This fall I was invited to participate in the Edmonton Fall Home Show’s Ultimate Upcycle Challenge!
I’ve been lucky to have been invited to try a few different DIY/crafty project challenges over the years (and hope that I’m getting better at it each time?) Recently I made a pretty pink wall hanging at a Make Shop Social workshop (and played in confetti). I’ve tried my hand at re-purposing a pallet supporting the Ronald McDonald House and created a whimsical terrarium that was auctioned off to support the Edmonton Public Library’s Welcome Baby early literacy program.
This year’s challenge was to “turn drab into fab” for a cause. Armed with a black box of Rust-Oleum products, I was asked to upcycle a pre-loved chair from the Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. ReStore is Habitat for Humanity’s social shop that accepts donations of new and gently used home improvement items and then sells them to the public at a hugely discounted price, with all proceeds from sales going towards Habitat for Humanity Edmonton’s fundraising administration costs so that every dollar donated to our charity goes directly towards building homes and serving families. It’s a great initiative!
We are to recreate the chair into a more ‘swoon-worthy seat’ that’s fit for a second chance at love. Visitors to the Fall Home Show (Oct 23, 24, 25) can bid on their favourite seat in a silent auction (located by the main entrance) and 100% of proceeds go to support Habitat for Humanity!
I always try to inject a little bit of my passions into everything that I fix up (the wall hanging was pink because I love the colour pink. My pallet picture frame featured photos of my animals, and I went with picture frames because I love taking photos. The terrarium I partnered with Little Day Miniatures on was themed around food/a picnic, because I love to eat!
So I took the same approach to upcycling my Fall Home Show chair.
I immediately thought, I have to connect this upcycled chair to cats – somehow.
My cats Thor and Loki love sitting with me and Mike, no matter where we are in the house. They’ll sit above our heads on the couch, they’ll sit next to us on a chair, they’ll sit on the kitchen chair while we’re making dinner, or they’ll even sit behind us when we’re on the computer. It made a lot of sense to me right away that my upcycled chair should involve cats in some way.
My original idea was to just repaint the chair and add a cat hamock from the legs underneath.
The chair I ended up getting came with four bars across / connecting all the chair legs, so I didn’t think the hammock idea made as much sense after seeing what I had to work with.
Instead, I decided to go for creating a cat bed/box underneath the chair – with a new cat-themed seat cushion, followed by some kind of cat design on the back of the chair!
For most of my past DIY projects, Mike for whatever reason hadn’t been around to help, or I didn’t think I needed him to help. In this case, I knew I needed his help.
My workshop skills are fairly lacking and I do think in the case of hands-on building/construction type of work, I’m fully prepared to admit I’m not the best person you’d want for the job, in this case it was more of a ‘my vision’ sort of thing. So I thank Mike for helping bring my vision to reality! ;)
Mike’s mom and dad even helped us out – we actually got the materials from them – they had spare wood and baseboard that we cut up to fit onto the chair. They also helped with how to upholster the chair seat.
We worked with Rust-Oleum products including the Krud Kutter pre-paint surface preparation, the stain remover, and Chalked protective topcoat, plus additional white and black paint.
I think it’s pretty cute – and don’t get me wrong, not overly complicated in the end, but it does look quite different from the original and I think it captures my cat loving personality pretty well!
I think any cat lover should love to have it in their home so I hope it gets a lot of bids (get it as a gift FOR a cat lover if you don’t actually have a cat yourself even! ;))
The Edmonton Fall Home Show runs Oct. 23 through 25, 2015 at Northlands Expo.
Friday, Oct. 23: Noon to 9 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 24: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 25: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
NAIT Culinary Continuing Education will also be doing some cooking demos on the cooking stage so check that out too!
Most impurr-tantly, I hope you bid on my chair (or any of my fellow upcycle challengers’ chairs!)
I hope the whole challenge raises a lot of money for Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore!