Happy Earth Day! Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont is excited to celebrate our beautiful planet and support environmental sustainability today and every day. DIY projects from Goodwill finds are a great way to recycle pieces and give something a “second life.” Our friend Emily at the blog Our House Now a Home completed a fun and easy refurbishment project that saved a useable chair from the landfill.
Chair Redo Tutorial – No Sewing Needed
By Emily Burmeister, Our House Now a Home
Today I am sharing a DIY project about a chair I redid for my daughter Nora’s room. Total hours spent was maybe one…one whole hour. That is it! I found this chair on the side of the road with a lovely “free” sign attached to it. I could not believe my luck. I was actually on my way to go chair hunting to look for a chair exactly like this.
Now when I found it, it was not this adorable pink chair. It was…well ugly, old, worn and in need of love. But a really sturdy chair. I think the people who put it out could not see the appeal. I hope to reach all of those people eventually so no more chairs are down on their luck in a dumpster or on the side of the street anymore. One chair at a time!
I don’t know if this was for sale in a rummage sale at one point because it had a price of $4.99. I would have paid that too! I like wildlife and birds, but this cushion is a little too rustic for me…and that is saying something.
So first on this chair redo list would be to take off of the cushion so I can paint. It is really simple – there are some screws under the bottom of the seat itself that you unscrew and take out. Done!
Next comes the sanding. I always rough-up wood furniture pieces a little. It allows the paint to stick to the chair much better with a smaller chance of it coming off so soon. Of course it is painted wood. It will need to be touched up, but sanding helps it last a little longer. I never go crazy with sanding, just enough to make it feel slightly rough. To know if the sanding is done, a good gauge for one is to feel it. It should be rough enough to not feel the smooth, glaze finish that was on it. And it should be dusty and scratched up. I always have to fold the sandpaper over to get into the corners. Otherwise it can be tough to get in there. And the corners will not be sanded properly otherwise. Be sure to get it all sanded.
The sanding was done – notice the scratched and dusty appearance. That would mean it is enough to have the paint stick to the surface. I scrubbed off any glazing or finish. Now for the painting – the fun part. The one you get results with. We used a very bright pink spray paint. It is a Rust-Oleum gloss in Berry Pink. And it is berry, very pink. This was my compromise to Nora who wanted her whole room painted in this very pink, pink. I would give her other things in this pink, but not the walls. Re-doing furniture when she is over pink is a lot quicker than a whole new wall color.
When spray painting, I always go from side to side lightly painting the surface. Keep in mind always with spray painting that more than one coat will and should be needed. The first coat will have a lot left to be seen. Go slowly from one side to the other. If you get too close to the chair or put too much paint on at first, you will get running paint. The spray paint can should be at least 6 inches away from the piece you are painting. This is to prevent it from getting layered on and dripping. I did one coat, let it dry and then did one more coat. It usually does the trick quite well.
So while the second coat of paint dried, I went to work covering the chair cover, getting rid of ducks and adding some bugs. I used a leftover curtain that I bought from Goodwill a while ago. I found these great curtains for my daughter’s room – Pottery Barn brand, still in the package for $5.00 at Goodwill. I used two for her room, but there was another one I bought, not sure at the time what my intention would be for it. Well it turns out I intended to use it for her chair.
I started by laying out the curtain. It is much longer than the cushion, so I set the cushion on top of it to determine how much fabric I would need. It was a little over twice the size of the cushion. I left 2 inches of fabric on the side of the cushion. This allows the fabric to be folded over onto the cushion so you have material to nail it into the cushion itself on the underside. It is a fairly thin cushion, so not much was needed to fold over the side. Always double-check and fold the edge over before cutting just to make sure. Especially if you have limited fabric. I have enough leftover to sew a pillow, which is awesome.
Now the folding of the fabric and the stapling. This is a fairly pain-free endeavor. To fold onto the bottom of the cushion, I always start on the straight side. Pull the fabric snug, but not too tight and use a staple gun to attach the fabric going down the row. Hold down and use a staple gun to punch the staple in, putting in one staple about every 3 inches or so. There should be no lifting of the fabric between staples. If there is, just throw in another staple. You will hate it later if you choose to put on different fabric and have to pull out the one million staples, but here and now and this particular project…staple away!
