Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Project Time!

I know I said no more planned projects, but looking at the office, something wasn't clicking, so I had to change it ... Today I'm writing from the garage to give you a little peak of what I'm working on.

I'm building solo today ... I rely on David for a lot of the measuring and cutting since math isn't my best quality and I mess things up a lot ... plus he's really good at it. You only learn through practice, right? So today I'm going slow and hopefully I'll have a good tutorial for you!

p.s. so sad that I won't be going to Haven to meet a bunch of you! At ticket buying time we weren't sure if we'd be in the process of moving, so I had to opt out ... hopefully next year will work!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Refurbished Mid Century Modern Chairs

Hi! I hope that you had a great weekend! We finished our Mid Century Modern chairs. Yay! So today I'm sharing photos and a few tips and tricks on how we refurbished them.

We started with two solid wood chairs from a local consignment shop. The wood was in pretty good condition, so we decided to refinish the wood verse paint it. 

The finish was worn, so I decided to completely sand it down and re-stain. I'm glad that I did because it revealed pretty wood grain underneath. The stain seemed to be semi-opaque because some of the grain showed through and some didn't. 

We started with the orbital sander - 80 grit sand paper to quickly remove the finish (being careful on the round legs not to flatten them). Then to get into the crevices, we wrapped a putty knife (I used) and a wood shim (David used) with sandpaper. The thin, firm but slightly flexible tip allowed us to quickly remove the finish in the hard to reach spots. We then finished sanding with 220 grit sandpaper to give the wood a smooth finish. (ps, don't worry Annabelle wasn't actually this close when I was sanding, she just came to visit :)

Finally, we stained the chairs with Minwax Classic Gray. I wanted something fairly neutral so that the color wouldn't change drastically, and this was perfect!  

We upholstered the cushion with Caitlin Wilson Textiles, Mint Tall Chevron. I LOVE the bright subtle chevron pattern! Isn't her fabric the best!?

 The foam was in decent condition, but we wanted it thicker, so we decided to to put in underneath a layer of new foam (which was cut a little larger so that there wouldn't be any lines). We then topped it with batting and fabric.

Pulling tight, we put a few staples in all four sides and then worked towards the corners. We like to look at the sides every time we pull, to make sure that it looks even and then staple. For the corners we cut off the extra batting and then staple the side under and then tuck the fabric in and fold the front over. 

We reattached the seat to the base and then we were finished! 

I decided to take a few photos in the garage using the feature wall that we stenciled back in March for Creating with the Stars. I wanted to take advantage of it before we have to paint it over in a few weeks when we move out ... I'll have photos in the office for the room tour (coming soon! :)

I love the wood grain! So glad that I decided not to paint! 

Love the brightness that the fabric brings! 

 I've been painting everything recently, so it felt great to stain something instead! Sanding it completely takes a little longer, but the stain goes on so quickly so it definitely balances out.

This is our last (planned) furniture redo before we move at the end of summer, so I'll be sharing full room reveals soon. I still have some projects that I want to add to finish the spaces, so look out for those soon!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pillow Shams for Sale | Coming Soon!

Happy Friday! Just wanted to stop in quickly to let you know that you can benefit from my mom visiting too! Together, we're going through my extra fabric and making a few pillow shams, which I'll be selling shortly!

I hope that you have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Large Fretwork Stencil Now Available

Just wanted to stop in and let you know that I finally figured out how to produce my larger fretwork stencil! The finished shape is 32"x32" (same size as photo). Since it is so large, I decided to make the stencil half of the shape so that it is easier to handle, then you flip it over to finish the shape. I currently have 12 available to you first before I put it on Etsy.

I'll also have more in the fall after we move, so more to come! 

If you're interested, leave a comment or send an email to sarahmdorseydesigns{@}gmail{.}com. They are $45 + $7 shipping, payment available through Paypal.

Happy Wednesday! :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Refinishing Rattan Chairs | Tutorial

Today I'm sharing how we refinished the rattan chairs. They were a little extra work than originally anticipated (as usual in goodwill/craigslist, etc. I was enamored by the potential and didn't see all of the work ...) All in all, it wasn't too bad and the end result definitely made it worth it!

