Danish Chair Redux

January 20, 2013

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Well hello again! I’m back! Twice in one day. I am on a roll. Or, just super behind on posting and overloaded with content to share. Depending on how you look at it.

I found this A-MAZ-ING Danish made, Mid-Century Modern chair (and matching foot stool, not pictured) on good ol’ Craigslist back in October. When I bought it, it looked like this:

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I still get a shiver down my spine when I look at this photo. The fabric was (obviously) old, crusty, full of dust and animal hair, and worst of all, hideous. A few people have tried to convince me that at one point in time, long ago, this fabric would have been considered fabulous. Was it though?

After mulling over fabric choices (to pattern or not pattern???), I decided to go with a very light dove grey linen blend. It is a solid color, so that I didn’t have to mess with lining up the patterns perfectly while sewing, and ultimately the chair would have more versatility as a solid. It was on sale at the fabric store, and it was high quality, which is something I have learned not to skimp on when recovering furniture.

To recover the two cushions (seat and bottom), I would have to make two box cushions, which I had never done before. So I was excited. And nervous. Mostly nervous. Here is a short rundown of the process:

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1.CAREFULLY take apart the original cushion covers, meaning removing each seam until you have all of the pattern pieces. My grandmother taught me this little trick, and I can’t thank her enough for that. I used a box cutter for this crazy thick fabric, but in the past I have used an Exacto Knife, or a seam cutter. 2.Once you take all of the seams out, you should have all of the pattern pieces you need. I use these patterns to trace onto my new fabric.

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3. Trace the pattern from the old fabric onto the new fabric.I like to use blue tailor’s chalk. 4. For one box cushion, you should have 3 pieces laid out – 2 large squares (top and bottom surface of cushion) and 1 long strip (sides of the cushion). 5. Start piecing your cushion together by pinning the fabric down. When you have the cushion in front of you, remember that the seam will be sewn on the outer edges. This will all make sense later. 6. Pin your bottom and side pieces all together until you have a square like the one pictured.

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7.  Like I mentioned before, you will want to make sure to sew on the outer edge of the cushion in front of you – right where my blurry finger is. 8. A SUPER IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER is that your corners need to be completely unfolded, meaning that the seem only goes AROUND the corner, not over the top of it. You will need this corner to flip over the cushion. I made the mistake of sewing it down my first time around and had to go back and fix it. 9. Sew that bad boy down!!!

DanishChair1Once you finish the top part of the cushion, repeat the same process with the last big square you have left.

DanishChair2210. Finish off the last seam. There are several different way you can do this. If you want to take the time to, you can sew a zipper into both large squares so that you can wash or change the cushions periodically. I decided to hand sew mine. Since I want  to accessorize the chair with pillows, I don’t plan to change the fabric any time soon. This is actually easier than it looks. On the last seam, sew the cushion up about 1/3 of the way, or just enough so that you knock off some of the hand sewing time but can still fit your cushion into the opening. Then, fold the top and bottom pieces into each other and sew loops around the top and bottom, as pictured above. This process took me about 20 minutes per cushion.

After you repeat this whole process one more time for the second cushion, you should have this…

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Or at least, your version of it. This is a totally different chair than it was when it first arrived at my house! And I am in looooooove! I am sitting on it as I type this. Just so you don’t have to scroll back, let’s look at the difference:

DanishChair23This chair is just another reminder to go for it. Not to get too Mr. Rogers on you, but a lot of times I shy away from difficult projects like this because I worry that since I have never done them, I won’t be able to do them. I felt that annoying sense of self doubt and fear when embarking on this project, but in the end, I was really proud of the job and did and super happy with the new chair that I have!

This won’t be the last you will see of this chair. I am trying to figure out the perfect spot, and pillow, for it in our new house.

For a more detailed box cushion how-to, check out this one from Amanda over at Spruce in Austin, TX. (c/o DesignSponge)
She used a patterned fabric for her cushion, and added piping. And her blog is awesome!

Check back tomorrow for more on the special project that Connor and I have been working on!

~K/tcb

11 thoughts on “Danish Chair Redux

  1. Piper (aka mom-in-law!)

    woo hoo you!!! Paul and I went shopping today for new living room chairs because the pink-and-white ones are so old and dirty… and we didn’t buy any because my fabric tastes are spendier than my wallet. Maybe you should come up here and recover them for me 🙂

    Reply
    1. thecleverbunny

      Piper, it would be my dream to come up to Alaska and recover your chairs! And fabric is always so tricky – I always want the expensive stuff, too, and in the end, with the cost, you might as well just buy a new chair! That’s why I get so excited when I find deals on fabric and craigslist furniture. Can’t wait to see the new stuff when we come up again! Miss you and love you! XO

      Reply
    1. thecleverbunny

      Thanks lady! No on the rug- the white rug I bought ended up being too big for my new place, so I will have to get a smaller one soon. But that requires a road trip to Dallas to ikea, since you can’t order anything but furniture from their website. Ugh.

      Reply
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  4. ronnie

    I absolutely love this and was hoping to do a similar thing. Can you please share the place where you purchased the fabric?

    Reply
    1. katycartland@gmail.com Post author

      Thank you so much! At the time that I recovered this chair, I was living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I purchased the fabric (on super sale) at Hancock’s Fabric store, which I think have stores over the south and southwest regions.

      Reply

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