Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Back in the DIY business - and I'm the ugly Bennett sister!

Detail of my mini rock garden - a new addition.
Oyster shells look good against red and green succulents
I'm back at home, gardening and fixing things around the house - about time! We had a lousy spring and disappointing summer so far, so I haven't done as much DIY as I'd have liked but have made a good start by tidying up the garden and re-upholstering a set of antique chairs my dad restored over 11 years ago. The fabric was worn out and when we took it off, alongside the flammable padding, we found broken springs and straw! We manually straightened the springs, then connected them together and to the chair using garden wire and screws. As they are hidden, it doesn't matter what wire we used. Getting rid of the old tacks was quite a job, though and my partner helped with that.
One of the chairs, stripped

The chair after the makeover
Once the chair was ready, I used fireproof thick foam for the padding, I needed two lawyers so the spring wouldn't poke out. The olive green and cream brocade is a curtain remnant I had from a previous house, it's not 1930s in style but the colours are right for this period. The matching trim was bought from John Lewis (a bargain at £1.55 a metre). 

After stapling the padding to the chair's frame, I stapled the fabric, then glued the trim on top using UHU fabric glue. When it ran out (why is John Lewis selling such a small tube? A bigger version is needed for serious crafters) I deployed my cool melt glue gun with UHU sticks as I read on the net that it was OK to use on fabrics. 

The chair's seat
Note: I have paid for all these purchases. This is not a sponsored post. I'm open to product testing, though! Read more restoration and home interest articles here.

Last but not least, a pic for fun value... I looked like the ugly Bennett sister but had a Ball at the Regency Ball organised by Lucy Cavendish College. I was lucky to win 2 sold-out tickets in a competition run by Cambridge News.

Wearing the Regency-style costume I cobbled together.
I got the pattern for the skirt from the internet

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