11 Simple Steps to Recover Dining Room Chairs

11 simple steps to recover dining room chairs

11 simple steps to recover dining room chairs

As an upholsterer for over 40 years I have often been asked by people how they can upholster their own dining room chairs. I tell them it is not really that difficult to do once they know the upholstery process of doing things.

I will now go through the process so you can follow the methods most upholsterers use.

Now there are many different kinds of dining room chairs on the market, but the techniques for recovering them follows the same stages.

First thing to do is decide what kind of material you want to use, there are plenty of shops around selling off cuts and end of rolls. This is a good place to start if you want to cut down on costs.

But a warning: make sure the fabric is upholstery material or you are just doing a lot of work for nothing. Using the wrong kind of fabric will mean you will be doing it all again in a year or so. Upholstery fabric has a stronger weave than what is call soft furnishing fabric which is only good for light usage not for putting on chairs.

If you are unsure you can always go to a local upholsterer and see what they have, you may pay a few dollars more but at least it will be proper upholstery fabric.

Secondly how much fabric do you need? This depends on how many chairs you have and how big they are. But a basic rule is you need about 3 metres- 3.5 yards of normal (plain) 54inch- 140cm wide fabric to do 4 dining chairs, seats and backs. If it is high back chairs you can add a couple more metres just to be on the safe side.

For this article I will assume your chairs are the standard kind with the screw off envelope backs and bordered seats. If not the methods explained here will still work but you will have to improvise a bit.

1. First thing to do is turn the chair upside down and unscrew the seats from the frame, now unscrew the back as well. The seats will be easy to unscrew but the back screws maybe hidden under a plug that has to be removed first.

2. Once you have them unscrewed start to take the old covers off, you can use a flat screw driver to remove the staples if you don’t have proper staple removing tools.

3. Now that you have the old cover off you can use them to make templates with. When using old covers as templates make sure you mark them where they sew together, a stroke with a pen on the top and the boarder around the seat will do as a mark. Mark at least three times front sides and back if you like. Do the same for the backs.

4. Now you can unpick the old stitching and separate the fabric. Once you unpick a seat or a back make sure you keep them together so you don’t lose any parts, roll them up together is the best way.

5. Once this is done you can roll-out your fabric on a table or even a hard floor. Place the old covers on the fabric and mark around them with some chalk, normal blackboard chalk will do. Just make sure the covers are nice and flat and don’t move when you mark around them.

6. Once you have them marked out cut around the chalk mark, stay to the outside of the chalk line when cutting. You can just cut one to try if you are unsure. Also don’t forget to mark the new covers so you know where your sewing marks are.

7. Now you can sew the new covers together just line up the sewing marks you put on earlier and sew around the fabric. Do just one first to see how they fit.

8. Once this is all done it is time to put them back on the frames. As most dining chairs have square seats or at least square front corners start by putting the cover on the corners. Once you have the cover on just make sure the corners are nice and square before stapling.

9. Now start by putting in a temporary staple in the corners trying to keep the border at the same height. Once this is done put a staple in the middle of the front back and sides, so you should have the four corners and the four sides with a staple in them. Now staple the sides, making sure you keep the cover even, then the back and then the front: leave the corners to last. Once you have secured the sides finish off the corners doing the front ones first. You should now have the seat all stapled back together; you can now put a bottom calico on if you like.

10. You then do the backs. Most backs are envelope backs so you only have a row of staples along the bottom of the back. Start by straining the sides first and stapling them. Then do the middle of the outside back and finishing one side then the other. Cut off any excess fabric, and then do the front of the back, do it the same way as the outside back. If you are in doubt just look how the original was done and follow it.

11. Now you are ready to screw them together and you now have some brand new covers on your chairs.

Just remember practice makes perfect, if you are still unsure there are some videos available online where you can see the whole procedure, this makes it much easier to learn how to upholster your own chairs.

