Archives For Furniture Rehab

Hack the Lack Part 2

Jennifer —  March 19, 2012 — Leave a comment

This is part 2 of a two-part series.  If you haven’t checked out part 1 you might be a little lost.  The good news is that you can check it out here.

A few weeks ago I posted part one of my Lack Coffee Table Overhaul.  Here is how I did it and here is a picture of where I left off:

 I left the ottoman this way for a couple of weeks. The next step was to purchase a piece of nice plywood to cut for the bottom shelf so that it could sit on the metal rungs that formerly held the old bottom shelf.

The problem is that the nice plywood (the smooth and thick kind that won’t bend in the middle) is 26-36 dollars.  I know I am super cheap but that price is for a large 4X8 ft peace and I don’t need that much.  I am basically paying that much for half of the piece of wood.  Yes, I know I am cheap and yes, I could probably use the extra for another project but I don’t have one in mind.   It would end up cluttering the garage and it would probably be there for a while.  That is why I left the ottoman at part 1.  It was serving its purpose well.  Then, last week the Hubs brought home this:

The Hubs works for a contracting company here in town and these were the extra trim pieces for custom kitchen cabinets from a remodel.  The cabinetry company didn’t want them and they were headed to the dumpster.  The hubs swooped in and saved them.  He had no idea how I would use them but he knew that I would.  Isn’t he great?  The only way to make these work was to build  a slatted shelf.  I hesitated because that seemed rustic to me.  I love me some rustic, and rustic modern speaks my language, but its not the vibe of my current living room.   In the name of “free” I  figured that since its mostly covered by the top and would be filled with stuff, you wouldn’t even notice.    I could modernize it a little with paint.

Here is how I did it:

  1. I made a rectangle base.  I attached it using wood glue and flat brackets.  One of these days I am going to break down and get a Kreg  jig.
  2. I cut the slats to size.
  3. I primed and painted each slat.  I did this because I knew there would be a tiny 1/64 inch space between each slat.  This would make it impossible to paint, yet I anticipated that you could see the unfinished wood.   To avoid this, I had to paint the slats before I constructed it.
  4. Using a brad nailer, I attached the slats.
  5. I flipped the shelf over and used a chisel to chisel out a place for the metal rungs to rest.  This is how the shelf stays on without sliding off.  Before I moved on, I checked to see if it worked and it did!
  6. Using Durham’s Water Putty I filled the holes on the top and sides.
  7. I used 60 grit paper to sand the entire thing and then finished it off with 150 grit paper.
  8. I primed 2 coats
  9. I painted 2 coats.  I used Glidden Parchment White.  Thankfully, younghouselove had to match Ikea’s white for one of their projects and they had done the research of what matched Ikea white.  It worked for them and it worked for me.
  10. I laid the wood shelf on the rungs and here it is!

Now this busy side table is clutter free again…

Because all the stuff went here:

I am not done, I need to get a basket for remotes and playing cards.  Yep, we play cards here.

Just A Fun Reminder of the Before:

To This:


Living Room Final 6

Total Cost of the Ottoman:

  • 2 yards of fabric – FM fabrics (3.99 a yard) – I used a gift card ($0)
  • Two packs flat brackets – Lowes – $3.50 total
  • Lack Coffee Table – $19.00.  I had this coffee table so free for the overhaul.
  • Slats for shelf – leftover construction wood – Free
  • Primer – HAd it leftover from my bookcases.
  • 1 quart Glidden Parchment White (semi-Gloss) - Home Depot – $12.00
  • Wood Glue – Had it
  • Brad Nails – Had it
  • Hammer and Chisel – Had it
  • Batting:  Had it leftover from another project
  • Foam – Two Target twin-sized foam mattress topper, On sale for $9.99 a pop – $20.00
  • Grey underside fabric – Free- It was leftover from my guest bedroom headboard
  • wood for the top and braces underneath - Free – Had it in the woodpile
  • wood for the side edging – 2 1X2 from Lowes – $4.00
  • Buttons – Wal-Mart – 5 boxes – $10.00
  • Hot glue, staples, staple gun, fishing twine, upholstery needle – Had it

Total Cost: $50.00

Since all I used was the Lack Table’s legs, you don’t have a lack coffee table you could do the entire process and purchase legs at Lowes, or chop the legs off of an old table and install them like I did this bench. For the metal rugs you could use of those reversible screws like this one.  You would prep the shelf and lay it just as I did.

Is everyone having a great monday?  See ya tomorrow for more Rehab Life!

Thanks for reading,


If you liked this post you might like these:

Hack the Lack Part 1

Hack The Lack Part 1

Jennifer —  March 5, 2012 — 6 Comments

As I was putting the pieces together in my living room I started to notice that my Lack Coffee table was serving a great purpose but it didn’t look proportionally right.  I also longed to have a comfy place to prop up my feet when I watch t.v.  So, I decided to hack the lack.  I figured I could use the legs and the mounting hardware.  I wouldn’t use the top or bottom shelf in this project, but I figured I could find something around the house for those things.  Here is how I changed this:

To This:  (p.s. – I haven’t finished yet, I still have to put on the bottom)

1.)  I took a piece of plywood I had in my garage and cut it to the dimensions that I wanted.

