Patio Day Bed

Okay, this one took me a few days off to complete.  I have a large covered patio that I wanted to fill with something large.  I wanted something to lay on and read a book, curl up with a blanket and glass of wine and listen to the rain, or take a long afternoon nap.  Boom.  Patio day bed.

plain patio

I sketched up an idea and showed it to a friend.  I knew I could figure it out, but it went way easier with a buddy.  Here’s my sketch.

day bed sketch

So you can see it’s a pretty basic design.  I wanted mine 4’x6’x18″ to fill the space but I would recommend buying foam pieces first and then building to suit the foam.  Time to get sawing!

miter saw


We used the miter saw from the tool library and 3″ outdoor nails and screws.  Once we figured out the measurements, it was a piece of cake.

day bed starts

day bed bones

day bed side


An impromptu dance party was held to ensure structural soundness.  Now that the bones are done, it’s time to make it look pretty.  I picked up some salvaged wood from the Rebuilding Center in different shades and thicknesses for the facade and some corrugated fiberglass for the two exposed sides.

day bed stage 2


I searched high and low for cheap foam.  Called scrap stores.  Looked online.  Trolled craigslist.  Found two twin memory foam mattresses for $20 each and that was a steal, but not quite enough.  I had to cut them in half and run them through the washing machine because they were covered in dog hair.

twin foam


So, I finally broke down and bought 3″ foam padding from Joann Fabric.  I had 2 – 50% off coupons and one layer of 4’x6’x3″ came to be about $80 with the coupons.  I glued all the foam together with the high density on bottom and the memory foam on top.  All together, 5″ of foam and $120.  (This is why I suggest getting foam first and building to suit.)

I made a permanent slip cover to keep it all together out of an old duvet cover I wasn’t using anymore.  Then, I made the visible cover for the foam.  It overlaps on the bottom so there was no need for zipper or clasp.  I taught myself how to sew and have no technical idea what I’m doing most of the time but it usually works out.  I map it out in my head, start cutting fabric, piece it together, rarely use pins, and then plow threw the stitching.  So I can’t really explain what I did here.  Apologies.  Got some pillows from Goodwill that I ran whole through the washing machine and laid out in the sun to dry.  Here’s the finished product.

day bed done 2

day bed done


The Suitcase Project

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I love suitcases.  Most any suitcase, but particularly the hard case Samsonites and small top handle train cases.  I snatch them up any time I see them at Goodwill and hoard them in the back of my closet.  Usually they are pretty gross.  Super smelly and who knows how many years old.  Once filled with a stranger’s dirty laundry and exploding makeup, why would anyone see such a treasure?  Well, I don’t know.  It’s definitely weird.  I guess something about them makes me nostalgic.

What do I do with all these suitcases, you ask?  First, I completely gut them.  Get all that smelly, stale, grandma fabric outta there.  Once it’s empty and cleaned out, there’s a clean slate to paint, decoupage, or adorn the inside and outside any way you want.  When you’re done, just slap on a coat of varnish and you’re clear for take off, Lady Baltimore.

I found a set of three suitcases several years ago and completed 2/3.

Suitcase Project 2

This one was Day of the Dead inspired.  Sugar skull on the front and a French toile fabric with skeleton people.

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This one I made for my favorite 3 year old.  It’s Swedish horses.

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The third suitcase that came with this set was never finished.  I started to paint it black, but never completed it.  Until now.  (Please begin playing Europe’s The Final Countdown now.)

I had to sand off a lot of the black paint I applied about 2 years ago.  Then I painted it white with an outdoor latex paint I had left over from another project.  The I used Modge Podge to adhere a postcard themed wrapping paper from The Paper Source to both sides.  Used ribbon to border the paper and wrap the handle.  Hot glued some buttons to go with the sewing motif from the lining.  And voila!

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I really need to work on getting in-the-process pictures.