Fun With a Staple Gun: My Mother’s Day Treat

Lately, our house has looked as if we hosted a high school party the night before. You know those crazy events, when out-of-control irresponsible and impulsive kids trash their friend’s parents furniture, break their prized items, barf on the rug, and think it’s funny… Oh, wait, that’s what our four and five-year-olds do every day.

We’d have guests over for coffee and realize no one was sitting because the couch was too sticky. I’ve seen people spread a napkin down on the dining room chair before letting their derriere make contact. The worst? “Um, I’m not sure, but is that… cat puke over there in the corner?”

Okay, Hubby and I both work a fair amount. Tidiness is not a priority. Unfortunately for houseguests, we’re both really busy, and have high thresholds for disgust.

Even so, during the long winter, we saw the writing on the wall. (Literally, the kids had been writing on the living room walls): It’s time to clean up. And, on a budget.

So, we’ve had a whirlwind of home improvement projects: We mercilessly decluttered. The old curtains went in the trash. Painters came and painted. I found stretchy plush covers for our old brown couches online for cheap.  And, a bargain carpet.

But the best and most satisfying projects were today.

A few weeks ago, a friend who is way handier than I (and a semi-professional decorator to boot) took me upholstery fabric shopping. She may as well have introduced me to crack. Oh, we went to bargain places and high-end places and so many beautiful choices! I learned more about reupholstering in one day than I had ever heard about in my whole life, and splurged on lovely fabric that will soon become pillow covers.

But I had bigger projects than that in mind. Late in the evenings, I got online and ordered fabric swatches. When they came, I set them around and asked Hubby what he thought and compared them and fretted…

Finally, I ordered a bunch of yards of indoor/outdoor waterproof and stain proof fabrics to cover our decades-old ripped and shredded ottoman, and all of our hopelessly stained dining room chairs.

Today, as a Mother’s Day gift, Hubby took the kids for a few hours so that I could execute.

There was a snafu with the staple gun, but in the end, I mastered that thing.

The end results of today’s efforts, before and after pics:

A "before" chair
A “before” chair


an "after" chair
an “after” chair


The before ottoman
The before ottoman


The before couch
The before couch


The after ottoman, couch cover and carpet, with matching cat
The after ottoman, couch cover and carpet, with matching cat

Admittedly, there’s a bit too much gray chevron going on, but I’m hoping all the re-covered pillows will even it out. ( I should have consulted my handy friend before making that choice.)

This is all rather silly, I know. But, to explain, my clinical workweek is pretty heavy. Difficult conversations with patients, intellectual headaches, responsibility. Managing monday through friday work-life balance between internal medicine practice and two young kids is nuts.

Playing with fabric and mastering a staple gun?

Fun. Fun fun fun. Great Mother’s Day gift.

Next DIY home project: Pillow covers and putting the whole new look together.

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