DIY Home: fabulous fabric and the $15 ottoman

One of the most useful things we purchased when we had our Little Miss was a “nappy caddy” which holds nappies, cream, nappy bags and other bits and pieces.  We can carry it around the house and change our little wriggle monster where ever she is.  However, as you can imagine, this item is not super stylish and not the type of thing I like to have on display.  So…I needed a storage solution and preferably one that was quick, easy and cheap.  A $15 storage ottoman from Officeworks seemed to fit the bill.  However, it needed a bit of a style up.  Here is how I did it…

How to cover a faux leather ottoman with fabric

The supplies:

* Plain storage ottoman

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* Fabric – enough to cover the ottoman.  A strong cotton canvas or other upholstery fabric is best.

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* Fabric scissors

* Staple gun & staples.  I used this battery operated Bosch staple gun, however a heavy duty tacker gun (similar to this one from Bunnings) is likely to also do the trick, depending on your strength and the materials the ottoman is made of)

Staple gun

* Cotton tape – at least 2.5cm wide (optional)

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* Glue gun (optional)

Glue gun

* Scotchgard, or similar spray fabric protector (optional)

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The method:

1. Cut fabric for the lid. Place the ottoman lid on the fabric and cut around with a generous margin that will allow you to wrap the fabric around each edge and attach it to the inside.  Tip: place the fabric so the “good side” is showing so that you can see approximately what print will show on the ottoman’s lid.  Make sure you turn the fabric over before you start to “wrap” the lid so that the good side of the fabric ends up on the outside!

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2. Attach fabric on two opposite sides of the lid.  Wrap the fabric around one edge of the lid (see notated photo below for what I am calling “the edge”).  Using the staple gun, attach the fabric to the inside of that edge.   Repeat for the opposite edge.

The edge

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3. Attach fabric on the remaining opposite edges. Fold the fabric as if you are wrapping a gift and wrap the fabric around the edge.  Attach fabric to the inside of the edge using the staple gun.  Repeat on opposite edge.  Your lid will now be covered.

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4. Cut out a strip of fabric to cover the base of the ottoman.  Your next strip of fabric will need to be wide enough to cover the side of the ottoman and, ideally, it will be long enough to wrap around the ottoman once with a bit of an overlap to make a neat join.  However, if your piece of fabric is not long enough simply follow the instructions in step 6 and use overlapping pieces of fabric.

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5. Wrap and staple.  Wrap the fabric around the ottoman and attach it to the inside of the ottoman using the staple gun. as you wrap.  Tip: For a neater join, start the fabric halfway across the side of the ottoman, rather than at a corner.

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6. Create a neat join.  Continue to wrap and attach the fabric to the inside of the ottoman until your fabric wraps all the way around and overlaps the beginning of the fabric.   To create a neat join, simply fold over the edge of the remaining fabric and attach with the staple.

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Fold over hem

7. Grab a friend. If your ottoman has a softish base, like mine, for this next part I advise asking a friend for help.  However, if the ottoman’s base is sturdy you should be able to continue without help.

8. Attach the fabric to the base of the ottoman. Turn your ottoman upside down.  Once again wrap the fabric over the lip of the side and hold tight while a friend aims the staple gun and attached the fabric (thanks husband and brother-in-law for helping me out so I could take a picture!)  You will now have a covered ottoman.

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8. Optional – cover the staples with some cotton tape.  To keep the join between the stapled fabric and the ottoman neat I decided to glue some simple cotton tape over the join and staples.  Completely optional and, obviously, once the lid is closed you can not even see it!  Glue down the cotton tape along the join using a glue gun.  Tip: Start the cotton tape in the middle of the side of the ottoman for a neater join.

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9. Optional – Create a neat join.  To create a neat join cut the cotton tape in an arrow shape, as shown below.  Fold the arrow shape under itself and glue down.

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10. Optional – protect the fabric. Spray your ottoman with Scotchgard or similar spray fabric protector.  I recommend two coats.  Tip: spray protectors have a horrible odour so its best to spray outdoors.

11. Admire your newly covered ottoman!

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xxCatherine_PNG72ppi

The details – project:

* Ottoman – Storage ottoman, white ($15), Officeworks

* Fabric – we used the gorgeous dot fabric from Edit (look out for their pop up store at Shop 1, 92 Queen Street Woollahra) in cotton canvas, however any cotton canvas or upholstery fabric would work well.

* Staple gun – a variety of staple guns are available from most hardware stores, in Australia your best bet is Bunnings.

* Cotton tape – fuchsia 1.5 inch cotton tape, purchased from No Chintz, also available from Spotlight for around AU$1.50 per metre.

* Glue gun and stick glue – similar available from Spotlight.

* Spray fabric protector – Scotchgard, available from most hardware stores.

The details – photos:

* Nappy caddy – b.Box Essential Nappy Caddy ($69.95), available from Baby Village.

* Chevron mat – bath mat, West Elm (used as a door mat at our back door).

* Armchairs – Oz Design Furniture.

* Throw cushions (from left) – catherineandgrace DIY using Edit giraffe fabric; Edit cushion in Edit dots fabric; Edit cushion in Edit giraffe fabric.

* Throw rug – chunky tassel throw in Blue Fin, West Elm.

* Silver flats – Belle by Sigerson Morrison, purchased at Quincy.

