Tag Archives: cane chairs


Dining Room Reveal-French Provincial Dining Set Makeover

3rd December 2015


Dining Room Reveal- French Provincial Dining Set Makeover

Finally the moment has arrived when I can finally reveal the french provincial dining table and six cane chairs that Mr. Wilson worked so hard to finish!   Since we are hosting Christmas dinner this year, I rushed to sew the skirts for the chairs and decided that for the sake of time, I would just reupholster the arm chairs in a gray linen fabric I found at Joannes.  I actually like the contrast of the gray fabric on the arm chairs, it makes the set a little unique and not so matchy-matchy. 


Here is a view of the back of the chair skirts I sewed from drop-cloths.  If you remember from this post, I used Miss Mustard seeds amazing tutorial on how to sew these little babies and I think it really dresses the chairs up!  


I used these drop cloths that I ordered from Amazon, which I bleached to give them a lighter look.  The chairs were sanded down and painted in Old White chalk paint by Annie Sloan.



I whitewashed the table top and painted the legs and base in Annie Sloan’s French Linen Chalk Paint, you can read about this transformation more in this post.


The following photos show how I set the table for Christmas, which is quickly approaching.  The little trees I found at the Target dollar bin section for $3 each.



The table runner and little gold candle holders are from Homegoods.


A simple and inexpensive Christmas centerpiece is a pretty bowl or tray filled with sparkly ornaments.  I received the glass bowl as a wedding gift and the large silver ball in the middle is from the Christmas Tree Shop.


This table is ready for a feast, now I just have to figure out what to cook!

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Affordable Living Room Design

18th November 2015


Today I wanted to share the progress that I have made with my living room re-design.  I was able stay on budget, by using items I already owned and completing a few DIY projects to save money. Nothing in this re-design cost me over $100 and the total cost was around $350.  At the end of this post, I will share each project and the cost breakdown per item.

Here is the mood board I created for the space.


Here are some photos of the finished space.



Here is the french country settee I painted and reupholstered, you can read that post here.


This is one of the cane chairs we reupholstered, which you can read about here and the boxwood topiary on the mantle was a DIY project I shared here.  When we purchased the home, we painted the dated fireplace bricks in “White Dove” by Benjamin Moore and had a carpenter build a custom-mantle surround.


Here is the $5 vintage bar cart we spruced up with a little gold spray paint and some accessories you can read about here.





Cost analysis:

  • Teal Bench-purchased from HomeGoods for $60
  • Jute Rug-Pottery Barn purchased off Craigslist for $75
  • Cane Chairs– Reupholstered ourselves- $40 for the chairs, plus $60 material
  • Wood Side Table-Antique-given to me by my parents
  • Botanical Prints– DIY project using Botanical art from this book that was $1.50 on Amazon and I framed them in frames I already had, spray painted this color.
  • Bar Cart– purchased for $5 from a yard sale, you can read about that DIY project here.
  • Wicker Coffee Table– Free from my generous in-laws
  • French Settee/Bench– $75 off of Craigslist, painted and reupholstered in this post.
  • Yellow Lumbar Pillow– $20 from HomeGoods
  • Matching Yellow and Teal Pillows– I purchased two yards of fabric from Ebay for $9.99 a yard and made the pillows myself using this amazing tutorial for beginner sewers.
  • Sofa– Ikea (no longer sold in stores) was moved from our den into the living room.
  • Fireplace Brass Andirons– Free- given to me as a gift from my in-laws, purchased at an Estate sale.

Other sources:

Paint Color– Manchester Tan from Benjamin Moore, Trim is White Dove from Benjamin Moore

Drapes– Purchased years ago from Pottery barn

Circular Mirrors– Given to me from my mother

Happy Decorating!!!



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French Provincial Cane Back Dining Chairs-Before

23rd October 2015


French Provincial Cane Back Dining Chairs-Before

With the holidays quickly approaching I was in the market for a new dining room set that would accommodate my family of five, plus our extended family. I had been searching Craigslist for a while now but came up empty-handed until I stumbled upon this set.  It included 6 cane back french provincial chairs, a french provincial dining table with 3 leaves and a hutch.  For a price of $250, I couldn’t pass it up. 


