Things You Should Never Ask Somebody Who is in Their 20s

There are things you should never ask somebody who is in their 20s, because some things are just not okay to ask.

Here are some examples.

Don’t ask. Ever. :
“how long do you think you’ll be doing this job?”

“what do you think you’ll do after this/that?”

“so where do you see yourself in the next 5 or 10 years?”

“what do you think you’ll do with that degree?”

“so you’re not in school right now?”

“do you think you’ll go to college at some point?”

“is that something you’ll be doing long-term?”

** Not an exhaustive list

I just want to be straight with you and let you know that if (by some miracle) we have our lives figured out, and we know exactly what we want to do and when we want to do it, we’ll tell you.

However, if we don’t voluntarily offer you these details, it means we either have NO IDEA WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW,  we aren’t where we want to be or doing what we want to be doing, and/or we just don’t want to talk about it! (which is completely, 100% okay) We were probably already stressed about it before you asked, and we have spent plenty of time evaluating our lives, whether we mention it to you or not. And more often than not, when you ask these questions, it feels like an interrogation, not a conversation. I mean that in the nicest way possible, because it’s not you, it’s us. We just need to able to figure things out in our own time in our own way, without the anxiety of small talk turning into a stress-inducing life conversation.

In case you find yourself wanting to ask questions like these to people in their 20s, and are in need of some better conversational topics, here are a few things you can ask that most of us would be (much more) happy to discuss.

Really Excellent and Not Stressful Things to Discuss:
“Can you tell the difference between regular and light sour cream?”

“Describe your ideal pillowcase.”

“What’s one book you are glad you’ve never read?”

“Where do you see yourself in 7 minutes from now?” (this could be literal or figurative)

“On average, how much water do you drink per week?” (estimation is okay for this one)

“Do you like purples?”

“When was the last time you purchased a music album on  an actual CD?”

** Also not an exhaustive list

These are all really excellent topics. Personally, I would be honored and even excited to discuss any of these topics with anyone. Perhaps you’ll be inspired by my tiny list to think of even more really excellent topics!

As a guideline, try to stay away from the following words and phrases when coming up with your own really excellent topics to discuss with people in their 20s:

career — school — degree — job — future — money (unless the context is “do you want some money? I have some extra you can have that I don’t need anymore”) — ‘grow up’ — ambitions — goals (this one is particularly dangerous) — 5 year plan — 10 year plan — plan — debt — pay — loan — bills — path — success — forever — permanent — ‘real job’

** This list isn’t exhaustive either. My advice to you – proceed with caution. If you are unsure whether a word or phrase is appropriate for discussion, refer back to the really excellent suggested topics above.

If you are reading this, and you are in your 20s – bless you. Bless your heart and soul. From what I hear, it is going to be okay. If you find yourself bombarded with stress or panic inducing questions related to your future, career, etc, feel free to change the subject or begin repeating the same questions back to the person who is inquiring about your life. If they can ask, they can answer. :)

Be strong and courageous, friends!

♥ Lacey Jane

 

DIY Laundry Soap

Hello friends! It has been quite a while since my last post. You might see more posts from me here in the near future…but I’m also going to be working on a joint blogging effort with my mom, so stay tuned for more on that!!

I’ve been dying to share this ever since I gave making homemade laundry soap a shot, because it was a HUGE success! I don’t know about you but I was getting so very sick of paying around $10 for a bottle of my favorite Tide laundry soap, and it never lasting as long as I want it to! I needed something that would clean my clothes to my somewhat of a clean freak standards but not kill my wallet. And I found just that. This laundry soap recipe uses only 3 ingredients, and it will clean around 128 loads for less than $2!

A couple disclaimers before I get into the details:

1) This is not an all-natural, chemical free recipe. While this recipe eliminates a lot of the unknowns, it contains a base of Fels Naptha soap, which is not organic or 100% naturally derived. Just want to make that clear, in case you are looking for a purely natural or organic alternative to typical laundry washing solutions. This is not the blog post you are looking for. :)

2) Perhaps the biggest disclaimer is that I did not invent this recipe or methodology! I found this tutorial, and gave it a shot! I am going to post my notes and pictures here, but I want to make it clear that I do not claim ownership for this idea at all. :)

Alright let’s do this!

