Monday, May 3, 2010

Glider Chair

Aside from the shelf we built this glider chair is the best project I've done so far and I'm really proud of the results.

In our Lethbridge house it was time for a nursery for Catie and I've spent a lot of time making it nice in there.  I love that room but there was one big piece lacking and that was a chair.  We didn't have anywhere to sit so all feeding was done in the living room.  At one point when she wasn't very old we decided that her bedroom was starting to be an unpleasant place for her, she'd cry when we went in because the only thing she did in there was sleep.  In an effort to change that we started to feed her occasionally in her room but that meant we had to sit on the floor.  Sitting on the floor at 3 am is not so much fun and the in-room feedings didn't last long (though it was long enough to achieve our goal of helping her enjoy her bedroom).

We started looking on Kijiji for a chair we could buy but I quickly learned that second hand recliners are grossly overpriced, especially when they're brown with green flowers or something equally as lovely.  I had just given up on ever getting a chair when my sister-in-law found this gem on Airdrie Swap and Buy for $20.  I wanted it immediately and could envision the re-covered seat I was going to make for it.

I wanted to keep costs low and was initially concerned about how much I'd pay for fabric.  Every piece I've bought yet has cost around $16 a meter which is far too expensive when I needed 4 meters.  I decided to try Ikea and it was such a great idea. They had lots of cute, heavy duty fabrics and the one I chose was only $4.99 a meter.

This next idea is brilliant and the only way the chair ended up being reasonably priced.  I knew that the cushions were really thin and I was going to have to beef them up a bit but I wasn't sure what to do that with.  You can buy foam at Fabricland but it's seriously expensive, like $25 a meter expensive. One day the solution came to me, I stopped by Value Village and picked up what I thought was an egg carton mattress for a bed.  Turned out it was really three big chunks of foam not one piece but it worked well enough for this project.  I padded both sides of each cushion and only one side needed to be pieced together out of two chunks.  Then I used my spray adhesive to stick them on.

I knew I wanted to use piping, luckily my Mom knew I'd need a zipper foot to sew the piping on.  I didn't have one but was able to find a generic one for $4.

Lastly I knew I hated the sea shell pattern on the top cushion and I figured I'd replace it with tufting in the form of cute, fabric covered buttons.  Two things, fabric covered buttons are ridculous and one of them had to be secured with hot glue.  I wouldn't be surprised if the other two follow one day.  Second, if you plan on doing tufting invest in a long needle.  I was too cheap and couldn't be bother to get one when I realized I'd need it so Brad got a really good workout for his fingers as he squished the foam together so I could get my regular size needle through all the layers.  The stitches on the back aren't as beautiful as they would be with a long needle but I'm satisfied with it.

I'm calling this chair a huge success though and I love it!  Here is the overhauled chair.

Catie and I now have an evening routine where we sit and rock in the chair while she eats her bedtime snack.  The chair is super comfortable and I love the time we spend together there.

Question... I'm considering adding padding to the sides like this, what do you think?  Should I add arm pads or leave it as is?

Second question... I'd love to paint the chair but it seems like it would be really difficult to get all the bottom pieces painted well.  Anyone have any experience painting a glider chair?


Sharon@thisthriftyhouse said...

Super cute Laura!! I loved my padded arms on my rocker--just more squishy comfort!

Jenn said...

Awesome! I would definitely pad the arms. As I was looking at the finished product I was thinking that it wouldn't be very comfortable with those arms, and needed some padding.

Foxy said...

I you want to paint it, do this. Give it a rough sand with some sand paper. wipe it clean and allow it to air dry. Then go get a good quality spray paint. Spray paint it with a continuous stream. Do several coats and then seal it with a clear spray unless the spray you initially used has a sealent in it. All done! DO NOT try to do it with a brush. It will not work! TRUST ME! My dining chairs attest to that. I will only use spray paint from now on!