Redesigned Spaces ~ Fun Stuff Blog


Recycled Chair Project ~ So easy even I can do it!

Do You Have An Old Chair That Needs A Little Spruce Up Or Some TLC?

Well thanks to my fellow stagers for inspiring me to tackle this project I now have a new chair for my room. I now can share how easy this for my clients too! So thank you Ginger Foust, Sharon Tara & other creative stagers that so generously share your ideas here. 

This was pretty easy so if you have an old chair or maybe a frame of a chair give it a go! I had two identical chairs but only one had a seat that was kaput.

                       Good Chair                                                   Kaput Chair

     Cynthia Bartch's good chair             Cynthia Bartch's broken chair


Well when I undid the cane seating all that was left was a frame of seat with a big ol' hole in the middle. So I bought some thick plywood and had my husband cut out a template of the frame (I'm not quite there yet w/ all the power tools).

I then purchased the following; 1- batting, 2- thick foam for the extra cushioning & 3- quality material to cover the wood base.

1- I first used a spray adhesive to center the thick foam on top of the wood board.

2- Then I pulled the batting up & over the bottom of the wood board on the center of one side, stapling once. Then repeat this process on the other sides, continuing to pull the batting firmly and stapling around the base of the seat. Cut away any excess batting.

3- Next center your fabric over the seat. Be sure to center any major design element or line up the stripes as it was in this case. Repeat pulling & stapling to secure the fabric. Cut away any excess fabric.

4- Then turn your chair over and screw the seat in place through the chair's frame. The holes will be there from the previous seat.

               Finished Chair                                      The Recycled Chair in a Room

    Cynthia Bartch's finished chair              Cynthia Bartch, Redesigned Spaces finished chair

      * The striped fabric looks a little wiggly in the picture but it's not in person or should I say in chair!



copyscape do not copy

if you want to use a photo or some copy just email me... more than likely we can work it out

Comment balloon 47 commentsCynthia Bartch • August 26 2008 05:08PM


Cynthia ~ That's excellent!  I love that you re-used what was still a good chair and the way you fixed it up.  I have chairs I've been promising myself to do for about a year now (I have the fabric, just need the paint).  I like the way you did the pictures in your post too!

Posted by Kathy Passarette, L.I. Staging/Decorating (Creative Home Expressions) almost 12 years ago

Kathy, Thanks for the compliment and especially for keeping this group alive, I appreciate it! I did my pictures with Picnik, and it's free yeah! I learned of this (new to me) tool from Jeff Turner's blog. Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch almost 12 years ago

Great looking chair Cynthia! I love refinishing furniture! This looks especially easy!

Posted by Mary McGraw, 2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine! (GLREA) almost 12 years ago

Love it!  I have recovered chairs with cushion seats but never thought to actually make a cushion seat for a chair that started out with cane.  Thanks for the mention!  Oh and I love is so easy to use!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) almost 12 years ago

Mary, Thanks for stopping by and for the compliment, I'm trying my part to be green!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch almost 12 years ago

Hi Sharon, you are definitely one of my inspirational stagers. I think the room you did for your daughter turned so good! I have that series bookmarked! Thanks for stopping by.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch almost 12 years ago

Awesome Cynthia.  I have some of my own the have cane seats and backs that are warn and I have been considering doing something similar.  They are very old, but very expensive -- the fram is all Rod iron.  Hmmm . . .  I should send you a picture!

great post . . . featured



Posted by Karen Dembsky, Atlanta Home Staging (Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA) almost 12 years ago

Karen - I swear, this was pretty easy to do.....the iron frames sound beautiful! Sure go ahead and send the pic. Thanks for the gold star feature!

Kathy P. - Thanks you for the gold star feature also!

To everyone else, I forgot to mention the materials for the foam, batting and fabric cost under $10 and I even chose heavy upholstering fabric!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch almost 12 years ago

Another use for recycling old chairs seems to also be in the landscape; I have seen flower pots placed into the hole in the seat, plant some colorful flowers and set it out in the garden to add interest.

Posted by Mary Strang almost 12 years ago

Cynthia:  Oustanding!  I redid some dining chairs not long ago and I just love them.  It was much easier than I thought when I first started.  I love the way you demonstrate this with great description and pictures.

