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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Winter… a time of plenty


I mean plenty of cups of tea.

And what do you need when you have two couches, two bodies and only one coffee table? You need a little side table to hold said tea when the best couch real estate is taken. In our house, there are two competing properties on the couch market. Couch number one is our ‘original’ couch, located in a warm western corner of the lounge, this cosy (read: smaller) couch has excellent coffee table frontage with local reading lamp access and sweeping views of the television. Couch number two is a roomy 3-seater nestled between two bustling walk-ways (read: high traffic area) – a minimalist’s delight!

If you can decipher real estate talk then you can guess that couch number one is the cosy household favourite with the coffee table right in front and couch number two is a big lonely-feeling couch with nowhere to put a cup! Due to the freezing weather, and therefore extra couch time we’ve been having, I had to come up with a cup-friendly solution. On our last trip away Dave took me to Healesville where there seems to be one op-shop for every ten people. Awesome. In one of them I found an old brown laminate table that I think was originally part of a nested set of three. It was $5 and it had to come home with me to become my new tea table.

I had big plans for this table. Big plans of a Moroccan trellis pattern top in turquoise and antique white. I was so enthusiastic I made the entire pattern template from scratch (I don’t have a printer at home) but the whole thing just didn’t work. It happens. Not every project goes the way you want.

Luckily that morning I had picked up a can of gold spray paint and already painted the table legs with it so I scraped of the layers of paint (using my best kitchen pallet knife…whoops) from the table top and sprayed the whole thing gold instead. Then I Mod Podged a gorgeous vintage teacup I found at the Graphics Fairy (fastastic site with free vintage images) on top. I was so ‘done’ by the gold-painting stage that I didn’t sand off the paint from the doomed pattern experiment, I just sprayed right over it, but I actually like the slightly flawed look it gave the finished table top.

Turns out I like the gold teacup version better than the pattern anyway. So there.

Things you will need for this project

A table

Sandpaper

Electric sander (optional)

Primer (I actually just used white spray paint)

Gold spray paint

Printed and cut out image

Mod Podge (I used gloss)

Foam brush

Sealer (TBA)

If possible, remove the legs from the table top – I was lucky, mine just unscrewed. Sand the table top with the electric sander or sandpaper to rough up the surface. Clean with a damp cloth and allow to dry.

Sand the legs if they need it – mine had been attacked by a kitten or small child at some point so I had to sand out the teeth marks. Clean with a damp cloth and allow to dry.

Coat top and legs with one layer of primer or white spray paint and allow to dry. Coat with two coats of gold spray paint, allowing each layer to dry before the next.

Decide on the position of your picture and glue to table top using Mod Podge. Smooth out any air bubbles and then apply a layer of Mod Podge to the whole table top and allow to dry. Coat with two more coats of Mod Podge, allowing each layer to dry before the next.

Now, the only thing I haven’t done yet is coat the whole thing with some kind of sealer. I didn’t think this was necessary until a damp hot cup of tea seemed to stick a bit to the table. I’m using coasters until I go to the hardware shop and find the right sealer for the job – stay tuned!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

%d bloggers like this: