Day 166: Reupholster Bistro Chairs


In early March of this year, I purchased a bistro set at the 2 Friends & Junk show. Although creating a space for it in my garden was still a month or more away, I loved the set when I saw it and gave it a temporary home in my bedroom. Today, for my first, I removed the old seat covers and replaced them with new outdoor fabric in a wonderful paisley print.

When I was a child, I’d come home from school and find that the living room chairs or sofa looked different. My mom had made new slipcovers while we were away. Or my favorite old rocker with the wooden arms would be sporting new corduroy upholstery. It was always a fun surprise. Mom was quite the seamstress, making all kinds of household items, sewing clothes for my sisters and me, and creating piles of doll clothes as well. The hum of her sewing machine was comforting and the sound still creates a cozy warm feeling when I hear it.

I, on the other hand, am not a seamstress. But I wanted to replace the fabric on the bistro chairs and since I could do so without any sewing, it seemed to be a task I could handle. I found the perfect outdoor material at Joann Fabrics, a pretty paisley print in teal, green, brown, yellow, rust and cream. Another outdoor project that is under way this week will feature a teal door, so I selected a pattern that brought that color to the far corner of the garden.

I didn’t need a sewing machine, but I did need tools. I gathered scissors, a screwdriver, a drill, the compressor, and a crown stapler. It was simple enough to remove the seats, saving the screws. I tore off the ruffles and using the seat as a pattern, traced around it on the new fabric. I added an allowance for pulling the fabric around the foam topped wooden seat, where I would secure it with staples. I encountered my first hiccup when I didn’t have enough staples to complete the job. Greg, bless him, checked a couple of stores before finding and buying more for me.

Fabric circles cut and ready to go, I stapled one to a seat and prepared to reattach the seat to the chair frame. Next hiccup. I realized the former owner of the chairs had made the seats a bit small and the original holes in the frame barely allowed a screw to bite into the wood of the seat. Greg again came to my rescue. While I finished covering the remaining seats, he drilled new holes in the metal frames, moving the holes further in. The screws now had something to sink into. I was able to quickly finish up. I got much better at handling the fabric and tools as I went along.

I am very pleased with the results! The chairs have a fresh, updated look. The colors are so perfect that I will most likely use them throughout the backyard. I placed the bistro table and four chairs on a corner of the brick patio. What a great place that will be to sip a morning cup of tea or have an outdoor meal.  I feel the satisfaction my mom must have felt when she finished one of her projects. Mom….look what I did!


Original seat covers



New paisley covers

Day 165: The Screen Door


Family gathered today for an early Father’s Day celebration for my step-dad, Walter. We enjoyed lunch together and this evening, a time around the fire pit in my backyard, chatting, laughing, sipping drinks, toasting marshmallows and making S’mores. In between those two activities, the ladies slipped away to do a little junkin’. For my first today, I visited The Screen Door, located at 112 E. 4th, on the square in Carthage, MO.  My mom and sisters, Debbie and Linda, accompanied me.

We girls have a good time, no matter what adventure we set off on. We love to browse in flea markets and vintage stores. Although today I didn’t have any particular items that I was searching for, my sister Debbie was on the hunt for specific treasures to use for Halloween decorations. The Halloween Party War is on, between Debbie and her daughter, Ashley, and my daughter Elissa and grandson Dayan. Both families throw amazing parties, and it’s all in good fun. For the rest of us, we get the benefit of enjoying two outstanding parties.

I’ve looked forward to visiting The Screen Door. I’ve read good reviews and seen pictures that piqued my interest. I was not disappointed. This is a very cute, very clean shop, full of flea market type items, vintage pieces and antiques. There is truly a bit of everything here. We took our time wandering around, looking at treasures, discussing what we could make with them. It is always fun to discover an item that we had as kids or remember a grandparent using, like ice tongs.

Debbie scored with a vintage wicker doll carriage. With some slight repairs and Debbie’s or Ashley’s handiwork, it will make a great addition to their Halloween décor. I foresee a zombie baby or other creepy kid nestled within it. Debbie was delighted with her find.

I found many interesting items, including fun pieces for the garden. I didn’t purchase anything today, but I will certainly return and check this store frequently. That’s part of the fun of junkin’ and visiting flea markets, seeking and finding and walking out of the store, feeling like I’ve found a treasure and a bargain.