{renovate} outdoor chair makeover

*Update!: I'm linking the post over to Saved by Suzy's House Party! Make sure you come over, say hi, and see all the awesome projects featured!

Four years ago, this coming weekend, I bought four chairs at an antique fair. Four years seems like eons ago! At the time, I was living by myself in an adorable, and historic, one bedroom apartment. In fact, I had only just recently started dating Chris. Even though they're outdoor chairs, I thought they'd look fabulous in my dining room with this table.

As per usual with this type of thing, the shape was gorgeous, but they needed work. The wire frame was incredibly chipped and rusty.

And, let's talk about the cushions. The vinyl fabric was definitely retro, but it was stained dirty. I thought this would be a simple recovering project, but when I pulled the vinyl off the base I discovered a very old  and falling apart foam and seen-better-days piece of chipboard. I have this problem .... once I underestimate a project, I get overwhelmed and usually put it off. So these lovely little chairs have sat unused for four years, until now ...

So much better right? When we started pulling together an eating area in the back porch, I knew these were PERFECT for the space, and I was so excited to finally use them. It actually wasn't as hard as I'd been dreaming in my head. Thank goodness! Actually, the hardest part was choosing fabric. A simple coat of spray paint covered the rust. We did need to have new foam cut, but we had it done at a small shop near where Chris grew up. It's two-inch thick foam, and super comfy to sit on.

Unfortunately, even though the foam is super thick, it didn't sit well on the wire frame base. It wanted to sink through the chair -- not so good. We didn't want company sinking through their chairs! So I had to cut new bases for under the foam. Luckily we have tons of scrap wood in our backyard, so I found more than enough to cut our four circles. And, in the process I learned how to use a jigsaw!

Have you ever used a jigsaw? They're super cool, and pretty easy with a little practice. The one major tip I have for you is: drill a hole, outside your line, as a starting point for the saw. SO. MUCH. EASIER. Then you have a clear beginning and end.

I securely clamped the wood onto two saw horses to help stabilize it.

And, proceeded to cut along my lines. Easy-peasy!

I LOVE this fabric. I'd actually envisioned green cushions for the longest time, and even ordered a beautiful green fabric online. But something just wasn't right and I couldn't put my finger on it. Earlier this summer I popped into my local fabric store to pick up thread and found this beauty. It was a remnant, but more than enough to cover my chairs. Yes!

After sewing the covers, I slipped the foam and the wood circle into it, and stapled the fabric over the ends, which made the whole package nice and secure.

Aren't the lines on these chairs gorgeous? A little girly, which I love. The rest of the space it pretty masculine, so these chairs bring just the right amount of softness.

From the back.

My willing assistant, always ready to test the comfortability.

So, what do you think of my new chairs? Have you recovered any chairs lately? Do you have projects that have been waiting for love for four years?! Do you, like me, ever overestimate a project in your head and become paralyzed with overwhelmingness? 

I hope you're all having a GREAT week! :)


  1. The chairs look great. I've actually been wanting a wingback chair for our living room. Trouble is new they can cost quite a lot. So I'm tempted to buy one on Craig's List and reupholster it.

    I think I tend to underestimate a project more than I overestimate. Which keeps me paralyzed and scared from trying something that is not as hard as I think it is.

  2. Oh my gosh Jenn, I LOVE the chairs!!! I want those chairs!! The fabric is really great and will be perfect for your sunroom. And I did like the look before but your makeover is SO much cleaner - great great job! And even cooler is that you are able to use a jigsaw - I would like to learn to use one of those.

  3. They look SO good! I love that the cushions have strait sides!

  4. Those chairs are amazing! I used to have a set like them, but the girl who gave them to me eventually came back to claim them. :( Very very sad face. What can you do? You did a most excellent job on them! I can't wait to see what you do with them in the kitchen! <3

    Much love,

  5. Those chairs are the younger,slimmer, cuter siblings to mine! Glad to know that I am not the only one to have something sitting around for 4 years before the make-over occurs, you should see the things in my basement!

  6. Jenn- As always, beautiful job!! I am completely in love with that fabric also and the white works so well with it!

  7. Hey Jenn - I awarded you a little something. Stop over later this morning and you'll be able to find out. I've enjoyed reading your blog and glad I found it - it's fun to read all of your updates.

  8. So impressive. This is a great redo! I really like your fabric choice as well.

  9. These are gorgeous. Well done, well done. It's worth hanging on to those gems until the right moment comes, right?!

  10. Love the fabric that you chose!!! And that's so awesome that you learned how to use a jigsaw! Girl power!

  11. Those turned out great! I love the mix of the modern fabric and the classic iron chair. So cute! And, I know all about starting a project and then putting it off because it's harder than I originally thought. I might have one or two of those in my garage. :)


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