Category Archives: Generally Crafty

DIY Slipcover for a Seventies Chair

DIY, Ikea hack, slipcover

Few weeks ago a friend of mine called me enthusiastically about a chair he found at Kontti, a chain of thrift stores owned and operated by Finnish Red Cross. He went on and on about its lines and how he was planning to re-upholster it with some Ikea-fabric.

You know where this is going, right?

So, the other week I visited him and he showed me the chair and the fabric. He was right, the chair has nice lines and the fabric he had picked up was nice too. I’m especially happy by the fact, that he is FINALLY introducing patterns in his home decor. It has been an uphill battle but I got him there. Only a decade or two and we might even see patterns with multiple colours in there.

As you can see, the original material is rather “interesting”. Certainly a product of its time. But it’s actually quite nice to sit on, so creating a slipcover would be a good way to bring it up to date.

Tuoliprojekti5

We began by laying the cover on the material. We discussed on how to go on about it and since I had to go and pick up my phone I had left elsewhere, I left my friend to his own devices. Meaning, I assumed he was going to do what I instructed him to do. Wrong. When I came back two hours later, he had decided to clean up his balcony instead and was planning to leave the “actual sewing and doing” for me.

I’d like to pretend I stood my ground with this. He was the one who sewed but it was me who did the thinking. In the end I didn’t get back home until very late that day. But I did get a good meal out of it, so it wasn’t entirely terrible experience. Plus the chair looks pretty bitchin’ too. Here’s how we (and I use the term we here very loosely) did it:

First we cut the material in half lengthwise and I had Niko finish off the short ends with a double fold, while I pondered how to put the cover together. I knew it had to be some kind of envelope pattern but as the top and bottom were to be of different widths, I had to do some figuring out to get it to look neat.

The original material is still underneath as there is no way the Ikea fabric would support the weight of a person. We (I) decided the best way to get a tight fit, was to pin the fabric directly on the chair frame. This way we could also be sure that none of the original material would be showing and that we could see/test right away, if the cover would be easy to remove and put back on.

pressing, slipcover, Ikeahack

If you take second look at the prototype, you can see the shape of the finished cover. We left very wide seam allowances and used that to create nice edges on the narrow opening. The seam allowance isn’t of even width, but pressing it forces it to stay in shape. You can see the difference in the picture above.

ikea hack, slipcover

The little cut-offs on the original material are there to help to put the cover on the frame. We had to leave a gap on the new slipcover as well and it left a little of the orange fabric visible. I solved this by hand stitching small pieces of fabric on either sides of the frame as you can see here. Here’s how it looks when the slipcover is on:

ikea hack, slipcover

See, no ugliness in sight! The next step was the seat cushion…

seat cushion, ikea hack, slipcover

The original seat cushion was double-length, but my friend only wanted a cushion for the seat part. I cut it in half and crudely rolled the opening hem closed and stitched it up by hand. We then made another envelope cover for it:

envelope cover, ikea hack, slipcover

Very simple. First, finish off the short ends with a double fold. Then fold it around the cushion to see where you want to stitch, take it off and stitch the side seams closed. Here’s the finished cushion:

cushion, ikea hack, slipcover

And here’s the finished chair:

Tuoliprojekti18

I don’t know about you but I’m very pleased with myself. If you have any questions…Go ahead and ask!

-Thrifty Finn-

The Flea Market Season Is Open

Lepuski2

Today was my first day of outdoor flea market for this summer. The city of Espoo hosts a free park flea market few times every summer and this was my first time of participating. The weather was heaven!

