So Tuft

I mentioned in (Ash) Wednesday’s post that we finally rereupholstered the ottoman in the living room (previously a coffee table…read all about that extravagant transformation here).

The fabric on it majorly clashed with the pixelated rug we got two Black Friday’s ago and so I’ve just been living with that awful marriage for the past year.  In that time, I’ve been scheming about what kind/color of fabric we could reupholster it with that would jive with the rug.  My good friend Jesse suggested a cognac leather which sounded and looked amazing in my head but I really was longing for something a little more comfortable; something I could put my footsies on that was soft and not cold to the initial touch.  Velvet.  Yes, it had to be velvet.  Jewel-toned, green velvet.  Yep.  I had my mind made up.  There was this beautiful green lodged in the rug and I’d pull it out in velvet form for the ottoman.  Except any and all searches for that color of velvet on the net gave me nothing and when I did find something that might be what I wanted, I chickened out in ordering because I was scared it wouldn’t be the right color of green.  Computer screens can be such liars and ordering swatch after swatch can get expensive.

Lucky for me, there’s this incredible fabric store about 35 minutes from my house.  I never get there anymore though because driving 35 minutes to unload the kids into aisles of fabric would be like, so dumb.  I’d be trying my best to keep them close to my person and not running down aisles or hiding behind fabric that they unrolled and, oh wait, that they’re now using as a blanket on the floor…oh my gosh, this was monstrous mistake.  I’d leave with nothing more than frazzle.  But, and that’s a big but (I like big…no?  Okay.), also lucky for me is that one of my closest friends just moved two minutes away from that glorious fabric store and so she graciously watched the girls for me for a bit a couple of weeks ago while Sebastian and I went and scouted fabric…and found some!  It wasn’t the velvet and it wasn’t a plain linen I almost bought in the green I wanted.  I went a tad outside my comfort zone and bought a woven green upholstery fabric – woven with strands of cream, bright blue, and bright green that altogether made one nice shade of jewel green.

Anyway, I bought it and I really wasn’t planning on writing a whole ‘nother post on how we reupholstered the ottoman since the first one was detailed enough but then, when the time came to reupholster, I had some frustrating issues with the buttons so I thought I’d make someone’s life a little easier and share my solution.

But let’s backtrack to before I even got my hands on the buttons…

I spent one naptime last week taking the old fabric off the ottoman (which I have along with the buttons if anyone is interested in using it to reupholster and tuft something!) and then took the kids outside to roughen up the base a little with some sandpaper.  Time and kids had already started wearing through my paint job so distressing it seemed a better and easier option than repainting, for now anyway.

After, to show distressing:

IMG_7637(P.S.  I should write up a little post on how I lightly distress but until then, basically all I do is take sandpaper and lightly sand away the paint on the edges of a piece.  I don’t do every part of each edge but skip around so that some edges are painted and some are sanded to the wood below.  It’s so easy and mistakes aren’t really possible.)

Then, while Anthony finished up a little work one night, he and I sat in the living room together and each did our own thing.  I had my lap desk and everything I needed to upholster some buttons with the new fabric and everything was going great…until it wasn’t.  I got as far as cutting out all the circles (per the instructions on the button kit which are awesome) but when I tried to actually put the buttons together, I all of a sudden found myself sweating and with a hearty case of pre-arthritis.  Because the fabric was a heavy, upholstery fabric, it wasn’t fitting very well into the back of the buttons so the backs could be attached and that left me pushing, prodding, poking, and about to break all of my fingers off.  Seriously, I had envisioned this quiet, peaceful night where Anthony and I would each get our work done in 30 minutes and then we could have a little date.  No, no, and no.  I spent the better part of the night with buttons, on the floor.

But, in the end, I won.  So, if any of you ever find yourselves in a fight with thick fabric and upholstery buttons, here’s how to come out on top…

I started just like I did with the old buttons - I wrapped the fabric around the top of the button, stuck it into the button tool that came with the kit (I used this kit* both times), and plopped a tiny dollop of liquid nails into the middle for extra staying power.IMG_2828(P to the S:  You can see the green I was pulling out of the rug in this picture!  It’s so hard to see it when I photograph the rug overall.)

Then I pressed the back on with the little blue cap that also comes with the kit.  Only, when I released, the back didn’t stick and I was all like “what the hay?!”.
I tried again, and again, and harder, and harder, until I could try no more.  That dang button back just wasn’t going to get in it’s groove because my fabric was so thick.  Grrr…

I didn’t know what to do.  I got out my computer to ask Google for help only all I could find were pleas from people with the same problem or people who apparently didn’t have this problem.  I didn’t really want to buy new buttons since I had already spent moolah on these and loved them last time I used them.

So, I experimented a little.  I only needed nine buttons and there were 10 in the pack so if I ruined one, it wasn’t a big deal.  First I tried using my hammer to hammer the two button tools together instead of pressing them, like you were supposed to do.  The worst I could do was crack the plastic but that didn’t happen.  Nothing happened.  Then I got out my needlenose pliers and set the closed tip in the groove around the outside of the button back and pressed it into the floor as hard as I could.  I did this maybe 10 or so times; all around the back of the button.      IMG_2830

And golly gee, it worked!  The back of my buttons aren’t the prettiest ever but since no one will see them but miniscule dust bunnies, I could care less.IMG_2831

I let the buttons set over night so that the Liquid Nails had plenty of time to dry and the next night, Anthony and I had our date night – tufting and upholstering.

And it was awesome.  And the ottoman doesn’t clash with the rug anymore and that is awesome.



But now we have minty-blue couches, a green ottoman, and cranberry club chairs.  Too many solids and one of them not my favorite on furniture (ahem…cranberry).  So, upholstering I will try.


I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect fabric and thought I was settled on finding some thin charcoal and white stripes, using these striped beauties as inspiration:


[image via purehome]

I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of stripes and I need something that will go with any change I decide to throw in the mix down the road.

But then last week I came across this fabric online, ordered a swatch for a buck, and love it.


Decisions, decisions.  Pray tell my savvy readers, what would you do? 

The only other question is that remains is, will I fight the urge to reupholster and wait until much after baby comes, or will I fall prey to the bug ‘o nesting and do them as soon as possible.  I’m guessing I’ll fall prey to nesting but still have to wait which is a great combo for this semi-perfectionist-need-to-get-everything-done-at-once personality.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.  Before chairs on the assembly line is a master bedroom makeover.  I said I’d have an upholstered headboard diy-ed before Sebastian came and that never happened so here I am, saying it again - I’ll have one before this diva gets here.

I will.

There’s no lack of motivation or desire over here so, if you’re needing some, look no further.  Consider it post-marked.


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upholstering buttons

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