Posted by Donna Yates, Blue Ridge Mountains (BHGRE - Metro Brokers) almost 12 years ago


Now that not only looks "do-able" it looks like FUN...and I love the idea of sustainable in my home...and garden (of course)

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago

Hi Mary - Yep, I've seen that's kinda neat in the right setting. Thanks for stopping by, shouldn't you be golfing today?

Hey there Donna my northern GA neighbor - Thanks for the compliment! So glad you were able to recycle and get new chairs in the process. It's a win-win situation.

Hi janeAnne - This project is very "do-able", and yes it was fun. I love your green group & I'm learning something new every time I visit!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch almost 12 years ago

Hi Cynthia, You did a fantastic job.. The chair looks great in the room.. Keep it up. God bless,

Posted by No Longer Active in Staging. No Longer Staging almost 12 years ago

You think it would be more difficult than that!?  Easy step by step instructions and it doesn't seem so overwhelming.  Thank you!

Posted by -- Casey Brischle, Spokane Home Loan Mortgage Professional (Columbia Bank) almost 12 years ago

Cheryl- So glad you liked the chair project, now if I could only sew like you!

Casey - No it wasn't difficult at all, trust me. I hope you enjoy that Spokane Symphony concert this weekend. Thank you for stopping by!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch almost 12 years ago

Cynthia ~ That looks great! I just love taken something old and making it new again. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Barbara Cluck-Miksits, Home Staging - New Jersey (BCM Home Staging LLC) almost 12 years ago

Thanks for sharing Cynthia -- I've never used spray adhesive and think that may be something I need to give a try -- the bedroom looks wonderful!  I love re-purposing or restoring items!

Posted by Margaret Oscilia, Home Stager, Salem Oregon (Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon) almost 12 years ago

The chair looks fabulous!! Your room and the staging looks marvelous too!!  Great job Cynthia!  You are very creative and have inspired me. 

Posted by Cathy Lee, ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA (CL Design Services Home Staging) almost 12 years ago

Barbara - So glad you liked it. I like taking older things (me) and making them new again also......this is what I call shopping for myself! At least I feel newer when I'm wearing or using them!  ;-)


Margaret - I've also used the spray adhesive for adding a tiny bit of 'diamond dust' to a floral petal here and there to give it a bit of sparkle at Christmas time. Thanks for the kind comments!


Cathy - Thank you so much for your compliments. It was a very cost effective solution to my kaput chair! And thanks for the info on the Bella & Birch product.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch almost 12 years ago

Cynthia, the chairs look great.  Removing old caning and rattan and replacing with fabric hadn't entered my thought process.  This new stripe makes the chairs a lot less county and a lot more stylish.  I do dining room chairs all of the time because it's just an easy, quick fix.  I will, on occassion, even do it for clients because upholsterers change so much for this simple task. 

And thanks for the link, it's much appreciated.  I think that a large part of my creativity comes from mom limiting us on the TV hours when I was young.  

Posted by Ginger Foust, Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging (Certified Staging Professional) almost 12 years ago

That is amazing.  Sometimes things are easier than they first seem.  I think I could even do something like that.   thanks for the inspiration.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 12 years ago

Love the chair...great job.  Now I'm inspired too.  Where's that chair anyway...

Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - almost 12 years ago

Hey Ginger - Yes this was easy and thanks for sharing all your creative ideas w/ us here, I appreciate it! I hope you are off to your holiday soon!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch almost 12 years ago

Hi Joan - Glad I could be an inspiration....go ahead & grab that chair! I was just visiting your certainly have many wonderful places near you like your Black Forest Café & Bakery and the Lull Farm, they sound wonderful.  Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch almost 12 years ago

Terrylynn - Thanks for lovin' my chair, it's easy I swear! Now you too go find your chair and give a go!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch almost 12 years ago

It is amazing how far a little work will take a piece of furniture!

Posted by Kristina Leone (Lionheart Home Staging, LLC) almost 12 years ago

Nice choice of fabric - the new chair looks great.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) almost 12 years ago

Kristina - I agree! This was a pretty easy project. The hardest part was finding the fabric I wanted.

