Saturday Project–Chair re-do


Quick project to pass the time….. I had an old chair that I used for my sewing chair. This old chair had been around for years and was a very useful chair. Today was the day it was going to have a facelift.

We started with this – turquoise velvet covered cushions and a wooden frame that had a patina of grime and years of use.


My sister dropped around the other week with a ton of coffee sacks left over from orders to her coffee shop.

Which was fortunate because I wanted something chic and organic to cover my chair in. It was a quick and easy job.

Here is the process:

1/ Dismantle the chair with a little coaxing and force.


2/ give the frame a really good sand

3/ remove at least one layer of upholstery; if the chair has been redone before – like this one had. This is the original layer………. it doesn’t get more retro than this!


4/ Use the layer of fabric you removed as a template for your pattern cutting and cut into the burlap leaving at least 1cm clearance. I included clearance because Burlap is liable to fray and needs to be folded under on every raw edge. (you could machine baste with a wide stitch to ensure a long lasting piece, if you wanted too).


5/ Stretch the burlap over the cushion keep tight and work your way around the base with the gun staple. Fold the edges under as you work your way around.


6/ I found the burlap was too thick in the corners to gun staple through effectively. So to ensure integrity and strength in the fabric at corners seams and relieve the pressure on the staples (they wouldn’t stay in for very long anyway) – I worked the seams in blanket stitch with a mattress needle and waxed twine. I picked up the wax twine in a box lot I brought off an older lady who was cleaning out her sewing room. It was vintage and perfect for the job!


7/ With the cushions and the frame ready, the only step left was to reassemble. Unfortunately the burlap was much thicker than the previous layer of fabric removed and wouldn’t go back into the frame from whence it came. In hindsight I probably should have removed all the layers back to the foam. So to rectify this problem I had my hubby skilfully route out the sides a little further. He is a professional so please don’t try that at home unless you know what you’re doing. I don’t want anyone losing digits!

8/ Reassemble the chair with the help of a ratchet/spanner and a big clamp.

and all done!!




Second job of the day. Hubby brought home a small table that he had made at work in his downtime. He wasn’t overly happy with it but I thinks it’s fab and instead of a table – it makes an awesome little one seater monk bench for our deck. So he sealed it with the same sealer we used on the Armoire project and now I have two cute seats – in one day!!




  1. Love what you have done with the chairs!

    The folks at my local auction want me to take on a chair that needs a bit ofTLC but I am such a chicken! If I knew that I could find the right fabric, like your coffee sacks, I might be more willing! Living in a small town, in the country one would think it would be easy to find such beautiful fabric, but it isn’t. I look forward to following you and seeing more of your projects!


    1. Thanks for your comment. Bummer about the lack of coffee sacks. Maybe you can find a country chic alternative – there must be something!?! I wish you luck on your quest if you choose to take it on.


  2. This is great! I’ve been eyeing the coffee sacks from a coffee shop near us for a while now, but don’t know how I go about getting my hands on them. I should probably just ask, but I’m afraid to in German! I was thinking of making a bean bag or something like that, but this is a great idea also! Thanks for sharing! And thanks for visiting my blog! =)


    1. Thanks for your comment. definitely – go into your cafe and ask them! Our cafes here either give them away or sell them for $2 a sack…… It doesn’t hurt to ask! 🙂

      A bean bag would be so great you would need to ensure you have an inner shell of cotton though because those little beans would definitely wiggle their way through the weave. Good luck and let me know how you get on when you do get some sacks. 🙂


  3. With the modernizing, speedy production innovation, just the structure of the chair is a gem to preserve and behold. What is now mass produced often sells for more due to inflation and have less quality. Great what you’ve done to the chair…


  4. wow–love it! That’s an amazingly cool chair you’ve made:-) I could never in a zillion years make such an amazing transformation. Want to thank you for stopping by foodforfun’s (expensive) buttermilk ice cream.


  5. I really liked your hubbys little stool. I wonder if we might see an upcoming post with the plans for it!! *crosses fingers* Perhaps you could talk him into drawing out the plans and then make another one so that we could have the benefit of plans…. and you get a second stool!


  6. I see you made good use of those coffee sacks! 🙂 im surprised you still have these chairs they must be as old as you… 🙂


    1. I think they (I only have one – the other one broke and we got rid of it) are as old as YOU. Mum commented on the Thrift Haul post and said the green velvet covering were once curtains in your room…. I don’t remember that tragedy. But that’s where I get my make do and mend attitude I ‘spose.

      Thanks for the coffee sacks I have a few more projects in mind and I will make you something out of them too 🙂


  7. Well, that came out perfectly, Pepper! You’ve taken something ‘blah’ (sorry-looking blue velvet–ugh!) and turned it into a conversation piece! One question: Have you given the burlap some coatings of spray-on Scotchgard (TM) or a similar silicone-based waterproofing product? Either would help lengthen the burlap’s life, in the long run! Great finished piece here!


    1. Thanks Another Thousand Words, no I haven’t coated the burlap in any waterproofing product – I would like to see how much wear and tear it takes in it’s natural state and how long it will last. Good idea though I will keep that in mind for the next burlap project. 🙂


  8. This looks great! Thank you for showing what you did in so much detail. I’m looking to buy nice vintage chairs from ebay and it’s good to know that re-doing isn’t too difficult =)


    1. I always wanted to do an upholstery course too. But never had the time, money or inclination. I just decided to go for it and try it for myself….. and with this simple design of chair you could hardly go wrong. Start simple and dream big! Thanks for the comment!! 🙂


  9. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at recovering a chair! I have an antique ladies rocker that seriously needs to be redone but I’m afraid to hurt it. I love that you gave such specific instructions! I think I may be able to do this! Your chair looks fantastic and I love the burlap idea. How original! Thanks for sharing:-)


    1. Well this chair was not an antique and it is a super simple design, so I was confident enough in with messing with it. You should maybe have a detailed look on how your chair fits together first before launching into a retrofit. If in doubt I would go to a specialist. But if it looks fairly simple then try it out you will save a ton of money and get the satisfaction of doing it yourself!! thanks for the comment! 🙂


      1. It is a super simple fit, I think but you’re right, I think it’s probably not the one to practice on! lol I’m thinking a professional should maybe do the job and maybe I’ll practice on a chair that I find at a thrift store. Anyway, your directions were very clear and so simple to follow. It gives me confidence that I could do this! lol


        1. This is the first chair we got as a possible re-do. We sent it to the professionals in the end because I was a little scared of mucking it up and I am super glad we did as it turned out better than we ever expected.

          Don’t be put off – practice with a few thrift store chairs first and you’ll be ready! Good luck with your re-do’s and keep me posted on how they turn out. It is super simple when you get the hang of it. I had my practice from a number of years straining my own canvas’s. 🙂


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