DIY framed map hearts

This week’s DIY project is a great gift idea for a travel loving couple.

One of my closest friends had met her husband, got engaged, and got married all in different countries. The two of them are big travellers so when I saw this picture frame craft on Pinterest that incorporated different maps, I just had to make it for her.

whimsicalmaphearts

Here are some instructions if want to make your own framed map picture.

heartframematerials

1. Find a picture frame that you like. I always gravitate towards black and white frames but I decided to be a little wild and pick up this blue frame that would compliment the colours from the map. Shadow boxes work really well for this project but I could only find them in square shapes which wouldn’t work as nicely with the composition. Decide how many areas you want to incorporate into your frame and do a rough sketch so you have an idea of what frame shape would work best for your project.

2. Find a background. You can use scrap book paper, gift wrap, or anything else you can find. I wanted to personalize it a bit so I designed a background and had it printed. I love how the maps stood out on yellow so I used that for my base. I used one of her favourite travelling quotes and repeated it in the background and added a little quote that I thought represented them well along the bottom. If you want to use this background for your picture, leave me a comment or email me and I will send it to you.

3. Find maps of all the places you want to include. Since this was for a wedding, I decided to include 3 significant places from their love story. Where they met, where they got engaged, and where they got married. If you can’t find maps, you can take usually find different maps of areas online. I decided to cut the maps out in heart shapes. But whatever shape you want is up to you. I’d recommend cutting out the shapes on scrap paper so you can play around with the sizes and placement before cutting into your map.

mapheartraised

4. Once you are happy with the placement of your hearts, use glue, or double sided tape to stick them down. I wanted to add a bit of depth to the picture so I used foam double sided tape to raise the maps off the background ever so slightly.

foamtapeonheartmaps

5. TA DA! There you have it, a perfect gift for your travel loving friends!

Let me know if you’ve done a similar project. Or if you’ve made any other travel themed DIY projects!

 

DIY: How to reupholster a bench

michelle drinking mode and honey teaThis week’s post is courtesy of Michelle. After seeing some of her projects on instagram, I was very excited when she agreed to do a tutorial on how to reupholster a bench. I admire her simple, and whimsical style and love her taste in fabrics. Follow along as she shows us how to turn an old foot stool in to an adorable children’s bench.

 

What made you start refinishing furniture?

About three years ago, I jumped on the mid-century teak furniture-craze bandwagon. When my husband and I moved to Toronto and settled in to our new apartment, I desperately wanted a teak chair to complete the living room. After scouring Kijiji, Craigslist, and local garage sales, I finally found a piece that was almost perfect; $10, teak arms and legs that were in great shape, and just the right size for the space. The only problem? The fabric smelled like it had lived in a dumpster for the last 50 years, and it looked just as bad. I called around to a number of upholstery studios in town for quotes to have the chair re-upholstered, and after deciding that $600-$700 was just too steep, I decided to give it a shot on my own.

How did you learn?

I learned the basic techniques for furniture upholstery from Andrea Ford, owner of Re:Style Studio. Re:Style offers weekend workshops that are interactive, hands-on and a lot of fun. I did two of the BYOP (Bring Your Own Project) workshops – in the first one, I re-upholstered the teak chair (which now lives happily in my living room), and the second workshop I did was as a fun “girls weekend” with my mother-in-law. Andrea is so knowledgeable and helpful (and you might recognize her from segments on Steven & Chris!)
Since then, I’ve been having a lot of fun experimenting with small upholstery projects. I think it’s a great way to relax, and it gives you such a great sense of accomplishment to take something that’s in a rough state and turn it into something beautiful.

The project: DIY Old, second-hand footstool converted into a sweet little children’s bench!

diy re-upholster a bench
Note: this technique can be used on footstools, or basic wooden chairs with upholstered seats.

Tools:

  • Staple Lifter (Lee Valley) 
  • Scissors 
  • Staple Gun (I use a Paslode Pneumatic staple gun hooked up to a small air compressor, but a simple, manual staple gun will work just as well!) 
  • 1.5″ thick foam (available from some fabric/craft/flooring stores)
  • Polyester Batting, in sheet form (available at fabric stores)
  • Fabric 
  • Sand Paper
  • Paint (for simple colours I use spray paint, for more variety, simple latex paint in matte finish with a durable, clear top coat) 

Tools to upholster a bench

Step 1: remove the seat (some are screwed down, others will just pop out) and begin removing staples using your staple lifter. For particularly tough jobs, I like to wear a pair of simple gardening gloves to spare my nails/fingers.

Remove staples from the seat

Step 2: when all the staples are removed, remove the fabric and check to see if the foam on the seat is usable; if so, leave it as-is. If not, pull the foam from the wood (it might be glued down.)
Step 3: if you need new foam, cut a piece of 1.5″ thick foam to fit the wood.

 

Step 4: lay out your fabric (right side down to the floor), a layer of polyester sheet batting, foam, and then the wood on top. Pull one edge of the fabric up around the wood, and begin by stapling in the middle along one side. Pull tightly as you make your way around the wood, stapling 1-2″ between each staple. Fold corners in like you fold sheet corners when making the bed. Voila! The seat is finished!

cutting batting foam for bench

Staple fabric to the seat

 

Step 5: lightly sand the wood; depending on what paint you’re using, you might need to prime the wood before painting. For this footstool, I used some two-in-one primer and paint (Rustoleum oil-based spray paint.)

sand and spray paint bench legs

Step 6: when the paint has dried, re-attach the seat. Sit, have a cup of tea and enjoy!

Finished reupholstered children's bench


How cute is the finished product!? Michelle made it look so simple that I’m now hunting through the classifieds to find an old storage bench to reupholster myself! Good luck with your own projects and let me know how they turn out!