Time for round two! Are you ready? If you missed the first installment of our Battle of the Buffets, be sure to see the first makeover of an antique in this post. You’ll want to take a peek so you can vote at the end of today’s fun and enter to win this week’s giveaway (I love to share!). Today, the entrant is this vintage Art Deco buffet that has seen better days.
It never seems to fail that when I enter a thrift store searching for item A, I come out with items B, C, D E, F….you get the idea. So, is the solution to just not look for item A? Nah. Too much fun to run through the alphabet. hee hee. Does that happen to you? I went in looking for a chair and this is what I came out with, amongst other items. Can you blame me? I had a 35% off coupon burning a hole in my pocket. eep! Yes, this antique empire chest was meant to be mine.
However, knowing my past experiences with chests like this, I did look inside and around before purchasing. Why? Because a deal isn’t always a deal when it ends up to be a hot mess and takes more work than it’s worth. Here’s my summation
Earlier this week, I not only showed you my new tool that I love and am hosting a giveaway for, but also a new candidate for a makeover. We’ll get to the giveaway winner in a bit. First, let me introduce you to this empire dresser that I have been eagerly waiting to work on. It has great lines and a story to tell, but is in need of TLC. This curvy lady is to become a stenciled dresser. *enter in Cindy Lauper, “Girls, just wanna have fu-un!” (now if that doesn’t date me I don’t know what does. ahem)
Why am I am so excited? Well, (1) I have had this in my shop stash for months and it’s finally coming out (2) the empire style is one of my favorites – see here (3) the vision I had for this stenciled dresser came about as soon as I saw it. BAM. Do you get my vibe?
My thrifting adventures can surprise me sometimes and that’s what keeps me hungry for the hunt. Does that happen to you? I was out looking for one thing and then found this child’s wooden chest stuffed in the back. It is totally sporting the 1980’s vibe and was begging me to bring it home to revive it back to beauty.
The faux front was cute, but those awful plastic knobs were killing me. Overall, it was in really great shape and even had the inside bottom replaced at one time. Oh, and I know that this was a secret weapons retreat as inside was written, “Rex and Tim. Don’t touch. Weapons here.” Rex and Tim better watch out!
Ready to finish? Here we go!
Remember the batting, padding and old upholstery you saved for later? Well, you’ll need to grab your stash now.
My rocker needed 2 yards of upholstery weight fabric and 6 yards of your choice of trim (it should be wide enough to cover your staples). You will want to use a nice tight weave fabric so that it will withstand years of love and use.
Lay your fabric out flat and place your old removed pieces and lay them out like below:
Notice that the top and seat are lined up so that the fabric below has the same pattern and design direction. Use pins to secure them while cutting.
Just cut along the old fabric edge, no need for any allowances. Simple enough, eh?
Now for the fun part. Grab your padding and batting and put them back on the chair and check to see if you need to add any extra. I added more to the lumbar area and the seat. While working on the chair I really had hoped that some new mother would be nursing her young one while enjoying her chair, so I wanted it comfy!
Time to add your upholstery, so grab your staple gun. I worked on the chair in this order: seat first, front, and the back last – to hide all the work.
Staring in the front center, tack down the fabric. I folded my raw edge under just to prevent fraying over time. Then, I work on each side of the center staple adding a couple on each side approx. every half inch, but don’t complete it yet. To create good tension, I then tack the center back down, and do the same as the front…add a couple on each side. Do not finish the back at this point, head back to the front and finish it to the corners.
Next, pick a side to start on and begin in the center, and add a couple on either side. Again, like before, cross over to the other side and find center – tack it down and add a couple on either side.
Now, go back to the side you started on and keep working back from one side to the other in this pattern: staple Left, staple Right – matching the tensions on either side (you can do a couple at a time). This will create a lovely tension with a firm seat.
You’re going to use the same idea for the top and back. First, start at the center top on the front piece, adding a couple on either side, then go down to the opposing center on the bottom, adding a couple to either side, to get that good tension.
Use the same method for attaching the back. On my chair the top raw edge of the back was folded down over top of the front edge creating a finished look (you’ll hide the staples later with your trim). I apologize for not taking a picture of this part! Just finish with stapling about every half inch and working from top to bottom and then side to side to create good tension.
When you are done stapling you might have a few wonky staples (staples that didn’t go in completely). I use a large head nail punch and upholstery hammer to lightly tap them in, so that I do not damage my paint job.
Now it’s time to add the trim! Remember from the first post that 4 out of 5 of my children had fevers, so I used what I had on hand – hot glue. I have used hot glue before, but prefer to use a fabric glue such as Fabri-tac, Magna-tac, or Tacky glue.
a.) doesn’t burn your fingers off
b.) doesn’t leave a stringy mess to battle with
c.) doesn’t come out in an uneven form
d.) doesn’t yellow over time – potentially
a.) it takes a while for it to cure and I don’t like to have to hold it in place and wait.
TIP: if you use hot glue and accidentally get a drip on your fabric or have extra glue where you don’t want it, DON’T touch it, just let it harden. Then, take your hair dryer and warm the glue and use some blunt object (butter knife or like me, a paint can opener works great!). It will come off perfectly if you’re patient.
note: remember I folded down the top of my back piece to create a finished edge? Add a strip of trim to that before starting as directed below.
Start at the bottom of the back right or left, and work your way up and over the front side (left or right), down and around the seat, and back up over the opposing front side (left or right), finishing down under the bottom of the back. That was crazy.
Clean up and unwanted hot glue if you used it and…
…we’re done! I was thrilled that the chair sold within a couple of hours of being listed and is in its new home…for a mommy-to-be.
note: If you like the fabric I used, just head to JoAnn: Waverly Chantal Vapeur