Which new chairs, you ask? Well, these great chairs that she found at the Wade Hampton Antique Mall for $25 a piece. (She bought all four, of course, for a total of $100.)
The chairs did not come with cushions, but she loved the caning and instantly knew what she wanted to do with the seats.
And because she did not want them to look professionally done -- just flea market done -- she decided to tackle the project herself.
She made a seat pattern with paper and headed down to the Army Navy store to find some foam. She picked out a 2-inch foam (although dining chairs typically have a 1-inch or 1.5-inch foam); she just didn't want to mess with batting. The 2-inch foam was $7 per cushion (whereas the 1.5-inch foam would have been $5 per cushion), and the best part is that the cushions were cut perfectly to her pattern, all for $28.
Next, she headed to Tony's Fabric and picked up some burlap fabric. (We normally go for the on-sale remnants for these sorts of projects, but she knew exactly what she wanted and had a 20% off coupon from the paper so she splurged and bought the not-on-sale stuff.) She purchased a little over 2 yards, spending about $24. (She plans to use any excess fabric to make pillows for the armchairs that sit at the ends of her dining room table.)
She also headed to Lowe's to pick up some bronze furniture nails, which come in packages of 25 for about $1 a piece. She used four packages per chair, so in all, she spent about $16 for the furniture nails. (She thought she wanted antique brass, but they did not have enough in stock, and anyway, as it turns out, the bronze nails match the chairs better than she thought they would.)
Once she procured the necessary supplies, it was time for the real work: putting the seats together. Again, because she was going for a not-professionally-reupholstered look, she pretty much eyeballed everything and just did her best to line up the stripes and pull the fabric taut. Once she'd lined up the fabric and the foam, she added the first nail on the center of the front. She then just kept going, not spacing anything particularly, but just making sure it looked right as she went along.
She nailed all of the front nails before moving to the back, and then finally to the sides.
If she screwed up (or if a nail went wonky, and many apparently did), then she just removed the nail with a flat head screwdriver or some pliers and tried again. Trial and error is often the name of the game with these types of projects.
And ta da! Here's a shot of one of the finished chairs. Love. It.
So in all (for you cost counters out there), she spent about $160 for this project, or about $40 per chair. And it took about an hour per chair, for a total of about four hours (not counting the time spent procuring the necessary supplies). I'd say that's a pretty swell deal for four adorable dining room chairs. I am very excited to see the rest of the rumored dining room makeover. And of course, I'll be sure to share it with you, too.
But now, here's the real question: what's for dinner?