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Category: Life

you can go shave your couch now: how to remove pilling from upholstery

And now, for something completely different: taking a departure from room tours, currently posts, and crafty things to sit yall down and tell you about the night that I shaved my couch. Yah. Let that settle.

You may remember that I mentioned in this post about how things are holding up that the couch is still as comfy as ever, but was showing a bunch of pilling on the upholstery. I totally admit fault to buying a sofa with an open-weave knit fabric and letting my 65 pound dog on it every single day, but I was stressing about what to do. Buy a new slipcover? Those are expensive, so should we just get a new couch altogether? 

How to remove pilling from upholstery

Blech. Thankfully (!!) an old friend and reader reached out to say that she had a coworker who had a similar sofa issue, and that person had purchased a fabric shaver normally used on sweaters and used it on her couch. At this point I need to address a couple things. 1) I’ve noticed recently that I do *not* use the interwebz as much as I should. Why wouldn’t I just Google “how to remove pilling from upholstery”?? Why did I jump right to buying a whole new GD couch? I literally have a blog that other people find by using the interwebz in a similar fashion. I do not understand why I don’t do the same thing. 2) Thank you, stranger, for your inventive use of a sweater shaver. 3) Thank you, person who invented sweater shavers. I did not know your product existed but it just saved me beaucoups of money. 4) Who knew that’s how you spell beaucoup? Not me.

How to defuzz your sofa

It was definitely starting to make my eye twitch. It didn’t look too bad from afar, but I sit on this bad boy daily. I mean it wasn’t like…ruining my day. But it was one of those things that I’d make a subtle mental note of all the time. I wanted this monkey OFF MY BACK. 

Removing pills from a sofa or couch

Here’s my claw and my claw’s new best friend, the Conair Fabric Defuzzer – Shaver. (I got the battery-operated one.) What a name. What a guy. First, I tested it on an inconspicuous part of the couch to make sure it wasn’t gonna shred the fabric to death. (It didn’t.) Then, I put it on the lowest setting so I could give my couch a close shave. Molly Richardson, Couch Barber, at your service. I tried it right there on the middle cushion of the couch to take some photos for this post, using slow circular motions over the entire cover. The after, right below, gives me SO MUCH SATISFACTION.

How to get pills of your upholstered furniture

PEACE OUT FUZZIES! Good riddance! I was not anticipating how much enjoyment I would get out of this activity. If I were a smarter blog-writer, I’d probably keep that to myself, but we all know that’s not how I roll. I’m not ashamed to admit that after taking these photos, I took every cushion out and shaved every upholstered surface of the whole couch. I was worried that the little motor of the defuzzer-shaver wouldn’t be able to keep up, but darnit if that thing didn’t happily endure the work. 

Using a fabric shaver to remove pilling from upholstery

And that, my friends, is the story of how I became a couch barber. So glad to have this little tool in my arsenal now, and to use it on my sweaters next winter! Any tools you’re loving that saved you heartache or dollars or both? 


This post is not sponsored, but affiliate links are used for your convenience.

Using a fabric shaver to remove pilling from upholstery
How to easily remove pilling from upholstery

currently: march 2017

Very little to complain about this month. High points: our Marfa trip, getting to visit with an old friend of mine in town for SXSW, heading to a free Garth Brooks concert put on by the city for locals only, seeing one of Matt’s old friends get married, and in general enjoying some crazy good weather before the heat and mosquitoes arrive. Also, I bought a disco ball. Probably should have put that one first. 

Austin Texas Town Lake View

Making: Gonna cheat and say I’m making a blog post. 
Cooking: Warm weather means shrimp tacos and turkey burgers with sweet potato fries. No complaining here!
Reading: My hold on In Cold Blood from the library just got released to me, so I’m starting it tonight! I’m excited. And scared. Also, I got the GASP-you-haven’t-read-it?? thing from three people when I mentioned how excited I am for Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, so that’s next on my reading list. 
: To mention that the patio plants I told you I didn’t want to kill last month…I haven’t killed them. Not only are they not dead — they are flowering! I’M SO PROUD.
Enjoying: What it feels like to be Molly, Queen of Flowering Patio Plants.  
Listening: Finished the Missing Richard Simmons podcast and it made me sad. Poor guy must be exhausted. Also, do yourself a favor and listen to the Big Little Lies soundtrack. So great!
Needing: A place to live in seven weeks. 😀
Smelling: This Rosemary and sea salt candle in this pretty cobalt container. I think I can officially say without reservation after almost thirty years of life that cobalt is my very favorite color.
Wearing: Pretty much daily: these blush sandals, this grey cardigan, this easy black top
Loving: Date nights at our favorite neighborhood spot made even better by patio weather + Beans. (pictured below)
Watching: We worked our way through the entirety of The Office, and now we’re doing the same with Arrested Development. And we watched The Shining — my first time, but not Matt’s. It was wayyy scarier than I thought it’d be. I couldn’t sleep that night!
Bookmarking: Orlando Soria is back to blogging (so witty, so stylish, so honest!), this site offers custom mats for Ikea’s RIBBA frame (!!), and for the This Is Us obsessed, Mandy Moore’s IRL mid-century home is getting a facelift.
Feeling: Excited about diving into my book tonight. It’s been kind of a day. 

