Thursday, February 10, 2011

DIY Projects: Happily Leather After

Heya Nesters!  A few months back I showed you my bookcase makeover from girlie pink to modern white. And I'm happy to say I have finally taken one step closer to being totally done with it.

Now its white and pretty.... sort of. Minus the junk.

I went to Tandy Leather over the summer with my friend Mae {who makes awesome bags}  and picked up this skin on sale from $99 to $39, then got another discount because I was shopping with Mae who is a "member".  So the whole shebang only ended up being about $30. Not bad for a gorgeous skin that is HUUUUUGE!  It resided in the corner of the living room for a while.  Then was flopped on top of the white bookcase as inspiration that just never moved.  So finally months and seasons later, I finally decided to cut into it a make a cushion. 

I had already picked up the 2" foam on sale at JoAnns for about $3 when I bought the skin and its been hiding between the wall and the bookshelf in the living room. I measured and marked the cushion to fit inside the top lip of the bookcase and I also shaved off about 1/4" of the measurement because I knew that with thickness of the skin added that it would fit snugly. 

Next up, I made a quick pattern for the shape of the leather, that only required the top and sides of the cushion to be covered by the leather. The bottom will be muslin.  In my haste, I forgot to take pictures of this step. But it looked like a short stumpy t. Something like this: 

I busted out my sewing machine with brown thread and my extra sharp stain needles. {I find that the heavy duty leather or denim needles make holes that are too big and will perforate the leather, fostering ripping.}

Fold each corner with right sides together and stitch. I was generous with my cutting because it was so hard to cut at points that I had to use TWO HANDS on the scissors {and I have some seriously sharp shears.}  I didn't want to accidentally cut in too much, making it too short. I cut it a little larger than the pattern and than I would have on normal fabric.  So that explains the overage of the one side in the shot above.

Here's what she looked like turned right side out.  Once all four sides are stitched, I cut two rectangles of muslin that fit to overlap in the middle {its going to create the same idea as the pillow sham that I showed you here.} and I stitched that to the right sides of the leather. Here is what it looks like turned right side out.

I had {again hastily} overlapped the muslin a bit too much. I had overlapped it about 4" and it made for a SERIOUS fight trying to get the foam inside. So please, Nesters, take it from me, only over lap 3" at the most. My muslin ended up ripping a little as I added the cushion. Which was fine, I just finished it off with a little tuck in. No one's going to see the under side anyway, right? {Hi this is Gina being lazy, nice to meet you.}

And here she is! The new cushion for the white cabinet! 

Kind of reminds me of this one from Crate and Barrel, doesn't it?  Maybe I should add some legs on mine....

Next step either a fabric cover for the front of the cabinet or lots and lots of baskets to hide everything in.  I already have one in there that I'm not crazy about the white wash.   I would go for a darker basket color. More like the ones that hold my DVD collection.  Opinions, Nesters? Fabric or baskets... fabric ... or ... baskets..... hmmmm.  Let me know what you think!

Happy Thursday Nesters!! {Or as I like to call it, almost Friday!}


  1. Wow - it looks amazing! Love it! Great job!

  2. That looks great, Gina!

    I think that darker, more natural looking baskets would look great in there and really play up the brown leather. Legs would also look really neat!

    Happy almost Friday to you too :)

  3. I say baskets. I think it will match nice with the leather.

  4. Seriously impressive! Sewing leather is no easy task. I love the finished product.

  5. that looks so good! like the perfect (but actually more substantial) replica of the crate & barrel one!

  6. Such a great idea! I love things that double as storage!

  7. what a great bargain bench! nice job!


Heya Nesters! I always love your feedback! So dish, because we all want to hear it! <3