Thursday, April 21, 2011

An Easter Project- New Life for an Old Chair

It's probably pathetic but there's not many feelings better then the heady rush of scoring a deal. Cheap thrill, I know. Perhaps it harkens back to my foremother's biological 'gatherer' instinct, perhaps it's thanks to the competitive nature of a bunch of cheap aunts. Whatever it is, I LOVE when I can announce (brag about?) a deal.

Like the Lululemon sweater I'm wearing: $3.99 at a thrift shop. Like my last couch: free from the back alley behind a VERY clean, respectable house by Kingsway mall. Like my 4 slice toaster: 90% off at consignment.

Yeah, the bragging can get a little wearing... but I mean no harm.

And besides, not all the things I score for cheap start out beautiful. Like this occasional chair from the 60s. I share this project in honour of the long weekend. And in honour of Easter, a celebration of the broken becoming beautiful. 

$10 got me a scratchy, stained chair with decent springs and great shape. It had already been recovered before so the fabric was easy to pull off. The skirt was the first thing to go!
I 'Spray 9'd' (glue in a can) the whole chair and added four layers of batting from the fabric store. This stuff is cheap and is a great way to add padding, shape and support. It's like a good push up bra to tired breasts. 

Madi's bum could not be photoshopped out of this picture, sorry about that! I laid the old pieces onto the new.

This is the main reason I go to the trouble of removing the old fabric. At first it seems simpler to upholster over the original material-- but while it may cut out a step it ADDS LOTS OF TIME at the fitting stage as one fiddles with size and cut!

The bottom piece goes on. Notice I removed the legs to staple the fabric on the bottom then was able to cover the staples with the leg piece. It's a cleaner finished look--- it also is easier to work without the legs flailing about at the stapler.

The most difficult part in recovering furniture is making neat folds in the fabric, like here on the front corners and back edges.

While I didn't take a close up, the finished chair has a couple brown buttons on the top section that I added BEFORE the back piece went on. If you peer carefully at this picture (taken before my fancy camera entered our home!) you'll notice the hammered nails lining the bottom of the chair. I love the look of them but they were a PAIN in the derriere to put on straight. While they probably DOUBLED the time this project took me, I still am telling myself they were the finishing touch.

Calculating all my materials: glue, nails, material and initial investment for the chair, this project cost $50 and took about 8 hours (3 of those hours were comprised of swearing at nails).


coffee_pot said...

Love the updated chair look!!! I was not gifted with a good eye like that, but certainly admire people who hold this ability! Kudos to you!!

Evelyn in Canada said...

I love your fabric for the new chair, but I was mostly wondering why you have your Christmas tree up at Easter? Or was this a Christmas project for you and you're suggested we do it at Easter?

An Avenue Homesteader said...

Good eye Evelyn! The project was a christmas present for my sister in law. Since I couldn't wrap it, we put the chair out and she sat on it as she opened my 'gift'- a book with the pictures I posted here. Of course the last page was the chair done-- and she finally figured out that the chair she sat on was hers.