Extreme Makeover: Desk Chair Edition

Sometimes things just have too much potential to be thrown away. This 60s desk chair from my friend Scoobie's workplace was about to hit the trashbin....

With its ripped avocado green vinyl seat and a cushion that had broken down over time, her employers were prepared to replace it with a new high-tech number.

Scoobie, however, saw makeover potential and conferred with a consultant.

Or, well, me.

Her total investment was in discount remnant fabric from JoAnn's, a new cushion purchased with a half-off coupon, and some paint and topcoat from Michaels-- also half-off.

Here's Scoobie removing the chair back...

And here's the much-used cushion set which will get reupholstered by the, er, consultant.


To soften the silver-steel look of the chair, Scoobie gave the chair frame a number of coats of a light bronze paint...


After that, she hit it with a few coats of clear topcoat.

Then I went into action. All I used was a pair of shears and my handy-dandy staple gun. I hadn't upholstered a chair with a cushioned back before, so this was a bit new for me. Usually they were standard hard-backed dining chairs.

The key to this particular project was in trying to make sure the stripes were not only evenly distributed on bottom cushion and top cushion, but that they were relatively aligned between the top and bottom cushions themselves.

In retrospect, it could be a little straighter, but considering this was the first time I'd attempted it, I'm pretty happy. I think it's not overly off.

For the bottom cushion, it's a simple case of cutting to fit, and working your way around the seat, ensuring the fabric is pulled taut and each side has at least one staple in it, holding everything in place. Then fill in the rest of the staples, leaving room for the chair screw holes.

For the top cushion, the fabric went over the front, then folded from the bottom over the back. So basically I was working on two sides at once.

And soon.... here we had the finished chair!


Here's a little closer view...

Quite a difference, eh?


Just goes to show, one employer's trash really can become another office jockey's heirloom posh bum-rester. :)

Now before we go today, I wanted to just take a moment to thank you all for reading the Thrift Shop Romantic. This last Friday marked the third bloggiversary of this little place on the Internet. Three whole years have gone by-- can you believe it? In the world of blogging, that means TSR is no spring chicken!

But it couldn't have been done without you all. Over the years, I've appreciated your interest, your notes, your comments, your questions and overall, your kindness.

So I think we have much to celebrate! Have yourself a piece of virtual cake and some sherbet punch and party on, friends!

I hope to see you again Wednesday!

9 comments:

~ RM said...

WOW! Looks so good! I just love remaking stuff, and the staple gun is usually my weapon of choice! ;)
This chair looks terrific, Kudos to you and Scoobie!

Janelle said...

I love trash-to-treasure projects! You guys did a wonderful job.

And Happy Blog-iversary! Love your blog!

RecycleCindy said...

I love your chair project and what a wonderful way to give new life to an old broken-down chair. It's really a beauty now!

Jenn Thorson said...

RM- hey, thank you. It's so much easier with staple guns than with tacks and a hammer, isn't it?

Janelle- Thank you muchly! It was really a good bloggiversary.

Cindy- It's amazing how simple aesthetic changes can make a difference. Thanks!

Lois said...

Jenn.
Well Done!!!
Doesn't it make you feel good knowing you saved 1 piece of perfectly good junk from the land fill?
You should be proud of yourself!
Lois

Jenn Thorson said...

Lois- Indeed, it does! Though I understand from my friend she's got a couple more chairs at work that could be redone... Seems I'm going to have to teach that girl how to reupholster! :)

www.lagsbayantiques.com said...

i love to see nice things given a second or third or.... chance.to many people throw things away to easily they dont use there imagination and think out side the square
www.largsbayantiques.blogspot.com
www.lagsbayantiques.com

slmpetersen said...

I love what you did with the desk chair...You're my kind of thrifter!

Shawndrea Corbin said...

I absolutely love the "new" chair! The fabric chosen and the accompanying light bronze paint job are gorgeous together. This really goes to demonstrate how "trash" can be refurbished into something beautiful with a few easy steps.

I would like to focus my own blog on more alteration tips and your blog certainly helped me to understand the process a little better. With the economy the way it is, more people need to get in touch with their creativity and re-invent worn favorites.