Making Over My Kitchen Chairs

I want to send out a huge thanks to everyone who replied to my last post with such encouraging and supportive comments. You guys are the best! I'm so grateful to finally be able to do what I love for a living, but I guess any kind of unexpected change like this is going to stressful. I'm still not sure what my life is going to look like a few months from now and the uncertainty of that stresses me out. Then there's the fact that we're moving in August and still haven't found a house to rent...uh, yeah. I don't even want to think about it!

Last year my stepmother gave me my Granny's old dining room set. I loved my grandmother and have such great memories of being at her house as a child. All of her decor came from the 60's and 70's, including avocado green tile, paisley yellow wallpaper, wood grain paneling, and every year for Christmas she'd pull out her decorations from the 60's that I adored. Most people think of this stuff as being really ugly (ok, I admit the color schemes weren't the best) but I LOVE it! I think it's because of her that I still gravitate toward this kind of vintage aesthetic.

I'm not sure what decade this table and chair set is from (and I looked all over for a year) but I'm guessing it's not that old. This is the table she had in her formal dining room that we used for holiday gatherings. Every year we had Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner at the table, and that makes it extra special to me.

My stepmother had already recovered the chairs with some yellow fabric, but it was kind of thin and showed the original fabric underneath. I've been meaning to recover it for a long time and just never could decide on the right material. Until recently, I came across this stuff on sale at JoAnn and there were only 4 yards left! I thought it was perfect. It has all of the colors I use in our decorations, it has sort of a Scandinavian influenced print...just basically everything I love. So I snatched it up!

The recovering process wasn't difficult at all, just tiring. Lots of unscrewing screws that don't want to come out, pulling out old nails with pliers, and using a heavy duty staple gun. By the end my hands were blistered and I was exhausted. I'm really out of shape, you guys!

A few pictures of the process...

Normally you would want to remove the original fabric and replace the batting but, as a currently unemployed person, I'm on a pretty strict budget here. And since the cushions are still in great shape, I decided to just lay my fabric over the top. The thickness of my home decor weight fabric covers up the old cushion pretty well.

Staple gun!

I admit to feeling sort of like a badass while using this thing. But a lot less so once my arms got tired at the end.

I don't know why I'm even surprised this happened, but I wasn't even done screwing the first cushion back in before my cat climbed up there and decided that it needs to be destroyed. And before you recommend buying him a scratching post, let me go ahead and tell you he has multiple posts. He doesn't use them. Won't even touch them! He seems to like doing this to new things and loses interest over time, so I'm hoping he will leave my new chair cushions alone after a while. In the meantime, I have my stern voice and a spray bottle!

Luckily, this canvas is pretty resilient. I freaked out when I saw all the little holes his claws left in it, but then I figured out this trick...

Maybe that's totally obvious (and I realize I could have just said "hey, scratch the threads back into place!" but then I wouldn't get to make a pretty infographic and I'm REALLY into pretty infographics right now). So for all the other Sewing With Cats people out there, hope that helps! :)

I'm glad to finally have this project finished after putting it off for so long and I think the new cushions really brighten up the room.

On the other hand, I'm ready to get back to sewing things I can wear. It's a zillion billion degrees outside where I live right now and I don't have nearly enough summer clothes! Expect to see some dresses and tank tops from me very soon.