I have discovered something about myself lately.
I am a bit ADD about my projects.
I thought it was just my book reading that led me to skip around from thing to thing, depending on my mood. But I am finding that I can be that way about my creative projects.
I am three blocks into a quilt top.
I am halfway through quilting a baby blanket for my soon-to-be-born grandchild.
I have one cushion of the patio furniture redone.
And I am trying mightily to resist cutting out and starting on a blouse for which I have a free online class.
I also had re-covered just one of my kitchen chairs.
But wait! I actually finished this project. Wheee!
And now I am sharing it with you. Whooooo!
(Obviously I am far too excited about this.)
I had these kitchen chairs that were inherited with a table. I wasn’t particularly enamored of the fabric choice.
And I was even less enamored of the stains.
Gross. Time for a change.
I wanted something pretty neutral. And I have been intrigued by the idea of using cloth drop cloths for sewing projects.
Because they are neutral and texture-y and cheap. Like 10 bucks for a 6×9 drop cloth. Nice.
This particular project doesn’t involve any sewing, but it seemed like a good fit for what I needed.
I started by removing the seat pads from the chairs, by unscrewing them from the bottom.
Or rather, I made use of my home workforce (aka my sons) and had them unscrew the seats. Life skills, y’all.
Then I used a combination of needle nose pliers and a screwdriver to pry those staples out.
If you’re playing along at home, don’t throw that gross, dirty, unappealing seat cover away just yet.
You will need it to trace around and use as a pattern for your new seat cover.
I laid out the drop cloth.
Then traced around the old seat cover (you can use a sharpie or whatever works for you—the edges will be on the bottom of the chair and unseen, so any marks won’t be seen).
Then repeat for as many chairs as you have to cover. ( I was able to do six chairs, and still have about 1/3 of the drop cloth left to use for something else.)
FYI: you probably could just put the new cover on top of the old cover, if your fabric is opaque enough so that you can’t see the old fabric through it. But I didn’t want to staple through that thick of fabric, plus I was uncertain as to whether or no t it would show through the not-very-thick dropcloth. So I took all of the old ones off, and gleefully dumped them into the trash can. (Normally I would try to recycle them into a new item, but I really, really don’t like that fabric. Really.)
Next, I centered my chair seat on the new fabric, and proceeded to staple it on, using a heavy-duty utility stapler. I like to staple in the middle on one side, then the middle of the opposite side; turn a quarter turn, staple in the middle of the side, and then in the middle of the remaining side.
Then just continue adding staples midway between the other staples, remembering to pull the fabric taut as you staple.
When you get to the corners, I like the folding method: staple once in the middle, pulling the fabric to the center area. Then I pull the side fabric over toward that staple, and then pull the other side forward, and staple it down.
Kind of like so:
(sorry–that was a bit blurry.)
Feel free to use as many staples as necessary.
I know I always do.
Flip the chair seat over and admire.
Repeat with the other five chairs, trying not to swear every time your stapler doesn’t work right, or you run out of staples at a crucial moment.
Not that I’ve ever done that.
It’s a good idea to treat your kitchen chairs with Scotch Guard or some other type of stain-resistant spray.
Unless you want to be re-doing this again in a few days. :)
Then get your manly men (or your handy women, if you have daughters around) to re-attach your seat cushions to your chairs.
(I could do it myself, but I’m trying to build up their skills. You know, so they can do this someday with their own kitchen chairs.)
Here’s a “before and after”—just because it’s so satisfying.
Here it is with the whole set.
Come on over, and have a (newly re-covered) seat!