One of my favorite things is when I get to be crafty with others, especially my mom. I have oodles of memories of crafting throughout my life, and the most vivid and impactful ones are with her and my grandmother. Most often, they took place with my mom around the sewing machine in the basement at our house growing up or in a fabric-filled wonderland with my Nana in her sewing room. There is no doubt I owe much of my love of making and creating to them.
Mom made tons of stuff for the house growing up–pillows, curtains, blankets and costumes. She made a Jasmine costume for me that topped any other Halloween costume I ever had. We colored my hair black with hair paint, or whatever you call the hair color that comes in an aerosol can, and I thought it was the coolest thing that even my family didn’t recognize me without my bright blonde locks. (I laughingly realize now that they were exaggerating of course.)
Nana made clothes for us and all kinds of things for our dolls and Barbies. She even made the dress I wore to my high school prom. I designed it, drawing it out with pencil combining elements, like the sleeves and skirt, from different patterns. Mom and I chose the fabrics, and Nana made it and fitted it for me. It ended up being a Cinderella dress, and I adored it. At what other point in your life is it appropriate to wear a dress like that?!
One of the last weekends my mom was in town, we decided to redo the ottoman. When Matt and I first got married, we found this upholstered ottoman, originally from Target, at an overstock place with a tear in the top and got it for a steal at $10. Matt’s parents were in town and helped us get it home, pick up a yard of fabric, and reupholster the top. Since then, it has made its way all over our house and regained new life with every fabric change. This is the first and second versions of it as an ottoman for our sectional. It moved on to be a blanket chest at the end of the day bed and then a window seat in the office. The latest in its series of lives is as a bench for the mud area we created by the back door.
I bought ten yards of this yellow fabric years ago with the intention of recovering our antique chair. I decided I’m going to have that chair professionally reupholstered in a solid because I’m terrified of screwing it up and love it too much. When I started decorating the new house, I had the color of this fabric in mind, and I knew this was the right place to use it.
To begin, we unscrewed the lid, took the brackets off and removed the upholstery down to the inner form, laying the inner liner aside. Then we cut out a piece of fabric to fit. We folded the fabric smoothly over the edges and stapled it in place along the bottom using an upholstery stapler. Corners were the worst of course, but a bit of patience does the trick. Then we stapled the inner liner back on and reattached the lid.
The ottoman was too short to work as a bench for the mud area, so we went to the hardware store and picked up four screw-on wooden and metal furniture legs and screwed them in to the bottom of the (now) bench to elevate the height of the seat. Ta-da! It really was that easy, and we are able to store the dog food in it. Win.
The fiddle fig tree has a good home in this space, and I’m happy with the artwork above the dog bowls. They’re six-pack cases from a local brewery for beers named “Hell’s Belle” and “Bad Penny” for our pups Bella and Penny. I cut out the front of each and framed them in thrift store frames with scrapbook paper mats. I’d still like to paint the legs a fun color, find baskets for all the wire cubbies, and put the tree in a pot, but this cute little spot has almost come together and the little Ikea greenhouse is ready for some seedlings!
Thanks for reading. Hope you found a little inspiration along the way.