Friday, September 20, 2013

Dumpster Diving FTW! Again.

So a long time ago, back at the old house, David and I were going somewhere and as we pulled out of the garage, I saw two little brown chairs by the dumpster.

They were nothing special, but they had simple lines and they were just sitting out by the trash, so I decided to rescue them, DIY blogger style.

David was not excited about this plan because he does not like half-finished or never-really-started projects sitting around, while my whole life is basically a series of half-finished or never-really-started projects that keep me busy.  Anyway, this was still in my post-Eliza haze and considering it was probably the first time I'd shown interest in anything beyond watching countless episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, David obliged me by pulling the chairs out of the garbage and putting them in our shed.

And they lived there for two years.

Not so cute.  YET.
I imagined painting them a bright cheerful yellow, and I even brought some navy flowered fabric to recover the seats, but we had nowhere to put them in our little house and I never really had the time or inclination to tackle this project.

When we moved, David wanted to leave them at the old house or throw them away.  I insisted that they move with us.  You never know!  They are my project!

So he loaded them up and moved them to the new house.

As he was putting together my Very Fancy Italian Marble Bistro Table, I was spray-painting our kitchen bar stools to cute them up a little so they wouldn't feel so underdressed next to the Very Fancy Italian Marble Bistro Table.

Looking a little blah.

All taped up and ready to go!
The paint job turned out really cute.

Looking shiny and new!
But I had a big "doh" moment when I discovered that 24" stools don't really work with a 30" table.

Should have seen this coming...
What a needed was a pair of small chairs.

DING DING DING!  I had the perfect pair of chairs, sitting out in the garage.  I believe they had been waiting their entire lives for this moment!

I've been waiting my whole life for this moment!
So David sanded them, I spray painted them, and then he helped me recover the seats.

The original seats were covered in a super ugly brown vinyl and there was no cushion to speak of.

Double U:  Ugly and Uncomfortable
I went to Hancock's fabric and, via a major texting session with Crafty Cousin Amanda, decided to buy two squares of 1" seat foam, a yard of batting to wrap around the foam, and a yard of gray and white home decor fabric that was 54" wide.

Decisions, decisions.
The foam squares were $7 but were on sale, the batting was $2/yard, and the fabric was 50% off which made it $12.99/yard.  Total spent was around $30.  Plus three cans of spray paint, which was about $18.

We decided not to remove the ancient vinyl, which was held in place by a ridiculous number of tiny little nails.  I just layered the foam over it and then wrapped and stapled the batting around it to keep the foam in place.

Foam, cut to fit the seat.
And covered with batting.
Then I cut the fabric to fit and wrapped it around the seat and the cushion just like I was neatly wrapping a present.

These are actually David's hands.
I definitely needed David's help because it took two of us to hold the fabric in place and staple it securely.

I hammered in a few staples to make sure they were flush.

Double C:  Cute and Comfortable
When we were finished, my little chairs salvaged from the alley had gone from this...

to this...

And now our breakfast nook looks like this:

At night because the light shining through the windows during the day makes my photos so backlit you can't see anything.
It's definitely a bright spot in our kitchen.

Breakdown cost of the table:
marble top: $40
table base (with shipping): $130
chairs:  $0 (salvaged from dumpster)
3 cans spray paint: $18
fabric and foam for cushions:  $30

Total amount spent:  $218 for a marble bistro table and two chairs.

Now I just need to work up the energy and find the time and convince my husband it's a good idea to paint our cabinets!


  1. That little corner looks so inviting now! I LOVE it. I would have rescued those chairs too. Great shape and they look really sturdy!

  2. I love what you did with the chairs! Super cute!


  3. I love that you made the chair get excited, and in turn, made it speak.
    I could totally hear what that chair was saying as it prepared itself for its make over...even w/o your caption ;)

    FTW for sure!

  4. for the win!

    They look awesome and I'm totally impressed that your husband, even begrudgingly, will participate in an activity he was against in the first place.

    Elliot has decided the composter is 100% my decision and therefore I am in charge of its efforts. Including cleaning the tupperware I hold the banana peels (etc.) in. He'll wash all the dishes and leave it behind. Hah.

  5. That is FABULOUS!!!! I love it, it looks so incredible! And really expensive!

  6. Oh job well done team Duckworth! And the stools - LOVE the little aqua trim.

    I want Crafty Cousin Amanda's number so I can text her next time I'm at Hobby Lobby and overwhelmed.


    Feel free to come figure out something to do with my ugly kitchen cabinets...or colors for Luke's room...or a million other projects we could find around my house when you are done with yours!

    And you two crack me up, always, with you pulling stuff from the trash and David obliging you and then even moving with it!

  8. I love them! So J&S of you!

    Why bother consulting David re: the cabinet. Just start taking it apart to paint and he'll feel obligated? Just kidding, Scott would kill me! ha!

  9. Fabulous job! The second I saw the fabric I knew where you were taking it...incredible! I need to reupholster my dining room chairs once we move to the new house. They are white (ha ha ha ha pre children much?) seats on black wooden frames. I am thinking of changing out the fabric to be more wipe and kid friendly. As I am sure you can imagine it won't be my first project in the door but it is on the growing list.

    I love that those chairs made the move and were the perfect and CHEAP addition to updating your dining space. Win all round, great job!

  10. wow, those look great! I love Laura's idea. :) Kudos to David for helping!

  11. Ri. Dic. U. Lous.
    How do you even figure this stuff out?!! I adore this!!