Asked on Jul 4, 2013

I can't sit on these chairs, so what CAN I do with them?

A. BarnetteLynn PalmatierLory jean cook


I saw these wonderful wooden chair frames at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and immediately thought "plant stands!" At $2 each, why not? They are pretty much beyond repair to use for seating and pretty rickety, but I love them. I'm thinking bright paint and some kind of support for the planters. Any other thoughts?
Two chairs begging for love, and only $2 each. What would you do with them?
37 answers
  • David Moffitt
    on Jul 4, 2013

    I had a pair just like them. I removed the banding and springs and covered the bottom with plywood. I then cut a hole in the centers, so the planters fit in snug. They then got painted red, white and blue. Great project. Good luck

  • KathrynElizabeth Etier
    on Jul 4, 2013

    David, I LOVE that idea. I'd seen chairs with holes for pots but didn't think about doing it with these--duh! Thank you.

  • Lisa
    on Jul 4, 2013

    We also had similar chairs to your, and did the same as David Moffitt with the bottom. One of the chairs we put a potted plant and the other we had a large shallow bowl - we put water in it for a bird bath.

  • Kris Lee
    on Jul 4, 2013

    What a great find. I say bright color, the board/hole idea and large beautiful flowering plants. I love ReStore It is my favorite place to find a great bargain. My best bargain...a solid wood 4 poster, king size bed.....$85!!!

  • Lori J
    on Jul 4, 2013

    Would also be very pretty as a trellis.

  • Karin Graham
    on Jul 6, 2013

    i have chairs with hole in the middle for plants

    q i can t sit on these chairs so what can i do with them, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, this was a sitting pretty gardenclub contest i won 1st place with an herb garden the black chairq i can t sit on these chairs so what can i do with them, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, blue ribbon and 100 dollars
  • Jeanette S
    on Jul 6, 2013

    When I saw these, I thought, "mini garden"! If he wood is not rotten, I would use screws to re-tighten up the frames. Then put a board bottom in the seat and paint a bright color. You can use screws to attach small flower pots to the legs, uprights and arms while setting larger pots in the seat. A trailing vine from the top of the back down through the garden would be adorable. Small plastic pots can be painted every imaginable gotta keep cans of bright paint for plastic around. You could even attache the two chairs together and then set larger pots on the ground around them...bordered by rocks and some ground cover. Could be stunning!

    • Betty819
      on Jun 3, 2014

      @Jeanette S Your suggestion runs along with what I was thinking..make a seat from plywood or MDF(?)I have two wrought iron chairs that was given to me by a lady that I worked for. She always bought the best and these chairs must be about 30 years old. They have been spray painted several times and my DH built a seat for them. He traced the bottom of the seat area on paper and used plywood, he thinks it might have been 1/2 in. but whatever it is, it is hard and you need to use a cushion on top. Those chairs are dued to a new spraying of paint..and new cushions. The existing cushions are still good but I'm tired of them. Need a new look.

  • Vanessa Godfrey
    on Jul 6, 2013

    I see ivy in the back ground of the chairs, with just a little work you create an ivy chair or two. you plant ivy at the legs of the chair and as it grows tie it to the chair allow it to take that shape, keep the shape trimmed over the years and once full, you could put a large flowering pot in the seat.

  • Sue Weiker
    on Jul 6, 2013

    Vanessa, I LOVE your idea.

  • Ruth
    on Jul 6, 2013

    Hi, Take a look at the resourceful suggestions here:

  • Brenda De Lair
    on Jul 7, 2013

    Make 2 sitting scarecrows to sit on them. Colourful clothes and funny hats should add colour and humour to your garden. Another option is to somehow incorporate a fairy garden. The seat could become the base for the garden and yours would be unique because they would have climbing plants as a back drop. I think I'm going to look for some old wooden chairs now :0)

  • Carolyn Staat
    on Jul 7, 2013

    Cut a piece of screen and staple it to the seat of the chair. Then place canvas over the screen and fill with potting soil. Now plant a wonderful garden of your favorite plants. That's what I did with mine!

  • Linda K
    on Jul 7, 2013

    Hmmm...any way to train ivy around the frames? Chair "topiary"!

  • Jossi
    on Jul 7, 2013

    I'd make a raised bed garden ! Put chairs with seats facing each other. Do NOT remove seat bottoms. Use pallet wood to build a frame that fits inside the seats that u just moved together. Screw frame(box) to chair, use burlap and a few slats of wood for bottom to hold in soil, and plant ! It will be one small structure raised high enough so you won't have to bend far to tend to plants !

  • Mary C
    on Jul 16, 2013

    could you put the plywood in the seat, then a pretty cushion in them so they could still be used as chairs? so pretty and such ashame to have to give them over to being planters, not that this a good idea, but they would be so much prettier as chairs to sit in! :)

    • Trisha Flaherty
      on Aug 15, 2014

      @Mary C I agree with you! I just trashpicked two of the identical chairs with their redwood stain - I remember my neighbor from the 70's having them!! I just bought some cushions from Amazon and they work fine! Maybe just a few screws and such.

  • Z
    on Jul 16, 2013

    I was thinking making a raised box garden to set them over like Jossi was too, but I also love Vanessa's idea of growing Ivy to cover them with. Just make sure you watch or the ivy will take over the whole garden.

