How to Turn an Ugly Thrift Store Ottoman into a Statement Piece
As you might know, thrift stores are wonderful emporiums for DIY projects. A couple weeks ago we brought you a four-step thrift store hack on how to reupholster a chair and a simple tutorial on how to turn a drab dress into a fab two-piece set. Now we’re back with a $12.99 ottoman that was a disgusting green/brown color. Let’s just say I was embarrassed to carry it to the check out counter and then into the colorful world of Brit HQ. However, as with many thrift store finds, I just needed to squint my eyes and imagine what it could be! Follow below to learn how to create a perfectly fitted slip cover for a not-so-pretty ottoman.
– staple gun
– sewing machine
– measuring tape
- spray paint
- old ottoman
We found this ottoman at a thrift store for $12.99! We were obsessed with the shape but had to shield our eyes from the hideous fabric. Fortunately, all we had to do was reupholster this baby! Step one is to dissemble your ottoman as much as you can. Unscrew the legs and the lid, and rip off all that ugly fabric.
Now that you’ve got your base, take measurements. Get the height and width of each side.
Our ottoman measured 8 x 15 inches. We wanted to create a “dip dye” effect, so we cut the height measurement in half and cut out twice as many panels. When cutting, add about 3-5 extra inches on your panels for room to pin and sew.
In total we had two watercolor panels and two turquoise panels that measured 7 x 20 inches and two watercolor and two coral panels that measured 7 x 15 inches.
Sew each watercolored panel to its corresponding solid color to make larger panels.
Pin theses panels to each other around the ottoman. Pull tightly when pinning. The cover needs to be skin tight.
Slide the pinned cover off and sew the sides. Trim away the excess fabric — this helps prevent lumps when you slide the cover back onto the ottoman.
Fold the top side over to create a hem. The bottom section will be stapled underneath the ottoman, so it does not need a finished seam.
Slide your sewn cover onto the ottoman and attach it with the staple gun. The top seam will show, so remember to place your staples thoughtfully and treat them more like studs.
On to the lid! Cut out a piece of fabric that will wrap around the outside of the lid. Pull the fabric tightly and staple in place. Remember to fold in the corners to get a clean cover.
Trace your lid on another piece of fabric. Cut out your shape and then trim it so the fabric is a bit smaller than the lid. When you lay it on the inside of the lid there should be a border of the watercolor fabric. Attach this piece with staples.
We are almost there! Spray paint the legs and let them dry. Then reattach them to your ottoman. Pro tip: We used an awl to poke holes in our fabric before adding the screws.
Hard to believe this piece was once UAF, right?!
This piece is the perfect foot rest for any chair.
Have you created any masterpieces from thrift store finds? Share them with us using the hashtag #iamcreative. As always, leave comments and questions below!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com