Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!! BIG NEWS! Life Absorbed’s past Halloween photos made it onto Buzzfeeds top 22 Best Iconic TV Costumes for Halloween! My college group costume of Golden Girls made the list (I’m Rose), and so did last years Lamb Chop and Shari Lewis costume! How exciting!

Now I’ve given you some costume ideas in THIS POST and even given you clues like this picture…


Can you tell who I’m going as? Jessica Fletcher (aka Angela Lansbury) in Murder She Wrote!




Here’s a breakdown of the costume:

The wig was $28 total from Wilshire Wigs ($5 off for buying off the mannequin). The sweater, shirt, and book were $7 total at Salvation Army. I spray painted the book and hand painted “Murder, She Wrote” using paint I already owned. The scarf was $12 at Marshalls, and the pants were $8 in the Target clearance rack. The socks, shoes and magnifying glass were recycled from 2011’s Nancy Drew costume. The clip on earrings were hand-me-downs from relatives. In total I spent $55 and hopefully I can reuse some of the elements (like my fun new scarf!).

I hope you all are having a spooktacular holiday! BOO!


Finished: My Barrel Chair Makeover

As you know, I’ve been working on my Barrel Chair. Since I finished it this past weekend, I feel it’s only fair that I share this process with you. It’s my first reupholstery project and I even learned to use my sewing machine to tackle it. It was a lot of fun, but it’s also a weight lifted now that it’s done.


Here she is above, the day I got her from Salvation Army. Isn’t she a beaut? She just needs some TLC.


After looking around pinterest and google images for different type of barrel chairs, I did a mockup in photoshop and decided that above rendering was the way to go. I just need to fix and darken the wood, and buy a creamy white fabric to reupholster it. This way I could mix and match fun  pillows to add an accent color. Also, by avoiding a pattern, that would make my first sewing project way easier.


I started by cleaning and taking inventory on what needed to be replaced. I also took TONS of photos as I dissected the chair so I could really understand how it all needed to go back together.


I really paid close attention to details like what order were these materials placed? How are they connected? So first sewed then stapled? I made a little map for myself of what I thought the order of assembly should be.



Stapled below, then stapled on top, then covered? I’m a fabric detective.


Well that’s sneaky.. glue, staples and tread.




All the insides. What can be saved and what must be tossed?


Once the chair was fully detatched from the frame, I took it outside to spray.


I used wood filler to smooth out the many notches and damages in the wood. I decided to skip traditional stain and instead spray paint it a chocolate brown. This was an excellent idea, as stain would have drawn attention to all the rehab work I had to do on it. After a couple coats of spray paint, the chair looked brand new. I then put a glossy coat of polyurethane over the whole chair to make it look shiny and clean.


Next up, upholstery time! Get out those sheers! I was able to find a fabric I liked at Jo Ann’s Fabrics (although after my trip downtown this weekend, I wish I had looked at Michael Levines). I got tons of fabric because I assumed I would fail and have to start over.


I decided to start with the backing, which was a lot easier than it looked.


I also added a strip of piping to the front seat of the chair. This is how the last fabric had been applied, and I was set on matching it.


Unfortunately, as I started attaching the back, I could see wrinkles because it wasn’t tight enough. When I tried to make it tighter, you could see the bumps of the buttons from the front. That’s when I realized I still needed a material (like what was originally on the chair) to sculpt the backing to be smooth. That’s why I went to Michael Levine this past weekend, and for $2.50 my problem was solved.


I then came home and continued with the backing, making it extra tight and firm with the addition of the padding. Once I stapled it in and cleaned up the edges (above) it was really starting to come together.


Now on to the bottom cushion and the piping!


I was able to ruse the inside of the piping. And the bottom cushion, which I was SO afraid to tackle, turned out to be the easiest part of the chair! Just wrap and staple!


Isn’t she pretty? I know the piping didn’t turn out perfect, and Im sure I made some other mistakes along the way, but she really came out beautiful. It’s so comfortable and fits in nicely in the house.


Look how smooth that backing is?! The $2.50 foam really made the difference, and I’ve got plenty left over for future projects.


Here’s a throw pillow we had around the house. It’s a nice size and the bright color stands out nicely. I’m thinking maybe my next ( or down the line) project will be making a pillow with some fun fabric I saw at Michael Levine. It’ll help me learn more about my sewing machine and you know how I love DIY!

Barrel Chair Update


This past weekend I did some work on this nifty barrel chair I got a great deal on at Salvation Army (above). She was a beauty in the store and I knew I had to get her.


The above rendering shows what I want the chair to look like eventually. I played in photoshop with patterns and colors and ultimately decided to go with a basic cream/white fabric and darkening the wood of the chair.


This is my first upholstery project, so I was very careful taking the chair apart, knowing I would have to put it back together.


After finding fabric at Joann Fabrics (with a 40% off coupon!) I started sewing the piping this past weekend.


I even put the buttons(?) on myself! I’m quite proud of it, as well as nervous for the next several steps.

I shall update you as I continue my process. But right now it’s looking awesome, especially given I have zero upholstery experience. Although, I am LOVING my staple gun. Such a great stress release.

DIY: Cleaning A Leather Love Seat

Once again, I’m working to revamp my blank canvas. I’ve been meaning to share this excellent Salvation Army find ($64). This leather love seat just needed a little tlc, and cleaning, to become the beauty that she is.

Isn’t she pretty? This couch clearly spent lots of time collecting dust in a basement of garage, so it needed a through cleaning but nothing that professionals needed to be called in for.

With some fast google searches, I figured out the best way to clean leather is a 50% vinegar/ 50% water solution… ingredients I happen to already own. Total cost to clean the couch: Zero dollars. The solution worked perfectly. It didn’t smell great while cleaning, but the solution took the grim and grease off with one wipe and the scent went away almost immediately.

I brought the vacuum into the garage and gave the inside of the couch a deep cleaning. If you’re really worried about thrift store furniture, you can even douse it in Raid before you bring it in the house.

It’s she so pretty? I got the map pillow and blanket from Ikea (crazy cheap) and the right side pillow from the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Since it was “damaged” (aka had a thread on it) I got $5 off! Doesn’t the couch look nice next to the gold side table. Love!

If you liked this post, you might also like these!
DIY: Decorative Plants
DIY: Renovate An Old Centerpiece
DIY: Backing a Bookcase
DIY: Repainting a Side Table