Excitingly, I was recently invited to take part in the Direct Blinds Renovation Sensation competition. The premise of the competition is to demonstrate that old, discarded pieces of furniture can be renovated and given a new lease of life. Which, for a crafter, is pretty much a given and I loved the concept as it’s an important message to share with the world!
To buy my piece of furniture I went to the British Heart Foundation Furniture and Electrical Warehouse in Sale – this place is AMAZING. It’s chock full of awesome furniture that’s been donated or picked up at house clearances and it’s all going for a song, not to mention that by buying anything in there we’re making the world a better place by helping a charity!
After lots of deliberation I picked up this awesome number because I thought that upcycling an ottoman would be fun.
To start my renovation I sanded the box down ready for it to accept the paint (this was much easier after my boyfriend suggested I use a sanding block instead of just using my hands!)
Then I wiped the dust from the box with a cloth soaked with white spirit. Then left this to dry naturally.
Then I added a couple of coats of paint – I did toy with the idea of using primer or undercoat but in the end decided to put the paint straight onto the sanded wood. I used Dulux Timeless Classics Matt Emulsion in Wishing Well – this is the same colour as our fireplace is painted and I wanted the updated bedding box to tie in.
Two coats of paint was enough for good coverage on the box. The Dulux paint gives a nice chalky finish which has a great shabby chic feel to it.
I decided almost as soon as I set eyes on the ottoman that I wanted it to double as a window seat so bought a foam pad from Dunelm Mill and cut it down to size.
I then cut a piece of cotton wadding to wrap over the top of the bad to round off the hard edges and make the seat a bit comfier.
Then I cut a piece of fabric big enough to wrap over the cushion and under the edges of the lid of the box with an extra couple of inches on each edge for a hem. The fabric I used was Berta Ruta from Ikea which, again, matches the curtains and cushion covers that I made for the living room (I love a co-ord!).
I then hemmed the fabric on the sewing machine to prevent fraying later.
Next I used a staple gun to secure the fabric to the inside of the box lid and to the back edge of the outside of the box. I started with the front edge and worked round a side at a time, pulling the fabric tight as I worked.
The blanket box initially had casters on the feet but I removed these a) to make the box a bit shorter and b) because it didn’t really need them! To be fair this could have been the first step but I left it until last just to make life difficult – pulling the fabric tight and stapling wasn’t easy as the box wheeled around the room!
Then I positioned my lovely new window seat in front of the window bay. These boxes are great for a living room because they can hide a multitude of sins: DVDs, toys or, best of all, snuggle blankets! Everyone loves to snuggle on the sofa in front of the TV with a blanket (if you say you don’t, I don’t believe you!) – my blanket is brown and furry so it doesn’t match the living room, now I have a fancy new place to hide it!
Hope you like the renovation, wish me luck in the competition which is being judged by Pippa Jameson the TV/Magazine interior stylist (eek!). This project has given me lots of ideas for future furniture upcycling so more projects will be on the blog soon.