September 26, 2009

Upholstery 101...Yardage & Fabric

Thank you all for all your great comments on my post
"Funky Chair Re-upholstery".  I first have to say~ "I am not a professional upholster, but have learned on my own" with that said..."Do Attempt this at Home!" and repeat after me..."I can do this...I can do this!"

I am breaking this tutorial up into a couple of posts in order to make it easier to follow. I also will be doing some more extensive work on re-upholstery for myself with springs and inside workings of a piece as well. Hopefully eventually I can cover most of what you will need to know about re-upholstering furniture.

 Over the years when I wanted to know how to do something, I just tried it...mistakes and all.  Now, I am not going to lie and say that as I do a new project, I don't sometimes have doubts about the end result.  I do my research and find out as much as I can about the project to help me better understand what I am getting myself into... Again, the only way to really learn is trial and error.  As I have been doing my own upholstery, I am learning how to improve with each project.
With all of that said...let the tutorial begin!

 Depending on the piece, a very important part of upholstery... is sewing.  I know, I know...some of you didn't want to hear that. might not sew, this too can be a great place to start on trial and error.  If your not quite ready for that step yet...make sure to know a great seamstress, be it your mom, grandmother, aunt, get the point.  The best way to tackle projects can be having someone else help you. 

 There can be an exception to this, some pieces or simple projects might only need stapling and some hot glue.  The best way to know is to undo the piece and see how it was done.

Via~Google let's start with measuring your project and deciding how much fabric will be needed.  A great rule to remember, more is better in sewing or upholstery.  Never order or buy just the exact I said "trial and error".  You don't want to end up not having enough or if for some reason you need to cut another piece. Leftover fabric can also be used to make pillows, which is a great way to tie the room together.

Start by finding the width, length and depth of your piece.  There are a couple of different ways to do this:

Measurements for the chair I did was done with the fabric on. You can even sketch a little picture of where your measurements were made.

Taking off all the fabric can be done to measure the piece you are re-doing so that you have a more acurate measurement. 
Note* if you do this make sure before starting the project of taking the fabric off take lots of pictures at different angles for reference! Also label each piece from back to front and sides.  Don't skip these steps!

Here are other ways for determining how much fabric you will need for your piece. Two different sites that show estimates on fabrics Fabric.Com and Fabric by the Yard  are great source of information on determining fabric yardage.  You can ask an associate in a fabric store (they should have a book that shows suggested yardage for furniture pieces) even call an upholstery shop and ask how much fabric might be needed for your specific piece.   

 You also need to account for welting (cording is the same thing), lining up patterns (depending on what you choose ex. a plaid with a repeat) pleats or skirts.

Now that you have your fabric yardage, lets talk about the best fabrics to use. 

 You of course can use upholstery fabric which is durable, heavier and usually has a stain guard applied.  These usually however can be more pricey. 

 I have found buying decorator fabric at my local fabric store is just as good.  Being the thrifty designer I am a great sale or coupon will buy a lot of fabric!  There are also many great on-line fabric stores, another great option.  If you buy a decorator fabric and are worried about having stain resistant, you can buy Scotch-guard to appy to your fabric. 

 Here are some important things to look for when picking your fabric:

Durability~Is this an everyday use, kids, animals?

Cleaning~Is it dry clean only or can you wipe it down with a damp cloth?

Color~Light or dark, will it show stains or hide them?

Style~Does it fit in with the look of your room, is it classic or  eventually look dated?

Comfort~Does it just look pretty or something that you would enjoy feeling?

These are just some of the things to think about before picking your fabric.

Do you want natural fibers such as cotton, linen and silk or great synthetic fabrics that are a blend of man made fibers with natural fibers?




Another thing to note is that synthetic fabrics can be more durable, stain resistant, and retain color better.

Velvet is another good choice that is a weave and not a fiber that usually contains some natural fiber blended with it. 


Microfiber and microsuede have become a popular choice as well.  It really comes down to the look you want, and elements of the fabric that are important to you.  

Synthetic Fibers
~photos via Google

Something else to keep in mind, make sure it is a medium weight and gives a little stretch in the fabric.  If your fabric is too heavy you won't be able to stretch it, it will be hard to work with and won't fit the way you need it to. 

