  Yes, Jute!  This $25 sofa has already reached my budget and I am making this for my daughter, NOT for a customer paying for a brand new customized piece of furniture.  I don’t mean to be rude but I have been so hard on myself that I just have to keep reminding myself of that very fact.  I would drive myself crazy trying to get it perfect if I didn’t.
At any rate, I ended up with WAY to much welt (about twice as much as I needed).  Hopefully I can put it to use on a few throw pillows.
I was able to take one of the original cushions apart (GROSS) to use for a pattern for the new cushions.  It took me the entire day to finish the cushions.  I still have a LOT of tweaking to do.  I ended up with way to much fabric in my cushion covers so now I have to over-stuff them to get them tight enough.  I just don’t have the heart to tear them all apart and make them smaller.  Besides, I think they need a little more “oomph” anyway.
The photos below do NOT show the cushions.  Frankly, I am a little ashamed of them at this point; however, I will try to post a few pictures tomorrow if I get them stuffed the way I want and IF I can get the back finished.
I hope you enjoy seeing the progress thus far.  I am completely thrilled with the way it is coming along.
The frame!  This is where deconstruction ended and construction began.
Front center leg after Jacobean stain was applied
My amazing Pneumatic staple-gun!  LOVE!


After burlap applied and one arm covered in batting.
Both arms covered and bottom batting applied (with edge-roll).
After front rail covered and finish fabric secured.


A better look at one arm and the finish/front rail fabric.


The inside of the original cushion cover.
The nasty, wet, mildew cushion cover.  The entire sofa was like this.
Let the sewing begin… sewing the 999 feet of welting.


The $25 Sofa (phase II)

HELLO, Friday!

It is finally Friday; what better time to update everyone on the SOFA project.  After further investigation, I decided to take everything down to the frame.  The original upholstery/fabric was wet and dry-rotted, as was the cotton cushioning.  There was nothing left of the foam (if that was even what it was to start with)…. I only found orange dust where SOMETHING used to be.

A few days ago I was able to pull off everything except the arm coverings (held in place by too many staples) and burlap.  I was hoping to salvage the burlap.

As it turned out, the burlap was rotten, as well. SOOO when I got off work yesterday, I tackled the job of removing the arm coverings, burlap, and the 20 million staples that held it all in place.  I was also able to sand and clean the wood.  Since the sofa had been stored outside for indeterminable amount of time, I took a chance and wiped the entire frame down with Hydrogen Peroxide.  I read, on one of the many furniture blogs, that it kills bacteria; mold and mildew; and breaks down human waste matter (blood, dead skin cells, urine, etc.)  All in all, it took about 7 hours.  Of course that does not include the time it took to remove the initial fabric and cushioning.

The only thing left now is the wood frame and the metal zigzag springs, which all seem to be in great shape (considering).

This afternoon, I plan to start staining the wood and replacing the burlap.  My girlfriend and I will start the cushioning and covering process tomorrow, with the hopes of completing everything except the 2 loose cushions by Sunday evening.

The Fabric

I was able to make it to Hancock Fabric before their after Christmas sale ended.  I found a very nice, plush, polyester fabric in Asian Bisque; 7-8 yards on a blot for half price and additional 6 yards on the remnant table for $5 per yard (regular price $25 per yard).  I also purchased 10 yards of batting and a spool of trim.  I was able to use an additional 20% off coupon which put my total at $140.55.  I realize I will have to spend a little more to get the look I want; especially since I now have to purchase burlap.  Fortunately I already have some thick foam for the 2 separate cushions; now I only have to buy the thin foam to bind it all together.

It’s Personal

I started all of this to find my daughter a nice inexpensive sofa for her small apartment to complement her taste.

As soon and my husband and a co-worker saw the sofa they gave me a very hard time.  They told me they lady should have paid me $25 to haul it off.  In their opinion I am out $50, instead of $25 (wink).

Of course, now I have something to prove.  I have never reupholstered any in my life; other than recover a couple of seat cushions.  This has definitely turned into a huge project.  With only a frame left of the original sofa, I now have to replace burlap to give it a sturdy surface, replace batting, cover with foam and fabric and replace the trim… and did I mention, refinish the wood and make 2 cushions?  Yes, I may have bitten off more than I can chew but I am determined to prove everyone wrong.  NOW… It’s personal 🙂

Some of the deconstruction phase:


The dreaded arm rest cushion – so many stable underneath.


Down to the burlap – still very wet with some cotton left.
After removing the cloth – this shows the cotton placing.


A good look at the zigzag springs in the back before removing the burlap.


The $25 Sofa

Greetings!  It has been a couple of days since I made a post but I have been fighting a sinus infection.  I feel so much better today but that could change once I tackle my next job.

My 23 year-old daughter recently relocated to Austin, Texas.  She started her first “big girl” job and will move into an apartment next month.  I am in the process of updating some furniture for her new (very small) place.

She has requested all items be refinished in a Jacobean stain, as she really likes the look of the darker, richer tones.  She also loves anything “Audrey” and “French”.

I have picked up several pieces over the course of the past several months:  a dresser, a vanity, a bistro table and chairs…. and NOW the sofa.

I think I paid $20 for the dresser; $40 for the vanity, and she purchased the bistro set for about $75.  I am not going to re-do the bistro set at this time as it is already dark and appears to be in pretty good shape.

We have stripped the dresser and started the staining process; have started stripping the vanity but it has a lot of nooks and crannies and had a layer of white paint over a layer of pink paint and has become a HUGE undertaking.

NOW the sofa.  I spotted an antique, French Provincial sofa on Craigslist for $25.  It looked pretty rough but the bones appeared to look pretty good in the picture.  However, when I arrived to pick it up, I discovered it had been stored outdoors, under a tarp.  The tarp had not done much to protect the fabric and cushions but I decided to get it anyway… It was only $25, right?!

I got it home last night and took the following pictures, before deciding to begin tearing off the dry-rotted fabric.

I hope the next pictures will be of a beautiful sofa; of course, I will try to take pictures of the re-do process..  Oh, did  mention that I have NEVER reupholstered ANYTHING in my life?

Wish me luck!