Sunday, August 23, 2009

Going Green

OK, this post is not actually about an eco friendly project. It's just the color I chose for it. About two weeks ago, Cory & I were driving around Tuscaloosa running errands. On our way back to our apartment we drove by a pile of junk somebody put on the side of the street to throw away (which seems to happen a lot around here). Now usually when we pass by these piles of junk Cory will ask, "Hey Karen, do you need a ______" (insert some nasty object that is laying on the street) and it usually grosses me out and I just give him an "are you serious?!" look. Well on this particular day and with this particular pile of junk sat an old yellow chair. As we passed it Cory said, "Hey Karen, do you need an old chair?". This time to Cory's (and even my) surprise, I said, "Yeah, that could be cool." After a while of convincing Cory I wasn't joking, we went to scope it out. It was dirty looking but seemed to be in fairly good condition so we decided to take it home. Fortunately we were borrowing Cory's dad's Tahoe (which is bigger than our cars) so we were able to pick it up.
As we got home we noticed that the chair had a pretty strong smell of smoke so we Febreezed it pretty good. It was getting late and I had to be up early the next morning so we just sat the chair in our kitchen and snapped a few "before" photos.

The next day at work seemed to take forever because I was ready to get home and start working on our new project. As soon as I opened our apartment door a smell of smoke hit me. The chair had made our apartment pretty smelly. Cory & I knew we had to begin the project right away. The first step of reupholstering furniture is to take the old covering off. The fabric is usually just stapled to the frame of the furniture so we got our staple removers and pliers out and started ripping off the fabric. It's also important to make notes/take pictures as you take off each piece of fabric because you have to put the new fabric back on in the reverse order. We started with the skirt of the chair. As the skirt came off we noticed that one of the legs was broken. It was probably the reason the chair got chucked. This made me feel better about getting the chair because I kept thinking that maybe these people threw the chair away because of a "Poppy" incident. If you watch Seinfeld, you'll understand. Anyway, Cory said he could fix the leg so we just kept taking the fabric off.
The new leg that Cory made is on the left.
We threw away a lot of the batting or cushy stuff in the chair so we could replace it with non-smoke filled stuffing. We wanted to throw the back and seat cushion out and replace it with new ones but soon realized that it would end up costing more than we wanted to put into it. We selvaged the cushions by making a cover for them, placing them in the sun for long periods of time, spraying them with Febreeze,and covering them with baking soda to get rid of the smoke smell. We bought some sheets of foam to cover the original cushions. The chair was finally ready for new fabric.
It was hard trying to find the perfect fabric. I was really drawn to this pattern which I found out is called "Moroccan" print.

Since I have a lot of tan and baby blue objects in my home, I went with a green fabric with this print. Cory was a HUGE help with this project. We had a few roadblocks with re stapling, having to return a broken electric staple gun, the power going out THREE times, but we finally finished. So here is our chair after some new fabric, new foam, new piping, handmade buttons, and freshly painted legs. The best part is it's very comfortable.

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