Friday, June 07, 2013

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real: Patio Chair Hack Edition

round button chicken
Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life.  Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter

We're in the thick of preparing for the graduation party over here so things are a bit hectic.  Hence, the reason I'm posting this an entire 24 hours late.

So, yeah, we've been busy but I still have a pretty cool hack to share with you.  At least I think it's cool.  Maybe it's lame...nah...I'll stand by it, it's cool.

But because of the busyness, I don't have time to categorize and label.  This week's Pretty, Happy, Funny, and Real are implied.

Ok, so maybe you're like me and have very little money.  Or maybe you have a comfortable  (or even luxurious) amount of money and simply like to live frugally.  Whatever, it doesn't matter.  For whatever reason, say you're living frugally and you have these chairs that your husband inherited from his family's country house and you're very glad to have them because 1) they're a piece of your husband's childhood and he has many happy memories surrounding them and you're a good wife who delights in her husband's happiness and 2) they were free.

But, say the cushions on those chairs need to be replaced and you have a graduation party coming up that you're planning on hosting in your back yard and you go and price new cushions and are shocked and dismayed to find that they cost more than a week's worth of groceries.  What do you do then?

Why, you start by going trash-picking, of course!

That's right.  Trash-picking, junking, dumpster diving, curbside rescues.  And if Providence is on your side, you happen to drive right past a sofa and two be-cushioned chairs out to the trash as you're formulating a plan and discussing the best way to go about trash-picking.  Which is exactly what happened to Mom and me.  We got in the car to drop Redheaded Snippet off somewhere and were all like, "Ok, so we need a good curbside haul.  Problem is, those are hard to plan.  They're usually just serendipitous--oh look!  There's a sofa!"  So we came home from our errand with a backseat full of sofa and chair cushions.

And this ottoman stuffed in the trunk which was a bonus.  We've been wanting one for a while now and this one, after a good scrubbing, a good spraying down with white vinegar, and two days baking in the hot sun, works mighty fine.  We'll probably reupholster it but it's fine for now.

Back to the cushions: once you get home, you zip or cut off the cushion covers and spray them good with whatever disinfectant you have.  And then you measure everything and if the cushions are a little too big, you just take a sharp knife and lop off a lump.

Then you go to the dollar store.

You could try Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Target, Walmart, Goodwill, or the Salvation Army.  But our first stop was the dollar store as it was closest.  Look at curtains, shower curtains, tablecloths, and sheets.  They're all good sources of inexpensive fabric.  And when you find curtains like these for $12 each and your seamstress checks the measurements of the fabric and determines that it will only take two packs to finish four cushions, buy them and be all excited that you're getting new patio chair cushions for only $24!

And THEN: get even more excited and grateful that Providence is still very much on your side when you discover at the cash register that the curtains are actually on sale for 50% off and you're getting new patio chair cushions for only $12!!

Once home, have a momentary deflating of your good mood bubble when you discover, though you really aren't surprised, that the fabric is really cheap and isn't going to last you more than a year.  But then bolster your spirits with the reasoning that, at $3 a cushion, you can probably afford to replace them next year and at least they'll make it through the graduation party.  And then let your brilliant seamstress get to cutting and sewing.

A couple of hours later, BOOM!  You'll have new patio chair cushions!  And you'll be happy and feel cleverly thrifty.

I don't have photos of the completely finished product because they're not quite finished yet.  The cushions we picked up for the seats turned out to be the wrong size altogether so we need another curbside haul.  And The Vicar has to paint the wood part of the chairs.  So the true "after" photos will have to wait for another time.  But it will be soon because this party is in TWO WEEKS!

Right.  I'm off.  I've got silhouettes to mount and lists to make and lanterns to price and rugs to pick out (amongst many, many other things)!

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