Some days I am awesome: the story of how I reupholstered a couch

I love DIY, a lot. But I think all DIYer’s will admit that there is that one project that they would love to do but they are way to scared to try. Mine was reupholstering. I really wanted to try it, and I REALLY wanted a new couch, but I was so scared of what might happen, of all of the things that could go terribly wrong. Also, there really aren’t that many Pins about it on Pinterest, I looked all over the place and found only a few who had done the whole thing from start to finish; not an encouraging sign.

And then it happened. I was at my local “previously loved” store ( ie. thrift store) and I saw this couch. DSCN7215Now I know what you are thinking, ” Alix, that is a 1980’s nightmare”. And you are absolutely right… mostly. The color, the fabric, the oak details, yuck. But despite all that I really wanted to get it, I just knew I could do great things with that couch. I waited till the hubby got off work and we went and looked at it together. He said since it was only 25 bucks there was really no harm in trying, the worst that could happen was that it ends up at the dump, which is where is would have ended up anyway. I love that man.

Having basically no idea where to start, I just started taking off all of that horrid fabric. This proved to be the hardest part.  It took a FULL day to tear it down to frame, and I mean working from 7am to 11pm with almost no stopping. I had blisters, I was sweaty and my poor husband had to make his own dinner.

Apparently when they make couches they are required to use 6 billion staples to ensure it is secure. That picture of the staples is one of the 5 bowls of staple I pulled out of it. It was a little crazy.  Now if you are attempting to reupholster a couch (or anything for that matter) know this: that was the most labor intensive part, for me at least. It sucked, but it was worth it in the end. Also, do NOT throw away the old fabric, I know it is temping but don’t do it yet.

While I was taking it apart I took notes and few pictures of how things went together. This proved to be REALLY helpful later on; knowing how things came apart really helps when it comes time to put it back together.

So on to the next step, covering up the naked couch.

Because I had know idea if this was going to turn out well or not I did not want to spend a fortune on fabric. I decided to go with regular old painter’s drop cloth. Its durable, I like the look, it comes in large enough sections to cover a couch, and it is dirt cheap. Seriously. 24 dollars to cover the whole couch ( and its a pretty big couch).  DSCN7218

Earlier I said if you are reupholstering something, don’t throw away the old fabric right away, here is why. I used the fabric pieces as templates for the new fabric. This save so much time and made things so simple. My biggest tip is when you lay the old fabric out, try to get all the wrinkles and creases out. This will help you make sure the new fabric pieces are the right size. DSCN7220After all the fabric was cut out, it was just a matter of getting it on there. I wont go into deep detail on how I did it because I think that might get super boring and if you are attempting to do your own couch or chair its obviously going to be different than mine. But I will say that you are going to need a staple gun and some elbow grease. Take your time and follow the tip my mom gave me about fabric: Fabric has a way that it wants to lay, don’t fight it, work with it.

On the arms I took my time and made sure that they were smooth by adding a layer of batting, I also made sure that the fabric creased where it wanted to and that they matched up on both sides.

If you recall the original picture of the couch, there were a TON of buttons, on almost ever surface they could possibly put a button. There were well over a hundred. That was a bit excessive for my taste ( and most people’s I would assume), but I  did want the tufting on the back rest, I me love some nice tufting. Originally I had the idea that I would go get new buttons. Well they are kind of pricy when you are getting sixty of them. I also looked into getting a machine to make my own upholstered buttons.  turns out those can be a rather expensive as well. I was getting a little desperate and then it occurred to me, why don’t I just paint old ones?! I know that sounds a little wacky but I was able to match the color of the fabric almost perfectly and using the old ones made things a lot easier when I put it back together.

And then came the tufting. Now I wont lie, the way this couch was made and the buttons that were used made it pretty simple. The only tricky part I had to deal with was making sure the fabric layed nicely. I started by laying the old fabric on the new fabric and then marking where the center button should go. DSCN7241

I put the first button in and then went in a spiral out from that point. This helped me to make sure that as I pulled the fabric tight I ended up with enough fabric top to bottom and on both sides.

It came out just how I wanted it to! I was so so happy with the tufting!

The couch originally had a tufted cushoin as well, I didn’t want to do that but that left me with the dilema of having a cushion with tons of little dimples in it. My father-in-law gave me this great tip that solved that problem in no time. If you take a steamer ( or in my case an iron on the steam setting) and run it over the dimples and creases they will plump back up to normal. I was a little skeptical but it worked  SO well. I felt like Harry Potter, it was seriously that magical.

 

Awesome right?!

We  then found some new feet for it and stained all the wood pieces a dark mahogany. DSCN7327From that point all I did (with some help from the hubby) was get the last few pieces of fabric on there to finish the job.

