DIY · Life · style

DIY: Repurposing Chairs/Upholstery Adventure + Bonus DIY!

Hi everyone! I’ve been MIA for a hot second, but thats because I have been working on a lot of projects for my new apartment! I have been doing a lot to make my new apartment my own and to make it feel like home, and just seeing the final product of these chairs has inspired me to continue. This project was my favorite one, and I have been so excited to show it to you! I am gonna show you lots of before/after shots and tell you exactly how I achieved the perfect style for my taste!

Let’s start with the origin of these chairs. My grandpa has been in a nursing home for over a year now due to a stroke. Unfortunately, we do not think that he will ever be able to return home and live on his own, so we have been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing of his house. My grandpa was what some may call a hoarder, but I’d like to refer to him as a collector. It just sounds better and is more mysterious. He has just about anything anyone could ever want, including tires, engines, old cars, tools, nick nacks, cooking appliances, lawn care appliances; seriously, you name it, he has it. SO, we go over there to do some minor cleaning and my dad sees these chairs. Turns out, there are 6 chairs to the set and they are basically hidden sporadically throughout the house. After we find all of them, I was convinced that they needed to be saved. We could only find 5 of the chairs, and one was completely snapped in half, but I figured I could make something out of it. These chairs are probably somewhere around 60-70 years old, if not older. They belonged to my great grandma and were just passed down.

Now, onto the process. These chairs were in bad shape. The varnish was just naturally coming off of them, some of the rungs were broken, and they were just really dirty. Everything about them was just…old. Here is an example of the state these were in.

As you can tell, I didn’t have much to work with here. I starter with covering the seats since I wanted to upholster them, and I thought it would be fairly easy. I went to JoAnn Fabrics and got 5 seat cushions, or foam squares, and picked out a pattern that met my fancy. I picked this multi-colored, mandala-ish pattern because I liked the colors and I thought it would give the apartment some pizzazz. This is the pattern I chose.

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To upholster the seats, I took the seats off of the chairs, which basically consisted of using a screwdriver and unscrewing the screws from the back/bottom of the chairs. I then had 4 chair seats, and one seat that would become a bench. Lucky for me, my foam squares matched almost perfect to the actual shape of the seat. I ended up cutting off some foam on the sides but then adding it to the top since my seat was a bit longer vertically and it was narrower at the back of the seat than the front. I then covered the foam and the seat with my fabric. (I got 2 yards of fabric, and I just cut it myself into squares by just putting the seat + foam on the fabric and drawing in marker where I wanted to cut it, leaving room for the fabric to cover the top completely and enough room to staple the fabric underneath the seat). I left about 3-4 inches of fabric on each side so I had enough fabric to be stapled onto the bottom of the seat. Now, this was my first time ever upholstering anything, so it was a learning experience for me. I looked a bit into it on Pinterest, but other than that I was going in blind. I stapled, with a staple gun, the sides of the chair first, then front and back. I saved the corners for last. When doing the corners, I found that it was easiest to slightly twist them so that you can pull from both sides of the fabric, and finally I stapled that corners down. I finished 5 seats in a matter of an hour. I was pleasantly surprised by how little effort was needed to do this. This was my final product for the seats.

Next up, I had to make the decision of what color to paint the chairs and how I was going to do it. I decided that I wanted to use minimal effort and high efficiency when painting these chairs. I am not a woman with patience, so spray painting the chairs was the best option for me. I went to Menards and picked out 2 colors because I am indecisive and impulsive. My gut told me that navy blue and grey would look good together, so thats what I bought. I bought Rustoleum spray-paint with primer included, because if you can kill two birds with one stone, why not? I’m all about saving time because again, I am impatient and I desire immediate results. I sanded down and washed off the chairs, and then began the painting! I ended up using 1 can each for all of the chairs. It took me about 2 hours to paint all of the chairs. I did 2 coats each since I missed some spots the first time around. Here are the results of the painting.

Aaaaaaand the final result of all of the chairs painted (don’t mind the messy garage; my dad has some spring cleaning to do!).

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I let these sit about 2 days just to make sure they were dry. Today, my dad and I screwed the seats back on to the chairs, and they turned out better than I ever imagined. I feel like these chairs now have a second chance at life!

