Mr V. however, having grown up in a period property stuffed with antiques, doesn't relish the idea of living in a museum of Victoriana. So we've settled on going for a mix of modern and old as a compromise.
So far though I've scored several items of furniture for free. You'd be amazed at what people throw out here. I found four Ikea dining chairs down the road the week we moved in that are now as good as new after getting a clean and new seat covers. Then I found this vintage style balloon back chair outside a house we were driving by. It was stacked amongst other items of furniture on the pavement with a note saying that anything there was free to anyone who wanted it. So this chair came home with me.
Mr V. was a bit dubious. It was pretty grimy and in need of doing up but the shape and the condition of the wood was pretty good. I'm not proud and I could instantly see the potential in my freebie street find. Inspired by transformational upcycling DIY projects by blogging pals I was itching to see what I could make out of someone else's cast off. So here's how I upcycled this chair from this...
...to this! All for the cost of £3.95 and using where possible, things I had lying around at home to do it.
Firstly I painted the wooden base of the chair with paint primer that was left in the shed from the previous owners. Cost - zilch.
The seat cushion which just sat in the frame was easy to remove. It was covered in a stained and dirty cream satin brocade that had clearly seen better days.
The fabric had just been folded over the cushion and MDF base and stapled in place with a staple gun.
Dreadful hoarder that I am, I realised I had a length of old period style curtain fabric in a bold yet feminine stripey pattern of scarlet red and a floral embossed cream. I'd bought it over fifteen years ago at a curtain shop in Sydney. Originally bought to be turned into an item of clothing and deemed too pretty to get rid of every time I had a clear out, it has been waiting for a suitable project ever since. Cost - whatever I paid for this fifteen years ago in Australian dollars adjusted for inflation - i.e. next to nothing.
I used the old seat cover as a template to cut the shape of a new one by just laying it on the new fabric, lining up the stripes and cutting around it.
Once that was done I placed the cushion seat with the side I wanted to cover facing the wrong side of the fabric and flipped it over. I didn't have a staple gun but I have plenty of old fabric glue lying around. Cost - nada!
Using a plastic knife I spread glue around the perimeter of the seat. Then working my way around and taking care to keep the fabric taut, I folded over the fabric at the edge and pressed it into the glue, forming pleats to follow the shape of the cushion.
The corners were a bit fiddly and a bit of origami folding skills were needed to tuck the corners in so that they sat neatly. I trimmed off any excess with pinking shears so the ends wouldn't fray and glued down any bits that were sticking up to finish it off.
Voila! One cushion seat cover as good as new. The only cost of transformation being my time, some old bits and bobs and my imagination.
As we are redecorating we had some sample pots of some very nice Farrow and Ball paint in shades of white lying about. It seemed a shame to waste them so I took a sample pot of creamy white called Dimity that was deemed too dark for the walls, but it was just the shade to go with the creamy stripes in the cushion fabric. A small sample pot costing £3.95 was enough to get two coats on the entire chair frame.
Waste not want not! I'm very pleased with the final result and even Mr V. was amazed at the transformation. Quite excited to find the next project!
Have a wonderful weekend all!