I love it. This couch is completely my style, its comfortable and it fits a lot of people comfortably.  I was a little concerned about having a white couch with a toddler in the house, so I scotch guarded it like crazy and we have had not problems with it so far.

So the moral of the story is, whatever your big, scary DIY project is that you are to afraid to try, Give it a Shot! It may turn out better than you ever hoped it would 🙂

2013-09-04

 

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Posted in DIY

Webster’s Dam

Yesterday we went on a hike to Webster’s dam, out in the hills behind Rexburg. I had never been there before but Brynt had ridden his motorcycle there previously and was excited to show me. It was a tough hike, lots of steep climbs and my body was definitely complaining but it felt so good to push myself and feel that accomplishment that only comes with exercise. Camberlyn loved it, and she was SO good. it took us almost 3 hours to get do the whole hike and she never got fussy. She just smiled and talked and enjoyed the fresh air. It was a wonderful little trip and I really enjoyed the scenery and the company 🙂

Summer

Well obviously we have been having lots fun this summer because I haven’t posted in a while, lol.  It has been so much fun to enjoy the warm summer days with Cam, she has become a little ball of fun and we love her to pieces. She is starting to talk a lot now and as a parent it is just a pure joy to watch her learn. I want to share some of my Facebook posts from recent weeks to illustrate who Cam is now a days.

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I have the best baby ever! Normally when Cam is done taking a bath we sing the “clean up ” song and pick up her bath toys, but tonight I forgot. When I held out the towel for her she looked at me and then started singing “deeee doo, dee doo ” while she pick up all her toys. This kid rocks!
Camberlyn had her 18 month check up today, she is 19.1 lbs (1st percentile) and 30.5 inches tall (19th percentile). The doctor said she is VERY smart and developmentally ahead of the curve ( I took this to mean she is well on her way to becoming an evil genius, lol). She is a happy, healthy toddler and we are so proud of her! 
My house really needed to be cleaned this morning, but it didn’t happen. Cam and I read books, played in the yard, built lego towers, ate snacks and had tickle fights… on sweet summer mornings like this I can’t help but think, “the house can wait.” — feeling blessed.
12 August
I haven’t been sleeping well lately because of allergies. When I got Cam up from her nap today I was rocking her in her room and accidentally fell asleep.  I woke up  about 15 minutes later to find Cam playing quietly in the corner, there was a blanket of her’s over my knees and one of her stuffed animals next to me. She can be wild and crazy but she sure is a sweet little girl!!
Cam has been cracking me up, any time she is in a situation where she could have got hurt, she stops and asks herself “ya ok?”, and then continues playing lol
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I love all these little moments, honestly there are times when I want to throw up my hands and say ” this mom stuff is to hard!’, but then she does something that absolutely melts my heart and I think “this is what life is all about.”
And really I think it is, I think that a life that is rich with beautiful little moments is one that is full.

The 4th!!

I love the 4th of July, because I love America! I love that we come together to celebrate this great country and all that it stands for. Independence day always renews my sense of patriotism and gives me hope for the future.

This year our 4th of July was pretty low key, which was nice. We spent the morning watching Rexburg’s awesome parade which Camberlyn loved!  Later we went over to our friend’s house for a BBQ and some fun. Cam had a great time playing in the water with her friend Kai and Brynt enjoyed a friendly badminton match. It was a great day full of fun, family and friends and it was a perfect way to spend our Independence day!

We also had fun the rest of the weekend exploring and playing in the park, I love summer!

 

 

 

 

The Antiques Roadshow

I am a nerd. I love the Antiques Roadshow on PBS. I have watched it since I was a little kid and thought it was one of the coolest shows out there. I think anything antique is about a thousand times better than anything new; just ask Brynt, when he first started dating me I would drag him around to all of my favorite antique shops in our home town. I REALLY love old stuff.

So its not much of a surprise that going to the Antiques Roadshow has been a big one on my bucket list. Back in January I found out that the show was coming to Boise. Holy Cow did I get excited! I quickly go on the internet and found out that in order to get tickets you had to enter a drawing, and just hope that you got picked. Let me tell you, it was tough waiting to find out but boy was I excited when they informed me that I had been drawn! 981669_10201281591104560_260640234_o

 

There are no children aloud at the event and because it was 5 hours away we needed someone to watch Cam over night. I am so grateful to our wonderful neighbors Kendra and Greg for being willing to watch our little Bug for us, we have been so blessed to have them as friends! ( P.S. the two days apart was much harder on me then it was on Cam, ha ha!)

We left for Boise on the morning of the event, it was so fun to just hang out with my husband. This was the first time that I have been away from Camberlyn for more than a couple hours since she was born, and honestly it was SO refreshing! Of course I missed her the whole time but being able to give 100% of my attention to Brynt was a very nice change.

