Wicker Rocker Resurrected


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!
Sturdy but cosmetically damaged.
I cleaned up the flaking paint on the wicker with a wire brush and used sandpaper to smooth the wooden rockers.
Hey, it's a treasure!
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.
Maybe someone took a bite out of the arm!
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.
The tubing is just about the right diameter.
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.
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.
A new bone for the arm!
Still a pretty ugly repair, huh?!
Be sure to wear a mask when using spray paint
A coat of white latex primer and a couple of coats of Krylon Ballet Slipper pink paint, and it's starting to look better!
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.
Arm rest covers look era appropriate.
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.
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!

Suggested materials:

  • 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

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Maria T Ford
    on Jan 23, 2017

    Margie this remark was not meant for this post. I'm not sure how this got on here. I posted this remark on another post where there was a lot of negative remarks. Sorry

  • Cindy Lewis Jaqua
    on Mar 29, 2017

    I have a settee that the back has disintegrated how would I fix it to make it as awesome as yours?
    • Jewellmartin
      on May 10, 2017

      I couldn't figure out why you wanted a pretty chair in a potting shed. But yours is a tiny retreat! It's so pretty. And your creative wicker repair has me thinking about what I can use to repair my chair. Thank you for sharing this. Best wishes.
  • Debbie
    on Jul 28, 2017

    I love love this I recently purchased two old wicker chairs. I am going to try to repair them. If it does not come out right I will copy u. Also I have looked and looked at pics. of cushions for wicker. I did not like anything until I saw this. I am going to copy this. Do you think this would go okay in a living room shabby chic style? Thanks for taking the time to post If it were not for people like you my home would not look as it does today. I am not creative but I have good taste. When I see good taste I know it. I hope I can make mine turn out as beautiful as yours. Could you tell me what you stuffed the seat cushion with?
    • Debbie
      on Jul 30, 2017

      ty for the answer for my project I just learned something new. I see it now that u tell me. I do have pillow shams from thrift. I guess u sewed them shut. I can't use feathers but I will find something. My seat is 22 wide I will try, I see the top cushion is the same. It may take me a while as I am disabled. TY

Join the conversation

2 of 292 comments
  • Itsmemic
    on May 16, 2018

    just lovely....SO pretty...what a gift for a new mom !!!

  • Kate Walsh
    on Jun 25, 2019

    sooooo pretty a fantastic way to restore worn edges with fabric watch this space thankyou so much for inspirational tips

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