July 5, 2011

Ivy's Upholstered Bed

First, let me start off by saying that this upholstery project was SO much easier than the last. Instead of a month, it took less than 2 days. Mostly one day, really.

So, we decided it was time to move Ivy into a regular bed. However, as usual, I wasn't willing to pay the price for a cute bed.
After seeing this bed from Ikea, I thought it would make a perfect frame for upholstering. I googled "upholstered fjellse" and sure enough, other people had already done it. (Manhattan Nest and Organized Design are two examples, but I followed a somewhat different process than they did, especially for the headboard.)

I wanted something bold and colorful for the fabric, but with some of the same colors as the crib bedding. I knew I wanted it to be a large scale pattern and I was drawn to forest-looking scenes, like this duvet and shower curtain from Urban Outfitters. If it weren't for the price, I probably would have bought a duvet and used it, but I bought 3 yards of this fabric instead. It had a similar color scheme and style and was much cheaper.

So, I did some planning.

First, I tried out different fabrics digitally. Here's the preview for this fabric:
(Fabric added in Photoshop to a bed image from Serena and Lily)
 Then I took lots of measurements and planned the logistics of the headboard:
There needed to be another piece of wood on the upper part in order to make the headboard a consistent thickness all the way up.
Then I drew half of the headboard shape on one paper, then cut it out with another piece of paper in order to have a symmetrical shape:
Then, for the most important step (building the headboard), I got the help of my brother-in-law, Ty, who has killer woodworking abilities. He happened to have some MDF scrap boards around that worked perfectly for the job. First, I used my paper template to trace the pattern on wood. Ty cut the straight lines on a regular saw, glued the two boards together, secured them with lots of screws, and then used a jigsaw to follow the line for the headboard. Then we glued and screwed the now connected boards to the original fjellse frame. (Side note: The frame's two edge wood pieces came up half an inch higher than the top of the headboard, so we just sawed them off in order to avoid cutting notches in the back piece of wood.)

 Back: (The board had a groove down it already, but it didn't get in the way.)
Ivy was already loving it.
 Next, I used my paper template to cut the headboard shape in some 1-inch foam.
Then I used hot glue to put it on the headboard. In order to make sure the mattress fit, I ended the foam right where the mattress started (it's pulled away in this picture,  so it looks lower, but it's not).
I also put two small pieces of foam on either side of where the mattress would fit.
Next, I stapled batting over the foam. Here's the back of the headboard with two layers of batting attached (I attached the two layers at once to save the effort of stapling it all twice).
 And here's the front:
Next came two layers of batting on the side and bottom rails. If I hadn't been concerned about the need to disassemble the bed later, I would have cut off the part of the legs that sticks up and upholstered that as well, but I'd rather be able to take the bed apart later.
 Here's all the batting done. I used one bag of queen size batting and it was exactly enough.
 My little helper checked that the fabric made a good blanket too.
Then I stapled the fabric to the rails. First, I sewed two strips of fabric together for the side rails so I'd have a less noticeable seam.

Starting the fabric on the headboard:
This next picture shows that I had to add extra fabric to the sides because I bought quilting fabric instead of home decor fabric. I knew it would cause this problem, but I decided it was worth it. Home decor fabric is traditionally 54" while quilting is only 44" so I had to add a bit in order to have enough. Also, in case you're wondering, quilting fabric is NOT as good as upholstery quality fabric. I would never put this on a chair or anything that gets pushed and pulled a lot. For the bed, I think it will be okay, but we'll see over time.
 And it's all on!
 Just in time for bedtime.
 Here it is with Ivy's comforter (also from Ikea).
The full shot:
And no, I'm not going to bother to tuck it in everyday. Way too much work. So normally, the rails won't be showing much, but I like that they're softer now and it wasn't that hard to do. Really, this project was quite easy--besides how sore my hands are from pulling the manual staple gun over 1000 times in a few hours. All the upholstery itself was done in one day--yesterday, actually. The headboard is the only reason it was longer and even that only took an hour and a half. The other good thing about this project is that when I get tired of it and want new fabric on it, I could probably just put it right over the top and make it an even easier job. But for now, I love it.

I've got a lot more projects to show that we've been working on, so there will be more to come soon (for real this time).

January 4, 2011

DIY Torture (i.e. Reupholstering a Wingback Chair, Part 2)

Day 10
Sew seat piece together with pleating 
Day 11
Staple seat piece to chair 
Day 12
Staple left arm piece to chair
Day 13
Staple left wing, start right arm 
Day 14
Finish right arm, right wing

Day 15
Staple on inside back and piping around sides and back 

Day 16
Remove fabric from little front of arm pieces (meant to cover up staples, and no, I have no idea what they're really called) 
Day 17
Trial and error with nails on arm fronts. It may seem silly, but these little arm pieces gave us a lot of grief. The first time, I tried to use nails that were too small, so they bent when we tried to put them in and we had to start over since the nails had to go in before it's covered in fabric. Bigger nails were used next time around. Also, since they are curved, the fabric must be put on while the pieces are tightly curved. We ended up wrapping them around a rolling pin while stapling on the fabric for a nice tight bend.
Day 18
Attach sides of chair using ply grip, metal teeth, and staples (see this video on how to use ply grip)
We had to use a mechanical pencil tip to push the little spikes out on the ply grip since we just reused it from the original upholstery.
Almost there . . .
Day 19
Attach outside back using ply grip, metal teeth, and staples 
Day 20
Staple fabric onto arm fronts & nail to chair (Success, finally, with two larger nails on each piece)
Staple piping along chair bottom

I can finally move on and get the visions of upholstery to stop dancing in my head now. And I've got a nice chair and an ottoman to show for it.
If you actually made it to the end of this post, congratulations. I think that means you have what it takes to get to the end of an upholstery project.
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