2.)  I purchased some 1X2 at Lowes for $1.67 a pop and used it to border the edge of the plywood.  I did this to reinforce the plywood but also to make an upholstered edge so it would look more polished

3.)  I added some 1X3 we had leftover from a recent outdoor project.  These also gave more reinforcement to the sturdy 3/4 inch plywood.  Since it was so big I decided to make it a little more sturdy. ( I added one in the middle too but its not pictured here.  You will see it a few pics down)

4.)  I measured the plywood and found the center.  From these measurements, I figured out where I wanted the buttons.  I didn’t get a picture of this but I did in the same way I did my headboard.

5.)  I made marks and drilled holes for the buttons.  I used a 1/2 inch spade drill bit.

6.)  I didn’t like my button placement so I changed it up and had to drill more holes.  The new pattern used some of the previously drilled holes so to help my while I tufted, I covered up the holes that were not supposed to be used with some duck tape. (do you like by OU duck tape?)

7.)  Next, I attached the foam to the top of the plywood.  I used two twin sized foam mattress toppers from Target.  In my store they were $9.99 a pop.  Maybe they were on sale because they are $14.99 online.  I also used  a $5.00 coupon. The total came to about $15.00.   To make a smooth top to your ottoman place the patterned side down.  I attached them with some liquid nails.  I know that might be a little much.  I am sure that spray adhesive will work but I didn’t have any.  I had some liquid nails so that is what I used. A little trick for you:  I chose the width of my ottoman to be the same width as the foam.  That meant I didn’t have to cut up the foam that much…just wack off the end, with an electric turkey carver of course. Whoever got me that electric knife over 6 years ago for a wedding gift probably had no idea I would use it more for DIY projects than Thanksgiving day turkey carving.

8.)  I covered the side edges with some thick batting I had leftover from this slipcover project.  There is always a reason I keep scraps.

9.)  Next, I covered the entire thing with quilt batting and stapled it on the underside.

10.) Using scissors, I punctured holes through the batting and foam where the buttons would go. I just opened the scissors and stuck on end through the hole on the bottom.  I twisted to form a hole. This is where the duck tape came in handy. It kept me from punching the wrong holes in the foam. The foam covered my the holes that I didn’t use really well.

11.) I  washed and ironed my fabric  I purchased the same fabric that I used to make these new living room curtains.  I used scraps to make the curtains and I was a little nervous my favorite fabric store wouldn’t have it anymore but after some digging I found it.  I purchased 2 yards a $3.99 a pop.  Yeah Clearance aisle!  (which those of you who know this store know that I had to work for that 3.99 a yard fabric.  They just have bolts and bolts on top of each other in the clearance aisle.  I was sweating moving them all around.

12.)  The next step was to make my buttons.  To do this, I purchased 5 button kits at Wal-mart.  I needed 18 buttons so I had to purchase 5 kits that had 4 buttons.  Each one was $1.97.  I made all my buttons while watching t.v. with the Hubs.  Here is a tip:  if you are using the Wal-Mart buttons, follow the instructions for covering but put a dab of hot glue in the button before you put the back on.  Then use the tools to get it started but I use two screw drivers (one in each hand) to finish it off.  Just press all the way around.  It dents the back of the button but who cares, its sturdy and it wont be seen.  I have done this on both the headboard  in my master and guest bedroom and pulled my hardest to tuft them.  Two years later…they are still intact.

13.)  Next, I laid the fabric over the foam covered top and tufted the ottoman.  I wanted the buttons to sink in a little so I decided to attach the buttons BEFORE I stapled the fabric to the bottom.  I used fishing twine to attach the buttons and an upholstery needle I had.  An upholstery needle is key because its larger and sturdier.  Since I had made holes in the wood and the foam, it makes navigating the needle easier but sometimes it takes patience.  My trick:  use a wooden kabob skewer to help know where the needle goes.

14.)  After making 5-6 loops through each button  I tied it off.  To tie it off I use scrap fabric and made little rolls.  I tied the extra string around it and knotted it.  Then, I wrapped the extra string around it and stapled the fabric down.  The bulk of it goes in the hole but if its thick enough it gets stuck and holds.  Hopefully you can see better by the picture.  Stapling the fabric down helps me make the button be taught and it also flattens the fabric for the next step.


15.)  I stapled the fabric around the edges of the underside.  (see pic above)

16.)  Now its time to cover the ugly.  I used some leftover fabric from my guest bedroom headboard to cover the bottom.  I just laid it on there and stapled it, folding the edges under on each side.


17.) I took the legs off the Lack table and cut about four inches off the bottom.  I wanted to leave the top of the legs so I could use the hardware to attach the legs.

