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Girly Chair Makeover

This chair was one of many not-so little projects I did for my daughter's room.  I found this sad little granny chair at a Goodwill, I was looking for things to breathe new life into and this little, broken, old lady was chosen for a makeover.  I'd love to know how old this little chair is, it was obviously well loved for many years. Items like this often end up in the trash.  I think it's awesome and very kind that a person would go out of their way to donate things for others benefit (and prevent a useful item, like this, from being thrown away and end up forever taking up space in a landfill).

You know, actually, I didn't just give her a makeover I made her young again! :)

I began with removing the upholstery, and took pics so that I could copy the cute, pleated skirt on the bottom.  I could then repair the break at the base of backrest with woodglue and nailer. I then sanded it down for a coat of paint.  After cleaning the dust off, I primed it.  Then painted it.  I had to mix the paint to make it match (the acrylic fuschia, I bought, needed more red and I mixed up the pink).  First, I painted on the fuschia (letting it coat the groove detail between the segments).  Then I used a small brush to glide along the edges of the segments I painted light pink (I didn't bother taping it off, this way was easy enough).  I don't mind tedious painting jobs because it gives me an excuse to work on something and watch (or listen to) a movie after the kids are in bed (for a rare moment by myself).  When that dried, I clear coated it with spray Varathane in gloss.    

The base of the seat also needed to be upholstered and reskirted.  I placed a couple layers of new batting down onto the hard seat fame, wrapping some of the batting under the edges and stapling it down.  I then, sized and cut a large piece of fabric so that I would have enough extra fabric to wrap under the seat and stapled it down over the new batting.  This got tricky where the fabric had to go around the posts.  I needed to put pieces of fabric below the posts and cut circular slots into the seat covering fabric and fold the edges under before I could staple those edges under the seat  (if you want I could post a video showing what I mean).  

I saved the skirt when I removed it for sanding and painting. It was a strip of hemmed fabric, about an added 2/3rds of the perimeter of the seat and about five inches wide (incase you wanted to copy that on anything).  I sewed a hem on a five inch wide strip of fabric and then steam ironed the pleats into it.  I could then pin it in place and staple the skirt onto the underside of the wood seat frame.  I meant to steam it after it was in place (but never did). 

The original cushions were very matted down so I made a new ones by cutting a piece of foam to match the original shape and tapering off the edges.  I then carefully wrapped it in batting that I'd cut to be about as big as the fabric pattern for the seat.  I did the same with the back cushion.  Onto fabric, (I bought a heavy fabric to match the multicolor quilt in the room) I traced the shape of the pillows I'd made, adding an extra 2inches all the way around.  I needed two pieces for the back cushion and two matching pieces for the seat cushion.  I then placed the pairs pattern side in and sewed them together (leaving 1/2 inch all the way around and leaving the back sides open to leave room for me to shove in the batting and the foam).  Once I did that, I added more batting to fill out any voids.  After doing a few dry fits of the cushions to make sure they were right, I could sew them up (by hand).  I added ribbon to the points of the cushion where it would be tied to the arm and backrests.  I also found flower trim and cut the flowers off to use in place of buttons that had been on the original cushion, I was going to tuft them but decided not to. 

So that's pretty much it. The color in the top pic isn't quite acurate but you get the idea.  This little granny got her pigtails back :) and my daughter got a very comfy and very girly reading chair.

I'm always surprised at how long it takes me to retrace my steps (even vaguely) with words. I'm not a very verbal person, I just do what I need to do, talking (or typing) holds me up; so seeing my work process typed out seems strange to me.  In hindsight, I wish I had videos of all my projects, I know that's how I learn best.  


If you actually read all this, I hope you got something out of it even if it's just a little inspiration to get on with a project you've been putting off.  Hang in there, perserverance is often the only difference between an awesome project and an unfinished mess. It can be overwhelming to tackle a project with many steps but it becomes much more overwhelming to let projects pile up around you because you can't make yourself start and stick with it, (I should know, been there, done that).  


Thanks for stopping by and hanging with me!

chair makeover diy
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