When we arrived in Boise we went to my favorite place to eat in the whole world… The Cheesecake Factory. I love their food so much, and the fact that cheesecake is my favorite dessert also helps 🙂 It was a fabulous meal, and we had so much fun! 1053086_10201417354778567_1314984814_o

After lunch, we had just enough time to check in to our hotel, freshen up a bit and then drive over to the event center where they where holding the Antique Roadshow. When we arrived I honestly felt like a little girl at Disney land, I could see all the different people with their items all headed to the entrance and it made me have butterflies in my stomach.

We where warned a head of time that there we would be standing in lines a lot, but we where actually surprised at how quickly all the lines moved, we  also noticed that we where the youngest people there by at least 2 decades , but we were ok with that 🙂

The first desk we came to was to look over our items and decide which appraisers we should see, they gave us tickets for each of the divisions that we would need to go to and then we headed in to the main event. In the different lines we were able to talk to people around us and look at all the different things that everyone had brought. It was amazing to see so many items all in one place and to be able to hear the stories people told about them.  Going up to the appraisers was a lot like going to see Santa Claus; you wait in line and are beyond excited to get to talk with him, and then you get up there and are so nervous you forget what you wanted to say! 🙂  we saw three different appraisers, all of whom where extremely kind and helpful. We were able to learn a little more about our items and also they taught us what to look for in the different types of antiques we like to collect. Nothing of our was valuable, except for my Dad’s WWII binoculars which we were told are worth several hundred dollars. But the experience we had was priceless and one we are sure to remember for a very long time.

We left the event and had plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the evening, so we drove over to the Boise temple and walked around on the grounds for a bit. It was so peaceful and we loved being able to sit and think and talk for a bit. We then went back to the hotel and got ready to go to dinner. We found a small tempanyaki restaurant to eat at, Brynt has been wanting to take me out to a tempanyaki place for a while so we were excited. The food was amazing (especially the sushi, yum!) and the entertainment was great! It was the perfect way to wrap up a wonderful day.

On our way out of town the next day we needed to get fuel for the truck, and we ended driving all over town to find it. While we searched we happened to find a castle that someone had built right in the middle of a perfectly normal neighborhood, it was awesome! talk about not compromising on the house of your dreams 🙂

All in all, it was as truly wonderful weekend and one that Brynt and really needed as couple. It is so nice to be able to share special experiences with the person you love most.

Memeorial Day Weekend… ( a bit late)

I realize that Memorial day was ummm, a while ago now. I don’t have any good excuses as to why I haven’t written about it, life just gets in the way of blogging sometimes 🙂

I am so glad we celebrate Memorial day, I feel like it is so vitally important that we remember all of the service men and women who have given so much. I hope I am able to pass the respect and gratitude I feel for them on to my children.

Over all our Memorial day weekend was a very fun, and much needed. Saturday we just spent time as a family enjoying the warm weather and beauty that is Idaho in the Summer. We went down to the Rexburg Nature Park to show Cam the ducks and walk around for a bit. She Loved it. She also really wanted to get in the pond with the ducks, but thankfully we were able to prevent that from happening.

Saturday evening we invited our friends the Richardsons and the Daylongs out to the Sand Dunes for a bonfire. We roasted marshmallows and star-burst and a wonderful time hanging out with friends. Until….. the sheriff’s deputy showed up.  Unbeknownst to us (or the other four groups of people having bonfires) it is illegal to have bonfires in that part of the dunes. None of us had a clue, mainly because everyone and there dog has bonfires out there, but that is besides the point. We got a ticket and we were all a little ( or alot) irritated but oh well. I am sure it will be funny in a year or so.

Sunday we hadn’t made any plans other than going to Church, but while walking to Church I had an idea, “lets go camping tonight!”. Brynt is ALWAYS ready for an adventure and he was on board with the plan in no time. After we got out of Church we packed up the truck with our gear and food and headed for the hills.

We decided to go to Kelly Canyon because its not to far away and its absolutely beautiful.

Camping was exactly what the Doctor ordered. We have both been stressed and busy, Brynt much more so than me. How he is managing to balance a full time job, full time school and having a family, I will never know. But he does it and  he deserved some quality R & R.

Camberlyn is pretty much the best kid ever, she LOVED camping. We always call her a wild animal and maybe she is because she sure seemed at home way out there in the woods.

Monday morning we ate a great breakfast cooked on the fire, enjoyed our little piece of heaven for a while and then packed up camp. We headed home and then decided, ” why not do some more fun stuff!’.