Georgina - Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm still amazed at off the grid, WOW!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch almost 12 years ago

Cynthia, You do beautiful things with your ideas. I love all the photos on your profile page. Thanks for always sharing such good stuff.


Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) almost 12 years ago

Margaret - Thank you so much for your lovely comments! Sharing & learning is what it's all about here on AR.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch almost 12 years ago


I don't know how I missed this, but thanks! Your instructions are right on.

Posted by Susan Peters, The Better it Looks the Better it Sells (Dove Realty Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Susan, Thanks so much for stopping by. There is so much information here on AR it's hard to keep up with all the ideas!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch almost 12 years ago

I love it, Cynthia. I wish I could do those sorts of things, but I can only conceptualize them. I can build a fireplace or put in skylights, but I can't cover a chair. Go figure.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land parkelizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) almost 12 years ago

Hi there Elizabeth....well I'm in awe of you because I couldn't put in a skylight to save my life. I once designed a fireplace in my previous home that my husband built. Oh yeah..... I got to supervise that job too ;-)

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch almost 12 years ago

very nice.  thanks for sharing

Posted by Chrissie Sutherland (Ready Set Stage) almost 12 years ago

Hi Chrissie, Thanks so much for stopping by & for the positive feedback, I appreciate it!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch over 11 years ago

Hi Cynthia,
Nice name, LOL! 
Now I have a couple of chairs that need help so I'm bookmarking this and maybe I'll try my hand at giving them a new life.  Thanks.

Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) over 11 years ago

Hey there Cynthia my NC neighbor, I like your name too! Give it a go with your chairs, recycle, renew then spend the money you saved on new shoes!

Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch over 11 years ago

Dear Cynthia,

This is a fun and relatively quick project. I have done it a few times with chairs I pick up at garage and estate sales. Cool funky chairs can be a good start to staging an empty home. Thanks for the reminder!

Betina Foreman, Realtor Austin Texas

Posted by Betina Foreman, Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY (WJK Realty) over 11 years ago

I love it, it looks wonderful and wonderfully easy. Thanks for posting.

Posted by Kimberley Hawley, Hawley Interiors & Staging (Hawley Interiors & Staging) over 11 years ago

Now how do you know that I am a shoe hound?  LOL!

Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) over 11 years ago

Cynthia - if you are a shoe hound - check out this creative use of moulding/picture shelf (a bit off topic but what the hey):

storing high heels

Posted by Liz Jenkins (a fresh space :: home staging & thoughtful organizing) over 11 years ago

Thanks for the inspiration, Cynthia. A chair with such classic good looks, deserves a new life! You did it proud.

Wendy Casey - Surrey, BC

Posted by Wendy Casey (A-List Home Staging & Decor) over 11 years ago

Hi Cynthia: I especially enjoyed the way you defended the "after" photo by saying the design is not squiggly in real life. That shows you take great pride in your work! :)

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) over 11 years ago

Betina, Please come back and post a picture of your chair, I'd love to see it!

Cynthia, Hummm... let's see, I'm guessing since you have the hormone estrogen running through your veins congratulations you qualify!!! But really, shoes always fit. It doesn't matter if one could be having a 'puffy' day, dang those shoes always fit!

Kimberly, It was easy! Thank you for your comment.

Liz, That has to be the most original shoe rack I've ever seen. Nice silver ankle straps too. Thanks for the picture!

Wendy, Thanks for stopping by, as you have read I got my inspiration from others here on AR too!

Elizabeth, Nice to hear from you again. You got me down pat, if your gonna do something, do it right! And to answer you in your previous blog, I agree wholeheartedly, mudding is an art form!!!


Posted by Cynthia Bartch over 11 years ago

Great post.  I'm going to share this with my neighbor because we were just discussing what to do with old ladder back chairs that don't have seats on them anymore.  This was exactly what I told her to do.  Thanks!

Love that shoe rack...what a cool idea!!!!  =)  I'm going to show my handy-husband that one! 

Posted by Abby Roselli, Staten Island Home Stager (ALR Home Staging and Showcasing, LLC) over 11 years ago

Hi there Abby! Thank you so much for the positive comment! I hope your neighbor takes on this project because it is so easy to complete.

That shoe was pretty original, huh?

Posted by Cynthia Bartch over 11 years ago

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