DIY: Upholstering a Free Bench

I could have also named this post, “A Temporary Fix” because while this DIY is fine in the “how to” upholster something, the final product was just kind of… eh. Anyways, I was bored on Saturday so I threw this project together. I had picked up an old free bench months ago when Lindsey and I were doing some antiquing. We ripped the old and gross fabric off of it and threw it in the back of my car.

Pretty much immediately, I regretted it. So it lived in my garage for months and I was thinking about putting it out for the garbage truck to pick up.

I didn’t need the bench and it was in pretty yucky condition with bits of old fluff stuck to it. However, as I mentioned. I was bored. So, I grabbed an old floor scraper and scraped off the old fluff.

Then, I cut some foam down to the same size as the top of the bench.

I threw some of my velvet upholstery options on the floor from my sewing bin (I picked these up probably 20+ years ago when I was out hitting yard sales with a friend):

I picked the green, so I stuck it on top the bench and foam and got out my handy staple gun…

And BAM, I have a new footrest for my hanging chair.

As I mentioned, I don’t love it. In fact, I’m not really loving my sunroom at all right now. After making it absolutely perfect last spring (you can see it here), in the fall I stole my white sunroom couch and randomly decided to redecorate the den (here’s that post). And the problem is, I LOVE my new den. Which means I need to run out and buy another couch and ottoman for my sunroom. But, #quarentine. So, I decided to make do with that I had around my house.

Once life goes back to normal(ish), we will have to take a trip to Ikea and grab another $399 slipcovered EKTORP couch. Same goes for Homegoods – once they open, I can grab a replacement ottoman. However, for now we are still hunkered down so this bench will work. And then, I’ll add it to my donation pile so someone else can thrift and enjoy it!

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Craft Review: Tie Dye Kit

It’s product review time again and this time we are taking a look at Tie Dye Kit I ordered off Amazon. I was hoping Jack would like it… but I underestimated his reaction because he absolutely LOVED this kit and has been wearing his tie dye shirts non-stop since we made them.

This is the exact kit we bought off Amazon: Tulip One-Step 5 Color Tie-Dye Kit for $19.99

The kit includes:

  • 5 squeeze bottles pre-filled with dye powder (yellow, red, purple, blue and green)
  • 5 refill packets of dye powder (yellow, red, purple, blue and green)
  • Gloves
  • Rubber bands
  • Instructions on how to do a variety of dye styles

I also ordered this set of 5 Hanes Boy’s T-shirts to dye for $7.50.

We filled up the 5 bottles of powdered dye with water and they lasted us through dying 6 shirts, with plenty left to probably do at least 4 more shirts. AND we still have all the refill dye powder packs left, so this kit certainly gave us some bang for our buck.

Jack decided to do a variety of tie dying styles – one with stripes, one crumpled, one in your classic starburst pattern, etc. In order to keep the colors contained and not all over my house, we dyed the shirts in the laundry tub. After each shirt was finished, I put it in a plastic grocery bag and stuck it out of the way until the next morning.

I washed each shirt out by hand in the laundry tub to get most of the extra color out and then did a load of laundry. Oh and in addition to Jack’s 5 shirts, I also threw in an off-white shirt of my own that needed a little extra color. And here’s what we ended up with:

We had SO MUCH FUN with this kit. Since we kept it all in the laundry sink, we didn’t make much of a mess. The shirts all turned out so fantastic and Jack loves that he made them himself.

I would highly recommend this kit for a fun quarantine activity. Or just a fun summer activity with your kid(s) or… even by yourself because tie dye is apparently super fashionable again!

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Trying Out Some Homemade Quarantine Face Masks

Now that the Governor of Maryland has made it mandatory to wear a face mask when visiting retail establishments, I had to figure out what we were going to do about face masks. The disposable ones have been sold out online forever but there have been a ton of make-your-own tutorials popping up all over Facebook. So, I decided to try a few.

No-Sew Mask from a T-shirt from

I found this tutorial at and thought that it looked super easy to do. Basically, she sends you a pattern in a variety of sizes, you print it out, and then cut your t-shirt to match the pattern.

I used her Adult Large pattern, cut up a black t-shirt and it worked okay. However, I had trouble keeping the ear bits hooked over my ears. Also, when I tried it on my husband, the pattern was way too small for his face. I never really thought of him as having an overly large face… but apparently, he does. If I had liked this pattern more, I would have tried it again making it a bit larger. As it was, this was my least favorite DIY mask.

No-Sew Mask from a T-shirt from the CDC

This is one of the most common ‘make a mask from a t-shirt’ instructions that I’ve been seeing out there and this particular one came from the website. Here is how you do it:


I followed these instructions and ended up making about a dozen masks. Once again, they aren’t perfect, but they are pretty easy to make and easy to tie onto your face. You do need to either double up or stick an extra square of cotton fabric in the mask in order to keep with the ‘two layers of cotton’ rule. These work pretty well and I thought they were a winner, until I tried the next tutorial.

No-sew mask from a T-shirt sleeve

I saw a video for this one on Facebook, but it won’t allow me to link to it here. However, here is one on YouTube that is very similar:

I found this one much easier to make and wear than the first two tutorials. Basically, you cut a sleeve off a shirt and then BOOM that’s your mask. I made this with a couple t-shirts and also used one long sleeve shirt from our donation bag to make 6 masks.

Ignore the animal print mask for now…

Travis likes this one best, since they go on easy, fit well and are plain colors (I made black for him). These will stay in his truck for when he needs them and are super easy to launder after each wear.

My DIY Masks

I wanted to make myself a couple ‘nicer’ masks to wear when I go into stores, so I dove into my old fabric bin and found a few different options. I don’t have any elastic in the house and my rubber bands are too tight to stretch them over my ears, so I shredded a couple t-shirts and made string out of them.

Anyways, I didn’t follow a pattern and just sewed small pillows – I took two pieces of fabric that were about 9” x 6” and sewed three sides together just like a pillow. I left holes in each corner and poked the ‘string’ through on each side. I flipped everything right side out and I sewed up the top and bottom so they looked less messy. That’s about it. They aren’t perfect and I certainly wouldn’t sell them or anything, but they should be fine for when I have to leave the house for a grocery run.

Have you been making your own masks or buying them from somewhere? Do you have a favorite seller or tutorial to share?

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