Sometimes things don’t look quite as good as they once did. You might think that I’m referring to that lady from TopGun, but no I’m in fact talking about the TV stand I built a while ago. Epic it was, made out of old school floorboards and proudly holding up our TV like a trophy in the living room.
Then we moved home and it looked kind of awkward and out of place. We pretended it was a sideboard table for a bit, but who were we kidding, this was destined for the skip. Then we discovered these amazing hairpin legs and decided that perhaps we could save this little DIY project. The worktop was still awesome and would make a perfect coffee table, which we certainly still needed. So we decided to erm, remake it into something else. See what I did there.
We ordered our hairpin legs from some dude on eBay who makes them to order. A week later a little note from the post man popped in the letterbox to say they were ready to collect. So off I trotted to our Post Office to pick them up and marvel at what a great job I’d done finding them. Only I was presented with a very small envelope instead of our four table legs…erm, shit, I’ve ordered very small legs, but then thankfully I saw the error. “Excuse me Mrs Post Office lady, but I pretty sure we live at number 78 and this letter says number 76, unless of course it’s filled with money and in that case I’ll keep this letter” I smirked. I thought this was hilarious and brilliant, but Mrs Post office lady didn’t think so at all. I should point out I didn’t know if this person was actually a Mrs, or by the look of her a lady for that matter, but hey I needed these table legs so I kept it friendly.
Finally armed with the correct four table legs and can of Hammerite spray paint I was ready to go. It took four very light coats to get it just right. I’ve spent a fair amount of badly used spare time watching MTV ‘Pimp my Ride’ and I noticed they baked the cars after spraying to harden the paint. To replicate this I used our airing cupboard to bake the legs for 24 hours and it worked a treat. Next up I ripped off the old table top from the TV stand and re-painted the edges. To assemble I used a few 25mm screws to fix the legs in place and hey presto we had a new coffee table.
…….and we’re back! It’s been ages since we blogged anything and that’s because, erm, we were
enjoying cocktails in the Summer sunshine working on our house project. You may remember we undertook a bit of a fixer upper earlier in the year and I’ll be honest it has been challenging. We may have fallen out a couple of times over paint colour and I might have hammered some nails into the wrong place, but hey we’re finally starting to get there. In fact, we’re finally starting to unpack some of those long forgotten boxes with mumblings of ‘oh yes, I forgot we had a lamp’.
So here’s a little photo blog on what we’ve been up to over the summer…
The first day
This is when Anna threw up in her mouth and I got weak legged and slumped to the floor. I don’t think we quite knew what we’d let ourselves in for. I won’t lie. It was a dark time.
Underneath the carpet should be floorboards right? Wrong. We had chipboard and underneath that some very large holes. There’s a whole floorboards post on dealing with that issue.
Stripping paint and getting dusty
If there’s one thing I loathe it’s stripping paint. Not just any old paint though, there must have been 60 years of the stuff there. It took ages and our reward? The chance to repaint it all over again.
Starting to see the light
So after fixing the floorboards, replacing the windows, re-plastering the walls, re-painting everything and all the bits in between we’re finally starting to see the light. Almost there with just a kitchen and all of upstairs to finish.
If there is one thing that doing all of these wonderful projects for our blog site has taught me, it is that I love re-upholstering furniture. Hopefully, one day I’ll even be able to sell a piece and someone will get as much pleasure out of that piece of furniture as I did creating it. However, every project that I have undertaken has always involved a huge amount of self taught skill (and I use that word lightly). From learning to fabric line an old school desk to creating a shabby chic paint effect. But one simple skill that I really enjoyed learning was how to cover and make my own buttons. So I thought I would share with you how to cover your own buttons, whether for upholstery projects, making your own craft projects or for decorational purposes.
1) Firstly you need to invest in one essential tool – a self cover button tool. It’s really easy to use and covers 5 sizes of buttons to cover from 11 – 29mm. You will then need to pick your cover fabric and purchase the actual buttons themselves. I have recently covered 20 x 23mm buttons for an upholstery project. I purchased the buttons via Hobbycraft and searched for ‘self cover metal buttons’, however you can also get them from most haberdashery shops (the buttons come in 2 parts).
2) You then have to cut small circles of fabric that are around 5mm bigger round the edge of the button. This allows you some overlap to tuck into the teeth on the reverse of the upper part on the button. Place the circle of fabric plus the upper part of the button on top of the softer rubber portion of the self cover tool (lining up to the correct button size).
3) Push the button down into the rubber mould and tuck the excess fabric under the teeth of the metal button itself.
4) Then take the back of the button, pop it on top with the ridges facing down, so the metal loop lines up with the slot of the back button (if that doesn’t make sense then look at the picture below).
5) Finally use the rigid plastic part of the cover tool to push the back of the button down into the covered portion of the button. Depending on which cover fabric you use, you may have to use a little force to make both portions of the button click together. 6) Once they are connected, you can then pop the button out and ‘viola’ you have a covered button.
A year ago, I made a garden table for the first time. This was no ordinary table, but our very first DIY project which would go on to inspire this little blog. Epic it was. I had a pencil behind my ear, a power saw in my hand and a tape measure clipped to my belt for good measure. I felt like I could have built a ship that day. Until Anna told me to remove the tape measure as I looked like Handy Andy.
Although, admittedly not all my carpentry projects have been worthy of a mention. In fact, there’s a knee high pile of discarded ideas stashed in the back of the shed. Stuck for something to blog, I decided to rummage through and see if there were any old ideas worth revisiting. Around 45 minutes and handful of splinters later, I discovered a forgotten bag of parquet floorboards I got from the reclaimed wood yard. So I decided to rescue these from the bad ideas scrapheap and remake them into a lovely new table top.
The great thing about using old floorboards is that they’re already set up to be joined together. So all I needed was a sheet of 3mm thick hardboard that’s 890mm x 475mm as a base. Across the top of the hardboard I smoothed over a layer of wood glue, then carefully placed the floorboards across it. Every second section of floorboards overhung the base, which was okay, as I would square it off later. To help the glue set I put as much weight as possible on top, which meant I had the BBQ gas bottle, garden furniture and even our fat cat sitting on top of it for 24 hours.
Once the floorboards were set I trimmed off the overhang so it was a clean 890mm x 475mm board. The floorboards themselves had years of varnish, paint and scuff marks across them. So there was only one thing for it…to get the electric plainer out. Now this is one of the scariest tools I own. The speed it spins a sharp blade at fills me with fear every time I turn it on, but it does strip the wood all the way back to how it should be.
To finish the edges, I used some thin 8mm thick timber to cover up the hardwood base, glue and the joints from the floorboards. I went with a 35mm width as it would give a slight overhang for when I build the table base. It was attached with wood glue and some panel nails, which I then nail punched right into the wood and sealed the holes up with wood filler. Once dry, I smoothed it off ready for a lick of paint and treated the striped back floorboards with a little teak oil.
Now I had the reclaimed floorboard tabletop done it was time to start building the rest of the cabinet. You’ll have to wait for the next update to see how we got on.