Since we moved into our new house, I’ve been making grand plans in my Pinterest-filled head about all the lovely renovations and improvements and decorating I’m going to do. No where in my plans do I consider the amount of money that would entail. Because, this is MY DREAM, people. In my dream, I got 99 problems and a bank account ain’t one.

But, in real life? Well, I’ve got stuff like childcare and mortgage and student loans and, and, aaaaaand the list goes on. And so we improvise. I read a lot (I mean a LOT) of home improvement blogs, decorating blogs, DIY blogs and I’ve gotten to a point where I feel pretty confident that I can at least attempt most projects myself. Please note that I didn’t say I could accomplish them, but I feel good about trying.

I’ve always been fearless about painting rooms. In fact, I painted all of the wood trim in our 1985 contemporary split level (previous) house when I was 36 weeks pregnant with Olivia. I had NO idea what I was doing, but I read about it and did it. That’s when I discovered paintable caulk. Oh, dreamy dream time. Sorry. Tangent.

Anyway, after that, I decided to branch out. I started refinishing old but solid furniture for Olivia’s bedroom. Then Audrey’s.

When we moved, I refinished our old kitchen cart to be a storage cart for the playroom, complete with a hanging rod for dress up clothes and shelves for books. I painted the fireplace trim and pulled a built in off the wall in the living room, painted it, flipped it, added a shelf, put feet on it and created a custom entertainment center. I got braver. I watched a few You Tube videos and decided I could tackle changing the hanging pendant over our kitchen table myself. Boom. Piece of cake. Now, I’m SMITTEN.

While I gather the supplies to refinish my orangey-oak kitchen cabinets (and psyche myself up — that’s a LOT of sanding, people), I decided to try another new project: Reupholstering an ottoman. We needed a bench area in our entry because, while we enter the house mostly through the garage, our guests tend to enter through the front and there’s nowhere for them to sit to take shoes off (should they choose to – I don’t ask them to!!), so everyone kind of hops around on one foot and that’s just ridiculous. I priced out benches and COME ON. I feel like benches should be so much cheaper. So, I started shopping around my house and remembered the broken ottoman from Audrey’s glider:



It was perfect! But stained old green gingham wasn’t really the look I was after. I dug around the linen closet and found a curtain from our old house and thought HEY. That might work! So I flipped the ottoman, removed the glider hardware and was left with this:

I cut the skirting off.

Naked underbelly! Then I cut the skirting off.

I ironed the curtain fabric then place it right side down on the floor, being very careful to avoid the crushed Cheerios on the rug. Then I laid the ottoman upside down on the curtain and pretty much just wrapped it with the fabric like a present. I didn’t even bother to take the old fabric off. Whatevs.

Fold and staple. Fold and staple.

Fold and staple. Fold and staple.

I used my trusty staple gun and it was seriously? So much fun. The only tough part was making sure the corners were clean.

Gotta pull the fabric really taut to make sure it doesn't sag.

Gotta pull the fabric really taut to make sure it doesn’t sag.

Then, voila! A new bench seat in a color that coordinates with my existing entry rug for FREE dollars and FREE cents.

My kids think this is a couch.

My kids think this is a couch.

Next up? Borrowing my friend’s telescoping ladder and painting that two story entry myself!

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