117 Comments

  1. Schinamama
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:06 am

    I officially nominate your husband PAUL for sainthood. Does he actually have a job that makes real money in his spare time? You should pictures of him up here as well. Unfortunately for me I have the same brain as you do, but not such a patient husband.

    Reply

  2. Lana
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:09 am

    I admit … I have tried the reupholstering demon once or twice … I didn’t have a ” Paul” … 😐 So it sat … and sat and sat … I live through your blog because I am you … except you get your projects done .. either by you or Paul . I’m still living through your projects . Love your blog! 🌹❤❤❤

    Reply

  3. maria
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:10 am

    i can’t even…. your posts are the highlight if my week. between your creativity and humor, its therapy withou t the diagnosis, prescription or having to leave the couch. You are the best.

    Reply

  4. Lora Hart
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:11 am

    Do you think you could possibly turn the blog over to Paul for a day? I wonder what goes on in his head as you proceed through your daring escapades. How lucky were you to have found such a gem of patience and skill!

    Reply

    • Noél Nicklas Emswiler
      January 24, 2017 @ 1:10 pm

      Great idea…maybe VEB writes it and Paul inserts commentary!

      Reply

      • Linda Spiese
        January 24, 2017 @ 6:01 pm

        Yes. That is a great idea. How about it, VEB?!

        Reply

  5. Emily
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:15 am

    Does it have to be a contrasting trim? You can make your own trim! Why not make a complicated project, more complicated?

    I have been researching how to do this to an antique (currently has orange fabric) chair that I own. The DIY sites tell me that I can make my own trim out of the same fabric,

    Now, that I have read the most honest tutorial, I am going to call around and get quotes.

    Reply

    • Sue
      February 28, 2017 @ 3:10 pm

      Oh wow…. I have THREE couches like this that I was going to try and recover….. Now I KNOW why the quotes seemed so high…. I too, have a husband with the patience of steel….. but he is so busy.

      Reply

  6. R.M. Brovont
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:17 am

    Matching double welting is your answer.

    Reply

    • Kimberly
      January 24, 2017 @ 12:56 pm

      I think you mean self-welting, in other words, use the same fabric to make the cord, but I agree, double welt would be great.

      Reply

    • San
      January 25, 2017 @ 9:18 pm

      I agree with the double welting suggestion and it will look far more sophisticated than gimp and the bonus is is really is very easy to make and apply.

      Reply

  7. Sarah
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:18 am

    I reupholster antique furniture for weddings and I have your solution! Take your extra fabric to an upholstery store or seamstress and have them make you double welt cord trim. Perfect match for the fabric!

    Reply

  8. Marcia Rubin
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:18 am

    I am so with you on the upholstery thing! In your case, this is the absolute reason why you can never divorce Paul. Women around the world would enter a slug fest to get his attention. Final product is fabulous.

    Reply

  9. RO
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:21 am

    Hey I haven’t heard anything from you on the Circus closing down. You were the first one I thought of when I heard the news.

    Reply

    • Kiki
      January 24, 2017 @ 10:30 am

      So did I…. 🙂

      Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      January 24, 2017 @ 10:40 am

      It filled me with JOY… but you’ll have to tolerate one more post about it (soon) because Ringling has not yet said WHERE THE ANIMALS WILL GO.

      So there is still work to be done to make sure they ARE SENT TO SANCTUARY (a REAL sanctuary) and not sold to the highest bidder for another performing act, roadside zoo, trophy hunts… etc.

      Reply

  10. Kristl
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:21 am

    Im so glad you posted this! This past fall my husband went on a weekend hunting trip. Perfect opportunity to pick up that vintage couch I’d been eyeing. I was like 7 months pregnant, so I had to enlist my dad, and he was sworn to secrecy. This vintage sofa needs reupholstered and I’ve no idea how to do it, but you’ve given me hope! Yours turned out beautiful!

    Reply

  11. Laura
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:25 am

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      January 24, 2017 @ 10:28 am

      uhhh… I am dumbfounded that it took you 2 seconds to find something I’ve NOT seen. I thought I had internet skills!

