Jul 7, 2014

My Sewing Studio: The Desk


I really felt lucky when I found this solid wood desk on Craigslist.  It was a corner desk, the perfect size, solid, and had a mid-century modern feel to it.  I really liked the curved shape flanking the drawers, and the funky legs.  At the time, this desk was being used in the office of some grimy industrial business and it was pretty forlorn.  I knew it was really crying out for someone to take it home and give it some tender loving care.  My suspicions were correct when I opened the top drawer and found the following label inside:

It was fate!  This desk had ties to the sewing world before, and now it was time to return to that world and become a valuable asset to my sewing studio.  No more grit and grime for this beauty!  The ad on craigslist had listed the price of $50 for the desk.  In my enthusiasm of finding the perfect desk, I was willing to pay the price, but my frugal side just had to ask the gentleman how much he wanted for it.  Well, he was anxious to get rid of it and said I could have for $25.  SCORE!  He, along with a fellow worker happily loaded it into my van and away I went.

I decided that I wanted both sides of the desk to be closer in height to each other.  I solved this by purchasing a couple of new legs from the local home improvement center, cutting them to size and reattaching them. I also drilled new holes a few inches higher than the original holes for the bolts that attached the two sections of the desk together.  

One thing I knew for sure was that I didn't want the laminate top to remain dark brown in color.  I had painted laminate before and knew exactly what to do.  I first primed the laminate with Zinsser water based primer.  Once dry, I top coated it with the same latex paint I used on the rest of the desk.


After everything had dried thoroughly, I laid some lace fabric over the top and lightly sprayed it with Heirloom White spray paint.  Some areas have a heavier coat of paint than others, but it just adds to the effect.  Years ago I did the same technique on a dresser and metal cart.

Once the spray paint dried, I coated it with a few layers of Water Based Polycrylic.  I like the clear satin sheen.  Years ago I painted the laminate-covered rails of our pool table with the same technique (minus the lace overlay, of course) and it hasn't chipped or scratched off at all.

All of the hardware is original and got a coat of oil rubbed bronze spray paint.

I found an adjustable silverware tray at a thrift store for $2 that fits perfectly in the center drawer.

Each side of the desk has extra tabletop space that pulls out, if needed.

The lower drawer is just the perfect size for a wastepaper basket.

I'm loving the convenience of sitting at a corner desk and switching effortlessly between my sewing machine and serger!

The total cost for a corner desk in my sewing studio:

Thrifted Desk.....$25.00
One Gallon of "Oops" Paint.....$15.00
Spray Paint.....already on hand
New Legs.....$7.00
Polycrylic.....already on hand

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Jul 2, 2014

My Sewing Studio: Seating


For seating in my sewing studio I definitely wanted a swivel chair to make it easy to switch between my sewing machine and serger.  As luck would have it, I had an old office chair just waiting for a makeover.  I began by masking off the the black plastic wheels.  Everything else got a coat of Heirloom White spray paint.  

Originally, I had planned to paint the original fabric on the chair with fabric paint, followed by some sort of painted design.  But, I wasn't too happy with the early results and opted for reupholstering.  I had a sheet that was given to me that was going to work perfectly.  After searching the web for some ideas on the process,  I managed to recover the chair without taking the whole thing apart.

The back rest was super simple.  I began by cutting a piece of fabric large enough to cover the chair back, with a couple of inches all around to spare.  Next, I sprayed the original chair back fabric with spray adhesive.  I then centered the new fabric onto the old fabric and smoothed it into place.  Then with a real "high tech" tool, a.k.a a butter knife, I pushed the excess fabric into the space between the cushion and the hard plastic backing.  If some of the fabric was too long to push inside, I trimmed it off, then finished pushing it in place.  No staples required!  I have used the chair for several weeks now and it is staying perfectly secure.  The spray adhesive helped the new fabric conform to the curvature of the chair back.

For the seat cushion, I did remove it from the chair base.  It was just a matter of removing a few bolts.  I cut a piece of fabric large enough to cover the seat and wrap around to the underside.  Once again, I used spray adhesive and centered my new fabric over the old fabric, smoothing into place.  I did my best to line the stripes up with the stripes on the chair back.  I stretched and wrapped the excess fabric to the underside and stapled it into place, trimming away any excess fabric.  I then reattached the seat to the chair base.

I thought I was done at this point, but it just didn't look finished, so a pleated and piped skirt was added to the perimeter.  I attached it by placing it upside down, and stapling it into place along the edge of the seat.

Now it looked finished!

My sewing studio also needed some secondary seating for when I'm sitting at my cutting table.  I found a wooden stool at Goodwill for $4.99.  I painted it with the same Heirloom White spray paint and then slip covered it with the same fabric and pleating detail.  However, instead of piping, it was trimmed with some rick rack from my stash.

Total cost for seating in my sewing studio:

Office Chair....free
Gifted Sheet....free
Heirloom White Spray Paint....$4.00
Thrifted Stool....$4.99
Cording and Rick Rack...from my stash

I like to link to these great parties!