Another post about my son’s room do-over (and I still have one more to go!). I wasn’t sure which catagory to include this project in because it was totally fun, but I also took an existing item and switched it up. So, you’ll find this project in both Fun Stuff and Old Stuff.
When we started his room, I took him shopping to get some ideas and look for some accessories. We had talked about getting a reading chair for his room and he found this one at Target. I wasn’t crazy about it at first. I liked the metal legs but the fabric was all wrong. But on a second look, it was on clearance (around $60) and the cushions looked like they could be easily removed to switch or recover the fabric.
I removed the seat and back cushions by removing a few screws. Next, I spray-painted the frame a glossy cherry red color.
I would NOT recommend doing this in the garage or on your driveway. Or, at a minimum, cover the area well with cardboard or newspapers. I did not cover the floor and the overspray left the floor looking like a crime scene.
I love the glossy finish. Remember, several thin paint coats are better than one or two gloppy, runny ones (I speak from personal experience!). Allow adequate dry time in-between coats and try to be patient!
I scoured my local Jo-Ann Fabrics and Hobby Lobby for the right fabric but couldn’t find what I wanted. I finally found upholstery-grade Union Jack fabric on-line from a Google search. It was a little more expensive than I had hoped, but EXACTLY what I was looking for. I’m a very novice sewer, and the pattern did not line up perfectly for my chair dimensions so I had to improvise a bit (A little note here: this is a project from last year, before I ever envisioned chronicling my projects on a blog, so I apologize for the lack of step-by-step photos. I will try to explain how I covered the cushions. But really, you could probably do better. My process was devised by necessity and ignorance!).
Since the pattern wasn’t perfect for my cushion dimensions, I cut it and sewed straight seams to make the pieces large enough to cover (notice the seams along the edges of the cushions in the picture below).
The seat cushion was the easier one to cover, so I started with that. Once I had a section of fabric large enough, I laid it face down on a clean table, placed the cushion face down on top of it, pulled the fabric taut, and started stapling (using a light-duty stable gun) the new fabric to the wooden frame on the underside of the cushion. I put the new fabric right on top of the existing fabric. It was fine because the Union Jack fabric was dark and thick, but if you are covering a dark fabric with a lighter one, you may have to remove the original fabric first so it doesn’t show through. The corners can be a little tricky because you tend to get extra fabric gathering there, so you may need to trim away some excess.
This is what the bottom of the seat cushion looks like after I reattached it to the frame. It isn’t very pretty, but no one ever sees it.
The back cushion was a different type of challenge. I couldn’t do it the same way I did the seat cushion. With this particular chair you can see the back of the back cushion (that isn’t a typo!) so I couldn’t just pull the fabric and staple it. The only part of the back cushion that isn’t exposed is the bottom where it meets the seat cushion. Another issue I had to address is that I ran out of Union Jack fabric! I found a very inexpesive piece of denim fabric on sale at Hobby Lobby and made it work. I think it looks fine, and where the chair is positioned in the room, you never really see the back anyway. But take note, DIYers: always measure and re-measure!
To cover the back cushion I sewed something resembling a pillow case. I slid the back cushion into it and (gasp!) used my hot glue gun to seal the bottom of the fabric before I reattached it to the seat cushion. I know, I know…that is totally not the correct way to do it, but I honestly could think of no other way and I’m not good enough with a needle and thread or sewing machine to pull off the correct way (which I still don’t know what that would be, anyway). So, in the true spirit of DIY, I created a solution, and made it work. You would never know (if I hadn’t just told you) and it has lasted nearly a year in a busy 9-year old’s room with no ill effects. I call that a success!
- fabric of your choice
- sewing machine (optional…you may not need it if your fabric is large enough)
- staple gun and staples (light or heavy-duty)
- glue gun…but only as a last resort! 🙂