Old chairs with a French twist

Well Happy New Year!

I have my little blog through WordPress and they did a cute summary of my blog activity over the last year.  That was very nice of them.

Here are just a few highlights:

I’m looking forward to continuing turning ideas into projects in 2013.  Thank you kindly to family, friends, and strangers for reading!

Over the holiday break I began a mental list of  little projects to tackle over the next little while.  One of them that I got pretty excited about was “re-upholstering” a pair of pretty hand me down chairs.  I finally took a good look underneath the chairs and realized all that was holding the seat down was four screws.  This will be easier than I thought.

Here they are before.  As you can probably see the fabric is worn and stained.  Time for a makeover.


The hardest part of this project was deciding on what fabric I wanted to use.  Just so many options.  I kept noticing a cute french script fabric in a Ballard Design catalog.  Low and behold I stumbled upon a scrap of the fabric at the local fabric store (Your Remnant Store, Santa Barbara).   I believe it was 22 or 25 dollars per yard (off the bolt) but I found a yard and a half piece for 17 dollars. Just the right cost and measurement for my cushions.  If you are curious I believe the fabric is by Lacefield Designs (by the way very cute stuff on their site.)

Here is a quick visual of the simple process.  More detailed pics below too.


First I decided which part of the pattern I wanted on each chair:


I cut the fabric leaving about 3 inches on all sides.  Then secured fabric:


Start with a corner.  Aside from deciding on a fabric, the corners are the trickiest part.  You kind of have to fiddle with them a bit before you staple the fabric in place:


I was pretty pleased with how the stapling went when I realized the new fabric covered the screw holes.  Oops.  No problem I just used an awl to poke thru the screw holes in the chair and punched thru the fabric.  Then I screwed the four corners down:

find screw hole with awl

The finished pair with their new French inspired outfits:



I thought these pillows softened the chairs up a bit.  Just borrowed them from the couch.  Believe it or not they are from Costco.  Well you probably can believe it since you probably have them too:


What a fun and easy project to kick off the new year.

Just a few tips:

  1. Pick a fabric that will be easy to work with.  Sturdier than a bed sheet but not too bulky.  Keeping it tidy would be a little trickier with a bulky fabric.
  2. When using the staple gun press the tip of the gun very firmly into the wood.  Otherwise the staple might not get a good grip.
  3. If your corners seem like they have several folds to secure, staple each fold.  Don’t just use one staple crammed into the folds.  It might not secure it enough (hope that makes sense.)
  4. If there are creases or wrinkles in the fabric go ahead and iron those out before you start.  Even though you’re pulling the fabric taught while stapling, those pesky creases might still show. 

See you next Monday!  Hopefully earlier in the day.  (That should be a new blogging goal I suppose?)


PS I got a pretty cool sewing machine for Christmas.  From the bit of tinkering I’ve done with the machine so far I’m not so sure why I was so intimidated.  What am I going to do with all of my new-sew tape?   REAL sewing projects to come!

Linking up with:  Skip to my Lou, Sue Bee Crafts, LilLuna, Southern Lovely


13 thoughts on “Old chairs with a French twist

  1. Pingback: My first sewing projects « Jennifer's Mentionables

  2. Never in my life have I ever considered re-upholstering something. Leave it to you, Jen, to make it look easy! And somehow I missed those pillows at Costco. I thought you made them! Wishing you and your beautiful family all the best in the New Year.
    Ann McG

So, what do ya think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s