  • Le'
    on Jun 3, 2014

    In Texas the humidity is so bad that a chair like that would not last long....I love what you did. Beautiful

  • Polly Zieper
    on Jun 3, 2014

    Kathryn: Any 'after' photos?

  • Bonnie
    on Jun 15, 2014

    A colorful Clematis would look great trailing over the back of the chairs, with white Autumn Clematis mixed in for that lacey look late summer. You could plant some annuals like Impatiens or geraniums in the pot to stay low on the seat. Orrr, even a Hosta sitting in the chair would be perfect. Great find!! And thanks for shopping at the Habitat for Humanity warehouses!

  • Buster Evans
    on Jun 15, 2014

    You could sit them slightly turned toward each other but not directly facing each other, make a circle of stones around them and plant flowers at their feet and Morning glories to climb and wrap the legs and arms... I would use 2 different colors of morning glories, (his and hers) chairs , and then you could also set a potted arrangement in the center... you could change the entire look from year to year as long as the chairs last... some dont like Morning glories but they can be a beautiful accent to just about any arrangement ...They last right up til frost... If you dont want them next year remove the vines before the seeds fall.

  • Sheila D
    on Jun 15, 2014

    They could be waiting for Scarecrows for fall and Mr. & Mrs Santa at Christmas..??

  • Mlcapaci
    on Jun 16, 2014

    Paint them, repair joints and go to Garden Ridge and get two new cushions, grab a cold drink, a book and sit in them and relax!!!!

  • Anne
    on Jul 12, 2014

    You can do. A bench, join them just a bit of wood as a voila

  • Carol T
    on Jul 26, 2014

    All of the above OR Repair the joints, repaint or stain them redwood and buy new cushions... I pick them up where ever I see them and love my chairs and chaise lounges on my log cabin porch. Enjoy!

  • Mssmatch
    on Aug 17, 2014

    I've had this set for 50 yrs, it was a 3 piece set consisting of the 2 chairs and a lounge chair, they are made of redwood and they all had redwood wheels on the backs, guess it's true redwood doesn't rot as they have stood the test of time

  • Moo352598
    on Nov 18, 2014

    Treated Plywood bottom the paint all a dark color! Awesome chairs by the way for two bucks

  • Judy H
    on Nov 29, 2014

    I agree, put in a few pieces of hardware underneath so hold the joints together, paint colorfully, and use for potted plants. I love the idea of a vine growing all over them. Find a small gnome or likewise to inhabit also :)

  • Wendy A DeBiase
    on Jan 13, 2015

    as a kid we always had a pillow lettuce bed by the back door. dad used some sort of wooden box put down strong chicken like wire on the bottom I guess he cut it out the bottom that is and used contractor strength black bags put the bag in filled with dirt tucked the Open Edge back down around the edge of the box that's what it looks like a great big pillow he would cut little squares put in lettuce plants. I've done the same thing in a wheelbarrow, a small table that was missing the top panel I just stapled wire meshing on the bottom ... On these chairs I would ad A 4 to 6 inch frame on top of the bottom of the chair to help support the dirt weight on the side. you could do flowers or vegetables or both. good luck don't forget to show a picture someday

  • Deborah Burkett
    on Jan 24, 2015

    One looks to be in better shape than the other. The one with the busted wood could make a nice ottoman to the better one.

  • A. Barnette
    on Jun 6, 2015

    Set them above young plants such as tomatoes, squash, green beans, clemitas or anything that climbs. They will make AMAZING support trellis structures as they are!

  • Jean Koshi
    on Jul 31, 2015

    My wicker chair was ready for the trash so I took out the broken seat and set several pots of bromeliads in seat area. I love it and get lots of compliments.

    , My old chair has bromeliads but you can fill with any kind of plant that you like Ivy would look awesome
  • The Redesign Habit
    on Dec 21, 2015

    Looks like you could actually salvage the one as a chair if you just reinforce it a little and then paint and throw on some colorful cushions. I do like Deborah's idea of repurposing the other more broken down chair into an ottoman to make a set with the chair that is in better shape. What a great find! Let us know what you do!

  • Leslie
    on Apr 6, 2016

    My question is ...are they really not salvageable or can the bolts or screws be tightened. If so, tighten them, paint, get some chair webbing, re-web the seat supports and make 4 cushions.

  • Lory jean cook
    on Jun 10, 2016

    Set them side by side and make a love seat bench out of. Them

  • Lynn Palmatier
    on Jun 26, 2016

    Question here is why you feel you can't use them as chairs. You don't really tell us why you think they can't be repaired. Are they fold-able? If not, you can rescrew the pieces With slightly larger screws to tighten. The seats can be repaired with chair webbing. I have some outdoor furniture that has a canvas frame set in the seat to support cushions. It sets inside the seat frame and is screwed into the base. Get some nice cushions for the seat and back with outdoor fabric (like Sunsetter fabric that can be purchased online of in Joann's or other fabric store at this time of year). You can always screw some wooden slats on the seat and use them for plants

  • A. Barnette
    on Jun 27, 2016

    I would grow tomatoes on them(through them as a support). That would look great!

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