My Deer Friend

Have you see those awesome white resin deer heads you can buy to adorn your walls? I love them but I hate the price tag. I don’t mind investing in pieces for the home that are going to be with us for a long time but I don’t know if my love of a white mounted deer head is going to last long enough to justify paying over $100. So of course, I thought of ways to get out of paying that much.

I considered making one out of paper mache or clay but then I found this little guy on ebay for about $25. So here is a quick version of a white deer head that was far less involved and seriously cheaper than the store-bought versions.

I thought about glueing down all the fur with Mod Podge and then going over it with paper mache but just as I began to glue I had a light bulb moment and just ripped off all the fur from the plastic mold. I did feel a bit bad because it was real rabbit fur (eco-fur though) but the original version was creepy anyway.

He looked even creepier with no fur because the mold was black but after 3 coats of white spray paint I had myself a white deer head for the lounge room. And a bunch of gross rabbit fur. The antlers were covered in a kind of velvet coating (I’m not sure what it’s called) so they kind of absorbed the paint and just lightened up a bit but I’m still happy with the result. Up close it’s not smooth and perfect like a resin version but its high up on the wall so it suits me fine!

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Fancy Framed Pinboard

My best friend of 17 years has the same birthday as me (fun fact: I am 5 hours and 1 minute older than her) and this year for our present exchange I decided to make her gifts since I had the time because I wasn’t working (and therefore also trying to be frugal).

I found this great frame and lamp base at a local op-shop and got to work. The frame was a great find. The satin flower print was horrible but the frame was metal and in great shape. I thought about getting mirror cut for it but in the end I decided to make a pinboard with some leftover cream hessian (burlap) from my chair upholstery adventure and a corkboard I had left over from my pin board art. The bestie has a fondness for pinning interesting and inspiring little snippets on a mood board so I thought this would be a nice version for her new apartment.

The lamp was an easy spray paint job and you can find a more detailed tutorial for that here.

To make a Fancy Framed Pinboard you will need

Frame with backing

Matt black spray paint

Spray adhesive

Corkboard

Hessian (you could also use calico or canvas or any sturdy fabric)

Scissors

Exacto knife

Ribbon

Staple gun or hot glue gun

Take the backing out of the frame. Clean and dry the frame and spray with 3 coats of spray paint, letting each coat dry before the next.

Using the backing as a guide, cut out the shape of the corkboard to fit the frame using an Exacto knife.

Cut out two pieces of hessian in the same shape.

In a well ventilated area, glue one piece of hessian onto the corkboard using the spray adhesive and the glue the next piece on top of that.

Using the staple gun or hot glue gun, attach the ribbon in whatever design you like by wrapping it around the hessian covered corkboard and securing it at the back.

Attach it to the frame and you’re done!

Don’t you think this one looks a bit like a Victorian brooch? I was tempted to keep it for myself!

The lamp (although I think it was quite nice to begin with) also got a chic matt black update.

And the birthday girl? She loved them!

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An old chair gets new threads

First, a very special announcement. My birthday was last Saturday and Dave (aka Mr Wonderful) gave me the best birthday present in the history of birthday presents – he asked me to marry him! We are both on top of the world and I am looking forward to wedding planning and some wedding project blogging!

And now back to our regularly scheduled program. This chair has been the most labourious and rewarding project I’ve tackled so far in my DIY endeavours. I’ve wanted to get stuck into furniture for a while and have a few pieces I’ve found at second-hand shops awaiting some TLC.  This open armed side chair was $12.99 and when I saw it I knew it had potential. After reading about the 7 Essential Pieces on Good Bones, Great Pieces I have been on the lookout for all 7 so at least now I can tick ‘Occasional Chair’ of the list!

Having no upholstery experience whatsoever I did what I always do – I googled. I found this tutorial on Apartment Therapy and this tutorial (plus many more great tutorials) on Mod Home Ec. I also used a bit of good old brain power and paid careful attention to how the chair was originally upholstered as I removed all the upholstery tacks, staples, fabric and padding. I was able to use the original padding under the foam cover and I was also able to put fresh batting straight over some old fabric on the back rest as it was in really good condition. This isn’t a complete tutorial* because I think the other tutorials mentioned above have much better techniques. I tried my hardest to do everything correctly but in some parts I just kind of made it up and hoped for the best. It all worked out but it may not be ‘proper’. I hope this post might serve as inspiration to someone who may think upholstering a chair is too hard – it’s not and if I can do it you can too! Just choose a simple style to start with like I did and get yourself a good staple gun. And if you have any questions, please ask!

*For a kind of tutorial the step-by-step photos are below – just click on the slideshow.

Materials used for this project

Open armed side chair

2 meters of upholstery-worthy fabric (choose something very sturdy and long-wearing).

1 meter of cream hessian (burlap for those of you in the USA)

1 meter of polyester batting

Medium-duty staple gun with staples (I used 8mm)

Pliers

Scissors

Fabric covered button making kit

Large needle and tough thread (I used quilting thread)

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