epicerie austin dog friendly patio

As I mentioned last month, I’m ready for some equal-opportunity opinion-flinging as these posts are normally just me throwing a bunch of stuff at you. So, I’m ending each currently post with a question. This month: what is the best series finale you’ve ever seen? Off the top of my head, some of my favorites have been Six Feet Under’s, Scrubs’ (the original finale, before it got picked back up), and Monk’s (yes, you heard that right.) Dying to know yours!


marfalous: marfa in 36 hours

We got back on Sunday from a great weekend in Marfa. It was our first time, and it was so fun to experience the quirky little West Texas town together. We are obviously not experts, but I want to share how we did Marfa in 36 hours in case any of you are looking to plan a similar trip. We felt like 36 hours was definitely brief, but in a “leaves you wanting more” kind of way and not a “well this was way too short to enjoy” kind of way. Major, major props to my friends for pitching in with recommendations — we would have been lost without you!

A note on the drive from Austin – > Marfa…it really wasn’t that bad. When you say out loud “13 hours in the car over a weekend” (6.5 hours each way), or “900 miles,” it’s easy to puke get intimidated. But with music, podcasts, and road trip snacks, it went by really quickly. The drive out there is sooo pretty, there’s very little construction to deal with, and in most places the speed limit is 80 mph. Pew!

awfully big adventure stellina

Eats & Drinks:

Bar St. George: Our first stop on the way in for wine and “real food,” and our last stop after dinner on Saturday night for more wine (and more wine) and conversation with new friends we met at dinner. It’s pretty and modern and apparently not at all lacking in wine supply.

Do Your Thing: This place was the Marfa-est. Tucked away in essentially a shack, they served up deliiicious coffee, quiche, and toast to start our day on Saturday. They don’t open until 8:30, which I think is kind of hilarious for a coffee shop and yes I was mad about it at 6:45 a.m. on Sunday when I needed coffee and we were leaving town, but then I remembered their quiche and I forgave them.

Food Shark: Super delicious Mediterranean food truck with plenty of outdoor seating where we grabbed lunch on Saturday. You’ll see everyone you saw at Do Your Thing that morning, but you won’t get brave enough to talk to them until you see them again at dinner. 

Hotel Paisano: The gorgeous historic hotel where the cast of Giant stayed during filming. We heard the food was “eh,” so we just stopped by for a drink on the way to dinner. The inside was a little stuffy, but the courtyard was perfect. 

Stellina: Just the gosh-darn cutest little restaurant, conveniently steps away from the Hotel Paisano. To be fair, most things in Marfa are steps away from each other, but when you’re wearing heeled booties every step counts. I digress. Go here! The menu was perfectly petite, the food was great, it was always buzzy and busy but never overcrowded. 


awfully big adventure prada marfa

Star Party at the McDonald Observatory: We did this on Friday night and it was so fun! The gist is this: you head up to an observatory run by *The* University of Texas at Austin. For the first hour, you sit outside and a guide shows you constellations, planets, satellites, etc. with a military grade laser pointer which kind of blew my mind. Then for the second hour, you can look in their massive telescopes. We got to see Venus, the moon, a NEBULA which is creating stars…Oh frick, my nerd is showing. Anyway, it’s a 45 minute drive from Marfa up into Fort Davis but very worth it. We lucked out with a pretty clear night and it was cold but not freezing. I highly recommend it. (p.s. Book tickets in advance here as they do sell out.)

The Chinati Foundation: Because we were only in town for 36 hours, we opted for an self-guided tour. (The guided tours are a minimum of 2.5 hours, we just didn’t want to commit to that.) We timed it so that we’d be able to see all three of the installations available for self-guided viewing. The installations were so cool and we both nerded out on the history of the property. If you want to fall down a similar nerdhole, here’s the Wikipedia article on what the property used to be. 

Prada Marfa: The pretend Prada store in the middle of the desert that I’ve been ogling images of for years and years. Being there was kind of like seeing a celebrity in public. I didn’t know what to do with myself. It was even cooler in person. 


awfully big adventure el cosmico

El Cosmico Provision Co.: I mentioned in my last post that I’m on a buying freeze when it comes to stuff for the apartment, so I wasn’t super interested in shopping. But…I couldn’t not get this poster that I’ve eyed for years.  


awfully big adventure marfa airbnb

Airbnb: There are several cute hotel options, but we wanted to try out an Airbnb. (This one, specifically.) The price could not be beat, the location was amazing, and though it was pretty minimally outfitted we knew we wouldn’t be spending much time there. A bonus was the huge gorgeous courtyard that the guests are invited to use. And the local beer the host stuck in the fridge for us. 🙂

awfully big adventure fort davis

Next Time:

These are all the places we either tried to go to and they were closed, or didn’t get to, or didn’t even know we wanted to get to but realized once we were in town: Marfa Burrito, Rotunda at City Hall, Garza Marfa, Moonlight Gemstones, The Capri, Dixon Water Foundation and Big Bend Brewing Co. (not in Marfa, but in Alpine on the way in.)

If you are at all interested in design, history, desert landscapes, historical architecture, or feeling like you’re on the set of a Wes Anderson movie, I highly recommend a Marfa visit. Have you been? Am I missing anything?

Marfa Texas in 36 hours
How to do Marfa in 36 hours