Thursday, November 13, 2014

$20 Dining Chair Up-scale

My dear husband asked me to make a birthday and Christmas list a couple of weeks ago. Since they only fall about 1 month apart from each other, he said he likes to get a list in mind so he can plan in advance. I'm glad I married a planner. :)

One of the items I put on the list was a set of two padded dining chairs to be at each end of our dining table. Our table is large enough to seat 8+, but we only had 6 chairs. I had my eye on some at Ikea that are about $100/each. They were the right colors for the room, and would dress up the whole set a bit. 

A few days after telling my husband about the Ikea chairs, he told me about some chairs he saw at Goodwill for $8/each. He even took a picture. I decided to go check them out. To my pleasant surprise, they were sturdy and had a simple slip cover over the back. The seat cover was just wrapped and stapled. So I bought them.

As you can see, they are UGLY. Awful colors, stained. icky. But I liked their modern lines. And their simple (read: simple to change) construction.

Obviously I took this after I re-covered them, but this shows the construction of the chair. Four screws hold the frame to the seat. Three (Alan wrench) bolts hold the seat's frame to the back. Easy to disassemble and reassemble. 

The back was just a big sleeve. I traced the one it came with to make a pattern, then cut out and sewed the new slip covers from that. 

As you can see, the bottom just required a good staple gun and some elbow grease. I did go over the edges of the seat cover with my serger. A simple hem or zig-zag stitch would suffice, as well.  

The third chair was for our bedroom. We were constantly dragging a dining chair upstairs to our bedroom and bathroom for hair-dos, computer use, etc. Now we have one that can stay up there. And it looks pretty! 

And here is my colorful dining room. Before, I had the turquoise chairs on the ends. Now I have more substantial chairs for the "heads" of the table, and they really bring the room together with my tree painting and the rug. I love it! 

Here's the breakdown of the cost: 

3 chairs @ $8.00 each + tax:                                                         $26.16
1 yard Richloom Paget Stripe Slub Midnight fabric ( $ 7.63
2 yards Richloom Marman Slub Spring (                  $19.96
Shipping:                                                                                           $ 3.00
Total:                                                                                                 $56.75

Add in thread and staples (which are hard to quantify), and these are less than $20 dining chairs! I love a bargain--especially when I get to make it! 


  1. So cute! We have the same dilemma of being able to seat 8 but only having 6 chairs, so I'm on the lookout for some cheap chairs myself. Hope I have as much luck.
    Rebekah @ Charming Imperfections

  2. I love the fabric you chose. They turned out great.

  3. I love these, Kelly! You did an awesome job, and they look so nice in your dining room. I've never found any chairs like that in my Goodwill. Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle! :)

  4. Your chairs caught my eye....they look amazing....but it was the fabric that I loved...WHY? Because it is so close to the fabric that we used to update the chairs in my daughter's law office. You might want to take a look at these links: AND Don't you think that great minds think alike?

  5. Loving the fabric you chose, and with these two beauties at the head and foot of the table it looks great. You must be really pleased with how they came out.

  6. Wow! I love this transformation. They look like something from Ikea, but cost much less. I really like the patterns you chose. They turned out great! Thanks for joining us for Hump Day Happenings.

  7. What a vibrant addition to the it! Cost less and more personal. You couldn't ask for more :-)

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

  8. Kelly, I really love what you did with these- such a great idea and great tutorial! If you haven't posted this project on Hometalk, you should! :) Thank you for sharing this with us at Treasure Box Tuesday- pinned!