18.)  I attached the existing hardware to my new ottoman top.  To do so I had to:

  • Mark where the hardware would go
  • Cut away the fabric
  • Drill a pilot hole in the middle so the threaded screw could go all the way into the hardware and ottoman top easily.  (The Lack leg hardware actually is made to fit in a hole pre-made by Ikea. They do this to make the leg and top look seamless.  I thought about drilling a hole out of the underside of the ottoman to make it work exactly but I realized that the edge I made with the 1X2 hid the fact that the metal mounting hardware was shown at the top of the leg so I didn’t worry about it.  This pic shows my attempt to make the hole before I realized I didn’t need to or have a drill bit wide enough.  The hardware just rest right on top of the wood.  Notice the hole in the middle for the threaded screw to go beyond the hardware.

19.)  The last thing I did was screw in the existing hardware and screw on the legs

and that is how I got it to this stage:

Now, I am still working on part two.  I need a bottom shelf for magazines and storage.  I strategically cut the Lack legs so I could keep the metal things that the old shelf rested on.  Now, I just need to cut some wood and paint a lower shelf.  I will update you when I do that.  I am also thinking about putting casters on the bottom.

I have finished, check out the finished product here!

Thanks for reading,


If you liked this post you might like these:

Clamp Bedside Lights

DIY Bed Slats

Hide Exposed TV Cords

First of all, thanks for all your comments and emails from Wednesday’s post.  I feel so blessed to have a roof over my head.  It has been a crazy couple of days here in my hometown, but we are starting to put it all back together.  Tourist season starts in a couple of weeks and they are moving and bustling to get the town ready whether it be fixing the damage or finding temporary locations to do business.  Most importantly, its been fun to see our little community help the people whose homes were severely damaged.  Friends and community members opened their homes, and hotels opened their rooms. For the most part, power is restored. I went back to work and the internet is faster than 20 minutes to upload a picture. (It took me FOREVER to load those pictures on Wednesday)

My best friend Ashley and her family were without power so we got to have her family over for some pizza.  Hanging out with friends was fun too!

Okay, onto normal posting.  I have been slowly rehabbing my living room. I got side tracked by a few projects like my bicycles but I am committed to finishing this room out.   I have done a few projects before this year like building a bench and finding furniture, but the action didn’t start happening until I finally convinced The hubs that our fireplace need to be painted white.  (I didn’t have to twist his arm.  I was just patient and he saw my vision) The the DIY just unfolded:


I am close to finishing this room but there are a few odds and ends such as:

  • New coffee table  (I have the Ikea Lack coffee table that cost me $19.00.  It serves its purpose well but its a little out of proportion.
  • Jazz up my side table
  • New lamp for side table
  • New shade for lamp
  • Maybe jazz up the existing shades in my living room.
  • Sew some more pillows
  • Hang something over the mantle (not sure what but I am thinking of DIYing this)
  • Add a little more artwork
  • Find a side table for my chair
  • Spice up the back of my roman shades.  Why?  Well, I lined them myself and while it doesn’t look bad, it looks like any liner, I have decided that I don’t like the look from the front of my house.  We are going to be working on curb appeal this spring so this project is not really for my living room but for curb appeal.

Hows that for a list?  Come back on Monday and I will show you how I turned my plain jane Lack coffee table from this:


To this:


This picture isn’t the finished product.  I have to add a base.

See ya monday,


If you liked this post you might like these:

Master Bath Rehab

Guest Bedroom Rehab

Bedsheets to Curtains

No Shame in Dumpster Diving

Jennifer —  February 6, 2012 — 1 Comment

iloverehabs was featured over on wherelovemeetslife.  She found me somehow and wanted to show her readers my stuff.  Go over there and check her blog out…not to see my stuff but to see hers!  She is a full-time employee, mom, wife and DIY/Life blogger.  (plus I think she and I both have a love for chevron…kindred spirits, I just know it)  I think I am going to have to try her mustache glasses.  Mustaches are the rage and I think need to be added to my kitchen.  Thanks a ton for the love!

Raise your hands if you have done any dumpster diving. I am totally unashamed of taking one man’s trash (left on the curb) and making  it my treasure. I have never actually pulled anything out of a literal dumpster but I am not opposed either.  In fact, I have some friends (you know who you are) that would be the ones to help me in the dumpster…and not leave me there…hopefully.  This is a common practice in this part of America.  Maybe it’s because I live in the hills of the Ozarks, but people will even post on Craigslist what they are putting out on their curb with the trash. I found my garage cabinets on a Craigslist Curbside posting.

I saved a family in the middle of a renovation a trip to the county transfer station which probably would have cost them about $20 to dispose of these cabinets.  I must also mention the physical stress I saved them from having to get them there.  Here is a story for you.  (You might think less of me after this but oh well, just puttin it all out there.)  The Hubs and I were hanging out watching football one Sunday night with our good friends. We realized that the next morning was “large item trash day” in our city so at about 10pm (maybe later) we got in our car and went to the nicer neighborhoods to see what was left out to go to the county landfill. We didn’t find anything that night but the thrill of it made us feel like spontaneous teenagers. The funny thing is that my friend, the wife, was about 5 days away from the due date of her first child.  Shameful?  Maybe.  Responsible?  Probably not.  Memory?  Absolutely!

