Sunday, June 22, 2014

DIY Reupholstering Adding Gimp (or Trim)


It's been a long time in between posts and even longer since I've posted about the couch. I have to apologize for that. Things just got crazy, and then busy. First, a couple of kids were going through a transition period. You know, where they're pushing buttons you never knew you had and testing limits. Oh boy, it was rough for a bit. So, I did what I thought was best. I put off a lot of things to focus on my family.

When things were running more smoothly in our home, my husband left for several weeks of training while two of my grandparents became very ill. My grandma passed away while Daniel was gone and I was unable to attend the funeral. It was very difficult, but I had so many people who did so much for me (read here).

Grandma and my Grandpa (who passed away a couple of years prior) holding our first-born

When Daniel returned from training I lost my Grandad:

It was difficult being so far away when both my grandad and grandma were sick. I am very grateful that I was able to spend a lot of time when we lived closer getting to know them both. While I didn't live as close to my Grandad, I went on several trips to see him, and he came by our place as well. One of my most memorable experiences was spent interviewing him about his life and looking at and scanning pictures. A couple of years later we celebrated his 90th birthday! I'm so grateful to have had those experiences with him. It was rough losing him, but I'm glad to know I'll see him again.

Anyhow, as you can imagine, I've had a lot going on and frankly, finishing the couch and blogging weren't high on my lists of priorities. If you're one of the few who's been following I apologize for the long delays. I hope you'll understand.

So, I finally "finished" the couch on Friday! I had put off adding the gimp until a week ago and then I was three yards short. So, I ordered more and added it this week. I'm hoping to fix at least one of the cushions before the big reveal (hence the quotations around the couch being finished). In case, you're curious about adding gimp here's what you'll need to do:

Adding gimp is pretty simple. You just need:
  • a glue gun 
  • gimp, or trim 
  • a couple of outlets (because your glue gun cord likely won't be able to maneuver around the whole couch without switching to another outlet). 
  • an assistant or a place to set the glue gun down that you can also easily move.
  • scissors
 Be careful. It's easy to get tangled in the glue gun cord and the gimp.

When you're ready to go, plug in your glue gun. As it's heating up trim any long loose strings, or material that the gimp won't cover. You can see all the material that is fraying in the next few pictures that needs to be trimmed:

The reason you'll be adding gimp is not only to make it more beautiful, but to keep the material from fraying completely. That's why you'll likely need to add it to the back of your couch. It also covers up all the staples and parts where two pieces of material meet (i.e. the back of my couch and arm):

Don't trim your material too much though. You'll want the material to be far enough away from the staples that it won't be able to fray underneath any staple. Keep in mind you don't have to trim it perfectly either since you'll be gluing gimp over it.

When your glue gun is hot get your gimp ready. Check to make sure your gimp will cover the material. Start by putting a little glue at the end of the gimp to keep it from fraying.

 Then add a little more glue and fold it under to protect it even more from coming undone:

Then start to glue. I'd only put an inch or two of glue on your gimp at a time. That way you'll be able to slowly add the trim to your couch and place it where it needs to go.

Going slow will also help you avoid getting glue on the couch, especially when things start to get tangled (including your body).

And you'll likely have to trim a couple of strings or pieces you missed earlier:

When you get to the part between where the back of the couch meets the arm pull the cushion towards you. Then measure and cut the needed amount of gimp before adding glue. When your gimp is ready to be placed, in between the back of the couch and cushion, it would help to have assistance keeping the cushion pulled back tight while you carefully add the gimp (I had my daughter hold the cushion for me). If you don't have a helper you still should be able to do it yourself, but be careful to avoid getting glue where you don't want it.

As you slowly add your gimp you'll see your project slowly come together looking complete and beautiful.

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