Trading Spaces - God's Way

We're going on a small tangent this post so I can write about our past week.  :)  We were home only to sleep and shower this week anyway so absolutely nothing went on at our house.  But anyway, enough of the small stuff.  On to what this post is really about.
 Every year during Vacation Bible School (VBS), where pre-kindergartners through 4th graders learn and play at our church with Jesus as their focal point, the 'big' kids who have grown out of VBS (the 5th through 8th graders) go to St. Mary's Home for the week, a children's home here where they revamp a wing of bedrooms.  The kids living at St. Mary's home all come from very dysfunctional, abusive families so we try to make their lives a little more normal by giving their bedrooms a more comfortable, personal style.  Since kids may come and go and gender numbers fluctuate, sometimes girls get moved onto wings that were previously decorated to be boys wings and vice-versa.  This year, however, the wing we did was and had been a boys wing so all we did was freshen it up with some paint, new curtains, and new bedding.  We also lightened up a T.V./hang out room with new curtains and decorative pillows.  We call this week of working "Trading Spaces - God's Way".  Following are pictures I took showing the transformations.  :)

I spent all of my time and energy on the week before and during Trading Spaces making new valances for every window on the wing.  That equaled 13!  I found all of the fabric (36 yards of it!) for right under $100 by shopping around and hitting up a favorite discount store!  It was so much fun to pick out fabric that coordinated to the bedding!  I made sure to have enough fabric for each window valance plus extra for the girls to help sew matching, decorative pillow covers.  :) 
 Very 'boyish' fabric, huh?

Onto the rooms.
Here's the T.V. room before:
The curtains were awful!  They were dated, dirty, too dark, and just plain 'ole weird.  Needless to say, they had to go.

After the new valances went up and a donated couch was moved in, here's the lighter, brighter edition of the boys new hang out spot:

The wing we were doing had been redone by a Trading Spaces team about six years ago and definitely needed a pick-me-up and a really good deep cleaning, even though in the before pictures they don't look that bad.  The team leader this year decided to go with a neutral paint color that could easily transition the wing to a girls' wing if need be so, color was brought into the rooms in the curtains, pillows, bedding, and other accessories.  Here are the pictures:

Room 1 before:

Room 1 after:

Room 2 before:

Room 2 after:

Room 3 before:

Room 3 after:

Room 4 before:

Room 4 after:

Room 5 before:

 Room 5 after:

Room 6 before:

Room 6 after:

The kids volunteering (all 85 of them!)  had a great time painting, sewing, crafting wooden crosses, new bulletin boards, and frames, and arranging the furniture in the completed rooms - all for a fellow kid in need of love, compassion, and a bedroom they could call their own.  It was awesome to see God working through His children!
So, that was our week in a, pictures.  We'll be back next week with our regular, Bean Team happening.  We've got more pictures of the love seat (still very unfinished and definitely the eye sore of the living room) and maybe even some more projects, including some landscape refreshing we tackled this morning.  :)  Have a blessed weekend!


Our once pretty, clean living room has (once again) become a workshop, in this case, a furniture workshop.  Actually, let me rephrase that.  Our once pretty, clean living room has become a furniture operating room.  Let me show you what I mean (be prepared for lots of pictures..."surgeries" of this magnitude and depth are very, very detailed).  
We realized that before we continued ripping off fabric and pulling out anymore staples from the "over-acheiver" love seat, we needed to get the back legs fixed.  If they couldn't be fixed, there was no point in putting anymore manpower/womanpower (yep, that's right...womanpower) into pulling and removing, right?  So, out came the sawhorses and upsy-daisy she went.
 As you can see, the left back leg is comfortably dangling while the right leg was completely pulled out with a tiny tug.  Thankfully, both legs were in great condition and, God-willing, could hopefully be used and re-attached.  At this point though, we realized that the only way the legs could be fixed was by removing all of the fabric and obstacles around each. 
Covering the entire bottom was a thin black sheeting which needed to be removed first.
It was ripped in some places already so all I did was tear the rest off, thinking I'd just buy new sheeting to replace it.
Here's what I found underneath...
...bands of strong burlap holding the seat springs in place with another layer of even thinner black sheeting underneath.
Up close, here's what the left back leg looked like:
And the right (minus said leg):
So, I got to work...tedious, I-need-to-reuse-all-of-this, operating room work.
(During this entire process I took tons of pictures for reference so that I put everything back in the exact order it was in - a very helpful, very important step for a beginner like me.)  As I was prying off burlap straps, I realized how old this love seat really was.  The pieces of fabric I had ripped off so far had been attached with staples, but these straps had been attached with old, rusting upholstery nails which told me the love seat had probably already been re-upholstered before. 
I LOVE history so it was really cool to think about the history that belongs to this love seat - where it's been, who made it, how old it was...
But anyway, history aside, strap by old strap I peeled away until I was left with two gaping holes on either side of the back of the love seat.

And man was it dirty and dusty inside the bottom of the love seat, again showing it's age!
 I even stuck our camera inside one of the holes to get an even perspective.
A little eerie, huh?  Don't worry though, most of it got sucked up with the handy shop-vac...thank goodness because I'm allergic to dust!

