Thursday, September 8, 2011

A New Life for My Old Cane Chair

Today I want to share my guest post I did for Craftionary.
It all started with this old chair I found at Habitat Restore.  Well, you know how sometimes you have too many unfinished projects?  That's me, so I kept on walking.   I bought some small thing but kept thinking about the chair.  It was $10.  As I was getting in my car I realized I really wanted this chair.  The fabric was in bad shape but the chair itself was in good shape.  I bought this lovely in May and after tossing around lots of color and fabric ideas around in my head I finally "recreated" it this month.   
There were so many fabrics and colors I loved but in the end it had to be something that could work with  the cane siding.  There was a polka dot fabric and a Chevron one that I adored but, it wasn't happening - too much pattern and I don't want anyone getting dizzy looking at my chair!   So... I  decided to use the Waverly Button Blooms fabric I bought earlier and love so much.  It is pictured with the cotton clothes line I found cheap at Walmart to make cording for the chair.
Then on to the paint.  With this fabric there were several choices.  I chose blue and was delighted to see that Valspar makes Waverly Fabric inspired paint.  I bought a $3 sample bottle of Blue Sail - it was all I needed and still have a bit left for a smaller project.  Amazing.
I started by turning the chair over and removing the screws holding the seat in place.  I'm not quite sure why but.............
There was a board attached to another board that had a large cut out area.  Made no sense to me and if any of you out there have an explanation for this I would LOVE to hear from you.  Needless to say, all the old foam was tossed 
And I didn't remove this tag.  Even though it is pretty scary looking!
Next up was painting this baby. (I won't bore you with removing the old fabric or the gazillion staples that had to be removed.  :)  What a job that was!)
Once the chair was ready I used Rustoleum 2X Satin Heirloom White as a primer just because I had it on hand.  Then painted the Valspar Blue Sail onto my chair.  One coat was pretty much all it needed except for a few spots.
This picture (above) is with the pattern I made using posterboard for the back panels.

 Now for the re-upholstery part    For most projects I use a one inch wide ruler to cut fabric strips on the bias (that means you cut diagonally across the fabric.)  It allows the cording to be more flexible.  
Here you see how to sew the cording pieces together ( front sides facing  ) Then iron the seam open.
Fold over and use your zipper foot (if you have one) to sew the fabric tight around the cord.
Usually, you would want to save the original piece to use as your pattern, but this old fabric fell apart and was pretty yucky.  So, I started from scratch.
I placed the bottom board onto the back of my fabric.   Then I drew around the board allowing 1" extra all around for the seam allowance.  The side and front pieces were 3" deep so I cut out one long strip 5" wide and 54" long.  With the seat fabric facing up I pinned the cording (raw edges matching) and the side piece (facing down.)  Stitched all around the seat with the zipper foot to get a tight fit. 
For the cushion, I used the old seat board to trace a pattern onto new 3" deep foam and some batting.
I placed the foam on the board then added some batting to the top.  I placed the finished cover over it and started stapling all around the base.
Now, on to the back of the chair.  I had traced a pattern onto some poster board for the back fabric panels.  I cut out 2 pieces for the front and back.  I pinned the back with the right side facing out
Then I stapled around the edges.
Placed a thin layer of batting over the back piece and then two strips of jute cut to size for added strength.  I secured this with a few more staples.
Next layer was a 1" deep piece of foam cut to fit inside the layers.  Another thin layer of batting over that and a few more staples.  
For the seat back cording I cut more bias strips but, instead of sewing this I used fabric glue.  I folded over one edge and tucked the raw edge under the folded one.  Pinned it to some cork on top of wax paper to dry.
For the finished back I took the other fabric piece and began tucking in the raw edge at the top and sides.  And more stapling again as you can (hopefully) see in this picture.   Then I used the fabric glue to attach the cording to the back.  I did use straight pins to hold this in place until it was dry. 
Then I put the seat in place and secured with screws.  It is far from perfect but I am happy with my first attempt at recovering a chair!  Hope you enjoyed this and have a wonderful creative week!

Linking to these lovely parties!

Creating My Way to Success - Wednesday Blog Hop
Night Owl Crafting - Hoo's Got Talent?
Domestically Speaking - Power of Paint Party
Southern Lovely - Show & Share
Handy Man, Crafty Woman-Wicked Awesome Wednesday
Sister's Stuff - Link Up Wednesday
Bunny Jean's - Bunny Hop Wednesday 
Ginger Snap Crafts - Wow me Wednesday
The Stuff of Success - Success U
Primitive and Proper - Piece of Work Wednesday
                               Blue Cricket Design - Show and Tell Wednesday
Polka Dots on Parade - Wow Me Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style Wow Us Wednesdays
No Minimalist Here - Open House
Sew Woodsy - What's up Wednesdays

Momnivore's Dilemma - Creative Juice Thursday
Somewhat Simple - Strut Your Stuff
The Shabby Creek Cottage - Transformation Thursday
A Little Knick Knack- Everything but the Kitchen Sink
Kreative Korner - Tea Time Thursdays
                                        A Creative Princess - It's a Party!
My Repurposed Life - Catch as Catch Can
Saved by Love Creations Thrifty Thursday
Crafty Scrappy Happy - Me Thursday
House of Hepworths - Hookin Up with HoH
Fireflies and Jellybeans - Show off Your Stuff
Paisley Passions - Thrilling Thursday

delicate CONSTRUCTION - Delicately Constructed Fridays
The Thrifty Groove - Thrifty Things Friday
Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo - Party Mindie Style
Spunky Junky -  Feature Friday
The Answer is Chocolate - Blog Feature Friday
504 Main Tickled Pink
Miss Mustard Seed - Furniture Feature Friday
Chic on a Shoestring-Flaunt It Friday
Remodelaholic - Friday Remodelaholic
Fingerprints on the Fridge - Feature Yourself Friday
The Shabby Nest - Frugal Friday 
Whipperberry - Friday Flair
Mel Dreams Often - 2 for Tuesday
Serenity Now - Weekend Bloggy Reading
At the Picket Fence - Inspiration Friday
French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Fridays
My Romantic Home- Show and Tell Friday 
My Repurposed Life - Catch as Catch Can
Just a Girl - Show and Share Day
Sassy Sites - Free For All Friday
Mommaskindacrafty   - Fantabulous Friday 
It's a Hodge Podge Life - Friday
Family Ever After - Once Upon a Weekend
GingerbreadSweet Saturday
Funky Junk Interiors - Saturday Nite Special
Tatertots & Jello - Weekend Wrap Up
Day and Age Design - Social Saturdays
Craft Envy - Saturday Spotlight
A Law Student's Journey - Saturday Show Off

I Heart Naptime - Sundae Scoop
The DIY Showoff - DIY Project Parade
It's So Very Cheri - Party Time and Blog Hop
Under the Table and Dreaming - Sunday Showcase
Homemaker on a Dime-Creative Bloggers Party & Hop
Flamingo Toes - Think Pink Sundays
Sisters of the Wild West - Sister Sunday Link Party
Six Sisters Stuff - Strut Your Stuff Saturday
Skip to my Lou-Made by You Mondays
Keeping it Simple - Motivate Me Monday
The DIY Showoff - DIY Project Parade
Polly Want a Crafter Party Mondays 
Lines Across My Face - Cure for the Common Monday
The Girl Creative - Just Something I whipped Up
DIY Home Sweet Home Project -  More the Merrier Monday
Molly Susan Strong - Market Monday
Making the World Cuter-Making the World Cuter Monday
Embellishing Life - Craft Catwalk
Homemaker on a Dime  Creative Bloggers Party and Hop
Creating my way to Success - A Round Tuit
Dittle Dattle - Amaze Me Monday
Sweet Little GalsTurquoise Lovin
Charm Bracelet Diva  -Tuesday's Club G.W
Coastal Charm - Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays
Today's Creative Blog - Get Your Craft On
Chef in Training - Tuesday Talent Show
The Lettered Cottage - How To's Day
Tip Junkie - Tip Me Tuesday
Sugar Bee Crafts - Take a Look Tuesday
Nothing But Country - Creative Creations
Rook No.17 -  A Little Birdie Told Me
Ladybug Blessings - Handmade Tuesdays


  1. This is gorgeous! The fabric & paint color goes perfectly together! Please share this @ Show & Share!

  2. This turned out great! I love the fabric.

    You gave one of the best tutorials ever. Thanks so much for sharing this at the Bunny Hop!

    xoxo Bunny Jean
    Wednesday's Bunny Hop Party!

  3. I absolutely love it! ALl of these sewing posts everyone has make me so jealous. I need to learn how to sew immediately.I tried once before, but I don't know if I was off that day or what, but I could not concentrate or have patience with it at all.

  4. I love the fabric and paint color you chose!

  5. Ohh my goodness I LOVE your up-cycle! I love the color, I love the fabric and I love what a great job you did putting everything together! I am drooling, that is for sure! Thank you SO much for inspiring me---I have a chair sitting out in my garage that I have been wanting to play with! :o) Ohh and thank you SO much for linking up! I am your new adoring fan and follower too!
    Jaime from Crafty Scrappy Happy

  6. It turned out great! Good thing you listened to your gut and didn't leave the chair behind!

  7. Mimi, your chair turned out so cute! I have one exactly like this. I haven't done anything with it because the upholstery part is intimidating me! You inspired me. Thanks for sharing your post.

  8. Thanks for sharing your step-by-step redo of this chair. I have one that is very similar. Reading your post has definitely inspired me to get going on this project.