Next post on"Upholstery 101 Tutorial Part 2" I will be talking about tools and materials needed for re-upholstering.  I hope this will help you find your fabric and get you ready to say "I can do this!" Please feel free to ask any questions...I will do my best to answer them. 

Here is a sneak peek of what I will be up to until I post again...

Cant' wait to show you...a big transformation!

Have a great weekend!


September 22, 2009

Papercuts by Melissa Winner!

I came to my blog this morning to post on the Giveaway winner and found a very upsetting thing happening here.  My Twitter updates looked as if they had been hijacked and the conversation taking place was something vulgar.  I am not sure how or when this happened?  I will say I am so sorry if any of you had come to visit and had to see it.  I decided to completely take it off so I wouldn't have to worry about it happening again.  Has this happened to any of you? 

On a happier note...I do have a winner!  Papercuts by Melissa are just incredibly beautiful!  I am going to be ordering my custom "Soul Girl" to hang in my Whimsy office in our new home.  It should be fun to see what it will look like when it is done. 


  I just want to thank Melissa again for her amazing talent and letting me all share with you! If any of you missed my post on her, make sure to stop by and visit her Etsy shop Papercuts by Melissa there are so many intricate, beautiful designs to see and choose from.

The Winner is...

Number 19 you are SoBella Creations!!!  Congratulations on winning the $25 gift certificate to Melissas Etsy shop!  I hope you enjoy picking something out. 

As for this weeks Whimsy Spotlight I am sorry to say I won't have one up this week.  Next Wednesday will be the last one I will do for a while, I know you will love it!  Once I am settled and feel I can keep up with the amount of time that goes into each Whimsy Spotlight post, they will be back with more talented and amazing artists, designers and business owners. 

Back to work for me! Have a great week friends!!


September 17, 2009

In the mooood...

I am joining in on the party at Kimbas@SoftPlacetoLand DIY day!

I want to show you all a tutorial on a chair re-upholstery I did for a client, but with trying to get ready for a garage sale, painting our house and moving in the next couple of will have to wait.

This chair was a lot of fun to do.  The client wanted something fun and funky to put into her son's room, but still have a sophisticated look if she needed to pull it out in her family room.  Her choice of animal print. 

The great thing about doing Interior Design is getting to work with so many different kinds of styles. Having the ability to envision design in my head before it is even done, I could see that it would look great on this contemporary chair.   We chose a cow print that had darker browns and creams with a sophisticated look.  Her home has a lot of the same colors and a rustic, contemporary feel.

As I worked on the chair and could see it come together, I enjoyed seeing this fun fabric on this chair. It really looked great!  We did a micro fabric that would be easy to clean being that it would be in her son's room.  This fabric is so soft and comfortable to sit on.

The best part of transforming this chair...seeing how happy my client was.  She loved it!  It went from blasé' basic cream to fun and funky cow are you in the mooood for a chair transformation?

Finished and looking great in the clients home!

Before...blase' and basic. and funky!


Amazing what color and fabric can do!


So what do you think?
  Would you want a little fun chair like this in your home? 

I will show a tutorial on how I upholstered this, hopefully in the next week.  Need to get back to work!!  So much to little time!

Don't forget to check out the giveaway going on here until Sunday, September 20th~Papercuts by Melissa!  Amazing silhouette designs with intricate details!

Hugs to you friends,

Papercuts by Melissa...It's all in the details

Details fascinate me...I myself am a very detailed person... they are the important element to any great design.

 The Whimsy Spotlight this week is "just" that...very detailed.  Intricate, delicate, tiny little...details.  Without this, it would not be the amazing art it is. 

What am I talking about, you ask? 

The very talented artist Melissa with her Papercuts by Melissa.  As I show you her beautiful, intricate creations you will see why...It's all in the details.

A Mother's Afternoon

Melissa lives in Arizona with her 2 sweet children and her wonderful husband.  Even with her busy schedule she finds time to create these unique, and  whimsical   designs.

