This is the year

At this point in the week, I am not sure whether or not I’ll be able to call this challenge a success.

In case you missed it, this week my family was focusing on reusing things and buying second hand whenever possible. I had two major goals at the beginning: Recover my living room chairs using repurposed materials therefore breathing new life into them while not adding to my footprint by buying something new, and find a new home for George the sucker fish and his friends who normally live at the Regina Children’s Library.

I have a half dozen or so leads on the fish tank. I am actually surprised that it was so easy to find so many for sale because the person I’d talked to at the library had made it sound like they already looked and couldn’t find anything. Now it’s just a matter of talking to who I need to talk to and getting the ball rolling. This will be my focus tomorrow.

The chairs are another matter all together.

My first stop was the Free Cycle Network I linked to in my week 2 challenge post. There is a LOT of fabric looking for new homes in and around theReginaarea so if you are thinking of a project be sure to check there before heading to the fabric store. Unfortunately there wasn’t much that would work for my project so I posted a ‘wanted’ ad and have gotten a few emails with helpful suggestions but no one who actually has the material I am looking for. So while not particularly helpful for this project I will definitely be using the free cycle network again in the future, the people I have emailed with so far have been delightful and the site is both easy to use and to navigate.

Second stop was an actual thrift shop where I found a huge piece of brown pinstriped cotton that is both soft and fairly attractive for less than five dollars but when I got it home I realized it wouldn’t quite be big enough for both chairs. Bummer. But the fabric is definitely nice enough for another project so I’ve stashed it away.

My next stop wasn’t really a stop. It was a text message from a friend who read my post and had some old canvas curtain panels that would be perfect for my project. A great example of how having a community of awesome people around you can be infinitely helpful. The only problem with the fabric is that it isn’t my first choice for colour. I haven’t ruled it out yet but I decided to look around to see what else was out there.

My search then brought me to the studio space of another friend who invited me over for tea and conversation while I rifled through her boxes upon boxes of recycled fabrics. Again, community makes things so much easier. She didn’t have anything big enough for this project but I did snag some fun fabric which I’ve decided will become, with the help of my husband’s wood working skills, cute little festival chairs for the coming summer. I also got a chance to look at her project for this week’s challenge. She is also recovering a great little armchair in some really nice black damask print fabric.

For those of you keeping score on the chair recovering: recovered chairs – zero. Scrap fabric for my craft box which I JUST finished de-cluttering – 2. Oh well. There’s still time.

But my thrifting wasn’t a total bust. I did get a really cool baby-wearing coat second hand from a friend. It will keep both me and my son toasty warm on our adventures around town.


Now the cold won't slow us down one little bit

How is this week’s challenge going for you?


Comments on: "Midweek Update: Getting My Thrift On" (3)

  1. Festival chairs is a brilliant idea! They’ll look fantastic!

    Given your post, I’d say your week is already a successful one. Just because you haven’t found what your looking for to do the chairs doesn’t mean you aren’t going to do the chairs. It just means that the chairs will get done when they are meant to get done and that may not, in fact, be this week! But look at all the other great things you’ve done!!!

  2. Cool challenge! We are really lucky to have tons of thrift shops in Portland, both small ones and chains. Goodwill always seems to have lots of fabric and old blankets etc that could be repurposed. My big project is to see myself a couch cover. We have an Ikea couch and their covers are expensive as hell and hard to wash. I really want to make my own slipcover but I’m feeling intimidated at the moment!

  3. Can you dye the canvas, if it is cotton?

    I’d love to learn how to re-upholster furniture. Any links or tips?

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