Mr. Wilson was once again pretty skeptical about this purchase, given the condition of the chairs and fabric.  You can see the nasty stains on the chair fabric in the picture above.  But I could see beyond the stains and the dirt…… I had visions of Miss Mustard Seeds beautiful cane-back dining chairs dancing in my head.  She has such amazing taste and has transformed many dining chairs with some paint and drop-cloths.  Yes, you heard me right…DROP-CLOTHS!!!


Image Curtesy of Miss Mustard Seed

Although my sewing skills have progressed, making slipcovers for 6 chairs will prove a challenge for me.  Thank goodness Miss Mustard Seed has an excellent tutorial on how to make dining chair slipcovers and it looks pretty straight-forward…haha, famous last words.  I plan on using this chair as my guinea pig and so far I have removed the seat cushion and lightly sanded it.  Next, it will get a coat of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in “Old White,” a creamy off-white color.  Then I plan on getting started with the drop-cloth slipcovers.


Do you think I can pull it off?  I guess we will see!

You probably noticed I do not have a picture of the table and the hutch.  That is because the table was disassembled for transport to my house.  I will write a later post on the table. 

Living Room Mood Board and Design Inspiration

24th September 2015


Mr. Wilson and I are so thrilled with how lovely our DIY reupholstered cane chairs turned out that we decided to use them as inspiration to re-decorate our entire living room!  Whoohoo… that means more projects!  This time I decided to go legit and create a design board using Picasa which is free to download, and allows you to upload images and create photo collages.


I have never been the type of person who can afford to go shopping and purchase entirely new furniture all at once, so with the budget in mind, I will be slowly decorating this room completing DIY projects along the way to save some $$.

Pillows are a great way to add color, texture and pattern to a room without breaking the bank. Since the room will be designed entirely around the cane chairs we reupholstered (which cost us about $160 for the chairs and material), I have selected some complementary fabric for throw pillows that I plan on making myself.

Fabric Choices for Pillows:

  1. Dwell Studio Teal Modern Tellis Fabric


2.  Premier Prints Zig Zag Slub Yellow/White This one I selected because I already have a yard of it sitting in my house…yes, I am a fabric and a yarn hoarder.Yellow Chevron Fabric

3. Robert Allen Boteh Jade Fabric– I love this print because it ties in both the aqua and the gold from the chair fabric.


Another great way to tie in a color scheme is through use of accessories, I am using a mix of accessories I already own (which saves $) and a few I purchased at HomeGoods.


1. Gold Leaf Ball- $10 at HomeGoods, the gold leaf works well with the gold color in the fabrics and some of the other gold/brass accents I have in the room.gold-leaf-ball

2. Aqua Glass Vase- $10 at HomeGoods, The aqua tone works nicely with the fabric on the chairs and I added some branches for a little texture.  I just noticed that the branches in the vase pick up the branches in the chair fabric…that was completely intentional (sarcasm).


3.  Isaac Mizrahi Gold Throw Blanket- at $24.99 this was a major STEAL! It is so soft and the gold tones pick up the gold flowers in the chair fabric.  I particularly love the tassels.


4. Lamps- I have a pair of sea-green lamps I purchased a while ago from Renningers Antique market in Pennsylvania.  They were in my master bedroom, but I think the color and the lines will work well in my newly designed living room.


Design Tip:   When you purchase items for your home whether it’s furniture or accessories, make sure that the piece is WELL MADE, TIMELESS and something that you ABSOLUTELY LOVE.  I guess it’s sort of like shopping for clothing in that sense. If the item fits all of those criteria, then you will always be able to find a place for it in your home. 

DIY Projects:

  1. I found this petite french dresser, through a Facebook yard sale and when Mr. Wilson brought it home, I was tempted to have him bring it right back.  The wood tracks on the bottom drawers were completely annihilated and the drawers were falling out.  I have ordered some new drawer tracks online, so I will let you know how that turns out in another post.


