Monday, July 6, 2015

DIY #1: Jesus is Filling Our Rooms

      Not too far back in time I posted about my DIYs and other projects. I was so excited about this new DIY endeavor that I got a little ahead of myself and the Pinterest (if that's even humanly possible), and I thought I'd post a how-to as visions of paints sticks and sandpaper danced in my head. Yeah, I totally didn't think all of that through. So I changed my mind. Now, I do have photos and destructions instructions on what to do; I'll momentarily get to those for anyone interested. As for writing a separate blog, I just don't have the energy or the time. Constructing the basics of blog design has sidetracked me for the past couple of months. In the process I realized that I accomplished nothing in the way of writing and that frustrated me almost as much as digging for blog designs and trying to make this thing "my own." Our buddy Tyler has offered to make me a website when he comes to visit in a few weeks, but he also offered to make one for mine and Jordan's ministry. Wonderful! Allow the nerdiness to commence! For now, just enjoy the plainness, and I'll give an update with the aesthetically pleasing arrives. Moving on . . .
       As soon as we moved into our exceedingly and abundantly above blessing I knew I didn't have enough furniture to fill the rooms within it. In fact, we still have empty rooms, but God constantly shows up and shows out, and I don't anticipate the rooms will stay empty.
      Our living room is connected to our sunroom. In the mornings I come downstairs and open all of the blinds in the house. I love to let the light in from outside. Then I sit on the couch for some Jesus time and watch as the sunlight spills into the sunroom, one golden trickle at a time. When the room lights up in its entirety, I feel like the Holy Spirit is visually announcing His presence to me. Gosh, I love how it feels in that room! Its perfection is unmatched, and the room is void with the exception of a few canvases I keep in there for safety purposes. As I sit on my couch in the mornings, watching as Holy Spirit floods my sunroom, His light edging up the wall from the floor, I'll sometimes get up and walk in there and dance or lift my hands in praise. My neighbors probably think I'm crazy swaying in my "empty" room. It's my happy place. And everyone that comes over can feel His glorious presence in this house, but that room is as close to heaven as any room can get.
       One morning I found myself wishing I had some furniture to go in my holy little room. Then a sweet whisper in my spirit said, "Ask me." So I did. Upon Holy Spirit's prompting I went through each and every room in my house and prayed for the things we needed, not to accommodate beauty and my inner dreams of Southern Living decor and fashion, but to accommodate the people God is going to bring into our home. Yes, it seems a little "if you build it they will come," but I believe God isn't a god who waits on chairs, which is a prime example of why He gave us butts: so we could sit on the ground if need be. And He's filled our home with His people on more than one occasion, seated on chairs and on the floor. But I felt His prompting nonetheless, and I followed it.
      I walked through every individual room of my house and I gave God the desires of my heart, the burden I had to serve others, yes, with furniture requests. Again, these requests weren't for my glory or to beautify my house, but to aid and serve the body. The decor part is just an added bonus. I prayed for end tables and lamps so company that stays overnight can have dimmer light that they don't have to trek out of bed to turn off; so they have a place to set their smaller belongings, their Bibles, their phones, etc. I also prayed for chairs. LOTS of chairs, and I prayed for a large dining room table that seats more than four so larger groups can eat together rather than spread out. I prayed for stools for our island, I prayed for a large gas grill. We have a great little charcoal grill, but when we have big groups over it's hard to get enough burgers cooked in time for everyone to eat together. I also prayed for porch furniture so people can sit outside. We anticipate an overflow in our home; this is why I prayed for so much seating! Lastly, I asked God for a China cabinet . . . just because I've always wanted one. No, it won't do a thing for my guests other than look pretty. But God wants us to bring our hearts to Him; if He sees fit to give me a China cabinet, I'll take it. If not, that's fine as well. Bottom line, my prayer was, "God, fill our rooms. Fill them with Your people, and fill them with a place to sit! Help me to serve your people the best way I can." Piece by beautiful piece, God started filling our rooms with HIS treasures.
      I mentioned in an earlier post that Jordan and I are in the "ask God and see what He says/does" business. As He directs our hearts toward His, He shows us what to pray for and we go from there. When we first moved in we prayed for God to provide two beds for the empty guest rooms. Within moments (literally) we had two FREE beds that were ours for the claiming. We prayed for lamps for downstairs and a few home decor items because it was pretty bare, and my mom called asking if she could spend her meant-for-a-laptop-birthday-money on home decor for our new house. At Thanksgiving God laid it on our hearts to pray for a piano. we prayed, "God, it'll have to be free or super cheap because we can't afford a piano." Two days later Tyler called and said, "Hey, I have a piano for $100. Do y'all want it?" Then we prayed for chairs for our music room/library. I soon found two high end leather wingback chairs donated to Goodwill from a local law office. The set had originally sold for about $3,000. We acquired those puppies for $39.99 a piece! I knew without any doubt that my nudge to pray was from Jesus, but I also that He'd come through in miraculous ways.
      Over the next few posts, or until God says otherwise, I'll detail how He's filling our rooms. Along with these incredible answers to prayer God has shown us how to save money in the process, get the best deals and finds, and create works of art, thus making every piece of furniture He sends us unique and complete with a story of how His hand was all over it. I love how He works because Jordan and I can't get any glory for it! It's so blatantly obvious that it's HIM.

