Creative Friday: Vintage Typewriters

In a mad rush fueled by enthusiasm and crazy ambition, I decided to recover my antique typewriter. It’s one I mentioned on my Facebook page. I actually had no idea what I was doing or how I was going to recover it. But sometimes I’m impulsive like that. And when inspiration takes over I just run with it hoping that somehow things will work out in the end.

When I purchased it, I had 5 minutes to make my decision. My husband and I were at an antique fair and got there super late. The vendors were anxious to go home and were already packing up. As they were loading their vans, I decided to go in for the kill. The time pressure, the fact that it was 60% off and because the nice lady was willing to drop the last minute purchase down another 10%, I gave in.

{Here’s where you might think I went a little crazy.}

Vintage typewriter case

Not very pretty is it?

It gets worse. After I purchased it, I noticed that not only was the cover kind of yucky and gross, but it was peeling off.

Yet, I’m not one to judge a book by its cover especially when I knew the typewriter inside was perfect and workable. And I was thrilled to find out the cover was easy to peel off. I didn’t know what I was going to discover under there, but I was intent on finding out.

Imagine me sitting on the floor for hours ripping off an old (1950s old) linen cover. It was dusty and gross and my fingers got sore from all that fabric pulling. But as I was in the zone (my husband could barely pull me away to eat dinner) and I had some crazy faith that somehow it’d all be worth it in the end.

Antique Typewriter Fabric Cover Hunt

That weekend I went to Joann’s Fabric store. Without planning ahead of time, we ended up with just 15 min before we had to leave to watch War Horse. 

It wasn’t looking good for my sad project at first. There was a sale and the store was packed. I quickly decided that standing in line to get a piece of fabric cut wasn’t going to be a realistic option. Instead, I went to the 50% off bin of leftover scraps. That’s when I saw this: {cue bells and whistles}

I was excited that it was not only on sale (about $12), but it included a lot of extra fabric that I could save for future projects. The material was pretty, sturdy and I thought it would match well with the green inside the case. So that’s how one successful shopping trip ended with fabric glue, French toile fabric both on sale and bought within 15 minutes. Not bad.

The hard part was going to be the recovering. I couldn’t find a single how-to recover your old antique typewriter save for 1 video. But it was on leather recovering so it didn’t quite fit the bill. I was hoping beyond hope that fabric glue, scissors and sheer will were going to be enough to help me finish this baby. And it sort of was…

It was a long arduous process. And it wasn’t without its ups and downs. I made a ton of mistakes. But overall it’s better than I expected. Will share the rest of this happy ending next week. Hope you’ll stay tuned for that one!

Are you working on any project that has you chomping at the bit? Have you ever created something without a plan, but just a hopeful intention and it actually worked out? Share your creative project here.

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