Bedroom Makeover: Part 2 ~ Upcycled Desk and Chair

The desk and chair in Shay’s room have been in our home for years. If I remember correctly, I think the set was a freebie from a friend (or maybe a really cheap second-hand purchase).  Over the years, I’m sure that the top has been painted at least 4 times. It’s an easy job and the plain black base allows it fit with almost any decor. It is a perfect kid’s room desk and despite its age, has really stood the test of time.

hockey theme room

BEFORE:  Desk, chair and hockey shelf from Shay’s old hockey themed room.

upcycled desk and chair

AFTER: A new paint job and some updated fabric will help coordinate these old items into Shay’s new bedroom design.


Shay actually loved the style of the top, but wanted me to redo it so that the colours were consistent with his new decor. Basically, all I did was give the urethane on top a light sand so the paint would stick, prime it and then play with some paint to get the desired look. I did add a bit of glaze to the paint because I already had it on hand. The glaze is great for mixing colours together and slows the dry time slightly so that you can “play” with the paint a bit more.  Once the painting was done, I added three coats of urethane to seal it and make it more durable.

Since I was already in the midst of painting, I also decided to give the hockey stick shelf a bit of a new look, by painting the shelves black. I really like the black as opposed to the original red even though I’m not yet sure that the shelf will remain in Shay’s new room. Either way, I thought that fresh paint in a more neutral colour would make it more marketable on Kijiji when we post all of his other Jets/hockey room stick shelf

Of course, the previously reupholstered blue chair would no longer work. I have upcycled a few of these old style folding chairs, so giving this a new look was probably no more than a half hour job. You simply remove the screws. lay new fabric overtop (or remove the old first) and use a staple gun to secure it in place. I had left over fabric from previous projects, so the fabric cost me nothing.

upcycled chair


Teen Room Project #7: Throw Cushion Covers

Eden used to have what I thought was an awesome banquette style table/bench in her room that was perfect for doing her homework, art projects and painting finger nails. However, she was adamant that she did not want it in her room when we did the bedroom transformation. Instead, she wanted a comfy seating area to hang-out in when her girlfriends are over. Originally she wanted to make a pallet type sofa, but in all honesty, it seemed like another big project and not really necessary when we have a futon right outside her door in our landing that virtually goes unused. She agreed that this would be a great alternative and so swapped the banquet and the futon. The second floor of our home has two large bedrooms, a large landing area and a bathroom. This is the kid’s zone and so the swap really made no difference to me.

Although we may someday purchase a new cover for the futon, for now, we just removed the old navy one and replaced it with an older duvet cover. It is a bit larger than it needs to be, but Eden doesn’t even mind the oversized look and the price was right!

To dress it up, I decided to use some of the old cushions from the futon and make some simple new slip covers for them. I had all of the fabric on hand from previous projects and the style I made required no zippers and minimal work.

Throw Cushion Tutorial

Step 1: Cut the Fabric

For these simple slip covers, you simply measure the width of your pillow and add about an inch for seam allowances. Mine were all square, so the width was 14″ plus 1″ for the seam allowance. Ideally, if you are using new fabric and aren’t doing piece work, the length will be equal to 2X the size plus about a 3 to 4 inch overlap depending on the size of the pillow. For mine, The width was 15″ and the total length would have been about 34 “.IMG_2449

Step 2: Finish the seams

Next, you take the short sides of the fabric and finish the seams. I usually do a double fold to give a nice finished look. (This is just an example and I did not actually use this particular piece of fabric. I pinned the seams to give you the idea.)

Step 3: Fold and Pin

Lay the big rectangle down flat with right side facing up. Place a pin at the center point and then fold over one of the finished side seams so that it’s laying down the middle of the fabric. Take the other finished seam and drag it over so that it lays onto of the first one that has been placed at the center point. (Remove the pin.) You want to measure and lay it down once the folded cover is the desired width. So, the last piece will now be overlapping the first fold. Remeasure to be sure that the folded cover is the desired size of the finished cover.


Fold the first end in and lay it down in the middle of the fabric.

Fold the other end

Drag the other end over to overlap first side and stop when the folded square/rectangle equals desired size.

Step 4: Sew

Sew along the top and bottom of the cushion cover. Turn right side out and ensure corners are pushed out. Insert the pillow through the overlapped portion. This will sit at the back of the finished cushion.

*Of course, I didn’t have new fabric, I was using scraps I had on hand, so I had to do some piece work. It was basically the same concept, but I used “less appealing” fabric on the back where the overlap is and my decor fabric on the front. Of course, instead of a fold along the sides, mine has a seam. You just have to allow that little extra for the side seam. Here are the shots of the ones I made.

Floor Pillow:

Eden also had a large throw pillow that needed to be recovered to match her new decor. For this one, I simple removed the previous cover from the pillow and used it as a template for cutting out the new fabric. I actually used an old shower curtain that was in excellent shape. It is a bit silky feeling and I thought it would be great because it wouldn’t collect lint on it in the same way the previous fleece one did. I even removed the zipper from the old one and re-used it in the new cover. This cost nothing, but gave the pillow a fresh new look for her cozy little “den”.

floor pillow

The floor pillow cover was made from upcycling an old shower curtain.

floor pillow

Here’s a shot of the finished floor pillow with a cushion. The cushion fabric was left over from the Roman Blinds.

Bolster Pillows:

Finally, I took the old bolster covers and used them as a template to make a long tube like cover for back of the futon. This simply meant finishing the end seams and then sewing a long tube. Instead of the hassle of trying to make a nice fitting end, we just used ribbon to tie the ends. Simple to do and helps dress up the old futon a little. I’m not sure I “love” the ribbon, but I had it on hand and it will do until I find something I like better. These covers were also made from an old shower curtain. Eden doesn’t like a lot of pattern, but I was able to add a bit of interest with the varying sheens and textures of the cushion fabrics. I like the waffle fabric on the bolsters a lot.bolster

How much did all these new cushions cost? Not a dime. I was able to re-use/repurpose what I had on hand without being out-of-pocket at all. It is still looking a little sparse and we’ll definitely have to kick it up a notch, but its a good starting point. Now I can look for fabrics or pre-made covers that will coordinate well with what she already has. I’d really like to bring more colour and pattern in, but Eden and I don’t always see eye to eye and ultimately ….it is her space!