Green and Frugal Decorating Ideas: Cover it with Fabric!
Example Number One a.k.a. one of the sassiest chairs you’ve ever seen
This is how my MIL found this chair. (I regret to say that I don’t have a real before picture. I can’t believe we forgot to take one! Thankfully, she (meaning, the chair, because it is most definitely a female) was in the background of this picture.)
Let me try to zoom in on that. (Excuse the roll of paper towels.)
There she is. Covered in cat hair with a horrible brownish-goldish velour/velvety fabric. However, this lady has some fine lines. Mmmhmmm. How YOU doin?! And she was a great price—Free!
While yard sale-ing (that should be a word) my MIL and I discovered a roll of cute decorator weight fabric for $5. Sold! When the lady having the yard sale saw that we were interested, she told us she’d give it to us for $2 without us even saying anything. Yes!! She also gave us an old couch cushion without a cover. Right now, you may be thinking, why would you want that?! Well, the dense foam is expensive and can be reused. That is what we used to build up the seat of this beauty. I do want to mention that my mother-in-law helped/did this project with me. She is teaching me how to re-upholster stuff, so this was totally a joint effort, with it being skewed toward her doing more. Thanks Donna!
A work in progress…
And here she is today! Isn’t she beautiful? I’m pretty much in love with this chair. All in all, she cost about $2.50 when you factor in the staples that we used. Not bad! I need a name for her. Any suggestions?
Example Number Two: My “New” Lampshades
In case you hadn’t already noticed, I have a small obsession with pretty fabric. It makes me happy. I really wanted some nice lamps and shades to go in our dining room, but nice lamps with nice fabric lampshades are expensive, so I decided to redo the ones I already had.
(Again, sorry I don’t have real before pictures. I get all excited to get started and then forget to take before shots about 75% of the time.)
These lamps were in our bedroom in our place in California. Notice that we liked red then. We don’t like it as much now as we did then.
I’ll zoom in again. (I’m pretty sure you can see dust on the shade too. Oops.)
Here is the lamp after I spray painted the body of it and refinished the shade.
I found a tutorial online to redo the lampshade through this website. Now, when I went back a few months later to look at the tutorial to finally do the project, the story gets a bit complicated. Please skip this part if you want to. Just go to the next bolded subsection.
Complicated Story: The tutorial was done in Flickr and was not available anymore because the lady’s Flickr Pro account had expired. I looked everywhere for a tutorial online about how to recover a lampshade like the one I had, but sadly, there was nothing. So I emailed the lady and asked about getting the pictures and she said she would renew her account if she could, but expenses were tight. She never did renew it, and I completely understand, seeing as how I’ve never renewed mine either because expenses are tight. I did discover, though, that I could see all of her pictures when I searched for the tag “howto lampshade.” Bingo! She didn’t have to renew it and I could still see the tutorial. Where there is a will, there is a way. Here is the search I did so you don’t have to figure it out yourself. The only problem is the pictures are not in order. You will have to figure that part out yourself. Email me if you need any pointers. I should have just made a tutorial when I redid my lampshades, but I wasn’t doing this blog when I did this project and I don’t currently have any lamp shades I need redone. (Anyone want me to help them redo their lampshades?)
Example Number Three: The Couch and Love Seat
A long time ago in a decorating magazine, I saw an interior designer that had slipcovered all of her furniture with white slipcovers, even though she had a few kids and a couple of dogs. Everyone thought she was crazy until she explained that she could take off the covers and wash them with bleach. I thought that was such a great idea! All I needed were some standard couches and some slipcovers.
At a yard sale this summer, this love seat and sofa was selling for $75. They were pretty dirty, but had really simple lines (so they could be slipcovered easily) and seemed well constructed and sturdy. I knew we wanted to slipcover it anyway, so if the stains didn’t come out, it didn’t matter. (Sorry, no before picture at all this time.) Bought it, brought it home, used my mother-in-law’s carpet cleaner (that conveniently has a furniture cleaning attachment) to clean the backs and sides of the pieces. I threw the cushion covers in the wash on the gentle cycle and put the cushions out in the hot August sun. The furniture cleaned up beautifully! It looks brand new, which would be great if this were the early nineties. However, light country blue with pink specks is not quite the look I was going for, so I still bought the covers. I found them for $20 each on clearance from this place online, which is great, because they cost more at Wal-mart. (In my mind, if I can find something for less than it costs at Wal-mart, its probably a good deal.) The covers are just a natural cotton duck fabric and it works great. I can take them off and wash them whenever I need to and I’m not constantly worrying about the kids or the dog messing up the furniture.
Without the cover:
With the covers:
So, $115 dollars for the couch, loveseat, and covers with the exact look I was wanting. Yay! I don’t think you could beat that price at Wal-mart.
Example Number Four – Couch Pillows
These couch pillows came with the sofa and loveseat. I took off the covers that came with them (they were the same blue and pink fabric as the couches) and made new covers for them. Pillow covers are really easy to make and I made them removable so they can be washed when needed.
The Cutting Edge of Fashion
Ladies (and maybe one or two gentleman) – For the first time in my entire existence, I am on the cutting edge of fashion. Here is the proof.
These photos are from the current issue of Woman’s Day magazine. Do you see the grouping above the couch, the aqua color, the natural cotton slipcover, and the fun patterned pillows? I am on the Cutting Edge of Fashion, I tell you. It is now documented for all of the world to see. :)
This article in Woman’s Day is about Chris Kauffman’s home. You can see her place over on her blog Just Beachy. Its a lovely home. She even used the exact same color of paint on her kitchen cabinets as we did on our walls—Popped Corn. Great minds think alike? I think so. :)
Links for Further Information and Inspiration
The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Custom Slipcovers – this is an eBook from Pink and Polka Dot
My friend Leah recovered her reading chair and it turned out very cute!
Here is a bunch of ideas for pillows you could make.
The DIY Showoff Blog – Lots of ideas here!
Check out “Transformations and Treasures” every Wednesday over at Pink Postcard!