Two years ago we bought our barstools off of Craigslist for about $40. I wasn’t particularly in love with them, but they were cheap, tall, and there were three of them. And they were brown, and we all know how I love brown.
But it was time for a change… after all, I am still working on debrowning the living room. I wanted to lighten them up and reupholster the seats and backs. Normally I would have gone for a fun print fabric… but Adam requested that I not do any patterns, since the living room is starting to look “frou frou”.
So, new plan – drop cloths. That’s right, the kind you buy at the home improvement store to protect your floors when painting. I’ve seen quite a few things upholstered with drop cloths around the blogosphere and I wanted to give it a go.
There are a lot of different sizes available and I bought the absolute biggest one (12X15 feet) and the thinnest (8oz vs 12oz). I’m planning on upholstering a few other things with it as well and figured I’d just save some money and buy in bulk, Costco style.
When I got home and fluffed it out across the living room I discovered a seam down the middle….turns out that a giant drop cloth is just smaller drop cloths sewn together. Drat…that really cuts down on the amount of usable material. Just a FYI for anyone considering using a drop cloth for sewing projects.
(Y’all like Elijah’s new look? He’s 2.5 and 18 month shorts won’t stay up over his scrawny behind. I feel weird putting both him and Levi (nine months) in 12 month shorts, but it is what it is I guess.)
I wanted to wash the drop cloth before I used it, but I couldn’t fit it all into my washer. So I cut out my pieces first, leaving plenty of room for shrinkage and frayage. Good thing too…
Surprisingly the drop cloth become pretty soft after washing. I mean, I would want to make a dress out of it, but it will be great for upholstery. First I covered the seat cushions. If you’ve never upholstered seat cushions then let me tell you…it’s the easiest thing ever. You literally just wrap your fabric, pull it tight, and staple it to the back.
Also, you do not need to use nearly as much fabric as I used…I may have overcompensated a bit for shrinkage and frayage. You really only need enough fabric for it to cover the front, sides and just a few inches of the back.
While I was doing that Adam set out to make the chairs more sturdy…they were kinda a wobbly mess. He just put a screw in each joint, then we put wood putty in the holes and sanded it smooth.
And then he painted them, because he loves me and he’s cool like that.
While Adam was painting I made the slip covers for the tops of the chairs. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do the corners, but I ended up folding them in and pinning them. I was pretty proud of my “ingenuity” until I remembered that I was sewing them inside out and the corners weren’t actually going to look like that.
Fortunately they looked good the other way too…not that any of the corners look the same.
And here are my finished barstools! I love how light and bright they are now…they’re very LiveLoveDIY.
So much better, right? You no longer take your life in your hands when you sit in them either, so bonus points for that :)
And since a lot of y’all are new around here, here are the links to my other debrowning projects: Crappy $5 table, leafy hexagon table, fabric initial, curtains, lamp, small funky table, and the original debrowning post.