Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tooting My Own Horn....

It's not perfection but it's pretty close if you ask me... What am I talking about you ask? Well ladies and gentleman I reupholstered my first piece of furniture tonight.... Over a year ago I swiped this really cool chair from under Cole's office

 My baby.... Checking out the project of the day. (She is turning one tomorrow.... Oh my god a year ago tonight I was in the hospital taking my first Ambien waiting for Lucy. Who knew what a fast, wonderful ride I was in for... Who knew my heart would forever be stolen by such a little person. Crazy Love....)
 Cole works downtown Astoria. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Astoria it is the oldest settlement west of the Mississippi. This place has a lot of history. The history of Astoria was not on my mind when I claimed this chair from the depths of the town. Tonight though as I started to redo this chair I couldn't help but wonder what its history was. This was because as I went in to tear off the fabric I realized it was stuffed with straw. Now I have been doing my research and none of the blogs I've been studying have talked about coming across furniture stuffed with straw. How old is this chair and did I just destroy some antique that could be worth millions (OK thousands?).... Check out these tiny little nails. They are located under the green trim you see below. I was careful not to pull these out or let them drop on the floor.  They were rusty! So I tore off the green trim but when I ran into the straw I stopped and realized I was going to have to recover the chair with the existing fabric underneath. This decision however took me like four hours to make. I think the straw intimidated me so I had to give myself some pep talks. I needed a mental kick in the A. Then I attacked it and boy am I glad I did...
 Yeah folks get a load of that .... what is that pictured below and how do you cover it? Makes me wonder if there is treasure or money stuffed in the cushions of this baby....
Tearing off the trim.... It was just glued on. Please keep in mind that I do not have trim so the chair is not finished yet but I am too excited not to share this!

 I found this butter yellow fabric above on clearance at Mill End Fabric Store in Beaverton. I got it for $5.00 a yard. Not too bad... So I set out with my new staple gun and I just went to town. I was careful with my selection of every staple and before I knew it I was redoing a chair.

I couldn't help but notice some of the details in the wood on this chair. It by no means feels like a frail antique it actually is extremely sturdy and very heavy. (Who knew a chair could get me so excited, I guess its the little things these days. I like the little things.) I guess what I am really trying to say is that if this chair had a story to tell I would want to hear it.

 Here is my finished chair all prim and proper. Pretty cool huh? I am so excited that I did it. I can't wait for Lucy to wake up tomorrow... I know she will love the new chair all soft and velvety.
 Lets do a quick little before and after, shall we?
 This picture shows some of my flaw spots. You can also see the exposed staples. I will put trim on it soon to cover the staples but until then... Who cares... I LOVE IT!


  1. Wow! I am impressed! I have a few chairs that need a make over, can I bring them to you?

  2. I think that is horse hair stuffing. That is what you will find underneath cool antiques like that. Looks great! Any other good finds under Cole's office?

    1. Horse Hair Stuffing!? I am googling it right now. I am so afraid that I ruined a really great antique without knowing.... Yes there are some really great things under his office. Things like signs and old tins and crates... The town burnt down and they just built up leaving whole store fronts a level below. It's really neat but creepy. Thanks for the info...

  3. Looks great can't wait to see all your crafts this weekend. Give Lucy a birthday kiss from Grandpa Joe and Nana. Love ya

    1. Can't wait to show them to you and to see you. Love you

  4. Seeing the horse hair stuffing I wanted to find more about it, I guess that's the archaeologist in me coming out. Sounds like horse hair was used as a stuffing for chairs starting in about 1670, but just in the chair backs. Horse hair was used as an all around stuffing starting in the eighteenth century. If you were interested in finding out the age of the chair an antique dealer or appraiser may be able to tell you. Most furniture makers left marks on their pieces and someone may be able to give you a rough date. My rough guess is that it is from the late 1800's, that's what the style looks like anyway. And, yes, I do watch way too much Antiques Roadshow. You didn't destroy the wood or anything, so while some antique collectors may gasp about covering the fabric you just made an antique much more useful for your household.