Tuesday, May 24, 2011

OOPS, Part 2: Before and after

Here is the first completed Outside Oslo Project Status (OOPS) report using Jessica Jones' newest fabric line. (A great place to purchase Outside Oslo is Marmalade Fabrics).

The "before" picture. I picked this up at a garage sale a couple of weekends ago, envisioning more fabric storage space for my sewing room. It came at a drastically reduced price because "the leg was broken." Turns out the legs screw in, and it just needed to be tightened! I thought the seller would ask about $15 and I was prepared to offer $10. However...she started the bidding at $2. Yes, you read that correctly. $2!! I felt a counter-offer on my part was not really in order...
In case you are wondering, before I get started on my little tutorial, here is a bit of information. There is an interior height of 9 inches (not including lid and also not including the legs--when you add those it stands about 18 inches from floor to top of lid), width of 19 inches and depth of 16 1/2 inches.

The second thing you need to know is that I had a wild idea that I could "do it all by myself"--that thought probably stemming from the fact that I spend a lot of time with 3- and 4 1/2-year-old grandchildren and hear that phrase repeatedly. While it probably IS possible, I highly recommend having someone willing to help you. Mark generously agreed to be that someone.

Part 1: Deconstruction.

The idea is to take it apart, and then put it back together in the opposite order. The legs came off first. Mark made this cool little painting rack by drilling some holes in a scrap piece of lumber.

We had some charcoal spray paint with a metallic finish--nothing too glitzy and just the perfect color for the fabric we were using. I did purchase some Kilz primer in a spray can. Hated it. We thought we shook it up long enough but still it came out gloppy. If I were doing it again, I would just roughly sand the legs (as we did), skip the priming stage because it's not like the legs are getting a lot of wear or anything, and then just spray several coats of the finish paint.  Because of the gloppiness, a couple of the legs didn't have a smooth finish, so we put them in the back of the stool.

Next we took off the hinges from the back and then all the little strips of wood that covered the raw edges of the fabric on the inside lid and bottom.

I can't tell you how gross this fabric was. It practically disintegrated when touched and made me feel the necessity of having hand sanitizer nearby. We removed all the staples and then used the fabric as a template.
This is what the lid and bottom looked like after we got all the fabric removed. The lid was padded with a little bit of foam; we used the original foam rather than replacing it.

Part 2: Putting it back together:

At this point, I laid my new fabric wrong side up, got out my sharpie pen and traced around the fabric we removed from the lid, cutting the same notches out of the four corners.

Next came the sewing. This is the ONLY sewing, and it involved matching the notched-out edges right sides together and sewing a 1/2-inch seam.

Each corner looked like this when it was turned right-side out again.

I did that to each corner and it fit like a glove over the top of the lid. This works great because otherwise you would have to do kind of a miter fold on the outside and staple or tack it down somehow. This eliminates all that fabric bulk. Then it just involved folding the raw edges to the inside of the lid, stapling it down, stapling the little wooden strips back on to cover the raw edges and, voila! Fabulous new lid.

Speaking of staple guns, I should mention  that I had made the suggestion to Mark that perhaps a staple gun that attached to his air compressor might be a good idea. But you know how men DETEST the thought of going to the hardware store to purchase a new tool. So after getting out of the way so he didn't knock me over on his way to get into the truck to drive to Lowe's talking him into the merits of a new staple gun that would also be useful for other projects, we were back from Lowe's in a jiff and continued on with our project.

Moving on: The bottom fabric was one long strip. I measured the length and width of the old fabric, cut two pieces of the new fabric (matching the pattern), sewed one seam. Oops. I just said there was no more sewing involved. Okay. I had to sew these two pieces together to get the length I needed to go all the way around the outside. We kind of centered the fabric from top to bottom around the outside circumference of the bottom, so there was about an equal amount of fabric to fold around to the inside at the top of the box for stapling, and the same to fold under and staple on the bottom.

Hmmm. I'm beginning to like all these power tools!

Added the hinges on the back and screwed the legs back in (even that pesky "broken" leg).

Ready to see the finished project?

In its new home: my sewing room:
Want to see the best part? I KNEW this was the project for me when I opened it up and found this little plastic tray, which meant that it was a....

SEWING CHEST!!! I would have gladly paid $10 for this little beauty. I almost feel guilty that I got it for $2.



05 08
Elizabeth Dackson said... #

Oh my gosh, that looks amazing! Wow, look how handy you are!!! Using the existing fabric as a template was a great idea, definitely. I am really loving Jessica's new line, it's so darn pretty. :)

Mary said... #

Wow! This is fantastic...and the fabric is great!

Kris said... #

What a great project! Thanks for explaining how you did it, it was really helpful for me so see what the construction is like.

Lappesola said... #


Anne at Film and Thread said... #

That looks just wonderful! You did a great job with your reupholstery. Love the fabric and really love the little thread tray that goes inside.

Amy Friend said... #

Oooh la la! It looks fabulous and I love the hidden storage!

Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane said... #

Cindy, wow! That is beautiful. You do great work!

Grandma G said... #

AWESOME job! Love it!

Sara said... #

So amazing and I love the fabric that you covered it in and the secret cubby--and--oooh,oooh it is TRULY fabulous!!!!

jeanne e. said... #

Wonderful job! Love the colors you chose. :) And how awesome that it was a sewing chest to begin with. Serendipity.

Sally said... #

Your sewing chest looks awesome! I love it! Wish I had one of these!

Mrs Flying Blind... said... #

Absolutely gorgeous!! And congratulations on not killing each other - I can imagine the tussles if my husband I were to attempt anything like this!!

randi said... #

now that is a great before and after! it looks perfect with the new fabric!

CitricSugar said... #

I LOVE it! Wow, great job!

That stapler really helped you be precise. I hoped you thanked Mark appropriately for bending so graciously to your request. :-)

Anonymous said... #

Stunning! I love the fabric and the finished product. You are very talented! Miss Luella

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said... #

What an amazing transformation..congratulations! It looks great.

Poppyprint said... #

Unbelievably cool. I really must get to some garage sales. This wouldn't be that hard to manufacture, actually...just a plywood box and some trim pieces with stock turned legs, right?? It looks so cool and contemporary with the fabrics you chose! Well done. My fav photo is the one where you're stapling the bottom surrounding fabric to the inside of the box, and your left hand is on the edge with your pinky sticking out...like you're drinking tea with your air compressed staple gun. haha!

Jolene said... #

Wow! You did an amazing job!

Inspiredbyfelix said... #

Brilliant transformation - very envious of your new sewing chest!

Carla said... #

Okay! You have talked me into seeking out some garage sales this weekend! My daughter and I are both loving that fabric line right now....I'm going to send her over to see your beauty!

Joy M. said... #

OMG!!!! I love the fabric you used. You did an awesome Job!

Bec said... #

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cindy!! Its awesome!!!! It looks amazing!! Im so nervous to takle something tricky like that! But you my friend have done a spectacular job! xx

The Luedtke Family said... #

So fun, so useful, so easy on the wallet, so well done, and an almost no sew project!

So, what else is on that garage sale wish list?

Svetlana said... #

It looks just fabulous! The fabric is such a great choice. Great, great job!

Jen B said... #

That looks fabulous!

Terriaw said... #

Wow, very cool! I am so impressed to see the before and after, and all the in between steps. This doesn't look so hard after all. You really rocked this project.

Lisa said... #

Amazing score for $2 and kudos to you both for a fabulous job! I love that fabric line and just bought a fat quarter set and can't wait to make something awesome out of it.