A Tuffet Act to Follow

Ottomans have nearly as many names as they have functions. They are also known as footstools, hassocks, tuffets, and poufs. If you really want to impress your friends, next time you throw a party and need more seating, just say something like, “Excuse me while I go fetch my party hassocks.” Everyone will think you’re super cool.

Unless of course, your ottomans are in sad shape. That’s a surefire way to kill a party. You might as well just run out of food and unplug the boombox at that point. But don’t worry! Your pooped poufs can be saved in no time.

Blue and White Ottomans Before
Blue and White Ottomans

Stephanie at Studio 36 Interiors simply recovered her torn-up tuffets and they look better than new. She has a tutorial on her blog and makes it look incredibly easy. It’s basically sewing straight lines. You can do this.


If your footstool has bigger problems, like this one from Estella that was clearly unraveling, don’t fret! You don’t need to be some kind of weaving wizard, you just need to know how to wrap a present.

Bird Ottoman Blue Before


Bird Ottoman Blue

Yep, that’s the basic gist of what happened here. She tore off the string completely and stapled on heavy duty webbing instead, then fleshed out the sides with cardboard (cardboard!) and batting.  The fabric was wrapped around and stapled on, with the beautiful bird embroidery sewed to the top. See the step-by-step on Estella’s blog Star of the East


But wait! She had so much fun with that makeover, she decided to do another!  She wanted a kitchy and colorful look for this little ottoman, and when she found a piece of needle-punch embroidery in her stash, she knew it was a perfect match:

Colorful Ottoman Before


Colorful Ottoman

I’m not sure what it says, but I’m betting on “party hassock.”

If you want to see more, plus the *real* translation, head on over to her blog Star of the East.

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I’m no cheetah, I ain’t lion.

They say that cheetahs never change their spots, but that’s not true for chairs. Chairs can change at anytime. You could change up a chair tomorrow.  Or today!

Jan at Chairished Furnishings changed her chair to cheetah. Whoa. That just went full circle.

Cheetah Cane Chair


Cheetah Cane Chair Before

I picture this belonging to a fabulous woman, sitting inside her huge and fabulous closet and there is also a black lacquered mirror and a gold chandelier in there and everyone O.D.’s on fabulousness. Right?

Now, you might be tempted to think that this little table makeover by Lucy at Patina Paradise is also cheetah print, but nope it’s not.  I’m not lion. (HA! Sorry).

Faux Leopard Table Before


Faux Leopard Table

According to Lucy, it’s actually leopard.  I wonder what the main difference is between cheetah and leopard. Hang on, let me Google.

Ok, I’m back. This is what it says: “The leopard’s spots are called rosettes, they are more of a cluster of black spots with a dark brown spot in the middle. The cheetah’s spots are a solid black dot.”

Wait a minute. That means that everything I told you before that was a lie. The chair is leopard and the table is cheetah! Whew. Thanks for setting the record straight, Google.

#themoreyouknow #shootingstaremoji

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How to paint polka-dot upholstery!

Have you ever wanted to learn how to paint upholstery? If you said yes, keep reading!

If you said no, keep reading anyway! I like you. Don’t leave.

Today I’m going to show you how I painted this thrift-store chair for my daughter’s room. It’s definitely not perfect, but I think it turned out pretty cute. Best part: it’s EASY!

Painted polka dot chair

The before was most definitely NOT cute. It was probably harboring a disease. But let me tell you, this thing was built to last. Even though the fabric has seen better days, and those days were probably decades ago, it is still in amazingly sturdy shape, and didn’t have a single hole or tear.

That’s super obvious step #1 when painting upholstered furniture: make sure there are no holes or tears. Paint won’t fix them. I’m sure you knew that.

polka dot chair before

Step two: make sure the fabric of your piece is a nice flat weave. No fluffy, velvety fabrics allowed.  You are one-way trip to Crustyville with a layover in in Crunchy Town if you attempt to paint anything like that.

Step three: spray your fabric lightly with water. This is supposed to help the fabric not drink up your paint, but it’s going to drink it up pretty good on the first few coats anyway, so honestly spraying it might not make any difference at all. But do it anyway. Why take chances.

