Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Whimsical Makeover: The "I Did It!" Edition

This is officially the summer of "trying new things". There are a few tricky techniques that I have shied away from in the last year for several reason. Sometimes it was because I wasn't confident in my skills. Other times I simply lacked the time or space to complete the task without stressing myself out.

I have been wanting to try a trickier form of re-upholstery. This happened to be the week for that. :)

I purchased this beautiful chair at Amazing Grace Antiques in Elburn.
I loved the curvy legs and the amazing details. Just in case you are starting to get nervous, no, I didn't paint it. :)

The fabric on the seat wasn't really my style and it was very saggy. So I took it out to the driveway and began to rip it apart. 

It was by far the most disgusting prep job ever!!!

Those of you who really know me, know that I am grossed out easily. Now, it has taken me a while to identify the source of my germaphobia. I have found that I can handle blood and vomit but not thrift store clothes and shoes. This can lead me to believe that I am terrified of other peoples skin cells and hair. This is totally normal right? 

Ok, back to the chair. I believe this chair contained some sort of hair. Animal or human, it doesn't matter. It was definitely hair and lots of it. I couldn't handle it. I was gagging in the driveway as I worked. My neighbors officially think I have lost it at this point.

 I was all ready to complete this project in one day. However, after a significant amount of "grossed out" time, I was ready to call it a day. 

The next day I worked on cutting a new seat for this chair and another stool I am working on. I use thick wood and screwed them both into place. I even stood on them to make sure they were secure. I also needed to remove all of the old nails from the chair. That took a good amount of time. I need another break after that.

On the third day I was finally ready to finish my project. I had purchased the perfect fabric and trim. I had also gathered my  foam seat cushions and quilt filling for extra fluff. I began the stapling process. I used my staple gun that was attached to my air compressor and it when by fairly quickly.

 After this process was done, I took the chair inside and began to trim it with very small and sharp fabric scissors. This took a while but was fairly easy. Then I followed it up with gluing the trim into place and it was finished!!!!

It is not perfect but I am super pleased with my first attempt! I stressed about it but it was well worth it. This chair will not be for sale. It is going into my personal collection. I'm not sure where yet...but I am sure I can find a place. :)



  1. Great job on the chair! Yes, it's perfectly normal to be grossed out by other people's hair & skin cells as well as other things. I know because it grosses me out too lol. I do find that when working on/with stuff that other's have used, a face mask helps a lot. I just have to psych myself into thinking that the mask, goggles, gloves, etc are protecting me from all the ickiness lol.

  2. great work, like the color combo...and many old stuffings we're horse hair..glad yu stuck it out...

  3. You did a beautiful job on it AND I (((LOVE))) the material you chose AND how it looks with the wood...Thank you for NOT painting that gorgeous wood!
    NOW, if you didn't already do it. FLIP the chair and "SIGN your masterpiece" under it's seat!!! You could even write something cute under there...
    Thank you for sharing,
    LOVE IT!

  4. Fantastic job on transforming that lovely chair!

  5. Great project, with a super cute chair! I have to tell you, I laughed so hard about the germ thing. I thought I was the only one! I totally get it! Thanks for being so honest!

  6. holy that was a mess! you made it shine beautifully again!

  7. You did a great job! That was probably horse hair, although people often used what ever they had access to. I agree that a mask helps. I too can handle vomit and blood, but it is chewed gum and the smell of spearmint gum that make me want to vomit!

  8. Great job and I love the material specialy because:
    Hugs from Poland, Maja

  9. Beautiful. Love the fabric and you had me laughing through the entire post.

  10. Okay, let me first say I'm totally with you on the used clothing and shoe thing. I just can't wear other people's used clothes. And in college, I thought it was disgusting when other girls left their hair in the sink. The thought of it still makes me shudder! Anywho ... the chair is adorable. I love the curves on it and the fabric is so much better. Did you wash your hands for a long time after ripping out the stuffing? LOL!

  11. Beautiful job on the chair. So glad you didn't paint it and I love your choice of fabric and trim.

  12. What a beautiful transformation. It looks amazing!