Useful Little Red Side Table

A while back, I had to replace the sofa in the main living room in my house. Having had an active dog and a pre-teen who then became a teen, the old red couch just got worn out. So off to the local big box furniture store to pick out a new one.

I really had my heart set on finding another red couch, as I still have the matching chair and a half with its matching ottoman. I knew it was going to tough to find one that will match the chair just with the color, let alone the style. And when I didn’t find a red one that I really liked the style, we opted to go with a complimentary color, a sort of golden brown with wood accents.

Well, its not been the best decision. For one thing, it hasn’t worn very well. The Kid doesn’t like it as it isn’t very deep, such that I makes it difficult to lay on the couch, like to take a nap. And for me, I miss the flat arms. The way that our living room is laid out, there isn’t room for end tables. And I don’t have an sofa table, but rather a big soft ottoman before it.

So, why is this important? Well, the flat arms on the old sofa used to be the place I would set my Diet Coke. But since we replaced it, I have tried a number of spots to rest my can.

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There is setting it on the footstool/ottoman. But this is a soft surface and someone putting their feet up can knock this can over…

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The edge of my computer was chosen just one time. Although it is more solid, it is still sitting on the soft unstable surface of the ottoman. I knocked this can over once – all over the keyboard – and I knew that wouldn’t be doing that twice. (BTW: Computer was fine once it dried out. Whew!)

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Here was habit kicking in… back to the arm of the sofa. But the arms are rounded and nothing sits here long. I cannot begin to count the number of times I’ve knocked the can off.

photo 5So, then I went to setting the can on the floor. This is nice and solid, but also out of sight and forgotten so I am oft kicking the can over. Or forgetting it there and grabbing another.

I needed a solution to this issue. And in comes The Kid. I gave him the challenge to design me something to be able to set my can of soda. I had seen an arm “sleeve” made of wood and suggested that. He went into work mode.

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And this is what he came up with. Of course, I painted it my favorite shade of red. Then its just a matter of taking it into the living room and installing it at the end of the sofa.

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It has been working well for about the past two weeks (I know, I know, what took so long to write about it?). I finally knocked over a can sitting on the table when I tossed the pillow over to the side (see the towel sopping up spilled Diet Coke?). Before installing the table, I had probably knocked over a can at least once every two to three days. Now it took two whole weeks before I managed to. I think that is definite improvement.

julie

Sliding into home base… we’re this close!

Okay, I know, I’ve been chanting this for a few weeks now, but short of a couple of minor details and finishing the play microwave, we are so close. Nothing like a long four day holiday to really get things done.

In the meantime, I thought I’d show you the wrap up of a couple of the smaller projects. One is the pair of sofas. I showed you earlier the start of the project. You can see the beginning here.

Once I cut it in half and ended up with two smaller sofas, I have wavered on whether to include one or both. But once I took the pieces upstairs to upholster them, I knew what I wanted to do. I found two pieces of fabric that I picked out earlier for the basis of my master bedroom makeover: pale turquoise and chocolate brown.

By virtue of trial and error, I figured out how to get the fabric in place. I started with the pattern that resembles paisley and it turned out pretty good. I made a couple of mistakes with the other one (the one with stripes) ending up with a seam in the front and the side stripes being a little wavy. I guess that is the difference between no noticeable nap in a fabric to one with obvious nap!

DSCN1878I set them in the dollhouse and realized that they seemed just a little ‘unfinished’. So I decided to add legs to both pieces and a skirt. Now I had enough fabric for the ‘paisley-ish’ fabric, but I really cut it close with the striped fabric, so I decided to do them both the same. Found a nice fringe that matched both fabrics but they had exactly what I needed… it always makes me nervous when I cannot buy a ‘little extra’ for that ‘just in case’.

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I also found these little candle holders that when cut down and spray painted black, turned into the perfect legs. A little Elmer’s glue and it was good to go.

