How To Upholster A Thrifted Stool

Hey ya’ll!! Hope you had a wonderful weekend! Summer is amping up around here and we have been busy with kid stuff. I am going to do my best to keep a fairly regular blog schedule through the summer, but it is summer and as The Nester so sweetly reminds us, there are only so many summers left with my kiddos.

I’m sharing the last (I think) of the closet projects with you today. This cutie.

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How to ‘Slipcover’ An Ottoman

Several weeks ago a super sweet friend of mine who knew I was looking for a larger ottoman for our family room alerted me of a steal of a deal on Craigslist – $20! Gotta love friends like that right?!? (Thanks Jennifer :))

I spent weeks deliberating over a fabric choice. And finally we have this!!


Yay!  Let’s back up and see where we started, and how we got to the finished product.


Awesome size and in really great shape aside from the stains.  I vacuumed the whole thing really good and went to work. My first task was to smooth out the bumps and bulges that came from use of course.


First thing – removed the legs, then I pulled some batting from my stash and covered the whole thing with it.  Using a staple gun to attach the batting underneath. This is why the title is ‘slipcovered’ – it’s not really a slipcover that you can take off, and not really re-upholstered since I left the old upholstery on it. 



My fabric was actually not wide enough to cover all the way to the bottom.  But, that was okay. I had a plan.  🙂


The corners needed a little extra work.  Since it was such a deep piece, I didn’t really want to just try to fold the fabric and staple.  So, I pinned the corners, and then stitched on the line I made with the pins.  Now I had a top-piece that fit love a cover.


Then I pulled the fabric snug and stapled all the way around to hold the top in place.  (I stapled around trying to follow the break in the original ottoman where the piping was.)

For the bottom half I measured and cut strips for each side and sewed them together to make a circle. 


Then, placing the strip wrong side-up against to ottoman I stapled around the bottom.


When you flip the fabric down, the staples are hidden. (see right photo above)

Next, I pulled the bottom fabric tight and stapled around the bottom underneath.  And this is where we were.


It stayed like this for days as I pondered what it needed.  I wanted some sort of trim to cover the transition from the top piece and the bottom piece.  I was shopping for my original plan, when I stumbled upon something even better.

I started by tying four knots in the rope. Approximately where the corners would be.


Then I took out my handy dandy glue gun and started attaching the rope trim.


Here is how the corners look.


I’m so happy with the way it turned out.  A little bit fun and funky and very practical!!


One more project crossed off the list on my way to my dream family room!!

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Tailored Bedskirt

Sorry for the absence.  We have been deep in senior mode at our house, not to mention everything other end-of-the-year activity that the other three kids have!!  I know you know what I mean, right!  It’s all good though. 🙂

Creating a master bedroom design that is enjoyed by both husband and wife can sometimes be difficult.  I have found over the years that adding tailored pieces to the mix makes it blend pretty seamlessly.

Last week I showed you my new bed skirt for our master bedroom redo.  


I also shared that I used a standard drop cloth for this project.  


The weight was perfect and it pressed nicely for the pleats and I am certain those pleats will hold.  I didn’t take pictures of the basic construction, but it was not hard.  I simply measured from the top of the box spring to the floor and added about 6 or 7″ to that measurement and cut three strips that width from the drop cloth.  It took nearly the whole thing so if you have a deeper box spring or a super high bed you might need a larger drop cloth.  (I used a 6×9 that you can get most places for around $10.) 

The other plus in using the drop cloth is all the outside edges are already hemmed.  So, I left those as-is and simply added a rolled hem to the raw edges. 

Next for the details.  First, I knew I wanted to dress it up a bit, so I decided to do that with some navy grosgrain ribbon.  Who doesn’t love grosgrain ribbon??  Rather than sew it on (I was going for simple here), I used iron-on hem tape to attach it.  


I recommend for this type of project that you used the kind with the paper backing.  This allows you to iron the tape onto the ribbon, then remove the paper backing and iron it onto the fabric.  

I determined how far I wanted the ribbon from the bottom and started ironing.  Easy peasy!!  For the ends, I just wrapped them around the edge of the fabric about 1/2″.


Then the pleats.  Pleats are not as hard as you might think – it’s just making sure you have enough fabric to do what you want.  I knew from measuring that I really only had enough fabric to do one pleat on each side in order to have enough fabric to deal with the corners. 

So, I first found the middle of each strip, simply by folding the strip in half and pressing the fold.


Then, I determined the size of my pleat.  Placed the ruler on the fold.  Then, folded the fabric in towards the middle using the ruler as a guide.  


Then, repeat this at the bottom and press along the entire edge. 


Next we do the other side of the pleat in like manner.


And, then repeat at the bottom.


And press all along the fold.  When you are finished you should have something that looks like this.


