Up In Arms! Easy DIY Fix For Ratty Furniture

Got kids?? Then you’ve got stains. It happens. Kids, pets…life.

I recently read an opinion piece that said the key to happiness is the ability to live in the moment. To want what you have instead of trying to fill the endless void left by consumerism; wanting what you don’t have. This is not a revelation. We’ve all heard this hundreds of times (who doesn’t love those trite Facebook “insights”).

But how do we apply this to style? I’ve got three kids, a cat, and plenty of dust mites to go around. To be happy in the moment, I usually have to close my eyes to the sheer grossness of the moment. Sometimes I do think I’d be happier with new, clean, beautiful things and kids encased in plexiglass. But I can’t constantly change out my dirty old furniture every time someone spills some grape juice. Nor do I want to be the crumb police, always chasing after the kiddos when they escape from the dinner table with food on their faces. Being happy in the moment may mean that even though I can’t afford to change out all my ratty furniture, I can in this moment make small changes to make it better; to be happy with what I have.

That brings me to my simple remedy for dirty and disgusting furniture click here for the how-to. It has been my experience that the one place to really take the brunt of tiny jam-hands is the arms of a piece of furniture. This is the whole raison d’être for armcaps.

Now, you may have had the foresight to have kept your armcaps when you purchased your furniture. Heck, maybe you were even smart enough to use them. Not me. I didn’t make simple armcaps for this chair when I upholstered it three years ago. I used an outdoor fabric that I thought would repel stains. Silly me…now the arms look like this.

Pretty gross, even after I cleaned it several times.

The problem with armcaps – the ones that come standard with new furniture – is that they are too small, and tend to shift around on the arm. This is the main reason that they get shoved under the seat cushion about a week after you’ve purchased your sofa. The second reason is that they remind you of your Granny’s house. (She had her sofa protected with plastic, smart lady that she is.)

Armcaps look best when they cover the entire arm of the sofa.

20130304-130614.jpg Learning from past mistakes and all…for my brand new sofa, I made full size armcaps to protect from dirt and cat claws alike.

20130304-135842.jpgThey are discreetly held in place with twist pins, available from fabric or upholstery retailers.

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