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DSCN1887Then, using a glue gun, I wrapped the fringe trim around the bottom. Viola!, I have the perfect little sofas.DSCN1919That pretty much wraps up the projects needed to complete the dollhouse. Later this afternoon, once I have all the photos taken, the dollhouse will officially go on sale on eBay, Etsy and my local Craigslist. I am hoping to sell this quickly and then work out the details with delivery.

It has been a fun project, but I am so ready to be done and move this out of my entry way and into the home of some little girl and her dolls.

Slow but steady progress…

It seems that I have so little spare time these days that I have to make a decision between doing projects and writing about them. It seems incredible that it has been a whole month since my last post. Not a good way to building a blog following, huh?

Anyway, have been making some progress, although as I told the Kid earlier, it seems like I can’t seem to get anything completed, only started. Let me give you a quick update on the doll house.

The interior walls have been painted and the floors in the kitchen and bedroom have been stained. I knew using a nice grade of plywood that it would be beneficial in the end. I am leaning towards staining the entire outside of the dollhouse, make it kind of a nice piece of furniture. Not completely sure, as I had thought about making it look more like a house with windows and doors and siding and such, but then, figured that the sheer size of it would require it to sit against a wall or in a corner of two walls and then you wouldn’t even see the outside of it. I guess it will depend on how I feel when I get to that point.

I’ve also got the upper cabinets installed in the kitchen. Wow, had a bit of an issue getting them in to look good. I actually made the cabinets a single piece, gluing them together and giving the back and underneath support rather than installing each piece individually. Did the same with the lower cabinets, and they are ready to go in now that the floor is done.

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Its a bit funny but it almost looks like a real house with construction going on in the kitchen… with the appliances having been moved to a different room. The floors hadn’t been done in this photo, but shortly after this, we moved the house to the garage and three coats of an oak color were applied.

The other project worked on was a sofa for the living room. I started with the dimensions of 24″ long, about 10″ tall and a seat depth of 6″. We first cut all the pieces and layed them out. Then we used a piece of leftover plywood for the frame and with the pneumatic nail gun and Elmer’s glue, we made quick work of piecing it together.

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Here is the finished frame. Got done about 11:00 on Saturday night and figured I could work on it today (Sunday). But each time I walked by it, there was just something not right about it. It measured over 24″ once the sides were added and then there is the dowels on top of that. I had an epiphany that at that length, it wouldn’t even fit sideways in the house, which is only 24″ deep. It was simply too long.

We could make it shorter, but since I am a staunch user of both glue and nails, I knew it would not come apart easily. Then it dawned on me, we could just cut it exactly in half and make two! So that’s what we did, recreating the sides/arms. Now they are both ready for foam and upholstery. (See? One more thing started but not finished. Sigh!)

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A while back, while the Kid and I were out abandoned house hunting, we ran across an old barn full of those old telephone wire insulators… and we managed to find about a two dozen in pretty good shape. We cleaned them up and I desperately tried to figure out something to do with them. I had been experimenting with paint that made glass looked like stained glass (I *think* that I forgot to write about it… I can’t seem to find it in my previous posts.). Anyway, each insulator got three coats of the stained glass paint to get nice even coverage. Thought that they would be interesting sitting on a glass shelf in front of the large window in the office, but I’ve yet to get to that either! Sigh.

But they are sitting in front of the window near the floor, waiting for the shelf. Eventually, I am thinking that the light streaming will make nice colorful splashes around the room. In the meantime, here are a couple of photos:

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Yesterday I ran across a ‘how to’ for using these insulators in wall sconces, which I am excited about trying. But I’ve vowed not to start anything else until the dollhouse and accessories are finished. Whew!

Okay, that’s about it for now. I do have a few more things to share with you… things that had been completed some time ago. I re-did this beautiful dresser and vanity with a mirror, but it took ages to sell. In fact, I couldn’t sell it for the longest time painted only in pink, so I reached back into my magical bag of tricks and the Kid and I painted multi-colored dots on it. Finally, it sold. Had to drop the price twice though. Must not be the right time for selling furniture on Craigslist, at least not in Kansas City.

Okay, so tomorrow is another work day, so am going to say good night and thank you for stopping by. And as always, keep making beautiful things!

julie

 

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