Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Free Dining room chairs reupholstered

Dumpster Diving....Curb Alert....Bulk Trash....
All these terms might make some ashamed, but for others, it's a chance to get free stuff.  In this case, my "new" free chairs fell under the heading of Curb Alert.  An ad was placed for a curb alert for some items near me.  By the time I got there, the items I was after were already taken but there were dining room chairs in desparate need of a second chance.  They were very dirty and the seats were covered in pet hair, but I saw the potential.  So into the back of my SUV they went for a second chance at usefulness.  Afterall, they couldn't be worse than the spare folding chairs we would pull out at the holidays to make seating for the extra people.

My husband has learned to see the potential in the stray furniture I bring home.  Or at least he pretends to see, trusting that I can see it even if he can't.  So here's the before pictures. 
Nice black iron and wood for a sturdy chair
Ewwww!  There was so much pet hair that the elephant pattern was barely visible.
Once the seat was removed, I got a bucket of cleaner and hosed down the chair.  After that was cleaned, I moved on to the task of removing the old fabric and cushioning.  Normally, I would save the foam if the chair had been ours, but who knows what lurked inside this foam. 
After all was removed from the wood board, I added new high density foam (40% off from JoAnn's) and the batting (also 40% off from JoAnn's) with spray adhesive and a staple gun.  Once ready for the fabric, I picked new upholstery fabric that was also 50% off.  Gotta love sales!  Here's the finished chair and seat.  The two new chairs will go at the heads of the table.

Monday, August 20, 2012

DIY Deck Makeover/Redo

This Summer we're celebrating 9 years in our house.  Over the years, we've made several changes to the house as well as the backyard.  However, nothing has undergone more "touchups" and "redos" than our backyard deck.  In an attempt to modernize it and make it more appealing, we've tried several steps along the way.  Finally, this past Spring, the deck was looking so drab that we thought about ripping the whole thing out and laying stone on top of the concrete slab underneath.  It was very tempting until it was pointed out to us how much a pergola costs and how everything was still structurally sound.  So back to the drawing board we went.   Here's a picture of the deck from 2003.
Over the years, we yanked out the wrap-around benches, added a privacy screen to hide the heat pump, and tried several shades of stain.  Meanwhile, those tiny black-eyed susans grew to overtake the bed.  The only thing stopping them were the daylillies anchoring the corners that filled in even more.  It was a jungle and a half! 

So my husband added a box step (which you can click here to see step-by-step instructions in my other blog).  And I ripped out the ugly wood edging to replace it with brick (which you can see here in my other blog).  The final step was to get the old wood powerwashed and stained.  And TA-DA!  Here's the deck today!

Here's some other angles.

And on a sunnier day

And with that, we're finally finished trying to "fix" the deck. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Reusing Old Christmas Cards

a sample of cards
If you're anything like me, piles of craft supplies and half-finished projects multiply during the off-season.  The off-season, as I like to call it, is Summer.  This is the time of year when the kids are off from school and it's almost impossible to do a project.  Sadly, the pile containing the Christmas cards had sat long before school ever let out in June.  Truthfully, they got buried and forgotten.  The good news is, if you're like me, this is the perfect time to dig out those cards and reuse them!  Who wants to be making cards in the middle of December during the height of shopping and entertaining?

Along with cutting them into gifttags, you can also make them into this year's Christmas cards!  It was at this time last year that I found a bulk pack of blank green cards with envelopes at 80% off.  Afterall, who's buying Christmas stuff in August?  The project is simple.  If it had a rating, it would be marked "super beginner". 

Just cut off the front of the card in it's entirety, or just the portion of the picture you want.  Then tape, glue, sticky-dot, or however you want to adhere it to the front of the new blank card.  You can proceed to stamp or handwrite "Merry Christmas" inside the card.  However, I like to leave them blank.  This way they can be used as thank you cards for teachers or general holiday cards for others.  Don't throw those cards out.  There's a second chance for them to bless again.