Sunday, August 25, 2013

Office Chair Makeover

I have a desk that I absolutely LOVE. It's solid wood, and probably is somewhere around 70 years old. I'm guessing it is from the 40's. It's HUGE! 3' x 5'. I'd love to have it in the craft room, but there's no way it's going up my stairs. That leaves me with having it in my Living Room. I really do love my house. It's also from the 40's ;) (1942) so the piece works well in the house, but I swear, this house is really crappy for space planning. Radiators. Sigh.

Having the desk in my Living Room means I have a desk chair in my living room. My beloved Fat Cat did a number on the back of the chair. I had plenty of fabric left over from my curtains, so I decided to give the chair a makeover, rather than throw it away. It was perfectly functional, just really, REALLY ugly. Black Cat decided to photo bomb :).


That wonderful black slip cover on the back rest, is left over from when I had the desk in my dining room. I had left over fabric from my black curtains, and whipped the slip cover up before a big party. I really do hate having ugly things in the house. It's embarrassing. When you remove the slip cover, this is what you see. Lovely, hmmm?



Let the adventure begin! I used a screwdriver and took the chair apart. I took the back rest off first, then turned the chair on its side to remove the seat.



 I left the structure of the chair in the living room, and just took the backrest and seat into the craft room to work on. No point in bringing everything upstairs.

I had known for ages that I wanted a "spicey" feel to my first floor. I have removed a wall between my dining room and kitchen, and have the outside wall painted red. I call it whore house red. Hehe. I found two remnants of this burnt orange dupioni silk at Jo Ann's YEARS ago. It really was my inspiration piece for the living room, and now finally it's getting used. I thought that would be just enough to use on this chair.

I used the larger piece for the bottom of the chair. I thought to myself, I'm going to be sitting on this part. Maybe I don't want to make this permanent, So I went with a fitted slip cover.


I laid the seat over the fabric, and kind of pulled up the sides so I would know where to cut. I really just pulled the corners and snipped the extra fabric away. It gave me nice rounded corners. I sewed a pocket to hold some elastic.

I have a spool of elastic that I purchased at a closeout fabric and accessories outlet store. A spool of a thousand or so feet cost me what one package of three yards would cost at Jo Ann's. I think this was probably meant for ladies panties or something like that, because of the weird edge on one side. What do you think?


When you're sewing the pocket for your elastic, make sure you leave an area of open seam so you can thread your elastic through it (hard to see). Do you know the secret to threading a drawstring through? Stick a safety pin on the end. It gives you something to grab onto while you've got the elastic in the pocket you've created on your fabric edge.


 Easy-peasy! It only took me two minutes to get the elastic all the way through. Of course, I had to stretch it out before I could get it over the seat.


I decided to leave the safety pin on, rather than hand sewing the elastic together. It just seemed to work better for me. When I attached the chair seat to the roller base, I just tucked the elastic up under the hem.


I think it looks pretty darn nice.


Yikes. This isn't so nice to look at. We're moving on to the back rest, and that is by far MUCH more beat up than the seat was. Fat Cat is lucky he was so lovable. I trimmed the threads off. I didn't want the fluff to show through the new fabric. Black Cat isn't big enough to use the back rest to scratch on. She likes to use my box spring instead. :/


OMG! What do we have here? A piece of his nail. Before you tell me, this is my fault, because I don't clip their nails. Yeah. I had two people that work at Pet Smart (friends) over to the house for a card game this past week. It took one sitting on Black Cat, while the other one clipped. She pulled them from one side of the room to the other, and screamed the whole time. They got three paws, and only part of the fourth. She was PISSED. I can't stand to hear her scream like that. It hurts ME to hear her so upset. She was only pissed at them though. She still loved on me, and cuddled with me after they left. Anytime I get the chance I GLADLY pay to have them clipped for me. There is NO way I'd be able to do it by myself.

Here's that second piece of fabric. SO close, but I didn't have enough to do the back rest. Good thing I have left over curtain fabric.


Oh Glue Gun, how I love thee!

I laid the back rest on the curtain fabric, and just hot glued the crap out of it. I then cut off the extra fabric.


I took another piece of the curtain fabric, and matched up the stripes.


Slowly but surely, I hot glued the crap out of that too! You can see the pucker line in the second picture, if you look close enough.


I then trimmed the excess fabric away. Not too shabby, but, definitely not a finished look.

Remember in one of my recent posts, I talked about my friends Mom passing away, and they offered my all her crafting materials? This trim was included in that. It's actually a few different kinds of trim all wrapped around one bolt. Not only do I have this cream color, but I have the same types of trim in burgundy!


I bet you can't guess how I attached the trim. Go 'head. Guess. Hot Glue? You got it! Oh, yeah. Don't forget to poke your holes for the back rest to attach to the metal structure. I just felt for them, then stuck my scissors in and wiggled them around, to make the hole. It worked pretty well.


 I *thought* I lined it up seam of the trim (cut on the diagonal in the picture below) to sit behind the metal frame. Silly me didn't pay attention to the fact the frame doesn't come directly down from where the screws attach the backrest. Good thing I did such a good job hiding the seam. Not that I think anyone is going to get up on my chair to look for it. I still want it to be invisible. I'm not completely in love with the trim job, but it definitely hides the fact that the fabric is cut beneath it. Really, if I had done a better job of cutting the excess fabric, I would have been able to make the trim nicer. My own worst critic, I know.


So there you have it. My office chair makeover. Back, and front. I may eventually take it back apart and spray paint the frame black, or maybe even brown to match the dark wood I have in the room. I'm okay with the grey for now.


Remember the burnt orange being my inspiration fabric for the room? Here's another piece I'm using for inspiration. It's a fleece/plushy throw I got at Walmart 2 years ago. I have off white/creamy walls, and we all know how much I loathe painting, so they're going to stay this nice and neutral color, and we'll just do some pops of color, from this piece. The red pulls in the "whore house red" I have in the adjacent rooms.

Well what happened here? I have an extra screw? Yeah. I know exactly where the screw goes, and I tried for about 20 minutes, and couldn't get ANY of the screws to thread into that hole. The chair felt plenty secure without it, so I just put the screw into the desk. I'll try again at a later date.

Here's the chair, back in it's home. MUCH better, don'tcha think?

There you have it. My office chair makeover. Have you tackled a project like this? Do you have a chair that needs a facelift? Go for it! This project, cost me, at the most $10, and that's estimating the trim being $5, if I had to pay for all the materials when I did the project. Because I already had all the materials, the project day cost was $0.