Every once in a while, a steal of a deal disappoints. Such is the case with a $99, 3 piece patio set, we purchased a couple summers ago. The table is still standing, but as you can see, the chairs have not quite held up. They had an imitation wicker effect, but in reality, it was cheap and plastic. But, the frames are welded metal, and I knew they could have a second life…



First, I used a exact-o knife to remove the remaining seat covering…

… and was left with the frame.


Next after much research, I decided to do a woven seat cover (which will later be covered with a cushion). There are many options out there. I decided after coming across the directions for using shaker tape, that I would go that route. But it turns out, in my neck of the woods, it’s next to impossible to find. So I used the next best thing. I found a polyester canvas strapping at my local fabric store. (It reminds me of the canvas-like material used in tie-downs — to help give you an idea).


Using the shaker tape instructions as a guide… I started weaving the material over my chair frame. I made the first loop and secured it with a few staples so I could continue weaving without worrying about it shifting around.


I started with the width of my chair as both sides were straight and easy to work with (The back edge of my chair frame has a curve, which made it tricky to begin with). I kept going under, over, until the seat was fully covered.


Then without making any cuts to the strapping, I went under and wrapped it around to the front so I could begin weaving the depth of the chair. Remember those days in grade school when you’d make construction paper baskets? Well, time to put those skills to good use. Under and over until you reach the end of the chair kids!


Almost there…


Once done, I snipped the strapping, and stapled it from underneath, onto itself.


The back of the seat needs a little less support, so I decided to do 2 widths of strapping in each direction as seen below.


I pre-made a seat-back cushion out of simple oatmeal coloured linen, and added some velcro to it, and to the strapping on the back of the chair to hold the cushion in place.


I found seat cushions and throw pillows on sale at Pier 1. Good sales, people! Check it out if you get a chance!


And, voilà! I’m so happy this worked out, and I was able to keep these chair frames out of the landfill! I’ve got the perfect spot for these two new beauties… (remember that whole basement / home gym re-do?) but it will have to wait until the paint goes up!

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What do you think? Share your own craftiness by emailing some low-res images here!

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21 Responses

  1. The chairs turned out really cute but my question is are they for decor only? I can’t see staples holding if anyone sat in them. I have some chairs to redo but I need them to hold use for sitting…

  2. Love your chairs! I used your example to redo my own deteriorating faux rattan chairs. My are shaped a little different so it took 8 hrs of learn as you go, and 50 yds of strapping. I’ll put cushions on them, too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. 10 years ago this was posted and I find it so gorgeous! I just scored a free bistro set with a hole in one of the chairs, I was wondering if you by chance knew about how much material you needed for weaving and also how they are holding up if you still have them.

  4. I love how you made these work. I have a beautiful older patio set. I knew I could just paint the table and chairs but had no idea what to do with the bottom of three of the chais. To have replacements done it would cost $40 per chair bottom. Not in my budget right now. I already have cushions so I’m going to try this! Thank you so much for the diy tip!

  5. I know this post was created many moons ago but is there any chance you still have access to the pictures? They are just showing the basic image thumbnail without the actual pictures. Your description of those chairs sounds almost exactly like the ones I have and I would love to fix them up. Not quite ready to give up on them yet.

  6. Do you have these pics handy still? They’re not showing up when I come to this archived article and I am looking to do the same to my chairs. This is by far the best before & after I’ve seen so far with these types of chairs!!

  7. You’ve mastered the art of chair restoration. I recommend starting high and then working low. A table is adequate in many spaces, especially if you want to keep the room open and bright.

  8. Hey… I’ve got similar chairs to this in my courtyard. I’ve had them over 10 years and they still look the same as when I bought them. I take it yours were attacked by savage cats? hahaha…

    Just a little recycling thought: wouldn’t it have been cool if you had used seatbelt straps to make the woven base? I’ve heard that seatbelts must be removed after any accident- even if they don’t look damaged. They’d be the perfect strength if only you’d had access to them (I’d have no idea where to look except perhaps at the wreckers…?)

    I must say I love love LOVE the seat cushions on the bottom of the chairs. How lush are they? Deep yet so pretty. Thanks for sharing them with us. I love eye-candy.

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