Thursday, September 18, 2014

Quick, Easy and Cheap Chair Makeover

(AKA How to Turn an Accident into an Asset!)

If I were a bettin' woman, I'd bet you have a chair something like mine...stuck somewhere. 

Maybe you found it in a thrift store for $5 like I did.

Maybe you inherited it, and it doesn't quite work with your environment, but you would not want to get rid of it...

Maybe it is a great chair, but it has a spot that won't come out, or a hole or two, like my chair did.

Let me back up a bit and help you and your chair out by telling you that before the holes, I had painted this chair in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint...dirty upholstery and everything. 

It kept the fabric soft an pliable, unlike my attempts with watered down latex paints. It covered well. 

I used the paint full strength on the wood, and watered down by more than half for the fabric. 

Then, after a tiring, hot garage sale day (having one, not going to them), I sat in it. I heard a distinct pop and felt an uncomfortable hard place at about the same time. We had pulled a couple of clothing items from the sale and put them in the chair, along with a piece of ornamental iron...I didn't see the iron and didn't consider moving the clothing from the chair before plopping into it. 

If you don't know this about me yet, I procrastinate fiber projects like sewing pillows, curtains, and upholstery. I will occasionally cover a square seat cushion, but this one was a bit more complicated, so I kept putting it off. 

Then I began to see patchwork upholstery things in Pinterest...usually in industrial or bohemian type rooms. 

So when I began my heavy industrial living room revision, I decided to stop putting a pillow over it and try something semi-permanent. I had nothing to lose! (Details on this vignette HERE.)

Here is what the finished chair seat looks like:

It was quick and easy, and free, since I had some basic materials on hand already. I bet one more time that you probably have them around as well...if not, you can find them at Walmart or Hobby Lobby. 

Supplies needed for a patchwork chair fix:
  • Fabric - however much you think you need...I used remnants of a drop cloth I had on hand from recovering square chair cushions. If you're not a fan of industrial shabby, you could use upholstery pieces, denim, anything you might find to coordinate with your room. A heavier weight fabric will be better than a light weight.
If you're a seamstress, you could finish the edges. I just ripped my drop cloth into random rectangular shapes and called it good. 

  • Aleene's Tacky Glue (click here for the web site.)
Tacky Glue, 4 oz and 8 oz
This glue is made for fabric, and it is the perfect consistency - not too drippy, not too dry. It dries soft and pliable, not hard and stiff. You can find it at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, or order it online through Amazon.

  • Stencil or fabric transfer materials of your choice
If you use drop cloth and want to do a faux lettered piece like I did, you'll need a stencil of your choice. I didn't put a lot of thought into mine, just picked a few letters, I think M, Q and W, for no reason other than they were on the top of the stack.

For those of you who have mastered fabric transfers, they would be fabulous!

  • Sharpie marker 
I used a regular black, but you could use any permanent marker you like - thin, fat, colored, etc.

  • Brown acrylic paint mixed with water 
I used this to age my drop cloth. It looked a bit too "raw" before. 

Note: Don't do this like I did it...I'm giving you the proper order below - which I will use when I do this again! 

I had planned to use raw drop cloth, but did not like the contrast. So I stenciled and painted after gluing...


1. Draw your letters on your canvas drop cloth with a sharpie, outlining carefully inside the stencil. Fill in lightly, trying to avoid obvious texture or directional marks.

2. Water down your brown acrylic paint so it is like intensely muddy water. Paint it on your fabric to get a mottled aged effect. (I dipped the tip of a 1 inch flat brush into  a dollop of paint, then swirled it in  water I had dribbled into the lid of a yogurt container.)

3. Go look at Pinterest or put dinner in the crock pot while it dries. If you are impatient like me, use a hair dryer to dry your fabric.

4. Make a tiny cut in the canvas where you want the rip to begin. Then, rip a straight line. Make another tiny cut and rip again. Rip random sized patches to cover your spots, holes, etc. Fray the edges a bit. (I prefer the look of more than one patch. Go for 3 or 5...)

5. Spread a thin layer of glue all over the back side of your patch, covering even the frayed edges. 

6. Position one patch at a time, pressing from the center toward the outside in all directions to ensure it is adhered with no wrinkles. Keep going with your patches until you think it looks good. 

7. Let it dry - I let mine dry overnight to ensure no glue would leak out of the edges or patches would not move around when sat on.

That's it. Simple, and I think, it will be durable, too. 

Word for the Day:
Matthew 9:16
No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made.

Possibly Linking With:
Sundays at Home
Sunday’s Best
Nifty Thrifty Sunday
Mod Mix Monday
Make it Pretty Monday
Amaze Me Monday
Make it Monday
Vintage Inspiration Party
Vintage Inspiration Party
Vintage Inspiration Party
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
The Scoop
Wow Us Wednesday
What’s it Wednesday
Cottage Style Party
Drop it or Swap it Party
Under $100 Link Party
Treasure Hunt Thursday
Home and Garden Thursday
Share Your Cup Thursday
Feathered Nest Friday
Furniture Feature Friday
Frugal Friday
Junkin’ Joe
Thrifty Things Friday
Party Junk - Outside the Box Link Party


Donna Wilkes said...

Okay, Revi, I had to go look up the word for the day to see if you were kidding about that verse. How appropriate to your project! No matter what Matthew said, I am trying putting a new patch on an old piece of upholstery. I could not drag home my victim because of rain today. I love this!

Audrey said...

You did a fine patch job on that beautiful chair.
Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Such a great project...and I think the frayed edges make it even better! Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

Anonymous said...

I have six of those chairs around the dinning room table. They are a set my husband had before we married. They are in great shape so I can't justify getting rid of them but I hate them. They are so heavy and not my style at all. Maybe I will do some patching on them...humm, I might like them a little better. Thanks for the inspiration your chair looks great!

Redeemed Junk and Stuff said...

Great idea. I have an old wing chair that I like. My sister gave it to me, but I have been procrastinating about sewing a slipcover or something...maybe I could paint it. Thanks for the idea.


Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Wish I had a chair like that! Cute, cute, love the patchwork! Thanks for sharing it with SYC.

Melissa said...

Very cool redo! Painting fabric with chalk paint - I would've never thought to try that! Thanks for sharing @ TTF.

Kameel huise tussen spore said...

Love the end result. Thanks for sharing.
Lots of blessings

Brandi said...

I think you did a beautiful job on your chair. The details in the wood are lovely. The patches on the fabric are very creative.