Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Annie, get your staple gun!

The sun has finally arrived for more than a single day here in Seattle. Now is the time for those projects that are best accomplished outside of the confines of a modest indoor workspace. ‘Tis the season to renovate, reupholster or recycle that old desk, foot stool or summer garment that’s remained in the closet for more than a couple seasons.

This is my favorite time to peruse Craigslist for unexpected gems and basic pieces. I’ve been in a mode of sorting and selling via Craigslist and Ebay. I love buying used furniture that I can repurpose or just spiffy up a bit to suit my taste, or that of my kids. Yesterday, I picked up some great barstools for my girls to used at their “new” (another Craigslist find) craft table. The stools have definitely been well-used, but they are super sturdy and just what we need AND only $10. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve sold a pair of Cydwoq sandals, Mary Jane style clogs (auction ends today), a 5-tier shelving unit, and a children’s table with 2 chairs. Today, I listed 2 dining chairs for sale. Last month, we sold 2 car-seats, and I gave away a booster seat and tricycle last week; all via Craigslist. The people involved have all be lovely.

Recently, Etsy spotlighted Spruce Home with this great reupholstering video. I covet this chair at Spruce Home! I do prefer to buy my furniture locally, but if it happened that I knew someone who just happened to be passing through Austin on a road trip, and this friend happened to have extra space for a gorgeous armchair and happened to be coming close to Seattle... You get the gist.

sorry - can't seem to get full view of the video screen with my blogger format

Last summer, I reupholstered a chair. It was my first and only experience tearing down a piece of furniture to it’s springs, adding new jute webbing & burlap covering, replacing crusty old cushioning and reupholstering it all. It’s a small chair that fits (size wise) just about any place. Some of the pictures are fairy poor quality, but you’ll get the gift. The chair I began with - yep, a Craigslist find - was charming. The crusty, smelly upholstery and less-than-pleasant cushioning was not. It took about 3 hours to tear it down, as every little staple and tack had to be removed. Now that I have the proper tools, the tear down process will be quicker next time. I used the old upholstery once removed as an approximate pattern. I had never done welting, let alone covered buttons for a tufted back. Still, it turned out great. This is about the sequence, with several steps missing as I am terrible about documenting any projects.


In process (I had already re-webbed & covered w/burlap)

After (definitely need an "after" shot in it's living room setting)

So, go through your stuff. All that stuff! If you’re not using it sell it, trade it, give it away. Last summer we replaced our den sofa. Ours went to a young neighbor in need of a sofa-bed. The new one has seen a lot of use, but I think it’s just about perfect. The worn leather will continue to age gracefully. Well, baring too many cat claws or pen marks. We also found our daughter an antique desk which my husband and I refinished as a sort of joint project. Now I’m eyeing a great desk for our younger daughter. Sadly, it’s a ferry ride away and will likely be snapped up quickly. Hmm. Maybe I know someone, who knows someone who...

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