I didn’t know what kind of stuff would sell, so I gathered a bunch of my better clothes as well as some vintage fabrics. Turns out I should have taken home decor and kids items with me. But my sales weren’t too terrible, plus on the bright side, I didn’t have to pay anything for the spot. Actually, that’s a huge plus. My name ain’t thrifty for nothing.

banana boxes, thrifty finn, flea market

As per usual, I got chatty with my co-sellers. Quite a few of them had attended these free flea markets before. Directly across from me, were a bunch of girlfriends, who came there with three cars (and 21 banana boxes) and they had a very nifty set-up. They had thought to bring rope with them and they strung it between trees and hung some of their better stuff on it. Next time I’m going there, I’m going to use that trick to display my vintage fabrics.

vila, lacy top, thrifty finn, flea market

Naturally I did some shopping myself. I bought this top in the hopes it would fit me and usually  size L from Vila does. Well, it DID fit me but just, and it didn’t hang prettily like this kind of top is supposed to. It wasn’t too bad as I managed to sell it almost right away to someone else. My other finds included Vans-sneakers (not in a perfect condition, but they were 2 euros and I can get one summer of use out of them) and a faux Tommy Hilfiger-purse. Personally, I’m not too keen on rip-off purses but it’s a perfect bag for the summer and will go with tons of my clothes, so I couldn’t possibly pass it up.

leppävaara, bulevardi, Alberga, thrifty finn, flea market, summer

The location was just perfect. This view is looking up on the boulevard park of Leppävaara and behind me here is the Sello-mall. The next flea market here is on 3rd of July. You can just show up and pick your spot, but you have to bring your own racks, tables or whatever you want to use to display your stuff.

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. I was in a doggy heaven. I lost the count of how many doggies I gave cuddles to.

Crafty Exhaustion

Valentine’s Day was a month ago. I had this super-fantastic idea to make cards for everyone I know. Well, not everyone I know. For the people I know and care about at least on some level.

I’m a joy to be with.

Anyway, guess what happened? I managed to make cards for even less than half of my list, sent only half of those and I’ve been crafty burnt out ever since. Good times.

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. It was not all wasted effort. At least I came up with the way to use my Instagram-photos in crafting.

DIY Love Lights

diy love lights, quick valentine gift, thrifty finn

Do you still want to make a Valentine’s gift for someone special? This one is cheap and quick to make but has a big impact. I know. I just sent the one I made to my god-daughter and she has been ooh’ing and aah’ing over it for better part of the day. Here’s how…

diy love lights, quick valentine gift, thrifty finn, materials, cupcake

You need bunch of these paperstock cupcake cups. And…

diy love lights, quick valentine gift, thrifty finn

One set of LED-fairy lights. Mine was a leftover from Christmas decorating. Then all you had to do is take your craft knife and do this:

diy love lights, quick valentine gift, thrifty finn

Cut a very small criss-cross pattern in the middle and push a LED-light through. Do this for all the lights and voila, you are done. No glue necessary! But if you want to fancy up the cups even more, you can take out your heart punch and do this:

diy love lights, quick valentine gift, thrifty finn

Punch away until you have a heart for every cup in your light string and do this:

diy love lights, quick valentine gift, thrifty finn

Very pretty! Now all you have to do is test if the set looks good:

diy love lights, quick valentine gift, thrifty finn

It does! Then you can wrap it in pretty pink paper and give it to your loved one.

diy love lights, quick valentine gift, thrifty finn

There are lots of ways you can decorate the cups with. I used a heart punch but you can go crazy with glitter, markers, buttons, cut words and letters from newspapers…Whatever you fancy. Total cost for this project was 5 euros, so it really is a thrifty craft <3

-Thrifty Finn-

 

I Made a YouTube Video and It’s Horrible

This is my first crafty video. It’s not a tutorial, I’m just showing what I bought on my latest crafty shopping trip in Helsinki. Listening to oneself on tape/video is a cringeworthy experience, but I have to get over it. And what’s the best way of getting over something? Doing it. Anyhoo, here’s the video and it’s in Finnish. Next one will be in English, I promise. Ish. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMClrvKuNPc

Please, give me feedback and tips. I desperately need ’em.

-Thrifty Finn-