Raggedy-Chic Chair

This sweet little chair was brought to my by a friend who saw the potential that lay behind the dried out wood and layer of dirt. This chair was the definition of why I do this – it was dusty and forgotten and needed a little revival!


The lines were feminine, but it had clearly had a long life. I wanted to capture it’s girly side, but not make it frilly. In it’s past life, it had a caned seat, but all that was left was the edge of caning that was so dry it practically turned to dust at a touch. But the holes for the caning were all in good shape and I wanted to make use of them. I was thinking of something woven, and wanted to keep the cost down. This chair, by Sincerely, Kinsey popped into my head and was just the inspiration I needed (if you follow me on Pinterest, this is pinned in my Furniture Inspiration Board)…

After a quick cleaning and gluing a few of the joints, I painted the frame in The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company‘s Slate Grey. Because the wood was so dry, I was sure it would soak in, but thought there might be some chipping where some of the old finish remained. (It didn’t end up chipping at all.)  Overall, I was going for the look of a wash, rather than freshly painted, so I mixed my milk paint powder with a bit more water than usual. I painted on about a coat and a half – the “half” being a quick spot-painting areas that looked lighter after the first full coat.

Knowing that I wanted to do a rag seat, I had picked up a few men’s shirts at my local Salvation Army in a range of blues, purple and a seersucker with stripes to match. Total cost of the 4 shirts? A whopping $4 and change (the white tags were on sale that day). And yes, I had great fun shredding them. Something about that sound that is so satisfying…


Originally I started weaving the rags through the holes, but even doubled up, I just didn’t feel like it was going to hold up. That was a lot of pressure to be putting on my little hand-tied knots! It needed something stronger. I had rope but it was too thick. So I separated the rope and used only one section of the three. Separating the rope was not fun, and it’s definitely easier with a helper. And I would suggest wearing gloves of some sort – the rope is not kind and my hands were quite sore for the better part of two days. Anyway, once the not so fun stuff is out of the way, start weaving… I just did a single layer, simple over-under pattern, stapling the ends under the chair.


Once the seat was finished, I had a nice little grid. From there, I took my shirt rags and one at a time, wove them through the grid in a pattern, alternating colors. I left a few inches hanging at the beginning and end so I could knot them underneath later. This part took a while but was so fun to see it forming. Once the grid was all woven, I flipped the chair over and tied all the loose ends together, then trimmed them down so they didn’t hang. After a quick coat of clear wax, and a brushing of Miss Mustard Seed Antiquing Wax, this sweet little chair was ready for the shop. You can find it at Serendipity.

In case you were wondering what it looked like underneath…








Bef-Aft Collage

Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!


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Linking To:

Monday:  Mod Vintage Life – Home Coming – Maison de Pax – Cupcakes and Crinoline – Beyond the Picket Fence – Stone Gable – Dwellings   Tuesday:  Elizabeth and Co. – Common Ground – My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Coastal Charm – Knick of Time – Cozy Little House – Tiny Sidekick   Wednesday:  Savvy Southern Style – Glamorous Affordable Life  – Redoux Interiors – City Farmhouse – The Dedicated House – Chic By Tab – Style Sisters  Thursday:  No Minimalist Here – Imparting Grace – The Charm of Home – From My Front Porch to Yours – Craftberry Bush Embracing Change – The Vintage Farmhouse – A Prudent Life   Friday:  Miss Mustard Seed – Nancherrow – Funky Junk Interiors – Stylish Patina – My Romantic Home – French Country Cottage  – The Shabby Nest – Jennifer Rizzo  – One Project Closer – I Heart Naptime – The Cottage Market   Saturday:  Life on Lakeshore Drive    Sunday:  Nifty Thrifty Things –  Do Small Things with Love – VMG206 – Finding Silver Pennies – SohoSonnet

53 thoughts on “Raggedy-Chic Chair

  1. What a clever idea! When I saw it the other day, I didn’t have any idea how you would tackle the missing seat, but this is inspirational. However, I would ask ….. is it comfy to sit on?
    Judi in the UK

    • Hi Judi – it actually is quite comfy and strong. It flexes a smidge when you sit on it, but only as much as would be expected from any chair with a caned seat. I am very happy with the results! Thank you for sharing my excitement!

    • That is great! I was thinking of jute but the only roll I had was pretty thin and I didn’t think mine would hold up. If I had thicker jute I would have opted for that as well. Your chair (and desk) are so sweet! I really contemplated stopping at that point but wanted it to be more girlie to go with her spindles! Thanks for sharing and stopping by!

  2. Pingback: Redouxinteriors link party #144, week of 3/6/14 | Redoux Interiors

  3. My great aunt redid a chair bottom, much in the same way, using her father’s old neck ties! My sister still has that chair!!

  4. Pingback: Cane Chair Revitalized

  5. Pingback: Revived by Delia: Next Stop On The DIY Blog Tour! |

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