I plan on painting the piece in duck egg blue chalk paint by Annie Sloan. Which is the color of the tray pictured on top of the dresser.  I think it will work nicely with the fabrics and color palette of the room.


2. DIY Botanical Art Print Project- I plan on spray painting frames that I already own a metallic gold and then selecting botanical flower prints from this book to create some beautiful (and NOT homemade looking) inexpensive artwork.


 Furniture to Purchase:

  1. I really love this bench from Overstock.
  2. The Nipprig rattan bench is new to the IKEA catalog and is only $129.  I could spruce it up with a really nice cushion and some pillows and it would make some nice additional seating in the room.  It also could be cool as a dining bench for my dining room table.
  3. Currently I have a small white loveseat in the room but would really like to purchase IKEA Stocksund Sofa or something similar.  It reminds me of this Miramar Sofa from Serena and Lily.
  4. I would love to replace my current wicker coffee table for this beautiful glass Vitya Coffe Table from Wayfair.  I like the shape of it and the gold finish.

What do you think of my living room redesign plan?  

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Reupholstering Cane Barrel Chairs-Phase 4 Tufting and Upholstering

18th September 2015

Cane Chair Reveal

Reupholstering Cane Barrel Chairs

Remember these cane barrel chairs that I scored on Craigslist for $40, they are finally finished….yeaaahhhh!!!  The process was labor intensive but fairly straightforward and I learned some valuable lessons about upholstery that I will share with you in this post, along with step by step instructions on how I did it.


If you missed phase 1phase 2, or phase 3 check them out to see how I got to this point in the process.  I purchased 3 yards of Dwell Studio Leda Peony Fabric in Aquatint which was enough to cover both of my chairs, however if you are using a different print, or this is your first attempt at upholstery, you may want to purchase extra just in case.

I would highly recommend this fabric because the print is very easy to work with and you can utilize every inch of fabric, unlike other prints with one large repeat that you need to center on your chair, wasting fabric in the process.  So lesson #1 make sure you evaluate the print first before purchasing the fabric, prints with large repeats or stripes can be more difficult to work with and you may need to purchase more fabric to cover your chair which equals $$$$.

Step 1: Reupholstering the Seat Cushion

If the foam on your seat cushion is in good condition, re-use it. Unfortunately the foam on my chairs was in pretty bad condition and unusable so I had to purchase new 2 inch foam and batting. 

Lesson # 2 pre-measure your seat cushion, so you exactly how much foam you will need cut at Joanne’s.  Foam is VERY expensive, so you only want to purchase EXACTLY how much you will need for your chair.

Using the old seat foam as a template, trace and cut out the new foam.


This foam was added on top of the seat frame along with a layer of low loft batting.


Using the previous fabric that you saved from this step as a template, cut out the fabric for your seat cushion.  Add a few extra inches to the outside of the template just to make sure you have enough fabric to pull and staple on the frame.  Lesson #3 press all of your fabric with an iron prior to stapling it to your chair.  I had to use steam to get out all the wrinkles in the fabric…take my word for it, DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!


Center your fabric on top of you seat cushion and then turn it over, making sure that the fabric stays centered and straight before stapling it to the frame.  When stapling, you want to pull your fabric and batting tight, but not too tight, making sure to be consistent with your tension when pulling the fabric.   Lesson #3 turn over your cushion every few staples and make sure that you don’t have any ripples and the fabric looks smooth and neat.  


Pull and staple the fabric leaving the front corners unstapled for tucking.


When you get to the front corners of the seat, tuck the extra flap of the material that was left unstapled underneath the side piece of fabric, concealing it and creating a clean line on the front of the seat.  


Then create a neat fold/pleat out of the remaining material and pull it down and staple it under the chair.  This is called a “tailored pleat” and you can watch how to do it here.


After you are finished stapling all the fabric, trim off the excess fabric and batting.


