In Love! From Stinky to Girly. My $3 Folding Chair!

May 25, 2012Allison Murray

In Love! From Stinky to Girly. My $3 Folding Chair!

Normally, right around now you’d be seeing a post about things I fell in love with online. BUT, what I am most in love with right now is my very own owl folding chair project! So please excuse me for being a bit self obsessed and sharing this project instead of other lovelies online. I promise that I’ll double up next week!

So here’s the thing… I don’t care for thrift stores in general. They smell badly. They make my hands smell badly. There are some things that really shouldn’t be made for sale (hello thrift store that sells used panties – I’m talking to you). But when you craft a lot, things get expensive so thrifting kind of comes with the territory. I just have to put on my big girl panties (unthrifted) and suck it up. Oh, and bring hand sanitizer. Lots and lots of hand sanitizer.

Oddly enough, things totally change during for me 50% off everything day at the thrift store. Now the thrift store is a joy. My hands smell? So what – I can get a real wood jewelry box for 75 cents! Or a trash bag full of stinky lace for $2 – it’ll be great after a wash!

Suddenly something you saw and thought was unreasonably priced at $6 is a steal when you get to slash that price in half! Three bucks for an old folding chair spray painted a hideous green/gold and covered in rough and stained denim? Yes, please!

I brought my stinky haul home and set to fixing my chair up Allison style almost immediately. Seriously. And don’t forget that I had seen the darn thing when it was $6 and didn’t see any potential. Now, suddenly, I’m crazy excited about this silly folding chair.

The plan… Spray paint it pink and cover it in some owly canvas I had sitting in my fabric stash. For once, the plan went off without a hitch! Not a one. Yay! So keep your pretty peepers peeled for your very own thrift store awful chair and make it fabulous and just your style!!!

For this project, you will need:

Ugly chair, alcohol, spray paint, fabric, spray adhesive, staple gun, screw driver (or whatever is necessary to take your chair apart). Ready? Set? Go!

In Love! From Stinky to Girly. My $3 Folding Chair!Sorry for the less than stellar pics. It was cloudy, rainy and gloomy and I was too excited to be bothered!

STEP 1: Take apart your chair. Most likely your seat and back are somehow screwed on. Remove both the back and the seat and be sure to put your screws where you can find them again. Tear away any fabric. My chair was one of those spongy plasticky covered types of things we used to have in school when I was a kid. I left that be but gave it a really good clean.

STEP 2: Cut fabric that is big enough that it will cover the entire front  of your chair back with plenty of fabric to fold over. Spray the front side with your spray adhesive and smooth the fabric over the top. Go over it a couple of times to undo any creases or air bubbles. Give a couple of minutes to set before moving on.

Next, with the fabric pulled tightly but not too tightly staple the fabric in place on the backside (where it will be covered up by the chair. Go around and staple around the entire perimeter. Repeat the step with your seat bottom.

STEP 3: Trim up the excess fabric. Make sure that you trim around your screw holes so that you can easily see and access them.

STEP 4: Clean the metal of your chair very well. Go over it with some alcohol if there is anything sticky (like a price tag). Set it up and spray paint with your first coat. Turn it over and spray your second coat. This makes sure that you get even coverage. Keep turning it over, spraying and drying until you are happy with the color and finish. Spray a coat or two of polyurethane to protect your paint job. Allow to dry fully for a couple of hours or so.

STEP 5: Get your back and seat popped back onto your chair and get ready to do some sitting…in style!

In Love! From Stinky to Girly. My $3 Folding Chair!

Well, that’s it for this tutorial. There’s not a whole lot to it, and things could be totally different with the chair that you get. Just be sure to check it out really well before you buy it. Can you take it apart? Is there anything wrong with it that spray paint and fabric won’t fix? After all, a $3 chair can be a bargain but only if it doesn’t hit the dumpster as soon as you get home.

Thank goodness it’s Friday! Hope you have a fabulous three day weekend and thoughts out to friends and family you will be remembering.

Comments (3)

  • Dj

    June 30, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Love the owls! I used this fabric in a project myself:

  • Kathy

    December 18, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Love this! Your owl chair is beyond cute and I am so partial to pink! :-) I have 4 of these babies that I snagged from my neighbor's garbage two years ago. They've just been hanging out in my basement only to see the light of day when we have more company than chairs. :-) Can't wait until the weather warms up (can't spray paint in my basement, the fumes give me a migraine :-() to give them a makeover! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Allison Murray

    December 18, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    No problem, Kathy, thanks so much for taking the time to comment :)

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