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DIY Dining Chair Re-Do

DIY Dining Chair Before and After | Covet Living

Kar Bear and I hit the Rose Bowl Flea Market one steamy, swassy Sunday in November on the hunt for some vintage dining chairs to revamp for her sweet little Santa Monica breakfast nook.  We came home with these!

Rose Bowl Flea Market | Covet Living

These started out being priced with an enormous, matchy-matchy dining table that we did not need – I think it was $600 for the entire set.  We were prepared to pay for the whole set ($150 per chair), and just leave the table, but then we stepped up to the plate for a little haggling:  I told Mr. Dealer-man in the kindest and most charming way possible that this wasn’t Rooms-to-Go, and that people didn’t always want to buy matching sets anymore…  they wanted to cherry pick and make things their own.  Find the most elegant chairs covers for any occasion on this website.

Plus it was right before Thanksgiving, so we knew he’d have no trouble selling the table since people are always scrambling for them right around that time. We finally got him to split up the set and give us the chairs for $300 or $400 bucks (which, when you consider that flimsy plastic dining chairs from big box stores can run $100 each, that was a BIG score).  We loaded up these tragic-but-had-great-bones guys into my hooptie and headed back to the homestead.   Check ’em out, in all their butterscotch glory.  (“Buzz yer GIRL-friend…  WUF!“)

Dining Chairs, Before | Covet Living

We discussed painting them, but decided to leave the finish as is…  it’s in great shape.  That Werther’s Original fabric, on the other hand, had to go.  We knew we wanted to recover them in something colorful and fun, and while our styles are much different, the one thing we do agree on is the entire beachy, casual, cheerful vibe of the California Dreamin’ Pinterest board.  In the end, we decided that a vintage Bolivian blanket would be a perfect upholstery fabric.  Comme ça:

Bolivian Blankets, Solo | Covet Living

There happens to be a sweet joint in San Diego – er, on Cedros in the design district – called Solo… the same joint I purchased my vintage kantha that I made Euro shams for my bed out of…  Solo is also across from the Mothership, aka Bixby & Ball… never a bad street to ping-pong around if you’re down there.  So, I strolled into Solo post-dog beach one day to scout rugs/fabrics for Karrie’s chairs…  Gus helped.  That’s Ruby, the sweet lady who handpicks all the blankets & kanthas they carry in the shop.


Then we had to Face Time Karrie, so she could weigh-in on which rug she wanted. This is how she answered the phone… from the shower.  Sweet Jesus.

Face time shower time decisions

We figured this one was a keeper.

That one! | Covet Living #bolivianblanket

Yep.  Not ugly.

Bolivian Blanket | Covet Living

Fast forward 2 months, and I rolled up to Santa Monica this past weekend with my tool kit and that rug/blanket in hand.  Ready to take on these suckers.

Before Chairs | Covet Living

Here’s why just about anyone can do this DIY… because with these types of chairs, fabric is just wrapped around and stapled or nailed into the back of the seat cushions, which then screw into the chair frames.  So you just need a Phillips head screwdriver to remove them…  once they’re off, it’s just a matter of stripping that old nasty a$$ Werther’s Original bouclé (probably embedded with some kid’s boogers and old peoples’ toenail clippings) then recovering and stapling the new fabric in place, and screwing the seat cushions back to the frame to secure them.  BANG. (Keep this in mind next time you’re at an Estate Sale, or Goodwill, or a Consignment Shop.  Flip ’em over and see how they’re made, so you know if they’ll be easy to recover or not.)

Steph's DIY Dining Chairs | Covet Living

Before Chairs | Covet Living

So first…  while my favorite helper Karrie went shopping and my other favorite helper Teem cozily read a book with Dateline on in the background, I laid the seat cushions out on the blanket/rug/thing to make sure they’d fit.  Yep – plenty of room.

DIY Dining Chair Redo | Covet Living

Then I took a pair of scissors to that glorious blanket… and this is honestly how Gus looked at me.  I know…  it hurt me to cut it up, too.

Bolivian Blanket | Covet Living

Gussie | Covet Living

And now.  We wrap, we pull taut, and we STAPLE in place with a staple gun.  This part looks easy but it’s a smidge tricky…. cuz that “fabric” is actually a thin rug, so oragami-folding and wrestling the corners so they’ll lay down flattish – flat enough that you can still screw the seat cushion back into the chair frame – is a feat.

Steph's DIY Dining Chair Redo | Covet Living

And if you can’t get the corners to lay flat enough, then the seat cushion is going to sit up too tall on the frame and you won’t be able to screw it in without a go-go-gadget, daddy long leg screw.

wrap the bolivian | covet living

Bang bang bang!!  My work here is done complete.

diy redone dining chairs | covet living

Karrie’s little nook is still in progress – we still have to: refinish the little pedestal table in that room, which is currently the color of Tang… give the walls a fresh coat of paint… and pick out a fabric for the valances.  We’re leaning towards something in this vain – it’s another vintage textile, but we need something like this with a smaller, neutral print, because the chairs are so loud that they need to be the superstars in that space.  This bad boy is a great supporting cast – it complements the chairs but doesn’t compete with them.

