Budget Furniture Fix-Ups
by Kathleen Wilson - firstname.lastname@example.org
Description: Hints for fixing up old furniture.
Faced with my own furniture dilemma recently, I thought what a great
opportunity for me to share ideas with you on how to turn around that
tired piece of furniture, without having to spend big bucks! So here
it is, secrets from The Budget Decorator on transforming your
furniture from trash to TFTE! (Treat For The Eyes!)
One of the most expensive items in our rooms is our furniture, and we
can't always afford to just replace it when it gets worn, outdated,
or just no longer works in your room.
The number one concern for those trying to update existing furniture
is slipcovers. Now, unless you are an experienced seamstress, sewing
fitted slipcovers is no easy task. However, fortunately today's
trends lean towards casual, and that includes furniture.
Here are instructions for some simple, casual covers that almost
anyone can do.
First of all, use sheets instead of pieced fabric, it is MUCH easier
and cheaper! Measure your furniture, and buy a sheet size that will
cover your furniture piece without it's cushions, tucked in and
around the arms.(Don't forget to check out garage sales for good
deals!) Use decorative cording if you like to tie around the "skirt"
area to give it a more structured look. Simply tuck ends under the
couch or chair.( You could even tape or staple the ends to the bottom
of the piece, if you wanted.) Now take each of your cushions and look
at it as if you are wrapping a gift. Cut a piece large enough for
your cushion, wrap it like a present, and safety pin it to the
underside of the cushion. (Who's gonna see it?) Add a few pillows
and a throw, and you have changed the entire look of your furniture
for little money, the covers are washable, and you can make one for
each season if you want.
Sheets, blankets, and quilts can all be used for this project, and
can be found at garage sales, thrift stores, and maybe even your own
linen closet. Try wrapping the cushions with another, different
fabric from the room. Remember, this is all about casual style, and
slipcovers are definitely stylish!
Even dining room chairs can be slipcovered. Simply make an open
envelope of fabric to fit over the back of the chair, similar to a
pillowcase. If you like, this can be dressed up by tying it with cord
or ribbon, sewing on decorative buttons, or adding a little lace.
This project can easily be made from leftover curtain fabric and
scraps lying around your sewing room.
Next on the list is what is known as "hardgoods". Tables, chests,
entertainment centers. A fast and inexpensive way to transform these
items is, you guessed it, paint. Almost anything can be painted these
days, including laminate. Simply prime it with a product specifically
made for non-porous surfaces.I like BIN or KILZ. Then just use
ordinary housepaint. Wood finishes can be just sanded and painted.
Consider trying your hand at decorative painting or faux finishing
for designed effects. I suggest visiting a few web sites for ideas
Another tight budget option for covering worn or outdated furniture
includes using fabric on door and drawer fronts. You can use leftover
fabric, fabric from thrift stores or garage sales, or search your own
closet. Simply cut the fabric slightly larger than the drawer or door
front, then use a staple gun to adhere it to the back, stretching it
snug as you go. Try painting the rest of the piece a color picked out
of the fabric for a great coordinated look.
The last option I am going to throw out there is mosaic tiling. This
can be very frugal if you have leftover tiles from another project,
or ask your local tiling center if they have broken tiles they would
let you have. Another good place to look for free mosaic materials is
at residential construction sites, especially ones that are more
upscale. Always ask first, but there are always broken tiles when an
installation has taken place, and it's only going to get hauled to
Mosaic can be as simple as laying broken tile in a random pattern and
gluing in place, to laying out intricate patterns, and grouting and
sealing your project. You can use it on table or dresser tops, drawer
fronts, or even a door itself! You can even produce the illusion of
mosaic by using decorative paper in the same manner, cut it into
irregular shapes, and glue it on!
Whatever you choose to do to update your furniture, impose your own
style, take your time, and be proud of your creation!
Copyright 2002. Kathleen Wilson is the author of Quick Decorating
Ideas Under $20: The Budget Decorator's Bible" and
Editor of the popular ezine, The Budget Decorator.
For more free ideas, visit her at http://www.TheBudgetDecorator.com.
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