Sunday, January 2, 2011

Craigslist Bench- A Creative Process

With great parking in this neighborhood we decided that we could go big for our annual post holiday party. Our only limitation is seating.

One solution was to buy this bench on craigslist. For $20 we have some extra seating for inside that we can store outside when not in use. It's in perfect condition and buying it couldn't have been easier.

For starters, I searched for it using "Craigs Easy."  Using this program makes trolling craigslist one of my favorite pastimes! When we went to get the bench, both Cliff and I bent at our knees and prepared to share the load. The seller chuckled. The whole thing weighs maybe 20 pounds total. Bonus!

Now for the fun part- the fabric!  My first thought was to switch up the fabric to something of the indoor/outdoor variety. The legs look black because of the lighting, but in real life they are a very blue pewter color.

With a quick online search I found a few I liked. I adored this Suzanne outdoor fabric from HancockFabrics. It has all the right colors for our living room and is bold and modern. However, we plan to store the bench next to our front door and this might be too busy for out there. Also, maybe it was too busy with the scroll work on the bench.

At Joannes I found a couple of prints that worked better with the bench, but was still hesitant. I took that as a sign I should hold out.

I am learning to listen and obey my hesitant feelings. That little whisper that says, "not yet."

I am so glad I did! Christmas day, after a debacle at the airport, we came home to wait for our re-booked flight. I had to tackle a project to beat the homesick blues. Digging through my fabric pile I found the red fabric from my kitchen curtain project.

Still thinking of this Suzanne fabric, I placed it on the bench to see how a bold print looks with the scroll work. (Terrible.) That's when I got the idea to create a slip cover to hide the scroll work.

I made a simple slipcover with that very curtain fabric I already had in my stash.  Right now we like it enough that it may just stay inside permanently. If we change our minds though, I can get all weather fabric (or maybe a vinyl tablecloth) that matches our exterior better for the bench and just use the slipcover for inside.

To make the slip cover, I lined a big rectangle of fabric with some scrap from an old shower curtain. I topstitched all the way around the rectangle. Next I lay the rectangle over the bench wrong side up. Then I pinned the corners into triangles to create tight corners. I sewed the triangle flaps and turned the whole thing right side out. Done!

From pretty, but too delicate to bright and bold in a few easy steps!
We are back from our holiday travels now. It's so good to go away, and even better to come home!
How was your holiday?

 The DIY Show Off

I've linked up!. Lots of inspiration over at the DIY Showoff!


Anonymous said...

The new fabric is so much fun and it was genius to cover the scroll work! I turned out great!

Sarah said...

It's cute! Isn't it great to have a bigger living space?

(Btw, I am hoping you want to join the heart to heart again? Your valentines are always among my most loved.) :-)

littlemissmk said...

1- i love craigslist!(in fact, craigslist is how i actually found your blog- remember?!)
2- debacle at the airport on christmas day- boo!
3- love the new slip cover- it totally transforms the bench. go you for thinking outside the box and also using up your stash! :)

Unknown said...


Jennifer said...

Best use of time from a delayed flight ever. I love it!

Custom Comforts said...

Your bench looks beautiful. Lovely transformation.