Tuesday, January 15, 2013

my free chair debacle.
Jane @ urbanejane.6:30 AM 17 comments

Like every good story, this one begins with a free, worn-down piece of furniture off Craigslist. In this case it is a crusty chair.

This is no ordinary chair, though; It swivels, rocks, and is Crate and Barrel-made. Oh, and did I mention it was for FREE?? That was enough to make me overlook the acid-wash-ish denim that had strange stains on it.

After driving like a maniac to pick it up, I had great plans to buy some lovely fabric & get it professionally re-upholstered (there is no way this preggo is taking that project on), but after I dropped it off at the re-upholsterers, I found out the quote was going to be about $450 with the fabric, which is way more than I wanted to pay. I know, this chair retails for over $1000, but call me a cheapskate.

I pondered the price tag, and a couple of weeks later just decided to pick it up and order a slip cover to fit it.
Unfortunately when I picked the chair up, it looked like this:

(my in-laws' dog was not impressed either).

It was stripped of batting, fabric, and even some of the wood to cover the sides & back. And not to mention it was off it's rocker. Literally,
Um, thanks, re-upholstering people.

I was shocked, but not shocked enough to dish out $450, so I decided to think of another alternative.
We reattached the base, and I ordered a matching slip cover from here, and patiently awaited. 

Now, this is what the website's example looked like (I'd be happy with that taut puppy!):

but this is what she looked like after we tucked in as much excess fabric as we could:

Can we say saggage, or what?

I'm sure the people at Crate and Barrel would be appalled if they saw this thing (and by this point, I'm seriously yearning for that stained denim!)

Now, did we give up and chuck that to the curb?? (we were sooo tempted to! Especially since the cream-colour was throwing off some of the white furniture in the room)
Nope! I decided to get a bottle of liquid dye (I chose grey), and followed the instructions on the label. 
This is what the cotton duck material (in Natural) looked like before:

And after the dye job, and refitting it to chair, this is what she looked like after:

it's a bit of an improvement, but it turned the material into a smoky blue colour (kind of hard to tell with the picture).
Here it stands today with a bit of furry TLC:

And the fit? The wash shrunk the material a smidge, but I still had to tuck a lot of that baby's saggy cheeks into the cushions (which you can see below).

Now, I probably should've given up a LONG time ago on this baby, but this is the most comfy chair I've ever sat in (and the lower armrests will be a big help when I'm using it as a nursing chair with a bulky breast-feeding pillow).

And the fact that this chair only cost me a little over $50 with discounts from the slipcover company, and using a coupon for the dye, I can overlook it's disheveled appearance.

Well, there ya have it. My crazy commitment to the free chair!! It's not perfect, but it'll be fine for midnight feedings, vomit, and whatever other liquids come with the baby! ;)

Have a terrific Tuesday!
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About The Author Urbane Jane I'm Jane and I'm glad you stopped by! I live in Ontario, Canada, and teach in a middle school by day & blog about my life & hobbies by night.


  1. Bwaha! This is exactly how so many of my projects go. Thanks for sharing and making us all feel more "normal".

  2. PS- do you know that you have double word verification on?

  3. Hi Emily!
    Thanks for the comments, and the heads up with the word verification! I had no idea, and I just disabled it (I hope). :) I can't stand those double word verification things, so you seriously deserve a medal for jumping through that hoop twice to let me know! :) take care!

  4. Love your post! I would totally have lost it if I picked it up at the upholsterer looking like that. You're a brave lady to keep going! ;)


    1. Lol! Yes, my husband and I both had a moment of shocked silence after we saw the thing. If that thing weren't so dang comfy, it would be in the dump at this point! :)

  5. I had to laugh with you. I've been wanting to re-upholster my furniture but I think I will just settle for slip covers..LOL

    I'm having a TWITTER Social hop. I'd love for you to hop on over, grab a button and link up your Twitter. If you don't have Twitter it's ok, come link up your blog or favorite post.


    I'm also looking for Pinterest Pinners to feature every week. If you are on Pinterest and are interested in being featured come link up! Who knows you might meet some other great pinners and gain a few great ideas.


    1. Lol! I'm glad I'm not the only one! I was thinking it might be wimpy of me to just get a slip cover instead of sweating over that thing for 10 hours to reupholster it, but for the money, I'm happy with it. :) and thank you for the invites! I'm not a part of twitter yet, but this has made me rethink it... :)

  6. Thanks for sharing the not so perfect. It's nice to know I'm not the only one whose projects don't always go as planned. It will be a great chair for those middle of the night feeding sessions!

  7. Sorry about your chair. I HATE slipcovers. Have one, and I always get "mad" at my husband for sitting on it because then I have to rearrange it. :)

    1. Haha! Yes, I've already gotten a taste of smoothing the fabric out after a good sit. I'm sure it'll drive me bonkers when it gets more wear and tear!

  8. Oh, yikes! :) Well, I'd say it's looking pretty good, considering where it started!

  9. Oh i just giggled and giggled - thank you for sharing! We found you via Sumo's sweet stuff - Market Yourself Monday. Share the love <3 and check us out too www.lovenotesrestylestudio.com

  10. Great post! And I have that very same chair! It's still like new and I love it!

  11. I totally get how hard it is to upholster. I did a couch and it was hard. I'm visiting from Sumo's Sweet Stuff.

  12. Hahahaha- sadly, I see myself doing the same thing. I have two chairs (twice the fun?) that I'm considering DIY upholstering. I'll try to keep your experience in mind when I make that step!

  13. Hahaha expectations don't always match reality which happens way too often. Have you ever thought of sewing in the seams to make the slipcover smaller so there is less excess fabric?



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