The Hubs and I have done our fair share of curbside sharing. I will literally put something out on the curb with a free sign. These are usually things that are not worth the time to sell. If it goes then I have saved myself some serious hassle. If it doesn’t…to the thrift store or transfer station it goes. Here is the crazy thing everything I have put out on my curb has been taken.   That tells me there are tons of dumpster divers like me. Here is what I have put out on my curb:

  • Fridge that was in the house when we bought it  (really old, really dirty. )
  • Stove that was in the house when we bought (too old with no knowledge of reliability to sell)
  • Coffee Table
  • Old Double door we took out of our kitchen.  (It was rusted and old)
  • Old Bike Rack
  • Outdoor table that was leftover from the old owner
  • Lawn chairs leftover from the old owner
  • Doors that we replaced

This chair was in storage for years at the camp that I work at.    It was headed for the trash pile during our cleaning week last spring.   I decided to salvage it and took it home one day after work.

It had a pair but its partner was broken and as much as I tried, couldn’t fix it.  When I brought it home I didn’t know where I would use it, but as I started working on my living room again I realized it could be extra seating there.   So, I turned it into this:

I found a clearance fabric shower curtain walking thru the clearance section at Wal-mart.  It was priced at $7.00 and the fabric kind of reminded me of ikat.  It had all the colors I wanted to use in my living room.  It had the blue from my new curtains and the turquoise from the pillow on my couch.

I didn’t even bother to take the leather off the original chair.  I just grabbed my pneumatic staple gun and recovered the seat.  I used some remnant white fabric I had from my new curtains project to clean up the bottom of the seat.

To cover the back of the back rest I cut a piece the shape of the back, yet bigger.  I folded and hot-glued it into place using spray adhesive for the middle part.


I screwed the pieces back into the chair and voila…for $7.00 I had a new addition to my living room.

Here is how it fits in the layout.

I decided to move it to the left of the bookcase so it doesn’t block my t.v. gear.  I am looking for a small side table.  I will probably DIY something or look for something inexpensive.  Here is the look I am going for so if you see anything out there let me know.  I like this one from west elm:

I am not cure ceramic fits my lifestyle so maybe a painted white version of this?  This is DIYable too.


Anyway, I love my chair’s Danish Modern lines and I love the extra seating it provides my living room space.

Do any of you have a dumpster dive you want to share?  Comment below with a link to your blog.  If you don’t have a blog, just tell us about it or link a flickr pic.

Thanks for reading,


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Milk Crate Ottoman

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Slip Cover A Chair

I must say that the title of this post is not my mantra in life.  I am a big believer that honesty should always prevail.  This was, however, my mantra in how I dealt with the black/brown Lack shelves that flanked my fireplace.  Here is the picture below. (again please excuse my pre-blog poor cell phone pic)

The first year that we lived in the house, I decided to purchase these Lack floating wall shelves to provide some decorative storage on either side of my fireplace.  My first intention was to purchase 8 floating shelves (four on each side), but I wasn’t sure of this decision.  Since I live 7 hours away from the closest Ikea I couldn’t easily return them, so I figured start with four.  If I liked them and wanted to add to more to each side, I could pick up the other four shelves 4 months later when I traveled to that city for work.  Thank goodness I listened to the voice in my head.  My  goal of my idea of 4 shelves on each side was sturdy shelving that could hold a good amount  of weight (you know, like books, boxes, decor)  These bad boys only hold 35 LBS so it wasn’t the sturdy option that I was going  for.

When I finally decided to build bookcases I wanted to build floor-to-ceiling bookcases and scrap the Lack.  You know me, I am a “try to use what I have” DIYer so we decided to build our Little Lack inspired bookcases and incorporate the Lack floating shelves we already had.

My first try: 

Paint them the white that I painted the bookcases. These bad boys are laminate so I looked up advice on painting laminate.  Maybe I did it wrong but I waited a LONG time ( a week) for the primer to harden and peeling paint was the outcome.  Sorry no pic.  I am not embarrassed to show you, I am more embarrassed I don’t have a picture.  I just got so frustrated and set out on the solution that I forgot to take a picture.  Here is a pic I found on the web that reminded me of how the paint was peeling after a few scratches.  Of course the scratch started small but in testing it a peeled it more and it looked like this (but not old and crackled..jut jagged like below)


Bummer.  I went to bed frustrated.  Has this happened to anyone?

The next day I went to target to pick out sheets to sew my friend’s baby girl’s curtains.  I found this set of  queen sized sheets on clearance for $20.00.  It was a soft grey (which is a theme in my room) with white little diamonds (or flowers depending on how you look at it).  What if I covered the shelves in fabric?  I bought the sheets and went home to try it.

Note:  I have lived and learned from this experience.  I am going to share with you how I did this project.  I believe my methods to be 85% effective.  If I could go back, which I can’t wont, I would do it differently.  I tell this to be real and honest with you.  I want your product, if you choose to do this project, to be better than mine.  I will say that I am 100% satisfied with my end product with that being said…

Step: 1

I lightly hand sanded the shelves.  Remember I had paint on them.  I don’t think you would need to do this if you don’t.  I had to get it back to an even surface.

