Who Needs Pottery Barn? DIY for $60 a Chair
What better way to celebrate the launch of a blog named “Money Under the Cushions,” than to write about an epic money saving makeover to dining room chairs. Chairs with cushions? Money Under the Cushions…? Yes? Brad and I can’t even sew on a button, but we successfully reupholstered four dining room chairs (we still have two arm chairs to complete).
If you’re looking for a step-by-step tutorial, I’m working on it. Expect it to be long and detailed. Consider this an introduction, and my simple hope is that it inspires you and gets you excited about trying your own DIY project. It can truly save a lot of money, and is infinitely satisfying. And seriously, if I can do this, you DEFINITELY can!
It Started with a Dream…
A dream to have six awesome dining room chairs to compliment the new dining room table we purchased after our wedding. We were not chairless. Indeed we have these wonderful forever “they don’t make ‘em this way anymore” farmer type chairs. They just didn’t go with our new table. Or any table that either one of us owned prior to getting married actually. See?
What We Wanted
THIS! They’re from Pottery Barn of course. We wanted six of these dining room chairs in Sierra Red twill fabric, because, well, a regular ol’ neutral color just wouldn’t do. The chairs made my synapses fire when I visited the store and sat in one. However, the fireworks quickly fizzled when doing the math, as ONE chair cost $499!!! Multiply that by six, add tax and shipping and we’re talking more than three thousand dollars!!!
My deal-getting self could work it down to about $1850, but I guess I’m not ready for $2000 chairs. I’d be afraid to spill something on them…though at that price they should clean themselves, right?
We didn’t like the less expensive alternatives which included sturdy, but boring taupe or tan, or wobbly, weak frames, or weirdly colored and textured fabric. Not willing to settle, and with other priorities, we resigned ourselves to using our chairs for the foreseeable future.
As luck would have it, when sniffing out cool articles to share with readers I stumbled upon a wonderful chair makeover tutorial by Bless’r House.
DIY? Reupholster chairs ourselves? For a FRACTION of the cost? My head exploded a little and a new obsession born. Poor Brad didn’t stand a chance. He was in by default. I’ll save the gory details for the tutorial. Here’s the abridged version.
What We Did
We found six wonderfully hideous, but very sturdy wood chairs on Craigslist and bought them for $100. Here they are.
After gathering all materials it took three weekends to complete four chairs. Two weekends were spent prepping, painting and letting things dry. The third weekend was the actual reupholstering. Here’s a breakdown of the materials used and the costs:
Chairs – $100
Fabric – $80
Spray Paint – $8
Stain – $12.50
Foam Chair Pads – $35.95
Foam Mattress – $19.99
Foam Batting – $19.98
Poly Fill: 9.60
Spray Glue – 15.98
Scotch Guard – $14.98
Ply Grip – $29.99
Decorative Nail Tacks – $15.99
Staples – $4.99
Other materials that weren’t necessary, but were used for aesthetic reasons and were just lying around the house so it cost nothing: scrap wood, wood putty, landscaping netting, and a mattress cover.
Tools We Used:
Jigsaw (convenient, but a hand saw will work in a pinch)
Sander (convenient, but sand paper will do)
Staple Gun (not pneumatic)
Mallet (hammer will work)
Grand Total: $367.95 or $61.33 per chair!
How’d We Do?
Now Instead of Neat and Functional…
We have “Class-say” Dinner Party Time!
Okay – so maybe this was only epic to us. I mean, we’ve never reupholstered anything so we’re quite proud. The chairs aren’t perfect. There’s some tweaking to do to make them even better, but we love, love, LOVE them.
Would you be interested in a tutorial blow-by-blow of how we made it happen for your own DIY project? Have you reupholstered before? How’d it turn out? Thanks for reading!