Project Sixteen: Waiting Room Chair


Found Item:
Arm chair with upholstered seat and back.  The fabric had some rips and frays, but the spring construction in the cushion seat redeemed it with a 9 rating in comfiness.

Where: Sitting outside the loading dock of a science research building at Northwestern University.  If not Watson or Crick, perhaps some animated grad student sat on the edge of this very chair as she told of her breakthrough in organogenesis.  Then she threw it out.


The Makeover: First task, remove the seat cushion via the screws on the seat, then the back cushion by ripping it off with a set of plyers.  Then, sand off the institutional finish and stain the frame black.

Though it looks like striped fabric in the photos, I made the the seat and back fabric by sewing together a combination of grosgrain and satin ribbon.  I first arranged the ribbon in overlapping stripes on top of two pieces of midweight cotton.  Using a sewing machine, I zigzagged each  ribbon strip onto the next one and onto the cotton back.  I restuffed the seat cushion a little and upholstered the ribbon fabric onto it with a staple gun.

Alas, the gun was too light-duty to do the chair back, so I enlisted the expertise and muscle of Willow Upholstery in Glenview, who is good and fast, exactly what you want in an upholsterer.


Materials: Minwax Ebony Stain, polycotton stuffing (on hand), $45.18 worth of satin and grosgrain ribbon in assorted widths and colors from Tom Thumb Hobby and Crafts.

Chair for Sale: Asking $350.  If interested, please drop me a line.  –Diana


2 Responses

  1. Hello There,
    I have a boutique in Chagrin falls Oh, minutes from Cleveland. I went to school in Chicago and love visiting the city. A friend sent me your link because I love junkin! Your projects are great. Isn’t it amazing how we can turn trash into treasure?
    Fellow Picker

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