Sunday, January 10, 2010

holiday project 1: (slightly dodgy) chair makeover

My holidays were filled with organising the cabin build, shopping for the cabin build, making changes to the cabin build, working on projects relating to the cabin build and cursing the cabin build. So good thing it was holiday time! We’re getting there – we have a deck, a roof, half walls and windows. It’s exciting to see it nearer completion every day – mostly because for the first time ever I’m totally excited about being able to laundry! Oh the fun we’ve had with all the rain or the sprinklers because of the heat and Zak toilet training and NO LAUNDRY. Ugh. I have a stack of pics to show you once my laptop is brought back to life as that is where most of the images are saved. But in the meantime, I can show you what I got up to.
I bought this chair from Vinnies for $40 a while back. Loved the shape of it and it’s super comfy. I originally sanded back the wood and stained them with Scandinavian oil and covered in a beige fabric. I liked it for about three weeks and then Layla arrived and I banished it to another room in favour of my mum’s rocking chair. I’d put it on the council clean up pile one time, then took it back inside to “save” it for the cabin. And now I’ve finally covered it, restained the wood and am waiting patiently for it to move into to its new home. Aside from a few dodgy creases and wonky nailwork, I really like the look of it now. But here are some reasons why I will never be hired as an upholsterer…
* I can’t do corners or around legs without them looking saggy, baggy and very creased. I know you’re meant to take the legs off, but these are nailed in tight and the wood has split slightly in places. They don’t look easy to remove and if I could remove them, I think they just might fall apart. So they stayed put and I had to go around.
* I didn’t buy appropriate fabric for recovering an armchair. I bought this fabric on a whim – just thin cotton – and it wasn’t until I got it home I thought “oh, this pattern might look good on a chair”.
* I didn’t buy enough fabric (see point above). So I had to use a plain white on the back of the chair. It looks ok though.
* I can’t nail in those little bulleted nails (at the front on the bottom) straight or without bunching up the fabric. And I don’t have enough patience or care factor to redo it.
* I don’t know what those little bulleted nails are called.
* I bought the wrong-sized staples for the staple gun and had to hammer them in after stapling because they stuck out too far.
* I didn’t bother covering the underseat so if you got down low on the floor you’d see the excess fabric sticking out and possibly some too-long staples I didn’t nail in.
But other than all that, I like it! Steve wants me to do my nana’s chairs in the same fabric but I’m not convinced it’ll last. Might do a trial and error with this chair first… What do you think?

FYI: the lamp is from Freedom, the wooden blocks are Muji’s New York City in a Bag from MomaStore and the cushion is by Pony Rider. I will try and remember to post credits from now on things I think you might be interested in. I know how annoying it is to not have that info immediately!
{images by me}

17 Responses to “holiday project 1: chair makeover”

  1. Catherine says:
    I LOVE your chair! I have two chairs the same that I paid $25 for the pair at trash and treasure. They have been recovered numerous times in cream, white and currently in a brown. They don’t really suit our house, but because of the comfortable factor they may stay for a little while longer!!!
  2. miss.mellie says:
    wow i think it looks great!!!
    i bought a cute french style stool and was considering getting it upholstered but i dont have the extra $$$ so i think im going to try and do it myself!!! im inspired!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. that reminds me I’ve got a few chairs to finish soon! work work work!
  4. Helena says:
    Looks amazing!
  5. Julie says:
    Love the fabric, the pattern is really cute! Consider the cost of getting someone to upholster it and you did it for free, it looks amazing, good job! I am getting my old danish chair recovered soon and it is going to cost a bomb, not a home job for a learner sewer like me unfortunatlely :( The cabin sounds as though it is going well, can’t wait to see it!
    Ps. are we calling it the ‘cabin” again? :)
  6. Amanda says:
    Hi Belinda! I really like the fabric you’ve used on your chairs even if it isn’t proper upholstering fabric. It goes really nicely with that lovely cushion of yours too.
  7. Danielle says:
    LOVE IT. Flaws and all.
  8. Belinda says:
    thank you everyone!
    two for $25 cathy? good find! did you recover yourself?
    miss mellie, it’s not too hard – try to follow what they’ve done themselves. it’s a bit fiddly and sometimes you wish you had an extra pair of hands to pull the fabric. good luck!
    julie – haha! i guess i am. have called it that forever so i guess it’s hard to change!!!
  9. sara says:
    I think it looks fantastic! well done!
  10. Satakieli says:
    It looks beautiful, you did a great job! You’ve reminded me that I have some folding chairs that need covering.
    I’m in love with the cushion in the first picture!
  11. Catherine says:
    no I didn’t recover them all by myself, my husband the perfectionist supervised …. but we have recovered quite a few lounges before doing the chairs, which were so much harder. A lot of folding and unfolding until you get it looking right, it’s a two person job, one to hold fabric in place and the other staple lol
  12. Julie says:
    I don’t know how but I managed to make it here! Something must be working again Belinda, thought I’d let you know. YAY! :)
  13. Viv says:
    Your back! Your back!! *happy dance*
  14. Shell says:
    Love your blog, hope you hate me, but being honest: Sorry, but I did look at it, read your comments and think, “why bother”, its a beautiful old chair, and its such an obvious dodgy brothers job. You cant pull thin cotton tight enough to cover furniture properly. Beautiful, color combination, idea, and chair, but honestly, it looks sh*thouse!!
  15. Shell says:
    oops meant to say hope you “dont” hate me,, lol
  16. Belinda says:
    appreciate your honesty shell – i think! you’re right, shouldn’t use thin cotton but it’s done and it won’t be used much so we’ll see how it goes. besides, gives me something to do if it doesn’t work, right?!
  17. Anna says:
    You should buy “The Upholstery Bible”. You can get in Oz for $25 from Padghams who have an online upholstery shop.
    They sell eveything you could need, but the most useful thing will be that book. It covers every type of furniture and how to restore & recover from webbing & springs through to fabric selection.
    The fabric is probably not too bad as long as you cover your flock underneath with calico first. And keep stretching & tacking, and repeat until you have a nice smooth finish.

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