Upcycling project #1

Ok, you may or may not have noticed that I’ve been MIA for a bit, both here on the blog and on Instagram. Apologies to everyone, if you’ve missed me (which I’m sure you haven’t!). Things have got really quite busy for me in the past couple of weeks – more on that to come over the next few posts!

So, as you are all probably aware by now, because I’ve mentioned it a billion times, I’m moving house this year. T minus 2 and a bit months now until moving in time, wooooo! And because of the new house, I’m taking the opportunity to get some new furniture and re-do the colour schemes in all the rooms so they’re different to what they were in the old house. Plus, the new house is bigger which means more space for more furniture!

One of the new rooms that I’ll have in the new house is an office. It is in fact bedroom number 3 but as I’ll be there on my own and I don’t really have a need for a third bedroom, it’s going to be my little working space where I can sit down and write the blog, do all my paperwork and where I can plan and work on my new little business venture (more to come on that later in the week). I therefore could really do with some office furniture – a desk for example and a desk chair.

I’d been searching around for a nice chair for a while and couldn’t really find one that I liked. I figured that I’d just keep looking until I found one, because there MUST be one somewhere I like, right? After spending a few weeks at mums however, I had a genius idea!

In my bedroom at my mums house is a Directors style chair that I’ve had for probably around 15 years or more. It’s been languishing at mums since I first moved out in 2007 and hasn’t been used since. I barely used it even when I was living at mums. Why not use that chair as my new office chair? Brilliant!! That’s precisely what I’ll do.

On inspecting the chair, the frame of it is in super good condition. With a bit of dusting down it’ll be excellent for the office room. But, the fabric bit of the chair is red, which absolutely won’t go with the purple teal and cream colour scheme I’ve got in mind for the room. Not only that, the fabric on it is actually really old and has been really faded by the sun. Rather than red fabric, it kind of looks some weird orange colour now.

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So, is there anything I can do about that?

Well yes, yes there is. And here’s what I did.

The old fabric was on very tight. It needs to be in order to hold someones weight! I could see how it was possible to take the old fabric off, but me and the chair did have a little bit of a fight when trying to fold it up. After using some WD-40 on the hinge I won the fight and the fabric came off really easily. Thumbs up.

In a local fabric shop I found some perfect replacement material, in a thick canvas type fabric and in the cream colour I was looking for, at the bargain price of £5.99 per metre. And all I needed was 1 metre. Winning!

All I then had to do was make a seat and a back to the same size as the red ones. Starting with the back, I literally put the red material on the new cream and cut around it making sure to leave enough to turn it over at the edges and for the loops at each end which will keep it on the chair. Then it was a case of sewing the edges over so they don’t fray and turning the ends over to make the loops.

With the seat I chose to make it double thickness as I’ll be using the chair quite a bit and I don’t want it to lose it’s tension too quickly. I just folded the new material in two and cut around the red material, leaving enough at the top and sides to turn the edges over. To keep the chair seat in place, there are two wooden rods, one on each side, so I had to turn the sides over again to thread the rods through.

Once the back and the seat are put onto the right bits of the chair, it’s just a case of unfolding it again to make it into a seat. And here’s the result:

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How fabulous is that?!! It came out exactly as I was hoping it would and was as taught as it needed to be in order to hold the weight of someone sitting on it! Wooooo!

And now I have a fabulous new chair for my new house, made out of an old chair which had become a little unloved and unused! And all it cost me was £5.99 for the fabric and about an hour of my time.

Here’s a comparison of the two photos above so you can properly see the before and after.

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I’m so happy with how this came out! And the great thing is, if ever I need to re-do the fabric ever again, I now know how easy it is to do it! A chair that can be used for years and years to come. I definitely didn’t think it’d be that when I bought it all those years ago! But a perfect example of when something old can be turned into something new.

Much love! x

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