Wednesday, January 28, 2009

So You Think You Can Reupholster?

If you ever think about reupholstering any piece of furniture in your possession, here are my tips.

First understand that this is a crazy idea and it will take longer than forty days in the desert. But know that despite the insanity of the idea, its worth giving it a go. Just for the experience, see. Since you already had the crazy idea, it seems clear that the doing of the project will in no way affect your present sanity. Since you have none.

Next you will need more materials than locally and easily available. You will run out of something and will not have the gumption to go get it because you will be covered with thread and sofa innards and will not be publicly presentable. For days.

Therefore, this little project of yours will take far longer than estimated. This makes you on a par with the cable company and the contractor remodeling your kitchen. This is okay. Now you understand their plight. Of course, you will have been working all day and all night in your fabric sweatshop, rather than standing by the side of the road in an orange vest smoking a cigarette and holding a sign while the other construction workers do pretty much the same. But that's for another time.

It helps to have a math major living in your house. This way when you've measured the zippers and the sides and the tops and it still doesn't fit you can have help, and someone to blame and yell at. A nice trait in this math major is kindness; cuteness helps too.

You will need a first aid kit. And lots of bandaids. And a high pain threshold. It is okay if you inadvertently stitch through your finger. Once. Any more than that and it's time to take a break. Maybe a long one. Go get a snack, or a drink, or beat something. Whatever you need to do.

Acrylic nails help with the sewing of the fingers, by the way; much stronger than regular nails.

Patience, grasshopper. You will need infinite amounts of patience. You will need the patience of a mother on a snowday when all the kids are sick, and there is laundry and fighting and dishes and fighting and, well, I think you see where I'm going with this.

When you have rounded up all of these things, put it all in your workspace and ignore it. Usually three or four weeks is long enough for the feeling to pass. If your insanity persists, and your will to work is not yet crushed, then be gentle with yourself. When you get to work, go slowly, breath deeply (remember birthing if you can) sing some good songs and have a pot of tea nearby.

Remember, it was your crazy idea in the first place. The craziest thing would be to actually do it. Pictures coming soon!

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