the one about my first tutorial

This is my first attempt at writing a tutorial. In general, I am a copy-cat. I see ideas that I like, and then I copy them from someone else. In teaching, we call that "borrowing." In other areas of life, we call that
"copying" or even "stealing." But whatever. Give credit where credit is due and move on, right?

Well, because I like to borrow/copy/steal, I don't usually have a ton of original ideas to post when it comes to crafts. However, I will say that I used my own brain on this one and did it from start to finish without looking at someone else's tutorial.

Now, if you go on Pinterest and type in "folding chair makeover," you will see lots of different blogs with ways to do this. This is just what I did to revive some old folding chairs we got as a wedding gift nearly seven years ago.

First, they started off looking like this. If you look closely, you can see some marker on the seat fabric and white spray paint from one of our other past projects. We also left one of these outside for probably 3 months during the winter after our daughter's birthday party. Oops.




I started by removing the screws on the back with a Philips head screwdriver. But that's not what I call it. I call it the "one with the cross-thingy on the end."

I spy Charlotte's toes!

I took all the screws out of the back of the chairs to release the top cushions, and then I turned the chairs over and removed the screws from the bottom of the seat cushions.






I wiped the chairs down and removed any dust/dirt. Then I found a can of spray paint in our garage and sprayed them with a nice, new coat of black. You could do any color to make them super fun, but I chose the black because it matched the decor and it was free.

Not pictured: Me spraying black chairs with black spray paint. Use your imagination.

While the chairs were drying, I recovered the cushions. You will need a staple gun (helpful if it has staples…), scissors, and fabric for this part. I am a bit of a fabric hoarder. I buy any fabric I like when it is on sale, and then I keep it. And stare at it. Sometimes I talk to it. Sometimes I drape myself in it. Sometimes I tuck it into the back of my shirt and run around declaring, "I am super woman!" It's all good.

Anyway, I found this fabric in my stash. The chevron is a duck cloth, so it is a little more sturdy. I definitely recommend using a duck cloth or upholstery/outdoor cloth (Joann's and Hobby Lobby have tons of patterns) so it is more durable under your bum. 

I chose the mint green for the top cushions. This is just a basic cotton. It doesn't have to be super durable since it just for your back rest. 

I didn't replace the foam padding of the cushions. If I wanted to make everything like new, I could have done that, but I wanted to keep this very low-cost (i.e. free).

Remove the old fabric. It was so worn and the staples were weakened, so all I had to do was pull up on them and they came right out. You could always shove a flat screw driver in there to pry them out.




Fun fact: Do you know that I rarely ever used my staple-remover thingy when I was a teacher. I enjoyed pulling the papers out of the wall in such a way that the staple flung out approximately 2 feet to the ground. Shame on me.

I cut a piece of fabric about 3-4 inches larger than each edge of the cushion.



With chevron, you have to be careful about making it straight. Try to line it up the best you can. Crooked chevron creates side effects such as nausea, headaches, and hallucinations.

Begin folding up one edge of the fabric. Hold it tight and put a staple in the middle. Then do the same technique along the entire edge. I usually start with 3-4 staples, and then I go through and add about 176 more. Just to be secure.



Move on to the opposite edge using the same technique. 

Next, you will staple the other set of opposite edges. When you get to the corners, leave those without staples.

You will have to do a gathering/overlapping technique, working your way around the curved edge of the cushion. You will place several staples in these areas. Repeat for the opposite edge and the corners.



You will be left with excess fabric around the edges of the staples. Use scissors to cut close to the staples (not tooooo close) and get everything looking neat.



You will do the same around the top cushions of your chair. Depending on the style of your chair, you might have some more rounded edges, or you might have a rectangular shape to work around. Just remember to pull your fabric tight as you go and put lots of staples in it to 1) keep everything secure and 2) feel so cool with your staple gun.

Last comes the fun part! You get to put everything back together. Put all the screws back in and attach the cushions securely.



When I started, I thought the chevrons would be going horizontally. Well, when I went to fit the cushions back on the chairs, I discovered that the chevrons would be going vertically. This isn't a big deal to me, but if you need your pattern to go a certain way, make sure you double check that before you go all crazy with your staple gun.

There you go! You now have updated your old folding chairs into something really special for very little, if any, money. Enjoy!


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