My status as a #thriftytreasure hunter is of no surprise to anyone who stops by this blahg or sees me on Instagram on any semi-regular basis. I'm a lover of the hunt and the thrill of a score is my version of a runner's high. (Which I wish I preferred because, let's face it, that would really be better for everyone, methinks.)
Anyhoo, today's DIWHY story started when I became grossed-out/annoyed with our outdoor table situation. I proceeded to spend about two years stalking around Craigslist Austin under the "Patio Table" search. For two years. Nothing.
Someone posted a slightly needy aluminum dining set in just my kind of style. It needed a scrubbing/a coat of spray-paint/cushions, but that is the kind of DIY I feel OK about. It had been out there for a while, so I assumed it wasn't available.
It was a 45-minute drive to the seller's location, but it turned out that we were already headed in that direction that week - my kids had camp that was only about 15 minutes from this lady's house. She was so eager to get this thing out of her backyard that she offered to have her husband deliver it. For free. Consider the deal done, sister.
YESSSSSS. Brown Jordan. Let's just say I know the brand from my design magazines, but never once considered myself someone who might be in the market for their luxury line of furniture. Thrifty people like me die of sticker shock over such things. D. I. E.
After the shock/awe wore off and I got the set home, I stared at it in this condition for a couple of months:
I, apparently, work best under stress. Or, it was summer and I had three people keeping me busy, and my husband was traveling. OR, I was working on client things when I got any minutes alone. ORRRR some combination of those three scenarios. In any case, I waited until THE DAY OF MY BIRTHDAY PARTY to decide that I should probably get some of that oilcloth I had ordered onto these chairs so that people didn't cry out in pain and walk around with striped backsides on account of there being NO SEATS on these chairs. I'm an idiot.
Superhubs went to Home Depot, got the green-treated plywood, and cut me some bases...
Meanwhile, I went to Hancock fabrics and picked up some outdoor "foam" for the cushions. 2" foam, to be exact. And it's not really foam, but more of a fiber situation that won't rot or break down like regular yellow foam can.
It is a real bear to cut. We tried carpenter's knives, garden shears, and regular old scissors. The regular old scissors seemed the easiest, but between cutting out six cushions and wielding the staple gun for two hours, my right forearm was weak for a few days afterward. Who's a weakling?
Here is where the photo coverage gets spotty. No, non-existent. It is kind of hard to take a picture and staple-gun at the same time. Superhubs was on a ladder hanging lights from trees, so he wasn't about to take a picture either. Sorry.
After making sure the pattern lined up the same way on each chair, blah blah blah, I set about stapling and stapling and stapling and.....
And this happened.
And, while I realize that this isn't quite an "after," since the spray painting hasn't happened yet, I hope that this bit of progress in the "during" phase doesn't make me complacent until the day of the next party. I would much rather have a tired hand at a shin-dig than be passed out from fumes.
I give it 10-1 odds that I'll have 14 cans of spray paint on-hand for months and then decide to get after these on Thanksgiving eve. It's how I roll.