Friday, February 17, 2012

hounds-tooth-and-nail (Time Travel!)

Alright. I started this post back when I was actually in the process of making this piece. Four months ago. I was originally waiting until I finished it to post. But then things got really busy, you know, for the 'deadline'. HA! If only I knew then what I know now. All that was left was to add legs/feet to it, and they didn't end up exactly as planned. Just like my life. Anyways... hop in the Delorean. Gonna take you back to sometime in November:

I love tweed, herringbone, houndstooth... really any classic rich woven fabric. I've been on the search for the perfect houndstooth for my own bedroom (vanity stool upholstery) for over a year now. Unfortunately, in the era-of-cheap-low-quality-products, the pattern is almost always painted on the fabric. Gross. I'm not falling for that dirty trick. I want the real stuff, and I want it in royal blue and white. Alas, since I can't find it for my big house, I'll have it in my little one.

I found a great little Talbot's jacket at my local Savers, and I am looking forward to turning it into a living room set. Here's an inspiration pic to get you in the mood...

There. Are you feeling it? I know, me too. But I'm not going to lie. I was incredibly intimidated by this project, but then again I was nervous about the copper range hood and we all know how that turned out. No fear, baby, no fear. If all else fails, I'll buy a killer couch I found on Etsy. Aaaanyways, here's what I'm starting with:

Not entirely unattractive, just 'country'. Yet sentimentally valuable.

Then I realize this:

Oh shit.
Turns out that my sofa is too small to even be a loveseat in 1:12. Actually.
I've got a whole living room set that size.

Plan B. Lucky for me, we just got 2 new ultrasound machines for work. They're ridiculously expensive, so they come carefully packaged with all of this glorious foam! I love a good, impeccably-timed freebie. I guess I'll add a few more pieces of furniture to my to-do list (Again... oh, shit.)

The machine installer guy, Scott says he'll save me the foam from other installations from now on. Score.

So I started looking at a few options for a simple modern-ish sofa with clean lines. I'll let the loud pattern to do the talking. I got a few ideas and started cutting foam up. Then started gluing fabric on with reckless abandon. Let's be realistic here. It's not like I ever had plans to sew any of this.

And after a few hours of careful and tedious work, it started looking like a glued together couch.

Ok. Back to the here-and-now, February 2012. Do you feel different? Me too. Older. Wiser. Droopier.
Spoiler alert! If you've read any of my posts within the last month, you've seen the finished couch. My husband has been far too busy with his business to bend those bars (in above photo) into legs for me (requiring a vise and torches. man-work). Balls. Good thing I found some beads to play understudy.  They're just hot-glued on, so I can pop 'em off and replace them as often as my fickle little heart desires.

Sorry if you wanted a fresh new post regarding something relevant that you haven't already seen. It's just that the Scott guy that I mentioned brought by another batch of free foam this afternoon, and it reminded me that I had unfinished business here. And I hated looking at that 'draft' post in my list.

From here on out, I'll finish posts as soon as I start them. Hopefully I'm done being new at this. Thank you for your patience, and sorry if I wasted your time. I'll try not to let it happen again. I'm already regretting not deleting this. Blogger's remorse?


  1. hi, your writing (and items of course) is ever so please DON NOT DELETE!!I love this foam-stuff, too!! have made several sofas and other stuff with it!! :)

    1. Thanks! Yep, that foam is super convenient, especially because it's my favorite price :) It works for so many applications. Plus it would otherwise be thrown away, so I can say it's recycled which is pretty righteous.

  2. I'm new around these parts so this is all new News to me! (Too many New(s)?) Nah. Here's another, just 'cos odd numbers are bad juju... NEW

    Cute couch BTW. Really cute with those beady legs.

  3. Wow, I can't even count. One of those must have been on my blind side...I have to add another one now, to make it up to an even 6.


    There. Good juju restored :)

    1. Welcome to my blog, I'm sure glad you're here! Thanks for the positive vibes!

  4. I love that foam. So many uses, so little cost *grins*
    Have you ever tried cutting it into thinner slices? I've tried with a blade, saw, bread knife and it always looks bumpy. I don't want to invest in a hot wire cutter. Any ideas?

    1. I totally understand not wanting to buy yet another tool (currently saving for a table saw, myself)! I did have to make that foam thinner, so I cut it in half lengthwise using the 'gentleman's saw'/razor saw. I marked the line all around the edge so I could see if I went off-angle and said a prayer. It took a couple of tries and much profanity. Still bumpy in the end though, so as a last-ditch effort I took a sanding block to it. Makes a hell of a mess, keep the vacuum handy. Made it smooth enough to put fabric on. I had tried blades, too. They botched it every time.

      On another note, for larger scale items (may be ok for 1:6), an electric carving knife works awesome on foam. I almost never use mine on turkey (mostly for cutting high density foam on life-size upholstery/cushion projects). I don't know if you'd want to use it for 1:12, if you like your fingers and want to keep them. Unless you rig something up to hold the foam steady while you hack it up...?

  5. The couch really turned out great!! I really need to figure out how to make a couch for my girls... my main problem right now, though, is just trying to figure out what I want the interior of the store looking like, LOL.

    Do you sketch things out before you start making them, or just jump right in with reference pics?

    1. Thanks! I generally search around for inspiration pics for a while, and once I get a good idea of what I want, I head to the drawing board. Not formally, though. I don't really sketch entire pieces of furniture as much as just the genereal shape/features. Then I work out measurements and any calculations. After that, I just kind of wing it. Somhow it all comes together in the end. I try to think the project through before I dive in, try to forsee any possible mistakes before they happen. Just careful planning and even more careful measurements :)

  6. I have the same circa 1980s couch/chair in red from my first dollhouse:
    I'm really hoping I'll find time to get back to fixing this old house up.

    I love that you showed how you made this couch. Next time I get that crazy packing stuff, I will definitely try to make a couch out of it. (I am the queen of post old stuff, so bring on whatever you have!) Just wipe the dust off and good as new.

  7. I love your couch, I made one a few years ago but I think yours is a bit easier to do, thanks for sharing it