We’re selling this bad boy on Craigslist. It’s not quite ReAbide material in it’s current state; we had planned to reupholster it but we need to make some room so we’re unloading it as is. It has a few rips that are not extremely noticeable, though it would be happier in a new upholstery outfit. Check out the ad on Nashville craigslist here and contact us if you’re interested. (The pictures there are a bit dark. Jason took them with his phone late at night.)
My big goal for this weekend was to find a dresser for the bedroom our future foster kids will stay in. Eventually, I’d like to add a beautiful vintage dresser but for now we just needed any dresser. I found this specimen for $22.99 at a thrift store in our neighborhood. I spent about 3 hours repairing, sanding and painting it. I spent another $12 on handles and hardware. It’s not big but it will work for now. I painted it the same color green as the little 2 drawer nightstand I painted a couple years ago for our first kids’ room that’s now in Ali’s room. Eventually they may end up in the same room. So here’s my wonky little weekend DIY project, before:
I need to call our case worker to double-check but I believe all of our requirements to reopen our home as foster parents are now met. BIG SIGH!
Preparing for Foster Kids: Bedroom Tour (the 1st time)
Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids (the 2nd time)
Say that 3x fast! Jason and I have decided it’s time to say so long to the sectional sofa we spent a big part of the summer reupholstering, so we’ve reduced the price to move it quickly. While we love it to pieces it’s just not right for us and our home for two reasons: 1. The shape doesn’t suit our living room very well. It makes an almost equal size “L” (about 8’x9′ I think) and our living room is more rectangular. We realized a longer straight sofa would suit our space much better. 2. It’s too precious for our young family. We’re pretty careful with our belongings but not only do we have a toddler whose friends often come over to play, we’re getting ready to open our home up to more kiddos of various ages and furniture-respecting backgrounds. We’d hate to see something abusive happen to Ol’ Sly so we’re hoping he’s a perfect fit for someone else’s abode.
(In case anyone is wondering, I would love to keep this sectional for home staging. It’s very versatile for that purpose. I’m still considering that option; however selling it would make it more affordable for us to buy a different sofa for our living room…and that might be more important right now.)
Remember that handsome Bassett dresser that we picked up a few weeks ago? Jason did an amazing job cleaning it up and restoring the top surface. It looks so gorgeous (and it’s also really functional storage for our master bedroom) so we decided not to put it up for sale on ReAbide for now. We’ll continue looking for more dressers because I know there is a demand… but for now, it’s ours.
I’m working my way through rephotographing many of our items that were quickly and/or poorly documented during the time we were living in transition. Here are some new photos I added to ReAbide.com yesterday:
We had our first official ReAbide sale just before Christmas:
Over the weekend Jason and I set out to find a replacement (and anything else we could find!) We were thrilled to find this Bassett long dresser. It was in pretty rough shape but Jason is truly a restoration artist! He got started on it right away, sanding, staining, polyurethaning. It was not 100% done before he had to go out of town for work so it’s not officially in the shop yet.
We’re excited to get rolling in 2013, doing more furniture pickin’, restoration, selling and staging. Happy New Year!
Jason and I reupholstered a sofa! A whole, big, 3-piece sectional sofa! It was a massive project. We worked our butts off and we learned so much. A few things:
• First of all, I have no intentions of writing a DIY tutorial on furniture upholstery. It’s hard work, requires a lot of tools and knowledge. This was definitely not a beginner project. We didn’t take a lot of pictures during the process of reupholstering the sofa, just pictures of the deconstruction for our own reference and progress shots to make ourselves feel better after some long nights of work. If you want a DIY, check out this chair reupholstery blog post that I saw on a friend’s Pinterest page. There are also lots of videos on YouTube and many more tutorials out there. We started out watching videos, getting 4 books from the library, ordering tools, and studying other pieces of furniture. For my birthday back in June, I got a staple gun from my dear husband and The Complete Guide to Upholstery from my mom, both of which have been used a lot. I also found this Great Neck tack puller to be invaluable for removing staples during the deconstruction.
• Sewing skills are crucial, especially for making cushions and doing piping. Thankfully, I have been sewing since middle school and I have my Granny’s old trusty Singer. I sewed approximately 600″ of piping!
