That Oh-So-70s Mirror

 

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Minnie and my current house have the same decorating problem—way too many mirrors. My house has mirrors on two full walls and a few doors. I hate it. But my house was built in 1987. Minnie was built in 2004. I mean, really. What are these people thinking? I don’t like looking at myself in every room, and I certainly don’t want to feel stuck in the 70s.

This arched mirror sits in the living area and is secured to the wall with plastic brackets. Initially I thought I would just unscrew the brackets and take the mirror down. When I asked my husband to do so, he informed me that the entire mirror was glued to the wall. Glued!

Now, getting RID of the mirror was out of the question. I was going to have to get inventive like I had in my house and creatively OBSCURE the mirror.

I decided to use art to cover over the mirror and just try to pretend it wasn’t there. But I would have to be careful to hang a piece of art that had a thin enough profile that the picture wouldn’t get in the way of the slide out, which was located just in front of the mirror. The clearance between the mirror wall and the rail of the slideout was exactly 1”. A regular framed picture would not work, because it would not clear the slide out.

The mirror measured 20”x 30” at its tallest point. I figured I could use the existing mirror brackets and fasten the same size frame in front of the mirror. The screws would hold everything–including the concealed mirror–in place.

I found a 20”x30” lightweight poster frame at JoAnn’s which would fit the designated space. Through Sam’s Photo, I ordered a poster reprint of my silk painting Arbol de la Vida, which fit the frame perfectly. After some experimentation with screws, washers, and a new mirror bracket, I settled on the new mirror brackets below.

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I had to use the drywall anchors provided in the kit to better secure the mirror bracket screws. The new brackets were less ornate than the existing brackets but looked nicer and worked better with the new frame and pic.

 

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Now this part of Minnie has been transformed back into 2016 from the 1970s with a personal piece of art that works well with the room and décor.

The total cost of this segment of the project is:

20”x30” Poster Frame….               $ 10.19

Sam’s Photo Club Reprint             $  9.94

Mirror Brackets Kit                          $  3.99

TOTAL THIS PROJECT                      $ 20.12

You will also need a drill and correctly sized drill bit and screwdriver for this part of the remodel project.

Thanks for visiting,

Lois

Minnie’s Remodel- Recovering the Dinette Cushions

Selecting fabrics created quite a dilemma for me. It took me almost a month of browsing the nearest JoAnn’s and perusing online patterns with both JoAnn’s and Spoonflower (I’ll write more about them later.)

I wanted to work with the existing green carpet, captain’s chair, and cushion covers which were a sage green. My aim was to find a fabric that softened the stark look of a camper, which too often is the standard design in most campers. I needed something that looked homey, yet not too freaky in case we ever decided to sell. The “lady camo” pattern of fabrics was just too ugly, and the taupe background on most of the fabrics looked dingy—even if I had taken the time to have everything dry cleaned.

20161114_182920This is what I came up with. I would use the light blue paisley fabric for the dinette cushions, pillows, and the latch door beneath the jack knife sofa. The striped fabric was for the curtains, the mustard yellow fabric for the jack knife sofa cover, and the yellow vinyl remnant for the rail cover above the dinette.

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This is the dinette before I reupholstered. By this time, I had taken out the cushions, so it was just the empty frame.

Recovering the cushions was a lengthy project and not for the faint of heart. I had to make sure the fabric I selected was a thin enough upholstery fabric that I could sew it in my standard sewing machine. This particular fabric was a medium weight, cotton canvas fabric.

I measured the dinette cushions and sewed two sets of two bullnose cushions with a rear zipper. By the time I sewed the last cushion, I almost had it down. (I don’t think I ever successfully sewed zippers before.) I decided to simply cover over the previous cushion covers, rather than take them off. One thing I noticed was that there was a slot sewn into the middle rear of the old seat cushions to feed the seat belts up through the slot. For simplicity’s sake, I opted not to sew a slot for the seat belts.

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This picture is just before I sewed the final cushion cover. The new blue paisley fabric is bright and clean. You can see why I say the old fabric looked dingy, even when it was clean. Definitely lady camo.

There were two rails screwed to the top of the back cushions which were covered with the old sage fabric. I unscrewed the rails, pulled the old staples out of the rails, then pulled the old fabric off. I used the old fabric as my guides to cut new fabric and then stapled it back on with a lightweight upholstery stapler.

This is the dinette with new cushions and reupholstered rails. It looks so neat and—clean!

Here is the cost break down for the segment of the RV model:

6 Yards of Bringhampton Polar Fabric @$23.99 yd…..       $ 143.94

4-45” Brass Zipper Chains @ $5.99 each….                           $  23.96

SPAA Trex Sand Remnant Vinyl, 0.333 yd @ 24.99 yd          $  16.67

TOTAL COST FOR DINETTE                                                           $ 184.57

The best part of this project is that the inside of the RV actually looks like a woman might live there—instead of a bunch of guys going deer hunting. It’s starting to have that homey, feminine look without looking too flouncy.

Thanks for visiting,

Lois

Minnie’s Facelift–Removing the Border Wallpaper

Seriously. Border wallpaper wasn’t even in style in 2004, when Minnie was fresh off the factory lines. And it certainly isn’t any more stylish in 2016. I didn’t want to repaint the vinyl walls, but the border wallpaper HAD to go.

