My Bright And Sunny Outdoor Ottoman...Bring On The Polka Dots!

I'm excited today to share this project with you since I've yet to share the progress in the new house.  I finished this project and this room just in time for summer to begin.    
Summer is my favorite time of year and it's finally starting to feel like summer here.   It was a long, cold winter and being outside with a warm breeze in the sunshine makes this former California girl happy!  

I was lucky enough to be able to work with Online Fabric Store and Premier Prints for this post.  When I started looking at Online Fabric Store site and searching through all the Premier Prints fabric, I was overwhelmed by the possibilities.  They offer so many options, each one more vibrant and fun than the next.  If you aren't familiar with Premier Prints, you need to check them out on Online Fabric Store.  I fell in love with so many of their fabrics while working on this project! When I narrowed all my choices down and picked my fabric, Premier Prints Yellow Polka Dot Outdoor fabric, I couldn't wait to get started on this fun project!  

A friend of mine had purchased a very large, wire basket at an estate sale.  As soon as I saw the basket, I wanted it.  When I finally got my hands on the basket I wasn't sure what I'd do with it.  When I saw the Premier Prints Yellow Polka Dot fabric the light bulb went off above my head!  I could make an outdoor ottoman for our courtyard using the wire basket as the base!  First I had to figure out a few logistical problems, like how do I get a top to stay on a wire basket and make it sturdy enough to rest feet on?  After some perusing around my local hardware store, all the logistics were figured out and I was ready to get started!

Here's a picture of what I started with....a large wire basket, that was a bit rusty and not exactly sturdy in spots.

Parts of the basket were bent and not welded together anymore.  That was one of my logistical challenges....I don't weld, nor do I want to learn right now, so I had to figure out another fix.

The big fix I came up with was floral wire.  I could have used a more industrial wire, but I needed the wire to bend easily and weave around the parts that needed fixing.  

I started this process by trying to bend the parts of the basket that had come apart at the weld.  I tried to get them as close to where they had been originally.  I attempted to do this with just my brute strength, which was pretty funny for anyone watching, but I didn't get them to move hardly at all.  I ended up using a wrench and pliers, however I quickly realized that perfection was not going to be accomplished here.  My ultimate goal was to give the basket a bit more stability and I accomplished that so I was happy. 

To secure the parts where the weld had come apart,  I cut a length of floral wire, this wire package was perfect because the wire cutter was right on the package!  Then I wrapped the wire in an X pattern around the basket where two sections intersected.   After I was done, I went on to the next section until I felt the basket was strong enough.  

Once I had the basket wired, I sprayed the whole thing with spray paint.  I used Rust-Oleum's Hammered spray paint in Gray.  

This was how the basket looked after one coat.  I applied two coats in total and I was ready for the next step. 

On a side note....I had wondered what this basket was used for originally and after I was done painting the answer was staring me right in the face!  This had been a baking basket.  I can picture it full of loaves of bread.

My next step was to get my Online Fabric Store Premier Prints fabric and trim laid out and ironed.  I don't know about you, but ironing is not my favorite thing to do, but it's a must for a project using fabric.

One step I need to mention here, is while I was at the hardware store, I had a piece of solid birch  wood cut to size for the ottoman top.  When I measured the basket I added an inch on each side to  insure the top fit properly.  The wood cost $14 and I still have enough leftover to use on another project.  

Once I got my fabric and trim ironed, it was time to cut my foam.  I also purchased the foam from Online Fabric Store.  I used three inch thick foam for this project.  Before working on this project I had no idea I could buy foam online.  A big bonus was because I spent more than $50, I got free shipping!   That meant no going out to the store and lugging home a huge chunk of foam!

I normally cut my foam with an electric knife, but since we just moved and I couldn't find the electric knife anywhere I used a metal ruler and a utility knife.  I have to say I prefer the electric knife because it makes a nicer cut on the foam and it's a lot faster.

Now it was time to attach the fabric.  When I measured the fabric, I added 2 inches on each side so I could make a nice folded edge for my staples to go into.  This way I didn't have to worry about any of the fabric fraying and strings hanging down. 

I used my cordless staple gun to attach the fabric to the back of the wood.  I started on the longest side of the wood and placed one staple in the middle of the fabric, pulled the fabric taut, then moved to the next long side.   I turned the board over to make sure the fabric was lined up and hadn't moved when I put the first two stapes in.  Then I flipped it back over and tacked the two shorter sides with the staple gun.  Once I was certain everything was lined up and taut, I started stapling the rest of the fabric to the wood.  

This is how I dealt with the corners.  I wrapped them like I'd wrap a present, then tacked one piece down and moved on to the next until I had a pretty corner.

Once my corner was done I cut off the excess fabric and I was done with this step!

This is how it looked once everything was attached to the board (and yes, I used the board to spray paint another project...I thought I was using my extra piece!).

It was now time to add the jute trim I purchased from Online Fabric Store.  Because this was going to be outside and my staples were small enough, I decided to staple the trim on the bottom edge of fabric.  This part was a breeze.

