While house shopping, a big front porch was #1 on our "it'd be awesome to have" list. It almost made it onto the "must have" list, but then we thought we were being too picky. We kept telling our realtor that we would love a good "beer-drinking porch." And as luck would have it, our favorite house had one. And we snagged it!
We moved in August, so it was a little late in the game to shop for new patio furniture. I was hoping to find a good deal at an end-of-summer sale, but no such luck. When the next spring rolled around, I took a quick look at the usual suspects (Lowes, Home Depot, Target, etc) but just could not stomach the prices. Expensive!
However, we weren't completely out of luck. My parents got us the perfect swing for the west side of the porch. Kate's parents gave us a bistro set for our little patio out back. And I sprang for a sweet hammock that works perfectly between our 2 big trees.
But I swore I would not go through another summer without an outdoor dining set.
And then it hit me...what about the wrought iron and glass table we have stashed in the basement?! We could have used it just as it was, but I was worried about how the rain might affect it. (I'm not about to move it inside during bad weather.) So since I was going to weatherize it anyway, I decided to give it a little facelift as well!
I started by removing the seat cushions from the chairs.
It was as simple as removing a few screws from the bottom of each seat.
I found the easiest way to do this was was by flipping a chair over and setting it on top of another...like this.
To weatherize the cushions, I recovered them in outdoor fabric. I found these 3 fun, bright prints for $4-$6 per yard at Hancock Fabrics. Great deal!
I decided I didn't want to put the white fabric on the seats, so I saved it for something else (you'll see in a second.) Both the pink and the blue fabric have geometric designs, so I paid close attention to keep things aligned. Other than that, I simply stapled the fabric to the bottom of the cushions, starting in the center.
Then I folded and tucked, kind of like wrapping a gift, but using staples instead of tape.
To weatherize the chair frames and table, I used spray paint. But first, I gave everything a good wash and primed them with this indoor/outdoor primer that can be used on metal.
I did the painting in my garage, with the door open. This worked out well because it was well ventilated (I wore a mask, too) but still blocked from the wind. I laid down an old shower curtain as a tarp.
After everything was primed, I coated it with this lovely Kermit green spray paint. Again, it is made to be used on metal, and it protects against rust.
The paint coated really well, but it still took me a few days to get everything finished. All of the curves and twists made it hard to see if I got every inch covered.
The table has a glass top that sets on top of the wrought iron base. To keep it from sliding around, I stuck these clear vinyl pads to the base. Worked like a charm!
I decided to make some pillows out of the white/flowered fabric. Pillows are really quite easy. Even when you only have an antique sewing machine to work with.
We had a couple of old throw pillows lying around that we didn't like, so I was pretty much just slip-covering them. I started by measuring the fabric and folding it in half, with the printed sides facing in. I sewed it closed on 3 sides, so it was like a pocket.
Then I turned it right side out, and stuffed the pillow inside.
Sewing the last side shut is the only "tricky" part. You don't just want to do a quick stitch down the edge, because the cut ends will fray. Some people may put a zipper here, but I'm not that fancy. Instead, I folded the edges in on themselves, pinched them together, and held them there with pins.
(See how there are no frayed edges sticking out?)
Then I just ran the very edge through the sewing machine and removed the pins.
Look how nice they look all together!
I made a couple of placemats with the extra fabric.
Putting the cushions back onto the chairs was the last step. It was as simple as replacing the screws, snipping through the fabric where necessary.
And now I have a super cute patio set that I am pretty darn proud of!
The pillows look good on the swing, too.
So, not only am I happy with how this whole project turned out, but I'm happy with how much money I saved. Here's what I ended up spending:
- table & chairs - free
- outdoor fabric - $16.00
- staples - $5.00
- pillow stuffing - free
- 2 cans of primer - 2 * $4.00 = $8.00
- 4 cans of paint - 4 * $4.25 = $17.00
- Grand Total = $46.00
Glee! Isn't a new patio set hundreds of dollars? Granted, it took a bit of work, but I honestly enjoyed it. And I'm so excited to see it all put together.
Now, as soon as my allergies calm down, I'll be able to enjoy it!