Friday, November 4, 2011

Thrift Chair Redo

Hey there!  It's Friday!  Without a doubt, the best day of the week, yes?

A few weeks ago, I picked up this chair at a yard sale for 8 bucks.  It was marked $10, but I did a little bargaining...... :)
I don't know why, but I was really drawn to it.  Then when I got it home, I had no idea what I wanted to do with it, so, it sat outside, neglected, for a couple weeks.  And then finally, I had an idea. 

Because I sometimes get ahead of myself, I painted it white BEFORE removing all the fabric.  I knew I wanted it white, so, I thought if I got that done, I could figure out what direction I wanted to go in for the rest of the chair.

Because the wood was so old and porous, it sucked up the white spray paint like crazy, so it took A LOT of coats before it finally looked good.

THEN, I completely stripped the chair to find the upholstery webbing in pretty sad shape.
So, I removed all of it and replaced it with new jute webbing, available at any fabric store.  I used carpet tacks to attach it to the chair.  Why?  Because that's what was there before.  I am no expert on upholstering a chair. :)
During this time, the ideas were comin' and I decided I wanted to use light gray linen to upholster the chair, so I ordered it here.  I ordered two yards for this project.
When it was delivered, I was so happy because it was exactly what I wanted and you know how ordering fabric online can be a little iffy sometimes.  But it was perfect, so I got to work. 

I replaced the cardboard strip that was across the webbing originally because it was still in good shape. 
And over that, I added some low loft quilt batting to give a little extra cushion.
To make the slipcover for the chair, I used a piece of newspaper to create the pattern, making sure to leave at least a 3 inch overhang to allow for the fabric to be attached under the seat.
Then pinned the newspaper pattern to my fabric to cut it out.  I attached it to the chair by simply pulling and stapling with a staple gun underneath the chair.
That part is done!
Originally, I was going to stop here, but, that would be a pretty boring chair.  So, because ruffles are big right now and I'm a girl, I decided to keep it very similar to the original chair and attach a ruffle around the edge. 

However, I have never sewed or made ruffles before.  So, I guessed my way throught that part and cut 4 inch strips of fabric and hemmed one side.  Then hand threaded a piece of strong thread through the top and bunched up the fabric to create the ruffle.   I have no idea if that is the correct way to do it but that's what I did.

After that, I attached the ruffle strips with tacks around the edge and covered with a piece of trim.  I attached the trim with a hot glue gun.  Then I cut out 1 inch strips of linen to make ties for around the arms.  To make it easy, I just left them rough and didn't hem 'em or anything. 

It still needed a little something so I made a cushion to place on top of that by measuring the inside of the chair and cutting out two pieces of fabric accordingly, sewed it, stuffed it, and threw it in the chair.  To give the chair a special touch, I stenciled three very meaningful numbers on the top with some vintage stencils hubby brought home and gray craft paint.  Here's what it looks like all spiffed up.
This chair is a bit of a departure from what I usually go for but I. AM. LOVING IT!  It's super fun and I like to mix something unexpected with the expected every now and then.  And besides, I really believe if something makes you happy and smile when you're decorating your home, you should go for it and not worry too much about decorating "rules".
And I love the way it plays with the rustic bench we made.  What do you think?

Stay tuned for lots of fun things next week!  Have a great weekend my lovely friends!


  1. Diana, I'm in love with this chair too! So cute and creative. I see a chair redo in my future. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great makeover! Love the white with the grey linen.

  3. Hey, 2 Heidi's in a row! I love this chair,especially the ruffle and the bows! It's okay to be a little girly :)

  4. Love the chair, its super cute!! Where did you get the the stencils, I've been looking for some vintage letter and number stencils, but have not been successful! Thanks for the post!

  5. Its adorable! I have some chairs that are waiting to re-done! Great Idea!!

  6. That chair is adorable and I LOVE the ruffles!!

  7. What a transformation! It started out so very rustic and now it's so pretty and fresh! Love the ruffle! Wonderful job!

  8. I Love how the chair turned out. What an awesome transformation!

  9. Your chair just perfect, beautiful! I may just have to make one like it!

  10. How beautiful! The color is just perfect and the stenciled numbers takes it up a few notches! Have a great weekend, sweet friend!

  11. oh my gosh! this does not even closely resemble the initial chair that it was, in all its sad state glory! what an amazing transformation.

  12. This chair is so beautiful, you have done a great job and it looks so fresh and up-to-date now!

  13. Wow, that chair turned out beautiful, you really have a great eye!!!!

  14. Diana, this is awesome! I think you did a fabulous job on it, especially without using a sewing machine. Love the color, the stencil and the cushion. I'm with you on "no rules" for decorating...if you like it, that's all that matters!


  15. I love it!! I am no ruffle expert either, but I think you did great!

  16. Ah! Perfect timing to discover your blog! I just found myself a gorgeous old chair that needs a similar job! Thanks for sharing the steps, when I've done mine up I'll show you!

  17. i used to have a chair just like this! They were popular in the 40's and 50's and usually had a skirt and sometimes a tied on back pillow. Well done! Ann

  18. I really really like this chair! I love the colors and the ruffles! So cute!! I like everything you do though! I am such a fan! :)

    God bless!

  19. Looks great! I think you did the ruffle perfectly; it's exactly what my machine would do only you took care of it by hand :) I agree, the gray is perfect, and the cushion was a great touch!


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