We all hopped back in the truck, and headed to Shelly to see if we could find anything fun at our favorite shop Hidden Treasures. Although we didn’t find anything to bring home, we had a great time and I got this awesome picture of Brynt in a personal sauna.DSCN6560

 

So the question is, “what is the perfect way to wrap up an eventful Memorial Day weekend?” — The Zoo of course!

Idaho Falls has a great little zoo, I really can’t believe we hadn’t gone there before. Cam really enjoyed all the animals – so much so that we couldn’t get any picture of here looking at the camera LOL. We had a great time and I just tried to soak up all the sweet memories we made over the weekend 🙂

 

Arizona Sunshine

I have said it before and I will say it again, my husband is wonderful.  A few weeks ago my best friend, Baylee came up to Idaho for a visit which was awesome! Brynt, knowing that he would be going out of town the same time Baylee left suggested that I go back to AZ with her and visit family. I said no at first, but after a while he convinced me and I packed a bag and hit the road!

Camberlyn and I were able to spend a whole week with my parents, Brynts parents and both of our grandparents, it was wonderful. I love to see Cam spend time with her family, and I am always amazed at how loved that little girl is. We had a wonderful time, playing, talking, eating and enjoying time with all the amazing people who love us.

Invictus

This is a completely random post but I need a place to write down my thoughts.

This week I have read and heard of many people who are going through tough times. Some I know, some I don’t know, but all the same these things got me to thinking. We all face trials in life, some much greater than others but we all face them. And it seems that there are some people who get beat by life, the burden is to great and they just can’t seem to find joy or peace any more. There are the others though, the kind that can’t be beaten, even when they face what seems like insurmountable challenges. How? How do these people find the courage to keep fighting, to find the sun even when their life seems to be an endless hurricane?

While pondering these questions I remembered the poem “Invictus”.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley
The title “Invictus” is Latin for “unconquered”.  And I think that is what sets those people who triumph over their trials apart. They understand that it is they who control their happiness, they cannot control what troubles that will befall them but they can dictate how they handle those troubles. They refuse to allow the burdens of life conquer their spirit.
I am young and to this point my trials have been few, but should I face great struggles in the future, I hope I can have the strength to overcome those burdens and remember that I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul.

 

 

Perfectly Pleasant Palisades

So its been a little while since we had a family update on here. Things have gotten busy now that Brynt is back in school, but we still make time for a little fun.

This past Saturday we took a trip with our friends the Richardsons, out to Palisades lake. It is a huge reservoir on the boarder of Eastern Idaho and western Wyoming, and let me just say that it is quite stunning. For us (me especially) this adventure was much needed. Cold weather has had us trapped in doors for months now and with a pretty wild one year old in the house,  I was coming down with a bad case of cabin fever.  Thankfully it was an absolutely perfect day, the was shining, the temperature was perfect and the scenery was unbeatable… just was I needed!  The kids had a blast, they played in the sand, mud and water all day, got completely filthy from head to toe and loved every second of it. Camberlyn loves the great outdoors, just like her parents. We saw a moose and an osprey while we were out, Cam was pretty amazed by the osprey carrying a fish.
It was really a “perfect” day, and just was we all needed; fresh air, beautiful scenery and good people to share it with.

A Sign for the Kitchen

I don’t know what I am going to do when Cam stops  taking naps. I get SO much done during those quiet hours of sleep.  Yesterday I made a sign to hang over the dining room table, in the time it took Cam to take one nice afternoon snooze.

I have been wanting to do this for a while now, but we have been refinishing dining room chairs for what seems like forever, and I told myself that I wouldn’t start anything else until the chairs were done because I didn’t want the house to be a complete disaster. So, having completed the chair project on Thursday (hallelujah!) I promptly went to work on the sign project on Friday.

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I wont lie, I really thought this would take longer to make than it did. We are talking like 2-2.5 hours from start to finish (or however long a 14 month old’s nap is).

I started by grabbing some scraps of wood that were laying around, I have plenty because of the pallet nightstands we made a few weeks ago.  I chose three wide pieces for the front and two small pieces to hold them together on the back.

I realize now that I should have taken pictures of what I did to hang it, but in my excitement I completely forgot. It was pretty simple, an eye screw attached on each of the small boards in back and a picture hanging wire strung between them. Easy peasy.

 

Next, I free handed the saying I wanted with a pencil. I am  what I like to call “artisticly challenged” so this was by far the harded part for me. I looked up some fonts that I like and then did my best to make it look pretty. And it worked! So if I can do it, anyone can!

From there it was time to start painting on the lettering, this was a little tricky because the wood was rough but I actually had a lot of fun doing it.

I finished the letters and that was it. No joke. This project was Super simple and its exactly what I wanted for the dining room!

Posted in DIY