11 simple steps to recover dining room chairs2

Building a Fence at an Angle

building a fence at an angle

building a fence at an angle

Fences are built every day. Sometimes, they are built correctly. And sometimes, they’re not so good. We’ve often seen fences being blown away by wind. Sometimes, we might even talk a walk down the road, and see a fence which is rotting. So what can you do to make sure your fence is a great one? One that is sturdily built, and one that stands the test of time?

There are many people keen on building a fence at an angle. However, you need to build a good strong fence, that will last you many years, and if you want to put in angle, then extra work is required. So how can you go about it? Start by making holes spaced every 8 feet apart, for the 4″ x 4″ x 8″ treated posts – dig them at least 2 feet deep, with a post hole digger.

Obviously you want your post well-anchored, so the fence installer should use the digger at an angle, around the diameter of this hole, so that an anchor shaped like a ball, is made at the cylinder’s bottom. If you do it this way, it’ll be more strong and stable. Put black roof tar on the bottom two feet of the fence, this prevents rotting, and then the concrete can stick to the posts. When the posts are leveled, allow them to dry, and then start the nailing.

But you are keen on building a fence at an angle. This is a really great option, we can tell you that. It has many advantages. One such advantage is that it looks quite unique, different from most fences, because there is a slight slant. Another advantage is that it gives you enhanced privacy and protection from peeping and prying neighbors. This is especially true if you live in a hilly area, and the land is not quite level, so neighbors on higher land than yours can look down at you. So building a fence at an angle is quite a good option in case you want more privacy than most.

Building a fence at an angle is all very well, but you need to keep basic procedures in mind as well. For instance, use three rails, for the fence, this is most appropriate. The top rail should be on top of the fence posts, in a horizontal position, the bottom rail should not be more than 8″ above the bottom of the fence slats, and the center rail should be placed in the middle of the two. What’s the advantage of this? The rails won’t warp, and the result of that?

You get a far stronger, and more secure fence. And building the fence at an angle works well for privacy requirements. Once you do that, never again will you have to worry about neighbors looking at you while you snooze in your garden hammock. The preferred angle is usually 45 degrees, which has been proven to be quite suitable.

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Homemade Projector Screen – The Principle & How to DIY

homemade projector screen - the principle & how to diy

homemade projector screen - the principle & how to diy

Projector screens are generally divided into two types base on their functionalities: reflection projector screen and transmission projector screen. It can be also divided into soft and hard screen base on the materials they are made from.

Home theater generally uses soft reflection screen. My brother-in-law originally wanted to buy a ¥1000 (~$150) so-called “import screen”, but a friend of his who sells projector screens told him that it is hard nowadays (in China) to distinguish the genuineness of an import screen, it is hard even for himself. Some of them that are labeled with ‘import’ or ‘joint capital’ were actually manufactured somewhere in the south of China. He felt that he’d rather to buy a ¥300 domestically manufactured screen with good feelings than buy this kind of “import screen”. What this friend said makes perfect sense. But after doing some research, my brother-in-law found that all screens on the local market are made from high gain Bolivian bead that is used for projecting newspaper clips, they are simply not suitable for video frequency.

Theoretically speaking, a white wall with one smooth side actually is the best “screen”. Because its gain is 1, meaning that the light projected can be completely reflected out, which is an ideal state of being “no absorption, no gain”. Unfortunately, for the purpose of absorbing and proliferating the sound wave, he already made the wall a background wall with sound-absorbing material and plywood installed. making it impossible to serve as a “projector screen’, he had to find another solution.

You might be wondering at this point: why do people still bother purchasing expensive screens if we can all use white walls?

Well, there are always benefits and advantages of using a professional screen: convenient, artistically beautiful and dignified, good screen can also make up the insufficiency of a projector and improve visual effect. Among the expensive screens, one type is “gray screen” (cost about ¥15,000, roughly $2000). This kind of screen probably was originally designed for liquid crystal projectors. The biggest problem with liquid crystal projector is that the color appears dark and grey, insufficiently calm. This is its “congenital defect” that is caused by its liquid crystal board and path of rays.

