Budget Furniture Fix-Ups
By Kathleen Wilson
Faced with my own furniture dilemma recently, I thought what a
great opportunity for me to share ideas with you on how to turn
around that tired piece of furniture, without having to spend big
bucks! So here it is, secrets from The Budget Decorator on
transforming your furniture from trash to TFTE! (Treat For The
One of the most expensive items in our rooms is our furniture,
and we canít always afford to just replace it when it gets worn,
outdated, or just no longer works in your room.
The number one concern for those trying to update existing
furniture is slipcovers. Now, unless you are an experienced
seamstress, sewing fitted slipcovers is no easy task. However,
fortunately todayís trends lean towards casual, and that includes
furniture. Here are instructions for some simple, casual covers
that almost anyone can do.
First of all, use sheets instead of pieced fabric, it is MUCH
easier and cheaper! Measure your furniture, and buy a sheet size
that will cover your furniture piece without itís cushions,
tucked in and around the arms.(Donít forget to check out garage
sales for good deals!) Use decorative cording if you like to tie
around the "skirt" area to give it a more structured look. Simply
tuck ends under the couch or chair.( You could even tape or
staple the ends to the bottom of the piece, if you wanted.) Now
take each of your cushions and look at it as if you are wrapping
a gift. Cut a piece large enough for your cushion, wrap it like a
present, and safety pin it to the underside of the cushion.
(Whoís gonna see it?) Add a few pillows and a throw, and you
have changed the entire look of your furniture for little money,
the covers are washable, and you can make one for each season if
you want. Sheets, blankets, and quilts can all be used for this
project, and can be found at garage sales, thrift stores, and
maybe even your own linen closet. Try wrapping the cushions with
another, different fabric from the room. Remember, this is all
about casual style, and slipcovers are definitely stylish!
Even dining room chairs can be slipcovered. Simply make an open
envelope of fabric to fit over the back of the chair, similar to
a pillowcase. If you like, this can be dressed up by tying it
with cord or ribbon, sewing on decorative buttons, or adding a
little lace. This project can easily be made from leftover
curtain fabric and scraps lying around your sewing room.
Next on the list is what is known as "hardgoods". Tables, chests,
entertainment centers. A fast and inexpensive way to transform
these items is, you guessed it, paint. Almost anything can be
painted these days, including laminate. Simply prime it with a
product specifically made for non-porous surfaces"I like BIN or
KILZ. Then just use ordinary housepaint. Wood finishes can be
just sanded and painted. Consider trying your hand at decorative
painting or faux finishing for designed effects.
Another tight budget option for covering worn or outdated
furniture includes using fabric on door and drawer fronts. You
can use leftover fabric, fabric from thrift stores or garage
sales, or search your own closet. Simply cut the fabric slightly
larger than the drawer or door front, then use a staple gun to
adhere it to the back, stretching it snug as you go. Try painting
the rest of the piece a color picked out of the fabric for a
great coordinated look.
The last option I am going to throw out there is mosaic tiling.
This can be very frugal if you have leftover tiles from another
project, or ask your local tiling center if they have broken
tiles they would let you have. Another good place to look for
free mosaic materials is at residential construction sites,
especially ones that are more upscale. Always ask first, but
there are always broken tiles when an installation has taken
place, and itís only going to get hauled to the dump!
Mosaic can be as simple as laying broken tile in a random pattern
and gluing in place, to laying out intricate patterns, and
grouting and sealing your project. You can use it on table or
dresser tops, drawer fronts, or even a door itself! You can even
produce the illusion of mosaic by using decorative paper in the
same manner, cut it into irregular shapes, and glue it on!
Whatever you choose to do to update your furniture, impose your
own style, take your time, and be proud of your creation!
Kathleen Wilson is the editor of a free ezine/newsletter called
The Budget Decorator, dedicated to "budget impaired" home
decorating. Visit her at http://www.thebudgetdecorator.com
more free ideas and projects, and for info on her soon to be
released book "Quick Decorating Ideas Under $20!: The Budget