When I was 40 weeks pregnant, I had the ambition to makeover a glider I found at a garage sale for our baby’s room. My husband was so kind to help out and paint the chair white while I took on the challenge to recover the cushions. Our glider is something that I still use everyday and I love how it was made with love for our impending arrival. A cousin of my husband is expecting a baby boy in May and she mentioned that she wanted a unique glider for her room similar to what I did for ours. I couldn’t wait to jump on the opportunity for another DIY project, especially for a piece that means so much to me and I know will be as important to her. So that I day I started the official hunt and went to our local thrift store to see if I could find any treasures just waiting for an upgrade. My thrift store shopping and Craigslist browsing continued for a few weeks and I enlisted my father-in-law’s girlfriend (the garage sale queen) to help with the hunt. She found the perfect piece at Goodwill that not only glided, but also swiveled! And so the project began…
Glider and Ottoman:
The glider and matching ottoman were $35 from Goodwill which was a great buy considering comparable secondhand chairs were going for $70 to $100 on Craigslist (through my research, that is). The next step was to pick out fabric to recover the cushions and buy paint to give the chair a fresh, white look.
Andrea and her husband knew they were expecting a little boy but they wanted the fabric to be a more neutral color so that it could be used for years to come if they decided to change their color scheme in the house. After measuring the cushions and ottoman, I knew that I needed three yards of fabric for the project. Andrea suggested grays and navy’s so I went to the aisle for upholstery and outdoor fabric. I love the durability of the outdoor fabric and price point of about $10-$20 per yard. After sending Andrea pictures of a variety of fabrics, she settled on a cool geometric navy blue print that was $10 per yard. With my 50% off coupon for the 3 yard purchase, it ended up being about $15 total for the fabric. I knew that I had navy thread and Velcro at home to use for the finishing touches so the fabric was all I needed!
We are in the process of remodeling our home so we have plenty of white paint that I was able to use for this project. I’m new to the Chalkpaint (such as Annie Sloan Chalk Paint or Folkart Home Decor at Jo-Ann’s) so I did buy a white color from Jo-Ann’s in case I wanted to use that after some experimenting. Well I found that the paint was adhering about the same as the Chalkpaint so I decided to save the Chalkpaint (which was more spendy by the ounce than my leftover paint) for a future project.
Glider Makeover Process –
1. I couldn’t wait to start painting so that’s where I started. We have a workroom in the back of our basement that is the perfect set up for painting. So I laid out our drop cloth (old curtain) over the cement and set up a couple saw horses.
2. My New Year’s Resolution was to “Get My Hands Dirty”, meaning I wanted to learn more about the building process by not always relying on my husband to do it for me. So this was my first all by myself moment when I had to figure out how to take the chair apart so that it could be painted more easily in all those hard to reach areas.
3. Paint, paint, and more paint! With an infant, I really only had nap times on the weekend to work on painting since it is in an isolated room that I didn’t want our son to go into while painting. So Saturday afternoons for about a month and a half were devoted to running downstairs to apply another coat while our son took his afternoon nap. I didn’t keep track, but I would estimate it took about four coats before it looked evenly coated.
4. Recovering the two cushions for this chair went really fast. I laid the fabric out, good sides together, stuck a cushion in the middle and pinned around three of the four sides, leaving the side that would be tucked into the corner open so that I could slip the cushion in like a pillowcase.
The hardest part was that the pattern on the fabric was geometric so I wanted the lines to be centered and try to line them up along the edges. I then took the pillow out (with the pins still in tact which was a little tricky) and used a straight stitch on my sewing machine to sew along the edges. It was almost like connecting the dots on a sheet of paper, only sewing and connecting the pins while I sewed. I did the same process for the other cushion by wrapping the fabric around with the good sides together, pinned around three of the four sides, sewed around following the pins, clipped the curves, and then turned the fabric right side out.
I folded the opening like a hem so that the raw edges looked nice and tucked under. I figured that this was going into her nursery, there is the likelihood that the covers will get dirty so I wanted an easy way to take the covers off to wash. I sewed on Velcro in three spots in the opening of each cushion. This is not a visible area so I was happy with the Velcro finish. If it were more visible for the end project, I would have opted for a zipper as a finish. Convenience and ease of the Velcro wins over the zipper!
The ottoman top detaches from the base so all I needed to do was place the fabric where I wanted, staple the fabric to the ottoman top which covers the cushion, and reattach the cushion to the base. The hardest part about this step was also lining up the geometric pattern so that it matched both cushions on the glider. I lined up the ottoman in front of the glider with the cushions on to see how I wanted the fabric to sit so that the obvious geometric pattern would be straight. I then temporarily pinned it in place so that I could flip it upside down and staple with our staple gun.
I kept the original fabric on both the cushions and the ottoman. An option could have been to remove the original fabric and make a pattern out of the original material as a new cover, but that to me felt like it would have taken way longer. And life with a baby gives you limited time to work on projects so again, convenience won again!
That’s pretty much it! A fun project that made an excellent gift. I can’t wait for the spring and summer to roll around so that I can hit up as many garage sales as possible to find furniture that is need of a little face lift.