Regarding gray screen, we all know that gray is merely a lighter black, and black absorbs all visible light. Gray can only partially absorb visible light, it is like brightness of the picture is reduced. If you have used any picture processing software’s “brightness / contrast gradient” option, you should certainly have noticed such phenomenon that reducing brightness is equivalent to increasing contrast gradient? Same concept, since the brightness has been reduced, it in turn increased its contrast gradient. The black effect gets improved due to the bigger contrast. We can also experience the same effect when we look out through the sunshade glass of our car. In fact, there are many ways to just reduce the brightness, you don’t have to use gray screen. There are magazines recommending putting the light gray filter of a photographic camera to the projection lens, the principle is the same. You can even use more simpler method, namely you need to adjust the projector’s output brightness or increase the contrast gradient. No need to spend a cent, you may achieve the similar effect, but the premise is that showroom must be dark enough.

Back to the bottom line, if a gray projector screen cost you $2000, definitely it is not just because the screen color is changed from white to gray. Speaking from the optical principle, I’m afraid there’s a lot more behind. I’m guessing probably certain chemical compositions have been added to the material of the screen that changed the reflection or absorption intensity of different wavelength of light, thus changed the luster and the contrast gradient of the entire image, that, makes up the inborn flaw of liquid crystal board after all. In addition to this, what other tricks do you think they can play? It doesn’t seem to be possible with the meager knowledge of physics that I have.

It sounds more like it to throw in a ¥150,000 screen if your projector cost you ¥15,000. But adding a ¥15,000 screen to a ¥15,000 projector doesn’t make much sense at all. If I have to buy a ¥15,000 screen, then it would simply work better if I put the money together and buy a ¥30,000 higher level projector to achieve better effect without any extra effort. A ¥15,000 screen is a crazy price to my brother-in-law (imagine his monthly income is merely ¥3000). Also if he buys a name brand Japanese gray screen, then he actually spend most of the money to pay for the labor which he personally doesn’t feel comfortable.

The ideal screen for the DLP projector that my brother-in-law purchased should be like a white wall, just let the project light reflected completely without any “reservation”. He figured that he really didn’t need such costly screen. So he finally decided to make one on his own.

Exactly how did he do it? You may not believe how simple and inexpensive it really was! He spent a bit over ¥10 (about $1.50) in a home decorating store on a self-adhesive pure white matted formica PVC panel with dim grains, cut the right size, pasted to his original background wall, that is it, flat and smooth! With such PVC screen, he doesn’t need to worry about the ‘curl-up’ phenomenon that may occur to a regular projector screen after around 12 years of use, he also doesn’t need to worry that it would turn yellow one day due to natural oxidation. But remember it requires some pasting techniques to make it work perfectly for you. The result? Great!

Here are couple of self-made projector screen photos from my brother-in-law as ‘evidence’:



Note: You may freely republish this recipe as long as author bio and active hyperlinks are kept intact. Thank you.

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Choosing the Right Mulch Color for Landscaping: 3 Things to Consider

3 things to consider

 3 things to consider

Modern mulch is extremely sophisticated, and every landscaper seems to have their own preference for which type they like best. This necessary tool for landscape design is simultaneously beautiful and functional, adding a sleek look to a yard while protecting plants from heat and moisture loss.

Whatever your preferred mulch type, you know your customers want something in their yards that fits with their home’s aesthetic. There are a wide variety of mulch colors available on the market, and mulch colorant suppliers can add nearly any color to wood, rubber, and aggregate.

With all the color options available, how do you help your clients pick the one that fits? Make sure that you and the client consider these three factors as you choose the colored mulch:

  • The style of the home
  • The type of plants in the yard
  • The client’s personal taste

By letting these three factors influence your-and your client’s-decision, you will be sure to make a good choice.

The Style of The Home

Architecture, color, decoration style, yard and size all impact the style of a home. The owner of a stately, brick, ivy-covered mansion will likely choose a mulch color that is subdued and neutral, in order not to detract from the home’s existing beauty.

Similarly, the owner of an eclectic cottage with fun yard ornaments and a brightly colored door may want to complete the picture with a bright mulch color.

Sleek modern homes, western log cabins, gothic cathedral style houses, each of these styles can be accentuated or played down by the right landscaping choices. Always be sure to determine your client’s goal, and make recommendations based on that.