Step four: mix a fabric medium into your paint. (I just used plain old white interior latex paint). The fabric medium is supposed to help your painted fabric feel less like paint and more like fabric, plus help with durability.  I dutifully mixed up some fabric medium in my paint, and my chair feels like plastic. Nice, soft, waterproof plastic, like what outdoor fabric feels like, but it’s definitely not fabric-y anymore.

So now you know.

Step five: don’t panic. It might feel like your chair will require 10,000 coats of paint to acheive adequate coverage. It won’t. Keep going!

Once you’ve applied the final coat, it’s almost time to polka-dot! But first, measure.

I measured and marked a little pre-dot every two inches. This was tricky around all the curves and angles of the chair, so my advice is to use a washable marker to make your marks, because you most likely will be wiping them off and readjusting them as you go. It’s tempting to just eyeball it, but trust me, measuring is key.

making polka dots with a circle sponge

And now, we polka-dot! Making the polka-dots was the funnest part. I used a circle sponge and just gently twisted it around to form a nearly perfect circle. My sister the hand-model helped, which made it go so much faster.

how to paint a polka dot chair

Coming along!


midway through painting polka dot chair

If you look closely, you can see a few splotches, but touching them up was no trouble at all.

polka dot painted chair

And that’s it!

Again, it’s not perfect, but unless you are looking really hard for the imperfections, your eye just goes right over them and sends a signal to your brain and that signal says “Whoa! What a cute little chair!”

painted polka dot chair black and white

Feel free to ask me your burning upholstery painting questions in the comments, and also feel free to pin and share this post!  You’re the best.

how to paint a polka dot chair pin it

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Choose Your Own DIY Adventure! Sofa Edition

Today’s makeovers are coming to you “Choose Your Own Adventure” style! Here we go!

We begin in your living room. Something is not right in here. Something is the opposite of right. Something is wrong.  You take a good long look around until your gaze rests on your sofa. Suddenly it all makes sense. The culprit is your fuggo sofa. Realization dawns that you’ve been unhappy with your sofa for a long time. It’s old; it’s worn out. You can hardly stand to look at it, let alone sit on it. It’s time for a change. Do you:

A: go buy a new sofa.

B: figure out a way to restore your sofa.

If you chose A., go to the furniture store. Bye.

If you chose B., congratulations! Your journey continues.


You decide your sofa can be saved. But you don’t know where to start. Let’s start by touching your sofa. Run your hand over it. What do you feel?

A: leather.

B: fabric.

C: gross, I’m not touching that thing.

If you chose A., scroll down to this sofa from Eden at DIYHER. Notice the worn and faded leather. Can it be saved? Is there any hope?

Dyed Black Leather Sofa


Dyed Black Leather Sofa after

Heck yes there is. You order yourself a bottle of leather dye and bring that baby back to life in a snap. You remember to wear gloves and do it outside because leather dye is potent, but also crazy affordable, hey! You are thrilled with your results and live in a blissful state of happiness for the rest of your life.


If you chose B., turn your attention to this couch from Tamara at Provident Home Design.  The droopy brown fabric brings you down, and it’s pretty stained too. But you have company coming to visit soon, so you decide now is a perfect time to try painting upholstery. You mix yourself a homemade batch of chalk paint, look up a few online tutorials for tips and tricks, and  …

Gray Painted Couch Before

Gray Painted Couch

… you paint that couch.  It’s now a lovely neutral gray, and when your visitors arrive they are amazed. They can’t stop commenting on your wisdom, problem solving skills, and DIY expertise and nominate you to run for President, and you end up winning, and wow, now you are the President. Congratulations!


If you chose C., your sofa may look something like this loveseat from Christy at 11 Magnolia Lane. You remember how thrilled you were to find it at a thrift-store for $14, but have been overwhelmed by the task of reupholstering it, so it has sat unchanged in your home ever since. But seriously, it grosses you out.

reupholstered loveseat before

reupholstered loveseat after

But today you bite the bullet. You decide to take charge of your life and conquer your fears, and you teach yourself how to reupholster your couch. You do an amazing job! You decide to help other people conquer their fears too. You record your philosophies on a series of audiotapes and sell them on late-night infomercials. You become a world famous motivational speaker/life coach/furniture re-upholsterer. All of your dreams come true.


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