Creative DIY for the Newly Handy

Author: Shelby

Baseboard Trim Painting Hack

Baseboard Trim Painting Hack

Have you ever wondered how to paint baseboard trim without getting it all over the carpet?  I ran into this problem when we first started painting in our house and it was so frustrating!  When we were completing our guest bedroom remodel I came across […]

Drywall Patch Made Easy

Drywall Patch Made Easy

When we were completing our Board and Batten project in the Guest Bedroom/Baby’s Room (post coming soon!), we ran into a place in the drywall that we needed to patch.  There was a spot where we needed to put a batten, but it would partially […]

Ottoman Reupholstery for Under $30!

Ottoman Reupholstery for Under $30!

Do you ever just get a bee in your bonnet about a project and must complete it at once?  That is what happened with my ottoman refresh.  We had been living with it for a year (or more? gross) is a despicable state and it was super embarrassing.  There comes a time with our homes that we kind of get used to how things look and we don’t really see what it actually looks like.  You know what I mean?  Well, that is what had happened to us with this ottoman.  When I look at the before pictures now I can’t believe that I waited this long to fix it!  I have a bit of sewing experience, but I have not reupholstered anything and I don’t know where my sewing machine ended up after our move, so I decided on a “no sew” method to finish up this project.

We had been gifted this leather ottoman from a friend when we bought our house and needed furniture.  They were going to get rid of it and it was in great shape!  It was only missing two buttons and I told myself that I would just replace them all (yeah right).  Well, we learned something about bonded leather, or really the leather that this ottoman was made out of.  It is NOT meant to have your feet up on it!  We were really careful with it, but after a couple months it started peeling and cracking from us putting our feet up on it.  Them it ripped.  When we would have our nieces and nephews over they would try to pick off the peeling leather (I should have known then what an eyesore it was… hey… a child notices how messed up this is!).

Then it happened… I snapped.   It left little brown pieces everywhere.  It was impossible to make it look nice. I simply couldn’t look at it anymore.  I drove to the fabric store, found some fabric that would coordinate with the living room on clearance, and drove home with a plan.  I needed it done NOW!  No time for sewing.  The bottom part of the ottoman leather looked great and had not had any damage so I decided that to get the project done today, I would recover the top part only.  This also helped me keep this a “no sew” project because the base would have been more difficult and I would have had to disassemble more.

Now, this is my first reupholstery project and I am, by no means, an expert.  However, the project turned out amazing!  Here is what I did.

Materials Used:

Fabric (I got about 2.5 yards on clearance for a total of $18)
Medium Loft Batting (found a good sale and spent about $10)
-Flat Head Screwdriver
-Pliers (the ones I found had an angled head, which worked perfectly)
-Staple Gun
-Staples
-Scissors (for removal of old leather)
-Drill (for removal of hardware… a phillips screwdriver would have worked fine)

The only things that I had to buy were the fabric and the batting.  I found everything else needed in the garage or made things work.  There are staple pullers that you can buy at the hardware store (found by the staple guns), but I didn’t feel like spending any more money on this project and my two tools worked really well!

Procedure:

1.  Take the top off of the ottoman.  My trick for keeping all of the screws is to use a mason jar or an old “to-go” cup to put them in.

2.  Remove the inner lining.  I was going to re-use this lining so that I didn’t have to buy anything more and it already matched the bottom part.  This lining hides the staples from the reupholstery.  I kept a cup close to put all of the pulled staples in (no stepping on rusted staples for me!).  Save this lining!
(technique photo)
Technique~ Use the flathead screw driver to get under each staple.  If they are stuck or only partially come out, use the angled tip pliers to pull the rest of the staple.
 3.  Remove staples from the leather.  Use the same technique as the lining.  If possible, pull up on the loosened leather to strip more than one staple at a time (this only worked on certain sections, but definitely sped up the process).
4.  Remove the leather and assess the damage.  I had to re-align the padding in a few places, but other than that it looked good.
5.  Since I had decided not to put on tufted buttons (this time), I filled in the holes with batting.  Then I folded the batten (so that it was doubled up) and put the cushion upside down on the batting.
6.  Secure the batting in a few spots around the cushion, mostly focusing on the corners.  Then cut away the extra.  Cut out the batting around wear the hardware will re-attach.
7.  IRON THE FABRIC!  This step I wanted to skip so bad!  I was a hot summer day and using the iron was not what I wanted to do.  However, it made such a difference in the finished product.  You want the fabric to lay down really flat and you don’t want a huge wrinkle where the fabric had been folded.

8.  Lay the fabric upside down and flatten out.  Then lay down the cushion upside down.  Straighten as needed.
9.  I started in the middle on the long sides and worked my way to the corners from there.  I figured that it would help me keep the fabric straight.  Pull the fabric tight for the first staple, then match the tension as you go.  My fabric had a little bit of tweed pattern, so I could see that my lines were staying straight.
I stopped about 3 in from the corner, then did the other long side.

Next were the shorter sides with the same technique.  I wanted to look to see how it looked so badly as I was working, but I didn’t want the fabric to shift at all.

