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Saturday
Apr302011

Goodbye Stripes!

Hey Everyone,

I hope you’ve each had an enjoyable weekend.  This weekend I’ve been working on a project that I’ve wanted to get around to for quite some time.  Luckily, this time it actually worked out in my favor to wait because I was able to save a lot of money!

You might remember this post from a few days ago that mentioned all of the great deals I found on a little trip to a store called Savers.  Well, since I spent last weekend updating the old lamps that I found, I figured this weekend I would use the duvet cover I bought to re-upholster my dining room chairs.

Now before I go into details, let me just tell you that I actually have this dream for my dining room chairs to someday look something like this:

…but, you should know that these chairs from West Elm happen to be $279.00 apiece, and right now, my dining room chairs look like this:

As you can see, the current state of my dining room is already suffering because of the horrifying fabric on these chairs.  So, until I can save up some $$$ for my dream chairs, I thought immediate action should be taken to create a temporary solution to my dining room dilemma.

Luckily for me, the fabric on the duvet cover falls within the color scheme I have planned, and at $4.99 for two huge panels of fabric, I couldn’t pass it up!

This project started by sending the duvet cover through the washing machine.  It looked clean enough, but let’s be honest here…you just never know where these things have been (and for some reason, I always tend to imagine the worst!).

While the duvet was tossing in the dryer I calculated the dimensions I would need for each of the panels. My first priority was to reupholster the dining room chairs, but I also wanted to see if I would have enough to make some roman shades with the remaining fabric.  Because the pattern on the fabric ran vertically, I knew that I would have to make my cuts in a very particular way so that the pattern ran in the same direction on all of the panels.

After measuring the windows, and taking off and measuring one of the seat cushions, I found the dimensions I needed.  For the roman shades I would need two 20x66 inch panels, and two 25x66 inch panels to cover four windows, and for the chairs I would need eight 28x30 inch panels.

Once the duvet was dry, I laid it flat on the floor to lay out my measurements.   Success!!  Not only did I have enough fabric to make my roman shades and reupholster my chairs, I even had some left over for another project (can you say place mats? or maybe another table runner, like this one??)!! 

Before I started to cut the panels, I first trimmed off the one-inch hem that was at the very top of the duvet cover.  This hem needed to be removed because it was thicker than the rest of the fabric, and I wanted to work with consistent panels.

Next, I used the edges on my dining room table to line up two of the remaining hemmed edges.  This gave me a straight edge to use for my measurements (you've seen me use this method here and here).

A tip that I have found to help is to use pillows to weight down the fabric that you are working with.  This keeps the overhanging fabric from pulling on the fabric you’re measuring on the table.

The length of the duvet cover was just enough to cut three 28x30 squares, but since there were two layers of fabric hemmed together, I was able to get two panels out of each cut, for a total of six panels. Because I knew I would need to cut the remaining square when I made the cuts for the roman shades, I decided to just work with these six panels for now.

After cutting off the remaining hemmed edges, I draped the panels over the chairs to get an idea of what everything would look like when finished.  I really liked the way the fabric correlated with the wall color in the dining room!  Not bad for a Savers find, if you ask me!

Once I had seen how the colors would look, I used an electric screw-driver to remove the cushions from the chairs.

Then I centered each of the seat cushions on a fabric panel, and used a staple gun to hold everything in place.

I found the corners to be the trickiest part, so here is a description of the method I found to work best:

First, put your finger right in the center of the corner, and pull the fabric back diagonally (as if you were pulling it toward the opposite upper corner).  Place a staple to hold the fabric in place.

Next, grab the excess fabric on one side and pull it straight into the air.

Next fold that fabric straight down against the edge & staple in place. Then repeat that same motion with the other side.

There you have it!  That's the easiest method that I found through my experimenting, and it gave me the cleanest look too.

Once you get past the corners, you're pretty much done.  Then all it takes is putting the cusions back on using the screw-driver again.

...drum roll....

and here's the before-and-after...

and here they are from the perspective of our cats, Zachary and Martha Stewart....

Yep, you better believe I took that picture from beneath the table!  haha.

So, there you go. Now you've seen what I've been up to this weekend.  I think the chairs look much better than they used to, but what do you think?

Have you guys been working on any creative projects lately?  Has anyone used a staple gun recently?  I'll tell you, I was a bit nervous because I kept knocking it off the table accidentally.  Thank goodness for the safety switch, or else I might have shot a staple straight into my big toe!

PS...I've added this project to the Idea Center.  If you have any suggestions for projects you'd like to see completed, leave me your thoughts in a comment, or in the Suggestion Box.  Thanks!

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