The Ex

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Upholstering is like my ex-boyfriend.
Our relationship did not end well. After this project, I vowed to never ever ever (Taylor Swift style) attempt upholstery again. But then... Like I did with my college boyfriend, I decided to go back one more time. ("I want yoouuu back.") Somehow I convinced myself that he was all donuts and rainbows, and the problem was actually with me. "This time will be different," I said like I do every time I use my wand curling iron.

...That ended up being true because this time (much like it was with my ex-boyfriend) was much, much worse. Upholstering while pregnant should be a crime, people. A freakin' felony. My tear ducts are still trying to heal from the monsoon of crazy lady tears I shed over this project.

I started with a heart full of hope and this dingy $20 love seat that I bought from a Craigslist guy, who really wanted me to buy everything else in his house. Uh, no thanks. I'm a sucker for anything wingback, so when I saw this green heinous piece, I couldn't convince myself to stay away. Like my husband to an Oreo, baby.
For my wingback chair, I used a flat head screwdriver and pliers to remove the hundreds and hundreds of staples. Grahm found me this $5 "tack remover" from Home Depot, and it made my life a whole lot easier because of its angle and groove.
There's something cathartic about digging into a piece of furniture and pulling out the staples one by one. Maybe this is why I like plucking Grahm's eyebrows so much.
Be careful when you take the bazillions of staples out of your furniture. You don't want to damage the fabric, because you'll need to save everything, and I mean everything (cording, cardboard, fabric, nail trim, etc.) to use later. Why make your own cording when you can sew around the old one? It also helps to take lots of pictures in your deconstruction process for reference.
After hours and hours and hours of pulling staples and listening to my paranoid husband freak out about the hardwood floors (chill out, old man), I eventually had a bare naked lady in our dining room. The foam was in surprisingly good condition, so I just gave it a nice vacuum.
I then labeled all of my pieces. Trust me. You will either forget what went where by the time you're finished, or you'll want to torch the entire thing and force your husband to take you to Pottery Barn.
I painted the heinous green legs with some Annie Sloan Coco. It perfectly accents the fabric I chose. While taking this picture, I'm pretty sure Grahm said something like, "Babe, you need to smile so people won't know you were sobbing over this project two minutes ago." It's true. I was. I then ate ice cream. Judge away.
Next it was pattern time. I took my new fabric and cut a pattern from the pieces I removed. This part always makes me nervous, because upholstery fabric is NOT cheap. I bought 8 yards from Joann's at 60% off, and I'm still complaining. (My mom and I are conspiracy theorists and totally think they mark the fabric way up just so they can have "sales" like those and manipulate naive DIYers like me.) Phew, soap box.
I started stapling it back together, piece by piece. This part is really tricky and requires a lot of patience and ice cream. Eventually, it will start coming together and you won't be as panicked about blowing $100 bucks on fabric.
It's not perfect. There's one part that will always make me cringe. (And no, I won't point it out to you.) But hey, I got through it. And I learned a valuable lesson like I did in college. Ex's are ex's for a reason. No one is allowed to let me upholster again. Okay? Okay.
Now excuse me, I'm off to iron my throw pillow...

Total Cost:
$20 --- Love seat
Free --- Tack Remover
Free --- Pliers
Free --- Staples and Staple Gun (Thanks, Papa Roach!)
$120 --- 8 yards of upholstery fabric

36 comments:

Jay T said...

um HI I am so impressed by this! I wouldn't even know the first place to start with reupholstering. <--That looks horribly misspelled, by the way, but there wasn't any red squiggly line under it sooooo I'm sticking with it. Have you started decorating the nursery yet? I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THAT!!

Amber said...

It looks fantastic!!! I think you did a great job on it :)

Jenna said...

Whattt?! This is awesome! I'm too scared to try anything like this! Go girl!

Becky said...

There's no way I could do anything like this! You are a rock star!! It looks fabulous!

Sarah said...

Considering the last time I saw this, it was at the stage of your 5th and 6th picture, Jena, this looks AMAZING! You're such a pro!

Lindsey @ Life on Countryside said...

oh wow. nice work!!! I don't have the patience for that!

Ashley said...

Um this turned out amazing!! Worth all the tears and ice cream... mainly the ice cream!! Great job!!

Evelien said...

Okay that is a lot of money for some fabric! Even though it is some of the most beautiful fabric I've ever seen :) Imagine you having to pay full price! Ughh...
But you did such a good job, it's beautiful!

Katie said...

You are amazing lady!! This looks wonderful and definitely worth all the hard work!

put a bow on it [kaitlyn] said...

They ABSOLUTELY mark it up to have sales. How else do you think Hobby Lobby exists? But I still fall for it...every time.

This makes me want to ignore all of the bad things you said and buy that $5 chair I found today. But I'm really bad about starting things and then never finishing, so I better not.

Emily said...

You have the patience of a saint. And also make me want to do an upholstery project in the not really but kind of way. It's beautiful!

Pamela said...

Girl, you get GOOD! Looks great!!

Kalen said...

Amazing job as always! Can I hire you??

Kayla Peveler said...

YOU'RE AMAZING. How does a pregnant woman have more patience than I do?!?! Even with the tears and ice cream...I'd be out. Props to you girlfriend!! :)

Lindsey said...

You never cease to amaze me. But seriously, you're crazy. It looks beautiful. I love that fabric.

Erin said...

Okay you either missed a whole ton of steps in between the "cut your patterns" and "here's the finished project" pictures or I'm just severely confused. How in the effff did you do this? You go girl.

Cara Howard said...

Um holy crap. So I know this was like, the hardest thing you've ever done ever, especially pregnant (rock on you ROCKSTAR mama-to-be) but GOODNESS it turned out so insanely beautifully. Kudos to you, little lady. xo

Veronica Lee Burns said...

Your two projects have totally convinced me to just pay someone to do it for me. haha

Lins - Domesticated Working Woman said...

Love it! Gorgeous. How long did it take you?

Kelsey Eaton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelsey Eaton said...

I'm seriously impressed. I seriously could never do that.

Lauren said...

you amaze me. it seems like a lot of work so i totally understand you not wanting to do it anymore. but seriously, all of your reupholster projects have been AMAZING!!

Tanya said...

It looks so good! I'm impressed!

Julie Mason said...

That is a beautiful piece of furniture! I love th fabric you picked out! Great job! I also loved the story you made out of it about ice cream and ex's! Made me giggle :)

KatyK said...

I'm super impressed by your DIY skills girl. So impressed in fact, that I bought something fun to try out in my daughters room today. Stay tuned lol.

Kim Matheson said...

Dude. That is SUPER cute! Well freaking done. :)

Mariah Rickard said...

GOOD JOB!!!! It is so adorable!

Allison said...

You are awesome. This looks great...and I did look very closely and couldn't find any parts that were cringe-worthy. Haha.

Ashley Robyn said...

You are ridiculously talented lady. If you can do this to that chair, I can't even imagine what baby Roaches room is going to look like.

Melissa said...

You do such a great job with your upholstery pieces! I want to give it a shot, but when I read about all the tears, I quickly shy away. Do you sew the pieces as well?

The Lady Okie said...

I am seriously so impressed. That looks awesome!

Bailey@Lost&Found said...

Holy smokes! I am so impressed! I can't even imagine! Looks amazing!

Sarah said...

Amazing! I wouldn't have the patience for something like that! Great job!

Elle Vee said...

You did a great job!!

And now I really feel like an oreo!

x

Autumn said...

Wow, this is GORGEOUS!

Sara said...

I wouldn't even attempt something like this! I love it, though! It turned out GREAT! I'm pretty jealous! LOL!