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The Ingredients:

1 bar of Fels Naptha

1 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax

1 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

4 cups of water

*You’ll also need a large saucepan/pot, 2 quart size jars, a mixing bowl, a blender and a grater.

Just a Note:

The original tutorial I used kind of put the fear in me about everything needing to be exact or it will fail. While I completely understand and respect that. I was way more nervous than I needed to be while following these steps. In all honesty, I don’t even think my soap turned out as perfect as hers and it still works perfectly for washing clothes. That being said, I would definitely recommend reading through the steps before you get started. Also, I wouldn’t do this while you are doing 20 other things, because you do want to make sure that your soap dissolves beautifully so that your clothes come out of the dryer lovely and fresh with no residue.

The Method:

1: Gather your ingredients! Make sure that you get Washing Soda rather than Baking Soda. They are soo not the same. In all honesty, I can’t remember at all how much I paid for the borax and washing soda, but my bar of Fels Naptha cost me 97₵ at Walmart. The original tutorial says she paid about $5.30 total for both. The two quart size Mason jars that I used to put the soap in I had on hand.

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2: Once you have your ingredients ready, you’ll want to grate the Fels Naptha soap finely, using either a grater or just kind of shave it with a knife. [I will mention here that I left my bar of Fels Naptha in our little utility room that gets pretty hot from the dryer for a few days, and when I started grating it, it was easily grating into a powder form, which I was not expecting. Perhaps the heat made it into that powdery texture?] It will look smilier to shredded cheese if you have a ‘fresh’ bar.

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3: Go ahead and put your 4 cups of water in a nice size saucepan and turn the heat on high. Make sure it’s big but it doesn’t have to be the world’s largest pot (like I used).

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4: While the water is heating, mix together the 1 cup of washing soda and the 1 cup of borax in a bowl.

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5: Add your grated Fels Naptha to the water. I stirred mine constantly, and I would suggest that. The goal here is to maintain a simmering boil so that the Fels Naptha dissolve nicely in the water. It took about 15 minutes for this to happen for me.  The original tutorial I used mentioned that you do not want the soap mixture to boil over because you’ll have quite a sudsy mess on your hands. I was a bit paranoid about this and had my heat lower than probably needed.

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You’ll definitely want to make sure your mixture doesn’t have too much foam, but if you notice it foaming too much, just turn down the heat a bit. It really shouldn’t take much longer than 15 minutes, but it doesn’t matter as long as you get the soap dissolved fully.

6: Once your soap has been melted entirely, go ahead and take the pot off the heat and stir in your borax/washing soda mixture. Make sure you stir this really well so that there isn’t a grainy texture. (grain = less likely to dissolve in the washer)

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It took almost 10 minutes the borax and washing soda to dissolve in my case, but again I suspect it took more than the 5-7 minute suggestion because as I mentioned my heat was a bit lower than needed. You’ll be able to feel the graininess at the bottom of the pot – just keep stirring until it’s gone!

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7: Now go ahead and pour your liquid mixture equally into two quart size jars, and add water until the jar is about as full as pictured here. The original tutorial says to fill it up to the jar’s shoulders.

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8: Put the lids on the jars and set them on the counter upside down. They are going to need some time to let the layers separate. To be honest I have no idea what the science is behind this part of the process, but let’s just trust whoever invented this recipe. :) They are going to need to rest for about 4 hours or so to let the chemicals separate. I ended up letting mine set overnight because I started doing this at about 9pm and realized I did not want to stay up until 1 or 2am to finish the process. I would just do 4-5 hours but mine turned out fine after sitting overnight.

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[Once your soap has set for a while, you’ll see some layers defined. Mine didn’t separate as much as the original blogger but it wasn’t a problem in terms of the results.]

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9: We are almost done! So after the layers have separated, you are going to need to blend them up to make a creamy texture. You can spoon the mixture into a blender and then put it back in the jar, but personally I would hate doing that because it sounds like a pain. What I did was a little deconstruction to my blender so I could put the blade straight on the jars. There are a lot of blenders that can do this. All you have to do is unscrew the attachment that contains the blade from your blender “pitcher” and screw that part on the blender.