                                                                                                                                                                   


DIY #1
   
      Shortly after we moved here we discovered the anomaly that is the Hendersonville Goodwill, hence the chairs mentioned above. I also found this beauty. Isn't she great?! ---------------------->
For $7.99 (not including my 10% student discount), I brought home a wobbly red chair with a horrendous seat. Somebody got all kinds of artsy with this hot mess, but I was determined to perform plastic surgery and make her the Joan Rivers of Spy Glass Way.
  At first, I considered painting her. But the red color brought out all of the red accents in my home decor. The beading? I hated it. It screamed 1996 home improvement lampshade to me. However, everyone around me absolutely loved it, including my overly stylish mother and interior decorator aunt, both of whom I trust implicitly with more than just home decor and beauty tips. So I kept the beads. But the seat? That had to go the way of the do-do bird. If you look closely at the photo you can see that someone actually painted the cushion with acrylic paint and glued a doily to it. (The last time I used the word "doily" was when I was quoting Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead.) It had to be removed immediately.
However, upon further investigation I
noticed the removal of said cushion would be more complicated than originally anticipated. This was no ordinary face lift, folks. This was Extreme Home Makeover CHAIR Lift Edition.
      Pinterest to the rescue! I found all sorts of refurbishing and reupholstering pins, blogs, websites. And I was quite surprised that the amount of sewing required for this no-sew champ was virtually zilch.
STAPLES were the answer to all reupholstering-for-the-beginner problems!
STAPLES seemed to be the answer to all of my DIY woes. (Praise the LORD!)
      Because this was my first tutorial I didn't make a ton of photos of the process. I promise I won't do that again; there will be a ridiculous amount of photos on the next DIY post. I've tried to be as verbally detailed as possible, but you can always ask questions in the comments if you need to; hopefully I can do another cushion in the future.

MATERIALS: 

  • 1 small bag of batting
  • 1 foam square 
  • 2 yds fabric 
  • staples 
  • staple gun
  • safety goggles
  • a good attitude ;)  

      1. First, I found a fabric that complimented my decor, but also made me happy. I purchased two yards, not necessarily because my cushion was that large, but because I was afraid I'd mess up. Also, I wanted to use leftovers to make a no-sew pillowcase. Next, I bought batting. And no, this has nothing to do with the Atlanta Braves like I'd hoped. Rather it's the squishy material you dog-lovers find strewn around your houses when your beloved canine eats a stuffed animal. If I'd've known Hobby Lobby made this itchy goodness in a bag, I would've bought stock in it years ago and opened a stuffed animal store of my own. But I digress. I also bough a large piece of foam, whose dimensions I can't recall because this was my first DIY and details, shmetails.
     2.  After flipping over my chair, pulling at some tetanus-covered rusty nails, and detaching my seat from its chair skeleton, I disassembled the seat itself. This part got a little tedious as I had to remove every. Single. Staple. Why not just cut and rip, you ask. For one, the previous owner/chair surgeon glued the material into place before stapling it. And as I continued to remove the staples I found just how old this material was, which was another reason why it had adhered so well to its home. Y'all. It was the tan material with the little blue and mauve flowers on it that EVERYONE's momma owned in the 80's. Anyhow, like a true Baptist, this stuff didn't want to budge. But after much tugging and praying, it finally relented. Another reason to remove staples is to make room for the new staples. While I know the underbelly of my work isn't visible, my mind is aware that it's there and it will haunt me in the night.
      3. When everything was stripped from the seat, I had a plain old piece of particle board. From here, I took my new batting and covered the TOP of the seat in a couple of layers, gently pulled it around the edges, and stapled it into place. Batting is fluffy, yes, but it also sticks to everything rough. It adhered perfectly to the particle board seat without the use or need for any adhesive; it also saves your foam piece from wearing out so quickly, basically serving as a buffer between the board and the foam. When you pull it over your board, be careful to get it tight, but pulling too hard can separate pieces. Just use your judgment as it does thin out.
      4. Next, I measured and drew an outline of my seat on the foam piece. Then I cut my foam to the shape of my seat. The seat wasn't a perfect square, however, and I allowed the foam to hang over the sides just a bit, maybe a few centimeters, to allow for adjustments as well as cushioning for the edges of the seat. Once the foam was in place on the seat, I stapled two corners to secure it so the cushion wouldn't move. Then I chose 1 inch sections of the cushion pulling it at different angles, and stapled it all around the seat. This provided for that taut look that most cushions have.
      5. I measured my fabric and used a fabric pencil to mark where I needed to cut it, leaving plenty of excess because the fabric has to WRAP over the edges of the seat to be secured underneath. In my case, I left about 4.5 inches on each side. You can always cut more if you need, but adding fabric is tricky and again with the "I don't sew" reminder. Less isn't usually more when reupholstering. Finally, I covered my seat with my fabric. You'll want to position your fabric the way you want it took look on the top of the seat. Now grab a side to start, and pull. TIGHT. Honestly, I probably should've asked Jordan to help me with this step because pulling almost as tightly as one possibly can with one hand (or teeth or toes or whatever) and stapling with the other was about as easy as pulling a calf from a heifer. You'll also want to make sure that you configure your corners before you staple them. I folded mine much like I would fold the corner of a present when wrapping it. After I stapled everything into place, I cut any excess fabric that was in my way, flipped my seat over, and allowed my hubby to drill it into place. He also tightened the screws in the legs so that it no longer wobbled. And voila! My new little chair went from junk to treasure in a little under an hour!




















Top: Before
Bottom: After

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