* White tray – rattan square tray from The Design Hunter, customised by catherineandgrace.

* Magazines – Autumn and Winter 2013 issue of fete magazine, Fete Press.

Dinner & drinks to celebrate Little Miss

In addition to my family baby shower (see related post) I wanted to celebrate with my gorgeous girlfriends and thank them for putting up with me during my pregnancy (let’s just say I don’t love being pregnant!) so I hosted an intimate dinner one Saturday evening, about one month before my little girl arrived.

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Inspired by a recent fashion show invite I sourced some very thick card to create the weighty invites.  The silver, black & white invites set the colour scheme for the evening and informed my styling choices for the event.

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I retained the feature of white paper pom poms, lanterns and mini singlets that I had arranged (with huge amounts of help from my poor husband) for my earlier family afternoon tea over the dining table.  The table was styled simply with thick pillar candles of various heights, silver & white fine bone china place settings and crisp white napkins.  Each guest was gifted a framed photo (one of my favourites of them during “pre-baby” partying) and was asked to find a copy of their photo in a small guest book and leave a message along side it.

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I used Floreat Floral once again for the flowers (I’m obsessed) and Piquant Catering for both the food and serving.  The Piquant team were fantastic.  They were happy to serve alcohol we had sourced independently and were friendly and efficient throughout the evening.  The food was truly divine and there was plenty of it!  I ordered the divine cake from Simmone Logue in Double Bay, which we enjoyed with mascapone as we relaxed post dinner.

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Personally, Im just not into baby shower games so we filled the evening with good wine, good conversation and many laughs.  At the request of my girlfriends I opened the very generous gifts of tiny pink outfits and toys.  There was much “ooohing and ahhing” for the first couple of presents…then true to our style we went back to drinking and chatting and laughing the night away.

As guests left they received a little vanilla cupcake I had baked that morning (baking I can do…cooking, not so much!).  Something to nibble on the way home.

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A truly memorable evening and a fitting farewell to life pre-child…

xx catherine and grace

The details:

* Stationary & signage – created by catherine and grace

* Paper pom-poms & lantern decorations – Papier D’Amour

* White mini coat hangers – children’s 11″-14″ white wooden hangers, purchased from MyCoathangers

* Mini white singlets – similar styles available from Bonds

* Gift bags – created by catherine and grace using white paper bags from Riot Art & Craft

* Flowers – Floreat Floral

* Catering and chair hire – Piquant Catering

* Guest book – DIY album in black, from Kikki K

* Celebration cake – hummingbird cake, from Simmone Logue

* Favour box – white food pail with handle, from QCC Catering Equipment

 

A relaxed, elegant summer engagement dinner…in the rain

My sister and her long time (and definitely part of the family) boyfriend announced their engagement this past summer while holidaying in Barbados! To celebrate they hosted an intimate dinner party for their bridal party and immediate family and they asked me to style the event.

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We originally planned to have one long table out on my parents’ front lawn on Sydney’s leafy North Shore, with fairy lights twinkling over the entire table. However, the weather was not kind and on the morning of the event we made a
decision to move the party indoors. Once the decision was made the stress levels dramatically decreased.

Tip: make wet weather plans in advance and decide early whether you are going to risk it or abort for the wet weather option.

I redesigned the table layout to have two shorter tables side by side, which luckily fit well into the lounge room (once all furniture had been removed by my team of helpers (dad, brother, husband and soon to be brother in law!)

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I wanted to celebrate my sister and her fiancé as a couple. They have been together for 8 years, travelled the world and seen each other through university, jobs, career changes, work & uni stints overseas, deaths in the family and so very much more. My starting point was a long “gallery” of photographs of the two of them, displayed in clear acrylic frames of various sizes. I love acrylic frames as they look sleek and neat and, because they are clear, they don’t take up any visual “space”.

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I hired tables with crisp white linen and white Italian wedding chairs. This was a small expense and really made the whole styling. It is often tempting to use the tables and chairs you have at home. When catering for a large group this often means a mish mash of chairs from different rooms and borrowed from family or friends.

Tip: If you have the budget I strongly recommend splashing out on hired linen, tables and chairs. The cohesive look of hired tables and chairs means that from the moment the guests enter a feeling of celebration and special occasion is achieved.

It is often possible to save money on the styling and decorations once you have the right table and chair base.

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Along the centre of the tables I placed square mirror tiles to reflect the light around the room and add to the celebratory feel. White flowers in trough vases echoed the length of the tables as did the display of photographs in rectangular and square frames. Small LED tea lights in frosted votives gave subtle flickering light without the risk of guests tipping over an open flame. They also helped to steady the acrylic frames.

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On side tables where guests could leave gifts, I placed wooden initials, a heart and a XO, together with some more tea lights and photos.

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Everyone, especially the newly engaged couple, had a fantastic time, which really is the only measure of a successful evening!

xx catherine and grace

The details:

* Florals – Floreat Floral (my fav fav fav florist!)

* Table, chair & linen hire – Party Hire Group

* Mirror tile hire – Floreat Floral

* Acrylic frames – purchased at Papier D’Amour warehouse sale, similar styles available from the Digidirect store at Westfield Bondi Junction

* LED tea lights – Wedding Bling

* Frosted tea light votives – available from Pink Frosting

* Wooden letters & heart – Typo

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