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[It took about 30 seconds or so to blend these up to the right texture. At this point I noticed that my consistency was smooth but a tiny bit grainy. I can tell you that it still dissolves perfectly in warm water. You don’t want a ton of graininess but a little is fine!]

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10: BOOM. Once you have blended it up you are done!

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**To wash with this soap, just add 1 tablespoon (no more, no less) to your washer full of water and clothes and wash away! 

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Some final notes:

I have a regular washer, but it says on the original tutorial that it CAN be used for an HE washer. The soap smells great and will leave your clothes smelling fresh but if you are washing something really gross and stinky and need an extra scent boost, I would add something like Downy UNSTOPABLES™. I am sure you could add any essential oils to this recipe for extra scent if you want but I haven’t needed to. If you have any questions or comments about your experiences, please comment. I will be sure and answer them!

♥ Lacey Jane

No Longer Quiet

I’ve been quiet for a while.

Although I’m referring to being “quiet” in terms of written words, I’ve probably been quiet in a lot of ways. I have been quiet about what I feel and what I believe. I’ve been quiet about how I feel about others.

I’m writing tonight because I don’t think I want to be quiet anymore. I can’t promise that I will start blogging regularly again; I can’t guarantee this post will be followed by many more in the following weeks. But I can say that I want more than anything to be more real. I want to be more honest. I want to be unafraid to tell others how special and loved they are. I want to be brave enough to overcome the stigma that surrounds mental illness by speaking out about it. I want to boldly share how God is working in my life. I want to have the courage to say “I was wrong, and I am so very sorry.”

The truth is, I can do these things. I am empowered by the strength given to me by my heavenly Father. No matter how tired or weak I am, he is strong. And because he is strong, I can live, and I can choose not to be quiet.

I am thinking maybe I will turn this into a series of entries. Maybe I will write a few entries in an effort to kick start my non-quiet transformation.

The truth is, God has been working in me lately in such huge ways, and I literally CAN’T be quiet about it. He never ceases to amaze me, and I am really reminded tonight that he never gives up on us. He is fighting for me, and I am seeing the reality of that everywhere. It would be wrong for me to take all that he has given me and shown me and just be quiet about it.

This is me, a quiet person, stepping out on a limb and deciding to no longer be quiet. Because I am worth more than keeping things inside. And you deserve to know that you are loved and important. And you deserve to know that he is fighting for me and you both.

Much (unquiet) love to you all.

Suffering + Rescue: Part 2

Here goes part 2 of suffering + rescue.

Rescue. First let’s break down the word into it’s two root words. Res and cue….
ok that was a bad joke. Let’s try again.

Rescue. What does that word make you think of? When I hear the word rescue it’s all I can do not to smile. The idea of rescue is full of comfort, of relief, of hope.

After talking in my last entry about suffering and what it means, I knew it was incomplete without exploring rescue. Because the truth is, we don’t have to suffer forever. Rescue is coming; rescue is here. Rescue is the moment that allows us to be freed from our pain, and even if just for a second rise above it.

I like to picture a helicopter rescuing people from some traumatic and dangerous situation. Once they get into the safe helicopter, they are lifted high above the danger. They have that moment of a deep breath and sigh of relief….that moment where they can glance down at whatever hell they’ve been through and feel a wave of relief rush over their bodies, minds, and souls.

Imagine yourself in the midst of suffering. Maybe you don’t have to imagine…maybe that’s where you are right now. Then picture this bulletproof, crash-proof helicopter coming to sweep you up high above the pain and take you somewhere safe and full of comfort. What a sweet relief that would be.

The reality is that the helicopter is waiting. It’s ready to come get you. I’m not saying that you simply say the word and all suffering ends, but often we feel forever trapped in a cycle of guilt, pain, shame, you name it. It seems endless and it doesn’t seem like a helicopter could even find it’s way into our pit of despair to lift us out of it. But those are lies. Because rescue is completely real.

I am living proof that rescue is possible. I have found myself in possibly the darkest place I could ever have been- inches from death. But that was years ago, and no matter how trapped I feel in my dark pit, I remember how a helicopter came and swept me out of that darkest place and I was brought to safety. If you don’t believe in rescue, please email me or comment and I can give you at least a hundred examples from my own life of rescue.