Remember when I mentioned a logistical challenge?  How do I attach a board to a wire basket?  Well, thanks to my local hardware store I came up with this solution....EZ-Cable Clips.  

Before attaching the clips, I lined up the basket on the of the upholstered piece of wood and marked where I wanted my clips.  

I removed the basket then drilled pilot holes for my screws.  Before I drilled the holes I cut a small hole in the fabric so the drill bit wouldn't get stuck in fabric.

 I put the basket back on the back of the upholstered wood top[, attached the cable clip and screwed it into my pilot hole.  I used 4 clips on each long side and 3 on the shorter side.  I was amazed at how sturdy it was when I was done.  These clips were a perfect solution to my logistical challenge!

Here you can see how the clips go around the wire and kind of clamp on and then stay night and tight when screwed into the wood.  I liked this option because if I ever needed to change out the fabric or I want to use the basket for something else, all I need to do is unscrew the clips and pop them off!  

The last step was to was wait for a sunny day so I could style and photograph the courtyard.   Here's the project in in it's new home.  I love the outdoor ottoman and our new outdoor room!

My favorite part of decorating and designing a room, in this case an outdoor room, is taking pieces that have been bought or collected over time and making them all work together!

The Online Fabric Store Premier Prints Yellow Polka Dot Outdoor Fabric worked great with the cushions I already had for our Adirondack chairs.  I had purchased the fusions and matching pillows from another store last summer.   I made pillow covers,  from some of the leftover Premier Prints yellow polka dot fabric, for a pair of old outdoor pillows I had lying around.  This tied everything together. 

I LOVE this fabric!  It's so bright and cheerful!  The fact it's an outdoor fabric means it's water, stain and fade resistant so I don't have to worry at all about this fabric. 

I'm really happy with how the different prints all work together to give this outdoor room a fun vibe.

I think this jute trim gave the ottoman that extra bling it needed.

The table in-between the chairs is an old metal table I've had for years.  It was in desperate need of a makeover, so I sprayed it navy blue and gold.  Now the table adds that extra bit of pop to the space.

Above the outdoor fireplace, I added a wood tool box and some white wood pieces I had on hand to give it some pizazz.  I also took some old boring black metal pieces I had lying around and gave them a shot of gold spray paint to tie everything together.

 I've had these lanterns for 12 years and I'd been wanting to do something fresh with them.  Since I was going gold in this space, I sprayed them with gold paint and they went from drab to fab in 5 minutes!!!  

I adore how the gold accents play off the bright yellow of the polka dot Premier Prints fabric.  Plus the pops of navy, white and turquoise make me smile!

We also have an eating area in the courtyard, so I couldn't leave it out of the polka dot fun.  I sewed a small accent piece from my leftover yellow polka dot fabric, burlap and some ribbon I had on hand.  

Our outdoor space is now my favorite room in our new home.  It's a great spot to sit, enjoy a relaxing meal or reconnect as a family by the fire.  I'm looking forward to roasting a lot of marshmallows this summer and putting my feet up on my new ottoman made with Online Fabric Store Premier Prints.   Online Fabric Store made buying fabric and sewing supplies easy and convenient!

Thank you for taking the time to read about my fun outdoor ottoman project!  I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

Take care,

Guest Post: What I'd Buy on Craigslist This Week (In Chicago!!) by Anne Thompson

Hi friends!
I'm tickled pink to be back here at My Passion for Decor, and am looking forward to guest posting more in the future, so thanks Melody!
When Melody told me she was moving to Chicago, I thought - time for a housewarming gift! Thus, this list of what I'd buy on Chicago Craigslist this week, and wowza is there some GOOD stuff!
Here we go!
1. These clean and modern wicker chairs ($15 each)would be perfect in a home office, or at a kitchen table.

Aren't these pretty?
2. I'm not sure where this collection of great old wooden desks came from but it is great! There's a whole herd of them. $25 each!!

I just love them for boys rooms - especially the top two, with the more straight lines and legs.
Kim at Kim Elkins Designs did a lovely one in black.

3.  Hey Melody, how about a cute little mail rack like this one to organize your new place? Someone even added a great vintage US Postal Service Box to it. $50! I can just see it all distressed and painted by you.

4. I think this hutch would be perfect for a smaller bathroom (ideal for storing soaps, towels, pretty jars of supplies)

kind of like this one from savvy southern style. Pretty, right?
Or it could also look great on a porch this time of year. Here's a cool hutch on display on a very eclectic porch from Somewhat Quirky Design.
Asking price is $100. You might be able to get it for less? I'd sure try.

5. Last but certainly not least is this awesomely versatile pieceIt could work in a hallway, bedroom, or living room. (Probably too short for a dining room sideboard). 

Imagine the storage!

Reminds me of this piece from Layla Grace that'll set you back well over $2K, and our Craigslist version offers doors to hide stuff that Layla's doesn't!

Asking price for the one on CL... $40!
Melody, hope you're settling into your new digs, and enjoying your new adventure.  Thanks for letting me hang out with your readers!
Oh, and a word to the wise. Stuff on Craigslist in Chicago doesn't last long at all. If you like one of these things, I say run!