 Paper cutting is an art form that takes creativity,skill, patience, and a steady hand to make such precise cuts.  Melissa started paper cutting when she was in her teens, learning from her mother who taught her this lost art form.
Melissa turned to paper cutting for adding beautiful designs to display on her bare walls after buying their first home.  Papercutting gave her an inexpensive way to add decor to her home that was unique and sophisticated.  This started her journey to her now amazing business Papercuts by Melissa.

Melissa has a love of crafting and creating many things.  As she has said, "I have so many ideas floating around in my head of different art I want to create and not nearly enough time to dedicate to it." I can appreciate her words and love that she does find the time to create such beautiful artwork for all of us to enjoy!

So many amazing designs and such great attention to detail.  I am sure you to will be fascinated as I am with her unique, intricate creations...

Summer Days

These are all so whimsical and I love that they take you back to a simpler time. Melissa's inspiration for her designs come from her family, nature and everyday life.

Every papercut is unique and original. Not only by the design, but also the paper she cuts from.  Different papers from linen, parchment to silhouette paper are used for the design and then mounted on a heavy cardstock that can vary in color.  Melissa also loves to do custom orders as well!
Best Friends


  Fishing Scene

This would be great for an office or a boys room!

Fairy on a Mushroom


Play Ball

Prince and Princess

Sweet for a little girls room!

Jumping Rope

Summer Days
So many beautiful and fun designs to choose from!

Plucking Petals

             Gathering Flowers   

     I love this!

Soul Girl

Isn't this one divine?!  I will be ordering one like this for myself.  This "Soul Girl" was designed for a close friend of Melissa's who was moving.  She added all the things her friend loved and she knew her to be and created this amazing design.  I love all the attention to detail and so many cute things!  I want mine to hang in my office.

Melissa also has 2 great blogs that you can visit too.  She does a lot of her own features on great business's and giveaways!  Anything handmade is Melissa's passion as her title says on her blog...

The moment I came upon Melissa's papercuts I fell in love and know you will too!  Melissa is very giving and wants to give one of my Whimsy readers a $25 gift certificate to spend in her Etsy shop Papercuts by Melissa!!

 So many beautiful papercuts to choose from...who is ready to enter?!

1. Visit  Melissa's Etsy Papercuts by Melissa and then return here and leave a comment on one or more of your favorite things. You can enter more than once by doing the following.

2.You know I love my Whimsy Followers! Another entry for you if you follow! Scroll back up a ways and you will see Whimsy followers on the side, click add and then leave me another comment. (If you already are, please leave another comment as a entry)

3. Grab my cute button, it makes me feel loved! (again if you already have this, let me know in a separate entry)

4. Blog, FB or tweet about this post. (separate entry for each thing)

5.  You can heart Melissa as one of your favorites on Etsy.  Make sure to tell me...another entry!

6.  Stop by and see Melissa's blog i heart handmade or
a little etsy love and leave her a sweet comment. One more entry!

Please make separate comments for each entry being that I am going to use for the giveaway! Make sure I have your information if you win.

You have until Sunday, September 20th at midnight Pacific time to enter. I will have the winner announced on Monday September 21st

Opened to the US only.

Good luck to all who enter and have a blessed week!!

Hugs to all,

September 15, 2009

2 Winners...Janet Hill Studio!


Thank you to all who entered! I was happy to see you all love Janet and her nostalgic oil paintings as much as I do.   I myself am ordering 3 of her very beautiful 11x14 prints to hang in my dining these!
When I say I wish everyone who entered could win something, I truly mean that.  The good thing is that all my Whimsy Readers always have a chance to win something here with all of my amazing Whimsy Spotlights...persistence pays off!
 Speaking of persistence....

the first winner for a 11x14 print from Janet Hill Studio  is... Connie from  
 "I started out as a child"!!!!
Let me just tell you.  Connie has entered every Whimsy Spotlight I have had since July...she finally won!!!  See you have to keep entering.  So happy for you Connie!

The second lucky winner is  Leslie  at
Glitter and Bliss !!!  Yay, so excited for both of you!!
I know you are going to love having one of Janet's paintings in your home!  Would love to see what you choose and where you display her beautiful work.