And viola! The final product!

***BONUS DIY: How To Make A Stool Out Of A Broken Chair***

Earlier in this post I said that there were actually 6 chairs; one was lost in the house somewhere and the other was snapped in half. Well, I couldn’t just leave the snapped one there. I was originally just going to use the broken one for practice; the seat was fine and the legs were fine, the back had just been broken off.

As you can see, it was a pretty gnarly break right off of the back of the chair. Halfway through my project with the chairs I decided to give this little broken chair a second chance too, so I made it into a stool! I proceeded with the same process as all of the other chairs, I upholstered the seat, and cleaned the chair. But obviously, I didn’t want a stool with wood sticking out to poke someone! So my dad and I sawed the broken part off and made the frame completely even all the way around. We then sanded it and cleaned it off so it was ready to paint. Finally we screwed the seat on and viola, an adorable stool!

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I hope you guys liked this DIY because I was super excited to show you how to do it! More DIY’s coming soon!

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Life · style · Uncategorized

Weekend Haul!

This weekend I did a lot of adventuring/shopping/bargain hunting and I came out with some pretty solid deals! I am gonna tell you guys where I shopped this weekend, what I purchased, and how much they were!

Saturday my mom and grandma came up to Kent State for a visit. We ate at Mike’s Place. If you ever happen to find yourself in Kent, Ohio, you should definitely go to Mike’s. They have an array of food, but especially lots of breakfast food selection! It is usually the place to go after a long night out (since pancakes fix every problem, including a hangover). Then we went to downtown Kent. It was a pretty rainy day, so it wasnt very fun walking around downtown, but we managed to get to Peace, Love, & Little Donuts. We also went into Gracie Lane, which is basically a little shop with jewelry, scarves, Vera Bradley, and just kind of girly stuff. This brings me to my first purchase! IMG_1355

I picked up this adorable t-shirt from Simply Southern at Gracie Lane. It was $17.00, and I absolutely had to have it. I just loved that back, and I feel like it will be super cute for the summer!

Next we went to my favorite place, Gabes. I had to take my mom and grandma there and teach them the ways of bargain hunting. I have 2 jobs this summer, so I have been looking for some work professional clothing/outfits. I got lucky at Gabes this time!IMG_3402

My first item is palazzo pants! I have worn pants similar to these in the past, and they are just so comfy! They look cute, they are super comfy, and you can wear them for any occasion. You can easily dress them up for an office job, or dress down for going out. These are Robert Louis pants and I got them for $8.00.

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I got this adorable skirt from Gabes as well. I got it for $12.00. It goes a little bit past my knees, but I think it would be super cute for spring/summer. It also seems like it would be very comfortable and freeing!

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My mom and grandma also got lucky! My mom got a few different skirts for work as well, and toys for my dog. My grandma got a cute polka-dot button down and this gorgeous painting for her hallway!

Today, I went to the Aurora Farms Premium Outlets in Aurora, Ohio with my friend Sammy. I went into this spree thinking that I wouldn’t get anything, but I was very wrong. They had so many great deals!!! Let’s start with my items from Banana Republic.

If you know me, you know that I absolutely hate wearing shorts. Shorts are the devil for thick girls. I have quite thick thighs, and I am not ashamed, I just personally do not like my inner thighs rubbing together until they bleed (yes, this has happened before). BUT, every year I try shorts because who wants to be in pants in 80 degree weather?? SO this is my attempt for this year, and I think I am in love. These shorts are long enough to cover where I usually rub, and short enough to not look like awkward jorts. They are sooo comfy and almost a little stretchy, and the patterns are adorable for summer. I got both of these on sale for $7.00.

Next I got these adorable shirts! I think these would be great as office attire as well. The green shirt was $7.00 as well, and has an adorable tie-up front. It is a super comfortable material and I plan on wearing it with one of the pairs of shorts I got. The grey stripes was $10.00, and I am in love with the sleeves! They are so unique, and there are cute embellishments around the neckline as well. (Peep my pink toes, oops.)

