Sometimes I wish I had my very own personal staff.
You think I am joking, right?
Well, maybe, but I feel like it would be a great way to get everything done. Not daily things. I don’t mind a bit of cooking and cleaning, but the creative things. You know, the grand ideas, master plans, wouldn’t it be great if creative things… I just can’t do it all. I simply lack the time and talent. I love me some DIY, but there are things can’t be learned, at least not in the 3 days my attention span lasts on some projects.
Maybe just an assistant then.. Someone to do research, measure stuff, run out to the barn five times a day to look for things without being distracted into its bowels of stored items, unfinished projects, and loads of crap I just need to get rid of. I have more ‘someday’ projects than days in the year. I just need someone to prep all the furniture before I paint it. Someone to photograph my home with a real camera…. Someone to sew slipcovers and pillows… Someone to make me a Facebook page…Someone like that! You get the picture.
Sounds good right? Im not asking for much, am I? 😉
My Mom had similar ideas with marrying off her children. She figured with 7 kids, there was a chance for a few of us to land a necessary asset, like a doctor, landscaper, mechanic, lawyer, or carpenter, etc… Wishful thinking, right? Well, I love all of my in-laws, but it didn’t pan out that way. Nice try Mom.
For instance, I bought these vinyl ottomans on clearance about 14 years ago for my daughters bedroom. They were $11 each, and she used them for seating. They also became useful in our den. We have moved twice since then, and the ottomans have been sitting in the barn for, I don’t know, 3 years since we moved the last time. I never even tried to get rid of them.
(The only thing my husband dislikes about having a barn: it becomes a place to
dump store random things. Lots of things!)
Ugly, right? But I saved them anyway. They are solid and sturdy, and they could be covered!
When we were working on The Rusted Farmhouse, I knew I would finally have a place for all of my ideas of white and burlap. And these ottomans were coming with me!
They don’t even make good tables, because the top is rounded….
I knew they would be adorable slipcovered in burlap. They would be neutral and versatile, and adorable. There was only one problem. I don’t sew. Not at all! The closest thing I have to a sewing kit is from a hotel bathroom.. I bring those home for emergency button fixes, but that is the extent of my sewing abilities. It is one of those things I wish I had learned when I was young. I am in awe of anyone who can sew up a pillow cover, apron, or curtain. Anything beyond that, is pure genius imo.
Here are a few things I found on the internet. I knew it could be done!!
This was cute, but too many ruffles for me…
This is more like it, but my ottomans don’t have cute feet
They would need to be covered up
I kept googling images until I had a good idea of what I wanted. But it was just another one of those ideas. Nothing I could actually make myself. But a start nonetheless. I just needed to find someone who could make me some slipcovers! Easy enough right? Not so much. I asked a few people I knew with no takers on the project. It went on asking around like this for a while with no success.
I needed to expand my search:
Last Spring, I was shopping in JoAnn Fabrics, and I went right up to this lady with burlap in her cart. (one of those things that would totally embarrass my kids) I was alone, however, and desperate. I asked her if she sewed, and what she was doing with the burlap…. Well, she said she was using it on a fleece blanket. I don’t know much, but I knew burlap would probably not work on a fleece blanket. I didn’t have time to correct her. I was on a mission! I just hounded her about finding someone to make my slipcovers! She scrolled through her phone and gave me a phone number to some lady nearby that might be able to do it. YAY! I went to my car and called this lady immediately!
The woman I called did not do slipcovers. But, she gave me the number of another lady. I waited till I got home and called her. Well, this nice lady said she was too busy making pioneer costumes for a local museum (one of those geniuses) and offered me a phone number to another lady. So I tried her.
This next lady, well, she just could not believe someone gave out her phone number! She was not happy. Gulp. No big deal lady, just give me another phone number… I can move on! Was it really this hard? I gave her the name and number of the lady that referred her, and I am thinking she called her and had words…. but I am not sure, I didn’t ask.
I was beginning to think I needed to head back to the fabric store and pounce on more strangers.
But I didn’t. This woman who was so concerned with how I got her number said she might be able to help me. She has a strict referral policy so I guess she was just surprised when I called her. She would make my slipcovers. But I would need to wait. Like months! Okay then. It was all I had at this point. We exchanged some emails and based on the photos she sent me, she could probably make these things in her sleep. I picked out some burlap (on sale) and looked for trim. Within days, this woman emailed me again saying I could drop off my ottomans and fabric anytime. What? She had an opening!! Awesome! I told her I hadn’t found trim, and she said she might have some, or make some… Wow. The next day, I drove to her (totally adorable) house and met with her. She was very sweet. We agreed on the design and she quoted me a price. Before I left, she assured me that she NEVER does work this quickly, and the turnaround would be fast, but just this one time, with this one item. She also asked me NOT to give out her number. Apparently it was prom season and she was being harassed by anyone and everyone to make dresses, lol. I began to understand her issue with referrals. She probably didn’t want people handing out her number at the fabric store. Got it! No problem!
I was finally getting my slipcovers!
She turned them around very quickly, and I couldn’t be happier! She doubled up the ruffle, and they turned out great! When I picked them up, I sheepishly asked her if she could make some box cushions for 2 of my outdoor chairs. She said YES! I thought this poor woman was gonna dump me like a bad habit! But, again, she was very nice and happy to do the work.
So, here are the ottomans dressed in their new slipcovers:
I have moved them around a bit trying them in different places, but I like them in front of the fireplace. They offer extra seating without taking up too much space. Im not exactly calling this a budget friendly DIY. Its more of a DIBuy! My idea, brought to life by a talented creative that I paid;). In the end I got just what I wanted, and these ottomans will have a place in The Rusted Farmhouse for years to come.
A good idea;)
Hey, lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to ask. Anyone. And, if you are looking for a seamstress, I am NOT giving you my girl’s number. Sorry, but I hit the jackpot and I am obligated to keep my promise to her. Besides, I still have more projects piled up in my barn for her.
Thanks for stopping by