10.  I cut away some fabric as I worked so that it was easier to work with.  Next time, I would probably lay out the fabric and cushion without as much “extra” fabric around the edges.
11.  The corners!  Since i was doing this “no sew” I needed a way to fold the fabric around the corner that looked uniform and tailored.  I’m sure there is a legit name for it, but I called it the “double hospital corner” because I came up with it from a variation on hospital corners when you are making a bed (I knew working as a maid when I was younger would pay off!).
-Hold the fabric coming off the corner and bend it back, keeping the fabric flat around the corner.
-Take one side and fold it over, making one “hospital corner” and finish stapling that side.
-Do the same on the other side making sure that the fold is about the same distance from the corner as it is on the other side.
*Through the whole process I cut away fabric as needed.  I did have a bit of extra fabric under these folds and if I was to do it again, I would cut out more of the fabric as I was folding and stapling.
12.  Re-align and staple on the lining that we took off in step 2.  (after this step you get to see what it looks like!)
13.  Re-attach the top Cushion to the base, step back, and appreciate the transformation!

I did it and I can’t believe that I waited this long!  Really, anything would have looked better than it did, but I am really happy with how the ottoman turned out.  My husband was concerned about the color being light (because we use it to put up our feet), but since this process was so easy and didn’t cost a lot of money I can change out the fabric again if needed.  I also found that the cushion board had more button holes than were used.  If I change out the material again, I will probably add a bit more foam and do a tufted top.

From start to finish (not including the time to the store and a few breaks) the project took about 3 hours and only cost me about $28!  The before and after comparison is crazy.  I can’t believe that I waited so long to tackle this project and I wish that I would have completed this reupholstery project earlier!  What do you think?  Does this help you with a reupholstery project of your own?  Let me know if the comments below!

Shoe Rack Reveal!

Shoe Rack Reveal!

Today’s the day that I get to show you the finished Shoe Rack in my Dressing Room Conversion!  This day has been a long time coming because I started and stopped this project as I needed to learn skills along the way, not to mention […]

How to Paint MDF Boards

How to Paint MDF Boards

Have you ever needed to paint MDF and wondered how to do it?  I ran across this exact question when building a shoe rack in my Dressing Room.  My goal was to match the existing Ikea Desk Vanity and Drawers (which are a laminate material […]

Carpet Spot Cleaner Comparison

Carpet Spot Cleaner Comparison

While renovating my house, I have found that in every room there is wood orange trim that really doesn’t go with my new design.  My first thought was to paint it… then I found the roadblock… the carpet!  We have had the carpet cleaned twice, but they cannot get right up to the trim.  Over the years (and maybe a little neglect before we got ahold of the house), a very dark grey to black layer of dirt has accumulated right next to the trim.  It isn’t as noticeable with darker trim, but since I wanted to paint the trim white the dirt would really stick out.  Our carpets are still in good condition and we don’t have the money to replace them… so I was stuck.  When I painted my dressing room (click here to see that transformation!) I decided to leave the trim because I just wanted to get back into my closet and I didn’t have time (or a plan) to deal with the carpet.

I came up against the problem again while renovating our upstairs guest bedroom and it was the perfect time to deal with the carpet since we were tearing out the trim to installing Board and Batten Wainscoting.  It was also a great time to try out some Carpet Spot Cleaners and do a Carpet Cleaner Comparison!

I wanted a product that was easy to use and would be the least amount of work for me.  I chose three products to test out on sample areas of the carpet and took pictures (although some of the pictures din’t turn out as well).  *** I did not get paid or reimbursed for these products… I just went down to the store and picked out three to try***

Product #1- Folex

See that horrible wallpaper?  I got rid of it after testing this product and you can check out my How-to on removing Wallpaper here!

Well, this product worked pretty well and didn’t smell terribly offensive.  I was pretty happy with it overall, but the one thing that I didn’t like was that the darker spot seemed to spread farther out on the carpet.  The “after” picture of the carpet looks better in the picture than it did in person.  I took a shot that was farther away to try to show how the grey dirt “spread”.    Since I was putting baseboards back up, I definitely didn’t want the darker spots peeking out.  However, the next time that I have a pet spot, I will be trying this product out!

Product #2- Spot Shot

Okay, so the section that I chose for this test was a bit darker than the previous test, but this stain remover didn’t quite get the really dark parts.  If I was going to go with this one, I would do a second coat to see if it worked better with a second application.  This may work better on fresher stains rather than ones that have built up over YEARS.

Product #3- Zep

The first thing that I have to say about this one was that the smell was really strong and what my husband called “toxic chemicals”.  However, it got the dark spots out and didn’t “spread” the darkness farther out on the carpet.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, but Zep was the Winner!  In the below photo, you can definitely see that it clears away the dark spots the best without spreading it out.  I will say that I had put a little more on the Zep spot to see how I was going to do the rest of the carpet around the room.

Here is what I learned from trying out these products.

