Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mid-century Wrought Iron Table and Chairs OH MY!

Last March a friend asked me if I would be interested in going with her to a couple of antique stores in downtown Fort Wayne. There is one antique store on Broadway, a used furniture store and a couple of thrift stores that I like to visit once a year but I wasn't sure how to get to them as my husband always drives on the Fort Wayne excursions. So off we went, two directionally challenged women without a Garmin but we had a Google map and a cell phone. Needless to say we got very familiar with Fort Wayne with all the wrong turns and circles.

I found this cute little ice cream set from the 60s or early 70s at the antique store called Antique's On Broadway. I must say I got a very fair price of 50.00 and was excited that I finally found a set for our front porch. The chairs were covered in 70s orange velvet fabric, (not pictured), which I thought was surely covering some damaged fabric. I have recovered many chair seats but never a circle. What a wonderful new experience awaited me! NOT!

I shopped at several local fabric stores for a newer fabric but finally ended up purchasing a nice forest green fabric with a small yellow and red stripe off Ebay. The color fit right in with our home, an old 3 story Georgian, and popped but didn't scream.

After the fabric arrived I removed the old stained and worn orange velevet fabric. Much to my surprise the original red and white striped vinyl was in perfect condition. The original owner had simply covered the seats to match their own decor. Maybe the red and white was a little to much. Aside from the nail holes in the back, the chair covers were better then perfect. Althought the fabric was in good condition the red and white was too much of a "scream" for our front porch and the nail holes that once held the dingy orange fabric in place was not helping either.

Recovering a dining chair is easy. Simply unscrew the screws on the bottom and remove the seat. Use a staple gun to secure the new fabric. Stretch it in the same way you'd stretch a canvas for a painting. One side and one staple at a time. When securing fabric to a circle you'll need to pleat as you go. The top half of the chair was much more time consuming then difficult. Once I secured the front of the chair pad I found out quickly that I would have to hand sew the back part of the pad to the front fabric because the staples took up just enough room that the back would no longer fit into the ring. This was not an easy task but maybe I just don't have the proper equipment. The fabric was thick because it had to be folded over. I used a thick piece of cardboard to push the needle through each time.

With one chair down I have one chair to go. Thankfully the weather hasn't gotten terribly warm yet so I have time. Hopefully I'll have it done before May 1. Happy days!!

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