Being in the new shop has me motivated to take on all sorts of challenges. I’ve been collecting cribs and suitcases to make benches and chairs since last summer and I’m finally getting some made (much to my husband’s delight who wonders why I’m collecting all these odd items).
I started with the crib bench. I picked up a drop side crib from free-cycle group. I get jazzed about upcycling items, but especially the drop side cribs that are no longer legal to sell or use. I only wanted the ends, so when I saw a request for crib rails I was happy to pass those along. The crib springs also found another home.
I went through the stash of fabric I’d pick up from the fold flat table when Hancock Fabric’s announced its going out of business sale. Once I decided on a teal/yellow/grey/white striped fabric for the seat I mixed up some of my paints to come up with just the right color of teal for the chair. I filled in all the bolt holes and sanded them flat to get the crib prepped for paint and built a box with legs for the seat. I painted both pieces, then screwed them together and varnished the whole thing. When I got it all assembled I looked at the legs and wasn’t happy – it didn’t look visually balanced, even though it was sturdy. I added wood strips to the sides and fronts of the legs to give them a more substantial appearance. I painted them out and put the cushion back in and I was happy as a clam. The girls even helped me test it – my oldest loves to have pictures taken of her.
Once I had the first bench done I knew how I wanted the second end built into a bench. The process when much smoother this time since I had worked out the kinks. This time I went with a colorful medallion indoor/outdoor fabric also from my Hancock Fabric stash. I picked out the chartreuse from the pattern and had it matched at Lowes so I could make my own chalk paint. I will say that once I painted the bench the bright chartreuse color I got a little nervous of the bright fabric and tried to go with a grey and white fabric left over from my dining room chairs. Once I had the seat upholstered I decided just to go back to my original plan and back to the bright colored fabric. I’m so glad I had the courage for the bright colors. The brightly colored bench sold within a few days of being in the shop. I save the grey and white seat for my next one, which will be a more traditional white back, since I’ve already had requests for white/grey benches.
Since I was building seat boxes I decided to go ahead and tackle my first suitcase chair. The process is remarkably similar in that you have to build out a seat box for the inside of the suitcase. I opted for a red/black/grey/white fabric to go with my red suitcases. I loved that I had a pair of suitcases, one large one for the chair and a matching small one to become an end table. I wasn’t happy with the legs on the chair or the table so I had to go with several attempts with widths and heights before I found a combination that I was happy with.
I’m so tickled with how these items came out and I can’t wait to dive into my next round of projects after our family trip to Wyoming. I’m hoping to spend some time junking along the way.