The best part of all this is the Rescuer himself. The one in charge of the helicopters; the one who knows exactly where and when to send them. His name is Jesus. How often do we forget who the greatest Rescuer is? Too often.

There’s a song I love called, well, “Rescue” of course. The chorus goes:

I need you, Jesus, to come to my rescue.
Where else would I go?
There’s no other name by which I am saved.
Capture me with grace. I will follow you.

Now let me tell you what’s absolutely beautiful about this. First of all, we’ve already been captured with grace. Capture is another strong word. You’ve been completely captured with grace. For free. It’s not like you’ve been captured with grace for a discount…there’s no special coupon. It’s so unbelievably freely given to anyone who wants it.

The second part of this that’s beautiful is that the writer has come to this awesome conclusion that he has been looking in all the completely wrong places for rescue. Maybe he looked to other brothers and sisters, maybe he looked to mentors, to self-help books, or to Rx drugs or alcohol. Maybe he looked to fame. The point is, he realized that those things didn’t save him. Those things didn’t capture him with grace. So then he comes to this Aha! moment and says “Where else would I go? There’s NO OTHER name by which I am saved.” It’s beautiful that he has found the right place to look for rescue. I believe a helicopter comes at this point in the song.

We can’t save ourselves. Our friends can’t rescue us. Our church leaders can’t rescue us. There’s no name other than JESUS by which we are saved. He alone can rescue us from the darkness we face.

“No amount of determination will bring freedom. We’re going to learn to be victorious by
surrendering our lives completely to the Spirit of God, not by gritting our teeth and trying
harder. ” – Beth Moore, Breaking Free

Here’s the best part. Proof that Jesus came to be our Rescuer. He’s the one who sends the helicopter.

‘The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.’ Isaiah 61:1-4

He came to rescue. We don’t like to live in suffering. Let’s surrender our lives completely to the Spirit of God, and allow him who has captured us with grace to rescue us.

Peace and love.

Please feel free to comment with your own thoughts on suffering + rescue. Thanks guys.



Suffering + Rescue: Part 1

NOTE: This is a reblog. I wrote this over a year ago, but I love it and I wanted to share gain. Keep an eye out for part 2 coming soon.

None of us are strangers to suffering. Some know it like only a distant cousin; others feel as though suffering has become as close as a friend.

Let’s be real. Suffering sucks. Even the word sounds unbearable. You can practically hear the pain in the connotation of the word suffering. I’ve been thinking about the idea of suffering lately and what it looks like both short and long-term. What does our suffering look like from the outside? How do others view us that are suffering?…and how do we who suffer view those who aren’t?

Think about the idea of light. When you walk in a room, you flip the light switch on. Why? Well, because you don’t want to try to find your way around a dark room of course. That’s just silly. But if we didn’t have light switches, would we know for sure the rooms were dark? And if the rooms were lit all the time…would we appreciate the light, or is it the possibility of darkness that makes us appreciate the light?

You see, if we didn’t suffer, we wouldn’t be happier. In theory we would be happier, but in reality, we wouldn’t appreciate that happiness and really feel the depth of it if there were no suffering to fear.

I think there are two types of suffering: suffering that is shared with other people, and suffering that is done alone. Which is worse? In my opinion, the kind of suffering done in solitude or in secret is much worse.

“There is a loneliness that can be rocked (aka comforted)….Then there is a loneliness that roams. No rocking can hold it down. It is alive, on its own. A dry and spreading thing that makes the sound of one’s own feet going seem to come from a far-off place.” -Toni Morrison

I love this quote because there is so much truth to it. Loneliness is a type of suffering that too many of us know well. I know that I’ve experienced a lot of unexplained loneliness, even when I’m physically with my closest friends and family. It hurts deeply. And some of it can be rocked; some can be soothed and comforted. But there is some suffering (and loneliness) that cannot. Some things bring pain that changes your very soul and you seem to become a stranger to life itself, and everyone around you. Not much light there.