The one tricky part is the corners and curved edge. The corners needs a little more attention. I simply take the already nailed in straight side and hold tight, smoothing it out. Then the leftover fabric (maybe 2 inches worth) that is on the side of the cushion, I fold over onto itself, example below.
Folding, and keeping it all neat and tidy while doing it. Keeping it as smooth as possible.
Once it is folded, pull tightly. I always try to keep the folded piece as thin as possible so there are not any gathered or bumpy parts to the side or even under the cushion. You never know how it will lay once done. So the neater the better.
Folding it down tightly, making sure the fabric is not too snug.
Hold down while a trusty assistant staples, watching closely at the fabric and fingers.
The curved edge is what I was worried about. I have done them before, but always with a chair where the curved edge was hidden with the back of the chair. This curved edge is also in the back of the chair, but with little to no back to hide my not-so-neat folds. Time to bring out my folding and stapling skills. I started by just moving the fabric and folding it sporadically to see how it would fold and lay. Once I got a feel for it, I began by folding the piece closest to the already stapled side. Folding the small edge and flattening it down myself. It began to get an appearance of ruching, holding down each fold and moving along the curved edge. Then my husband Dale came in and stapled it down. Always right along the edge, just under the cushion bottom. You can go in after and staple the extra material afterwards so nothing catches.
The folding and ruching begins. Keep it tight and clean.
Then I slowly move around the curved edge, pulling, smoothing, tightening and then stapling it down.
Notice the staple, just at the edge. Also staple over the fold as well to make sure the fold does not come undone.
This shows the staples being put into the fold as well as the flat part. Go staple crazy!
Once I was happy with the results, I had a new cushion. It may look sloppy and ugly from the bottom, but nice and pretty on the top where it matters.
I should also add when laying the fabric down and before stapling, make sure the fabric is straight on the cushion. No leaning bugs here!
So now I have redone the cushion and painted chair. Time to add the two together and call it done. For this, I sat the chair upside-down on our coffee table. I put the chair on the coffee table so that the cushion could sit on the seat, but upside down so I could screw in the screws to the chair cushion. For this I also made sure the cushion lined up properly and was not sitting too close to the edge of the chair or one side more back than the other.
Make sure the fabric is out of the way of the place you will be screwing in.
Once that is done, securing the seat into place it is also done. My old throw-away chair is now a new and improved pretty, pink chair. It turned out adorable and was exactly what I was frantically looking for.
After spray painting the chair, I always inspect the detailing to make sure it all got even coverage of the paint. A quick re-spraying is sometimes needed for some pieces with lots of small details or cracks.
I paired the chair with a old desk my Grandma gave me. It was actually my Mom’s and mine growing up. It was white and very old when we got it. The two together look like a match made in heaven…a pink heaven. Perfect for my 6-year-old Nora.
So there it is – the pink, lovely chair redo. All in total I spent $5.00 on this project. About $2.00 for the curtain (I spent $5.00 for all three panels, so I guesstimated the amount for one panel I used for this project), and then $3.00 for a can of spray paint. Not bad for an adorable piece of furniture that brightens up her room. I hope you were inspired to use and redo those old chairs and not throw them out. Easiest and cheapest redo ever. I am going to start a save the chair campaign or something. Who is with me?!
This spring, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont has partnered with Whitley Adkins Hamlin, author of the Queen City Style blog, for spring cleaning tips and fashion trends. Whitley is a Charlotte-based professional wardrobe stylist, personal shopper and fashion blogger, featured in the May 2015 issue of SouthPark Magazine and recent winner of Charlotte Magazine’s 2015 BOB (Best of the Best) Award for best personal stylist.
Spring is the perfect time to welcome a new season and start fresh by cleaning out your closet, home or office, and donating unwanted items to Goodwill. Below Whitley offers some key spring cleaning tips.
The Queen City Style Wardrobe Refresh Advice:
1. Schedule a time to clean out your closet: Commit to doing it all at once. Mentally transition from fall/winter to spring/summer.
2. Divide your closet into subcategories: Shirts, sweaters, pants, belts, shoes, etc. so that you can closely compare and see if you have multiples of each item. Do you have three black belts when you only need one? Extra pairs of jeans that don’t fit anymore? Discard unnecessary multiples to Goodwill.
