Thursday, September 11, 2008

Woven Chair Seat

At Maria's age, the days are limited that she will be excited to wear a homemade dress on the first day of school. She's the sweetest girl and did so without even the hint of hesitation or complaint. In fact, she seemed happy to do it. Of course, once I saw what her best friend wore on that day, I know I won't be able to get away with this for too much longer.

On a slightly different crafting front, I decided to do something about my kitchen chairs. I am embarrassed to admit that I have had two completely broken cane seat chairs in my kitchen for more than two years. I've had throw cushions to try and make them a little more usable, but really they didn't work at all. Poor Patrick's assigned seat (yes, it is necessary and put an end to the endless fighting of who sits where) has been one of these broken chairs. He would never sit down and now pretty much eats all his meals standing up. Nice, huh? Here's what one of the chairs looked like before, and the other one was just as bad.
This was actually a chair that my Dad gave me years ago and I think he might have done the cane seat. I remember a cane seat project going on in the basement when I was little and I know it took a long time and was tricky to do. I always thought I would re-cane these chairs, that's why I hung on to the chairs for so long. Well, finally, after all these years I had the idea of weaving fabric onto the chair seat. It was a fast and easy project and now the chairs work like a charm.

Hi Craftzine readers! I thought I would update this post with a few more details for those of you interested in how I did the chairs. I used strips of linen cut about 50" long and 2" wide. I used a bias tape maker (this is a common tool that can be found in the notion section) to iron the sides neatly under. I should note that I did NOT cut the fabric on the bias. No need to sew the strips together. I then tied a knot near the end of a strip and brought the strip up through a corner hole. I used a small crochet hook to help grab the fabric and pull it through the holes. You will not be able to get the fabric through the hole without the hook. Then I just wove the strip back and forth until the strip ran out, tied a tight knot underneath, and started a new strip. I used linen, but I think the quilting weight fabric would work fine too because it is made strong by being doubled over with the bias strip maker. A light weight home dec. fabric might work, but the holes on these cane seats are small so the fabric can't be stiff or thick. I just tied all the knots on the bottom and cut the ends short so they can't be seen. I suppose you could also add some staples, but it really seems pretty sturdy. Fun, easy, fast and no-sew project. Thanks for visiting!


meg said...

well done! they look amazing.

Grandma J said...

What a great idea. I have a chair I'd like to try that on.

Holly said...

Very cool. I have a rocking chair I'd like to try this on but, I have a few questions... First, what kind of fabric did you use? Did you finish the edges first or leave them raw? And how did you fasten the bottom to make it sturdy? Did you just tie a bunch of knots?

Anonymous said...

In craftzine blog, I read about your chair; so I try to send this comment; impossible. So, directly to you:
I shall contact Jenna for chairs because, you can see on my own site, that I do chair (in french chaise) with fabric, not simply woven but made rolled like with straws.
A very long work but so original.
thanks for all comment: do you know others persons who does like I do ? I am intersting by internet meetings around this activity.Curiosity.
Thanks to visit me and learn more about this activity.Thanks

anne from France craftzine,

Dawn said...

Your daughter's dress is adorable. So, so pretty.

And what a wonderful job on the chair! I love the new look!

Busy Betsy said...

What a fabulous idea for the chair! I thought your girl's dress looked so nice and I know exactly what you are going through. My little one is just 6 and her friends are often dressed is similar clothes to your daughter's friends. Girls should be little girls for a little longer, come teenage years there is enough time for over the shoulder tops, black and glitter!

Bobbie said...

is your daughter the eldest?? my 7 year old still dresses like your daughter while her friends are wearing short shorts (it is hot in australia) and not much clothes at all which I find a little disturbing.. and she doesnt even know who hannah montana is...

I find if kids have older siblings they learn to be "cool" from a younger age..

this post made me praise that all australian schools have school uniforms so no fights on the what do i wear scene here.. thank goodness!!

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