Old to New: Vintage Chair Re-do

**I am NOWHERE near being skilled in this area, I’m just sharing what I’ve learned :)**

So, let me start by saying I just REALLY love my chair.  I happened upon it after making friends with a guy at an estate sale.  He appreciated a listening ear and I was happy to be that listener.  He had just lost his mother and was hesitant to release his physical memories of her in the form of her heirloom furniture pieces.  I connected with him because I like to find pieces which have a story and appreciate them for it.  The style is the 1940s era “Waterfall” Art Deco furniture which is just full of craftsmanship and fun design.  Plus, the coloring of this era of wood is lovely…at least to me.  I purchased a full bedroom set, including this chair last year (2010) and am LOVING them.  I’m sure I’ll show more pictures of the full set eventually.  The pieces were original to this family and had been trekked all over the world through Navy moves.  Considering that, they are in awesome shape.  They must have had awesome military movers back then, unlike now.  I’ve heard too many bad stories which is why for each one of our re-locations, we moved ourselves.

The guy had recently had the chairs (yes, there’s a vanity chair, too) recovered in this creme fabric.  It wasn’t a bad fabric, by any means, but it wasn’t my style.

Changing the fabric on your chair can be just as easy, so stick with me.  This is a very simple project which takes less than 10 minutes.

You only need fabric, a screwdriver, and a staple gun with staples.

I was torn between this yellow/lime fabric I’ve had stashed for a while and the other blue menswear fabric which has been striking my fancy of late.

Some chairs are nailed into their frames.  Some are glued because of urgency or just cost.  Most modern chair seats are screwed in and are super easy to re-cover.  If you are looking to re-cover vintage and don’t want to invest crazy amount of time learning to do it, just look for chair covers that unscrew.  I have found many lovely (and cheap!) vintage chairs which would require a professional level of skill.  For me, I love to learn new things but I am trying to scale it back a bit.

My little buddy was ready and willing to assist with any unscrewing or screwing in needs.

 Staples guns can be purchase for a minimum of $10 at Lowes/Home Depot.  Trust me, you will feel cool and confident with this purchase. I do.  mine is a nail/staple combo and it is wonderful.

Because I had 10 minutes before I had to leave for my daughter’s ballet class, I simply covered over what was there.
For the corners, I played around with a few techniques and stapled the north side and then immediately south.  After, I went for the East side and then the west.  I was careful to start the stapling in the middle of each side and then work towards the ends.  I have NO idea if this is correct, I just tend to go with what seems natural.  I stop a few inches towards each side.  Now, I gather the corners in a way that made the least amount of creases or pleats where I didn’t want them.  You can see in the pictures 2 little bumps at the tops that i eventually eliminated.

Basically, I see 3 options here:

1. make a corner like you fold a bed sheet under as a nurse (thanks you nursing school for having this technique always in my mind).

2. force the pleating to the center, for a small gathered pleat.

3. spend 20 minutes making super tiny gathers, as a professional would do to create zero pleats.

**Homeschooling Mother of 3 chose #2 which works for the chair which is mostly used near the piano for the 2nd person in a duet.**

My helper screwing the seat in.  I found that this table position is great for the pressure needed for a sturdy installation.

Overall, I’m happy because what can you expect out of less than 10 minutes?  I can see the fabric peeking out but you could very easily remove your fabric and cover over the padding, assuming it’s in good condition.

4 comments to Old to New: Vintage Chair Re-do

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