As I stood in Target gushing over the chic decorative chairs, a sense of reluctance to fork over a chunk of my paycheck came over me. The chairs were almost $200 a piece, and I had my heart set on a pair. After shopping around with no luck, my darling father came home with some ancient dining room chairs that he picked up for free on the side of the road – cool dad, not exactly what I had in mind. However, that feeling of disappointment was quickly replaced with a rush of DIY excitement – I thought to myself, why not make my own? I made the pictured chairs in just a few simple steps for a mere fraction of the cost compared to buying them new.
-Chair(s) that you can repurpose
Step #1: Find Some Chairs to Repurpose
I’m still kicking myself for not taking a “before” picture of the chairs. However, I took this photo of a similar chair which is a pretty good representation of what they started out looking like.
Step #2: Remove the Cushions from the Chairs
This step allows you to recreate your own new chair cushions with your choice of fabric. While this step can be a bit of a pain – cut, jab, and push until you release that old, used cushion from your soon-to-be chic chairs. A heavy duty staple remover is probably your best bet. Just make sure to save the wooden bottom to attach your new cushions to.
Step #3: Sand Those Babies Down
Get a sanding block and go to town buffing down the wooden parts of your chairs. This step is important to ensure that the paint sticks to the wood.
Step #4: Spray Away
I used white cans of spray paint to add a white color to my buffed down chairs. I would suggest putting a tarp down before spraying away. I opted to just spray paint my chairs on the grass of my parent’s front lawn – they weren’t exactly pleased when they saw the white sprayed art project left behind on their grass…whoops. I wanted my chairs to have a shabby, vintage look, so I stuck with just using spray paint. You can use a paint brush to fill in any crevices if you prefer a more polished look.
Step #5: Hit Up the Craft Store
Head to your local craft store to pick up some foam and fabric to make your new chair cushions. Make sure you measure the wooden cushion bottom that you removed from the chair to ensure you’re buying the right amount of supplies. Once you make your choices, cut the foam to mirror the wooden bottom and cut the fabric a few inches longer so that it can wrap around both the foam and the bottom, giving yourself at least two inches of fabric to staple down.
Step 6: Staple it Up
Grab your handy dandy staple gun and staple the fabric around the foam to the bottom of the wooden cushion form. Make sure that it is pulled tight so that your cushions do not have any ripples in them.
Step #7: Assemble Your Chairs
Once your chairs are dried and your cushions are all assembled, line the seat of the chair with wood glue before pressing your cushions down to attach.
Bonus: Add Matching Pillows
I bought some extra fabric to create a set of matching pillows to go with my chairs. To make them, simply pick up some pillow forms on your craft store outing. Learn more about my love for DIY pillows and how to create your own here.
Have any favorite DIY projects? Share them in the comments!