3. Be honest with yourself: How long has it been since you’ve worn that item? Subscribe to the one, two or five year rule and part ways with a piece if it’s been that long since its last wear. However, there are exceptions if you invest in or inherit high quality items that will physically and fashionably stand the test of time.
4. Thank your cast-offs: Say “Thank you for giving me joy when I bought you.” Instead of holding on to a piece you no longer wear for emotional reasons, donate the item to Goodwill and appreciate the joy you will create for another.
5. Lovingly put away out-of-season clothes: Fold everything neatly, place on a shelf or in plastic boxes and store your shoes in shoe boxes. Keeping your possessions organized takes a little more time on the front end, but your pocketbook will thank you for providing the care to allow your wardrobe to stand the test of time.
Whitley also offers tips on several popular trends this season, all of which may be found at your local Goodwill store.
The Queen City Style Spring 2015 Fashion Trends:
1. Track down the suede: As is the bohemian style of the 1970s, suede is a very big trend for this spring – it’s lightweight, yet chic.
2. Reach for the silk scarves and bandanas: Silk scarves are a timeless, classic accessory that will never go out of style. They may not always be “on trend,” but they will always be in fashion. Goodwill always seems to have a great selection of scarves from different decades. Style tip: you can tie them around your head, ponytail, neck, waist, wrist or attach to a bag as a colorful accessory.
3. Put away the over-the-knee boots: Now that the cold weather is over, instead wear ankle boots. They go with everything from skirts to cropped pants, dresses and jeans.
4. Wear a denim jacket as an easy layering piece: Put the heavy coats in the hall closet – a denim jacket is a classic you can wear all four seasons of the year. It’s lightweight, compact and can dress up or down any outfit, like this military style denim jacket.
5. Top it off with a fedora: Put away the beanie caps and break out your most polished topper – another easy find at Goodwill.
Goodwill makes spring cleaning easy and can help clean out more than just your closets and dresser drawers. From the office to the garage, Goodwill makes it simple and convenient to drop off your donations:
- Goodwill has 22 retail stores and more than 50 donation sites throughout the Southern Piedmont that accept donations.
- Goodwill accepts clothing, books, housewares, electronics, small appliances, sports equipment and furniture.
- You can schedule a free home pick-up in the Charlotte-metro area. Items eligible for home pick-ups include at least two large, gently used furniture pieces, clothing, shoes, electronics and other household items.
- If your community or organization is holding a spring yard or garage sale, you can call Goodwill to pick up remaining items from the sale. For more information about home pick-ups and service area, visit www.goodwillsp.org/donate.
Goodwill relies on the generosity of its donors to fund programs that give people in our region the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential through family sustaining employment. Spring cleaning donations are a benefit not only to those overhauling their homes, but in turn for the thousands of individuals that benefit from Goodwill’s job training and employment services each year.
Many thanks to Whitley Adkins Hamlin for her spring cleaning tips and trends. Help turn a pair of jeans into a job for someone in our community this spring!
I try to keep an open mind when I’m shopping at Goodwill stores or flea markets. Sometimes I find an item and have no idea what I will do with it, but can’t pass it up because I know at some point I’ll come up with a great DIY project. Other times, I spot something and an idea pops in my head immediately. That’s what happened when I found four corner bookshelves. Together, I imagined, they could be a cute little side table.
Of the four shelves, one was painted; the other three had a stain finish. Although all four shelves are the same size and shape, they are obviously handmade (maybe a shop class project?) so not an identical match. But that’s okay.
In order for the table to sit flat on the floor and have a flat top, I cut off the curved top and bottom pieces with a power saw. After screwing the four shelves together, I used an orbital sander to smooth out the top and bottom.
I knew the table wouldn’t be perfect, so I spray painted it in satin espresso. A gloss finish or bright color would just highlight the flaws. Keep that in mind when painting anything, including walls. Imperfections are less noticeable when painted with a flat or egg shell finish!
I often rearrange my porch furniture depending on the weather or the number of guests, so wheels make moving furniture around a cinch. I purchased a package of four wheels and screws and attached them to the bottom. Pre-drilling holes makes adding the screws easier.
I also knew the top would need to be covered up. I had a 20 in. round glass table topper that fit perfectly. Since I’ll use the table on my porch this summer, I used a piece of fabric left over from upholstering some chairs. It’s an ikat pattern – a dying process that’s been around for centuries, and has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years.
After ironing the wrinkles out, use the glass top to trace the shape on the fabric.
You will need a sponge brush and Mod Podge Decoupage glue. Wash the glass and allow it to dry. Spread two coats of Mod Podge on the entire surface. Immediately lay the patterned side of the fabric on the glass. Apply three coats of Mod Podge to the unpatterned side fabric and let it dry.
Lay the glass top on the table. Since the fabric is on the underside, it is protected from the elements and spills.
With the final finished project, I have lots of space for displaying and arranging books and collectibles, plus a lamp and a cool drink for spring evenings on the porch.
Interior designer Merri Cvetan writes about home décor, as well as her DIY furniture craft projects, for The Home Depot. Merri’s design career began after she bought a 1890s farm house fixer-upper, which is now her family’s home. To view Home Depot’s Home Decorators Collection of outdoor furniture, including porch items, click here.
If you have recently removed your closet bi-fold or 6-panel doors, and they are now lying in your basement or garage, why not repurpose them?
Upcycling and repurposing old doors is no longer just in the realm of artists – it’s a full-on design trend, at a time when many homeowners are removing closet doors to make a closet office or to create unique storage spaces. Instead of putting those doors out in the garbage pile, take a look at how you can repurpose them into decorative elements and furniture for your home.
Sliding barn doors from repurposed closet doors
As a designer, I’m always on the search for solutions to help my clients save space without sacrificing beauty. Barn doors have gained popularity in the interiors world, as the hardware affixes to the outside of the doorway opening and allows the doors to slide rather than swing into a room. This saves interior space and brings a rustic touch to your interiors. Barn doors work beautifully for bathrooms, closets and sectioning off public spaces from the rest of your home.
To turn your closet doors into barn sliding doors, you will need to purchase barn door hardware. This will include the track and the rolling mechanisms to attach to the top of each of your closet doors. For smaller room openings, you can use just one closet door instead of two. Your local hardware store may carry them or check online for “barn door hardware” to get more decorative finishes to match your interiors.
Wake up your tired bedroom with a closet door headboard
Headboards have come a long way since the traditional “4-post” bed with traditional hardwood or wrought iron detailing. Today, headboards give your bedroom a focal point, and can also bring a sense of accomplishment to the room when using repurposed closet doors.
Hang a single door horizontally, or create a vertical pattern with painted closet vented slat doors. The wonderful part of repurposing your closet doors is the mood they can convey with a new coat of paint or wood stain. If you are a DIY’er, you can distress the surface with sandpaper, hammer, chains and other tools to give it a rustic “Shabby Chic” decorative appeal. The pictured vented slat closet doors from HGTV’s Layla Palmer have been white-washed to give a coastal, weathered appearance.
Recycle a door into a lively dinner table
Repurposed doors can also lend rustic appeal to your outdoor spaces. I love this garden table that has been painted, stenciled and set atop woodworking sawhorses bases for a garden table anyone would love. Keeping the doorknob affixed to the table adds to the whimsical nature of the outdoor eating area.
Remember to sand down edges with sandpaper or an electric sander to ensure nails, screws and loose wood are removed. This will help your tabletop have a smooth surface before painting, and will ensure that guests don’t get hurt by a rough corner of the door.
How will you use your closet doors in a new way? From decorative barn sliding doors to a bedroom headboard, the projects are endless. I’ve also seen coffee tables, room dividers and dining room tables made from repurposed closet doors. Use these tips to get your creative juices flowing and come up with a new project that is your own style.
Ronique Gibson is a home design expert with more than 13 years of interior design experience. Ronique writes about her décor ideas for The Home Depot. If you want to view a large selection of closet doors and other types available online at Home Depot, you can visit the company’s website.
Sometimes you can take found or inexpensive materials and repurpose them into something that’s truly amazing. And many times, this can be done relatively easily.
Case in point: Using wooden pallets to create a focal wall of wood. It’s a great way to recycle those wooden pallets while also giving a room in your home a chic, rustic look. Once you see how easy it is to do, you might even want to do this in more than one room.