2. Front of Chair- Button Tufting and Stapling

First you are going to recover the buttons you saved in this step in your new fabric (I used scraps of left-over fabric from the seat).  

Cut a circle a little larger than the diameter of the button.  Using a hot glue gun, apply glue directly onto the face of your button and stick the fabric on.  Then apply glue around the sides and bottom part of button (the side where the prongs attach) and working in small sections, secure your fabric around the sides and bottom part of button.  Make sure the fabric is tight to the button and is securely glued on. Trim the excess fabric.



buttons-covered-with fabric

Using your needle-nose pliers, make sure to clamp the prongs of the button back together to make it easier for re-inserting into the chair.


Cut out the fabric for the back panel of the chair using the template you saved.  Make sure to add a few extra inches of fabric to all sides for good measure.  Iron the fabric to smooth out any wrinkles.


I applied two layers of low-loft batting to the back of the chair and laid the fabric on top of the batting, making sure the fabric is even and centered (I don’t have a photo of this).

Reupholstering-cane-chair-button-tuftingThe tufting was sewn into the back of these chairs, so I used the natural indentations/tufts and previous holes as a guide for placing the new buttons.  Starting at the top of the chair (in rows) and working down, I used my fingers to feel where the holes were made in the back of the chair, and I inserted the button into that exact spot from the front.

Lesson #4 you may need to help the fabric along to achieve the nice folds that create the “diamond” pattern between the tufts.  This video may help to clarify what I mean.

Once all the buttons have been added and tufting is complete, you are going to staple the fabric to the chair frame.

The picture below, shows numbers which represents the order in which I stapled the fabric to the frame, I don’t know if this is the correct order, this is just the way I did it. The fabric on the top of the chair was stapled to the top back part of the frame.


Make sure you are stapling the fabric into the channels along the sides, where you removed the staples during the stripping process.  


Once all the fabric is secured to the frame, carefully trim off the excess fabric.  I pulled the extra fabric taunt, which made it easier to trim.


3. Back of Chair-Tacking Strip and Welt Cording

Once the fabric is stapled to the front of the chair, you are going to apply single welt cord to the top-back of the chair.  You can see how to make this by watching this video, I used my zipper foot for this which came with my sewing machine. Glue it to the top back of your chair using a hot glue gun.  Lesson #5 do not use too much hot glue, use a thin even line otherwise it may glob out and be visible on your fabric.


Cut your back panel of fabric using the template you saved when you stripped your chair.  This panel of fabric is going to be applied just under the single welt cording using tacking strip so that the staples are not visible.  You will do this by draping your back panel of fabric over the top -front of your chair with the wrong side facing up.


This part is confusing, but basically you are stapling the wrong side of the fabric under the tacking strip so that when the fabric is then flipped back over, the right side of the fabric will be hanging down the back and no staples will be visible.  The tacking strip should be stapled just under the welt cord.  This video may help if you are confused about this part.


Flip the fabric over so that it is hanging down the back side of your chair.  You can see how clean the line looks with the tacking strip!


Pull the fabric taunt and staple the fabric to the bottom underside of the chair, working your way around the sides of the chair.  Once fabric is secure, trim the excess fabric.


Make two long strips of double welt cord using the old double welt cord as a template to determine the length you need.  I purchased this double welt cord foot which made sewing a lot easier, just make sure that the foot you purchase will fit your sewing machine.   I followed this tutorial on how to make it.

If you can thread a sewing machine and you can sew a straight line, then you can sew welt cording it is really not that difficult so don’t be intimidated.  If I can do it, you can do it too!

Glue the welt cord along the side channels of the chair with a hot glue gun, making sure to work slow and steady, only applying just enough glue to secure the cording.


Lastly, re-attach the seat to the chair using the screws you saved and staple a new dust cover to the bottom of the chair frame to keep the dust bunnies out.

I am thrilled with the finished product!  Not bad for my second upholstery project…but I couldn’t have done it without the help of Mr. Wilson!






Let me know what you think!

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