Tuesday, September 3, 2013

my secret shame

i can’t even believe i’m going to post a “before” photo of this chair, it’s that bad. but as awesome as the “after” photo is….knowing just how bad this chair started out makes it that much sweeter.

it’s your typical cheap foam toddler chair…but this one’s been around quite a while.

rewind about 11.3 years. guinevere was around 16 months old, and she had just learned to climb in and out of chairs all by herself. in typical new-mom-of-one fashion i was all she must have her own chair now! so i set out to buy her a little chair all her own.

found a cheap little upholstered number at walmart, how about $15 said the manager because there was no price tag on it, sold i said. this chair has served us well for the last 11.3-ish years, sat upon by many a googie and many a visitor. i’d say we got our $15 out of it.

but it’s showing it’s age…

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let’s face it: it was ugly to begin with. the stars and hearts and stripes were never my thing. the torn fabric and accumulated dirt didn’t do much to help. but i could never bring myself to throw it away—knowing it was one slipcover away from being the super cute toddler-sized arm chair of my dreams.

oh boy is that chair disgusting. trust me—it’s way worse than it looks in this picture. when i pulled off the fabric of the seat it actually felt grimy. so, so gross. i finally buckled down and made myself do this because otherwise i was literally giving a large disgusting piece of trash a place of honor in my family room. the cover is really what holds it all together, so with the tears it wasn’t even really functional. so it was unfunctional trash, which obviously is even worse. it was do or die time.

construction wise this thing is crazy simple. the entire body is made of foam, covered with a fitted cover which is stapled to the base underneath.

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the base is just a piece of plywood with two curved wooden pieces so the chair rocks.
once you rip out the approximately 9 staples holding it in the base comes off the bottom. such quality.
the only other thing holding the cover on is some scrap fabric pieces attached on the back of the inside corners of the chair, which are pulled through and tied on the bottom of the chair to keep the inside snug. i just snipped the knot with scissors.

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kids' chair recover3

from there it was pretty straightforward: slide off and take apart the old cover, label all the pieces, cut new pieces from the new fabric and sew it all back together.

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i managed to squeeze it out of a piece of fabric we had left from our family room throw pillows. it’s a durable outdoor fabric, so hopefully it will withstand some rough treatment and another 11 years of use ;) Plus now we’re super matchy matchy. ha.

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i cut it a little too close on that front arm and some of the selvedge shows. boo. i forced myself not to sweat it. it’s a kid’s chair.

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three cheers for easy, cheap fixes!

kids' chair recover9

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  1. Beautiful re-do, and good for you for talking about your shame. So brave ;). With four kids (6, 3, 3, 5 mos) I'm afraid every piece of our furniture looks like the "before" picture. This was a really ambitious project (I'm terrified of furniture-related stuff) and I just might be inspired to slipcover the loveseat.

    Well... Maybe not. I'll just live with my shame.

    Still, great job!

    1. no no no. it wasn't brave, it was stupid. and it wasn't ambitious, it was really very straightforward. just a matter of doing it.
      i've slipcovered, and i've recovered and i'll be honest--recovering is much easier. easier to pull tight and staple vs. just sew something to fit perfectly. i'm such a pusher. DO IT.

  2. Okay seriously, you are so brave to take on this task. It is always one I am a little afraid of. I love the fabric and it turned out fantastic ~ Lisa

  3. At first I was all like "Did she put piping in the seams of that arm? Holler!" and then I was all like "oh. it's just a wee bit of selvedge. never mind." Still, props for making a slipcover. I'm still working on throw pillows.

    1. oh snap. okay but does it count that i actually had the black piping out? because yes, i was going to be THAT person--who not only recovers a child's chair, but also pipes the seams. and then i realized i hate that person. plus, i'm lazy. ;)

  4. That looks SO. MUCH. BETTER. That after is a chair I would be quite happy to have in my house. Great job!

  5. Ah! I did something similar last year. So much easier than I thought it'd be. here's mine:

    1. looks great! and that's exactly what i thought--wayyyyy easier than i built it up in my head! ;)

  6. That is adorable ..amazing, what a difference!


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