For this project, you’ll need access to pallets. Free would be best and you will surely find a local retailer that would be happy to let you take some pallets off their hands. Measure the area that you need covered in feet and make sure you get enough pallets to cover that area; each pallet will give you about ten planks that are three feet long and three inches wide, and it’s a good idea to get a couple extra pallets just in case. You’ll also need a sawzall saw, a sander (preferably electric), one or more stains depending on the look you’re going for, nails and a nail gun, a stud finder, a pencil, brushes or rags for applying stain, some protective gear, a level, and some outlet extensions.
Step One: Breaking Down and Cleaning the Pallets
After you’ve obtained your pallets, the first things you need to do is break them down and clean them. Some people want to use a crowbar to break down pallets, but that can damage the boards. A sawzall saw works best since it can cut through both wood and nails, turning that pallet into single boards.
Since pallets are used to transport all sorts of things, they can get very dirty. You don’t want to get them too wet when cleaning them, but a ring-out soapy rag should suffice.
Step Two: Prep the Boards
Before they’re ready to go onto the wall, the boards need to be sanded and stained (if you’re going to stain them). Don’t sand too much if you want them to keep the color applied during the manufacturing process to give your wall a more rustic look. The main purpose of sanding is to remove the rough parts and snags, so most of the sanding will be on the ends and edges.
As for staining, it really depends on your desired look. If your goal is to match the pallets to other wood in your home, you’ll want to be more selective about the stain you use. Otherwise, you can select whichever stain or stains that give you the look you want to achieve. If you’re unsure about which stain to use, you can consult a staff member at your local hardware store and they can point you in the right direction. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions and apply the stain with your rags or brushes and allow them to dry.
Step Three: Find the Studs
You’re going to be nailing quite a few boards into your wall, so it’s important that you know where the studs are so that the boards are appropriately secured. Use your stud finder and a pencil to draw lines over the studs. This will show you where to place your nails as you install your wood wall.
Step Four: Plan the Pattern
Even though you could simply start attaching boards to the wall, you’ll probably want to lay the boards out and plan a design. Similar to the way bricks are laid in an offset pattern when masons use them to build homes, you should stagger the boards so that every row isn’t vertically even. It looks more authentic when each row’s boards are different lengths, beginning and ending in different places. This gives you a little more work and gives the project a puzzle-like phase, but the end definitely justifies the means. Once your floor pattern looks how you want it, you’re almost ready to start nailing.
Extra Credit: You might consider “framing” your wall by using boards to create a border on all sides. Use the pallet boards and cut the corner pieces diagonally as would be done for a picture frame. Then you can just begin your pattern one board’s length inward on all sides. This is a great way to give the rustic wall a more contemporary, polished look.
Step Five: Extend the Outlets
If you’re electrically-inclined, this is something you could do yourself. Otherwise, you’ll want to hire an electrician so that the outlets in your new wood focal wall will be even with the wall and not sunken into the wall where they are now. If the wall you’ve chosen has no outlets, you can just skip this step.
Step Six: Installation
Using your level and pencil, start at the top of the wall and trace the lines on the wall where each row of boards will go. Work from top to bottom, left to right. It’ll also be easier if you have a helper with you so that one person can hold the board in place while the other nails it to the wall. Try to keep boards that need additional trimmings toward the bottom of the wall so that longer, more solid boards are closer to the top of the wall. Continue each row until the entire wall is covered.
By Jane Blanchard. Head to Modernize.com for more design advice and inspiration.
As an interior designer, I know it’s not always practical or in the budget to gut the kitchen and start over, but that shouldn’t stop you from updating the room where you cook and eat. Even little changes can turn “ho-hum” into “wow.” And if you can say, “I did it myself,” even better!
The easiest and fastest way to update a kitchen is to change the cabinet doorknobs or pulls. There are literally hundreds of options (and price points) available. But to really personalize your kitchen, make your own.
Idea 1: Button Knobs
Adding a colorful knob is less expensive than painting walls or cabinets. However, they’re hard to find. Most handles come in neutral or metallic colors: brass, chrome, bronze, black, or white. So, I raided my button box looking for shank style buttons (the kind with a hollow protrusion on the back, as opposed to buttons with holes).
I purchased a bronze knob with a flat top, and then chose a button that would fit but still show off the bronze border.