• Reupholster with a buddy. I cannot imagine doing this solo. Working with Jason made it so much easier to move the pieces of the sectional around from room to room, inside to outside, flipped over and back up. Usually I was stretching and positioning fabric while he was stapling. Or I was sewing while he was cutting the pieces out of the upholstery. Plus, it’s nice to have someone else to problem-solve with.
• Experience is the best teacher. Jason and I reupholstered four chairs before we decided to tackle this sectional. Chair 1. Chair 2. Chairs 3 & 4. Each project we’ve done has gotten progressively better. If we were to do this same sofa over again, I’m sure it would be much better the second time around.
• A few people have asked me how hard it is to upholster a sofa. Difficulty is relative. We didn’t find it difficult. In fact, my [obnoxiously optimistic] husband said on our first night of working on the sectional, as we were deconstructing each piece and figuring out how it was constructed: “Honey! This is going to be easy!” I just laughed because that could not be more opposite of what was going through my mind. But I clung to that statement, hours, days, weeks into this project. It really wasn’t hard. It was time consuming. No joke, I’m pretty sure this took between 40-50 hours of labor with two people… that’s about 90 hours of work. I’m sure we could do another sectional just like this in 60 hours next time, or maybe less. But I did try to keep track of time for our own reference. We spent an average of 4.5 hours per night working on this, and approximately 10-12 nights over 3 weeks.
• Upholstery work is painful! I have more mystery bruises on my legs than I care to count. I have a gouge in one of my legs, two scraped knuckles and tender finger tips from accidental pin stabs. Jason, my professional guitarist, über careful (I call him “Safety Dad”) husband stapled into one of his fingertips. It was bloody and gross but thankfully a picking finger and it healed pretty quickly. My back and arms got quite a workout, too. I think my arms are the strongest they’ve ever been right now. It’s good exercise. See, I can be optimistic, too!
OK, enough about disclaimers and what we learned. It was worth it! We have a brand new couch. Sort of. Actually, it’s a 1960 Harmony House for Sears, Roebuck & Co. But it’s like new with brand new foam cushions and new upholstery. I can’t wait to see this piece in our new living room.
(more before pictures in my sneak peek post a couple weeks ago.)
Not many detail shots because we were in the parking lot of our storage unit trying to be quick. The light was harsh, mid-day full sun and we were trying to hurry back home before Ali woke up from her afternoon nap. That’s my excuse. It has nothing to do with the imperfections that I’m so critical of… But in just a few months it’ll be comfortable sitting in our new living room, getting well used by a family, and those minor imperfections will be even less noticeable. Says Mr. “This Will Be Easy!”
Remember this sectional sofa that Jason and I got back in March? (What?! You don’t remember?!) Well, it’s been living in our storage unit most of the spring and summer while we collected tools, books and researched how to reupholster furniture. We were pretty jazzed with how our pair of dining chairs—Douglas and Davy— turned out so we decided we were ready to tackle the sectional. We shopped around locally for upholstery but ultimately decided to order samples through a website and ended up getting all the fabric, foam and most supplies from online suppliers.
The past few weeks we’ve been working our butts off on this thing. Several nights a week, after we put Precious to bed at 8:00 pm, we work on the sectional until 11, or 12, or 1:30 that one time…and then next day it felt like the sectional had tackled me. (Pics below were taken for our reference right before we tore them apart.)
We found some interesting tags inside the couch and learned that it was manufactured in 1960 by Sears, Roebuck & Co.
Our hard work is paying off and we’re really happy with how it’s coming together. I’d say we’re about half way through right now. We have all three sections disassembled…dismantled? dissected? Taken apart with the old materials stripped off. One arm rest is done and the corner piece of the sectional is mostly done. It’s still waiting for buttons on the back, the back panel (not pictured) to be stapled/stitched on and the dust cover to be added underneath.
We should have the other two pieces done within the next two weeks. They should be a bit easier than the curved corner section. I can’t wait to see the finished sofa all together!
Douglas and Davy – that’s what I named this set of dining chairs. We found them at Goodwill a few weeks ago covered with stinky, tacky brown vinyl and bleached maple wood. In our first attempt at professional reupholstery (by “professional” I mean self-educated and with all the proper tools this time), we completely restored these chairs. Stripped off all of the old upholstery and padding, removed all the staples and tacks, refinished the wood legs with walnut stain, and reupholstered them with fresh padding and new upholstery. We’re quite pleased with how they turned out.