Desk chair makover

I had a favorite chair from my classroom in California that never got sold at my teacher’s yard sale after we moved here.  It had been sitting in the barn for ten years now and I almost threw it away.

However, after pricing the many new chairs available on the market, ones without arms,  I decided I didn’t want to spend the money.

So, I pulled off the old fabric and scrubbed the legs and wheels.

Scary looking isn’t it?

Put on two layers of quilt batting and some upholstery fabric I picked up at *Sir’s in Fayetteville, TN several years ago…

This wasn’t too hard, but I had to be careful to use the right length of staples; not too long.

And Voila!  One less item in the landfill.

The old favorite is now reborn!

Note to self:  If you change the coverings it is probably best to replace the foam padding too…

Maybe next time?

Regarding Sir’s Fabrics:   Sirs Fabrics was one of my favorite places to go shopping for fabric.  The owner used to find some of the most beautiful and unique fabrics from all around.  Deeply discounted close outs, buyouts from stores that went out of business, and sometimes vintage treasures that, though watermarked or discolored with age along the edges were worth the purchase because the centers of the panels were still gorgeous and useful.

Unfortunately, this past winter the building caught fire and all the bolts of drapery and upholstery fabric, the laces and flat folded fabrics on all the tables burnt to nothing.  The heat of the fire reduced the stock and the building to just bricks and rubble.

I often think “I’ll just pop over to Sir’s and see what they’ve got” for my latest project or quilting fabric and then realize they are not there anymore.  I makes me sad that they are gone and I  hope they are able to rebuild.



21 thoughts on “Desk chair makover

  1. katechiconi says:

    It looks very handsome in its new coat. I dearly love a red chair; my own sewing chair is red, but has a mesh fabric back because of the climate. I’ve often thought how much fun it would be to go to town with a desk chair: gilt, claw-foot moldings on the feet, ornate brocade fabric… well, you get the idea. Prosaic items are too rarely pimped!

  2. Anita says:

    What a coincidence, I’ve been planning to redo my chair too. Mine is a drafting chair I use at the quilting machine. Waiting on a new foot rest to replace the current one before starting.

  3. quilt32 says:

    I love this kind of recycling. My mother used to “make over” everything – clothes, furniture, curtains, etc. I’m glad I inherited those genes. Great job.

    • Lynda says:

      Lillian, I think we came from similar stock. My mother used to remake clothing from my Aunt Eva for me. And she used to reupholster our furniture and even the car seats in a little Sunbeam roadster once! Yup, definitely an inherited skill set.

  4. Deb says:

    Great redo! The fabric place sounded like a fun place to visit! Wished I had one close to me… but then again maybe it’s good there isn’t.😀

    • Lynda says:

      I know what you mean, but you could have afforded Sir’s. I averaged about 3 dollars a yard every time I visited. The upholstery/drapery fabrics for my next project were only $4.50 a yard!

  5. shoreacres says:

    It’s great, what a little fabric and some staples can do. I had a pair of my mother’s chairs recovered after she died. It was beyond me, because they were a bit of a complicated shape, with cushion buttons and piping and such. But the woman who did the word did an excellent job, and the change from old-fashioned crewel work fabric to a slubby, golden silk-something blend was amazing.

    She suggested to me when I had the work done that adding more foam would be a good idea, too. I’d never considered how it can compress over time.

    • Lynda says:

      Linda, your mother’s chairs sound beautiful! That bit you foretold involving me and something to do with sewing, well it will envolve piping. We’ll just see if I can handle it or not. It is a definite maybe on that project. I have my fabric and I am ready to go!

  6. tialys says:

    Well done on saving something from landfill – every little helps!
    I have a vintage chair – probably from the 70s – that I would like to recover but it’s a bit more complicated than your one (the seat and back are all one piece) so I’ll have to see if I can find some help online somewhere before I embark upon it.

    • Lynda says:

      Lynn, I have been watching a lot of Craftsy classes on this topic and I also get a lot of British TV feeds through Netflix. The Brit shows find things to re imagine and then fix them up. This is why I got brave enough to tackle my old chair. Not sure if this is your thing or not, but I took advantage of the yearly membership at Craftsy and for me it was totally worth it. I can watch any/all of the classes and have learned a lot of new skills.
      Thank you for the comments, but I may not be done with the chair just yet. Kate’s comments have inspired me to imagine a way to enhance the cushyness and character of the seat. Stay tuned! 😉

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