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  • Writer's pictureBrittany

DIY Cottage Style Chair Makeover for Under $100

There are these two chairs that we have owned for about 5 years now. They were about $200 for a set of two at Costco and at the time I didn't mind the damask floral pattern because we really needed extra seating in our apartment. And I mean, how could I pass up two chairs for $200? Now, for the past two years or so I have been wanting to replace them because my style has changed since buying them and they were becoming a little dingy from wear. I had originally wanted to switch them out for these chairs, the beloved Esters Wood Armchair from Target, but when we moved I actually bought those chairs for our front room. And might I add that they are so comfy and worth their price! They are also the right height for my short self and even though Jonathan had doubts about them, he actually likes sitting in them and does so regularly. But enough plug-ins about those chairs, let's get back to the floral ones. So because I didn't replace the floral ones I needed to come up with an idea on what to do with them. I really wrestled with the idea of reupholstering them or buying new ones and selling these for cheap. If we had more in the budget, I probably would have bought new chairs, but since we didn't I ended up deciding to reupholster them. To further solidify my choice in reupholstering them I did the math on how much it would cost to redo these chairs versus buying them and it was so much cheaper than buying a set of new chairs - under $100!

My vision for these chairs was to turn them into a more cottage style chair. It was kind of hard to envision it because they are slipper style chairs with a more modern feel, but after lots of research I found examples of what I was looking for and decided to dive right in. Once I had decided that I was going to reupholster these chairs, I needed to figure out what fabric I wanted. I have always been a big fan of farmhouse ticking fabric! I just love the simplicity in the pattern and it's a classic style. I originally thought a blue and white pattern would be nice, but I already have two pillows with a similar ticking stripes that sit on our couch and didn't want to have a repeated blue style on the chairs. Too much blue you know? I ended up on choosing a taupe and ivory colored ticking fabric from Best Fabric Store. That particular pattern was actually back-ordered and after two months of waiting I switched the color to a beige and ivory. It matches our IKEA Ektorp couch a little better than the taupe and ivory, which I find it helps tie in the furniture. The pricing for this fabric was the best I had seen in my search - it was only $6.98 per yard! I ordered 8 yards for my project. Which turned out to be a generous estimate to what I actually needed, but hey extra fabric is good for when you mess up some cuts, like I did. The total was $55.84 and you honestly can't beat that price to freshen up your chairs versus replacing them. I also replaced the legs on the chairs with ones that I found at Lowe's. It ended up being $23.84 for 8 legs. I already had all of my other supplies to redo these chairs so the fabric and legs were the only things I needed to buy.

I would say the hardest part about the process was taking the fabric off of the chairs. I had to dig the staples out with the a flat head screwdriver and some pliers. There are probably better ways to go about this, but I just used what I had on hand. My hands were so sore and my fingers hurt so bad after taking a gazillion staples out, haha. Surprisingly the easiest part was sewing the fabric together. I'll admit, I am not an expert sewer by any means. And to be honest, this was my first major sewing project! I like to go big or go home, haha.

I'll quickly share my process on how I redid these chairs. First I took apart the chairs and took off the fabric. Once all of the fabric was off the chairs I got started on ripping the seams. I took pictures of how the fabric sections needed to be sewed together after ripping the seams to make it easier on myself. I also labeled the direction in which the patterned needed to be sewed. Once all of the seams were ripped, I started cutting out the pattern. following my pictures and the labels. After each section was done, I folded the old and new fabric together and labeled them for which part of the chairs they belonged to. And then, one section at a time, I pinned together the fabrics and began sewing. I found a couple of mistakes that I made from cutting out a couple of pieces differently, but they were minor and easy to fix. After I sewed all of the sections, I began stapling the sections back onto the chairs. Once that was completed and the chairs were put back together, I stained the legs with a stain I already have: Varathane's Golden Oak. I finished the legs off with a clear wax and then put the legs on the chairs!

I am so happy with how they turned out! They aren't perfect by any means, but I just love the cottage style about them! I'll probably replace the legs down the line because they look a little too small for the chairs, but even then the style of them are perfect for the chairs!

Here are some links to the products I used and what's pictured:

Fabric | Legs | Stain | Rug

Pillow is from Studio Mcgee's line at Target and the throw is from Hearth and Hand. They are both currently unavailable at Target.

I really hope you enjoyed reading this post! I had a lot of fun thinking about how to redo these chairs and I hope that inspires you to reupholster. I think any beginner can do this! I'll talk to you all later!

With love,


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