Peek a boo!

Here’s a great story from Amanda Calta, a married, stay-at-home mom with four children in Tampa.  She says “I’ve always been handy and crafty.” After seeing this transformation, I’d say that’s an understatement! 10400104_1707633079448331_4313249934395143530_n

“I started doing this because I needed to feel like I did something.  I accomplished something.  My favorite thing to repurpose right now is accent chairs.  I love working with tools and decorating with paint.”  Once you’re done enjoying this contribution, be sure to check out her social media links below.

Coffee sack puzzle

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by Amanda M. Calta on April 2016

I have a passion for old things.  I’m not sure when it began.  My dad loved taking me to visit antique stores and malls.  I loved seeing all the treasures.  Back then, I loved old costume jewelry and those countertop mirrors with the gold metal around them.  I’m sure they have a name, but I don’t know what it is.  Now, I’m grown and have a habit of collecting things that “I know I’ll eventually find the perfect project for it”.  This coffee bean burlap sack was one of those things.  I picked it up from a lady who was planning on relocating and had to sell off her entire storage unit.  I knew it would look amazing on something but I didn’t have that something yet.  

I’m Amanda from Reloved Home Designs.  I’ve been refurbishing furniture for a few years now.  I’m a chick who loves power tools.   I’m self taught and want to keep growing and learning new techniques.  I love fabric but the sewing machine and I don’t see eye to eye.  I needed to find a new way to use fabric.  This is how my love for vintage chairs began.

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She was kinda sad when we first met!

I first saw her on a Facebook Yardsale page.  She was well loved and used.  The wood was filled with scratches.   The fabric was worn with holes.  Someone nicely tacked a coordinating fabric on the back over the original worn fabric.  And I loved her just the way she was.  Some see trash, I see loads of potential.  Look at those sassy wooden Queen Anne legs!  My favorite detail is the wood that goes around the top of the chair.   She had everything I need in an old piece.  I look for solid wood.  I walk away from particle board.  I don’t feel it’s worth my time or money.  Worn with potential is exactly what I look for in a chair.  

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Something satisfying about taking her apart!

When I paint or design, I need to make sure I’m in the right mood.  I need to get connected to what I’m working on.  It helps me see what it should be in the end.  Taking a piece apart is another story.  It’s great any day, any mood, any time.  I’m a little weird like that.  While pulling off all the staples, I swear can hear a sigh of relief from this chair.  Each staple comes out one by one, carefully to keep the fabric intact for later.  The old fabric will be used as a pattern to cut the new pieces.  After hours and hours and a few more hours of work and sore hands, she’s ready get to get dressed.

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I never sketch but this time I did.

My motto is use what you got.  If I can’t find a screwdriver, a butter knife will suffice.  If I need to trace a circle, I walk around my house to find the perfect template.  It could be anything, a medicine bottle or a jelly jar.  Yes, I’m that girl.  Although this is my motto, it usually doesn’t apply to my chairs and fabric.  I love wandering the fabric store for hours.  Taking pieces of fabric all over the store to find the next fabric that will coordinate with it.  Seeing the potential in all the combinations.  Oh, the joy of the fabric store.  But this time, I couldn’t do this.  I had to follow my motto.  I really didn’t have a choice.  I was out of money.   

Fortunately, I have a huge stash of fabric.  As I was looking through my fabric stash, I found it.  The perfect jumping off point, my burlap coffee sack.  I didn’t know when I bought this chair, but this was the missing piece to my coffee sack puzzle.  Now, what else did I have that would work with it?  My studio was a disaster, but that’s not really news.  All my fabric was everywhere.  I pulled aside the fabrics that might work with my coffee sack.  I moved them around several times.  I needed to figure this out.  So, I decided to sketch it so I could completely visualize the finished piece.

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Time to get dressed.

The wood needed to be refinished.  This time I’ll use Annie Sloan Old White and seal it with Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax.  I slightly distressed her.  Next, I used the old fabric to use as the pattern for the new fabric.  I prefer to cut out the piece and then attach it one by one.  This helps me keep organized and focused.  I use my air compressor upholstery nail gun.  I upholstered over the fabric on the seat you see in the picture with the sagless burlap.  This one was too flimsy for the seat.  I start on the seat move to the front center and sides and move along to the back and sides.  Cutting and attaching them one by one.  After the fabric is all attached, I trimmed it with braided jute.  I made this work too.  I had jute in my stash.  I cut several pieces and braided them together.  The jute is attached with hot glue then I added upholstery tacks for rustic detail.  Sewing the cushion is my least favorite thing so it’s always last.  I took apart the old cushion and used that as my pattern for the new one.

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Peek a boo, I see you!

Who knew, this burlap coffee sack that sat in my stash for over a year would look so good.  Well, I did, but it took a while to get there.   My vintage chair was the missing piece to my burlap coffee sack puzzle.  

 

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