Two chairs, both alike in dignity,
In fair Kansas, where we lay our scene.
From ancient stains break to new fabric,
Where little hands make everything unclean.
From forth the metal loins of the staple gun,
A six-pack of ugly chairs claim a new life.
Did I just turn the greatest love story ever told into an ode to my staple-gunned chair seats? Yes. Yes, I did. And, if he were alive today, I daresay William Shakespeare would be a fan of my handiwork.
When I ordered these chairs, I knew the pads were fairly unattractive. But I was looking for a chair frame that would look great with the sweet barn table my husband made (more about that here), and it didn’t so much matter what the fabric looked like because that’s easily changeable. We lived with the ugly seats until we started our kitchen remodel.
Because we were removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room, I wanted the dining room set to complement the kitchen while maintaining its own integrity as a stand-alone space.
Initially, I thought were going to go with a neutral backsplash in the kitchen, so I purchased this colorful indoor/outdoor fabric from JoAnn to bring in a pop of color. Except, we ended up going with a brightly colored backsplash, but it was a bit of a pain in the ass to take the chair pads off, I just kept it! So maybe it’s a little bit of a color overload for the decor professional, but as a young, colorful family it works for us.
I Scotch-Guarded the holy heck out of these babies. Although, I will say that my fabric failed the “color safe” test they recommend performing on the can of Scotch-Guard. I sprayed a test area and wiped, and color came off on my rag. It has something to do with colorfastness (and probably the quality) of the fabric, but I just went for it and gave them 100 coats of the stuff – one coat for each thing my 2-year old daughter would spill on them in the first week. So far, they have held up perfectly. We even hosted a birthday party for 15 preschoolers where an abundance of chocolate cake was eaten and gallons of an unnaturally orange-tinted beverage were drunk, and it all wiped up, no sweat. So if your fabric fails the colorfastness test, and you think you want to risk, it worked for me!*
*Not responsible for your fabric getting ruined.
I won’t bore you with the details of how to staple, because it’s basically just… Step 1: Squeeze. Step 2: Repeat.
I also used the same process on my DIY window seats, but it was slightly more involved. My husband cut a piece of plywood the exact size of the window seats (we have two of these bay windows), and then I purchased three $15 foam mattress toppers (because upholstery foam is insanely expensive), batting, and 10 yards of fabric, and got to work. I laid the plywood on the floor and put two layers of foam on it. I did have to cut the foam to get the trapezoid shape, but I was able to glue the pieces together. Then I wrapped the entire thing in batting, flipped it over, and staple the battling tightly in place. Then I flipped it back over laid the fabric on it, flipped it again, and stapled the ever-lovin’ crap out of it.
All in it cost less than a hundred bucks to make these, including the fabric. Previously, I had homemade cushion seats that I had stuffed with batting, but they were constantly being pulled off the seat because the kids love to get up there and play. The weight of the plywood would easily keep it in place, but I added velcro Command strips on the bottom, to give us a little extra security from squished toes.
There’s a lot of this happening, so it’s important we don’t have any slippage.
Oh, and see those cute curtains? They are actually shower curtains from Target! There is no shortage of 84″ curtains out in the world, but it’s nearly impossible to find an inexpensive, pretty 63″ curtain. There were lots of solids, but I wanted a pattern. Standard shower curtains are 72″x72″ so I ordered four, cut them in half, shortened them, and scored 8 thick cotton curtains with a backing for 80 dollars. Actually, my mother-in-law did all of the sewing on them, so I’ll give credit where it is due. I showed up her house with four shower curtains, two little kids, and two big bags under my eyes, and she grabbed them from me, asked me the dimensions, and sent me on my way. That’s love, people! I hope you’re all blessed with a mother-in-law as great as mine.
Are those not the prettiest shower curtain curtains you’ve ever seen? And the custom curtain rods are NOT curtain rods at all. It’s metal conduit that my husband bent for me. Even better, they were leftover from one of the job sites he works on, so they cost exactly zero dollars. Not the most high-end curtains, but I’m not complaining!
It will be kind of a pain to take the curtains off to wash them, but considering I’ve never washed a curtain in my entire life I don’t foresee that as being a problem.
It’s amazing what a little fabric refresh and some staples will do, isn’t it? I believe it was William Shakespeare who said, “Some are born great. Some achieve greatness. And some have a staple gun.” Or something like that.