I did a little victory dance when I came across not one but two folding chairs in the thrift shop last month. Actually, that’s not true — I quickly collapsed them and dragged them around the store with me so no one else snapped them up.
These chairs were — wait for it — $2 each. I dare you to try to buy something that nice for $2 at one of those nothing-really-costs-a-dollar-anymore Dollar Stores.
I needed folding chairs for my new craft table, which I shared a few weeks ago, and these ones were perfect. One was a dark brownish metal and the other was the identical black metal/black vinyl combo they sell for $10.97 at Walmart.*
The chairs did put an end to my thrifting adventure, though. I already had two large lamps to carry, and two heavy metal folding chairs slung over my arms made it quite impossible to browse for anything else.
Back at home, I decided to paint the all-metal chair since it was a dreary brownish maroon.
I grabbed a can of Krylon’s Indoor/Outdoor paint since it’s good for metal (along with wood and wicker), and picked the glossy “Banner Red” shade for a bit of fun.
Now, I’ve mentioned before that I’m a terrible spray-painter. I also do not learn. Whenever I spray paint, I think “This time is going to be different! I’ll go slowly and do nice light coats, and it will actually look good.”
As always, I broke the cardinal rules of spray painting. I painted outdoors on a windy (really cold) day, I didn’t apply light coats, and the whole thing looked pretty drippy. I convinced myself the seat cushion would hide the worst of it, and went back inside to warm up.
It was time to focus on the cushions. I was going to leave the black chair black, but I couldn’t leave the black vinyl seat and back — they were just too plain! So I unscrewed them from the metal chair frame, and picked out a cool cream-and-black patterned upholstery fabric.
Recovering something like a seat, a flat cushion or chair back is REALLY easy. You just cut a piece of fabric that is a few inches larger than the seat, lay the fabric on a flat surface (right side down) and put the seat (right down down) on stop of it. Then you wrap the fabric around the edges and staple it to the back of the seat at the four centre points — nice and tight.
After that, it’s easy to work your way around the rest of the seat — between the four main staples — pulling the fabric taut and securing it with more staples. I did the same process for the back of the folding chair, pulling extra tightly as the fabric travelled around the curves.
The red chair didn’t have a seat to recover, so I bought an inexpensive chair pad and sewed a cover from red and white printed fabric. I added little fabric ties to keep it secured to the chair, and not slipping all over the place. Then I decided to sew a white button through the middle to “tuft” it — which meant the cover wouldn’t be easily removable, but I decided I didn’t care.
The new folding chairs are comfortable for long crafting/cutting sessions, and the best part is that I can easily fold them up and tuck them out of sight if I don’t need the extra seating. I might try to pick up one or two more to add to the collection — you can’t beat $2 for a great-looking chair.