Archive | May 27, 2016

Frugal Friday

I’m a day late for my 3 things Thursday so I’m trying this instead.  Ironically yesterday completely felt like a Friday because the kids don’t have school today AND I went to the gym yesterday (normal Friday thing) so in my head I’m 2 days late (or something)

Yesterday I started a project that I hope works out…  I got nice patio chairs (9?)  years ago but they are solid things and the frames hold up well.  The cushions, not so much.  I griped about this earlier in the season but was determined to find a way to fix my problem.


9 years ago; Cream color cushions on solid metal frames on the right.  Sorry about the blurry picture, way before good camera


  • IMG_9119

    Now 😦  still super solid but also cushionless

    solution #1 was pool noodles!  I could cut noodles to fit the frame and sew a sleeve case for them and while not perfect looking it would be water proofish (better than a cushion filled with rainwater) and I could throw away the noodles yearly if I didn’t want to store them so the cost would be in the $10 range to replace and that is a reasonable yearly expence to NOT have to store a pile of cushions.

    • Problem – my frames have supports for the cushion but they are too wide for a noodle.  Poop.
      • Another solution!  Weave something in and out of the supports to create a more firm base.  What to use?  Well, I am keeping in mind that they will be outside year round so need to be freeze and sun and rain resistant.  They don’t really need to be strong because all it is doing is keeping the noodle pillow from falling.  I also want it to be inexpensive so the classic webbing is around $20 a roll so I think I can do better….
        • Garden Hose!  more specifically dead garden hose – so this is now an upcycle because usually they are trash..

So I asked my local Facebook friends for any free old hose and 2 friends turned up 2 hoses pretty darn quick.  Ask and see – never hurts.  *side bonus, in hose exchange meetings I got a mini visit with two friends I don’t see often*

Yesterday after a long day of gardening and FINALLY getting 99% done and all plants planted (only pretty extras not done) I had the perfect opportunity to try my experiment.

After cutting off the fittings things worked better.

My ‘help’ quit pretty quick because they wanted to play and this was not easy as pie.  The hose is uncooperative most of the time and weaving with it is not an exception.


I started by pulling through a long section and weaving from the center toward an edge.  I did this because pulling the entire hose through was just impossible.  I judged well because when I got to the end of the section (that was one end of the hose) I was near enough to the edge to squish everything I had done over to the edge so I was just over half done and the remaining hose was sticking out of the center of the chair ready to be woven.



I worked from the middle over, this is half done, just tucked the end into the neighbor loop


Since I still had a TON of hose at this point I measured what I would need.  I counted how many rows I had made, estimated how many I would need, added two just in case, and measured the length each row needed.  Totaled it up, measured the distance and cut the hose at that point.  Second ‘manageable’ half to work with in hand I kept weaving.

It was almost 2 hours to get this far but I like how it’s going.


Technique – I can’t decide on a good method really, I’ve tried a few ways and they all work and all remind me of pulling lines on a sailboat.  This morning, I feel the workout of odd muscles…

I learned that no matter how empty the hose seems, there is an endless amount left to splash on you.

It is also better to find a way to make this project working height before you kill your back and arms.

I was muddy to the elbows from this seemingly clean hose…

Finally – this is skilless work but not easy work, feels like moving landscaping rocks – not hard in concept but difficult to do.  Hauling hose in and out and in and out is ‘fun’.


Today I hope to finish up and give it a coat of spray paint.  I got the type that should adhere to plastic so we will see…  If this works out, I’ll fix my chairs for about $20 (noodles+fabric+spraypaint+free hose).