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Wicker Rocker Resurrected

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This wicker rocker had seen better days, and seemed destined for the garden to become a planter. I got it for $10 at a thrift store and lugged it home to join my other flea-market garden planters. After realizing how sturdy it was and falling in love with the vintage vibe, I couldn't bring myself to relegate it to the disintegration that would be inevitable outdoors as a planter so I decided to try to return it to life as... a rocking chair, of all things!
I cleaned up the flaking paint on the wicker with a wire brush and used sandpaper to smooth the wooden rockers.
While cleaning it up, I saw the Heywood-Wakefield label, a company well-known for quality antique wicker furniture. That convinced me even more that I wanted to save this chair.
The arm was badly damaged. I am not a wicker repair expert and didn't want to spend the big bucks to have it professionally repaired. I just wanted to make it a lovely piece that I could use in my potting shed for some relaxation at the end of the day.
I had some scrap copper pipe about the right size to make a replacement for the missing outside edge, so used a tubing cutter to cut it to the right length. I bent it to approximately the same curve as the arm.
  • wicker rocker resurrected, painted furniture
Using e-6000 glue, I attached the inserted the broken ends of the wicker arm into the hollow ends of the tubing. I taped the tubing to the framework and let it dry for 24 hours.
Still a pretty ugly repair, huh?!
A coat of white latex primer and a couple of coats of Krylon Ballet Slipper pink paint, and it's starting to look better!
  • wicker rocker resurrected, painted furniture
Now, to cover up that ugly broken arm! I had some old and faded Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic rosebud sheets that I had saved after we bought new ones for the bed. I tore a piece of the sheet into about 1" wide strips and wrapped them around the arms, tying the strips at each end to the wicker frame.
To make the fabric more moisture resistant so I could put it outdoors on occasion, I sprayed the strips with several coats of clear acrylic.
  • wicker rocker resurrected, painted furniture
A bit of a vintage lace scrap for trim to cover the broken seat edge, a pillow for the seat, and a vintage flour sack pillowcase tied on the back with ribbons = pure bliss for a comfy spot to relax, have a cup of tea, and read my garden magazines!

Materials I used for this project:

  • Antique Heywood-Wakefield wicker rocker   (thrift store)
  • Sandpaper, wire brush   (hardware store)
  • Copper tubing   (saved from another project, found in my junk stash!)
See all materials
  • Marion Nesbitt

    Nice job. Very fem.

  • Smooches
    Smooches Elkins Park, PA

    where there's a will, there's a way. nice work.

  • Cindy Lewis Jaqua

    Thanks for answering. I will try and send pictures soon

  • Lois Imbriano Barber

    I live in the Northeast and have sewn wonderful things for my pool house but I didn't realize that mice will chew everything. Any tips to keeping the creatures away during the winter?
    I don't know if you remember me, but I interviewed you about your

  • Barbara Stanley
    Barbara Stanley Hendersonville, NC

    I certainly do remember you, Lois. Good to hear from you! I'm so excited for you as you make your own she shed space and hope you'll share pics of it in progress or when you are finished.

    I wish I knew the answer to the mouse problem. I've lost some

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