November 22, 2013

Frugal Friday #14 - DIY Part 1

Hi, thanks for the messages of concern.  I am fine for now.  A few years ago, I had a detached retina in my left eye.  Unfortunately yesterday afternoon, I started experiencing the same symptoms in my right eye.  My doctor wasn't working Friday afternoon and so I went to Emergency.  We didn't have any on-call ophthalmologists in Peterborough (go figure?!?) so my lovely sister drove me to Belleville (about an hour and a half away) in a rain storm so I could see a specialist.  The lining of my eye is tearing and bleeding but no tears in the retina.  Fingers crossed it will stay that way and settle down a bit.  My vision is pretty obscured in that eye right now.

I wanted to cover some do-it-yourself projects on Frugal Friday.  There are some projects that are dangerous to take on without proper training...for example gas fitting, electrical, etc.  For other things, don't be afraid to give it a try, especially now that you can find instructional videos on the internet.  I'm not going to give you a play by play as you can watch great videos on Youtube.   Often DIY projects can save you quite a bit of money but beware, if you take on too much, too fast - you might just cause a costly mess that you have to pay a professional to fix.  Start small, start cheap and build up your skills and your confidence.

I decided to give upholstery another try.  Quite a few years ago, my sister gave me a chair for free (I rescued it from a dump load if truth be told).  The upholstery was a disaster and needed replaced. Below is my first attempt.

It was a complete fail.  The seat was fine but for the life of me, I couldn't get the upholstery around the wooden arms.  It sat in its' unfinished state for years and years.  Third picture is 2 chairs stripped, ready for re-upholstery.

So I gave it another try...

Still a bit of a struggle...but the finished product was passable.  Free chair, $20 of fabric and about $5 of supplies.  Not too bad for a second attempt and a heckuva lot cheaper than having it done professionally.

I lived with this chair for a couple of weeks and then decided that I really didn't like the light lilac and white striped denim with the dark wood.  Originally I was going to paint the wood white but my Mom wanted it to stay as is.  So I decided that I would strip it and upholster it again.  Practice makes perfect, right?

I set myself up in the sunroom and started stripping the chair again.  I saved the fabric for use in the future.

I had a purple panel of drapery fabric that I got for $5.  It was just enough to do the chair.

This fabric was a little more difficult to work with but I was able to do a fairly smooth upholstery job.

Everyone here is pretty happy with the result of my $10 makeover.

Eilish has claimed this chair as her own!

I got some professional tack strips for a $1 and they helped me do a smooth job of attaching the back panel. Pretty happy with my first frugal DIY.  It is now part of the furniture in my new living room.  Even if you're not sure you can do it....give it a try.
Frugally Yours,



  1. Sure hope you feel better.
    Enjoy your daily offerings.

  2. Really nice update! THe pillows pair nicely, too.

  3. What a very scary experience Julie when the eyes start to have problems. I am hoping that it gets better soon.
    Love the looks all three times on the chair, but like the purple best! Well done. Here's a double hug for you.....Diane

  4. Wishing you the healthiest of holidays! Love your frugal friday tips!


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