Too Thrifty Chicks


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Tidbit Tuesday: Dumpster Chair Makeover

I spent a large chunk of last weekend eating IKEA cinnamon rolls (which happen to be 6 for $4), sniffing candles, and picking out fabric with my good friend Keila H. Keila is my ‘I like to do crafts but I’m not always very crafty’ friend. She is an amazing bargain hunter and usually has great ideas for how she wants to transform new pieces. So when she came to me and said, “I want to re-do this chair I found near a dumpster,” I paused and waited for the inevitable…

“…and by I, I really mean us.” BAM! There it was. And of course I said, “Let’s do it!”

Exhibit A: The God Awful Chair from the Dumpster

IMG_4724Keila saw potential in this chair and rescued it. When she got it, she knew she wanted the chair to have lot of life and a lot of color, so she perused fabrics at IKEA online. She found one she loved….

…except she didn’t choose that one. When we finally went to IKEA to get the fabric, something else caught her eye.

EXHIBIT B: The Ridiculously Awesome Fabric20130810_152503

…so we left with this. We bought two yards at 4.99/yard along with white paint and primer to round out the things we needed.

EXHIBIT C: The Staple Gun

If you want to quickly re-do a chair, the staple gun is your very best friend. We unscrewed the chair seat and back, measured out the amount of fabric we needed to cover the seat and the back of the chair, and went to work with the staple gun. The tricky part of covering a chair like this is making sure you fold the corners or edges in a way that looks nice and neat. For the seat bottom, that didn’t matter so much because no one will see it. The seat back was a little trickier. We arranged the seams in such a way that the chair frame would cover them.


After stapling the fabric to the cushions, Keila primed and painted the chair frame white and let it dry before screwing the seat back and cushion back on.


EXHIBIT D:  The Finished Product


For less than $16 and an hour of time, Keila left with a chair that got a fabulous second chance. If she wants to give it additional pizzazz, she can add upholstery tacks/nails like these along the seams to camoflauge them even more.

Next time you need a new piece of furniture, check to see if your neighbor’s have thrown out something that has potential.  It worked for Keila. Maybe it will work for you too!