Here's our process.

First things first, I removed the seat cushions and the nasty fabric and foam (probably the worst I've seen ... yuck!) and then scrubbed down the rattan with white vinegar and water. David and I decided that the bottom x's made the chair feel bottom heavy so I used the jigsaw to cut through the middle and then I pulled them out.

ahh much better! 

Next we filled all of the holes with wood filler. These chairs had obviously lived with a pet or small child since the rattan x's had bite marks on it (yikes! Didn't see that before purchasing ...) so I filled those too. Finally, I'd recommend filling in as many crevices as possible prior to painting. Once I painted, the rattan wrapping at the top of the chair looked cheap since the crevices were more noticeable with the white. I ended up filling them in with extra paint, but it would take less paint if filled with wood filler first.

After it dried we sanded with a combination of flexible foam backed sanding pads (purchased at Sherwin Williams) and the orbital sander. Since the surfaces are all curved, we were careful not to sand the filler too much to make it flat.

Prior to painting I applied a little wood glue to the back of the rattan so it wouldn't move once painted. My original plan was to spray prime the crevices and brush the rest, but soon realized that the entire chair needed to be sprayed. It is way too much curved surface area to brush!! I used two cans on three chairs, but it probably could of used one more coat. I've said it before, but Zinsser Cover Stain primer is my favorite! It sticks great, goes on evenly and covers well. It comes out fast, so press lightly to get an even, thin coat. 

We decided to airbrush our chairs with Sherwin Williams Pro Classic paint (SW Alabaster), since we had that on hand. For those without an airbrush, spray painting would work just as well. If you're curious, the airbrush is great for smaller areas where you want more control. Since the paint is easily controlled, it uses less paint since there is less overspray. However, I wouldn't recommend using it on a large surface since it would take too long. 

We then decided to finish it with Krylon's Lacquer (purchased at Sherwin Williams) to give it a glossy protective finish. This has been one of our favorite clears since it didn't create drips easily and went on great. 

Mom's here this week and her timing couldn't of been more perfect to help with the cushions! She is a sewing master and volunteered to make the cushions for me (thanks mom!) First Mom made the cording by cutting coral fabric on the bias (diagonally across the fabric) which helps the cording bend. Here's a tutorial on how to make double cord welting that I've used before, the principle is the same, but you don't use the second step.

Next, mom made a template for the top of the cushion, cut it out and then sewed the cording to the top of the cushion.

With the pieces right side in, mom pinned the bottom panel and sewed those pieces together.

We cut the new foam (Home Depot sells 3" camping pads for $20) out about an 1" larger than the MDF bottom. This worked best with the cover to make it tight, but you want at least .5" overhang since the foam will crush. Tip: to cut the foam, we used a very sharp kitchen knife (David likes to use the filet knife), it cuts SO easily and literally only takes about a minute!

Almost done! Mom modeled the seat cover after the original one, which had an open seam in the back. After a little trial and error, we realized that the traditional pulling tight alternating from all four sides wouldn't work. Instead we started the center of the front and worked around both sides (alternating). For the front corners, I pulled in the center of the corner and then very slightly gathered the fabric to the side of the corner under the MDF so that there wasn't any creases in the front of the fabric.

Finally, the flap on the back allowed us to make up the difference and pull tight. It's definitely doable with one person, but we found it easiest if one person pulled tight and the other stapled.

We reattached the seats and then we were done!

We're planning to use them as accent chairs in the living room/office until we finish the mid century modern chairs, but for now they are at the round table.

I think the coral piping is my favorite :)

Annabelle made a brief appearance for the photo shoot :)

These chairs have come a long way from their neglected, dirt covered beginnings!


We recently scored another set of chairs and we're almost done with those too! Stay tuned!! :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Refinishing Rattan Chairs

Hi! Hope you had a great weekend! :) We finished the rattan chairs Sunday! I'll share our process a little later this week, but first here are a few pictures.

I'm planning on putting the Mid Century Modern chairs around the round table once we finish them and using the rattan chairs as accent chairs. For now we're using them at the round table in the office.


and after

I'll be back soon to share the details on our process!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Five Friday Favorites

Today I'm sharing a few of my random recent favorites.