My next stop was Coach. I didn’t even want to go into the store, because as a bargain shopper, Coach isn’t exactly the place for deals. BUT, today was different. My friend Sammy wanted to go in, so I followed, and little did I know that everything in the store would be 50% off of it’s already marked down price! I could not pass up this deal!

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I got this adorable tan/gold wristlet! It has cardholders on the inside, and I decided to use it for my keys and cards that I cary with me at all times. This beauty was originally $75.00, and I ended up taking it home for $19.00! This was such a steal, and I will carry it with me wherever I go. I am so excited to use it!

Finally, I am gonna show you guys my OOTD for shopping at the outlets!

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I got my sunglasses a while back from Charming Charlie’s. I think I split them with my mom and they were like 2 pairs for $15.00. My shirt is from TJ Maxx, and it doubles as a dress (or, I guess it is a dress that doubles as a shirt, lol). I just tie them in a knot in th front or on the side and it’s fool proof! I think I paid $10.00-$15.00 for it. My jeans are form American Eagle, and they were $45.00. My shoes were from Kohl’s and I got them a few years ago and I think they are the brand SOS. I think they were anywhere from $10.00-$20.00. Finally, my purse! My purse is from Plato’s Closet, and it is a Steve Madden. I stumbled upon this gorgeous thang over spring break and I have been using it an wearing it ever since. It matches so much that I wear, and it is big enough to keep all my crap in. I can imagine this was originally very expensive, but I go it for $16.00.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading about my weekend and all of the things I bought! Thank you for tuning in and I will probably show you guys future outfits that incorporate these clothes! Ciao!

college · Life

8 Things I Learned As A College Freshman

Well, it has finally come to an end; my first year of college at Kent State University. I have learned so much in my first year here at KSU. Very important things like the biology of fungi, how to make chemicals change pretty colors, sociologic theories, and a lot of statistics about chronic diseases. These are all super important, but I learned so much more about life in this first year away from home. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Here are 8 things I learned from my first year away from home.

  1. College is NOT like high school. 

College is high school on some major steroids and also a little LSD. It is harder, more demanding, more stressful, and waaaaaay weirder. Besides the fact that everyone gets an overwhelming feeling of freedom and the ability to attain alcohol anywhere, there is so much random shit going on at all times. But this random shit is good shit. My favorite thing about college is the amount of culture and views you are exposed to. In high school, you are surrounded by the same 200 people for 13 years of your life in the same old town. College is like an explosion of different people, opinions, and views. If we need anything in society today, it is more tolerance for people and everything that a person is. College does that. It teaches you about other people and new things that you wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise. A person that looks completely opposite of you may have the same interests or aspirations as you. Another thing about college is that it is so open. There are endless resources that you can get to for anything you would want. Colleges aren’t afraid to talk to you about the hard things like high schools are. Sex, gender, sexual orientation, different religions, drugs, alcohol, and sexual assault. Colleges get to the bottom of things and show support and awareness for these things, unlike most high schools. Yeah, you have sex ed in high school, but I can honestly say I remember nothing of that chat and besides, I had already learned everything from the internet anyways. High schools are afraid to talk about sticky subjects because at that point, parents can still control what kids are hearing. Parents don’t want their 17 year old to know what sex is, but expect them at 18 to take on “adult” responsibilities. Kids go into college knowing absolutely nothing, or very little legitimate facts about these topics because it just wasn’t talked about, and college tackles this. College is so much harder than high school, but also so worth it. At the end of college, you will have a lot of debt, but also a lot of knowledge. Hopefully, in the 4 years that you are at college you study something that you are passionate about and you can feel proud that you went through all of the crap to get to where you are. College is not like high school at all, it is so much better.

