Sunday, May 29, 2011

My $10 Chair Makeover Is Complete!

During the morning of Sunday, May 22nd I completed my $10 chair makeover, isn't is fabulous?!?  Who knew only three hours later our home and life as we knew it would be changed by an F2 tornado with 150mph winds.  Life can change in an instant, but on the bright side the chair survived the tornado (ha!).

I ended up going with a linen look instead of dark gray.  I know most of you voted for gray, I hope you aren't disappointed!  I love the bright white and linen contrast, crisp and clean.  The nail head trim pops a bit more too.

Here is a look back at the chair when I picked it up from Bauer Brother's Architectural Salvage for $10.
 Next was the hard part.  I had to make a new cushion and seat back.  I started by taking measurements of the seat.
 Here is a rough sketch of the measurements I took.
 Since the seat was not a perfect square. I used some old Christmas wrapping paper to make a template from the measurements I took. I know it is a bit weird, but old wrapping paper makes for a great no cost template.
Here was the first one, didn't fit quite right.

I ended up making a couple more until it fit perfectly.  I picked up a 0.75" thick piece of plywood from Home Depot for about $6 to use as the base for the seat cushion.  Then Alex traced around the paper template onto the plywood as guidelines for cutting.
 Alex got out his jigsaw and cut just inside of the guidelines he traced for the seat.
 Next, I needed to cut out the same shape on a piece of foam I got from Joanne's for $7 (at 40% off).  I traced the seat shape onto the foam and then cut out with scissors.
Here is a look once the foam was cut into shape for the seat.
 Then I placed the seat upside down and cut the fabric roughly 6" wider all around.
 Then it was time for stapling!  The tighter and more consistently tight you pull the fabric around the smoother the foam will look.
 Once the seat cushion was done I started adding nail head trim to parts of the chair where the upholstery was tucked in to cover the gaps.
It is pretty easy, just place and hammer in.
I used about 120 pieces on nail head on the chair.  My fingers hurt like crazy after!
After that it was time to come up with something for the seat back.
It is a little hard to explain, but I measured the opening in the back and cut out a piece of fabric shaped to fit and hemmed all the edges with my sewing machine.  Here is the fabric, looks a little wonky since it wasn't ironed yet.
Then I stapled one end on what will be the inside of the chair back.
It is a bit hard to explain, but after I stapled the part above I wrapped the fabric over the top, then tucked the other end under the bottom wood beam and stapled it into place.
I put two little nail heads on the top to hold the fabric seat back in place.
Gorgeous right?!?
I love how the nail head adds a bit of sophistication and elegance to the chair.
The foam is still a bit lumpy towards the front, I might have to fiddle with fabric stapling one more time.  But for now, I love this little chair makeover and it looks so cute in our Sunroom.
Ahhh, feels good to blog about something 'normal' after tornado madness!!!  Do you like how the chair turned out?

See you tomorrow Tuesday for a mega 'idea' inspired post (sorry meant to get it up Monday, but still too busy with yard work).. know what it is???


  1. Looks gorgeous! I love the nail head trim, the perfect elegant touch. Great job!

  2. You inspire me to do something like that! I passed up on a chair like that for $2 and now I definitely will not pass up on a deal like that again.

  3. Lovely! Maybe putting some batting over the foam. That may smooth out the lumps.

  4. It's beautiful! When I made cushions for our bistro set, I did what pine tree home (above) mentioned, spray adhesive and a layer of batting over the foam. :)

    Have a wonderful week - I want to see the mega idea post!

  5. I love how this chair turned out! So glad it made it through the storm!

  6. This chair came out great!! I love the nail head details and the accent pillow! I featured you in my Friday I'm In Love favorites today - come over and take a look!

    - Jenn @ Social Salutations

  7. NICE! I love it. :) You did a wonderful job. :)


  8. Wow, so fresh, light, and pretty! Great eye for that old dark chair!

    -caroline @ <a href=">c.w.frosting</a>

  9. Thank you for sharing this great post at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop. Just a quick note to let you know that I've feature it here. Please feel free to grab a button on my sidebar.

  10. I have a few chairs that I bought at an estate sale that could use a little I feel like I can do it! Thanks for sharing, also...I hope things are starting to get back on track for all of you there. I can't imagine what it would be like to have your entire neighborhood change in one afternoon, but thank God that you and your family were safe!!

  11. I love that chair! It is AWESOME! It was even cute before the redo, but after, it is beyind awesome!!! I just did a french chair similar to this as well. The nail head trim was a great touch - I would like to try this on a project soon! I also love that number pillow - did you make it? Great chair, nice set up...excellent job!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  12. Hey Stacy, the numbered pillow is from Pottery Barn. But since buying them I actually learned it would be really easy to make using fabric paint, check out a simple striped one I made with fabric paint here:
    Thanks for the comment too!

    Carla @

  13. very, very, very well done. love it!

  14. Gorgeous!!!...great job and fabulous price!!! glad to have found you...going back to check out some more....just became a follower....come on over and visit me too....Mariaelena

  15. OMG! I LOVE it!! You did a fabulous job!!

  16. Cute I have a suggestion to help you out, a piece of dacron over the foam will help with the ripples.


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