 Don't want to make your own herringbone driftwood table? West Elm sells one with an oak top.

I recently got a sample of Benefit's They're Real mascara and it's by far the best mascara that I've used. It really grabs onto your lashes, extends them, and makes them fuller. I may splurge once I run out ...

Target's recent Threshold line has some AMAZING tables! This campaign style one is my favorite.

Most sunscreen smells horrible and feels like it never really absorbs. I recently tried Neutrogena's Beach Defense and love it! It goes on like lotion and smells great!

I got this t-shirt cardigan from J Crew. It is comfy and flattering!


I'll be back soon with chair updates. Hopefully I'll have finished pictures on Monday! 

Hope you have a great weekend!!  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Project Update

Hi! Just stopping in quick today with a project update via my iPhone!

I purchased this Ikat pillow for the sofa from Marshals. Since I'm not upholstering the chairs in ikat, this is how I'll get my dose :)

I stopped into Beverley's, in downtown SLO to pick up the fabric for my chairs. I think this pattern is SO pretty in one long stretch (Waverly Cross Section).  I used a 50% off coupon and got two yards for about $16. Yay!

Like I said on Monday, my family is visiting and my Mom is already hard at work. Beautiful piping thanks to Mom! (mine never turns out that good ...)

Finally, a sunset picture from last night. I'm going to soak up every ocean sunset, while I can!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Today I'm at Brittany Makes + Weekend Recap

Today I'm over at the fabulous Brittany Makes sharing a little about me!  Stop by and say hi :) Also, have you seen her dresser/TV console?? I'm CRAZY about it!!


Thanks for all of your sweet comments on our Bamboo Nightstands, you all are the BEST! :) Hope you had a great weekend!

Here's a little recap of ours ...

Last weekend I made an impulse purchase -a hammock swing.  Before David could say yes or no, I was pressing confirm on Amazon. It was only $25 with mixed reviews, but I figured if it broke, David could fix it ...  I also signed up for the trial Amazon Prime membership (Downton Abbey season 3 is on there now...) #nospoilers

I shipped a custom order gold leaf love print ... tutorial here, or if you'd like me to make one for you, let me know.

and finally, my fabric issues ... awhile ago I ordered Richloom Dixon Slub in Graphite for the mid-century modern chairs that I recently got. I never looked at the fabric and when I started upholstering the seats, I discovered that it was the black colorway instead of gray. Boo! Pretty fabric, but a little too much contrast for the space. So I decided to order this fabric from Caitlin Wilson Textiles instead. I LOVE all of her fabrics, and finally decided on the thin chevron. I think the mint will tie in perfectly with the chandelier.

I also ordered a metallic linen for the ratan chairs, but I wasn't feeling it, so I'm also selecting new fabric for those too! I posted it on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks so much to everyone who voted!! There were votes for everything, but B and D were by far the most popular. I do love all the fabrics, I think some work better than others with the caning, but ultimately I'm going with B because I can purchase locally, I already have the coral fabric for the welting, and it's cheaper... Also, my mom (aka sewing genius) is visiting this week, she's always willing to help with projects, so it should look super professional!

Hope you had a great weekend!! :) Check back for updates!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Chinoiserie Inspired Bamboo Nightstands

This week, we finished our bamboo project ... nightstands! Ever since we made the grasscloth + nailhead feature wall, I've wanted simple, open nightstands that wouldn't hide too much of the nailhead.

I've been playing around with a few options, but once I found the Skubb drawer at Ikea and thick bamboo on clearance at a local craft store, I was excited to get started! The plan included, a simple top that was built to fit around the drawer with bamboo legs for the base.

This project is a perfect example of how David and I work together ... he loved the idea of a box built to fit a fabric drawer, but the bamboo legs, not so much. I saw the bamboo and instantly thought they'd be perfect for legs (painted of course...) because they're different from standard lumber, add detail and cheap! David saw them and recognized that hollow = more difficult to attach and work with. 

David wasn't sure, but as usual, he was up to the challenge! We made our way to checkout ... $10 total for both nightstand bases!

Lets get started! 

First, below are the basic materials that we used to make the nightstands. Read on to see how we did it! 

