Hello all, I hope you had an amazing Easter. I had an AMAZING one that I am still on a massive high from but will share some of that with you later on.
For now I want to share something that I have been working on and finally managed to finish. Giving one of our Teak chairs a makeover. This is hopefully the first in a long series of fun Crafternoon projects that Miss L and I have lined up for you. Yes I feel a little old at the excitement that this brings me 🙂
Mr Short and I found these two Teak arm chairs in a second hand store and I thought we could get them recovered and they would be fine for our new apartment. After getting a couple of quotes which were RIDICULOUS I began thinking we should have just spent our money on brand new chairs as it would have worked out to be around the same price. My Nana who happened to be over at the same time mentioned how easy it was to do it myself which got me thinking that maybe I should take it on as my next project. Although I was still quite unsure as my Nana is amazing at literally anything she decides to do so her ‘easy’ would mean very challenging for me. This year is a year for actually reaching my goals instead of just setting them which I usually do. So I set off with Nan to the fabric store to get all the right materials. I decided that I wanted to do a neutral colour and add my colour with fun cushions that I could change at my leisure.
If you have a chair that is sitting in your lounge that could do with a spruce up I PROMISE if I can do this then you can too!!!
For the chairs a trip to Bunnings, the fabric store and a rubber and plastic store was needed.
What you will need;
Sandpaper (or sanding machine if you are a cheat like me and lazy!)
Material – 1.5m per chair (it needs to be thick upholstering material that will wear well)
New Zipper for the seat cushion
New foam (you can use the old foam if it is in good condition)
Your Mum or Nana or someone to give you advice when the stupid cushion just wont work!!!!
Firstly I had Mr Short help me remove the frame from the seat ready for sanding. Remember that if you are going to sand and varnish that there are 3 – 4 coats required so it pays to get started on this first and have it ‘drying’ while you are sewing of more likely lazing around in my case! Be careful when removing the frame as it can snap back quickly and pinch you! Four hands is better than two for this.
I was lucky enough to borrow a sander from Papa Short although this can definitely be done with sandpaper. Depending on the state of the wood you will only need the finest sandpaper you can get just to lightly remove the top layer and not strip it back too much. Go easy with this and experiment with somewhere discreet first. This was my first attempt and it did take a while due to the small corners but was easily done with the sander.
Once you have finished sanding make sure to wipe the chair with a wet cloth to remove all of the sawdust. Once you have completed this you can apply your first coat of varnish. I wanted to bring out the natural colour of the wood so chose to just use a completely clear varnish. The first coat is a sealing coat and needs to be left to dry before lightly sanding the chair again. You can then apply the other coats with 24 hours of drying time in between. This does take a long time but the end result is worth it. As you can see below the colour of the Teak has really lifted. Of course not everyone likes the natural wood so you can get a variety of stains if that is the look you are going for.
While the frame of the chair was drying I decided to cut my pattern. I carefully cut through all of the seams on the two cushions to create my pattern. Remember to leave a seam allowance. I then simply guessed where to sew by using the old chair as my guide. This is basic sewing and is not overly complicated it just takes time and some careful study of how the old chair used to work! I did give up one time and ask Muma Short over to rescue me but apart from that the first sewing attempt was okay and nothing that a good cushion can not hide!!!
Once you have sewn the new pieces try them on for size. At first mine were too small so I took all of the seams in so they were nice and firm on the seat. I added the new foam and secured the new frame on with the help of Mr Short.
This was my first attempt at the chair and I was pretty happy with it overall. I have learnt some lessons for the next chair which will of course now will have to be perfect! To take my time was the main one but also to keep trying it on the frame to check if I am on the right track. Especially as the pattern that I was using was old and stretched from the old chair.
As the colour of the chair is very neutral my next project, with Miss Long Legs, we will be creating some fun bright cushions not only for this chair but for the other furniture in our houses.
Mr Short does not understand my obsession with cushions and complains every night when we remove the excessive amounts from the bed so this will be pretty fun when he gets home to discover more!!