Monday, June 27, 2011

PROJECT: Refinished Entryway Bench

Hello all! My apologies for my absence but I have had a busy few weeks because this Saturday I will be moving to Birmingham, AL for graduate school! I will be moving into a beautiful historic apartment and I am going to spend the next several months decorating it. This decorating process will be dominating my blog and a lot of my projects will consist of refinishing furniture so this post is a little teaser for y'all.

Last week I visited my father in Atlanta and seeing an awesome old bench (once belonging to my great grandmother) that was looking to be refinished, I jumped at the opportunity. After a day of fun family work here is how it turned out.

This redo was super easy so I will walk you through the steps in case you have a piece you need to breathe some new life into.

We started out with a piece that had great bones but a well used (read: somewhat nasty) seat.

First step was to pop off the seat. For this piece we just had to remove 4 screws from the bottom (make sure to keep these for putting the piece back together at the end).

We continued the demolition by removing the upholstery nails which hold the fabric and batting down.

We then proceeded to sand the wood bench and then spray it with a few coats of primer and burgundy spray paint. Between coats we reupholstered the seat.

Cut the fabric (I scored some awesome dandelion decor fabric for 50% off at the local Hancock Fabrics) a few inches wider than the plywood base. I added one layer of foam padding between the fabric and the plywood base for just a little cushion.

We then pulled the fabric around to the bottom of the board and stapled. To see this done before, check out when I did an upholstered headboard.

Now back to the bench. After the paint dried I did some distressing. I used medium to fine sand paper and tried to focus on spots that would naturally get the most wear (extra sanding on the corners but leave the insides be)

Lastly I just flipped the piece over on top of the seat and screwed it back on. Thank you to my father and Denise (who loved the end result) for giving me free reign to redo their bench and to my bf for helping out with the transformation. What do y'all think of the final results?

Do you have some furniture refinishing projects to do this summer? Would you like to come help us with all ours?


Friday, June 3, 2011

PROJECT: iPad Sleeve

My most recent project to share with y'all is a padded sleeve for my iPad. Let me start by saying I am only lucky enough to have one of these because my mother was given two by her research group and since I am also employed by this group, she has let me adopt one as my own. I have come to enjoy my little toy and wanted to make (as opposed to buy of course) some kind of padded sleeve to keep it protected when in my purse or bag. Here is my finished product; keep reading to see the oh-so-easy tutorial to make your own.

All I used for this project was 4 pieces of fabric (I cut each one 10" x 12" to have room for seam allowances but still fit my iPad nice and snug), some craft batting for padding, and your normal sewing tools (machine, matching thread, etc). For my design I wanted a pocket type structure with no top that was snug enough that it wouldn't slip out. I also wanted to try and do a french seam so I wouldn't have any exposed seams but I am not sure it was worth it. Below are my fabric pieces. For the outside I used a hand painted batik fabric that I got in Tanzania a few years ago and it is really wonderful.

Next I made my two sides by layering the outer and inner fabrics right side facing and sewing each pair separately along one 0f the short sides. Then I turned it right side out and tucked the batting (I used two pieces of all purpose craft batting) within the inside.

Now you are left with two fabric sandwiches (with batting centers) that still have 3 open edges. Next put insides facing (outsides facing outside) and sew around the edges.

Trim the edges down and turn inside out. Repeat sewing around the edge and once you do this you can flip right side out again. You will have a clean inner seam with no raw edges (known as a french seam). However since the sides are so thick (because of the batting) this makes the french seam a little bulky so I am not sure I would do it this way again. Either way I am happy with my results. I now have a cushiony handmade iPad cover with beautiful fabric that has special meaning to me. Much better than a store bought one in my opinion. Here are some more photos of the final product.

So what do you guys think? Will any of you be making a padded sleeve or cover for your iPad, kindle, or other techie device?

Please let me know what you think in comments below because I would love to hear from you!