Friday, June 22, 2012

The Little Bench/Toy Box

A week or so ago, I was driving past a seafood place near our house (where we buy our shrimp), and, along with various other stuff sitting around, I noticed (behind an old semi trailer), a little wooden bench.   It was obviously not "in the trash", but also didn't seem like it was being used.  I wanted it.  Badly.

After dropping Keenan at VBS, I went back and talked to the owner (a sweet Asian man):
Me: I was wondering about that little bench behind your store... do you use it or were you thinking of getting rid of it?
Him: I use it.
Me:  Okay, that's all I wanted to know (turning to leave).
Him:  Why, do you want it?
Me:  (Sheepish smile) Ya, kind of...
Him:  You can have it.
Me: Really?  No, if you use it...
Him: It's okay, you take it.   Lots of people have asked me about it.
Me:  So it's just My lucky day???  (Woohoo!)

Turns out he's a kindred spirit and often picks up treasures in the trash too and can't believe what some people throw away.

I drove home and cleared out the back of the van, and loaded up the bench (kinda gross).   One of the corners was busted off and he went rummaging around in his truck and found the piece!

I was so happy I went in and bought a pound of large shrimp for dinner! =)

...which turned into this!

Okay, that's the story, here are the pictures...

 Rusty hinges

I threw all the gross stuff away, removed the lid (with some help from Philip) got some hot, soapy water and scrubbed it all down, rinsed it with a hose and let it dry in the sun...

 Here is the new lid piece that I had Philip cut out for me

 Sooo thankful that Ace Hardware decided to have a FREE paint giveaway Just in time!  Woohoo!

Four coats of paint later...

 I thought it would be fun to give the inside some color (plus, I'd rather use old, leftover paint in there than waste my new good stuff!) =)

 How'd he get in there??

Next, it was time to put the new lid on with the hinges that Philip bought for $1.84, the Only expense in this project (unless you count the pound of shrimp)!

My plan was to have Philip do it, but he was supposed to be working late, and I'm not very patient (in case any of you didn't know that).  So I went and found the drill and decided to take matters into my own hands.   After I had attached the hinge on one end, I was Not feeling good about it and sent Andrew an urgent email, complete with pictures asking if I'd done it wrong, Help!   (Did I mention I'm not patient?)  Well, he didn't reply in the next five minutes (how Dare he??) so I went ahead and moved the hinge slightly on that side and attached the one on the other end... and it worked beautifully!

A slight improvement on the old hinges

 All finished...

I lay awake the other night, thinking and pondering and wondering how I could make a seat cushion for it without buying any supplies.    I was Thrilled when I remembered that my sister in law, Rebekah, had given me this awesome, Super Soft, material a while back, (figuring I could figure out something to do with it).

 The picture doesn't do it justice, it's unbelievably soft and beautiful

What to make the cushion out of, though?    After scouring the house, I decided to take apart one of the cushions from the couch in the toy room (we've been planning to get rid of it for quite some time, and one of the cushions was especially tattered).    I took out the huge piece of foam and had Keenan help me hold it while I sliced/hacked it down the middle.  It was not pretty.   I was then left with two huge squares of foam about three inches thick.   I cut a firm piece of cardboard the size of the bench, put the foam on top of that, added some batting I'd pulled out of a pillow, stretched the material over top, and with duct tape and safety pins, attached the whole mess together.   It was Ugly.    I tried it out on the bench and it looked like it might work, although it wasn't even, since (surprisingly) my method of cutting wasn't very accurate and the material wasn't going to reach all the way over the back edge.   Oh man, did I mention it looked bad?

What now?

I took it all apart, put the (now three) pieces of foam back together, jammed them back into the cushion cover and threw it back on the couch.  Back to point A.   Then, I spotted it.   The pad on top of our change table.  We never use the change table and the plastic cover looked pretty bad, so I wasn't likely to pass it along with the table if we gave it away.   I sliced the plastic cover off, and there it was.  A beautiful, smooth, inch-think piece of foam that was the exact width I needed.   I only had to cut about four inches off the back (which was easy to do with scissors in a straight line this time).  Then I wrapped it like a present with the material, secured it in place (aka duct taped the edges), flipped it over, and voila!

 Yay - I made a cushion!  =)

 The perfect spot to take care of Moriah's babies

 That's a full bench!
(I love how it looks like caleb is wearing Moriah's tutu in this picture) 

 Filling it up with dolls and stuffed animals =)

...And there you have it.   My $1.84 bench (if you don't count the shrimp).


Shambach's said...

Very nice improvement. You're so creative! I always enjoy seeing your Before and After photos. Great job!

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

I am in awe ... Wow!

Anonymous said...

You did a fabulous job!!

Mark and Rebekah said...

Great use of my "scarf material" :) I LOVE it!


Susan said...

You should show the pictures to the shrimp shop owner!! You are so very talented!

John said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joia said...

Susan, it's funny that you say that, because I totally plan to show the seafood guy! =)

Mom W. said...

Really Joia, you duct taped the cushion cover??? Bring it next time you come and I will sew it for you... =)

It looks great though, Very cute and girlish!!

Toy Chest Bench said...

The Little Bench/Toy Box. A week or so ago, I was driving past a seafood place near our house (where we buy our shrimp), and, along with ...