Monday, 3 February 2014

Patchwork Chair Covers

I don't think I've ever shown you my kitchen chair project. I started this project last January (yes, 2013). Our kitchen chairs are two pairs:  one set belonged to my Grandma & Grandpa B, the other set belonged to Bill's Aunty Mary Polly. You could be forgiven for thinking that the 'before' picture was of Bill's walking boots instead of the faded blue print of G&G's chair; you can barely see the brown and peach brocade of AMP's chair.  I must have been in a real hurry that day?


Anyhow, besides being the wrong colours my chairs were like sitting on a board, the stuffing was so flattened. The loose webbing on Bill's chairs made it like sitting on a donut.  

In my usual fashion, rather than go buy fabric, I decided to use up some of my mountain of fabric scraps to make up patchwork pieces for coverings. Many of these fabrics frayed and so I overlocked the edges, which meant the project took me quite a while to complete. Even so, the patchwork fabric was ready for ages before the project moved on.  

Bill did such a great job on the dining room chairs, I thought he should be the one to take care of the padding part of this project.  Besides, joint projects are more fun. Also, while my chairs were quite straightforward in their construction, his were more complex and I didn't want to mess his up.  So, when I was in Nice on my own last summer, I left Bill a 'to-do' list to keep him out of trouble; this padding job was on that list and he duly addressed it.

Real-life photos with power drill, laundry basket,
Bill's walking shoes drying by the radiator...maybe they live there in January?

When we returned from France in September we both took ill and other things seemed to get in the way. I made Thanksgiving my deadline for finishing this job.  In the event, it took less than an hour most of which was fiddling with the staple gun. 

They aren't perfect, but I'm happy with them.  They are quite comfy now and the colours coordinate with the kitchen's white and red walls, the black and brown counter and the beige-y floor.  


Two more things that need to happen are to experiment on some other similar fabric with stain-repellent  or water proofing and decide what to do with the wood of my Grandparent's chairs - the square ones above.  Bill doesn't want to paint his, which I understand.  I may decide to paint Grandma and Grandpa's or to find a way to stain them so they are more similar to Bill's.  

Any suggestions?


Beryl said...

Good job! Those chairs look so much more comfortable now. I have never done anything other than paint, but I have friends who do wonderful things with staining kits, like Miniwax, or some such product. Maybe you need another holiday in Nice and leave the job to Bill? ;)

Shelley said...

Oh Beryl, spectacular idea!

Sandra said...

WOW...I love these...I wish you lived near have given me an idea to pad and upholster my chairs which currently have no padding or upholstery and are so uncomfortable that no guest stays very long for a visit...but maybe that's the purpose of uncomfortable chairs. NO...I like my guests too much, I want to make them comfortable. The downside is that I also don't sew!

Shelley said...

Sanda - Padding and upholstery on simple chairs doesn't require sewing, only cutting and wrapping and stapling. If your chairs are really that uncomfortable, you probably don't have much to lose - give it a go!

Carolyn said...

These turned out so cool! really unique and arty. I love the randomness of the patch sizes and shapes.

Gam Kau said...

I recently recovered wooden chairs very similar to your project. I used a staple gun which is about the limit of my diy skills. If I can find a photo I'll try to post it. Your chairs came out really nice. I didn't worry much about stainproofing because it was so easy to cover them I figured I could do it again in the future.

Gam Kau said...

I forgot to add that I saw your comment on Frugal Scholar's blog and wanted to share this site with you.

I haven't used them, but have thought about buying oats from them in bulk. I think a big plastic sealed container would probably keep them fresh.

Shelley said...

GamKau - Aren't staple guns a wonderful invention? I see what you mean about re-covering being easy, but making that patchwork fabric was time-consuming, so I wouldn't want to go that route again too soon. Thanks so much for the link - I'll have to check that out!