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folding chair makeover

Guess what I did today? Here's a wee hint:


That's right, kids. A glammed-out folding card table chair. Because those things are so very ugly to begin with. I'd highly recommend embarking upon a similar transformation with your own card table chairsies. Here's the lovely straight-from-the-90s specimen I started out with, complete with water-stained seat:


First step: take off the rivets on the back rest with a screwdriver and hammer. And pliers. Those rivets were mangled when I was done with them, but it didn't matter. Just try not to scratch the back of the folding chair.


Next, unscrew the seat from underneath. Easy peasy.


As soon as possible, take the metal chair frame and set it up in a well-ventilated area. Like nature.


Spray paint it, using light strokes. You might be tempted as I am, when spray painting, to lay it on thick all at once. Don't do this--the paint will run, and it will end up looking junky. Trust me. Just do lots of light passes from all angles. (I think I did two complete coats.) Oh, but don't worry about where the seat and back cushions will cover.


Then, head back inside (or wherever the other chair parts are), flip the seat cusion upside down and remove staples with a screwdriver and pliers. Or I suppose you could simply staple over them. Depends on how thick your original fabric is. And how OCD you are.



Lay the seat cushion on your new fabric and cut about 2" around the whole thing. This will be folded up and over and stapled to the bottom of the seat.


Start stapling, just a coupla staples in the middle of one side then the middle of the opposite side. Then a couple more staples in the middle of the two other sides, being careful to pull the fabric taut and square. Then, from the middle parts where you've just stapled, staple outward on each side (keep pulling taut) until you're about an inch or two away from the corners.


Fold in the corner, pull taut, and staple once. Then pull in one side of the corner until smooth and staple (the goal here is letting no pleats show on the seat top when flipped over). Repeat on the other side of the corner, then move to other corners and do the same.


Trim the fabric about 1/4" to 1/2" away from the staples.


Remember how the rivets were mutilated when we removed the chair back? You do? Gold star. I used a generous amount of my go-to adhesive, Gorilla Glue, and simply glued the padded seat back to the frame, lining up the old rivet stubs on the seat back with the holes in the chair frame.


(If you also choose to use Gorilla Glue, remember that that stuff grows when it dries. Like, expands 3-4 times. So don't get too close to the edge.) Clamp it up, buttercup.


To cover the holes that now showed on the back of the chair, I cut five pieces off an old nail trim strip, spray-painted them, and hot-glued them to the chair. Hot glue isn't exactly heavy-duty, but I needed it to dry fast. And, really, it IS just a folding chair after all. Not exactly made to take a beating. 


End result of the folding chair makeover:


Cute, no? It seriously was way fast and, using leftover materials, 100% free. Gotta love that. I'm interested, though...do you think it's worth putting time into an old folding chair? Or should we all just agree that they're ugly little monsters and leave it at that?
 
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27 comments:

  1. Love, Love the idea and yes I hate my fold up chairs...I think I have the same stain. So worth doing, so I am in!

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    1. "I think I have the same stain." Haha! No, but seriously. I think it's inevitable with these puppies... May as well just cover it up with cuteness, right?
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I think it's cute. But ours don't have fabric on them so te transformation wouldnt be as fun. They turned out great. When can we be friends in real life again?

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    1. Dang. Not nearly as fun a transformation, for sure. Spray paint. Period. Way faster, though... :)
      I KNOW. We need to be real friends. K, I'm checking October's schedge (yep) for a girls' night rendezvous.

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  3. Love this transformation! Great job, thanks for sharing!
    Your newest follower - would love to have you come by and follow back when you have the time :)

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  4. so so cute!! I never think those folding chairs are cute - but yours definitely changed my opinion! :)

    Thanks for linking to "20 Below Thursday"! :)

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  5. Adrienne10/01/2012

    I think it's totally worth it and I love your pattern/color. I need folding chairs and once I find some will be following your tutorial. Thank you!

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  6. Adorable. Sharing it on my FB page!

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  7. I know what I'm looking for next thrift store trip! I need a couple folding chairs but I was holding out because, well, they are ugly. Now, there's hope!

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  8. Anonymous11/22/2012

    Great idea!!!

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  9. I love it-very inspirational! For those who don't have the oadded material "old-school" folding banquet chairs, her is a suggestion...or two: spray paint, crate an actual art image, or simply use tapy to create your own pattern. Hope this helps. I enjoyed reading every bit of this project and inspired to try something similar.

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    1. Great ideas as well, thanks!

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  10. The post is sharing information about folding chair makeover. Useful post

    Bean Bags

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  11. CUTE!!!! now i wish i had some folding chairs with fabric!!! :)

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  12. Love the chair. Can you tell me what color / brand of spray paint that you used??

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    1. Thanks, Debbie. I believe it was Valspar Everglade.

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  13. Hi, Love this project. About how much fabric did you use? I don't have anything suitable laying around so need to buy some.

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    1. Hey, thanks Megan! I'm glad you're going to do it. You only need enough fabric to cover your chair seat and back. If print alignment doesn't matter, you can just measure the width of your chair seat and add 4-5 inches (which, in my case, was slightly over 1/2 yard). That would be the bare minimum I'd recommend, as it leaves you no wiggle room, but it can certainly be done. Good luck! I would (sincerely) love to see a photo of your finished chair; email me!
      -Brittney

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  15. How super-AWESOME. I depend on folding chairs every time I have company. I have plain metal (no fabric) and have been planning to paint them. I think I will stencil them now too!

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  16. HEY...LOVE YOUR BLOG! I did the same thing this past summer on a kid table and chair set that was handed down to my preschool! I added a heavy duty layer of clear vinyl over my zebra fabric for durability and ease of cleaning! How do I post a photo?!?!

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    1. Thanks, Leah! I don't currently have a spot for you to post a photo, but I'd love it if you emailed it to me! Would love to see. brittneynsmart [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  17. Don't forget to scotch guard your new fabric!

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  18. love this - i am going to spray my outdoor bistro chairs and i had a question for you about the folding joint - did it paint shut? did you tape it? was it easy to fold up afterwards? thanks!!

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  19. You have shared a great information about Function Chairs and Plastic Folding Chairs.
    Which are very informative for us.Thanks

    ReplyDelete

  20. You have shared a great information about Function Chairs and Plastic Folding Chairs.
    Which are very informative for us.Thanks

    ReplyDelete