Step 2:

I figured out how I was going to cut the fabric to get the most bang for my buck.  I was able to use the queen sized sheet and a little bit of the fitted sheet.  I posted here how to cut your fitted sheet to make it a flat piece of fabric.

Step 3:

I cut my first piece of fabric.  It was wide enough to fold over both sides and the front of the shelves.  There was just enough excess in the back to staple it to the back. Don’t worry about the excess on the side unless it helps you maximize your fabric.  You will cut the excess later.

Step: 4: 

I ironed my fabric.

Step 5:

The Lack shelf can stand on its own because of its 2 inch thickness.  I stood the shelf up on its back so the front of the shelf  was facing up.

Step 6: 

I sprayed Spray Adhesive onto the front part of the shelf and evenly placed the fabric (right side up) down on the front of the shelf.  I adjusted it to make it even and smoothed out the wrinkles.

Note:  My end product had a little bit of bubbling on the front a few days later.  Pesky little suckers.  Why it didn’t come up immediately I don’t know, but I think using modge podge as the adhesive would have prevented this.  I used it in covering plastic bins for my hallway and have not had one little bubble.  Why I departed from my first love modge podge?…I do not know. Yet, I did and hopefully it happened to help you.  Remember…use a light layer of modge podge.  From here on out in this tutorial I would advise using modge podge.

Step 7:

I sprayed the sides (one at a time) with spray adhesive and smoothed out the fabric until the bubbles and wrinkles were gone.  This is a fluid process.  You have to constantly smooth out bubbles up until the last staple.  That is why you still see bubbles in the pic below.  These seen bubbles went away when I pulled tightly to staple.

Step 8: 

 Cut the excess on the sides to about two inches

Step 9: 

Fold the excess from the front side down (see pic)  Use spray adhesive (modge podge) to keep it down.

Step 10:

Fold the top and bottom side like a present.  If you see the above the pic, by folding down the front side excess first it creates to angles on both sides.  I sprayed the side of the shelf and folded the bottom side up first.  Then I lightly sprayed on top of that fabric and folded the top side down over it.  Here is the final product. 

Step 11:

Turn the Lack shelves over.  The back of the Lack shelf has a little indention to rest on a metal piece that screws into the wall.  I wanted the excess fabric to be secure yet minimal so it wouldn’t hinder the hanging of the shelves.  So I sprayed spray adhesive on the back and tightly folded the fabric over.  I stapled it down as well.  I also folded side the edges down. (cut any excess so it’s not bulky)


I cut out the fabric that covered the holes where the shelf rests on the wall piece.

Step 12:

I put two light coats of modge podge on the shelves.  This might have caused the bubble process, but I wanted these shelves to be wipeable.  I didn’t want the fabric to rip as I took things on and off the shelf.

Step 13: 

 I hung them back up.

Can you see the bubbles? 

The flash from my camera working with the gloss matte modge podge makes it worse than it really is.  I am a perfectionist so if it looked bad they would be down and I would have posted and ” I failed” post.    Here is a close up of one of them and it’s not bad at all. 


No one ever notices when they see them.  Its even less noticeable when there is something else to look at the shelves.  Here is the finished product.  Stay tuned and I will share with you what I used to decorate them.

The lesson learned?  Here is my list

  1. When all else fails, fabric does a good cover-up job. Sad to say, only in DIY.
  2. Don’t give up.
  3. Don’t stray from what you know, modge podge…I am coming back if I ever do this project again.
  4. Don’t stress about minor flaws if they are not that big deal.  If it is gonna stress you out,  redo it.  If I were doing this project for one of you…I would have started over.  Hey, I am a perfectionist.  At my house, you don’t notice it so there is more important things to do in life.
    Resale value?  Haven’t lost a thing cause these puppies are coming with me when its time to go…bubbles and all.

    If you missed how I decorated these Shelves then check it out here.

Thanks for reading,


If you liked this post, try these:

The Little Lack Part 2

The Little Lack Part 1

My Hallway

Less is More

Jennifer —  November 16, 2011

My good friend is about to have her baby.  We are waiting any day now and we are so excited for little Avery to come into this world.  Avery is Asa’s sister.  Mom wanted to get Avery’s room as ready as possible and I helped her a little bit.

Avery’s mom was describing the colors that she wanted in the room and I brought her this Amy Butler Lotus  fabric remnant I had.

source here

She loved it and wanted to use it in the room.  So we pulled out my Benjamin Moore Paint colors and found a grey close to the one in the flower.  We took it to Home Depot and matched it to their Behr paint.  We didn’t have a lot of the fabric.  So we had to be strategic how we used it.  It wasn’t enough for curtains or crib bedding, but there was enough to make a statement somewhere.  The question was where.  Avery’s mom reminded me about the rocking chair they had.  Since we placed a new chair in Asa’s room we moved the rocking chair into Avery’s room next door.  Here is a reminder of what it looked like.  (Sorry I didn’t have a better pic.  They had a friend paint it so it was being painted by the time I got involved)

