Recovering your Chairs

I never knew how expensive kitchen chairs were until I joined the ranks of the responsible married members of society. So if you are out there enjoying your blissful naiveté of the multitudes of adult expenses, allow me to burst your bubble- FYI kitchen chairs are expensive!

We’re talking fi’ty bucks a pop easy for decent ones.

Our Predicament:

So in the middle of putting our house together Will and I found ourselves with our dinner-for-two sized kitchen table that we are borrowing from the farm but with no chairs to eat at it in.  Everything else in our house was really coming together, but still no kitchen table chairs.  For the first few weeks that we lived in our house we ate dinner at our coffee table and sat on couch cushions on the floor.  Or we would sit on our front porch like an OLD married couple and eat while we watched all the young whippersnappers in our neighborhood run past.

Our Plan:

We wanted to be able to entertain our friends with a nice dinner.  And we didn’t want to risk spilling our dinner on the new couch anymore. So trying to learn to swim, not just stay afloat, in the vast sea of adult expenses we decided to tackle our next wave of dollar signs. We did some digging on-line and looked around at several local stores.  What we came up with was unfinished, unassembled chairs from IKEA.  We would have to drive an hour and half to get them and then assemble and paint them.  BUT they were only $25/chair.

Change of Plans:

Saturday morning came.  We grabbed a quick breakfast on our way out of the house and hit the road headed for IKEA.  We had come to terms with it.  Kitchen chairs were a necessary expense, and we wouldn’t have to buy them again for a long time hopefully.  Besides, IKEA would be a cool adventure to add to our memory banks, right?

It would have been.  But something marvelous happened!  God provided for us again. =) As we were leaving the farm we stumbled upon a half a mile of garage sales! Literally the entire town had brought all their stuff out to the main road. So we stopped by the place that seemed to have a lot of chairs, found four matching ones, and inquired about the price.  $10 for all four!!!!! Yeah we’ll take that!  That was $90+gas+paint cheaper than what we were bracing for. And no assembly required, much to Will’s relief.

The Chairs. Not too bad for 4 for $10!

However, these were garage sale chairs and the upholstery on the seats was rather grungy looking.  So I headed to the craft store, picked up some new material, and embarked on the adventure of recovering the chairs.  I am pretty sure that the people there thought I was crazy, because being my indecisive self I actually carried one of the chairs inside with me.  Yes I am that person in the craft store. The one who looks at everything 5 times and holds them up next to each other at ten different angles before I THINK I have figured out what I want.

Here what I did and what I would do differently:

Step 1– measure the seat of the chair so you know how much fabric you need.

Step 2- Find and Buy the appropriate amount of fabric.

Step 3- Cut the fabric out to fit the chairs.

Step 4- Remove the seats from the chair.

Step 5- Lay the fabric over the top of seat, then flip over, pull tight, and neatly fold the fabric to form to the seat.  Here you need to think Christmas present, and channel your inner wrapper.

Step 6- Ready, aim, fire!  Use a staple gun to secure the fabric in place.  This was my favorite part and possibly the most terrifying, because I am a klutz.  I always find a way to hurt myself. BUT not on these chairs =)

Step 7- Reassemble your chairs

Step 8- Give yourself a pat on the back and bask in the joy of a job well done. =)

The before grungy seat is on the right, and the after cheery one is on the left.
I think I did good work =)

Now, if I could do something differently:

  • I would have cut a little less extra wiggle room into the fabric (I had a good 4 inches more than I needed).
  • I would have bought new seat cushions.  If you have the money get new padding to make your refurbished chairs even nicer.
  • I would have gotten a more sturdy fabric.  The fabric I bought was cheap and thin, I think I will regret that down the road when it wears out or stretches out quickly.

All in all, that was a very proud moment for me. I really enjoy making things my own.

Our “dining room”
The chairs all around our little table.
They have already hosted many friends and family members =)

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