Fixing Up Outdoor Fixtures

Here's how to clean up and fix up those fixtures!

Remove the fixture from the wall and disconnect the wires.

Remove the bulb and the glass inserts (if any).  Glass is installed after the fixture is produced, so there is usually a way to bend back the little metal pieces that hold it in so that it can be removed.  Be very careful not to break the glass - it would be difficult to find a piece to match and it might mean replacing all the glass if you purchase pieces at a glass store.

I used this spray paint:

I wanted a little bit of "texture" since the fixtures weren't smooth and perfect.  This paint worked really well.  Make sure you use a stiff brush to get off all the spiderwebs, dirt, rust, or whatever else would mess up the spray paint.

I used a piece of PVC pipe and two sawhorses to hang the fixtures so I could get those hard to spray places.

I washed and carefully re-inserted the glass and then reinstalled them, this time using LED bulbs for energy efficiency!

This was a two day project but could easily be done in less time.

Easy (and Cheap!) Pillow Covers

I have dreaded making pillow covers for a very long time.  But it wasn't as bad as I thought and I'm looking forward to finding coordinating fabric to make more.  I'm gonna pull off the old covers and go to town!  Can't wait to hit Hobby Lobby again!

Anyway, here's the end result:

I started by buying one yard fo 60" canvas fabric.  You want something that is durable and fairly thick.  I pulled off the covers and turned them inside out and used them as a pattern for the new covers.

I just went ahead and cut around the old cover, cutting two pieces at once.  I did this twice (two pillows, four pieces).

Pillows are 18" so I bought 14" zippers.  That way there was some space on each side and I didn't have to worry about the zipper going all the way to the corner.

After sewing in the zipper (follow the instructions on the pattern if you haven't sewn a zipper before), I turned the fabric right sides together and pinned the remaining edges and sewed them.  Open your zipper before sewing the edge seams.

Note:  After doing the first two, I didn't like having to sew the seams shut on both sides of the zipper.  I would recommend that you sew outside edges in far enough that it overlaps the zipper 1/2 inch, then sew in your zipper.  It will make a perfect bottom seam.  Oh and don't forget to open that zipper before sewing the edges!!

It will look something like this:

sew and stop --->   - - - - zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz- - - -    <--- then sew this side and stop
Then put in your zipper!! 

Clip the corners, turn right side out, press, and put in your pillow forms.

I did do a little hand stitching on both ends of the zipper where my edge seams met up with it.  I couldn't get close enough on the machine, so a few minor stitches and voila!!

Recovering Seat Cushions

I'm not a reupholsterer, but I can recover a chair seat cushion.  With one yard of fabric (usually the fabric found on rolls in fabric stores - 60 to 72" wide), you can cover two average sized seats.

Remove the seat from the chair.  There are usually a few screws holding it together.  Once you have the cushion off, you can paint, stain or varnish the chair.

Place the cushion on the fabric with the fabric right side up.  Find a placement that suits your eye.  Make sure that if you are doing more than one chair you place the fabric in the same manner.  Make sure the pattern is going in the same direction.

Cut around the cushion 3" from the edge.  Turn the fabric over and place the cushion on the fabric.  Using a staple gun, pull the fabric taut and put one staple in to hold it - do all sides, opposites first.  Pull the fabric around the corners as shown and staple.  Trim fabric.  

Reattach your seat with the screws and you're done!   


Popular Posts