My friend painted the rocking chair base white.  It was more of a creme color.  My job was to recover the cushions.  I didn’t have enough fabric so my friend bought a queen sheet set at target.  In upcoming posts I will share all the things we did with this queen sheet set.  Back to the point of this post.  Here is how I recovered the chair:

    1. I took off the cushion and traced it onto the backside of the fabric.  I simply laid the cushion (with its cover still on) on the fabric and made sure my pencil was touching the edge of the cushion as I traced it.
    2. I took a sewing tape measure and measure 1-inch from the traced line all the way around.  I connected the measurement marks (grown up connect the dots really) and made a 1-inch border around my traced line.  This would be the line I would sew on.  (Note:  When you trace the cover like I did above you are tracing the shape of the cushion.  The 1 inch border will help you cover the thickness of the cushion.)
    3. I placed the back fabric right side up on the floor.  I placed the traced fabric right side down on top of the back fabric.  (Right sides should be facing each other).  Pin the fabric together and cut about a ½ inch around the outside border.
    4. Sew your fabric around the outer line that you drew.
    5. Leave the bottom open so that you can turn it inside out and insert the cushion.
    6. Turn the sewn fabric inside out and iron if you need to.
    7. Measure on the back of the original cushion where the ties are sewn on.  Cut off the ties on the original cushion.  Take the above measurements and mark where the cushion ties should be sewn.

  • I cut some grosgrain ribbon and hand sewed it onto the places where the ties should be.
  • Insert the cushion into the new cover.  Since my cushion was bigger on top than on bottom I folded it to get it through the bottom opening.
  • Fold and pin the bottom seam together.
  • There are many ways to do this.  Since I was using invisible thread I sewed the bottom seam shut with the cushion in it.
  • Repeat all the steps for the seat cushion.  This time, fold some grosgrain ribbon in half.  Insert the ribbon into the pinned fabric at the back corners where the ties are in between the fabric.  Since the back is where I insert the cushion, I just rounded the corners as I was sewing a bit and kept the back open so I could turn it inside out and insert the cushion.


The ottoman:

You could take the ottoman apart and cover the top. I just covered it and stapled it.  You could even tack it if you wanted to.  This took me 10 minutes.

The total process took me all of about 1.5 hours.  Here is the dramatic transformation:

What a fun transformation and it was so fun to see it “pop” in the room.  I think that a little of this fabric goes a long way in Avery’s room.  It served its purpose in doing the following things:

  1. It determined the wall color.
  2. It became the foundation for  the color palate.

Here is the color palate we chose for her room.  The fabric comes from my fabric remnant, a queen sheet set, and two pillow cases.

Picture source , here and here.

I added a few tissue pom poms above the rocking chair to make it even more fun.  You can buy them at hobby lobby for about $5, but your color choice is limited.  I bought three packs of .99¢ tissue paper and made them myself.  You get the colors you want that way.  Martha Stewart gives a great “how to” or…they are all over the internet.  I hung them by twisting a hook in the ceiling.

Stay tuned.  The back of this rocker is from a queen sized sheet set.  It comes with a sheet, fitted sheet and two pillow cases.  My friend bought it at Target for $43.00.  For $43 of fabric we were able to make a closet curtain, window curtain, crib bumper, pillows, and line the back of the rocking chair.

Thanks for reading!



Have ever started a project and it gets worse before it gets better?  That is our garage.  This picture that I showed during this post has nothing on what it looks like right now.

To build the shelves that we are building we had to remove everything off the peg board area.  So…its all on the floor.  Plus all of our building so tools are out!  I can handle it though because there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The fun thing is that I have been told by a few people who have a  garage storage rehab on the on the horizon for their home.  Literally since my post on Friday I have had about four people tell me that.  So, hopefully we can maybe help you along the way.  I know I gave you a sneak peek of the progress on Monday.  These are the skeleton of some serious overhead shelving.  They are high enough that we can walk under them.  Since they will be over our head and over the front of our cars they have to be seriously sturdy.

That is not all for our garage rehab.  We will be reorganizing, adding shelves and other hanging systems.  The goal:  everything is in its place the garage is clear for two cars. Well, that won’t really happen until the weights are taken…but summer is coming!  Okay enough talking.  I want to share with you a project that was done a few years ago.  Our garage cabinets:

These were cabinets from Craigslist.  Someone posted a pic of these cabinets (there were lots of them and they were white) and said “they will be on the curb tomorrow morning at this time. Please come take them for free”  I called the hubs and had to do some convincing…we borrowed a truck and were there at the exact time the ad said.  There were tons but they were old!!!!  There was also an endless amount of nails sticking out of them.  We took  all the cabinets but ended up throwing out a few.  The hubs spent a couple of hours using the dremel to saw off the nails and a hammer to pry out others.  He had to buy a few pieces of wood to cap off the end.  (I think then entire row went wall to wall in the house….so the end of each cabinet did not have a side piece.  Here is how the added end turned out:

Finally, we decided to paint them.  Random color I know but the hubs had just brought home some paint from his office that his work was going to get rid of….it was very blue.  Heck…its free and who says you can’t have a little pop of color in your garage.  Then, I got the idea to paint the front part with chalkboard paint.  They way we could know what is inside each one.


