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I hope everyone enjoyed seeing my nautical outdoor tablescape and my DIY doily accent wall inside the pages of Redbook. Today I am excited to share my latest creation as Redbook magazine’s resident home/DIY expert. When I first found this chair at a yard sale, it didn’t look like much. And that’s putting it nicely… But beneath the shabby old seat cushion and tattered frame I saw a garage sale gem that just needed a little craftista love. Here’s the how-to that I shared with Redbook:

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Yard sales are full of unloved dining room chairs from the ’60s and ’70s. It’s amazing how a coat of paint and a fresh fabric can revive one. I paid 15 bucks for this cane-detail chair with the grand plan to reupholster its cushion—something I’d never done before. It was so easy; I can’t wait to do it again.

You can do this!

1. Lose that ratty seat. Turn the chair over and you’ll see upholstery nails (they look like jumbo tacks) or staples holding the seat cover on; tear them out with a flat-head screwdriver and needle-nose pliers. Now, rip that ugly fabric right off! If the wooden base your cushion sits on is screwed onto the frame (many aren’t and just rest on top), remove those screws. At this point, you should be able to pop the base right off the frame of the chair. (You might be able to take the base off before removing the fabric if your fabric doesn’t go over the chair legs, like mine did.) Tightly wrap new fabric over the cushion, leaving about two inches extra on the underside. Use a staple gun to secure the material.

2. Fix up your frame. Lightly sand the chair with fine-grain sandpaper to remove the most obvious scratches. Apply a coat of primer, let it dry (it takes about 10 minutes), then coat the chair with spray paint in a color you like. The guy at Home Depot told me that gray primer is better than white when using bold colors.

3. Bring it all together. Pop your covered seat back into the (dry) newly painted frame, rescrewing if necessary.

Are you going to try my yard sale chair makeover?

Let me know in the comments. And keep reading Redbook for even more of my crafty creations.

Love,
T

Photo: David Tsay/Redbook

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