Category Archives: Sewing

A New Hobby: Embroidery

As if I don’t have enough half-finished art/craft projects sitting around, I’ve decided to add a new hobby to my list.  Embroidery!  I’ve been seeing a lot of cute embroidery lately – displayed in the hoop they were sewed in – and hung by a nail or ribbon.  See examples HERE, HERE, and HERE.

My first project was a small embroidery of a tea cup for my youngest sister who is obsessed with tea.  I found a free pattern online, printed out a copy, and headed to the craft store for supplies.  I bought several small and medium hoops (super cheap), embroidery thread (super cheap), and off white cotton (super cheap).  I went home and sketched the pattern from the paper onto my fabric using a sun-filled window as my back lit drawing board.  I used simple stitches and finished the embroidered pattern within a few days of sewing during my down time.  I then took the frame apart, stained the wood brown with some acrylic paint, put the frame and fabric back together and stitched some felt on the back.  That was it!



wooden embroidery hoop





finished embroidery

finished embroidery





I just completed my second embroidery last night for my sister-in-law who just had her second baby a few weeks ago.  It’s pretty cute as well (pictures to come after she’s received it).  A future goal is to create my own patterns.  That is, if I don’t get distracted by something else first.

Thrifted Chair Redo: Part 4 (Finished!)

Last night we finished our side chairs.  This is big.  I am so proud that we took on this project, figured it out, and ended up with two really cute chairs.

Here are the final steps:



Creating and adding the piping wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.  Here is tutorial I followed: Piping Tutorial.  I thought it would be really hard to line up once we needed to add the back side of the cushion, but it came together really well.


painted chair


T took care of painting the chairs, so they were ready to go when I had finished the piping and needed to attach the cushions.  We used black spray paint and sealer, but next time we would use old fashioned paint and brush.  Spray painting furniture can get a little messy, especially with larger pieces.


attaching cushions


The last step was attaching the cushions using the original screws from the chair.  We had some issues lining up the cushions with the screws, but they finally came together.




That was it!  The chairs are now ready to be moved into our new house.  I can’t say I’ll be tackling another upholstery project anytime soon, but I’m very glad I can now say I’ve tried it.  It was a challenging project, but the chairs turned out even better than we imagined.


finished side chairs


Thrifted Chair Redo: Part 3

This weekend we tackled the challenge of stapling the fabric to our chair cushions.  It seemed like a very overwhelming project, but with T’s stapling help we finished all six pieces in about an hour and a half.  And they look adorable.


staple time!


I actually did 0% of the stapling, I just wanted a picture of me pretending like I had a lot to do with it.  Also, note my awesome safety glasses.  T stapled, I maneuvered and tightened the fabric so that there were no bumps or wrinkles.  Not easy.


stapling the corner


Corners are hard.  We made it work, but it might be a little scary when you see what the stapling looks like under the chair.


chair back


This is not a gorgeous chair back, but you will never actually see it.  A similar piece fits within it so that there are no raw edges showing.




Next up will be creating piping to go around each cushion, and giving the chair frames a final layer of paint.

Thrifted Chair Redo: Part 2

This weekend we managed to put some time into the chair upholstery project. We’ve had a lot going on lately (house hunting!), so working on side projects has become more challenging – I would love to get some of them finished before we would move, but finding time to actually work on them has been pretty difficult.

staples, staples, EVERYWHERE


First we had to take the staples off the padded seats to remove the piping.  We left the existing fabric that covers the seats, but the piping had to go. With both T and I working on them together, we removed them from all the pieces in less than an hour – we had to pull HUNDREDS of tiny staples.


spray paint


To paint the chairs, T sanded the wood and then wiped it down with a washcloth.  Each chair will have two coats of satin black spray paint, and then a layer of protective clear spray.


cutting the pieces


To cut the fabric, I laid the existing cover pieces over my fabric, and traced around it with a pencil leaving about 2-3 inches on each side to wrap around.  I first cut out the pieces with white cotton, and then used those as a guide for my primary fabric.  The white cotton will be underneath the floral fabric so that you can’t see the old fabric through the floral.

ready to staple


Our next steps will be stapling the fabric onto the padded pieces, and adding piping.  The piping seems like it will be the trickiest part…let’s hope this project doesn’t take a year to finish.  :)

Thrifted Chair Redo: Part 1

$5 chair


We found this beautiful chair for the low price of $5 at a local thrift store this past weekend.  Two for $10.  Talk about a deal!  Now, I know you’re thinking “Duh, of course they were $5.  They are hideous.”  But that’s because you can’t see their hidden potential.  We plan to take the cushions off, paint the wood frames black, and recover the cushions with a happy floral print.  Keep an eye on the blog for the rest of our redo series.

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