Isn’t she lovely???
The best thing about this bed skirt is that I did not try to attach it to a top piece – you know that piece that never holds the bed skirt where it’s supposed to!!  Ya, no.  Instead I used these little jobbies (actually called upholstery twist pins – I found mine in the fabric department at Hobby Lobby) to attach it directly to the box springs.  
I have seen it several times around the blog world over the past year or so, and it just made so much sense to me.  If you have ever sewed a traditional bed skirt before you will understand how freeing this is!!  You can check out some simple tutorials on how to attach the skirt that my sweet friends Lisa and Jennifer shared on their blogs. (Jennifer also has a tutorial for pleats on the same page if mine is not making sense – they really are easy!!

Back to work I go – only a little over a week to go before the big reveal!!  EEEK!!

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DIY Upholstered Headboard

As promised I am back with a how-to on the headboard that I made last week for our master bedroom.  I mentioned in my ORC update that it was fairly straight-forward and simple.  

Here is a list of what you will need:

*plywood cut to desired size (we used 1/2 inch plywood – sturdy but not too thick or too heavy)
*1″ thick foam – I got mine from Hobby Lobby it was 25.99 for a piece that was 39″x 76″ and I used my 40% off coupon which made it around $16 after tax
*batting – I doubled mine just to make sure it was smooth
*fabric to cover – you will want extra of course to wrap around
*spray adhesive
*staple gun and staples

We had the guy at Home Depot cut the 4×8 sheet of plywood down to 4×6 because I was certain that was the size of the foam…sadly it was not. Had I known the correct size of the foam I would have had them cut it to fit the foam – way easier for them to do it.  

Then I decided on a very easy shape.  I just simply cut off the corners.  (I actually measured and used a straight-edge for a change. :))  Well, I did the measuring and marking and hubby did the cutting.

Next step is to attach the foam.  


Of course since I got ahead of myself and didn’t have the right measurements – we had the extra step of cutting off the extra wood.  I just laid down the foam and used that as my straight-edge to draw a line for hubby to cut on.

You simply use spray adhesive to attach the foam.
I noticed as I was spraying and pressing the foam down that I wasn’t really getting an immediate stick, so I followed the directions on the can and sprayed both the wood and the foam around all the edges to make sure that the foam wouldn’t shift while I was attaching the batting and fabric.

After the adhesive dried.  I then had to cut off the extra foam on the corners.  I could have done this before but I am really glad I didn’t because this way I didn’t have to worry about getting the cut right and I had the straight-edge of the wood to cut along.


If you have one of these electric knifes lying around it is the best tool for cutting foam.  It literally took about a minute to cut off the corners and the little bit of extra on the one edge.

Next step is to lay out your batting – make sure it is nice and flat – no bumps.  Then gently lay the board – foam side down – on top of the batting.


Then it’s time to start stapling.  You want to pull tight, but not too tight.  The batting helps smooth out the edges of the foam and the side edges of the wood.  


I used a manual staple gun that I also found at Hobby Lobby.  They were out of the heavy duty version, so I took a chance on the light duty, and it worked just fine.  The only trouble I had were in the corners where things got pretty bulky, but with a little extra pressure it worked.

When you getting to the corners you want to fold the batting in whatever way best helps everything stay smooth on the sides that are visible.  Don’t worry too much about what it looks like on the back.  The only concern is that you don’t want any huge lumps that might make it lay funny on the wall.

Next repeat with the fabric.


There are a few things you will want to think of when you are attaching the fabric that you don’t have to worry about with the batting.  If you have a stripe or any kind of pattern like that – you will want to make sure to keep it straight.  To do that you need to alternate your staple placement from one side to the other until you feel everything is secure.  One staple in the top and then one in the bottom, then one one each side, and so on.

Also, with the fabric I put twice as many staples around because I noticed that the fabric was creating dips around the edges.  Just a few extra staples around took care of that.


When you are finished attaching the fabric with the staples, you will want to trim off most of the excess fabric.  Again, no need to worry too much about how it looks on the back, the front is what matters. 🙂


And, after all that you have something that looks like this!!

After searching around on the internet at several options for attaching the headboard either to the wall or the bed, we finally settled on this.

Again, I bought this at Hobby Lobby with my 40% off coupon.  At 14.99 regularly it came out to be a little over $9 after tax.  They came in both 12″ and 18″ sizes – the 12″ is supposed to hold 100 lbs. and the 18″  200 lbs.  Our headboard does not weigh over 100 lbs but it is long – king sized – so I opted for the 18″ one.  I don’t know if that was necessary, it just made me feel better. One piece attaches to the wall and one piece attaches to the back of the headboard.  We made sure to get at least one screw into a stud, and so far, it’s still on the wall!!  HA!! 

So, there you have it!!  Fairly simple, right?? Totally doable for just about any DIYer  :).  It took us an hour or two from start to finish.  And, fairly inexpensive for the look.  For a king sized headboard it cost me around $90.  Obviously if you were doing a smaller one you could probably do it for less.  Not too shabby I say!!

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