Here is a pic of the inside…remember that they will be reorganized.  Much of the stuff on the pegboard wall got shoved in these cabinets.  The cabinets were so old they did not have cabinet backs.  We used a couple 2X4s we had to brace them underneath the top of the cabinet and the shelves.

The hubs thought I was crazy to go get the cabinets.  He tried to convince me that we didn’t need them.  When he saw them on the road side He almost pulled a u-turn and I had to beg him to see their potential…literally.  Now that they are up.  He loves them and thanks me for talking him into the rehab.  That’s me though.  The title of this blog is “i love rehabs” for a reason.  I realize that some things cannot be rehabbed but it never hurts trying.  We got a wall of Garage cabinets for about 20 bucks.  Here is the project break down:

  • Cabinets:  Free, Craigslist.  If you are looking for these post on Craigslist that you want cabinets that are being taken out.  It’s a win, win.  If they are not going to sell them you can haul them away for them.
  • Hardware:  we reused what was on there.  Free
  • Wood:  $5.  We pulled wood from the clearance section (outside at Lowes)
  • Paint:  Free
  • Chalkboard Paint:  $10.00
  • Trip to the Transfer Station to dump the unused Cabinets:  $5.00
What’s left to do in the garage?
  • Finish building Cabinets
  • Paint Doors with leftover chalkboard paint.
  • Add a few garage shelves in other areas
  • Utilize peg board space.
  • Reorganize existing cabinets
  • DIY bike storage and yard tool storage.
See ya on Friday.  Hope this helps!
P.S. – to find a craigslist find like this I have found that you have to put yourself out there and post that you want cabinets.  People will contact you and then you decide if its what you are looking for.  You also must check craigslist every day.  Habitat Humanity Restores could have cabinets for pretty cheap.  Homes of Hope in Hollister Missouri always has cabinets in stock from house renovations.  Unused cabinets are out there!  Just look!


Wait, where is the cool West Elm Chunky Mirror Knock Off I wanted to See from Knock Off Decor or Pinterest?


Well, I have moved blogs because I am finally doing this thing full-time.  Click here to get the tutorial on my new blog and if you like it…re pin it for me.  It will help others find this project too!



Bench Rehabbed

Jennifer —  March 28, 2011 — 4 Comments

A couple of weeks ago I posted here that it was time for a furniture rehab.  I found this bench top hidden behinds mounds of stuff at a garage sale.  I could see the sale from my backyard on Saturday afternoon.  Since I am addicted to Garage Sales and Auctions,  I walked out my back gate and went to the sale.  Now, let me say this first…. I hate collecting stuff that I never use.  Everything has to have a place in my house so if I buy something, it must be placed quickly.  I only look for things that I think I can really turn into something special.  This bench was just that.   An Added Bonus was it was 50 cents.  I returned to my backyard with bench in hand.  Here is what it looked like:

It is tufted green upholstered jute like fabric.  There were no legs.  It still had the things that you screw the legs into but they were not lined up correctly and very rusted.

One evening while the hubs and I were watching basketball I deconstructed this bad boy.  It reminded me how well things were made years ago.  To deconstruct upholstery you need the following:

  • Needle nose pliers (for the hundreds…literally.. of staples that I had to pull out)
  • A good pair of scissors
  • A box cutter.  (I made slits in the fabric to cut it)

Here is a pic after deconstruction.


I went to the fabric store and bought this fabric.  I went to Walmart and bought 21 button kits.  I have no idea the designer of this fabric.  I found it at my favorite fabric warehouse in Springfield.  I needed 1.5 yards for this project.

After some serious deliberation, I took the buttons back to Walmart.   I loved the print so much that I didn”t want the buttons taking away from it.  .  The goal going into the rehab was to create a tufted headboard like the one in my guest bedroom.   Sometime, in the middle of a furniture or room rehab you sometimes decide to go another direction.

Rule #1 in Rehabbing:  Listen to your instincts.

They are 95% right most of the time.  ( I have learned this one the hard way…but not on this project)

Rule #2 in Rehabbing:

Never be afraid to modify your original plan if you fee its needed.  I don”t like to live the “I wish I would have” lifestyle.  If you don”t like it..tweak it before you get done with it and walk by it every day saying  “I wish I would have…. “

So I covered the bench in white fabric (cut from an old sheet). The reason for this  was to make sure there wasn”t any indentations seen from the holes.  And, although I would have been the only one to notice, the yellow foam was ever so slightly showing thru the  “lineny” color fabric.  This made it look the crisp color that it is:

Here is the bench completely covered.

I did use piping/cording.  But I used what was already on the bench.  I just made it look better!

Next up was adding legs to the bench.  I stood staring at Lowes for different options.  You can buy legs with hardware already.  I didn”t like my options.  This was a heavy bench…it needed stability.  I was nervous about trying it but I knew that I had to make the legs on my own.  So, I bought 3 Pine 36″” (2.5 by 2.5) pieces of wood and cut them in half.  I spent 12.00 for one piece (so $6 a leg)  Okay, I am over my budget of 25 dollars but the hubs was okay with it…it was for a friend…and it had to be sturdy.  I couldn”t imagine this bench falling with their cute little 1-year-old on top.  It was worth the extra moolah.

