Custom Pieces

Hi All!  Here are a few custom pieces I recently finished.  These items were either brought in to recover or they were ordered from items in stock.

Vintage Wicker Chest (this item is the only thing in this post I have for sale):

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AFTER

 

Antique Chair – Bird Chair (customer painted; I took it part and recovered):

BEFORE

AFTER

Antique Vanity – makeover (featuring French stenciled top and drawer sides with raised stencil sides and drawer front).

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AFTER

 

AFTERChest of Drawers – reinforced drawer bottoms, painted, distressed, and new hardware

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AFTER

Chair – full upholstery (this chair will be used as a companion piece for the “bird” chair above.  I cannot wait to see them together in the client’s home.

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AFTER

 

 

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Getting There!

Hi All!

Just a quick update to let you know we are up and running.  The store part of the shop is not really ready to open but I am cranking out custom furniture as fast as I can.

I am in the shop most weekdays after 4 PM and on weekends by appointment.

Here is the outside of the shop so far.  We still have to add some skirting and do a bit of landscaping but the 100 degree Louisiana summer is not the time of year to tackle landscaping.

Be sure to stop by and say hi!  You may just find that perfect accent for your home or a piece of furniture to me to customize for your space.

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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)

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Fruit Sacks?

I lucked up on the vintage (possible antique) chair for sell by a friend on a social media site.  I immediately knew I had to have it.

I brought it home and started to work as soon as I could.  I was so pumped with the French trunk make-over that I had to keep the momentum going.

I always start by removing layers.  It is a painstaking process because you have to pay close attention to how things come apart so you will know how to put them back together.

The fabric was dry rotted and damaged and I could tell I was not the first to reupholster the chair.  I removed the layers one by one…

 

As you can see, it was quite a treasure trove of goodies underneath those back layers. YES! that is a fruit sack (well, 2 fruit sacks)!  The other is a combination for burlap, cotton, and straw.

 

Next, I had to tackle the seat cushion.  It was easily removed as a separate unit so it made it very easy to work with.  I followed the same technique, removing layers of old rotten fabric, burlap, raw cotton, and nails (oh, the nails).

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Once I removed all of the layers in the seat cushion and back, I wiped everything down with a damp cloth and peroxide.  I read somewhere that peroxides helps to break down dead skin cells and bodily fluids to help disinfect before the reupholstery process.

Then it was off to the shop to play with the air tools.  I use a pneumatic staple gun to reupholster.  It makes it some much easier.  Be sure to adjust your air so your staples to not go all the way through your fabric.

 

 

 

Once I had reinforces the back the new burlap and foam, I covered them my fabric and moved to the seat cushion.

I re-wrapped springs, covered with scrap fabric, added 2 types of foam and added another layer of scrap fabric over the foam for reinforcement and stability.  Next, I sewed cording to out of the fabric and sewed the cushion sides to the top so I could stretch over the seat cushion and staple into place.

The outcome is lovely.

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New Life to Garage Sale Trunk

A few years ago I ran across an old trunk at a garage sale with intentions to reattach the missing hardware and use it as a conversation piece in my living room.  Once I got it home, it ended up in my walk-in closet storing Christmas decorations.

When I moved into my new house, I stored it in the garage only to discover later that the cane had been ripped off the back.  So I had to make a decision; Throw it out or reinvent the whole trunk.

Once I decided to restore the trunk and resell the finished product in my Flea Market booth, I discovered the front was completely caved in so I had to replace the front and pretty much start from scratch.  Which really wasn’t a bad thing.  It gave the trunk a renewed stability so I had a good foundation to work with .

I recovered the trunk with batting and finished off with a nice French-print fabric.  The blue fabric for the lining was a great finishing touch.

I ended up using new hardware as some of the original pieces were missing.

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

Oh, the trunk only lasted for about 3 hours in my booth before someone scarfed it up.

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Before the work began. You can see some water damage on the bottom of the cane front.
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The damaged cane after being stored in various places before I started the makeover.
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The batting being added.
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The beginning stages of adding the French-print fabric.
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The finished product!
Trunk inside
Interior lining.

 

 

The $25 Sofa

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 $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!