Not only do I love recycling old and unloved chairs and pieces of furniture, but also reusing old fabrics to transform them.

This week I have been reupholstering a dear little chair for someone.  I guess from it’s size that it would have been a childs chair.   You can see from the picture that it had seen better days and that the seat was sagging as the webbing had gone.

I therefore needed to strip the chair right back to it’s frame, and began by replacing the webbing.  The chair had been stuffed with horse hair, so this was saved (never throw it away !) and washed with lots of fabric softener, which restored it’s springiness. Once restuffed with the original hair (plus a bit extra) I created a wall of stitches and a rolled edge to make the seat  firm.  After a second stuffing of horsehair, the seat was covered with a layer of soft white felt and then calico.

The person I was reupholstering this chair for, had spent a long time deliberating over top fabric, but finally settled on using  a lovely velvety red fabric from another old armchair she had.  This is a great idea, and obviously very economical.

We decided to trim the chair with studs.  These can be bought in a range of colours from brass, bronze, nickle, antique, old gold speckled  and can either be bought in continuous strips, or individually.

The little chair retains it’s traditional look, but is looking much smarter now and is much more comfortable to sit !  It is looking forward to returning to it’s home, to be much admired and loved I’m sure.

Back to the subject of recycling fabric….. I recently worked on a project for another friend, who had a great idea for cheaply recovering her nursing chair – she bought a lovely bright and patterened pair of curtains from a local charity shop for next to nothing, and I recovered the removeable cushions of the nursing chair and foot stool.   The once plain cream chair that had over the years suffered from numerous spillages,  now is bright and cheerful and much more practical in terms of colour.

So have a look at fabric you could re-use, the possibilities are endless.  Someone I was talking to recently was after a contrasting green colour to cover some buttons to go on a chair.  She eyed up the coat I was wearing and said “that’s the colour I’m after”.  Hang on I thought, there is no way I’m cutting up my favourite coat for your buttons !  It obviously gave her an idea though, and she came back with an old cardi of hers to recover the buttons with.  Another great idea !