Monday, January 14, 2013

Magic Makeover

I was looking through the pictures when we first gotten our place to see how much have changed since the work-in-progress started about 6 months ago. All the blood, sweat and tears is so worth the outcome. Take a look at our magic makeover!

The Hall - Before

The Hall - After
 We've taken away the railings which gives it an illusion of space.

Dining - Before

Dining - After

Master Bedroom - Before

Master Bedroom - After
The only thing missing are paintings and pictures which I intend to hang up. The wall still looks plain in my opinion.

Guest Room #01 - Before

Guest Room #01 - After

Guest Room #02 - Before

Guest Room #02 - After

We've added a cozy corner!

AND... a mini vegetable garden behind... :)


I'm really happy with the overall look of it. Afterall, I'm an no interior designer, nor did I engage a design company to come up with something. The best part was, everything was kept within the budget which includes all the furniture that you see as well. With the money saved from engaging a designing firm, I could spend more on quality furniture. And, it feels great relaxing amongst good quality stuff + nice soothing music + a nice cold beer or wine! 



I'm almost at the end of my DIY project. I'll try to post some more tips and experiences of mine which I may have missed out. Those that I've left hanging are my DIY Victorian table lamps which I'm still searching for that PERFECT lamp shade in a good price and wall paintings which I've not gotten around to start!!

My next wish is to start another DIY home project. I doubt that it will happen in the near future... Buying a property needs huge funds!! 

To my family, friends and readers out there, I hope you find this journey fun and helpful. Thank you for your support. Feel free to email me if you need any tips/info on the DIY works.

And, I'm going to post the proud face of the man lady behind all these DIY stuff! (eh, not the avatar you see, that's the younger moi. No more of that. Mature already!)

xx LOVE xx

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mini Upholstery Projects

I call these mini projects because you can get them done in a few days or in a day. Compared to the upholstery of the previous 3-seater, these are simple! Check them out.

I wanted the matching fabric used in my bedroom for my dresser stool. It was the easiest upholstery work done in 2 hours. That includes the dismantling, cutting & sewing of fabric, re-stapling and assembling it back. This was the original look...

Dismantling is easy peasy!

 Dismantling the cushion parts.

There was minimal sewing. I used whatever leftover fabric I had, machine sew the sides and staple the fabric using a handheld staple gun. The staple gun is cheap, but can be tricky to use.
Tip: Best to use the handheld staple gun on a flat surface. Any curved areas or edges that needs stapling, it's best to use the air compressor types which are pricey.

The completed stool!

Next is my mum's mini project. It probably took her 2 weekends to complete since she has to work from Mondays to Fridays. Sorry, I don't have the original picture of it. To give you a brief background; we bought this at our favourite 2nd hand shop for cheap. The original fabric was really filthy and the whole thing just looked tattered. The frame was in gold and it had bad scratches all over so mum decided to paint it black. 

Originally, we would use wood paint, this time we decided to try spray paint - in matt black. I must say that the results turned out a lot better than if painted by brush. Just make sure you protect your floors or if you can do it outside when spraying. You don't want to get tiny specks of black paint on your floors!!

The coat of paint is very even throughout when you spray on it. I'm very happy with the results. As usual, always keep the dismantled pieces for reference before throwing them away.

This time, mum decided to use the handheld staple gun rather than the trusty nails and hammer. Thinking that will save her time... wrong!! It is not as easy as we thought!! Because you need to hide the staples in corners of the frame, the handheld staple gun becomes clumsy and needs 2 persons to make ensure stability (stapling on a "flat platform") and direct force downwards (so that the staples don't warp during the stapling process). Overall, it would be better off using the traditional method. 

The finished chair!

The only sewing was the piping on the edge of the seat cushion. The rest is just stapling. The job done this time is not that fantastic; still, the chair looks as good as new.

Good job mum!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dress Me Up - Final (Part 3)

Herro! It's been some time since I updated the progress of my lamp shades. Honestly, I didn't do much for the Victorian lamp shades that I sooo raved about. I lost a lot of steam after searching so long for the perfect lamp shade... You guessed it! I couldn't find any suppliers locally that sells the skeleton of my perfect lamp shade off the shelf. They are mostly custom-made and are super pricey!

So, I had to put this project off till I find a more reasonably priced lamp shade. I'm not prepared to pay SGD$80 per lamp shade just to tear them apart and put on a new fabric (yes, in retail shops, they only sell them fully done up in gaudy cheap lace which looks horrible).

