Thursday, 5 January 2012

A new lease on life - A chair recovered

A couple of days ago I went for a trip to this awesome recycling shop in Christchurch - The Eco Shop and found an old dining chair that had really nice wood but was in dire need of recovering. Luckily I had some spare fabric lying around for such a purpose as this.

After taking the screws out
After making sure I had enough fabric I started unscrewing the fabric pads from the chair frame. Then came the fun part, removing ALL the staples holding the fabric to the foam covered boards. I used my multi-tool with its flathead screwdriver attachment to pry the staples up and then needle nosed pliers to pull them out. After removing the black cover layer in the photo below I figured I might as well just put my new fabric right on top of the old stuff. 

The black cover material hiding all the foam and frame
I cut my fabric to size and got my staple gun out. I started with the seat pad which was mostly square and all straight edges. I stapled the first edge and then enlisted the help of my wonderful hubby. Staple guns are HARD to use! My poor hand! I pulled the fabric tight and he stapled. The only tricky parts were the corners, the fabric has to be folded just so to make it look neat.

Once the four sides were stapled I put the black cover material back on to hide the edges I just stapled. This is on the underside of the chair so no one will really see it anyway. 

Ready to be screwed back on
I screwed the finished base onto the chair using the original screws. Then I moved onto the top pad. The top and bottom of this pad are curved and the back will be seen so the edges needed to be on the sides. A Challenge! I decided to cut the fabric so there was a fold on one of the edges. This would be on one of the straight sides of the pad. I started stapling this side.

The next edges had to be done in two lots. Two rows of staples needed to go on each edge with the fabric joined in the middle. I forget to take a photo of this step so I'll just try and blab my way through it. So, straight edges first, then the top. With Dave still lending a helping hand, he helped me stretch, pleat and staple around the curves. The bottom was next and same deal there. The next step was to trim back the excess fabric as short as possible and fit the finished product together.

There was a small piece of wood slotted into the top edge of the chair which fitted into the top of the pad to make the chair sturdy and not just rely on the screws. Dave used a craft knife to cut through the fabric to make the slot for the bit of wood. We pushed it into place and screwed it into the frame.

All put together
My kitty Killer trying it out
The back view

Finished! That's all there was to it! All up it took about 2.5 hours and I think next time I could definitely cut that time down.

I'm now on the look out for a whole set of chairs and some awesome fabric to make a whole set. Can't wait!


  1. Cool! Imagine if you had a whole collection of funky repurposed chairs around your table!!

  2. Thats the plan! Except all identical. My lone ones can be put in the corner of rooms etc

  3. It looks great! Keep up the good work!

  4. Wow I love old styled chairs!
    Wish i was skilled with the sowing machine that looks fun!!


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