After drawing up a plan, we made a box to fit around the drawer out of MDF. Prior to assembling the box we painted the inside while it was easy to access. 

First, we worked on the bamboo. We looked at the sections before we cut and for the most part, they were pretty straight. Prior to attaching them, we rotated them so that it would look as straight as possible.

Since they were hollow, we would need to put something inside so that the legs could securely attach to the top. After a little trial and error, we came up with cutting an insert out of a 2x2. Since all of the bamboo is different, we dipped the ends in paint as a guide and then cut it out with the jigsaw.

We then drilled through the 2x2 to insert a dowel rod (long enough to fit through the MDF as well). Prior to installing the dowel rod we put Gorilla Glue on the rod so that it would be extra strong. 

Then we inserted the entire piece into the bamboo leg using Gorilla Glue again. Finally, we inserted the leg into the top, using, you guessed it, Gorilla Glue. We decided to use Gorilla Glue because it is strong and expands into crevices once dry. 

I also drew a little diagram cutting through the nightstand to help explain. 

For the X on the bottom, we measured, and marked where they would go. Drilled a large hole, and then widened it to fit the curve of the bamboo with a cutting attachment on the dremel. The top piece of the X sits in the bottom, so we cut the bottom piece a little so it would sit. Finally, we used more Gorilla Glue to secure it. We used clamps throughout, so that it would bond tightly.

Since we were using something organic, a lot of pieces had to be custom fit to the shape of the bamboo.  Those steps could have been eliminated if we used pre cut lumber. Clearly we like to challenge ourselves ... sometimes yes, but actually we didn't know it would require this much customization when we started. I'm so glad that it turned out like I had envisioned in the end!

After it was built, I thought it looked a little skimpy/cheap at the top ... We used a little left over molding (cut at 45s and attached it with Epoxy) to add a little extra dimension and visual weight on top. Plus it's perfect so that things don't roll off of it! 

Prior to painting, we filled any cracks in the bamboo with wood filler and once dry, sanded. 

I primed it with Zinsser Cover Stain (two coats) and finished it with Sherwin Williams Pro Classic, Alabaster (two coats). 

Now onto my favorite part - the drawers! We used the Skubb drawer from Ikea with a fabric wrapped 1/8" piece of luan. First we measured and drilled where we wanted the panel to attach to the drawer. I wrapped it like the Rast dresser. Then I cut and sewed a loop on the front for the pull, and went through the pre-drilled holes with upholstery thread and a long needle (about 4 times per section). 

We decided to make the drawer fit snuggly so that it wouldn't fall out easily. I LOVE the organization that's included! It took about 30 seconds to put together too - since the organization is sewn into place. Also, it's soft on the bottom, so I don't have to worry about it scuffing the paint.

You can see the detail of the attached panel a little better in the photo below. 

A few week's ago we installed the guest room chandelier in our room. I love the soft light that it puts off. 

This the best straight on shot I can get since it's tight in front of the bed ... maybe I'll get a wide angle lens soon (any suggestions for a Nikon?) 

Love the added detail that the molding adds. I think it really helps to dress up the MDF. 

I picked up a candle from Target's fabulous selection (so many great one's to choose from!) Target is SO good recently! 

We could also put a basket on the bottom if we need extra storage, but for now we're good! Also, to hide the lamp wire, I used painter's tape to secure it on the back and then run it down the far leg. I've also seen a few tables using little 3M wire hooks too.

I swapped the organic chevron duvet for a lighter weight white coverlet for the summer (from TJ Maxx).

Cost Breakdown + Sources:

MDF: Habitat ReStore (left over from open shelving unit)
Bamboo: Beverly's (local craft store) $3 for each 8' pole (3 total), .50 small bamboo (2 total)
Zinsser Cover Stain Primer: Home Depot
Sherwin William Pro Classic Paint Alabaster
Skubb Storage Drawers: Ikea, $8 each
Fabric: World Market kitchen towel $4
Coral Striped Runner: Target

I had the paint and glue on hand so the total cost of the new parts was $30 or $15 each!

This is the last project for the bedroom, since we started redoing it in March, so I'll be giving a little tour of the projects soon!

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