The next part of the process is/was the most critical and also where Anthony comes in.  Up until this point, I'd been single-handedly operating.  I'm the prep nurse and he's the doctor; we make a good team.  So I say, "Doctor, I have everything all prepared.  What is your plan of action?  What do you need?"  And he says, "It looks like the legs can be saved which is great news!  You've done incredible prep work nurse but now it's time to get these legs back on and standing.  I'm going to need twelve three-inch screws, my drill, and two strong pieces of pre-cut wood for reinforcement".  Okay, okay, you get the point.  I'll get my head out of the clouds now and tell you what actually happened, doctors and nurses aside.  :)

First, we removed the casters from both legs by simply unscrewing them and pulling them out.  Since the front left leg is unable to have a caster (it was apparently ripped out, taking half of one side of the leg with it...but the leg still works), we're not going to use any casters at all.  Next, using a piece of wood we already had, Anthony cut two pieces to fit into the love seat right behind each leg and glued them into place.  They will serve as reinforcement.  Gluing them in was just an extra, optional but pre-cautionary step. 
Then he drilled six holes and screwed the pieces of wood to the frame using the three-inch screws like so:
Since they're on the outside of the frame and can be seen, he used a counter-sink drill bit to embed the screw heads, making sure they're flush so that they can later be covered up with wood filler and then disappear.  :)
Here's what "fixed" looked like after each leg was screwed on:

Next comes the clean-up.  Surgery is over.  It's time to put the patient back together, strap by strap.  It was at this point that I whipped out our new staple gun!  We've always just borrowed one when we've needed to but since this is kind-of a big, time consuming job, not to mention that we'll need one in the future for upcoming projects, I went out and found one on sale from Lowe's.  :)
A-stapling we went, Anthony actually doing the stapling while I firmly held the burlap straps in place, making sure we put everything back the way it was.  After all of the straps were re-attached, here's what the underside looked like:
Nice and put together!  We weren't done yet though.  We still had to put some sort of backing over the burlap straps.  I ended up finding and using a heavy duty, Pellon brand backing from JoAnn Fabrics.  It was white (they didn't have black) but I didn't think it would be a big deal since 1) it won't be seen unless you're hiding out under the love seat and 2) I'm planning on painting the love seat a lighter color anyway.
So, I laid the backing across the bottom of the love seat and cut a rough template just so that I wouldn't have bunches of fabric everywhere.  Then I got to stapling.
After it was all stapled on and secured, I simply cut around the edges to reveal a perfectly fitting backing and one great looking undercarriage.

Next...THE MOMENT OF TRUTH - WILL SHE STAND WHEN TURNED OVER OR WILL SURGERY HAVE BEEN A FLOP?  At least, that what I was thinking.  If you would've asked Anthony that question regarding the success of his workmanship, he would've said "Of course it's gonna stand!"  Gotta love his confidence.  :)


She went through surgery like a champ and is on her way to making a full recovery!  I even sat on her and she felt as solid as a rock!  I envisioned future naps, children jumping (and me yelling not to), movie nights...the whole nine yards!  Oh yeah, you've probably noticed all of those little dots of stuffing are gone too!
(See 'em?)

Those, as you might've guessed, were the strings and stuffing attaching the upholstery buttons.  I sawed them all out with a razor blade while Anthony was doing his magic with the drill.  There were 64 buttons in the couch!  64!  Well, they're gone for good now...adios, adieu, and hasta la vista!  And, speaking of goodbyes, I really should be getting back to making the valances I mentioned earlier this morning so ta-ta for now!  You can be sure I'll be back with more on the love seat later!  Have an awesome weekend!

Happy Saturday

Hey!  It's me!  I'm a bad blogger in that I'm not very regular with my posts but my excuse is that I'm buried underneath projects and babysitting.  :)  I've managed to accumulate more projects than I can handle at one time even though I'm determined to see them through (in between my full time job of babysitting - which I love)!  Of course you'll see all of those projects come to fruition here on Bean In Love!  I've got the love seat sitting half-way done in our living room (more on that later today...hopefully), a foot-of-the-bed bench project I'm starting after the love seat's done, roman shades to make, and a few thrift store finds to spruce up.  On top of that though, Vacation Bible School starts next week along with Trading Spaces - where we take 80 kids from our parish and revamp a wing of a local children's home.  This year we're repainting and redecorating 6 boys rooms and their rec room.  I'm having a blast helping because this year I'm the "interior designer" of sorts and I got to go pick out fabric for valances and pillows!  This past week I went out to one of my favorite discount stores and found lots of great deals on fabric!  All in all, I found all the fabric we needed (which added up to 18 yards) for around $90!  So before I make more headway on projects here at our house, my next week's energy will be completely shifted to making 13 valances, 17 pillows, and lots of other accessories!  Fun, fun, fun!  Of course I'll take before and after pictures and share them with y'all so stay tuned next weekend for those!
Anyways, I really need to get to work on those valances and I've already written more than I've meant to but I do have one more thing.  I've decided to start posting on Saturdays 1) to become more 'regular' and 2) because Saturdays have become the only days I have time to sit down and write.  :)  So, check back on your weekends!  I love blogging and I feel like I have so much to share that I wish I had more time to write but time isn't on my side right now, which is totally okay because I love being busy (a characteristic I inherited from all of my grandparents)!
Check back later today for an update on the "over-achiever" love seat!  As we speak she's standing on her own four legs right in front of me...heck, in a few weeks (fingers crossed), I'll be blogging as I sit on her!