I’ve had some lyrics in my head lately. I love music, so this is the case most of the time. My good friend burned me a mix CD and as I was getting ready the other day I was listening to it, and I heard a line that literally stopped me in my tracks. It said, “You don’t know how it feels to be alive until you know how it feels to die.” Wow. All I could think was Yes! That is so true. And while this may sound depressing, I think there is a huge wave of relief in that line for those that are suffering. Deep pain and suffering essentially makes us feel as though one part or many parts of us are dying. But like the lyric says, how can we know what it feels like to be truly alive if we’ve never experienced the opposite. I find comfort knowing I’ve died. Because I do know what its like to be alive, and I can appreciate it wholly.

Take heart, those of you who feel your hearts callousing over from all the suffering you’ve experienced. Because you know what it feels to be alive. And that means you know the beauty in life. Rescue is coming. It’s also coming in my next blog entry :).

I want to end with a few thoughts from one of my favorite authors, Beth Moore. These words come from her book Breaking Free:

“Often when we’re oppressed, instead of cooperating with God and going to a place of freedom, we hide in shelters. Sometimes we just go into isolation…Anything that treats the symptoms instead of going to the source is a shelter.

We can be saved, the Holy Spirit can dwell in us, and yet we can continually live in defeat because the enemy can outwit us if we do not depend on the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

God did not allow His people to be so oppressed so that they would be defeated but so that they would ultimately be victorious. God will sometimes allow thigns to get bad enough that we will be forced to look up. Victory always begins with a cry for help. When we come to the end of ourselves and cry out for help, amazing things happen.”

What a comfort. Friends, those I love, lets cry out for help and let some amazing things happen.

Peace and much love.

P.S. if you need a song to get you pumped for the next part of this very got series, check out “Rescue is Coming” by David Crowder Band

Music Post: Skyscraper

I want to share another song with you. This one means a lot to me because it gave me the courage I desperately needed to get through a very dark and difficult time in my life. It came out one year ago today, and so it’s only appropriate that I share it with you on its 1 year anniversary.

When I heard the song the first time I was floored. To know what Demi Lovato has been through and to hear her make this public declaration of “I’m still standing” was amazing. I can relate to Demi’s story in a number of ways. We have some similar struggles and actually went to the same residential treatment center. I hadn’t really thought about how, despite all I have been through, I am strong…until I heard this song.

Like I said, the song is amazing. But the music video is completely real, raw, and beautiful. I read somewhere that it took 12 hours to film (not sure how reliable the source was), and I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to film/perform such an intensely emotional song. But I can’t even express how thankful I am that Demi decided to record this song and pour so much of herself into it. It’s inspiring and it gives me hope.

you can watch the video here: http://www.vevo.com/watch/demi-lovato/skyscraper/USH5V1121283

The Lyrics:
Skies are crying, i am watching
catching teardrops in my hands
only silence, as its ending, like we never had a chance. Do you have to make me feel like there’s nothing left of me?

You can take everything i have
you can break everything i am
like i’m made of glass
like i’m made of paper
go on and try to tear me down
i will be rising from the ground
like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper

As the smoke clears
i awaken and untangle you from me
would it make you feel better to watch me while i bleed
all my windows still are broken but i’m standing on my feet

You can take everything i have
you can break everything i am
like i’m made of glass
like i’m made of paper
go on and try to tear me down
i will be rising from the ground
like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper

Go run run run i’m gonna stay right here
watch you disappear yeah
go run run run yeah it’s a long way down
but i’m closer to the clouds up here

You can take everything i have
you can break everything i am
like i’m made of glass
like i’m made of paper
ohh
go on and try to tear me down
i will be rising from the ground
like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper
like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper
like a skyscraper

When the world takes everything you have and breaks everything you are, be brave. Rise from the ground like a skyscraper. You are strong, whether you know it or not.

Be brave, and love this life we are given.

Much love to you all.

5 Things I Like – June 2012

So, it’s been a while. I’ve been busy with job searching/interviewing etc . For those wondering, I made it through to a final interview with a potential employer. Exciting, but nerve-racking.

A great way to get to know someone is by finding out what they think is cool! So, here’s my list of thinks I like right now (for the month of June).

Handmade Wooden Sunglasses – these are completely rad, and original. Made by Woodwear.

I do not own this image.

Buy them on Etsy here.

Twig Ring with Rough Cut Diamond – I absolutely LOVE this ring. It’s etched into a twig shape and the rough diamond is beautiful!