      THANKS! I’m going to order a sample!
      (I’m adding a photo to your comment so people can see it)

      Reply

      • noreen kelly
        January 25, 2017 @ 3:51 am

        other option is to make your own using your original fabric. make two lots of piping and sew them together with the hem edges facing the same way. then put the hem edges underneath and sew down. looks like double piping… i am sure paul can make it!

        Reply

    • Tina Jeffrey
      January 24, 2017 @ 2:45 pm

      That’s beautiful! Well done!

      Reply

    • Debra
      January 24, 2017 @ 9:28 pm

      Oh That trim would look wonderful IMO…. can’t wait to see the sample on the sofa in a photo soon.

      Reply

  12. Carolyn Gordon
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:28 am

    Girl, you married the world’s most indulgent husband. I thought I had, but no–you did.

    That sofa is gorgeous!!

    Reply

  13. Kiki
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:29 am

    Elizabeth, there ARE blogs explaining how you can make miles of tiny little tassle-trimmings…. I saw one only days ago and I thought WHO ON EARTH would want to do that as a DIY project – now I know.
    BEAUTIFUL sofa but only thanks to Hero Paul useable (is that English?) – AND the little darling’s photo with the fluffy paws – so much happiness in one post.

    Reply

  14. ccr in MA
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:30 am

    I can’t comment on the upholstery project (beyond “Whoa”), but the cat! The toe floof! Or would that be paw-lashes? Amazing.

    Reply

  15. Marion
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:30 am

    Dear Self….
    Can you try getting trim dyed to match? Like back inthe day when prom shoes were dyed to match the gown…..OR…..
    Match the trim to the wood color and so it blends that way.

    This from someone who hemmed curtains this weeken and has 2 out of 9 to go.

    Reply

  16. Vivian
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:32 am

    It’s stunning! What a wonderful find! Paul, too….

    Reply

  17. Pamela
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:33 am

    I Want.that.cat….please! Oh I wish I lived closer I would take her in a minute. Love love her.

    Reply

  18. Laura L
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:35 am

    Love love love your posts – they sound just like my conversations with myself. LOL!

    Reply

  19. Patricia
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:40 am

    It took me two years to reupholster one balloon backed chair. Cursed with itty bitty nails, tacks AND decorative brads. I felt trapped on the second level of Dante’s inferno. Your Paul failed to show up and rescue me. I finally got on with it.

    It took me two weeks to finish the second one. The next time I started a project with itty bitty nails I got smart and hired my handyman to come help. He’d never done upholstery before. I told him it was good for his resume.

    Reply

    • Kiki
      January 25, 2017 @ 11:01 am

      ha ha 🙂
      Did he appreciate your career-furthering reference?

      Reply

  20. Charlotte Des Fleurs
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:46 am

    Dearest VEB, I share your pain because I have reupholstered many, many chairs. Tacks and staples? I do that in the comfort of my family room with the TV on. Slow and easy is the trick to saving your fingers. One full length movie is time enough to do a chair. The spring tying thing terrifies me, so I have avoided sofas. (There is, however, a French recamier out in the garage that I hope to tackle soon.)

    For your gimp – well, the double welted in matching fabric will certainly do but it has a very contemporary look.

    From one Certified Control Freak to another, how about purchasing a cotton / rayon gimp in white and DYING it to match? This company, http://www.dharmatrading.com/dyes/dharma-fiber-reactive-procion-dyes.html?lnav=dyes.html, has 150 colors. Perhaps you could send them a swatch of your fabric and ask for suggestions on a color (or colors) that comes close.

    Keep up the good work. Bravo to BOTH of you!

    Smiles from Charlotte Des Fleurs

    Reply

  21. toni
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:48 am

    ” this sofa frame contained all of the tacks in the entire history of mankind”
    I will argue with you about that. I’m quite sure I had a chair with all the nails, tacks and staples in the world. And layers of upholstery to go with them.

    Reply

  22. Geraldine Emery
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:51 am

    All I can say is…Paul! What a guy!

