Monday, September 13, 2010

"I Could Make That" - Chair Facelifts (Chairlifts?)


I feel as though I haven't had a true "project" in months - sure, writing about recipes, our balcony garden and my forays into unknown territory known as exercise are keeping me busy, but I have been longing for a real "around the house" kind of post.

And it couldn't have been an easier project to do. . .

Our dining table is an IKEA hand-me-down from my sister. She picked this up in 2001 to furnish her first Chicago apartment. I originally fought taking it off her hands, instead wanting our own dark wood, square table. However, once we got it in the door I had to admit how perfect it was for our needs right now - small enough to fit in one corner of the room, but big enough for four, the glass tabletop gives it a barely-there vibe which opens up the space even more. The metal grays and blue match the decor and wall color to a tee.
Looking around the house for something that needed a sprucing up, my eyes fell to the seat cushions of our dining table chairs. Still holding together, but well worn from 9 years of wear and tear (and lately many many paw prints from the kitties), I thought I would try my hand at revamping the fabric.

A trip to Jo Ann Fabrics with Bob in tow: we searched through the rows and rows of fabric until I had almost convinced myself that I could make my own clothes, you know, if I really wanted to. Sure, I could. We decided to go for a geometric pattern in gray/black/white to echo the modern look we are going for and also add a fun pattern to our solid-color lives. The chairs called for about 2' x 2' of fabric for each cushion so we cut to size and brought it home.

Getting the cushions off was a more difficult step than I anticipated. Several of the screws were stripped to the point that a Phillips Head wasn't doing much of anything. So we broke out the pliers and wrestled some of them out. Add to the list: New screws for the re-attachment.
The cats helped me lay out the fabric to cut to the right size. They were closely watched so they didn't claw any holes! They get very excitable when there is something new to lay on. . .
 Everything I read about re-upholstering seat cushions made it sound so easy, and while I would agree with this, I can also attest to the fact that my first one was a pretty poor result compared to numbers 3 and 4. I misjudged cutting and how much I had folded over one side until it was too late - one corner is barely covered. I may try to re-do this one if I can remove the staples without wrecking the fabric - I didn't quite have enough left over for a whole extra chair. I also decided to go right over the existing seat cover. I'm not sure if people typically remove the original, but I was afraid of what I would find underneath and mess up the padding.
Stretching the fabric over the sides, I made with the staple gun after saying a silent, "I'm sorry for being loud at 9:00 at night!" to the neighbors. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the staples to go all the way in. Not wanting a safety hazard with sharp objects sticking out every which way, I hammered them down a bit to solve that problem.

As I said, I eventually got the hang of it - apply much more fabric than you need and then cut the excess off.
After getting the new screws to re-attach the cushions, our little IKEA table is looking like a brand new gal! (are tables masculine or feminine?). 

Post shared on Between Naps on the Porch and Today's Creative Blog

1 comment:

  1. That turned out great! It adds color and also a bit of interest. Love your project. You made it sound easy.