24 December 2010

Child Rocking Chair Seat Revamp

As I write this, it's Christmas Eve Eve. And as you read this, it is Christmas Eve (or later). So I haven't given this present to Lucy yet. It's still in the garage (which is where I revamped it, so excuse the horrible lighting in the following photos). But since Lucy is not a regular reader of my blog, I figured I was safe. :-)

I found this wooden child's rocking chair in the dumpster by our old apartment right before we moved to the house we are in now. So that was... a year and a half ago. It was really in quite good condition, especially for something that came out of a dumpster. It is solid wood, sturdy, and the only thing wrong with it (aside from some scratches) was that it had no seat. I think when I found it there were upholstery tacks and some faux-leather-type pieces around the edges. Upon closer inspection, it actually kinda looks like it was originally a wicker seat, which someone removed and installed the faux-leather seat. But anyway, it's small and adorable and old and sturdy.

I eventually decided to redo the seat with an assortment of old belts woven together. I hit up a thrift store bag sale and raided their belts. I bought about 8 that I thought had a reasonable chance of being leather. And I've had them for about a year. That's why I decided I'd give Lucy the rocking chair this Christmas -- so I would actually get it done.

On Tuesday I bought some upholstery tacks, and Wednesday evening I cranked the thing out in the exact length of time it took to listen to the Glee Christmas album. Exact. It was crazy.

I only had a vague idea of my plan, but as Norman and I were discussing last week, that usually works out for me. But that's probably because I have good instincts about what I can improvise and what I can't.

Enough talk. Photos.

[It looks kind of big here, but let me assure you, I cannot fit my hips between the armrests. It is for a child.]

[Pile of belts]

[Figuring out the weaving]

[Ta da!]

[Close-up of the seat]

It could definitely be more polished, but I think given the condition of the chair, it's just right.


schupack said...

that turned out so well! The different colors of the belts look so pretty. I'm sure Lucy will love it :)

Joel said...

That's... pretty much the coolest present ever. My compliments

Heather Ales said...

SO clever! I love it! Thanks for sharing!

Robin Thomas said...

Oh Jessie! Bravo!!! It was meant to be found by you and loved by your Lucy!

Merry Christmas sweet girl.

Weavin' Wicker Woman said...

Jessie, what a lovely cane seat rocker to have found in the dumpster! The seat was made to take a sheet cane, pressed cane or cane webbing seat. And the wooden strips on the perimeter are called "spline."

When you found the rocker you said it had a faux-leather-type seat on it, which is called a pressed fiber seat. These fiber pressed boards also have bits of leather pressed into them. They were used to cover the hole in the center when caning was not able to be replaced or the chair was made or intended to take the leather or leather/fiber board. And it's attached with decorative tacks.

Replacing sheet cane or cane webbing seats is fairly simple even for the beginner, but you've done a wonderful job with the leather belts!

Take a look through my website and also the chair caning articles I've written for eHow.com, the widget is on the right sidebar of my domain website, www.WickerWoman.com

The Wicker Woman--Cathryn Peters