    Reply

  23. FERN BENSON
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:55 am

    It is wonderful to see that Paul is your “partner in crime”, and talented to boot! My husband and I have the most fun and problems when we say to ourselves “oh yea, that would be fun to do”! Good news is that we have a warehouse for our business that stores some of these wonderful ideas we have yet to tackle, bad news is that there are these “ideas” taking up space……but another good news is that when we are searching for one thing or another I will discover these “ideas” and get excited all over again, well at least until the moment has passed and the “idea” gets buried again. I figure that when the zombie Apocalypse arrives I will have plenty of projects and plenty of books!

    Reply

  24. Jamie
    January 24, 2017 @ 10:57 am

    “If this is the wrong way to do this part of the process, please keep that comment to yourself….” Ha. Made me laugh. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  25. Nicole
    January 24, 2017 @ 11:02 am

    I am so glad to hear from you !!!

    Reply

  26. phyllis
    January 24, 2017 @ 11:15 am

    Floofie paws is too rare and precious to not keeeeeeep!!
    I can’t even think about upholstery at a time like this (I don’t like gimp…double welt is pretty 🙂
    But those fancy feet are so cushy…HEY, that cat doesn’t claw on upholstery, right?!?

    Reply

  27. Carol
    January 24, 2017 @ 11:19 am

    Isn’t it ironic that Fletcher is on a velvet sofa with trim that doesn’t match! OR maybe it’s a sign?

    Reply

  28. joan riker
    January 24, 2017 @ 11:20 am

    Paul needs to be cloned in all age groups! Love the fancy feet cat!

    Reply

  29. Kay
    January 24, 2017 @ 11:32 am

    Now that I’ve finished screaming with laughter and venerating your wonderful Paul, I have to say that if you do not keep Fancy Feet, you are not the woman I thought you were. She is completely adorable, and her face says, “I am the perfect cat for Victoria, and I hope she realizes it before it is TOO LATE.”

    Reply

  30. Susan
    January 24, 2017 @ 11:34 am

    Your posts leave me laughing hysterically with self recognition and longing for a hero like Paul to rescue me from my misadventures. There should be a book and movie deal in your future!

    Reply

  31. Amber Schwarz
    January 24, 2017 @ 11:41 am

    I’m sure this is an extremely silly question, especially since I have no knowledge of upholstery or antique sofas, but I kept wondering why you had to keep the springs and couldn’t just stuff with foam or down or something else? I do love that perfect shade of blue grey that you found, I’m with you on the inner color troll, I have one of my own, and they are very insistent, aren’t they?! LOVE those floofy cat paws! Love this blog 🙂 So glad we got the circus to close too! Hooray!!

    Reply

  32. Gusmom
    January 24, 2017 @ 11:50 am

    I can just hear Paul’s big frustrated sigh when you embark on a project like this one. He knows he might as well not start anything else because he would be interrupted numerous times and finally have to stop what he’s doing and finish your project first!

    Love your blog and the entire cast of characters!

    Reply

  33. Katie
    January 24, 2017 @ 12:03 pm

    Love the kitties, love the upholstery story, thrilled that other commenters have been so usefully focusing on where you can get matching trim from but Victoria, I NEED to know: WHAT IS THE LATEST WITH YOUR KITCHEN? * wails *

    Reply

  34. Jennie Staub
    January 24, 2017 @ 12:09 pm

    I applaud your intestinal fortitude in even attempting to re-upholster anything! Oh, and I definitely applaud your choice of husband and finisher of your projects. I have my own “Paul”, well, sort of. I have a Jay. He does not, I repeat, does not, help out with any of my home decorating projects. I think he’s allergic to anything even slightly craft-related. HOWEVER, he is a long-suffering saint when it comes to my projects around our mini-farm. We purchased our house and 14 acres almost two years ago and along with the house came a very nice concrete-floored pole barn (which he has commandeered for his version of a man cave) but the four horse stalls on the outside I took to be converted into a chicken coop, potbelly pig stall, and feed room. He designed all of the interior upgrades we needed for the coop and then we built and installed them. We now have 80 chickens but still just the one pig…for now. Then I decided we needed to adopt a mini horse that needed a good home. So, again, Jay put on his drafting hat and designed a lean-to horse stall which we built over a couple of weekends. Most recently, I’ve adopted 3 goats that needed a new home and, yes, you guessed it…..super hubby came through for me again. Next up – straw bale gardening! And might I say, I love the floofy-footed cat! We currently have 9 cats between indoors and farm cats. My husband tells me that I now have my official “Crazy Cat Lady Starter Kit”! I personally believe that I should get another one to, you know, make an even 10 but he is oddly resistant to the idea.