You all can visit Janet's blog and Etsy to see so much more and order your prints there.  I know Janet has new things in her Etsy all the time.  I also will tell you that her originals and prints get snatched up if you see something don't wait on it...get it today! Thank you Janet for being so generous!

I will be back tomorrow with another great Whimsy Spotlight, this time "It's all in the details" paper that is!!  Look for it and make sure to enter!! 

Have a fabulous day...I am off to sort through paint samples and narrow down the colors for "The Whimsy French Cottage".  I have found a great bargain and will be sharing that with you all in the next couple of days. 
Hugs and love friends

September 9, 2009

Janet Hill Studio...Whimsy Spotlight

I have been looking forward to sharing this Whimsy Spotlight for a while now.  Believe it or not...I am almost speechless...almost! I find it hard to portray the perfect words and feelings that I have for such amazing art is somewhat magical.  

The Artist I am Spotlighting is able to capture the "moment, place, or item" all through her "oil sketches" comes to life, as if you could be right there in each beautiful painting.

I literally feel a skipped heart beat at each divine painting I see.  I want to vicariously live through every whimsy if I am there.

 It plays with my imagination and takes me back to watching "Mary Poppins" when I was a kid. 

You know, the part in the movie where Mary, Bert, and the children are standing, staring in awe as the sidewalk chalk artist is creating many great pictures...they wanted to jump into the picture and become a part of it...and they did. This is how I see Janet Hill Studio paintings and why I am...almost speechless!

Janet Hill is the ever~so gifted and talented artist behind these glamorous, nostalgic oil paintings. As you can see not only does she have an eye for creating beauty,but she herself is stunningly beautiful!

Janet lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband of 2 years and her very cute dog "Princess Finnegan".

Being that Ontario has very cold winter's that can sometimes linger for 6 months out of the year, Janet has developed a strong interest in the beauty of interiors.  Along with interiors, she gets inspirations from furniture, fashion and films. 

 Janet creates her paintings in a small laundry room in her cottage, where there is just enough natural light to paint by and also multi-tasking doing the laundry.  That is another thing I love about Janet...her warm sense of humor.

Her work is wanted and admired by many.  Original artwork is sold on e-bay and is snatched up within minutes of listing or posted. Depending on the painting, she does sell reproduction prints on her Etsy.  Recently one of her painting's was featured in this September's "Romantic Homes Magazine" in the Artworld section.  

It was hard to choose among her paintings of which ones to show you all.  Everything is amazing and something I would want to display in my own home...which I will be.  Each painting tells it's own story, and you will see why my heart skips a beat...
The Velveteen Sofa

Penelope's Bedroom

Peridot Heels

 Straw Chair

Raquels Honey Stand

The Florentine Bathtub

Three Flats

Toast and Cherry Jam

Paige Reads a Mystery


The Resort

Vera dresses for dinner

Belle's Vanity

High Street Shopping

Zucchini Blossoms


I really can't show enough of Janet's divine artwork! These are only some of her amazing paintings.  There is so much more to see on her blog and Etsy.  I know I have a hard time picking just one of my I am leaving it to you to pick one...or a couple of your favorites. 

Janet is giving away to 2 lucky winners an 11x14 reproduction painting from her Etsy,  your choice (she will have lots more up in her Etsy this week and she would even order other prints for the winners)!  Are you ready to enter? 

1. Visit Janet's Etsy at Janet Hill Studio and then return here and leave a comment on one or more of your favorite things. You can enter more than once by doing the following.

2.You know I love my Whimsy Followers! Another entry for you if you follow! Scroll back up a ways and you will see Whimsy followers on the side, click add and then leave me another comment. (If you already are, please leave another comment as a entry)

3. Grab my cute button, it makes me feel loved! (again if you already have this, let me know in a separate entry)

4. Blog, FB or tweet about this post. (separate entry for each thing)

5.  Stop by and see Janet's blog and leave her a sweet comment. One more entry!

Please make separate comments for each entry being that I am going to use for the giveaway! Make sure I have your information if you win.

You have until Sunday, September 13th at midnight Pacific time to enter. I will have the winner announced on Monday September 14th

Good luck to you all!  Lot's to do today as I said in my post yesterday about our new home...busy!

Hugs and good thoughts sent your way!