2. The Freshman 15 is real. 

College is full of new freedoms. One of these freedoms is eating when and whatever you want. Dining halls are good and evil. The good is that they have an option for everyone, and they usually have pretty decent food; main courses, sides, and desserts. The evil is the fact that this food (and dessert) is available 24/7, 7 days a week. If you’re feeling ice cream, they have it. If you’re feeling pizza, they have it. If you’re feeling chocolate cake, they have it. If you’re feeling fried mac & cheese bites, they have it. No one “feels” green beans and brussel sprouts; you are gonna pass that shit up. Dining halls always have comfort food, and although it hits the spot, it isn’t always the best thing for you. The next thought that comes to mind is, “Well, if I go to the gym after I eat all of this garbage, it will balance out”. Ugh, no you stupid child you are so wrong!!!! You will be so overwhelmed with making new friends, new levels of work and effort, joining clubs/greek life that you will most likely not go to the gym very often. I’m not saying I didn’t go to the gym at all, but I could have gone more.

3. You will probably rethink your academic decisions 12.5 billion times. 

I can honestly say that I still don’t know what the heck I am doing with my life. In my first year of college, I changed my major 3 different times. I started out as a nursing major. I quickly realized that I couldn’t do that because I just really didn’t want the stress of nursing school which is very competitive at Kent. I changed from nursing to biology, where I explored 2 different concentrations. Me, the girl who changed from nursing because she didn’t want the “stress of competition”, decided to focus on pre-medicine (wtf was I thinking????? I make no sense). I was on a Grey’s Anatomy kick and decided I wanted to be Meredith Grey. If you don’t know, medical school is extremely (if not the most) competitive thing you can probably get into academically. I also realized that in being a doctor, you have to (usually) perform procedures on patients. After flashing back  my A&P days to that one time I passed out looking at a sheep brain, I realized this also was not for me. I then changed to Cellular and Molecular Biology because I decided I wanted to do research and be a cute little scientist. I then began classes, and then came the storm of what the fuck. Chemistry is hard. Biology is hard. Trigonometry is hard. All of these hard things are necessary to obtain this bachelors degree. After I LITERALLY failed all 3 of my first exams, I decided to spend most of my time researching things like, “how to become a trophy wife” and “is being a stripper really that bad??”. This did not help my grades, but I was for sure that I needed to change my major and find something that I was truly interested in. I stumbled upon “Public Health”, and I didn’t even know what that was. After looking into it more and meeting with my advisor, I decided to officially change majors to what I am not, Public Health Administration! I am really happy where I am now, and it was a bumpy ride getting here, but I wouldn’t change it for the world because I have found something that I am truly passionate about.

3. The friends that matter will stay with you. 

I remember being worried that my friends from high school would abandon me. I was nervous and overwhelmed about going to college, and they were too. I remember all of my friends left for school the week before me, which left me all alone at home. They were so busy that week moving in, meeting new people, and checking out campus that they didn’t even have the time to talk to me or any of the rest of our group. We had a group message that I thought would deteriorate by the second month of school, but when the messages kept coming I gained more hope. After the initial first weeks, everyone got into a schedule and we bonded over the things people saw or did at their respective colleges. It was fun to hear the stories and then eventually meet the people behind them. To this day, my close friends from high school and I still share this group message, and I keep in touch with a few other friends. We visit each other all the time and hang out on breaks. It’s awesome to see your closest friends go through the same thing as you and grow and learn and watch them blossom into the person that they are meant to be.

4. It’s okay to miss your parents. 

When I left for college in August I was sick of my parents. I was sick of being told what I could and couldn’t do and when to be home. I just felt stuck in a place that I had outgrown. I felt like I was waiting on my life to start, but it wasn’t moving fast enough. I was trapped in time. I finally got to move in to my dorm, and it finally felt like things were starting to move again. My mom cried when she hugged me goodbye, even though I would be home the next weekend for a family wedding. I was embarrassed, but mostly unfazed by this expression of emotion. I was just so ready to be here and “start life” that it didn’t hit me as hard. I had friends who cried almost every day because they missed their parents, but I never understood. I was finally free to come and go when I pleased and just do what I wanted. I missed them, but not so much that I was upset over their absence. Finally at the end of my first semester right before finals, I was so stressed out that I basically shut down and binged Netflix. One of my dad’s favorite movies, Animal House, was on Netflix, so I decided to text him and let him know. He ended up calling me in the wee hours of the night and told me he missed me and was excited for me to come home. I don’t know why, but this is the first time I truly missed my parents. I was doing horrible in my classes and was having a life crisis regarding my major and what to do with my life. I had no ambition or motivation to do anything at that point in the semester because no matter what I did, I felt like it wasn’t enough. I am fortunate enough to have 2 awesome, loving, and supportive parents. I got off the phone with my dad and cried it out for a while, because I finally let my emotions out and physically felt how much I missed my parents. The best thing about parents is that you can fail miserably at just about anything in life, you can fuck up to the max, you can make mistakes, but in the end they still love you and they just want you to be happy. They don’t care if you fail, or if you fuck up, or if you don’t know what you’re doing; they are just happy that they have you. I thought I was so cool and so mature and so old that it was uncool to miss your parents. I wanted to prove to everyone that I was an adult and that I didn’t need to miss my parents to get through. But seriously, you are never too old to miss your parents.