Textile | Covet Living

We also recently hung THIS Jamie Young Lotus pendant that Karrie’s been coveting since this 2012 Nursery post, which looks amazing:

Glorious Nursery | Covet Living

We’ll let you know how it turns out!  Also, if someone could bring Karrie a Mai Tai and maybe give her a foot rub while she supervises me refinishing the table in a few weeks, that’d be great.  (Just kidding y’old skank!  Love you.)

PS: Etsy & eBay are great sources for vintage textiles like these.  If you like that same global/ethnic feel, try using search terms like: vintage hmong, batik, bolivian, kantha, suzani.  A few of my favorite Etsy shops are here and here.


Steph's Scanned Signature

Bachelor Week 6: Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!

What up kids?!  Happy Tuesday!  Let’s get this party started.

1.  EL DIABLO.  (Or is it Diab-la?  …Hangonhangon – I don’t have a Masters degree.  Lemme go ask Ashley.)


2.  The part where Ashley asked whomever was behind the camera if they had actual paperwork on Kelsey’s husband’s death = her first redeeming, legit act as a make-believe Journalist.  Ya little fact checker you!  Proud of ya.


3.  That glimmer of hope for her budding brain waves was squashed 3 seconds later when she said “(Kelsey) just wants to make Chris feel worse ABOUT her” and I’m *pretty* sure she meant “FOR” her.  Meh – potato/potatoe.  Slash, Ashley may as well have just taken the money she her parents spent on that prestigious Masters degree and lit it on fire.

4.  Britt is a Care Bear.  Just give it up and have a normal reaction to Kelsey’s shenanigans like the rest of us normal folk.  E.g. Meghan.  (Love her.)

real v care bear

5.  Best line of the night: “It’s not about your sad story anymore, it’s about you being a shitty human being.”  PREACH, sista!  Amen.


6.  If I have to hear her say she’s “earned it” one more time, or that her husband is dead and that makes her a REAL woman, or that she’s above everyone else, I’m seriously going to take a blow torch to her entire frumpy LL Bean Limited Edition Puritan Collection wardrobe.

jasmine v pochohontas

7.  Does Britt shop exclusively at the Limited Too?  …It’s a legitimate question.

limited too

8.  I call this series: “MFEO.”  They’re in love.  Game over.  Look at him look at her. #beccaorbust


they're in love

9.  Absolutely tone deaf and so adorable I can’t take it.

adorable and tone deaf

10.  I mean, DAYUM girl.  That was amazing.  And what Kaitlyn said about sitting back and wanting to root for them for a second was so on point.  As is almost everything she says… And now I feel bad for talking about her lazy eye in Week 1.  In other news…  Carly is adorable.  And so are her itsy bitsy teeny weeny carny hands.


11.  Wow.  I’m jealous and if I were any of the girls who got left behind for 2 hours while this was going on, I probably would’ve been boo-hoo-ing, too.  Also… if Britt hasn’t showered in weeks, then Chris better steer clear of her undercarriage, cuz it has to smell like a homeless man’s underpants by now.


12.  This looks like the most fun, EVER.

hee haw

13.  C’mon now…  who WEARS this?  Also… somebody feed this poor girl cuz she hasn’t eaten since Coachella last year Woodstock.

who wears that
14.  Watching the battle of Princess Jasmine vs. Pochahontas go down was AMAZING… especially the part when the Journalist went off on El Diablo and pulled rank, à la: “I may not use big words but I have a Masters degree, too… and from like, a good place.”



15.  Ashley does have a great stomach – I gotta hand it to her.  But that is because any fat that ever would’ve padded her midsection sank and has taken up residence in her giant cankles. It’s out there, I said it (!!!^#$@*!) and I’ve been DYING to say it since Week 2 but holding my tongue.  Phew.  If anyone needs me, I’ll be driving the bus to hell.  Actually; I’m riding shotgun.  Kelsey’s driving.

16.  Timeout.  Let’s give Chris some quick props for the great DILF sweater.

j v p

17.  I call this one “Poetic Justice.”  AUF WIEDERSEHEN, hookers!  Slash Tarantulashes had the maturity level / IQ level of an 8-year old and was certainly not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and I also might’ve stabbed myself in the eyeball with said knife if she’d stayed on another week, but she was relatively harmless. Kelsey was straight lethal.  Hey – if you don’t believe me, just ask her husband.


18.  I call this series DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD / hold up girls, I’m comin’ over!  I love all of them.  The exact same scene literally went down in my living room last night with all my girls who were here in their sweatpants with bells on & vino in hand.










Who’s pumped for next week when Britt has some kind of meltdown in the cornfield, hopefully sweet Becca makes more strides towards walking down the aisle with Chris, and Jade tells Chris that she + her inflatable labia posed for Playboy??  I can’t WAIT.


Steph's Scanned Signature