Here’s what the galley looked like before and just after I removed the wallpaper:

Removing the border wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I had visited other web sites that recommended Goof Off to take off the border glue. I didn’t even need that. I peeled off a corner of the border and the whole thing came off virtually in one piece. Underneath was a layer of double-sided sticky tape the size of the border. I peeled off the corner and held tightly. It tore into smaller pieces, but I was able to pull it all off cleanly without the aid of chemicals and without damaging the vinyl walls underneath. It all came off clean as a whistle.

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I considered what might look nice on the newly cleaned vinyl walls and yet tie in the theme and color scheme I had selected. Luckily, I found some very expensive but worthwhile plastic sticky back tiles at Home Depot called “Smart Tiles.”

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The tiles come 12 to a box and measure less than a foot a sheet, so be sure to get enough to cover the entire space. In this case, I figured correctly that I would need 2 boxes to cover the backsplash area near the stove and sink. I used a pair of scissors and a rotary cutter to slice up the tile and laid it from right to left.

This is the backsplash after I was done. Beats that yucky border wallpaper hands down!

The Smart Tiles so far have been the priciest part of my remodel. They are almost as expensive as real tiles, but much easier to mount (no grouting or need for a tile saw.) Best of all, they are lightweight, easy to cut, and ideal for an RV remodel. Keep in mind that Smart Tiles can only be mounted to a smooth under surface.

Cost of this part of the project:

2-12 packs of Smart Tiles ($94.00 each)…..               $198.00

You will also need a rotary cutter or box cutter, marking pen, straight edge, and good scissors.

Thanks for visiting,

Lois

 

Minnie’s Face Lift Continues—The Dreaded Jack Knife Sofa

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Deciding what to do with the jack knife sofa in our RV wasn’t easy. We had several options. First, we could replace the sofa with another jack knife sofa to fit into the same frame covered with a modern fabric, microfiber, or leather. The RV furniture sites had lots of pretty models of sofas in stock but zilch in the size we needed—66”. Yes, there were sofas in other standard sizes, but apparently our size was not standard, so if we wanted new, we would have to have it custom made. That put a replacement sofa out of our budget.

The next option we had was to replace the jack knife with something else. We could put recliners in place of the sofa, but if we resold the RV to a family, passengers would have fewer places to travel and sleep. The jack knife has two spots equipped with safety belts for passengers. A recliner is not made to carry passengers in a moving RV. So we eliminated that idea.

Another option was to reupholster and recushion the sofa. Unfortunately, the gaudy fabric was attached to the bottom of the steel sofa frame with wire hooks. Indeed, the entire wire frame would need to be removed from the assembly and each hook tediously cut before even beginning to reupholster the cushions and fabric attachments which held the whole thing onto the original frame. The thought of doing all that and then reupholstering with my existing sewing skill set was just too overwhelming.

I finally decided to slipcover the entire thing. Without detaching the sofa from the frame, I measured its dimensions and rethunk the bestest way to assemble a slipcover specifically for this type of sofa. I came up with a slipcover in two easy pieces which would allow a break in the center of the sofa for safety belt access.

Here are the plans:jackknifeplan

I originally thought I’d pick something artistic for an upholstery fabric like deep plum. At the last minute, I whimped out and settled on something neutral—and on clearance. I found 3-5/8 yds of a solid mustard yellow fabric which was light enough to sew in my serger. With this design, there were few seams, and the advantage of a slip cover was that it could be removed and cleaned and then put back on at any time.

Once I sewed the thing together, I assembled the top and bottom. The bottom took some fiddling with and alterations. I found the following tools at Joann’s in the upholstery notions section:

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The slip cover top is simply slid on like a sleeve and the front flap tucked into the crease of the sofa. However, the bottom slipcover had to be secured in place. I used nine upholstery pins on the back inside crease to hold the slipcover securely. (Be careful to hide the needle points back into the cushion so no one pricks themselves grasping for a safety belt.) I then used the twist pins (the squiggly tacks) and screwed the bottom cover in place under the bottom edges of the seat cushions.

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Here are views of the finished slipcover:

I was actually quite proud of how it turned out—a well-fitting slipcover at a minimal cost. Once I pretty it up with a few bolsters and throw pillows, I think it might soften the look and feel a bit more homey.

The existing sofa has storage space underneath with a long hinged door with the old fabric stapled to the outside. I will unstaple the fabric and decide at that point whether I should replace the door and stain it a honey oak to match the existing cabinetry or reupholster with a different fabric. Until then, the jack knife sofa part of this remodel has been tabled.

Here is the cost break-down for this portion of the project:

Fabric 3.625 yd @ $9.00 yd….     $32.63

Upholstery pins…                            $ 5.99

Value Pack Twist Pins…                 $ 5.99

4- Bone Serger Cones @ $3.49   $13.96

TOTAL FOR MATERIALS                 $58.57

Note: I used a serger and serged the fabric ends (they are tucked in and not seen) but you can do this project with a standard sewing machine for the seams. (Make sure to double stitch the corners.) The exposed ends are then tucked under and screwed down with twist pins. You will also need standard sewing supplies: tape measure, markers, pins, and a good pair of fabric scissors.

Thanks for visiting,

Lois