Jennifer Brings World Peace & Fixes a Vintage Couch: Part 2

I was trying to write a meaningful post (in my mind) that would change the entire world in a single day. Maybe it would go viral and the millions of people would share my significant words and BAM – world peace. Then I’d be crowned Miss Universe. But my brilliant essay was cut short by […]


Last week I gave you the low down on my vintage couch reupholstery project. I think my point was don’t do it. I keep hearing Chip Gaines excitingly proclaim DEMO DAY!; although, for me, it’s been like demo month. As I write this, I am still demo-ing. However, today I will tell you about the continued adventures with my couch that I’ve now named Rita.

My last line was something about all hell breaking loose and fabric, staples, cotton batting, and some other kind of fluffy stuffing flying around. I dragged the couch outside because it smelled so awful; I was having a hard time going out to the garage fridge where all the good stuff is kept (i.e. our root beer). I needed to work on dealing with the smell because you can’t leave these things outside here or you will end up with a desert pack rat. Mind you, it must’ve been a 108 degree dry heat kind of day. I made sure my girls were occupied, which requires a full-length feature film. I got my mask, goggles, sunscreen, gloves and a bunch of random tools that looked like they could do the trick and headed out to begin hacking away.

In case you are like me, a Chihuahua, and don’t know much about this wonder they call upholstery,  I will share what I’ve learned from my extensive research (like 2 articles, I skimmed) and of course my own experience (this project). Most upholsters will use a ¼ inch staple or at most a ½ inch. I guess if you’re going through layers of fabric and wood, maybe ¾ inch. These staples are still a pain to pull out but not impossible. Well, armed with this knowledge, you will see why I almost died that day. I needed to get under the couch to get the seat fabric loose. My fix-it father used a thin piece of wood and straps to hold the springs in place. The straps, two horizontal and seven vertical, were attached with three-inch (air-gun) staples — they ain’t moving. The fix worked at the time but I would not recommend it to anyone, ever. Dad, if you are reading this, you get points for being innovative and creative.

After a little while, I finally had some give in the fabric, but not enough. So I began hacking or rather kicking the piece of wood. Thankfully, it was thin and broke easily. One spot had a hole already. It was hot. I was sweating in places I didn’t even know had sweat glands. The smell was bad too and it got in my respirator but I wasn’t going to take it off. I finally took a break and went inside. I had lines all over my face from my safety gear.

I think this is a good time for a get-to-know-me chat. I am a very focused person. I don’t do well with unfinished projects. I usually end up regretting that because I rush at the end to finish something just because I can’t leave it undone. I don’t start new TV shows because I will totally binge. Books as well – I disappear for hours and neglect life to finish a book and if it is a series… days, I am absent for days! I put off drinking and peeing. It’s not healthy.

Anyway, I get back out there and hack away. I finally am able to wedge the padding off the seat enough to get a look inside. I get a flashlight to look inside. Could it be? Really? Yep! A dead mouse! Finally, I FOUND THE SMELL! Well now I know what it is but I don’t have a hole big enough to get him out of there. So, I call my dad and he says to bring the couch to him and he’ll grind off the bottom. I am not hauling the RAT couch all over. No.

So, thus begins the next task – getting the mouse out so he can have a proper burial in the garbage by Wednesday for pick up. I, in my focused place, decide to pull the wood away and throw the couch around. Yes, I shook the couch like a female hulk but I was red not green and mostly from the heat. Except, I really wasn’t a hulk. I, simply and strategically, shook the couch so the mouse was where I wanted her then I flipped the couch and out she came. I immediately sent pictures to the ongoing group message on my phone. No one cares. No one knows what I really just went through. But you do, you care!

This project is driving me nuts. I can’t seem to finish it. I’ll save you the details of the next step; I’ll simply say I am still pulling staples. Hopefully I’ll see some progress this week on poor, sweet, stinky Rita.  However, until I get some help with those pesky 3″ staples I am stuck and she’ll sit unfinished in my garage.



P.S. I’m still working on the words that will bring world peace.


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