Friday, May 22, 2015

Make Do and Mend

We have a set of six patio chairs. They're not super special or anything, but they are decent looking, comfortable, and stack-able. The stack-ability is really important to me, because it means that they store out of the weather very easily and also store out-of-season in a minimal amount of space. It's also difficult to find sturdy, affordable patio chairs that stack unless you want molded resin chairs. Anyway, the summer before we moved four of the seats gave out and I tried to fix them with upholstery. That only lasted a few years. Then last winter, I found that I could buy new resin wicker (also called plastic wicker) online from Frank's Cane & Rush Supply! WOO!  And just in the nick of time, too, because the other two seats blew out.

After searching around their site, I decided on a style that was as wide and as thick as I could get in a color that would go well with the bronze color of the chairs and with the rounded profile. Wide so it would cover quickly, thick hoping it would last longer, and rounded for comfort.  They are sold in 1-pound rolls and my chairs took just over 1 pound per seat.

On five of the chairs, the tops of the backs have also failed. I think I will probably replace those with new resin wicker at some time in the future, but for now I decided to use the outdoor fabric I already had on hand to make simple slip covers.

I had enough uncut fabric to make 4 slipcovers. I have two pieces that were cut to make two more seats that I will make fronts with and I picked up at coordinating solid to do the backs. They just slide over and fasten with tabs and buttons on the back.

We have two rounds of guests coming at the end of May and beginning of June and will need three patio chairs per visit, so I have finished four and will work on  the other two after that fun is over.

Here they are in two stacks of two!

I realize that the slip covers "should" all have the same part of the fabric's pattern, but I wanted them to be random for the sake of informality and to enjoy the various parts of the pattern. Lucky for me, this also meant there was less waste, enabling  me to get four covers from the fabric I already had.

I think that replacing all six seats will end up costing about what one or one-and-a-quarter new chairs would cost.  So, in addition to keeping perfectly good chair frames out of the landfill and diminishing the waste and pollution associated with manufacture and shipping, we also saved some money.  Of course, that's with me working for free; it probably would have cost much more than the chairs are worth if I had to pay someone to weave them.

I have a couple other projects in mind for the deck and hope to get those done before June is done. Sadly, those projects don't include new decking or railing this year.

Stay tuned.


  1. Dang, is there anything you can't do? They look amazing; I like the wide webbing and straight pattern much better than the original, also the non-matching slipcovers. And I am a sucker for button tabs. A fine job, Mistress T!

    1. Aw, thanks, Pegs! I think I like the wide webbing and simple pattern better, too. And not just because it was fast(-ish) and easy.

  2. They turned out great and I really like the fabric slip covers. I also like how the fabric doesn't match up. It makes the fun and unique. And matchy-matchy is boring :)


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