Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cane Again!


These relics from the ‘70’s – I am sure you all have them – are just too useful to throw away but oh! how dated they are!

I had an inspiration when I saw the most beautiful fabric in Wolfe Street Fabrics in Wynberg, Cape Town and not only was it gorgeous – it was on sale!!

I gave the chairs a good scrub with bleach to get rid of years of grimy hands (yes, ok my housework’s not all it cracked up to be) and then gently eased off the beading around the seat and the back.

The seat is held by screws into the frame – some of these were so rusted they needed to be sawn through but most of them came off ok.

The frame was then spray painted using ordinary spray paint from a hardware shop – I found this lovely ivory colour called ‘broken white’ which was perfect. Each chair took about 1 can of paint.
The beading was also sprayed to match.

For the chair backs I secured batting to the cane with hand stitching and then stapled the fabric in place and pinned the beading in position with the staple gun. And did the same for the reverse of the back.

Foam padding was cut into circles by my local dealer and I sawed plywood circles as a base for the seat. The foam was attached with a little contact glue to keep it in place.

I covered the seat bases with a lining fabric pulled tight and stapled in place before covering with the final fabric. The seats were screwed into the frames and the beading pinned in place with the staple gun.

Voila! The old cane chairs look bang up to date.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Putting the Grand back into Grandmother's chair

This chair belonged to the grandmother of a good friend of mine. In South Africa the name for a granny is ‘gogga’- so I called this gogga’s chair.
She was a sorry sight when I first saw her  – this once grand old lady had lost both her arms, stuffing coming out all over and filthy! Nevertheless you could still get an idea of what she had looked like in her prime!!!
So I stripped her down to basics, tied up loose springs and gave her a complete makeover with new padding, foam and lining.
The wooden legs are arms were sanded down, oiled and put firmly back into place.

Then for the covering – after some thought I thought she might like some fun after all those depressing years and found this excellent upholstery fabric with organ grinder monkeys all over.

Doesn’t she look good ? I think she’s ready for a few generations to come.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Romantic Wrought Iron Vintage Bench

2 Oak gates + 1 wrought iron panel = A bench!

A pair of old oak gates with decorative carved detail inspired me to make a bench. After sanding and liming the gates, I secured them to a gorgeous wrought iron panel to make the back of the bench. I spray painted the panel to freshen it up.

Sections of wood held the whole bench together and provided the seat.
I made a piped ‘mattress’ and with a couple of matching cushions it has made a romantic garden seat.

Romantic and pretty - just right for a quiet corner

To see another rags to riches makeover, go and look at the dolly varden makeover

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

From Scrap to Stylish!

Rather sad auction

Stylish bathroom set!!

From scrap to stylish

This bathroom chair and laundry basket was an auction find – although tatty and dirty the proportions and lines of the items were good and in good repair. The laundry basket had a hole in the top so I decided to cover it to match the chair.

After a thorough scrubbing, a coat of paint was applied to freshen the cane, the seat totally recovered using a lovely shell print fabric with a soft sheen and a matching covering was made for the laundry basket. I finished off with dull gold studs to match the fabric and voila!

For another rags to riches project go to Hello Dolly!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Junk to Jewels

One of the things I enjoy doing is finding a way of returning a piece of old, outdated furniture to something that is once again admired and coveted. I will share some of the more sucessful projects that I have undertaken - many of which have found a home in friend's houses and my own!

Junk to jewel

This gorgeous chair with its hand carved panel of St George slaying the dragon had been relegated to the garage where it was providing food for various wood munching insects!!!
Before letting it into my workroom I treated it thoroughly to make sure all wildlife nestling inside had passed on.
When I tackled the chair all the joints came apart so while it was in pieces I cleaned all the bits thoroughly with fine steel wool and a small bristle brush to get rid of years of accumulated dust and dirt especially in the hand carved panels. While doing this I found that even the tops of the legs had inlay work of tremendous delicacy!!
I then applied a generous coating of wood oil which was soaked up like a sponge but gave an inkling of just how good it would look! The client had specified that she did not want the wood stripped back and I agreed that it would spoil its appearance to have it too raw and new-looking.
The joints were then repaired, cotton wadding tacked onto the seat and a smart new navy leather covering with antique studs brought a magnificent chair back to heirloom status!