I cut them in half (I have the tools but if you don”t Lowes and HD can for you…for free if your buying their lumber) and sprayed them:

To attach them I used a 2 inch reverse screw dowel. After accurately measuring and cutting the upholstery on the bottom, I drilled a hole to the base.  Then I drilled a hole in the leg and screwed in one half of the reverse screw dowel.

Then I screwed in the leg…making sure it was tight.  I also decided to put trim on it.  this was not in the initial plan, but the bench looked too leggy.  So….going on Rule #1 and Rule #2…back to Lowes I go.

Here is the finished product:

Here is it in her house.  She is going to use it as an entry way bench.  Imagine it with bigger baskets and I really big mirror above.  She mentioned painting the mirror the blue in the bench.  I second that bold color choice!

Isnt it cute?   I am sure her space will look awesome with whatever she puts around it!

It took about 5 hours total.  Here is the cost breakdown:

  • Fabric – FM stores 7.99/yd (I bought a yard and a half)  -$12.00
  • Legs – Three 2.5″ X 2.5″  Pine pieces of wood.  (little more expensive because I didn”t have to sand)  $12.00 a piece. - 36.00
  • Foam and board of bench – 50 cents at a garage sale
  • Paint:  Krylon Satin Spray Pain and Satin Primer – Total $7.00
  • White Under fabric: Free…old sheet.
  • Screws: 6 @ $1.18 a pop.  - $7.08
  • Trim: Two  (3/4 by 1.5) pine boards – 2.98 a pop = 5.96
  • Tools and staples – Free.  I had it.
  • Cording: free – used the original
  • Reaction of my BF when I dropped it off at her house:  PRICELESS!!!!!

Total:  $68.54.  Now, its way over my budget.  But I chose to do so.  Why?  Because I originally thought it only needed four legs…AND the type of legs that I chose.  I could have bought an 8 ft. 2X2 out-door beam for $5.98….total.  That would have dropped the price down to $38.52.  If you want to go cheaper…go that option.  BUT, my time was more valuable.  I would have been sanding for hours.  That outdoor stuff has many knots and imperfections.  PLUS, I didn”t get my friend a birthday present for her 30th birthday……enough said.  I asked the hubs if I could spend a little more and he said yes.  If he would have said “not in the budget” my neighbors would have heard the sound of my sander in the wee hours of the morning.  Anway, I googled an upholstered entry bench.  I couldn”t find any as cute as this one that wasn”t $185 or way more!!!  Sounds like a deal to me.

For those who like a bullet pointed “How To”  Here ya go:

How to build/reupholster an Untuffted Bench:

  • Deconstruct your bench”s original upholstery.  Salvage the fabric and use it as a pattern and Salvage the cording if you can.
  • If you are starting from scratch:  Cut the base board to size (chose a 2 inch plywood)  Purchase Foam and glue it to the cut board using spray adhesive. (use an electic carver to cut or even mold your foam)
  • Cover your foam with batting for more cushion.  I chose a white sheet because the foam was the perfect form. .  Staple to the back.  NOTE:  If you are going to trim out your bench then don”t staple right on the edge of the back of the board.  Staple about two inches in.
  • Take your fabric and figure out where you want your print to be.  Then take old fabric and use as a pattern to cut.
  • Cover your bench with your fabric and start to staple  on the back.  Smooth and tighten along the way.
  • Here is a video I used to help me with the corners.
  • Cut a strip long enough for the cording.  If you have to make what you have longer, here is a great video I used to teach me how.
  • Sew the cording.  On one end, fold the fabric over for a finished edge and leave some excess to create a little pocket hole for later when you are finishing the cording.   Here is a great video how to.
  • Cut another peice of your fabric a little bit larger than the bench.
  • Line up your cording with the edge.  Staple it all round.
  • At the corners, make slits in the excess to help it bend around the corner.  Staple as close to the edge as you can.
  • Take the piece of fabric you cut and fold one edge and staple the fold right up against the cording.  You are covering the back of the bench.  Do this all the way around.
  • Cut and paint your legs
  • Depending on the size of the legs measure where the center of the legs will be screwed into the bottom of your bench.
  • Cut away at the fabric where you will drill the pilot hole.  Chose a drill bit a little smaller than your screw.  Drill the pilot hole
  • Drill the pilot hole in the center of the top of the leg.
  • Insert screw.  Use a wrench or something to grip the screw.
  • Now screw the leg into the  bench.  Repeat until all the legs are on.
  • Cut and paint the trim.
  • Use brad nails to nail trim to the base first and then shoot a few into the front where the legs are.
  • Caulk holes and touch up paint!  You are done!
  • I used 1/2 inch staples for upholstery and 2 inch brad nails for the trim.

Hope this helps ya try it!  Thanks for reading,


Here is the bench after my friend decorated it!

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