Wicker Chair Makeover

Hey guys!!  I was at a conference for work all week, and have missed my little blog!  It feels good to be back at home, and I am SO excited to share a little project I finished late last night…
I haven’t shared many pictures of our dining room so far because it’s not “finished” but I’m tired of waiting around!!  Remember this lonely little corner?  I was on the hunt for a comfy overstuffed armchair to wedge in here…
As it turns out, comfy, overstuffed chairs come with a hefty price tag, and since we’re about to spend quite a bit on a sofa, I decided to look for alternatives.  This room is now functioning more as an office than as a dining room (side note: I really need to stop referring to it as a dining room) so we just have one chair at the table now.  Since painting the walls, I had put one of the dining room chairs in the corner, but aside from attracting clutter, it was completely non-functional.  So I moved it down to the garage, and turned to plan b…
The wicker chair that used to be in our living room, but has been sitting in our garage all sad and lonely since I haven’t been able to sell for months. 
I couldn’t even give it away, but since I’ve had it since I was a child, I just didn’t have it in my heart to leave it on our street corner.  I wanted it to find a good home, so it just sat in the garage collecting dust…
Remember it from the living room??
It was white, wicker, and oh so perfect for a little girls room… Not so perfect for a city apartment shared by two adults…
Well, it’s nothing that two cans of Rustoleum Bronze spray paint can’t fix! Here is the chair sitting all sassy and happy in the corner of our dining room as of this morning…
HUGE CHANGE right??  
The chair is hardly recognizable now that it’s been sprayed a dark brown.  The paint color is “bronze” but it’s not metallic at all – I promise. It’s a nice dark brown when all is said and done.  Here’s a close up:
This is actually a better, more accurate depiction of it’s color:

Chocolate-y.  I kind of love it.

Ok, let’s talk about the new seat cushion and accessories, shall we?  I have a little crush going on with black and white right now, and while I still think our living room could live without SO MUCH black furniture, this space needed to be grounded with some black since everything else was white, and grey.

Both pillow case, and fabric for the seat cushion are from Ikea.  The pillow cover is one of my all time favorite Ikea finds actually.  It’s thick, and woven, and has amazing texture in person.  And that graphic pattern is like mod-meets-aztec.  AND (it gets better)… it was ONLY $10!!!!  I know – run, don’t walk to Ikea – it took all my strength to limit myself to just two.

The striped fabric was $7.99 a yard.  Pretty good as well.

I’d ordered some striped fabric online, and when it arrived, it was sheer.  Clearly not going to work for any sort of upholstery job.  This is thick and durable – perfect for throw pillows, or projects like this.

Well, I’m sure you don’t remember the seat cushion on the chair when it was white, but my mom (who by-the-way is as talented as Martha Stewart, but unlike Martha hasn’t served prison time) had made a custom fitted cover for it when I was in high-school.  It was cute – a tan color with french quotes scattered on it. Again, perfect for a teenage girl.  We needed an updated cushion cover.

I am no seamstress, but I do own a staple gun, and so I improvised…

I went to the Home Depot and got a piece of MDF – super cheap.  It was $5 or something.  I also got a little hand saw that the guy at Home Depot recommended.  It looked like this:

I have no idea what it’s called and I tossed the packaging as soon as I got it home.  Sorry!
Anyway, I traced the cushion onto the MDF, and cut(sawed?) the shape out.  I should have gotten batting to wrap around everything, but I got lazy, so I just stapled the fabric onto the MDF – directly over the existing cushion.  I’m sure my mother is cringing at the idea of this.
Turns out, MDF doesn’t really like staples.  Many of them bounced back.  But some stuck (like REALLY stuck… they aren’t going ANYWHERE).
So about 200 staples later, we had this:

LOVE it!

On a whim, I also quickly tapped in a nail to the wall to hang up my new mantra below the final shelf…

Can’t see what it says??????  Here’s a close up:
I’m not sure that the size of the frame is quite right, and since I didn’t even bother measuring anything before tapping in the nail, it’s totally not centered, but it’s fine for now.  Maybe a slightly larger frame would do well here…
Moving on…  Since this is a far cry from an overstuffed chair, I wanted there to be a “cozy factor” and picked up one of the sheep skin throws from Ikea (just $30, and it’s oh-so-soft). Wicker is not the most comfortable to lounge against, so the fluffy throw is the perfect solution.
Cheap.  Cozy.  Textural.  I love it.
As a side note, they do have faux sheepskin throws, but they were not as soft, and looked kind of raggedy… 

You may also notice the art on the wall… also a few new additions.  I’d been obsessing over the abstract black and white brush stroke art FOREVER, and had debated trying to make some myself, but then saw that West Elm was clearing it out.  I snagged it for $60, and it’s BIG.

It’s really hard to see, but you can see it most clearly in the below photo (I’ll take more later – promise)

I’m working to figure out how to take the pesky door down to add one more large photo to this wall, and open things up (you can see the knob peeking out in the photo above) but the hinges have been painted over probably… oh…. a thousand times in the last 90 years… so the screws are not going anywhere for now.  I’m looking into different options… paint stripper?  Dissolver?  I don’t really know… but it’s like cement.  It’s one secure door.

Stay tuned for updates on that one…

But anyway, this little corner is MUCH happier now, and I am SO THANKFUL I didn’t end up getting rid of the wicker chair!  I am really liking how it looks here, after a little TLC.
In total, it cost me around $60 (fabric, throw pillow, sheepskin, + spray paint)… most of the cost comes from the sheepskin throw.  Pretty good though, right?!
We’re making progress!!!

2 thoughts on “Wicker Chair Makeover

  1. What a huge difference a can of spray paint and some fabric made. Great DIY project. Gives me inspiration to re-imagine some old furniture in our house.

    Love the blog, Helen


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