The Resurrection of a Chair

Time of Death: Saturday, July 23rd, 12.20 PM
Wait!  What’s the I hear?  A faint heart beat?  Maybe, just maybe…

This chair has obviously had a rough life.  It didn’t start out that way though.  It had a posh little gig as model home furniture, but became the victim of closing neighborhood and was moved out at a model home sale.  It eventually came to rest in the home of a lady I worked with several years ago.  When she and her husband built a new house, all of the old furniture was sold, including this chair and the rest of the set it belonged to.  The chairs were super heavy and perfect for what we needed, so we bought it.
It’s been a great set, especially the chairs.  They are iron and very heavy, which makes it more difficult for my kids to flip them.  Fast forward several years, thousands of instances of little feet grinding the fabric and more spills than can be counted.  The fabric on this poor guy just couldn’t take it any more.

About 2 years ago, we did some redecorating.  I’ve always been drawn to green, specifically sage, so I was trying to avoid falling back on that if at all possible.  I was walking through Lowe’s one day and saw these cute storage bins that were a striped tan, blue-green and brown.  This is where that led us.  We have accent walls in the blue-green, the balance in tan and these great curtains that pull it all together.

I got it in my head that I could save these chairs.  The table and chair set sits adjacent to the family room, so it was very important for me to find a fabric that would play on the colors we’d used in there.  That actually turned out to be much less complicated than I’d anticipated.  I found this great upholstery fabric at my local craft store and it just happened to match (which is amazing considering just how limited their selection was.)

First things first, it was time to remove the chair pad from the frame.  I flipped the chair over to be surprised by only finding 4 screws!  I was definitely anticipating more.  They zipped right out with no problems at all.

I know this is blurry, but I had to share it.  After all, it is mandatory for every at-home project to include a 2 year old playing with screw and drill bits.

Once the chair pad was off, I grabbed my trust scissors and started cutting off the fabric.  It’s important to be careful doing this because you don’t want to cut the foam.  I mean, I could have replaced the foam, but I was looking for as cheap and easy as possible.

Once all the fabric was cut away, this is what was left.  Stains.  Ick.  Those will be gone in a second.

I spread out the fabric, right side down, to measure out how much fabric I wanted to start with.  I made sure to allow several inches of overhang.  This fabric was a little pricey, and I’d rather cut off excess later than end up cutting a piece that’s too small.  The toddler in the way was just an attempt to make things more interesting.

Time for my trusty heavy duty staple gun.  This was one of those ‘oh, I need that!’ purchases from a random trip to Lowe’s.  I have no real reason to need a heavy duty staple gun, but now I have a reason to look for projects that use one.  After I centered the cushion on the fabric, I started by pulling the center of each side, one at a time, nice and tight and securing it with a staple.

From that point on, it was really just a process of working my way around and attaching the fabric little by little, being careful to create nice, smooth creases.  Once everything was secure, I trimmed off a little of the excess fabric, just to clean everything up a little.

Flipped upright, the fabric really did make a nice looking cushion!

Reattaching the cushion was easier than I expected it to be.  I anticipated an issue screwing through the fabric, but it was really no trouble at all.

The finished product!
All in all, this little project took me about 45 minutes.  It’s going to be an ongoing thing since I still have another 3 chairs to finish.  Each chair is going to take about a half yard of fabric, but of course that would vary depending on the size of your chair pad and the width of each individual fabric.
This was definitely a worth while decision for us, as the total cost of this project will be about the same as replacing one chair!  At some point in the future I may paint the frames too for another change.  For now, I think I’ll just try to get the other three chairs finished before the kids tear this one up!
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4 Responses to The Resurrection of a Chair

  1. Blended says:

    Cool Project! Following from the Not So Moody Monday Blog Hop! Stop on by –

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