Monday, September 21, 2009

trash to treasure

people always say that when you're trying to find something you should stop looking for it. most times i agree with that (except when it's referring to a husband- come on now- what 27 year old single female isn't looking? but i digress...). i've been searching for a couple side chairs for the office that i work in. if you've forgotten or you're new to this blog then i'll remind you that i work for a non-profit and our offices are located in the basement of a church. i've done my best to fix up the offices and make them as comfortable and functional as possible on a pretty low budget. remember, non-profit basically means that there isn't much money for extras like side chairs. so my looking has consisted of craigslist (and even that's been too expensive), yard sales and thrift stores.

on saturday i found myself out with my mom on what was an incredibly beautiful day. we had breakfast at one of my favorite diners and then we stopped by a flea market at a church across the street. i came across some really cute charms that i intend on using in some necklaces (another one of my hobbies) and told my mom that i wanted to head to goodwill to checkout their jewelry selection. i've scored some really cute stuff there for way cheap. so we made our way to goodwill and as soon as i stepped through the doors i spotted them. there they were- 2 side chairs just sitting there waiting to be refinished and turned into something adorable for the office. i looked at the price tag and was delighted to find it read $2.97 each. $2.97!!! holy cow that's cheap! i grabbed them quick as i could before someone else got 'em, snagged a few finds from the jewelry counter and was on my merry way.

next stop was the friendly ace hardware store next door where i grabbed some sandpaper and 2 cans of black spray paint. i didn't get around to my project until today but i was so pleased with the results. here's what it looked like when i brought it home from goodwill:

pretty simple, nice comfy cushion, sturdy construction. it was exactly what i was looking for! i sanded both chairs and got to spraying. thankfully i spent the extra buck and got those new handy-dandy spraypaint cans with the trigger. so much easier on the fingers! after 2 coats and some time outside to dry i got to my reupholstering. now, i do not claim to know what i'm doing when it comes to reupholstering furniture, but a simple seat cushion i can handle. i was really excited, too because i used fabric that i brought back from zambia. i love the textiles there. the colors and patterns are so unique and different from what you find here. they sell the material in 2 meter sections and they call them 'chitenges.' they are usually worn as a skirt by wrapping and tying them around their waist, but i've found plenty of other uses for them here: pillows, picture frames, wall art and now furniture!

so i went through my collection of over 30 chitenges (yikes, did i just admit that?) and found the perfect one. it was just the right size to cover both cushions and i couldn't be more pleased with the result. i can't wait to put these in the office tomorrow and complete the little seating area. so fun! here's the after result:


i'll have to take a picture of them in their new home and show you how it looks. i love simple, easy and cheap (under $25 for both chairs) projects like this, especially when i get to use things i already have, like fabric and a staple gun! hopefully i've inspired you to tackle that project that's sitting on the back burner, cause we all know how good it feels to get something done.

also a big thanks to my sister kate for having me over for dinner tonight. i helped her out with some stuff so i know she was just returning the favor but it was delicious. don't let her fool you, her domestic diva-ness has come a long way.

hope everyone has a great day! keep your eyes open cause you never know- that thing you've been looking for might just show up today. :)

12 comments:

Brittany Ann said...

This is awesome! I needed this inspiration!

Abbey said...

Love it! It looks amazing! :)

Kristin Williams Balla said...

They look awesome Susan! I think I would be too afraid to tackle a project like this. Kudos to you!

Gina said...

I am SO impressed. I don't even know how to sand a chair, much less cover it. It's gorgeous!

Sarah said...

Sue, you are so awesome!!! I absolutely looove your refinished treasure ;-) Looking forward to seeing what you will do with those charms too ;-)

Rhiana said...

They look awesome! :)

Bethany said...

That chair looks incredible! Nice work. Troy had brought me back some fabric from Thailand when he was over there and I've always wondered what to do with it, but you've given me some ideas beyond clothing for a purpose for it.

I do wanna see pictures of those chairs in your office, so don't forget to post them. :)

<3<3

Katie said...

Although I saw the pictures---PERFECT! :) love it!

Lexilooo said...

oooh, looks gorgeous!

Tatiana said...

You are just amazing!!! THat is gorgeous! I have a little something for you on my blog :)

Crazy Shenanigans said...

I just found your blog and I really like it!! Cute chairs!

Laura and Ryan said...

I just found your blog. I love your posts on Africa. My heart has been there since we took a mission trip to Zimbabwe in 07. Love your blog!