Thursday, January 19, 2012

ikea roger chairs via craigslist, re-covered!

In case you hadn't caught on to me yet, I am a bit of a Craigslist addict. Not only do I love a bargain, I also enjoy the case study of what people have and how much they think it's worth. That, and it's just fun to look at all the different pieces of furniture! Some days when Cason Jett is extra-demanding, and I finally get him down for a nap, a quick way for me to decompress is to pull up the CL app on my trusty iPhone and troll the Furniture By Owner section. Why on my iPhone and not a computer, you might wonder? Well, my friends, the CL app gives you a picture preview of each listing, whereas the online version makes you click on each post to see the pictures. When a gal only has 1-2 hours of alone time, every second counts!

Ok. What was this post about again? Oh, yes... my dining room chairs! I was in the process of making over our dining room to give it a more eclectic and modern appeal, and found 8 Ikea Roger Dining Chairs on Craigslist for $200. These chairs are no longer available in-store, but I really like the clean lines and the 'blank canvas' aspect of them. The curved back echoed the shape of the base of our dining room table (a clearance find at one of those chain furniture stores - $300!), and the color of the wood worked perfectly. What didn't ring my bell was the boring cream micro fiber upholstery on the seats. Blah! Maybe it was easy to clean, but it added no visual interest to our space.

So, I went to the Fabric Depot and scored 2 yards of clearance fabric for $7/yard and went after those chairs with gusto. This is one of the most basic DIY projects for anyone with a staple gun and scissors to tackle. Actually, you don't even have to own a staple gun (mine is broken!). You can borrow your mom's... or my mom's. That's what I did, anyway. If you've never recovered a chair seat, here's what you do:

1. Remove any screws that are keeping the seat down, and take out the seat.

2. Lay your seat on the fabric and cut around it, leaving enough room around the edge to fold up over and staple, about 2 inches in this case. Having a toddler march around on your previously wrinkle-free fabric is optional :-) Having the toddler stand on the seat to make sure it stays put while your cutting is really handy, too. Once he starts jumping on and off of the seat, it may be time to turn on Curious George cartoons as a distraction. Groooan.

3. If you end up with any wrinkles in your fabric post-toddler-stomping, you might want to iron it.

4. Line up your seat, top down, on the reverse side of a trimmed out piece of fabric, pull the fabric taught over the edge, and staple. I start at the middle of each edge with one staple, then work my way out from each staple to the corners, smoothing and pulling gently as I go to create a perfect edge. The goal is to have it snug, but also to avoid wrinkles and dents.

 5. Trim away any excess fabric once you finish stapling, then re-attach your seats to the chairs, and voila! Transformation!

 Pssst... I bought this World Market rug on Craigslist... $50!

What do you think? I love it! I love a simple, inexpensive project that makes an impact. Now I just have to do something about that hideous, builder-installed light fixture.... suggestions, anyone?


  1. I'm devouring these posts! It's nice to know that Portland's Craigslist is such a treasure trove. ;)

    Do you ever find that when you show up to purchase an item from someone it's not as clean, well-kept, etc as what you saw in the photo? I have yet to purchase furniture/home decor this way.

    Regarding the light fixture... I vote for a modern chandelier!!

  2. I'm so glad you're enjoying it :) As far as Craigslist goes... yes. One time the hubs and I drove all the way to Independence, OR (don't even ask me how to get there - I don't know!) to pick up a wooden patio loveseat and chair. The picture on CL had been taken in the seller's garage. When we arrived, the set was sitting outside their house in the mud and rain. It was a total mess! So, we left empty-handed.

    This dining room rug was in perfect, unused condition, as the seller had bought it and promptly moved to a smaller home where she didn't have room for it. Lots of people selling on CL have new merchandise that they are just too lazy to return.

    It can be hit and miss, and I suppose you have to enjoy the thrill of the hunt, but the savings can be worth the effort!

  3. I just posted a couple of these chairs to Portland craigslist if you know anyone who might still like them! =)

  4. What kind of staple gun did you use to do this, do you you need a specific one or will a regular one work?