Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Love Projects: Before & After

I have this stool that went with an old Singer sewing table. It was my stool for practicing cello--the perfect height! My mom recovered the brown plastic seat-top (it's removable; I used to put candy inside) with a really pretty burgundy fabric for my 17th birthday.

A cat and three kids later, and the fabric was horribly ragged; the stool had seen better days.

My artsy, crafty, brilliant friend Cara showed me this blog, without realizing that it would saddle me with a Martha Stewart fever to make me want to re-do my entire house using thrift stores and ingenuity. (Or did you realize it would make me want that, Cara? How evil of you!) I pored through the before & afters. I dreamed up project after project, filling up three pages of a notebook with ideas, and talking Phill's ears off. "I'm thinking sophisticated black & white & cream for the master bedroom is perfect--in fact, I blah-blah-blah-blah and then I'll go to the store and blah-blah-blah--Phill?....Phill? Are you asleep?"

I did realize, eventually, that I need to do this overhaul thing slowly, if at all. I need to hunt Craigslist, comb through thrift stores, and check out eBay. And wait, wait, wait.

But I realized that my Singer stool could easily (and quickly--that's important) be rehabilitated in a beautiful way! (It was a thrilling realization.) Want to see? I was so darn excited that I FORGOT to take Before photos (after Cara telling me about three times) until I had already sanded it a little and put the first fabric layer on. (Sheepish bleat.) But just imagine a brown plastic cover and brown legs. Okay. Ready?

Post-edit: Abby asked me how much this cost me and I was actually going to list it. It cost me three times what I expected (I wonder if that's a standard?), but it was still pretty reasonable.

Staple gun: $10 (Just bought the cheapest one I saw at Home Depot)
Black latex paint (I think a pint): $3.47
Sandpaper: $2.47
Paintbrush: $2.67
Fabric: $12.00 (Went to JoAnn; bought a yard of white cotton and then a yard of the patterned fabric)
Staples: $2.97

Total: About $35


Christine & Brian said...

That turned out so beautiful! I love the pattern of the fabric. I can't wait to check out that website.

Sarah said...

Gorgeous! You know my counter chairs could use a makeover...just sayin'

Kristy said...

That is SO cute...good job!

leslie the licorice stick lady said...

It's very beautiful! I was just thinking today that I need to refinish or paint my hope chest. It's now adorned with marker (courtesy of my 2-year-old), but would look absolutely fab in a distressed black! Thanks for the extra inspiration! Maybe I'll make a padded top and make it a window seat!!

camilla said...

that is so pretty! and it may have cost you more than you thought. but now you have a staple gun, sandpaper, paintbrush, and staples for your NEXT project! So really, if you keep doing stuff, you were paying for future projects, in advance as well. lol.
When i was re-doing like my 4th furniture, and sanding and sanding, I was like, I keep doing this, it's ridiculous. So I went and bought an electric sander. I had wished so bad I'd bought it with my FIRST project! grrr. You are just setting yourself up for the future!

chucknorris said...

cool! it looks very polished.

The Leishman's said...

where'd you find the fabric? i want it on my chairs! good job rae!

Kelly said...

Oooh, yes! Love it! It seems like you are building up your tool supply. Future projects will definitely cost less now that you have some basic tools. (shame on Phill for not having a staple gun!) Miss you Rae. :)

Qait said...

I want my own house to decorate. I feel like I'm making all my ideas hibernate until I can actually do something about them or else I'd go crazy.

Terresa said...

Could I eat that bench for dinner with a side of fries, please? Because it's just delish.