Reupholstering a Patio Chair

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Awhile back I shared with you my list of DIY projects for the year. One of them was going to be my first ever upholstery project. I was scared of killing these beautiful frames on the chair, but I could not live with the original fabric. 
Mark thought the chairs were all together ugly, and just wanted me to get rid of them. I couldn’t do that either though. The metal frame, scroll detailing – these were my dream patio chairs that I knew I could never afford new. We got lucky and the previous owner of our home left the beauties behind. 
The first thing you want to do when reupholstering something, is find out how it was put together. Turns out these chairs were a lot simpler than I imagined. The seat cushion simply sat inside the frame, no screws, nails or glue. The back also was simple with just four 1/2 inch screws holding it in. Although one chair was held together with wooden pegs…
Next step, figure out the upholstery. A quick examination of the cushion found that the fabric was just stapled along the bottom of the seat. Since you never see the underside of the cushion, it made perfect sense. Using a flat head screwdriver I began prying out the millions of staples, only to discover the red was already a reupholstered job!
I have to admit, the red definitely looked better than this orange fabric! Even without the rip in it.  Now I had to remove more staples from this layer of fabric, but thankfully this was the original, or at least last layer before the cushion. 
Once I had the bare cushion to work with, I measured twice before cutting my fabric. We bought this yellow canvas material for some outside cushions years ago, but I never got around to making them. Since the chairs are going to be a permanent outdoors fixture, I wanted the material to be easy to clean, and hold up to harsh weather conditions. It really turned out perfect. The corners were a bit rough to get around, and the seat back was extremely tight pulling on, but in the end, I am very pleased. 
Unfortunately I only had enough material to recover 2 of the 4 chairs. So my question is – should I find some similar yellow canvas, or something new for the other 2?  
 And by the way – Mark now loves the chairs and is pretty happy I held onto them. His reaction was really the best part for me – a nice pat on the back that even though he may not like all my design and DIY attempts, he does like some! 

7 thoughts on “Reupholstering a Patio Chair

  1. Such a great idea! I agree with the previous comment…I think it would look really nice to do the other two chairs in a patterned fabric that has the same color of yellow in it.

    Lora @ Adventures of an Imperfect Supermom

  2. They look MUCH better! I think doing a pattern with yellow in it might be fun! That way they'd match without being matchy matchy–and now I see those above me have the same idea!

    And my hubby doesn't get too thrilled with some of my DIY attempts at times either-haha! Ah well, we can't all be Martha 😉

  3. I love this idea. My husband and I re-did a buffet last year and we'd like to do more projects. A chair would be a great project idea! Thank you for sharing. It turned out great!

  4. It looks great! What a great idea to reupholster them!

    Thanks for sharing at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream to Reality! Looking forward to seeing what you have been up to tomorrow evening!

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