Tutorials

How to Sew a Slipcover, Part 3 – DIY Home Decor Tutorial

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Homestretch, dudes and dudettes!

If you need them, here are links to Part 1 and Part 2 of this tutorial.

Step 1

Now that you have all your muslin pattern pieces traced and cut out of your Real Live Slipcover fabric, sew it together! Match up the guide lines you’ve marked and Do It To It.

Now slap that baby on the couch for a test fit.

Step 1

Here’s the back and sides of mine getting a test fit on the ol’ coucheroo.

If you’re adding piping to yours, I find it’s easiest to sew the piping to the most awkwardly shaped piece first. So for my arm piece, I sewed the piping to the front arm piece, then I sewed the piece that wraps aroooound the arm to the piped front-arm-piece. Get it?Read more…

Tutorials

How to Sew a Slipcover, Part 2 – DIY Home Decor Tutorial

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Part 2, FINALLY!

I know, I move at turtle speed sometimes.

Part 1 is here if you need it.

So let’s get started. Here’s my naked couch, stripped of all it’s cushiony goodness. (It seems weird that this is the first photo of the actual couch I’ve posted. Kinda dumb, in hindsight.)

The couch.

Step 1

Last time I told you to go collect some thrift store sheets to use as a muslin, yes?

You COULD forgo the muslin and use these steps on your actual fabric, if you like to gamble, or you’re super ballsy, or really confident. I’m usually all of those, but I still made a muslin. I really didn’t want to eff this up, so I went the safe route, but if you want to roll the dice, be my guest. You’re dangerous!

Grab a sheet and tack it to part of the surface of your couch. I’m going to start with the front of one arm.

You can just stab some pins through the sheet so it lays flat. Or if you don’t want to put pins in your couch for some reason, I suppose you could use tape or something like that.

Step 1. Stab the couch!

You can ignore all the marks for now. When you have it laying nice and flat and even, trim around it, leaving a good seam allowance PLUS extra. 3 inches would be good for now.  Mine has already been trimmed… otherwise it would’ve just looked like a mess of a sheet draped over the arm of my couch.

We’ll trim it down more when we’ve got it all pinned and fitted.

Step 2

Choose another surface that abuts (hehe) the piece you’ve already pinned and trimmed. In my case, I’m going to do the piece that wraps all the way around the arm.

Pin it in place the same way I did with the front of the arm. Now, start pinning the two pieces together where they meet.  It’s usually best to start at the center (in my example, I started pinning at the top of the arm) of the soon-to-be seam. Avoid puckers, you want nice clean seams. Some designs might require some darts or gathers, you’ll have to figure out what works best for your piece of furniture.

Step 2

Pull the pieces taught, but not so tight that you stretch the fabric out of whack and wind up with wonky muslin pattern pieces.Read more…

Tutorials

How to frost a window with contact paper

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If you’ve read my recent posts you know two things.

1. I love Contact paper.

2. I moved into a new house a few months ago.

The new house has a problem. That problem is that there’s  a window IN the shower. This window is a problem because it looks directly onto the street.

Oh, hello mailbox and neighbors and passersby. Don't mind me, I'm just getting Zestfully clean!

No, sir. I don’t like it.

Put a curtain over it, you say! But what about all that nice natural light?!

No, no. A curtain won’t do.

When we lived in an apartment a few years ago, there was a living room window I wanted  to cover without blocking the light, so I cut out a bunch of squares of clear Contact paper and stuck them on the window. It looked like a cool mosaic frosted window. The Contact paper is cool because when you want a change, or you’re a renter moving out, you just peel it off.

I did something similar in our basement here, since we have big egress windows that look directly at the neighbors (more on that in a minute). Even though we’re not renting, and I could have actually etched the glass or painted it with frosted glass spray, I just didn’t want anything permanent.

I knew I wanted to use the Contact paper in the bathroom, but I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to use one continuous piece of Contact paper, so there wouldn’t be any gaps you could see through. Someone would have to stick their face right up to the glass to see through the gaps, but I still didn’t like the idea.

I could have just put the plain sheet over the window and left it at that, but that would have been easy, and easy is boring.

So the OCTOPY ATTACK! window was born…

Here there be monsters!

 

This is what it looks like if you open it. No! He's getting closer! AHHHH!

 

All you need is some Clear Contact Paper, some scissors, Sharpies, and some time.Read more…

Tutorials

How to Revamp Ugly Light Fixtures for $5

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There were a lot of things in this house that I thought would wind up in the garbage because they were so dirty/funky/etc. Like every single door in the house. I thought, “that’s gonna have to go eventually”. But since I was already painting damn near every room in the house, I washed them, slapped on some primer and paint, and I’ll be damned if they didn’t look almost brand new. At the very least, not in need of replacement. (This is where we cheer because that means more money for FABRIC!!!  Mwahahahah.)

Anyway, I was surprised how awesome your standard items -i.e. walls, trim, doors- looked with a fresh coat of paint. What I hadn’t considered was painting some of the house’s hardware. In my lightswitch revamp post, I mentioned painting a light fixture.

Enter the bathroom light fixture:

Meh.

Read more…

Tutorials

How to Design and Sew a Slipcover, Part 1 – DIY Home Decor Tutorial

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So you’ve got a perfectly comfortable, functional couch… it just looks like hell. With a custom made slipcover, no one will know what evil is lurking underneath all that handmade awesomeness!

We scored a couch, loveseat, and chair set at a secondhand furniture store when we first moved in.  The upside is that it’s the most comfortable couch I’ve ever had the pleasure of napping on. The downside is that the couch takes quite a beating, especially from our two cats. It also doesn’t help that we’re total movie and tv junkies, so we spend a lot of time EATING on it. So even though it was in Like New condition when we bought it, five years later… not so much.

I’d been thinking about slipcovering it for a while, and once Spring Fever hit me, I decided now was the time to do it.

Step 1
I decided on the fabric first. Actually, I decided on the fabric, and then I started doing rough estimates of cost and started asking myself if it was worth it. I even decided I wouldn’t make my own. I started looking at some of the “cheap” slipcover options (meaning not custom made and under $200, which was my estimated fabric budget). I liked none and all had mediocre-to-bad reviews, so I made the final decision that DIY was the way to go.

I saw a commercial a few years ago that featured two women sitting on a couch that was covered or slipcovered in a sort of crazy quilt type patchwork. I fell in love. I was initially going to cover each surface with a different print (left side plaid, right side polka dot, one cushion in damask, another cushion in stripe), but after doing a few sketches I decided to scale it back. It was looking busier than I wanted, and would have required more extra fabric/expense to do it that way. I decided I’d do the base of the couch in one fabric, the cushions in another, and the back pillows in a third fabric.

Too busy.

To choose my fabric, I did a few sketches on the computer, inserting various Home Dec fabrics I found online, until I found the ones I liked. After I sketched it out, I decided to also do the backs of the pillows in a different fabric.

Read more…