    Reply

    • Tina Jeffrey
      January 24, 2017 @ 3:00 pm

      Thanks! I have a new home and have been looking for raised plot gardening ideas. I love the idea of straw bale gardening!

      Reply

    • Kiki
      January 25, 2017 @ 10:55 am

      Jenny, Tina
      can you pls explain straw bale gardening to an ignorant Swiss woman with a large garden? many tks

      Reply

      • Jennie Staub
        January 25, 2017 @ 12:08 pm

        You can Google the concept but you basically turn bales of straw (not hay) on their sides so the binding strings are not on the ground but on the sides and the cut pieces of straw are pointing up. You condition the bales for 12-17 days using copious amounts of water and sprinkling nitrogen rich fertilizer onto the bales and washing it in. This causes the bacteria living inside to begin breaking down the straw and forming a planting medium inside the bales. I just purchased a book on Amazon called “Straw Bale Gardens” by Joel Karsten in which he explains the entire process and even highlights which plants are good or not so good to plant in the bales. It works very well for people who don’t have a lot of land or space as you can put the bales right onto concrete or even asphalt because you are growing the plants inside the bale and they never touch the ground. It’s virtually weed free gardening since straw is what remains after a grain crop has been harvested, unlike hay which has the grass and other seeds inside the bale. I like the idea that I won’t have to get down on hands and knees to pull weeds and gather veggies and that my husband won’t have to beat himself half to death using the tiller to break up the ground.

        Reply

        • Kate in mi
          January 25, 2017 @ 5:49 pm

          What did you do for the back cushions?

          Reply

  35. Sharyl Murphy
    January 24, 2017 @ 12:36 pm

    Victoria, Fancy Feet looks like she of the Victorian castle….she might have to stay? Also good news, if you haven’t already you should get something in the mail from me this week. You know of what I speak. 🙂 Wishing you oodles of fun projects this year.

    Reply

  36. ActualConversationsWithMyHusband
    January 24, 2017 @ 12:57 pm

    Once again, you’ve saved me. I’ve been thinking (casually, in a not-going-t-do-anything-right-now sort of way) about reupholstering some things around here. And I’ve thought, more than once, “ooh, I could buy that and just reupholster it and it’d be perfect!

    Now I know better, and I’ll just throw that sofa out and buy a new one. Because I do not have a Paul, and I do not have patience.

    Reply

  37. Jean
    January 24, 2017 @ 1:02 pm

    No lie – I have that exact settee partially ripped apart in my garage that I got discouraged with and said “I’ll come back to that.” Thank you – I’m going to give it another go.

    Reply

  38. April
    January 24, 2017 @ 1:04 pm

    How much of Paul’s DNA would it take to turn my husband into a saint worthy of the adoration of…everyone!?! Sigh.

    Reply

  39. Rose
    January 24, 2017 @ 1:16 pm

    The only thing you are missing on this piece is some button tufting! (Probably better for Paul).
    I made a similar mistake with the trim on a lovely French armchair I was re-working. The upholstery was a beautiful shade of aqua (equal parts blue & green, not too light,not too dark) and the frame was a distressed white. I ended up using a trim in a white gold shade and it looked lovely.
    Your loveseat looks beautiful so far, good luck on finding the right trim.

    Reply

  40. Traci
    January 24, 2017 @ 1:17 pm

    Stunning! Maybe a local interior designer or upholstery shop would have access to trims that are not available to the average DIYer. Just a thought.

    Reply

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