Yard sales and thrift stores are great places to find really cheap furniture if you are on a budget or just like re-purposing furniture. Unless you get lucky, most of the furniture you will find in these places is not you usual high quality and attractive furniture. That is why you have to be able to see the diamond in the rough and think of ways to improve upon the things you find.
These are two chairs I found at a thrift store in my hometown. This lovely set of two chairs cost me $30. There is no way I would ever put these chairs as is in my house so I had to find a way to make them look as if I had just bought them from some cute boutique store.
The next step was to find some fabric to cover the chairs. I went to our local fabric store and picked out a fabric that went with the drapes in my living room. Then I began to recover the chairs.
Recovering furniture can be tricky, but if you start with a plan and lay everything out before you cut the fabric, you will save a lot of time and money. Trust me, the worst feeling is having to go back to the fabric store because you messed up, made a wrong cut and now need more fabric. (If this happens, keep trying. Remember this is a learning experience and it will get easier the more you do it. Have a LTL attitude.)
Step 1: Cover the backs. For this, I place the fabric inside out on the chair laying the piece of fabric over the back. Then I pinned the fabric along both side where the seem was going to be. I then trace a sew line with chalk to follow when I sewed the seem. (I find it easier to draw chalk lines so you have a seem to follow.) Next I took the pinned back cover off and sewed them. I did have to rip out a few seems and redo them, but once I got the hang of it, it went pretty quickly. I made these very much in the say way you would sew a pillow case.
Step 2: Add additional cushion and apply seat coverings. This part was much easier than the back coverings. I bought batting to add underneath the seat covers for more cushion. Batting can be found at your local craft store in the sewing section. Next I cut a square piece of fabric big enough to cover the seat and hang down 3″-4″ on each side except the back. I then pinned the seat cover to the back cover and sewed along the back edge to connect the two pieces. I then used a staple gun to attached the fabric to the bottom of the chair. I had to get creative at the corners and cut and folded the fabric to go around the legs.
And the chair is done! I repeated the steps for the other chair. I am very pleased with how they turned out. They were good chairs to start with. All they needed was a new fabric covering and they look brand new. The total project cost about $45 for the chairs, fabric and batting.