Reupholstering chairs--It really was that easy!
When we bought this table set, we knew we'd need to reupholster the chairs eventually. OK, so most people would have probably thought soon rather than eventually, but when you have five kids and two dogs, serviceable seems much more important than style.

Unless you call blue faux suede accented with spaghetti sauce and painted in wet play-do stylish.

Enter the cat. And one chair found itself and its stuffing soon parted. And this chair became the catalyst for my first real do-it-yourself home decorating project.

The directions I found said it was easy. Perfect for a beginner, even. The voila in step seven made it seem so much like "and that's it!" Like "Yeah, even you, Dana, who found out that "Quilting for Dummies" expected too much prior knowledge, can do this."

So I armed myself with a cushion and went to Jo-Ann Fabrics, hopeful but not particularly expectant. After all, it wouldn't be the first project I'd undertaken that looked easy from the directions and turned into a nightmare I'd never care to repeat.

OK, so maybe normal people would give up on their plan for a quilt when their materials list included a sewing machine--something they hadn't operated in 20 years. But clearly I'm not most people and I often completely miss those warning signs of rough waters ahead.

I take "perfect for beginners" with a grain of salt. I'm not your average beginner. I'm generally somewhere far behind that noble newbie. The only thing I've really got going for me is that I'm not particularly afraid of failure. We're on familiar enough terms, it's like having an old friend pop in for tea.

Here's the surprising part: it was easy. I even tackled stripes. I even had to restuff one of the chairs. The hardest thing I had to do was run out for more staples because the ones I was using were too long for the project. But I just handed the staple gun to the guy who looked like he was dying of boredom anyway and told him I needed something 3/8 inch. He handed me a box and I took his word for it.

My husband said, "Wow!" I think maybe he was expecting failure over for tea, as well. Even our real estate agent noticed as she sat in one for a two hour open house with no visitors.

I said, "Children, you are not allowed to eat on the kitchen chairs. Ever."

All for $24.