Sunday, October 27, 2013

Home Project: Recovering the Dining Room Chairs.

‎"Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality."
~Ralph Marston

So, as you likely know, I bought a home about a year and a half ago now. After living in one bedroom with a little bit of storage space for the majority of my adult life, I found I had a lot of space to fill and a lot of projects to do. Luckily, thanks to a few family members, I have several pieces of furniture to fill that space.

I haven't documented most of my projects, but I think I will start so I can keep a record of them. I like to be able to look back at my accomplishments on days when I'm feeling like a loser. It helps to ease the depression and worthlessness I talked about a few posts earlier, which sometimes still creeps in.

Back in July, I recovered the dining room chairs that I purchased off of classifieds. Six "French antique" chairs for $100. Not bad. I don't know if they are really French antiques (doubt it, since the word antique is too often thrown around carelessly), but I do think they are lovely.

Not only was the fabric, which the previous owners chose to recover them in, not my style but the recovering job was awful. The fabric was loose and bunchy around the edges. Underneath the ugly plaid fabric is the original mauve colored velveteen. I chose to leave that on to maintain the integrity of the shape.

Whether they are actually antique or not, they are definitely old as evidenced by the spring mechanism here.

First, I had took the plaid fabric off. I started by loosening all the staples with a flat-head screwdriver.

 Then, I pulled them out with pliers.

Wow. That was a lot of hard work pulling those staples out... there were hundreds in all six chair seats!

Loosely measuring against the old piece of ugly plaid, I cut the new fabric, a red, turquoise, peach, green, and navy paisley print on a light cream background, which I got for 60% off the original price thanks to a Memorial Day weekend sale at Hancock Fabrics.

I pulled the fabric tight on the back and the front of the seat and stapled. Then on the sides. I don't have any pictures, since I was alone when I did this, but I had to be very careful around the corners of the back and the rounded corners of the front of the seat, to ensure that the fabric was laying as smoothly as possible and there were no folds. They turned out really nicely and I cut of any excess fabric so it wouldn't hang down beneath the chair, once I put the seat back in place.

You can see the original pink/mauve velveteen in the photo below. The new paisley fabric is pretty smooth. I saw a couple velvet-like fabrics that I liked, but I knew that I would want something that one's bottom could slide easily on and off, so you wouldn't feel stuck to the chair as you were attempting to scoot your chair in.

And tada... before and after:

Funny, but after I got the new fabric in place, I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. I'm getting used to it now and think it fits well and complements the style of the chairs. The little teal/turquoise matches the rug and the red is pulled in from other red pieces in the room. The best thing is that if I decide sometime down the road that I want a different look, it's a pretty easy change. But I like it for now.

P.S. Does anyone recognize the table? It's the dining room table I grew up eating on. My mom graciously saved it for me to use when I moved in. And if you look closely at one end in the reflection of the light, you can even see my name slightly "carved" into the table from when I was doing homework as a child, pressing hard with my pencil as I wrote my name in the upper right-hand corner. When Grandpa and Mom refinished the table nearly 20 years ago, Grandpa wouldn't let Mom sand that part out. Memories. :)


Stella Dobry said...

I love the fabric that you chose! I bet it looks great in the room.

by Kimberlee St. Clair said...

Totally remember that table... we did our seminary on that table. I remember your name on it too. And I LOVE the chairs and the fabric. Perfect, fun and colorful choice. You did a fantastic job!

Caroline said...

Hi eclaires, I'm a fellow crafter (and also LDS... funny how we all seem to find each other) who just found the paisley fabric you put on your chairs and I think I really need some! Is there any information you can tell me (perhaps the manufacturer is printed on the selvage?) that would help me locate some? Is it an upholstery fabric? I looked at online and could not find it.

Sorry to bother you!


eclaires said...

Hi Caroline! Not a bother at all. In fact, I still have the receipt. I try to save all my fabric receipts and transfer them to my "Home" book, so I can have the sku numbers in case I need more. Of course, I haven't transferred it to the book yet, but I found the receipt. Hooray.

I believe this is the one.
Store: Hancock Fabrics
Name: Jelly Belly
Sku: 3524733
Price: $49.99/yd (yikes!)

I didn't pay that price since it was on sale AND I had a coupon that they let me use. Still on the expensive side, but since I only needed a couple yards, it worked out for me. I hope you can find it. I'd love to see what you end up doing with it. Share your blog when you can!

eclaires said...

In fact, here is the link: