Thursday, October 15, 2009

Before & After: Folding Chairs

By now you all must know about my latest project.

Thanks for all the sweet words and comments about it! I really appreciate it! You’ve made me a very happy lady.


I’ve received many questions about the dining room chairs and I’m here to share all about it!

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Since I had a small budget, but still needed to get some sort of dining room set up I needed to think creatively.


Originally I had searched craigslist for dining set options, but came up empty handed. I thought of buying something new at IKEA, but it would have eaten up the majority of my budget.


I went to many many many thrift stores, but the dining set options were still pretty pricey. All of them at least $100 and sets of chairs were coming up at $60.


I finally found one thrift store that had 4 matching chairs at 5.99 each! A dream, right?


Only problem was that they were folding chairs and not exactly chic.


Here is a shot of one of them all cleaned up:


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My first thoughts were to slipcover them, but due to my lack of sewing skills and no $$$ for my seamstress I went another way and turned them into this:


RubieGreenChelseaApt 134

For my first trick I simply spray-painted them brown. I wanted to go with a wood look and had originally tried to gel stain, but that was a bad idea that had me outside the next day standing everything down for spraypaint!


Because the majority of the chair was being covered in fabric I only had to spray paint the frame of the chair and if overspray got on the seat it wasn’t a problem! I let it sit overnight to fully set.

RubieGreenChelseaApt 103 

Next step was attaching some quilting batting with spray adhesive to the top of the chair.


Author’s note: If your husband comes in and complains that you are going to be putting spray adhesive all over the floor because you want to do this indoors and watch re-runs of Rachel Zoe. Simply remind him of who actually cleans those floors and then just place a plastic bag on the floor to humor him! :)

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I used a tacky spray so it needs to sit for a couple of seconds before you place the batting on top!

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I secured it to the top first and then loop it back from the bottom and cut off the excess.

RubieGreenChelseaApt 112

I then made sure to add a little extra spray adhesive to make it stick. You could either have it overlap a bit like picture above or just meet at the seams, which I did as well. Both worked.


Same steps for the seat of the chair. Cut batting to size and spray adhesive. This time I secured it first to the top then sprayed the main seat of the chair.

RubieGreenChelseaApt 116

After securing it onto the seat I made sure to secure it to the bottom side of the chair as well.

RubieGreenChelseaApt 118

I then repeated the above steps a couple more times or two episodes of Rachel Zoe and voila we were finished with that step.

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Next step is attaching the fabric. I of course had to pick a fabric with a zig-zag which is not very forgiving so my cuts needed to be straight!


Authors note: To make sure you are cutting straight give yourself a marker on the pattern. For this cut I knew I would be going through the bottom of every point and I kept it straight!

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I then simply folded over the sides so that I would no exposed edges that could fray and started stapling away.

RubieGreenChelseaApt 125

The seat is the easiest section to apply fabric to because you can simply flip it to the back and staple away and no will see a seam.


Authors Note: The wood was a bit tough so some of the staples didn’t go in fully. We then had to take them outside and hammer them down a bit. It really was no problem and only added on a couple of minutes to the project.

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To do the top of the chair you repeat the steps from above, but in this case a seam is going to so show. Depending on where you start applying the the seam can be at the bottom and semi hidden or on the back.

RubieGreenChelseaApt 129

After securing the bottom of the fabric and stapling it onto the frame I tucked in the excess fabric from the top and used my glue gun to seal it!

RubieGreenChelseaApt 130

You are now almost finished! To head the staples showing I took out the glue gun again and some ribbon trim and went to town!

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This was a super easy and inexpensive project!

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The chairs were each 5.99

I only need 2 yards of fabric a 8.99 a yard

Spray Adhesive – was in my craft closet

Quilting Batting- was in my craft closet, but the cheapest I have found is at Walmart.

One roll of ribbon- from local craft store- AC MOORE

Glue Gun- was in my craft closet

Staple Gun/Staples: was in my craft closet

Spray paint- 2 cans. I find them the cheapest at Walmart


I think if you check your home you’ll see that you have a lot of the tools already to put these DIY project into affect. The same can even be done with a metal folding chair! Instead of staples use a glue gun the whole way!!!


After finishing my project I took a little break and was going through the mail.


I stopped in awe when I spotted this:

image at  fabric folding chair at Anthropologie for $198 per chair!!!!


Talk about crazy!


Use my DIY steps above and produce your own folding chairs! You can mix and match the fabric like Anthro did above or use the same fabric like me! Add ribbon trim or nail head trim. Spray it a neutral shade or go for a punch of color! The possibilities are endless!


Please remember to share pictures with me if you try it out yourself! Check out other DIY projects here

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Blogger marie said...

Wowie! Very impressive - they look fantastic! I love your pink table too : )

October 15, 2009 at 2:45 PM  
OpenID journeychic said...

Not only did you make them cuter, but the batting makes them more comfortable, too!

October 15, 2009 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger Nicole-Lynn said...

Very cute. Great job.

October 15, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Flavia @ Estilo Home said...

Thanks for sharing the steps with us! I can't believe how cheap and easy it was so make such great looking chairs!

October 15, 2009 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Lynett said...

What a simple and fantastic idea! Thanks for the link to the fabric- I just ordered it in yellow for some pillows!!

October 15, 2009 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger LindsB said...

Such a great idea- I think I need some of that zigzag fabric in my house somewhere now :)

October 15, 2009 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger Renee ( said...

the chairs look great! i love affordable diy ideas!

October 15, 2009 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Oh my word!! Fabulous. I love it when you can find a way to do something for less than the big stores. :)

Thanks for the visit...sometimes Old Navy's jeans do bug the heck out of me, but I think I may have lucked out with those new skinny jeans. :)

October 15, 2009 at 3:54 PM  
Blogger Dumbwit Tellher said...

Absolutely fabulous! I adore the zig-zag (chevron) pattern & how you transformed these chairs is genius. Proves to show us all, that imagination & great style is more important than the almighty dollar. Xx

October 15, 2009 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

awesome! I like the fabric on your chairs better anyway!

October 15, 2009 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

One of the best DIYs I've seen, so creative! I have on of those chairs in my storage room. I will definitely be doing this project.

October 15, 2009 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger Ms. Bright said...

So very crafty of you! Great job!

October 15, 2009 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

What an inventive idea! I just love what you did with the place!

October 15, 2009 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger Alexandria~~The Mommy said...

This rock my socks girl!!!!!!

I'm totally bookmarking them for later (hopeful) use!

October 15, 2009 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I wanted to say those chairs look amazing. What a great way to save money. Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. I hope you come and see me again. Thanks...

October 15, 2009 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger Wanderings of a Wannabe said...

that fabric!!!!! i am ordering some now it is so darn cute. you rock. great job!

October 15, 2009 at 7:22 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing. What a great deal too. I'll have to try this for extra seating options in our house.

October 15, 2009 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Claire Watkins, ASID allied said...

Looks to me like you should open up an Etsy shop and give Anthropologie a run for their $, Camila!!
S W E E T!

October 15, 2009 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger Isabella & Max Rooms said...

Very interesting...opening your mail to see a similar chair from Anthropologie! And yes, if you want to spray indoors I would say that is your right! Turned out great...Janell

October 15, 2009 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger Blair said...

Amazing! I need to try this. You are so good at explaining.

October 15, 2009 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger Michelle (Three Men and a Lady) said...

You are my idol! I'll give it to myself, I've got vision but not folding chair kind of vision. Making those over should be deamed the makeover piece of the year. Folding chairs? Really. Now that's impressive!

October 15, 2009 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger maureen @ The Inglenook Decor said...

Ingeniously crafty Camilla! love the pattern & color, too! Now, I want to do it! :)

October 15, 2009 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger Dallas said...

I walked through Anthropologie and saw the same chairs, though honestly I wasn't as nearly impressed with their choice of fabric as yours. I like the zigzags much more than the granny quilt look.

October 15, 2009 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger lauren verity said...

I have been looking for folding chairs EVERYWHERE! Why I never thought of craigslist? I don't know... these are SO cute and sound so simple. As soon as I find my chairs i'm going straight to the same website and buying that fabulous zig zag fabric to make my own chairs! Love it, great job!

October 15, 2009 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger Kat @ measuring my life in l-o-v-e said...

This is such a cool idea!!! Love them, especially that green color!

October 15, 2009 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger Melissa A. said...

This is awesome and I was going to say they look just like some chairs from Anthropologie, but then that was in the end of your post. You did a great job. I love them.

October 15, 2009 at 11:44 PM  
Blogger { L } said...

Excellent post!! I would have never thought to do that. You did an incredible job!

October 16, 2009 at 1:57 AM  
Blogger Porchlight Interiors said...

Very creative! Love the green and white zigzag fabric! Happy weekend! Tracey xx

October 16, 2009 at 3:07 AM  
Blogger Maria Killam said...

That is so amazing! Great job and I love the fabric!

October 16, 2009 at 5:14 AM  
Blogger Sarah A. Ireland said...

Great project! My mom has some old folding chairs that need a facelift - maybe we will do this!

October 16, 2009 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Down and Out Chic said...

lovely project! the fabric you used is wonderful. thanks for the awesome tutorial.

October 16, 2009 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Miss Wendy said...

That is a fabulous DIY project. So simple and inexpensive. I bet indoor/outdoor fabric would work great on chairs for a front porch too.

October 16, 2009 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Sidney said...

Wow! Great project!

October 16, 2009 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger Centsational Girl said...

Those look so fabulous. I absolutely love your choice to paint them, and your fabric choice? Stunning ! Great tutorial too.

I'll mark these as a feature in my next "your revamps" post.

I'm so impressed !


October 16, 2009 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger Revival said...

I love that fabric! And, that is SO something my husband would say, too...:)

October 17, 2009 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger fric and frac said...

These are great! Love the fabric!

October 18, 2009 at 1:46 AM  
Blogger MissBliss said...

great project! It is so fun to see a version of your own work spotlighted for 200 by Anthro!

i heart staple guns and that pink table is divine!

October 25, 2009 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Lettered Cottage said...

WOW! How fantastic! GREAT job!


October 27, 2009 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

The look fantastic. And very generous of you sharing with everyone. Just found your blog and
look forward to adding it to my favourites.

October 27, 2009 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger LuLu said...

I just love how you did your own chair s and they are soo cute! You must be trilled,
so glad i found your blog,

October 27, 2009 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

What a great idea! I am saving this for my idea file.

October 28, 2009 at 12:58 AM  
Blogger Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I recently pulled 2 of these chairs out of someone's trash pile and cleaned them up. Now I know what to do for a perfect finishing touch!

I DIE~ Bananas!

October 28, 2009 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Hopeless Chest said...

I just realized, we had a couple chairs just like these hanging out in our garage, and my dad sold them in our garage sale this summer... One was propping up a sign, they weren't even for sale originally!!!
Looks great

October 28, 2009 at 8:33 PM  
OpenID hiphousegirl said...

I love these! I had no idea folding chairs could look so good.

December 10, 2009 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger ideku handmade said...

pretty easy.. i want to try one at home :)
thanks for sharing..


April 9, 2010 at 2:33 PM  
Anonymous stackable folding bookcase said...

You are talented.
It's very cute.
Thanks you so much for sharing the steps (step by step)

I try to made it.


April 28, 2010 at 9:53 PM  
Anonymous J. Graves said...

So I'm totally late in the game, but this is awesome! I just got "stuck" with a folding chair exactly like yours and was tempted to just use it for a footstool. This is much cooler. Thanks!

August 3, 2010 at 8:50 PM  
Anonymous C.K. said...

Love It !!!

November 9, 2010 at 3:27 PM  

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