I do not own this image.

You can buy it here.

My ukulele. – I got it a few weeks ago and I love it! It’s so fun to play! And pretty easy to learn!

I do not own this image.

You can buy it on Amazon here.

Spotify – a powerful music application for Windows, Mac, and Mobile that allows you to listen to thousands of tracks for free, or anywhere on your phone for a small monthly fee. Great way to listen to those new albums coming out that you know you don’t have the money to purchase. Plus it’s got a social media aspect – connect with Facebook and share music you like with your friends!

Download for free for Windows here and  Mac here.

Apple’s new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display – no, I definitely don’t have one of these. I am going to try not to ramble about how impressive the tech specs are on this machine, but I think the Retina display takes the cake.

I do not own this image.

Here’s a comparison of the image quality on the regular Macbook Pro display (which I’ve always thought was pretty good) and the brand new Retina display. If you click on the image it will take you to the features page for this product.

I do not own this image.

If you want to dish out $2199, you can buy it here.

Music Post: Dissonance

I know a good song when I hear one. And I want to tell you about a good song.

A friend of mine is a talented composer, writer, lyricist, and singer. She’s really great at it. She wrote a song called Dissonance, which I am currently obsessed with, and I’ve posted the song and lyrics below. I can relate to this song in numerous ways, but I won’t go into all of them here because I’m trying to make this post brief.

But I will say that in the phase of life I’m in right now, these words totally could have been my own.

“I want to be more
I don’t want to be me right now
But I don’t know what I want”

 

Anyways, without further ado, here is the song – Dissonance by INTR featuring Nuria

 

I do not own this image.

Dissonance – INTR feat. Nuria

I don’t know how
To walk away from this
It gets harder every day
My heart
Attempted indifference
Because I care too damn much
To only learn how to let go
Without giving up on everything
Including myself
Ball of potential
Mounted on an attic shelf
I want to be more
I don’t want to be me right now
But I don’t know what I want
They say grass seems greener
But I don’t need it to be
Just want some certainty
Maybe start over
Shake off this notion
They say, ‘try to be happy’
Not my cup of tea
Too much work for
Something that doesn’t last for me
So I’ll settle for complacency
I want to be more
I don’t want to be me right now
But I don’t know what I want
They say grass seems greener
But I don’t need it to be
Just want some certainty
Maybe start over
©2012 Nuria

 

You can read Nuria’s biography here and click here to hear another of her songs.

 

To hear more INTR, go here.

 

If you love the song as much as I do and would like to buy it on iTunes, click here.

 

I do not own any of these lyrics or the song. Credit goes to Nuria and INTR.

DIY: Chair Re-Upholstery

Disclaimer: This is not a tutorial.

I’ve been doing a lot of projects lately, mostly in preparation for my upcoming move to Arkansas. (Fingers crossed that I get a job….not that finger crossing ever works.)

This latest project actually began about a year ago when my mom and I went to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Murfreesboro, TN. We found several things, but one was this chair. There were about a dozen of them, and they looked like the kind of chairs you’d see in a hotel room’s sitting area. Nicer than an office chair, but with wooden legs. Just a basic chair. It was only $15 and had a lot of potential and was in great condition minus the slightly worn fabric. So, we bought it, and ever since have been looking for the perfect fabric to recover it with.

Well, on Monday we took another adventure to a big fabric store in Fayetteville, TN called Sir’s. I really wanted to try to make a sir joke here but couldn’t think of anything good other than yes, sir’s. Anyways, I fell in love with a roll of fabric and couldn’t pass the opportunity at only $6.99 a yard.

However we do not have an air compressor so we used an electric staple gun. Here’s what we did.

First we began prying off the outer fabric, and discovered there was a metal tack strip thing that was enjoyable to pry off.

Then, we realized – well actually my mom realized – that if you grab a hold of the fabric’s edge with the pliers and use a twisting motion you can actually roll your way down the edge and it takes tons less effort that pulling it straight out.

I call it the twist method.

Here is a shot of the room we’re working in. Notice all the staples ALL over the floor.

Okay so I just realized you can’t see the staples in the picture hardly at all on the floor. BUT here’s a bunch on the table.

