Deconstructing furniture is a bit of a bittersweet process. Bitter because of alllllll of the staples, & sweet because my goodness, just look at the after! The RH beauties have quite the price tag, but if you are willing to put in a bit of sweat and hard work you can get a similar look for next to nothing.
I picked up this chair at a yard sale few years ago. I actually picked up a matching pair of them for $50. That’s right, $50! I used them at my previous home for a while in my turquoise, yes I said TURQUOISE, living room. They were cute but with 2 kittens at the time, the wings on my wingbacks were used more like scratching posts. So I tucked them safely away in storage and saved them for a rainy day.
Then came along this whole idea of deconstructing furniture. I can’t remember the first time I came across a deconstructed piece, but I do know that I loved the idea right from the start. I also knew it was the perfect reason to pull this bad boy out of hiding. 🙂
I started with ripping into the outside arm of the chair. This was my first “womp womp womp” moment. I was HOPING for old webbing and burlap, but instead I found cardboard, foam cushions, and some nasty old batting. Even though I was a bit defeated at this point, I moved onto ripping the fabric off the outside of the wings and the back.
After I got all of the fabric off of the arms, sides, and back I started in on the staples. Oooooh, the staples. So many staples. These guys are not the easiest to get out. I used a flat head screw driver, plyers, wire cutters, and a butter knife. I should have had a pair of needle-nose plyers as well, but I couldn’t seem to find them. Start pulling away until you’ve removed them all.
Next I pulled out all of the tufting buttons. This part was a little hard on my fingers, but one of the easier steps. And hey, my hands were already throbbing from the staple pulling, so what’s a little more pain at this point, right?! Once the buttons were out, the fabric pretty much ripped right off.
I knew that I didn’t want the tufting on the seats this time around, too many little holes for dust & dirt to collect. Instead, I added a couple of layers of batting to the seat and tucked it through the sides and back.
After the batting I added the drop cloth. Now, for this step it is going to differ a bit for every chair. My best advice is just make sure you have more fabric than needed. I laid the drop cloth on the seat and decided how much I thought I was going to need, then I cut it even bigger. The last thing I wanted was to start stapling and realize the piece wasn’t going to be big enough. I stapled down the front leaving as much wood exposed as I could. Next I made 2 cuts towards the back and pulled the fabric through the back rest and the seat and pulled tight to staple. Next I cut a slit on each side to pull through the arm rests. Pull them tight and staple.
After I had the fabric on the seat all pulled through and stapled, I went back and added the tacks. I got these at Hobby Lobby in the fabric & upholstery section and I will link them below. These gave the chair a more “finished” look. I also used a tiny hammer that I found near the tacks, but any hammer would work. After getting all the nails put in I trimmed the excess fabric. I did the back rest just the same. Laid the fabric over, stapled the top, cut 2 slits and pulled through and stapled the bottom. Same thing for the sides and then the tacks.
The arms were pretty much the same. I cut a piece larger than needed, stapled the outside at the top, pulled the fabric through the bottom and stapled on the outside. On the front of the arm I decided to not cover and leave as much of the wood as possible. I pleated and stapled the drop cloth and then went in with the tacks.
I hot glued burlap onto the cardboard on the two arms and that my friends, is it! It took me about 3 days working here and there. My hands were bleeding & aching afterwards, but honestly, I’ve already thought about going to pull the other one out of storage to get started! I LOVE the outcome. I had the drop cloth, the chair was $25, and I think I spent about $30 at Hobby Lobby on tacks, a staple gun, and batting. I think $55 for this chair was a steal!
I’m hoping this was even a little bit helpful & inspires you in some way to tackle a project like this. You can totally do it! Thank you so much for coming to check out the blog. If you want to keep up with what I’m up to daily, you can find me on Instagram at SecondChapterHouse. Xx