Friday, June 21, 2013

How to Re-cover a Non-removable Seat

I finally figured out a way to re-cover the seat on a bench or chair that I couldn't easily remove.  I've always attempted covering the seats that are only attached from underneath with several screws.  But, every time I've seen a chair with the seat permanently attached I've balked and not attempted it.  Well, I finally felt like I had a plan.  I practiced on a vanity bench and I did it.  Yea!!!!

This vintage vanity seat has curvy cabriole legs.  I recovered it in a creamy Belgium linen with braided trim and nail heads in the corners. I love how it turned out and I wanted to share how I did it.

Here's what I started out with---great bones, bad fabric.

I removed the old fabric(s) and the gazillion nails first.  Then I added some new batting to pad it.  I had some beautiful linen fabric I wanted to use.  I cut a piece of it larger than the seat and draped it over the vanity seat.

Yes, I'm doing this on my fold-out card board cutting board on my daughter's bed.  So professional.

The next step is to staple in the center of each side.  Make sure you pull the fabric tightly.  This step is important because you want the cover to be tight and straight. 

I use an electric staple gun and 5/16 staple size.

I then work my way around the bench top.  Continue around the bench, stapling in the center between the staples until you make it all around the perimeter.  You'll be going around and around several times but this process will keep it straight and tight. Notice that I had to make folds in the corners.  Make sure the folds all face the same way.

I followed the lip at the edge of the bench seat and cut away the excess.  (Sorry for the blurry pic.  I didn't notice it was blurry until this step was covered up and it was too late to re-take. )

Now you need to cover up those staples.  I used some braided trim.  You could use gimp, hem tape, grosgrain ribbon, double welt cording, or something I'm wanting to try--- narrow burlap on a roll.  Find it here.

Braided Trim

I attached mine with fabric glue.  You could also use a hot glue gun.

Fabric Glue

The trim does a nice job of covering the staples and the rough edge.  Glue wasn't dry when I took the photo but it dries clear.

Normally, I would cover this trim with nail head but I decided I liked the trim alone and only put nail head in the corners.  Here's the final project again.


Love the leg.

Are you ready to give it a try?  I have a chair I'm going to attempt next.


To see my previous tutorial on how to re-cover a simple chair seat--the easy one--- go here.

BTW, my friend, Mary Alice, bought the bench at Vintagepalooza.  She said that it will be perfect at the foot of her bed.   She writes the blog, Chateau Chic and sells her vintage wares at Rust and Feathers.  Please take a peek at her blog and the shop.  You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

La Tour Eiffel and Vintagepalooza Update

I love books but don't usually write a blog post about just one book.  I thought this one was exceptional and deserving of its own post.  And, I have a soft spot for Paris.

This photo doesn't do the cover justice.  The florets are embossed.  
It gives it a depth that can't be appreciated in a photo.

Les Trente-six Vues de la Tour Eiffel

The book is a combination of artistic styles including Art Nouveau and Japonisme.

Title Page

The text is art work.

Prologue Text

Here are a few of the lovely prints in the book.  It is a tribute to Paris, the City of Light.  Sometimes the tower is in the foreground, other times it's a tiny detail on the horizon, but it's always present.

The index is just as artistic.


My book obviously is a copy of an original published in 1902.  I found an explanation in English in the back of the book that I'd like to share about how it was created and the artists involved.

So, what do you think?  Do you get excited about books?  All things French?  Paris?
I could see these prints framed in a gallery wall, couldn't you?


FYI, the Vintagepalooza weather was perfect and the fellow vendors and buyers --old and new alike-- were thrilled with the event.   The finds were fabulous, unique, and snapped up quickly.
Thanks to the Vintage Marketplace for pulling it all together.  I can't wait to participate again.

Me (in green) surrounded by shoppers and stuff at the start of the sale.

My Space at Vintagepalooza

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Some of What I'll Have at Vintagepalooza

It came up fast but this Saturday, the 15th, is Vintagepalooza  and I wanted to tempt you with some of what I'll have for sale.

