Saturday, August 13, 2011
Three or so years ago I was in one of those cute shops that sells handmade gifts, vintage things, soaps and cards. You know the kind. There used to be a whole bunch of them. They seemed to be the first rank of stores to go down when the country's money broke. Anyway, I saw there an adorable bench made out of a head and foot board of a full-size bed.
"I am going to make one of those!" I said.
I had a constant lookout for a real wooden bed frame--which is hard to come by--in the trash or on freecycle. I finally found one while out on a walk with my kids. I shooed them out of the stroller and precariously strapped the bed pieces into my double stroller and wheeled it home. Where it sat in my basement for about a year. Then I cut the foot board in half and even cut the pieces of 2x4 I was using for the frame into the appropriate sizes. Those too sat in my basement for another year. I recently did an unholy purge of the basement and nearly threw the bed frame away, but held on.
Then yesterday, I decided to just make the thing. I no longer had my nicely cut pieces , as the wood was used for some other project ages ago, but I had enough scrap wood to pull it together. My bed frame is a twin size, so the seat measures 35"x19"
It took me about 30 minutes to build the thing. 30 minutes when it's been hanging over my head, the wood being shuffled around the basement for three years. I think this happened for two reasons. One is that when I first got the idea, I didn't quite have the skills I do now. And even though it seems painfully simple construction to me now, three years ago I didn't have the experience or confidence. Indeed even my husband's confidence in my skills has improved. Always encouraging, he nevertheless would sit rather gingerly on what ever I had just finished. Last might when he saw the bench on the porch he just sat right down! The other reason for my delay is the problem of thinking it will take too long, or that it has to be perfect. I'm learning the simple art of "Good Enough." I'm learning that "good enough" usually looks pretty great!
It never seems to take as long as I imagine, and defiantly shorter than the three year's procrastination!
I put it together, the girls and I sanded it a bit, primed it and put two coats of exterior purple paint (purchased for another undone project). In between waiting for the paint to dry we gathered scraps of foam and some fabric and made the cushion. My new trick for making cushions is to not machine sewing the cushion cover, but to wrap the fabric around the cushion like a present and hand sew it together. This saves a lot of time and hassle and saves the fabric too. If I were to grow tired of that particular pattern (chosen by the girls) I could just undo the stitches and it would still be a big piece of uncut fabric. The stitching you see above was carefully done by my five-year-old!
So I carried it to the porch where it has become part of my porch mini-remodel. My porch is something of an eyesore and needs a lot of help that would include major construction, so I'm doing what I can.
I think I will paint the word "sixteen" (my house number) in teal and black on the back of the bench...when I have the time.