Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Candied Cane Chairs

It took me a long time to finally decide the fate of my inherited cane back chairs.  They were in perfect condition, and I felt sentimental since they belonged to my late grandparents.  The charm of the 1970s is not lost on me.  Owl and mushroom motifs hold a certain kitschy charm , but as much as I hoped the orange crushed velvet would mesh with the newly painted grey living room, it just wasn't working for me.  These were the chairs in all their original glory:
"Mama, these chairs match like my outfit....did daddy dress me in the dark?"
I started by pulling off this layer of fabric.  I removed the two screws holding the cushion in place, so that I could work on the wood frame .
There was about one hundred upholstery staples and glued on fabric fibers on the frame.  If you don't already own a heavy duty staple remover, I suggest getting one.  We used a flat head and pliers and it was a pain in the arse!  The best way to get fabric glue off is acetone (think nail polish remover).  When we were finally done, we gave the underside a light sanding, then two coat of gray spray primer, and two coats of glossy black.
I pulled off the orange fabric and was pleasantly surprised to find the foam and batting in PERFECT condition! It was clean and fluffy, yay!  I used my seam ripper to dissemble the orange velvet cushion covers to get a template for the new ones.
Everything was going fine until I got to this stage.  I somehow mis-measured the end piece on the box cushion, and had to pull it apart, cut a new piece and re-sew.  My sewing machine behaved until the last seam, at which time it started tangling in the most maddening fashion, and sewing the fabric TO the sewing machine plate.  I spent an hour re threading, checking program settings, and consulting the troubleshooting guide.  I finally got so upset, I gave it a good smack and inadvertently cracked the LED screen! I'm a true believer in the "shake it/ kick it" method of fixing appliances, but this time it did not work. ;) My friend brought over her tried and true, mint green, 1960s sewing machine so that I could finish the last seam. Her machine is heavy and loud, but reliable.  She calls her machine Bertha, which I thought was fitting.  I should name my machine I thought!  From this day forward I will call her "little bitch", because she's whiny and breaks down.  "Not right now darling, I'm fiddling with my little bitch!"
After the cover was finally finished, I stapled it to the seat, and then re-screwed the cushion to the frame.  Here is the before shot:
And now:
The black and white chevron pillows were made from Target clearance hand towels.  $1.25 each, baby!
What do you think?


  1. LOVE IT!!! E's outfit wasn't *that* mismatched! Cute always goes with cute, right? The chairs are fab, too.

  2. u r getting to be an expert, zi can't wait to see them and u all in person. This is somrthing i never tackeled


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...