One quirk of my personality is to always be on the hunt for the diamond in the rough.
Another quirk is stubbornness when that diamond needs a good, time-intensive polish before you’re sure it’s not just a rock.
But if you’re reading this blog, I bet chances are good there’s some part of you that relates.
Today this story refers to a chair I found at Goodwill. When I found it, it was just a frame, no cushions. One project I did several years back—pre blog—was to cut cushions from foam, wrap them (rather miserly) with sheets of polywrap, and sew covers for the cushions. I’ve referred to the project before as one that took time, money, creative toil, and the result was rather wah-wah. I’m pretty sure it had everything to do with my loud choice of fabrics.
But I still suspected the chair wasn’t just a rock. So we kept the chair.
Eventually I darkened the wood and bought natural canvas to wrap around the cushions, and the chair stayed in this temporary state for a few more years, waiting for me to get to it. Last week, I finally did. (I recommend doing a project this way at least once. That way if you ever feel like you never finish anything, there’s something to prove you do.) Here’s a picture of the chair with the miserly amount of fluff and the canvas pinned around the cushions.
The draw of this chair is that it still manages to be comfortable, even with flat cushions, and it doesn’t need much floor space. In our current rental, all our furniture needs to meet this requirement.
The first thing I did after cutting off the old fabric was add layers of padding. I bought thick poly fill sheets and added two layers to each side of the cushions. I glued the padding to the cushion with a hot glue gun.
Next I used the canvas to sew box-frame covers for the cushions.
I didn’t quit have enough canvas, but I found that the paint drop cloths I did have were similar enough to work on the sides. You can’t tell it’s not all the same fabric.
The last time I made the cushions, it was sewing the piping that took so much time. I didn’t want to go that route again, and I wanted a different look for the cushions anyway. So I went with a flanged-edge finish, and I really like the look of it. Here’s a close up of the cushion’s edge.
I think it looks more modern and casual than piping, and it was definitely easier. All I had to do was top stitch over the seams after I’d pressed them. I would definitely recommend this method if you want to save yourself time and money. I’m pretty sure most of the people I know fall into that category.
This old chair finally feels like it’s realized it’s potential, and I find that immensely satisfying. It’s enough to keep me hunting for diamonds.