5. You will spend more time alone than you ever have, but you will like it. 

I swear, my favorite things to do is be alone. There is nothing more satisfying than finally being alone. My whole life I was used to having my own room and space, but moving in to college means moving in with a roommate usually. I was lucky enough to have an AMAZING roommate. We get along so well and we have the same pet peeves. I totally hit the jackpot with Madds! But, regardless of how awesome she is, I really wasn’t used to sharing an 10×12 room with another human being. I also have never shared a bathroom with 40 other girls, so that was new as well. There is nothing I love more than sitting outside on a nice day with my headphones on, going shopping all by myself, or driving alone. Being completely alone is such a great time to think about things. Being alone ALL the time isn’t always a good thing, but the small moments you have to yourself in college are beneficial to the mind.

6. There will always be someone “more” than you. 

One of the most important things I have learned in college is there is always someone “more” than you. By this I mean that everyone is different and unique. People have many different qualities that make them, them. There will always be someone smarter, prettier, more creative, more popular, more athletic, more social. On the other hand, there will always be someone more reserved, more unathletic, more introverted, more analytical, more antisocial, more challenged at certain things than you. Never feel bad about the things you are bad at, because there is always someone worse, and always be humble, because there will always be someone better as well. College is where you find yourself and the things you are interested in, so make the most of it.

7. There is a place for you. 

College clubs are insane. There is a club for everything. There are clubs for sports, academics, and more. If you have an interest, there is a club for you to join. Some of the more unique clubs I have seen include the K.I.N.K club for students interested in BDSM, 4 The Love of Paws for animal lovers, the Electronic Dance Music club, The Kent State Pokemon League, and the Ukelele club. There is literally anything and everything to chose from, and if you can’t find a club that you fit in with, you can start your own! I am personally a part of KSU SAPH, Student Activists for Public Health, and I fit right in! There will always be a group that accepts you.

8. It’s okay to fail. 

The biggest issue I had with my first year of college was the idea that failing was a thing. Up until my first semester of college, I was an A/B average student who didn’t have to try to get good grades. They always just magically happened. My first 3 college exams all happened to be on the same exact day, back to back. Trigonometry, Chemistry, and Biology (aka, the trifecta of failure and sadness). Trig was first, and I was so nervous because I sucked at all math. I hated it, and still do. I got a 43% on my first college exam after studying non stop for days. I was crushed and confused. How could I be so stupid? I took Chemistry and I did better on that than the Trig, but not much. I got a 60% on my first Chemistry exam. Next was Biology, and I did about the same with a 60%. I was defeated and upset. Why was I so stupid and what was I doing wrong? After improving very little, I dropped Trigonometry because I was failing the class with just over a 40% (I also found out that I didn’t even need the class for my major at the time, thanks Kent State Advising!). I improved very little in the other 2 classes as well, but I pulled through an got a B in biology and a C- in Chemistry. By then I had changed my major and scheduled all new classes in Public Health for the next semester, so I was mostly looking forward to that and not hating my life. The point is that even though I failed badly, I did try really hard with tutors and studying. I also realized that this was not the field for me, and I accepted the failure, but I turned it into a win. I am doing so much better this semester and I am glad that I admitted my failures and changed for the better.

I hope this helps my incoming freshman friends and I also hope that my other friends in college currently find something in this that they can relate to. Don’t worry y’all, we can get through this crazy college thing together 🙂 Ciao for now!