My craft projects are usually the result of three motivations: making cute things, using existing materials and doing everything on the cheap. This chair recovering project is a perfect example of those three inspirations coming together.
When I bought my antique kitchen table, I wanted to have four different chairs to surround the lovely aged oak, ala Monica's apartment in Friends. At best, that would have cost $25 buck a pop and $100+ was not what I felt like spending at the time. What I did instead was grab two chairs from my previous kitchen table (which is now a great storage space in the garage) and two chairs my sister gave me, which she got from a thrift store.
Showcasing two different pairs was good enough for me, but I still wanted each chair to look singularly unique in some way. I thought about painting for differentiation, but that seemed like too much work. Inspiration hit when I remembered how easy it is to recover chair seats with fabric. Screwdriver, fabric, staple gun and you're done.
The next step was finding fabric. Still wanting to err on the inexpensive, rather than digging in bargain bins at fabric stores I instead raided my clothing donation bags tucked away in the closet. In keeping with my theme of pairs, I chose two warm fabrics, two cool fabrics and within that palette two striped and two floralish designs. All that was left to do was cut, stretch and staple.
Using old skirts was easiest because the fabric was large enough to stretch over the chair seats. Cutting up old tops was a bit more challenging, however, because I had to piece together sections to ensure full seat coverage. This process maybe added about 10 minutes on my sewing machine in addition to the 5 - 10 minutes it took to staple each chair. All in all it was about an hour-long project that brightened up my kitchen, gave new life to antiquated chairs and made good re-use of colorful old tops and skirts.