The Vintage Marketplace at Glenwood
2945 RT 97
Glenwood, MD 21738

Please visit their website to see what

all the vendors are showcasing:

I'll have this fabulous garden table.  It could work inside or outside on your porch or patio.  Six can sit comfortably around it.  On top is a dough bowl with boxwood spheres and on the bottom shelf a small lazy susan.

My favorite furniture piece for this sale is this re-purposed file drawer section.  The raised panels suggested a Union Jack design to me.  I did a Union Jack variation in tones of black and gray.  I added some vintage iron legs from my stash to raise it up.  It could  be a side table or a buffet with file storage.


I cascaded the pattern to the back as well as onto the front.

Back Side
I just had to share the before.


For Mid Century Modern fans I'll have a brass bar cart, metal faux bamboo glass-topped table, side chair with chevron fabric, bar ware, a green demi-john with peacock feathers, and gold pheasant salt and pepper shakers.

I always love caned pieces.  I have the rails for this single bed which would make a perfect day bed.  The one-drawer night stand matches the bed.  The vintage metal wall sconce has been re-wired and has a plug.   No need to call the electrician.  The book ends are architectural fragments.  Scrolly ironwork can go inside or in the garden.

I always have to have some nature-inspired items for sale.  I filled a cloche with shells and placed it on a Pottery Barn pedestal.  The shell on a stand is faux.  The turtle shell and antlers are authentic.

I was so excited when I found these rubber stamps in their original box.
 There are 89 letters and symbols!!!!!

All things Frenchy next.  The Robin Hood flour sign is enamelware as is the canister set.  They're resting on a ledger book within a scale.

I'll have my shabby stools that got their face lifts.

This vintage vanity has curvy cabriole legs.  I recovered it in a creamy Belgium linen with braided trim and nail heads in the corners.  Check back later for tutorial.

Gotta love that leg.

I hope to see all you DC area readers on Saturday.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

My Secret Vintage Gypsy Life

My blogger friends and I who are also vintage vendors have a secret gypsy life.  Yes, hidden behind all those perfectly-styled rooms we post, we have hidden inventory.  You know that before and after  dresser that was such a find and so beautiful after its update with paint and new knobs?  Well, in a secret stash is a stack of many more dressers, chairs, tables, and accessories, all with what we're sure have hidden potential.  Yes, we've filled our basements, overtaken our garages and filled every nook, cranny and flat surface with our projects (hoard).  Pretty normal huh.
  But we love it and could never give it up.

Pretty In Paint
I was thinking of this as I power washed some shutters in my driveway and leaned them against my truck to dry.  What do the neighbors have to say?  I don't know and I try to stay hidden.  In fact, I park my truck behind the garage out of sight.  I've never shared my truck before, but my kids call it the beast.  I've had it for many years and its my main hauling means for all my finds.  It also has moved kids back and forth to college and apartments and hauled yard waste to the dump.  It has over 100,000 miles and some rust spots.  One of them is growing on the side.  There's another rust spot forming in the floor board at the back corner, and if it rains too hard, water sometimes leaks inside.  Some of these injuries are due to things like lamp posts and fire hydrants
unexpectedly deciding to jump into the side of my truck.

The Beast

So you fellow junkers, fess up, where's your hidden hoard?  Do you dare share?


These always make me smile. 

Remastered Relics

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Spring Blooms

Yes, it's another post about my garden.  I thought I was done with the spring blooms but after a sunny bright weekend, rain was in the forecast and it was very overcast.  Overcast with no bright sun glare is perfect picture taking time and my garden was getting started.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity the weather had given me.  Enjoy more blooms.

Rhododendron and a Peek of My Birdbath


Japanese Maple

Cherry Laurel

Nandina Still Holding On to Its Winter Berries

Climbing Hydrangea not blooming yet but curling nicely around my architectural fragment.


Houttuynia, an invasive ground cover, near my kitchen porch.

Silver Dollar Plant, grown from seeds shared by my Mom.

Azalea in the foreground and a row of hostas on the wall.

I love Ferns.

I just made it.  The rain drops started just as I finished taking the photos.  Its been raining for several days now.
 I wonder what new blooms will appear after they get their big drink.