So I'm just going to show you those that are completed. :)

Remember this?

I bought some lace ribbons in champagne gold and black for the trimmings, and black lace fabric for the body of the lamp shade.

Sewing will be the ideal method to put on the fabric onto the shape. However, it was too much of a hassle. Mum did most of the work and we mostly used glue to stick on the fabric and lace onto the shade. Wala!

Next up... I bought 2 of these, again, mum did all the work. This DIY shade is even easier to make. We left the shade as it is since it was still in good condition. Added crystals on the base and stick on the gold lace.


In my opinion, it's not the best nor did it give me a "WOW", BUT, for the price we paid, it's a good bargain! We kept it very safe this time since I was unsure how it will turn out. Perhaps we'll change the look of it in 2-3 years and give it a new look.

At the mean time, I'm pretty satisfied. :))


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mission Impossible - Final (Part 5)

It's the grand finale now. The last bits. I covered the back with a lining.

Thereafter, the main fabric goes on top. 

Tada!! Done!! After, I used whateve scrape cloth to cover up the bottom of the sofa. A dustcloth is usually used, but since I have extra lining fabric, I used that instead.

Now, to stick on the lace. I found these at a good price in Chinatown. I bought 15 yards. These lace tend to go out of shape at the cut ends, so make sure you tape or glue them securely first.

Stick the lace on the edges of the fabric and wood frame. I did this for the back, and front.

I'm missing the final picture of the finished product. Please wait for an update on this picture soon

I'm so happy this project turned out to be a success (Laugh back at mum who mocked me! HA!). There are some parts I'm not satisfied with:

1. Some of the folds on the "Chesterfield effect" (back rest) were not visible due to over stretching of the fabric.

2. Throughout the process, at times when I'm not careful, I injured the wood frame. You can't see it now because the "injured" areas are covered over with lace.

3. I couldn't find a denser foam for the seat cushion area. When I sat down on the sofa, I sank right in. Luckily, I re-used half of the old foam which was dense enough.

4. I should have sent the wood frame to be sanded down and put on a new coat of varnish, however, I was looking at the overall cost, hence decided against it (Since it's for personal use). The frame looks a little old, but it fits right into the theme of my room.

Overall, I'm really satisfied with the outcome. Can't say that I'm keen to embark on another big project. Perhaps when I'm ready again, this time I'll get professional tools to minimize time, effort and back breaking experiences!!

Again, check out the "before" picture.


Mission Impossible (Part 4)

Hello folks!! Another update on the progress of my stunt. 

The last post was mostly about making your own matching buttons. This time, what you see is not completed in a day. It was done during the weekends, span across one month or so. That is because the back rest of the sofa took tremendous time and effort to complete. It felt like forever... 

See? I didn't lie!! The upholstering done is in traditional style - Hammer & Nails! 

To make sure I have a nice snug edge, I had to use cardboard to give it a nice shape when the fabric is flipped over. My chief seamstress was nice enough to sew the piping for me.

Traditionally, you use cut tacks (nails), however, they tend to split my wood, so I changed to a different nail. I use 3 types of nails throughout the upholstering. One for linings, the main nail and the long slim one for hard to reach areas. Also, I had to use this metal bar assist to hammer in the nails. This is mainly to avoid injuring the edges of the wood frame. In upholstering, you want to secure the fabric as close to the edge as possible and be "hidden" from view. 

Look how the edges look neat with the help of the cardboard? I would recommend this even if you are using the staple gun.

I was so happy we bought the 7ft table. It served as a work table to cut the fabric! Remember I kept the old fabric pieces for reference? I'm using them as a template now to cut my fabric.

Ok, this is work I've done for the "Chesterfield" effect. Had to pull the strings taut and nail it down to the frame. It's best you use the nylon thread. I realized that the cotton one I used tends to snap when I nail it down.

Handling the fabric on the "arm" section" is super tough without using the staple gun. Had to get my mum to help position the cardboard and fabric on the wood frame while I pushed down the foam and position the nail into place for hammering!! No pictures to show, but it really was an acrobatic act!! Had to use both hands and a foot. Haha! Like a bunch of monkeys.

Now for the seat foam. This is a piece of cake after the back rest.

Finally!! All nailed at the back.

I really gave a sigh of relief when these two parts are completed. They comprise of the main job to the upholstering. It's quite a good job I've done there. After all the blood, sweat and tears!! So worth it. 

The next post will be the last one on the final touches to complete the job. 

Now I just need a nice cold beer!