The Type of Plants in The Yard

The vegetation in the yard can influence the color of mulch that you and your clients pick. For example, a lot of warm-colored flowers-reds, pinks, oranges-will be overrun with vibrant red mulch. A yard with a lot of deep green shrubs and trees, such as ferns and pine, will look lovely with a bright blue mulch, bringing out all the blue tones in those plants.

The color of mulch, to some degree, impacts how effective it is for the different plants. For example, extremely dark or black mulch will absorb heat, which can absorb water more quickly. In a yard with plants that need less water, dark mulch can be a great fit. Plants that are particularly thirsty or heat sensitive, however, will benefit from a lighter colored mulch.

The Client’s Personal Taste

Ultimately, the client’s taste is what will be the deciding factor. If a particularly whimsical client wants to mulch his yard with blue rubber far be it from anyone to stop him, even if he lives in the White House.

Whatever the client’s home and yard are like, his or her personal taste is going to win out over everything else. Your clients want to express themselves with the appearance of their homes and yards, so always trust their judgments.

The great thing about mulch is that it can be temporary! Depending on the material, mulch can last as little as one season or as long as several years. So don’t worry too much about picking exactly the right color, just worry about having happy clients!

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5 Birthday Outing Ideas That Are Sure To Please Your Movie Buff Husband Or Boyfriend

5 birthday outing ideas that are sure to please your movie buff husband or boyfriend

5 birthday outing ideas that are sure to please your movie buff husband or boyfriend

Finding the right birthday present for your husband or boyfriend means you want a gift that will knock his socks off. If your hubby or BF happens to love movies, you’re actually in luck. Gifts for movie buffs aren’t hard to track down. More than likely your man actually has a favorite director or movie series they love, or maybe they collect memorabilia. Either way, you have some pretty nice clues from which to work.

If you’re thinking birthday excursion or outing, you can keep it pretty simple, geek out a little, be romantic, or blow his mind. Here are five birthday outing ideas sure to make the movie-loving man in your life happy:

1. Treat Him to a Movie – Yes, this is ridiculously simple. Yes, this doesn’t seem that noteworthy. Ultimately, your reason for treating your special guy to a movie means he just has to be ready to enjoy a movie. Buy him any size popcorn he wants and have him wash it down with a big soft drink. Maybe he’s a fan of a particular size screen or theater that provides drinks and a legitimate meal with the movie. You’d be surprised how much this would mean to him.

2. Optimize His Movies On-The-Go – In this day and age, everyone tends to have a smartphone, and if your boyfriend or husband loves movies, he’s watching movies on that small screen. Why not make his phone become a mobile movie theater by getting him his own smart phone movie projector? There are numerous models available and costs vary from about $30.00 and up.

3. Have a Backyard Picnic Movie Screening – You can create a mobile movie theater for your backyard. The technology for home movie projectors and sound systems is incredibly affordable than before. An HDMI cable will allow you to connect your laptop or DVD/Blu-Ray player. But what about the screen? There are numerous tutorials for DIY movie screens, and there is even an inflatable movie screen! Sure, it’s an outing to the backyard, but there aren’t too many places you can have a picnic and movie with your sweetie all alone.

4. Plan A Movie Tour – If your man knows movies, he definitely knows where movies were filmed nearby. Why not make him feel as though you’ve listened to everything he’s had to say about film locations in the area? Get in the car and have him geek out by visiting the actual locations. Better yet, why not tour places where classic movie scenery and sets still remain? Better still, hop on a plane to Hollywood and take part in a classic movie tour.

5. Rent Out An Entire Theater – Here’s where you go big! Call your local movie house and ask about venue rentals. You can find out minimum numbers of guests, times available, and you can even ask about the amenities available to your party. What better way to tell your big guy you love him than by getting together his closest movie buff friends & have them watch a movie in a theater all to themselves?

Movies buffs are nothing if not committed to the magic of cinema. With the right planning & attention to detail, you are sure to bring a little of this magic your significant other’s special day.

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