This abandoned chair needed some sprucing up, and my patio needed some bright colors. I could have just spray painted it, but I wanted something unique and fun to catch my eye when I opened the curtains.
A Garden for My Patio ... Chair
Life circumstances had halted my ability to creatively upcycle for several years, so you can imagine my excitement when I found this old abandoned chair in my new home where I could finally unpack my tools and crafts again. The chair was very comfortable, and I had a patio that needed furniture. But how to make it pretty and unique and still functional? My creativity had been dormant for too long.
Some time later I was visiting my sister and found myself staring at her lawn chairs—ones I had seen for years. “That mesh looks just like even-weave fabric,” I thought this time. “I could cross stitch on that.” Inspiration had struck! I could hardly wait to begin my own chair.
Before: Comfortable but Tired
Step 1: A New Coat
After a good sanding and wash, it was time to prep for paint. Since the color would be provided elsewhere, I decided to match the original color, but bling it up with a high-gloss spray paint. The frame looks so much better with its new coat.
Step 2: A Colorful Dress
I spent some happy hours looking up ribbon-embroidery tutorials online while planning the project. But since the chair would be living outside in our damp and cool Pacific Northwest fall/winter/springs, I wanted to do something that would resist mold and could withstand rain without the color running. I chose to embroider a colorful flower scene on the back of the chair using pearlized raffia. I sketched out a plan on graph paper and then free-handed the outlines on the back of the chair with a Sharpie pen. Then it was a matter of choosing colors and stitches to bring the scene to life.
Step 3: Accessorizing
I was planning to embroider a butterfly, but as I was searching for a pattern, I found a butterfly patch in a drawer. It added just the right touch of realism--and saved my aching fingers! I then covered the untidy back by attaching a square of burlap across the back with invisible thread. And I finished the project off with a wandering bee on the front of the seat.
Ready for my Close-Up!
The project took a total of 2 months to finish, but that is because I could only work on it a couple hours at a time on weekends. The biggest challenge was pulling the needle with raffia through the mesh (needle-nosed pliers helped) without breaking the raffia and leaning over the chair to reach the back. The pain in my fingers and back/neck would tell me when it was time to quit for the night.
Though there is still much to add to the front patio, the chair is a beautiful beginning! I can't wait to add a patio table--upcycled from a thrift store candlestick and picture frame, of course!