I'm on Etsy!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Build Shelves for your laundry baskets

Update: A lot of you are coming over from Pinterest. Welcome to my humble little blog! Be sure to check out the rest of my blog for more ideas on how to "save money" and "make stuff". If you like it, you can share my blog or subscribe. If you make any laundry basket shelves (or anything else you find on my blog), I would love to hear about it! Leave me a comment, or send me a picture. It would make me feel so proud!

I did not like how on laundry day, I would sort out the dirty clothes in the laundry room and have piles all over the floor. Shouldn't the laundry room be the most beautiful room in the house? Maybe not, but Pinterest is certainly making us feel inadequate about our laundry rooms! And I like things to be neat, so I said to my husband, "Maybe someday, not right now, but when we get bored, we could build some laundry basket shelves." So he's all like "Let's go to Lowe's tonight". And I'm all like "Really? OK! But we have to go to Walmart first and make sure we have six identical laundry baskets".  I like these square baskets, because the shelves don't take up as much room as they would with rectangle baskets.

Then I drew up some plans. I wanted to know exactly what measurements we needed so we could get the wood cut at Lowe's. They have this big set up that makes it so easy to measure and then cut in straight lines. Sometimes they will charge you 25 cents per cut. But sometimes they do it for free. I guess it depends on who is helping you. And possibly how pretty you are. It takes so long to cut wood at home that I think 25 cents per cut is worth it. But we were lucky. They did it for free!

Too bad I miscalculated and David had to cut three of the pieces at home anyway.

These baskets are 19 inches square and 13 1/2 inches tall. I will give you the measurements that will work with these baskets and 1/2 inch plywood. You need 12 pieces of 1 x 2 cut to 19 inches each. The bottom and top piece are 39 1/2 x 19. The vertical pieces are 45 x 19. The back piece is 46 x 39 1/2. That will leave 1 1/2 inches above each basket. If you have large loads, you might want to leave more space above your baskets. Sand the wood where needed and put the 1 x 2s on with wood glue and screws. Put the large pieces together with wood glue and screws. Don't use screws that are too long. They will put cracks in the plywood. Get your husband to help. Then paint it a pretty color. Then realize your laundry room needs to be painted too.

Here it is in the spare room waiting for the laundry room to be painted.




Here it is in the laundry room with fresh white walls.

I've been picking things up here and there to spruce up the laundry room. The rug is from target. The ironing board cover is from this shop in etsy. That picture is from a yard sale, but I think it's too dark. I'll be keeping my eyes open for a new one at future yard sales.




Here is a less flattering view of my laundry room. It is still a real laundry room, after all. Not a Pinterest laundry room.

But does anyone know how to add a "pin it" button? I can't figure that out.

Edit: My sweet husband made me a pinterest button! Just hover over the pictures if you want to pin something.

Have you done anything cool in your laundry room?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How to Recover Any Chair


This chair is begging to be recovered.

This particular upholstery project is not really for beginner sewers.  (That is sewer as in "one that sews" and not sewer as in "pipes of sewage"). If you consider yourself a competent sewer, then go for it. You can reupholster! If you can't sew, then there are plenty of reupholstery projects you can do, just not this one. 

First step: Take pictures. Lots of pictures. From every angle. Continue to take more pictures.

Step two: Start taking the staples out. There is probably one spot on your chair where the staples are exposed. That is where you should start. You will need a thin flat head screwdriver that is not very wide. Wedge it under a staple and tap it with a lightweight hammer. Don't stab yourself with the screwdriver! Well, you will, but don't be a baby about it. A heavy hammer will wear you out. Get a nice girly hammer. It's what every girl needs. When the whole staple doesn't come out, have your needle nose pliers handy to pull them out. Dump your staples in a cup or something so the two year old doesn't eat them. All two year-olds want to know what staples taste like. 

You will run into some little cardboard strips. You will destroy them.

Don't try to reuse them. You can buy a roll of this stuff from craft stores.

Now that you've removed the first layer of staples and fabric, take another picture. You're going to consult these when you're putting your chair back together. So take pictures every time you get something off of your chair.

Keep all the fabric to use as a guide to cutting your new fabric.

You will probably have some metal tack strips like this:


Wedge your screwdriver underneath and pry it up a little at a time.


Try not to bend it, because you will reuse these. But you can always bend it back. And make sure those little spikes are sticking straight up. And don't step on it!

If you see any cardboard (besides the little strips), try to keep that in good shape so you can reuse it.


Step three: Now that you've taken your whole chair apart, (I'm so proud of you!), you'll need your seam ripper. You're going to rip all the seams, so you can lay the fabric on top of your fabric in order to cut the same shape. If there is piping, you may be able to reuse that too, but if you aren't going to use it, you don't have to take it apart. This is the nice, quiet part that you can do while your kids are sleeping.

Step four: Cutting the fabric. If you are using striped fabric or any other fabric that you want the pattern to line up, cut your widest piece first. Mark the center and line it up with each piece as you cut it.

You may be tempted to cut your fabric a little on the large size so you have room for error. I've done it. You can learn from my mistake. That will make your cushion all loose and floppy looking.

Step five: The hardest part. Time to sew. You probably want to use a zipper foot to sew your piping, if you have any. Save time and sew all the piping at one time.


 Sew everything together just like it was when you took it apart. Good luck! You can do it! I hope.

Step six: Staple gun! The fun part! I tried a manual staple gun and an electric staple gun, and I wasn't happy with either of those. They weren't putting the staples in far enough. My husband already had an air tank, so I got a pneumatic staple gun for about $30 and it's awesome!

Consult your pictures so you can put everything on in the right places.

Ta da!


I feel so accomplished!

 Have you ever recovered anything? Let me know how your projects go.