Sometimes, when doing the twist method to remove stray staples, they will wrap around the tip of your pliers and “lock” them. I found this comical.

My mom was a trooper. She worked very hard. And didn’t get mad that I kept yelling at her every time she poked herself and said “ow”.

Okay so we finished stripping the chair finally. Then we decided our fabric would look funky with brown chair legs. Originally we were planning on painting the legs black, but when we got to Home Depot we found an AWESOME metallic gray color. And if you know me, you know I’m obsessed with silver and gray. So of course we bought it.

The color –

The leg –

The chair stripped with legs painted and ready to cover –

Okay, now for the “fun” part. Let’s just say that my mom and I will NOT be going into the upholstery business. First let me give you a few tips in case you are wanting to start your own reupholstery project, and then I’ll show you the pictures of our recovering project.

Some tips for DIY upholstery:

1. Do not attempt unless you have lots of time and lots of patience. It can be very tedious and it took us two days to complete with two people working on it.

2. Make sure you have very good tools. We used needlenose pliers, a small flathead screwdriver, a hammer, a glue gun (our BFF), and an electric staple gun.

I do not recommend using an electric staple gun. You really need something more powerful that is run by an air compressor. You can’t use a nail gun because the fabric will rip off the tiny head of the nail, but I wouldn’t use a hand stapler either. The more power the better. The glue gun is probably not commonly used for upholstery but it was great for extra reinforcement and holding things in place. We also used some upholstery nails, which look like fancy thumb tacks.

3. Be thorough with your demolition and stripping. I was glad we chose not to cover the original fabric with the new fabric. Stripping it down worked well for us. You also don’t want to leave a lot of the original staples because you may accidentally try to put a new staple into an old one, which clearly won’t work.

Our process:

Disclaimer – we had no idea what we were doing for the most part. So I am definitely not saying you should follow our approach to this project! :)

We started with the sides and the front-back of the chair. We draped the fabric over the front and sides of the chair, my mom made a Y shaped cut on the seat and we tucked furiously into all the crevices.

After we stapled and secured the left outer side, we stapled the top back of the chair.

As far as the back piece of fabric, we were able to pull it all the way through the chair at the bottom and secure it to a board in the back. Then we put the seat piece of fabric on with the same method of draping and tucking. We also pulled that through the back. You can see the inside guts of the back of the chair below.

We then attached upholstery nails/tacks to the bottom front edge. It was not easy, those little boogers were not going into the wood without a fight! Now that the top and sides were tucked and secured at the top and bottom and the seat was done, we decided to work on the back legs.

Then, we moved to the arms and then the front legs. The arms were tricky because we had so much excess fabric. I couldn’t find many example pictures online of how other people had done the arms so my mom came up with something herself. First she trimmed off some of the excess fabric.

We put a staple in the bottom to keep the underneath fabric secured. Then she folded over each side of the underneath fabric and glued it down. After that, she tucked the excess fabric underneath the main part she was going to fold over and folded it down.

Glue was great for securing what we folded over underneath. Especially because we couldn’t put staples on the outside or they would show. You can’t see it in this photo but we also put a couple upholstery nails in the very bottom of the arm where the leg begins.

After the arms were done, all we had left to do was the back of the chair. At this point we were relying a lot more heavily on the glue gun than the staple gun, because the staples kept doing this:

Which was frustrating. We ended up using glue all the way around the back except for the bottom. On the bottom we cut off some extra fabric, folded it over, and used the staple gun one last time to secure it.

Overall, it turned out great. But, we will most likely never attempt this project again! It took over 8 hours to do, with two people! I have great respect for upholsterers.

Here’s the before and after:

BEFORE

AFTER

If you have any questions or feedback on our project, leave a comment! And if you like the final product, let us know! Thanks for reading!

I Promise

The things you keep inside
The things you try to hide
Running around and around
Lost as soon as you’re found

I’ll never ever judge you
For the things you say and do
Though you feel like you’re through
I promise I’ll always love you

The things that bring the pain
The things you call “insane”
I’ll stay and wipe your tears
As you try to name your fears

I’ll never ever judge you
For the things you say and do
Though you feel like you’re through
I promise I’ll always love you

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