Posts tagged ‘recycling’

Finished Project!

Last night I completed my latest furniture project, an old chair sorely in need of refinishing, the newest member in my family of rescued chairs.

To refinish this chair, I removed the upholstered seat, sanded the wood down, and filled in the holes with wood filler. Some of the dents and holes were large so I had to apply two or three layers of wood filler. Then I sanded it down again, and wiped it clean with a wet rag. Next I applied a primer using a small foam roller.

Once the primer was completely dry, I applied my paint. I used a high gloss paint from Ace Hardware in a shade called “Wicker,” again using a small foam roller. The high gloss paint tends to be more durable for painting furniture. (From past projects, I know that there are also some specialty furniture paints at Home Depot and Lowe’s that will provide durability but are available in other finishes like satin or eggshell., if you don’t like the glossy look.) I had to give the chair two coats of paint and then did a few touch-ups to get good coverage. I made sure to let the paint dry completely in between coats.

Reupholstering a cushion like this one is very easy. I removed the old foam and fabric (yuuuuucky…) which had been nailed on. Instead of new foam or cotton batting, I used an old fleece blanket as my cushion (another upcycling success!) I cut three layers of the blanket and one piece of my upholstery fabric to a size that would cover the seat and reach around the back of the seat to a spot where I could staple it securely. I then used my staple gun to secure the blanket layers and the upholstery fabric to the seat. It’s best to start with one staple in the middle of one side, then one staple in the middle of the opposite side, and then to work your way around that way. You also need to keep checking to make sure that your fabrics are pulled tight and are not bulging anywhere.

Finally, I screwed the new cushion into place and… TA-DA! A lovely new chair. Here are the before and after shots:

chair-before-and-after.jpg

It’s hard to tell from the photo for some reason (okay, it’s because of my poor photography skills and bad lighting), but the chair was originally in much worse shape than the photo makes it look. Now it’s my new favorite chair. And did I mention I have LOTS of chairs?

…oh, no! Look who else loves my new chair already…

cat-in-chair.jpg

November 20, 2007 at 11:36 pm 4 comments

I used to be a sweater…

…and now I’m a cozy pillow.

sweater-pillow1.jpg

I just love this pillow! Recently, one of my lambswool sweaters escaped my notice and ended up in the dryer. When I pulled it out, to my great disappointment, it was really fuzzy and too small for me to wear. I didn’t want to part with it, so I made this pillow.

It was a very simple project. I used my sewing machine for most of the sewing, so it took me less than an hour to complete. I cut out two pieces of the same size and shape from my sweater, put the right sides together, pinned, and sewed all sides together (leaving about four inches open for turning and stuffing.) Then I turned it right-side out, used a pencil to pop to corners out, and stuffed it with polyfill. Then I used a whipstitch to close the opening. Knit fabrics like this are very forgiving– there’s no need to stitch perfectly, because once you pull the stitches tight you can’t even see them.

I love settling in with a book and this pillow in the evening. It’s so soft and it’s just the right size (unlike the shrunken sweater!) As the holiday season approaches, which too often becomes a time of excess, I love knowing that I made something that otherwise would have been discarded into something that will have a place in my home for a long time to come.

November 19, 2007 at 8:42 pm 3 comments

The Save a Chair Foundation

I have a thing for chairs–old, lonely woebegone chairs, sitting on the curb wondering what fate awaits then when the garbage truck rounds the corner. I don’t really need any more chairs, but I keep rescuing them. I see them sitting next to the old mattresses, broken lamps and pizza boxes, full of promise, each with something special about it that its former owner failed to notice or forgot all about when the new dining set arrived from Bernie and Phyl’s.

All I have to share today is a picture of my latest find. This is the “before” photo– I’ll post the “after” photo when it’s finished. In the meantime, you can see another chair I rescued in my last post. This one is a little rougher-looking than the picture reveals, but it will get a fresh coat of paint, a softer cushion, and some snazzy new upholstery. It too will find its place at my table of adopted chairs. The next time you take a walk on garbage day, won’t you save a chair too?

2007_11_12_beforechair.jpg

November 12, 2007 at 5:59 pm 1 comment


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