In order for the button to lie flat, cut off the shank with a wire cutter. Glue it to the new knob. Be sure to use a heavy-duty glue like Super Glue or Gorilla Glue.
Idea 2: Decoupage Knobs
Another easy DIY cabinet knob is decoupage.
This time, I purchased 2 in. unpainted wood knobs. They come in various sizes, but larger ones are easier to work with. You will also need Mod Podge, a paintbrush and paper. Choose a decorative paper that reflects your personality. Maps are always fun-especially maps of places you’ve been to.
- Cut a paper circle 1 in. larger than the knob.
- Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the knob.
- Lay the paper on top and smooth with a brush.
- Add more Mod Podge to the back of the knob and fold paper in. You will need to cut slits around the circle so it will fit.
- Apply another coat of Mod Podge for a waterproof finish.
Idea 3: Embellish What You’ve Got
An even easier update is to add something to an existing knob. There is nothing wrong with this vintage glass knob, but an antique skeleton key gives it a unique update.
Of course, my favorite DIY projects involve something totally unexpected. You never know what you will find when you shop in the hardware department. Start looking at everything with a new “eye”. I always ask myself, “What can I do with this?”
This rubber and metal hose clamp is a perfect solution for updating cabinetry. It’s unusual, creates a nice contrast with painted cupboards and requires no work. I will guarantee, no one else will have a hose clamp handle in their kitchen!
What creative updates have you given your cabinet knobs and pulls?
Merri Cvetan is an interior designer who writes about home décor, including kitchen design and kitchen cabinets, for The Home Depot. Home Depot’s selection of kitchen cabinets and hardware can be viewed online here.
There are three reasons to add a drapery to a window: privacy, shade relief from the sun, and to add color, pattern and texture.
There are many style options, as well as thousands of fabrics, to choose from. I have a client who was looking to update her kitchen, but she wasn’t ready for a complete makeover-she just wanted something new and fresh. A new drapery is a great place to start!
Her single kitchen window overlooks a river, so she doesn’t have to worry about privacy and certainly didn’t want to cover-up her view. I decided to give her something unique: an awning style valance.
Awnings are typically found on the exterior of homes to keep the sun out, but this style works for inside, too!
Her old curtain was a simple blue valance with a scalloped hem and tassel trim. It was not only time for a new style, but a new color.
She’s thinking of decorating the kitchen in a French Bistro look, so I found a contemporary paisley print in shades of dark red and gold. Instead of trim across the bottom, I decided to add tassels. The only other thing I needed was a pair of tension rods. This is an easy DIY project for someone with a sewing machine and basic sewing skills.
Measure the width of your window opening and add 1 in. for the seam allowance. This window was 41 in. wide. I decided on an overall length of 25 in. and added an inch for seam allowance. I cut two pieces from the paisley fabric 42 in. wide by 26 in. long.
Instead of a straight hem across the bottom, I wanted a curved hem for the tassels. I drew a gentle curve from one side to the middle and repeated on the other side. Cut out the fabric.
Next, pin the right sides together and sew all the way around with a .5 in. seam allowance. Be sure to leave a 1 in. opening on each side at the top for the rod pocket, and an opening at the top so you can turn the valance right side out.
Turn the valance right side out, trim the corners and press. Sew a top-stitch at the top edge to close the opening. Sew another line of stitching 1 in. from the top to make a “pocket” for the curtain rod. Insert the rod.
I then measured 18 in. and 19 in. from the top edge and drew two lines across the width of the valance for the second rod pocket. Sew on both lines. With a seam ripper, open the seam between the two rows of stitching (at the sides) and insert the curtain rod.
I hung the valance between the upper cabinets as high as possible. I put the second a little above the half way point of the cabinet. You can adjust yours to whatever height works best for your window. I liked the gentle curve of the fabric, but it could have been pulled straight and tight. Sew the tassels to the center point and corners.
This is a perfect window treatment for an apartment window. There’s no need to drill holes with tension rods, and you can take it with you when you move!
Merri Cvetan of MEC Design Studio is an interior designer who writes about her projects for Home Depot. Merri’s DIY kitchen valance makes for a great indoor project to take a bit of the bite out of winter’s cold. Home Depot’s selection of windows for kitchens and other rooms can be viewed online on the Home Depot website.