  9. Love, love, love the redo on this chair! You turned it into a real beauty! The fabric and color choices are wonderful! Thank you for sharing on TTF and have a fun weekend!

  10. I have four chairs very similiar to this one. That I have bought to redo & I am a little scared to do it. I just need to do it. I love the fabric and the paint color. I am going to give it a try.

  11. This is such a WOW before and after! great skills :) love the colors..
    Fancy Frugal Life

  12. i love that fabric! so bright and happy! and the color of the chair is perfect- it looks awesome!

  13. Very nice tut for this chair and cute little notes on the photo (such as "messy")...very personal!

    Love the paint and fab choice- very classy! Great job!

    Visiting from Bunny Jean's Bunny Hop Linky Party today,
    ~Suzanne in NW Illinois

  14. Great choices -- the chair itself, the paint color, and the fabric.

    Why haven't I ever thought of using clothesline to make piping? Thanks for the idea. I also liked the way you made cording for the back of the chair using glue.

    Keep up the good work! Nice tutorial.

  15. That chair looks amazing! You did a great job...I've been trying to do my first "real" chair and I had to stop half way to catch my breath so I didn't go crazy...I have yet to get back to it. It has cording and I've never done that before so I'm putting it off. Thanks for the tutorial...I need to read through it another half dozen times for it to gel in my brain! :)

  16. It really turned out pretty cool! I like your fabric choice too. I'm still finishing up a chair I've been working on FOREVER!! Hope I have just as much luck with mine as you did yours. Great job!

  17. Wow! That looks really nice. I love the fabric you chose.

  18. OMG! I seriously just inherited a cane chair I want to refinish (like yours) and I have that button blooms fabric all over my living room. Too funny.

  19. I love the color of the chair, it turned out beautifully! Thanks for sharing.

  20. Turned out great. Love the fabric and the paint color. For the first time this is amazing. I just bet you can do anything. Thanks for sharing, Ginger

  21. I have redone a chair similar to this, BUT I LOVE YOURS! The color and the fabric is Gorgeous! I know about the million staples! Ha!

  22. Absolutely beautiful. Love.

  23. Gorgeous! I love the color and that fabric, great choices!

  24. I have a similar chair that is a rocker and I bought it to rock first child who is now 35 years old. A make over like yours is exactly what that chair needs. I love the color and the fabrics you used. Thanks for sharing the step by step process.

  25. Such a beautiful update to this chair. I would love to have you participate in the Success U Wednesday linkup parties at

  26. Wow! This is such a beautiful transformation. Even though you gave good tutorial, it looks a little intimidating...and I know how to sew! But you've given me a starting point and now I want to do an upholstery project.

  27. holy cow. This is a true trash to treasure project. This was the first link I looked at from our link party last week (upon arriving back to the states from vacation). I showed Mr. Woodsy and he was in shock. I featured this project on Sew Woodsy today! :)

  28. Great redo. I have that same chair in an old blue fabric, it needs some love to look pretty like yours. Thanks for sharing at Bacon time.

  29. wow! great job. thanks for sharing i have a chair exactly the same but beside the gazillion staples that are taking me forever to pull out and the fact I cant choose a fabric, im soooo intimidated to do this project! thanks for the inspiration!

  30. I love this chair! I'm doing a cane chair makeover too this weekend and this will definitely help! thanks for sharing!

  31. I'm featuring your super cute chair at my link party! :)


  32. great chair. love it. thanks for linking up. we featured you today

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. Super lovely.. I found ya per Motivate me Monday and this totally motivates me to COOK.. : )) Lovely blog.. I'm Marilyn from and i'm following ya officially with SMILES.. Hoping you can stop by sometime and return the follow/simply say hello.. Thanks & have a great week..

  35. Great Job! All of the time and effort spent on your chair was well worth it :) I'm obsessed with cane everything right now!

  36. I love cain chairs and your transformation is just great :) Thanks for sharing such a detailed post, I'm sure your readers really appreciate it.

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. I saw a chair just like this at the thrift store the other day for $12. I was going to buy it but couldn't fit it my car with all the other things I grabbed. Now that I see your tutorial, I totally wish I bought it!! :(

    New follower!
    Stop by and visit us @

  39. Brilliant re-do! Looks gorgeous now!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit! Remember the voting is now open – if you want to head over and vote for your project! The most voted link will get a full post feature/promotion next week!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    Round Tuit 67 voting

  40. @Nikki@EverythingUndertheMoon
    Thanks so much Nikki! Oh I hope you run across another one. That's so funny that you didn't have room in your car for it - I have so been there!

  41. I am truly impressed! What a beautiful restoration! Love the colors and fabrics you choice. So professionally done.

    Absolutely a pleasure to have you be a regular part of the creative soup at Rook No. 17!



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