  • Use lots of paper towels… they get dirty quick!  Change them out often so that you don’t just move the dirt around!
  • I also put paper towels against the exposed wall while spraying.  I knew that I was going to be painting and I didn’t want the cleaner to mess with the paint (not sure if it would, but I didn’t want to having painting issues).
  • For the really bad areas, let it sit just a little longer or go back over the spot for a second time.
  • Listen to an Audiobook or music if you are doing the whole room!  It can get a bit tedious.
  • Open the Windows and add a fan for fresh air!
  • I wouldn’t necessarily use these products for every day use as the smells were stronger on some (this job called for the big guns!)

The carpets look great! We put up white baseboards and you can’t even tell that the carpet had been that dirty and stained.  While I did use the Zep for around the edges of the carpet in this room, all three products did have their uses and I will be trying them out on other types of carpet spots.  Do you have carpets stains that you need to clean?  Did you find my carpet spot cleaner comparison helpful?  Do you have a favorite product?  Have you done your own carpet cleaner comparison?  Let me know in the comments below!

How to Clean and Paint Black Iron Pipe

How to Clean and Paint Black Iron Pipe

If you have been on Pinterest at all looking at DIY projects, you have probably seen shelving made out of black iron pipe.  When I cam across the idea, I knew I had to try it for my bedroom-to-dressing room makeover.  The project looks so […]

Fold it Once and Forget about It! (How to Fold T-Shirts for Dresser Drawers)

Fold it Once and Forget about It! (How to Fold T-Shirts for Dresser Drawers)

Do you hate folding shirts for your dresser drawers?  Does your dresser look like a ball of clothing that has a mind of it’s own?  I’ll admit it… I hate folding my husband’s white t-shirts.  Over the years I have left him to his own […]

How to Remove Wallpaper (without completely losing your mind)

How to Remove Wallpaper (without completely losing your mind)

 

When we were remodeling our guest bedroom, we had decided to take out the bead board (it was completed by the previous owner and was sloppy work) and replace it with DIY board and batten.  During demo we removed a few pieces and my heart sank… “Wallpaper!  NNNOOOOOOOOOOO!”  Needless to say I HATE removing wallpaper.  I hadn’t found an easy way and I had already struggled through a week of wallpaper removal in the other guest bedroom that I turned into a Dressing Room.  My previous method was to use warm water and a steamer and scrap in small sections.  By the end I wanted to punch the inventor of wallpaper and hunt down the previous owners who used way too much glue (and fixed bad wallpaper by just doing another layer of wallpaper!).

“Not Wallpaper!” Expletives were definitely muttered.

I decided that it was a perfect time to try a new technique for wallpaper removal because I wanted to keep my sanity (and some semblance of a timeline for the project).  I had been reading up on a few options and I tried one out… and it actually worked!

Now, we had been lucky about the type of wallpaper.  It was more of a vinyl paper and the front part pulled off in big sheets, so we really only had to deal with the paper backing and the glue.  If the paper would not have pulled off like this, I would have had to score the top so that the liquid was able to get to the glue.

Materials Needed:

  1. Sprayer of some sort- I have read that people can use spray bottles, but I didn’t want to have to remake a mix so I used a 1 gallon garden sprayer.
  2. Fabric Softener- I have read that the name brands are better because they are more concentrated… I just looked for one that the smell was okay and wouldn’t give me a headache.
  3. Washcloth and bowl- for wiping down the walls
  4. Gloves- I didn’t wear them, but I probably should have.

Method Used:

  • Remove top layer of wallpaper (if this isn’t possible, score the top so that the mixture can get through).

    Sometimes you get really lucky and the whole top layer comes off in one sheet!
  • Mix the Fabric Softener with warm water (I used 1 Capful for the 1 gallon container)
  • Spray in sections and let the mixture sit on the paper (it should start to bubble up)
  • Scrape the paper from the wall with a flat scraper.

  • Follow up the scraped section with a washcloth to get all of the glue, wiping and wringing the cloth as necessary.
  • When you are almost done wiping down that section, spray the next section so that there is less wait time.
  • Do a little dance at the end when you are wallpaper free!

Thoughts for Next Time/Things I learned:

  • It is MUCH faster with two people.  My husband was in charge of spraying and scraping and I was in charge of following behind and cleaning off all of the glue.
  • If you get to the glue right after the wallpaper has been removed, it is still wet from the mixture and comes off easier.
  • For sections of glue that had re-dried or were especially difficult, spray them down again with the mixture and wait a few minutes (I found this out after wiping for about 3 hours… wish I would have know earlier that this would make it easier to wipe up).
  • I have read that you can add the fabric softener to the washcloth water also to really get that glue off.  I didn’t try this, but I thought about it.  If you try this method, I would definitely wear gloves (who knows what kind of chemicals is in that stuff!).  Since you have to change out the water so much, I would have a rising water dish and a dish with the mixture so that you don’t go through a crazy amount of Fabric Softener.
Building a Shoe Rack with Black Iron Pipe

Building a Shoe Rack with Black Iron Pipe

You know that moment when, after planning and procrastinating doing a project, you finally get started and think to yourself “This is so exciting… why did I wait so long to do this?!”.  Yeah…I said that today.  I finally got to building the shoe rack […]