We keep talking about that garage sale adventure that we went on a couple of months ago and the great pieces that we bought that day. One of the things that we found was a very pretty cane bottom chair. The problem was that the cane bottom was completely damaged. We weren’t exactly sure how we would fix it, but for $5 (!) you just can’t pass up that kind of opportunity!
Fast forward to last weekend…while shopping at Calico Corner (one of our favorite stores!), we saw a really fab bird print fabric — it was perfect for the chair and a fantastic color compliment to our bedroom! We may not know how to cane a chair, but we do know how to reupholster a seat cushion, which is all you really need to do to make this project.
Here’s what we used to make the chair:
- Old chair
- 1/2-yard of fabric
- High gloss paint
- 2-foot x 2-foot piece of 3/4-inch plywood
This is what we needed to put it together:
- Skill saw
- Paint sprayer
- Wire cutters
- Pliers, stapler, screwdriver, and screws
Let’s make a chair for the bedroom!
- Start by removing the cane loops underneath the seat. Continue all the way around the seat. And using the pliers, pull all of the cane out of the holes.
- Once all of the cane is removed from the holes, turn the chair right side up and place the newspaper over the seat.
- Next, place a screw through the newspaper and into one of the holes. Place several more screws around the seat to hold the paper in place. We’ll be using the newspaper as a template for the seat.
- Once the newspaper is stationary, use an additional screw to punch holes through the newspaper where the cane holes are. This will define the shape of the seat opening.
- Remove the newspaper from the chair, and cut the newspaper on the outside of the holes with about 1/4-inch between the cut and the holes. Now you have your template.
- Place the newspaper on the plywood, and trace the pattern onto the wood.
- With the skill saw, cut the plywood to size. Now you have your seat bottom.
- Paint the chair base, and let dry. Apply several coats.
A little nip! A little tuck!
- To make the seat, place the batting on a flat surface, and using the plywood as a template, cut out three pieces the same size.
- Next, place the fabric face down on a flat surface, and place the batting and plywood on top. If the fabric has a large pattern, be sure to center the plywood over the area that you want highlighted and cut the fabric about 2-inches longer than the edges of the plywood
- Start upholstering the seat by pulling the fabric up on one side and stapling in place, then pulling it tight on the opposite side and repeating the step.
- Continue pulling the fabric tight on either end, and stapling it. Now take this opportunity to turn the seat over to make sure that everything is in the right place. If you need to, you can remove the staples, adjust the fabric, and repeat the last couple of steps.
- Finish stapling the fabric to the seat by alternating sides as you work your way around the seat until you’re done.
Since we’re now in October, we decided to channel my German heritage and celebrate Oktoberfest! I’m not much of a beer drinker. (Well, except on a hot summer day after working outside for an hour. Then an ice-cold beer is a little bit of heaven!) Anyway Alberto convinced me to try a beer with a shot of Limoncello. It was very tasty. I may not even wait for next summer to have another one!
Attach the Seat!
- Once the chair is fully dry, place the cushion in the seat of the chair.
- Using the pre-drilled holes (from the straw bottom), screw the seat to the chair in one corner. Repeat in three other corners.
This turned out to be a beautiful chair, but I have to admit that the fabric must take much of the credit. It would be hard not to make an impact with this gorgeous fabric. Oh well, I’ve gushed enough. It’s time to put the chair in the bedroom and continue with Oktoberfest!