When we first moved to Ohio, I had just discovered Apartment Therapy and was giddy with the thought of getting to decorate my very first house. Fast forward two years, and I still don’t have a single piece of furniture in my living room, but that is beside the point. I spent hours scouring Craigslist in between house hunting trips. The only thing I turned up were two dated chairs. Thirty buckaroos and they were mine.
I started to rip down the powder blue faux velvet. I finished tearing up the first chair. I got halfway through the second chair. Then, as so many of my projects go, they were relegated to the “sewing room,” which is really just an extra room in the house where dreams go to die.
But, then my mom and grandmother came to town last month, and we got word that we were moving to Colorado. I knew that Nathan was going to draw the line at carting two chair frames across the country. I just HAD to save them. It was an act of chair-manatarianism. (Ba-dum, ch. I know. That wasn’t even clever in the least.)
Here is what they looked like before:
And this is what they look like now:
I scored the Ikat fabric from the clearance bin at Joann Fabrics; $12.00 for six yards of it was sa-weet. Since two-thirds of the backs of the chairs were originally caning, I had to buy foam for them, but I just got two twin size mattress pads at Wal-Mart. The only other expenses were staples (over 1500 of them; holla!) and the cording for the piping along the edges. Grand total for this project was about $70.00. Spread that over two years and two chairs and you’ve got yourself a deal. Or something.
Here is a walk through of all the steps I took. I’ll be honest, the best way to knock this kind of project out is to pay really close attention when you are dismantling the thing. That, and this awesome tute on upholstery from Design Sponge. They did a way better job than I did, and I skipped a few steps in the name of being thrifty.
Oh, and apologies for the crappy setup here with the “gallery.” If anyone knows how to insert a gallery in WordPress without the captions showing; let me know.
And it only took me TWO YEARS.
Might I offer this little nugget of advice… Trying to use an electric staple gun while having an infant in your charge? Yeah… Not such an easy feat. Or such a good idea. I could have whipped these suckas out in half the time if I didn’t have to keep putting the staple gun down to remove a Hot Wheel car from Alice’s mouth. And I could never find a decent place to stop, and every time I did, I would pack it all up, unplug the gun and put everything up high so nobody would give Child and Family Services a reason to visit. Christ, it was a pain in the ass.
In the end, I’m pretty happy with them. Up close, they are a total hot mess, but I’m at peace with that. The dogs like to lounge on them and Finny loves to leap off them. Alice loved to gnaw on the legs. Living room furniture is supposed to be lived in, isn’t it?