The Case of the $5 Chair

Sometimes we like to go garage-saling early on Saturday mornings. It's a gamble- sometimes you end up with a potential find, and other times, nada. This past summer, I made a great discovery at one such garage sale. People tend to sale mismatched dining room chairs- for super cheap. You can buy an old dining room chair for oh, about $5. Some people would wonder what to do with a lonely chair. However, if you like the whole mismatched, Monica Gellar-ish look, then buying one chair at a time at garage sales may be the way to go.
So last summer I found this beauty at a local garage sale for $5. 
Why would I buy it? Well, I wanted to add some more seating to our apartment, because whenever we had parties, inevitably someone would end up sitting on the floor (more often than not, it would be my brother-in-law Mike, for some strange reason). 
Anyway, remaking this chair was super easy and very budget-friendly. The first thing I did was clean the chair off with a dust rag (you never know how long it has been sitting in someone's garage, collecting dust). Then I unscrewed the seat from the chair. Next, I painted the chair with two coats of glossy white paint. You can be more adventurous in your paint choice if you'd like. I, however, had extra white paint laying around, so white it was! 
[You may notice this is a different chair than originally pictured. I did this project twice, with 2 different chairs and only managed to photograph various steps of each project, so I apologize!]
While my paint dried, I set to work "reupholstering" the seat. I use this term loosely because reupholstering sounds like a big job and this involves little work (or know-how for that matter!). Anyway, the first thing I did was pull off the nasty old fabric. This required some needle nose pliers and a hammer. I pulled out staples with the pliers and then pulled out the upholstery nails with the hammer. (Lucky me! Someone had reupholstered right over the original fabric, leaving double the grossness for me to remove.) 
After I pulled off all the fabric, staples and nails, I laid out the seat on top of my new fabric and cut around it roughly, leaving myself an inch or so of extra fabric to wrap around the bottom of the seat. 
Then I set to work stapling. Much like that canvas project, I started in the middle of each side with my staples, and continued to pull taut all the way around. I saved the corners for last and folded them so they stick up, as inconspicuously as possible. 
Last step: reattach the seat to the frame of the chair.
And there you have it! A brand new chair, for five smackaroos (plus the cost of fabric...)!!


  1. I love this and I am definitely going to follow your lead next time I go garage saling!!! thanks for the idea!


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