Although our home is only 700 square feet I still really wanted a place where we could have more than four people sit and enjoy a meal. We went shopping and found a great craftsman style expandable table that can sit up to eight, if we ever did this I’m pretty sure it would take up the entire living room. Once we had our table we needed chairs and I was completely shocked when I saw the price of dinning room chairs. $90 to $300+ per chair! You’ve got to be kidding me?
We went to Ikea and bought six chairs for $70 each thinking we found something that would work that wouldn’t break the bank at the same time. Got them home, built one, put it at the table and both Tyler and I hated it. It looked like a cheap childs chair at our nice big table.
After returning those chairs and not wanting to spend a thousand plus dollars on chairs that we would be happy with when they’re are so many other home projects we needed to save for. We took a break from that project and left the table sitting there.
One night I was looking at the two solid wood chairs we got from a neighbor’s yard sale years ago that we were planning on passing down to my brother in-law after we got the new ones, but thankfully I had the thought, “what if we just painted them white?” We could go to thrift stores or yard sales and find four other chairs (in matching sets of two) and paint all of them white to tie them all together. Then Tyler suggested we reupholster them all to have matching cushions, genius! My green living approach to our green home gave us the idea to upcycle chairs for the dining room table and I couldn’t be happier.
We had a plan and were both excited about our new mission! This project saved us tons of money, we ended up spending $12 on two chairs that were from World Market, at a goodwill store and $65 on fabric, paint and staples. Totaling $77, only $7 more than the price of one cheap, uncomfortable small looking Ikea chair.
Going green is awesome and saves so much money. If you are in need of new chairs or are wanting to update chairs in your home, check out the instructions below. Buying second hand and upcycling what you already have is always the better option than buying new.
Upcycle DIY Chair Directions
- Find chairs you like. Use chairs you already have or check out thrift stores, yard sales and craigslist to find chairs you love that just need a bit of a face lift.
- Remove the cushion from the chair’s frame using a drill or screwdriver. Be sure to save all the hardware you remove in a bowl so you can easily find it at the end when you need to reattach it.
- Remove the top layer of upholstery with a Flathead screwdriver or 5-in-1 painter’s tool.
- Layout your fabric of choice with the cushion face down on top. Fold fabric up on all four sides and use a pencil to mark out the amount needed to cover the cushion. I found about 3 extra inches worked best.
- Cut the fabric along your marks.
- Fold up one side and use a staple gun to staple fabric to the underside of the cushion. Be sure to put in extra staples (at least 6 to start) because you will be pulling the fabric very tight to ensure it looks clean with no bunching or folds and you don’t want it to rip.
- Continue to fold corners neat and tight while working your way around the cushion stapling the fabric in place as you go.
- While the cushions are removed from the chairs bring the chairs outside to paint. Before painting them you should lightly sand them using a 120 grit sandpaper by hand or with an electric sander. When finished sanding wipe down the chairs with a damp cloth.
- Now you’re ready to paint. I found that spray paint is the best for painting furniture. It gets the most even coat with no drips and is much faster than painting by hand. Buy a high gloss primer and paint in one.
- Once the paint has dried you’re ready to reattach the cushion. Get the bowl where you put the hardware from when you took off the cushion and use a screwdriver or drill to reattach it to the frame of the chair.
I hope this inspires you to look around your home and see what you can upcycle rather than just buy something new; it’s a fun and creative way to create your green home.