Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dreadful Pink Chair Makeover--Part 3

The final installment! Then I can just sit on these freakin' chairs all year and quit talking about them...



The icky pinky and gold "before":

As you know from Part 1 and Part 2 of the chair makeover posts, I decided to paint the frames a pretty shiny black and upholster the seats with some bold fabric I found at Ikea.

To get started on the upholstery, I had to make seats for these babies. They were originally caned in the 1920's or 1930's, but the caning was looong gone by the time I got them, and some of them just had a hole. Some of them had some plywood over the hole.

I got busy with a cut open grocery bag and traced the seats to make a pattern:

Then my dad and I cut out plywood seats on a band saw and finished the tricky edges off with a jigsaw, and I was left with this:

So, armed with my four plywood seat bottoms, I picked up some foam cushions and some batting from the fabric store:

I laid the seats on the cushions and then cut them to fit. Then I did it three more times!
Then I used some spray adhesive to stick the cushion foam in place, and wrapped the seat bottoms and the foam in quilt batting.

Then I stapled the quilt batting into the wooden seats. Then I repeated. Three more times. (I'm not going to keep saying get it, I can tell!)

Lookin' good so far!
Then I laid out my fabric and made sure the pattern was going the direction I liked. Actually I messed up and cut it square, but wanted my pattern to go diagonally. whoops! I do these things so you people don't have to make the same dumb mistakes! Luckily it worked out anyway...but that explains the odd-looking pictures coming up!

Liiiike this one. The corners aren't actually supposed to point in like a junior-high-school note that you flick across the aisle to your friend, they should be parallel to the sides...
but it all turned out cool, I tell you!

Next I took my paper bag pattern and cut out four black interfacing pieces to finish the bottoms of the seats and tuck in all the messy edges left from my stapling.

See? Much neater in case someone sees the bottom of my chairs.

Now the seat bottoms are upholstered and ready to be attached to the chairs. The first thing is to pick a screw that will go all the way through the chair frame and the wooden seat bottom without going too far up in the cushion and poking you in the bum!

Once you find your screw, get enough of them to put 2 to 4 in each seat bottom. You really want to use as few screws as possible to preserve the integrity of the chair frame. In my case, I might want to refinish these and get them caned in the future, so I only used 2 in each chair.

Here is Brett's drilling pilot holes and putting the screws in through the bottom (my hands were too tired from putting in twelve BILLION staples)...
Et voila! Here is the lovely finished chair!

The wonderful thing about this project is that when I get tired of that fabric, I have already done all of the tough work making the seats and putting on the cushions. All I will have to do is pick out fabric, pull off this stuff, recover the foam and batting, and screw it back onto the frame.

What do you guys think? AT least tell me its an improvement from the chairs' previous life in the hayloft!


Michelle | When I Grow Up Coach said...

Thanks for the lesson, Charlotte! I've been wanting to learn how to do something like this, & even though I don't need to - yet! - I know believe that, if & when I find The Perfect Chairs, I can upholster (is that the right term?) myself. I'm bookmarking this & will totally use it when the times comes!

And YES, the chairs look awesome!

Happy 2010!

Allison@FabRehab said...

Hi Charlotte!
Just getting back to the questions you left on my blog. The only thing I do differently than you is that I use glue to attach the foam. I usually only use foam...but depending on the chair, I put batting over it. Your chairs look fantastic!