Tuesday, September 14, 2010

When Free Does Not Always Mean Free!

One morning a few weeks ago, I woke up and started searching on Craigslist for furniture pieces that would work in my daughters new apartment at the end of the summer. She had already indicated she wanted a couple of bar stools. So I began looking.....I found lots of bar stools that were priced way above retail and I am sorry, I refuse to pay retail or above retail for something used. Buying new really is not my style either....so guess what I came across????? Under the FREE section of Craigslist was this super bar stool. And as luck would have it, no one had asked about it when I emailed the owner.

It was mine...well not mine, but my daughters...and it was really well made and sturdy like a brand new one. When my husband got home from work, he simply said...."there was a reason no one wanted that.....what a waste of gas going to get this piece of junk"......on and on he gripped.....and on and on I just ignored him. We do that a lot around here.....just sayin'

My plan was to recover this myself....I was sure I could do it....no problem. I found some really cute upholstery fabric at JoAnn's on clearance and I had a coupon. The fabric to recover this bar stool was only $3.85.

So one afternoon, with pliers in hand and a screwdriver, I set out to redo this chair. Little did I know that the most difficult part was removing the old leather seat cover. In fact, this was down right difficult.

Sophie just sat and watched with a look as if saying surely I could find somewhere else to make all this noise and remind me it was nap time around here.

The more I tried to pry the brads out of this chair and remove the cover, the more she tried to convince me I had taken on more than I could chew. All of a sudden my pup was singing the same tune as my husband about the chair....

Finally, after much work and a couple of scratches on my hands, the old cover was removed. That is when I began to loose faith in myself. I figured that the recovering was going to be the easy part.....but with a dog staring me in the face with a knowing look I had taken on too much this time, it was hard for me to have the confidence to cover the darn chair myself. I sat there with a old leather cover in one hand and the pliers in the other and felt defeated halfway into this project.

Luckily for me, there is a upholstery shop close and they know me well there, I have used them a lot. The man does not speak a lick of English and I don't speak enough Spanish to converse with him well....but he tried to assure me I had already done all the HARD WORK on removing the cover....the rest should be easy, I could do it. I wish I could relate to you how that conversation played out....I will say, it involved lots of grunting and hand gestures on his part and lots of laughing and stumbling with what Spanish I remembered on my part. I made it clear I did not feel comfortable trying to cover the chair myself.

Finally, he gave a huge sigh and said, "Veinte." And before he could change his mind, I shoved my hand in front of his to shake on the deal......twenty dollars, I knew was money well spent with his work....and that man does amazing work so I was happy.

Here is my daughters' $23.85 bar stool that was "FREE" and I must say, I should have tried to recover it myself, but I just did not have the courage.

I love how it turned out. The fabric is so much my daughters taste, and with a little stain and glaze on the legs, it is really a great piece. Thankfully, my husband did not continue to say I wasted my gas on this project. He liked it, but I am sure he would have liked it much more minus the $20.00 I paid to have it recovered.

But like I said, the man at the upholstery shop does good work. I am pleased and so is my daughter.

Dora told me the other day, that she felt like Sophie should be hiding her face just like this for ever doubting me. She said she had faith in my all along and she said next time, the naps can wait.....she might even help me demolish the next project....she assured me she would rather enjoy tearing something up.

See what I mean, she would be more than willing....and she has the experience to do a good job.....just sayin'

And here the bar stool is in the new apartment....love the color and the fabric. I love that it is sturdy and does not have any issues. I love that I know without a doubt to find something like this brand new in the store would have cost way more then the $23.85 I paid for it. I love the fact that it was FREE.....sorta!


  1. I absolutely love it...it is one of my favorite colors and looks really good in her place. I might have given it a try but it sure would not have looked that amazing!

  2. It's gorgeous! PLus you got a great story out of it, reasons to put doggie pictures up, and something for hubby to whine about, and if they don't whine they explode or emit gas or something. All told, money well spent. :OD

  3. Suzanne,
    That is the cutest fabric! Those poochies are so sweet!

  4. i think it looks great!
    love the doxies too ;)

  5. Well, 1st, I like what Peace said above : )
    & 2nd, I do upholstery & have worked at a bar stool company & you would have paid well over $100 for that one, brand new... you got a great deal. It is gorgeous. Great fabric choice.

  6. What a fabulous chair! If only that chair could talk. I bet it has some great stories to share abutt where it's been!

  7. Good Grief. My eyes can hardly behold such fabulous-ness. That is gorgeous, and still a crazy bargain (as we like to say in the Pyjamas household ) for under $25.00 considering most of that was for labour. Well done!

  8. oh man you and I could have a lot of fun in a thrift store! I love repurposing stuff like this. Matt likes it when they work out, but we do have a few projects in the basement that never came to fruition. The last thing I was so excited to get was a BOAT! But it wasnt available anymore. Tell me that wouldnt have made the COOLEST clubhouse for Jack and Co? Sure it would take a while to do, but hes ten months old! agh!

    ANYWAY...I love the chair! I bet she does too! and for less than 25? Still a great deal!

  9. I love the fabric that you chose!

    As always, the puppies are adorable.

  10. You DO have an eye for the Cinderella items---this is just charming, and perfect in a young person's apartment (or MY HOUSE, for example).

    Great find, great transformation!

  11. I think you found a great deal even if it wasn't totally free.

  12. Suzanne, that barstool turned out beautifully! I'd say $23.85 is still one heck of a bargain. Plus it's personalized with your daughter's favorite colors. :-)

  13. The chair and fabric look fabulous, your daughter must be thrilled. I enjoyed your post. I must admit my husband sounds the same way. I recently painted a table that he thought was junk. He sure loves setting his coffee cup down on it now! Sometimes you just have to look the other way! ;-D


  14. Love the "new" "free" chair...

  15. I think it looks wonderful and I also think $20 was a great price for recovering it. You did the hard part!! So it's a pretty darn great free/$23 chair.

  16. Oh this is adorable! I love that cute fabric it is so "girlie" with ut looking like it. I think it was money well spent!

  17. Hi Suzanne,
    I saw the quilt with the corner... You need to find an Amish/Huttie colony they would be the best/most able to fix this quilt for you and be able to keep it in the same condition - originally was in as this is all hand quilt and they would be the best to do it and you would probably not even be able to tell the difference or very little of where it was fixed.

    I hopt that this helps with your quilt.

  18. Love the chair after you got it done. I've done things like that also! I wanted a little red doxie but a black/tan one came along and said, "You are MINE," so what could I do? She's owned me for several years now.

  19. I find great things at thrift shops. I have a black and tan Dash. His name is Cody and he is a sweet boy. Kathy


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