The Bamboo Chair + How to Make a New Seat


There used to be a vintage warehouse store in town that was only open one weekend each month, and I’d visit whenever I could to go treasure hunting through the booths.  Sadly, the store closed last year, but I still have a few lingering treasures remaining to upcycle – and I used to chat with the owner so much that thankfully we’ve kept in touch.  (Erica, I finally got around to updating this very cool chair!)

This vintage bamboo chair was dried out and missing one very important piece…

Bamboo chair makeover refresh - and how to make a new seat for a chair. By Girl in the Garage

HA.  Nothing that was too difficult to handle though.  I did a Google search and discovered my chair once had a caned seat like this:

After more research, this style may also be known as a Brighton Rattan Chair and is likely from the 50s-60s.

Wait a minute, did you think I was going to paint this chair?  Heck no.  I love the look of natural bamboo!

This chair was so dry though.  You can revive bamboo with Formby’s Lemon Oil Treatment and a soft cloth.  It makes such a difference as you can see in the photos below.

Bamboo chair makeover refresh - and how to make a new seat for a chair. By Girl in the Garage

*Friends, it’s Trash to Treasure Tuesday with some of my favorite blogging girls so be sure to hang around and see their makeovers at the bottom of this post.

Here’s how to make a new seat for a chair:

First, you’ll need to measure and cut the wood for a new seat.  This is half-inch thick plywood.

Bamboo chair makeover refresh - and how to make a new seat for a chair. By Girl in the Garage

Next, cut two-inch foam padding for a soft spot for your bum.  Get the lines as straight as you can but it doesn’t have to be perfect – thick padding can be difficult to cut.

Bamboo chair makeover refresh - and how to make a new seat for a chair. By Girl in the Garage

Third, cut cotton batting and leave about a two-inch overhang on each side.  I was a little short on one back corner since this is leftover batting from another project, but it ended up being fine.

Bamboo chair makeover refresh - and how to make a new seat for a chair. By Girl in the Garage

Turn the seat over and staple the batting on while folding the edge underneath. Bamboo chair makeover refresh - and how to make a new seat for a chair. By Girl in the Garage

The bottom will look similar to this (you can see the corner where I was a little short from my leftover batting).  Corners can be tricky – don’t make them too bulky or the seat may be uneven later when you go to sit on it.Bamboo chair makeover refresh - and how to make a new seat for a chair. By Girl in the Garage

Next, choose your fabric and cut it, leaving about 2+ inches gap on each side.  Iron it smooth.Bamboo chair makeover refresh - and how to make a new seat for a chair. By Girl in the Garage

Flip the seat over and staple the fabric on, folding the edges over to hide any frays.  Again be careful folding the corners.Bamboo chair makeover refresh - and how to make a new seat for a chair. By Girl in the Garage

Here’s a closeup of how I do corners: Bamboo chair makeover refresh - and how to make a new seat for a chair. By Girl in the Garage

I did not secure the seat with screws because it fits very snugly in place as-is.  The arms curve inward slightly and the seat doesn’t slide at all.  However, it can be lifted straight up fairly easily.

Here’s the new and improved bohemian bamboo chair:Bamboo chair makeover refresh - and how to make a new seat for a chair. By Girl in the Garage

I’ve been holding onto this Ikat fabric for a few years waiting for the right project and this was it!  The bamboo chair has been in my stash for a couple years too…  they were so close all this time, and now they’re finally a match made in heaven.  😉

Bamboo chair makeover refresh - and how to make a new seat for a chair. By Girl in the Garage

Bamboo chair makeover refresh - and how to make a new seat for a chair. By Girl in the Garage

This makeover is a little outside my usual style, but I love this look!  My bedroom is a little bohemian and I want to incorporate more of the style into my decor.

Bamboo chair makeover refresh - and how to make a new seat for a chair. By Girl in the Garage

Even though I love this makeover, we’re getting ready for another big market soon and this chair will be available there.  Find this and more upcycled furniture and decor at the Hunt & Gather Market in Crown Point, Indiana, on July 14-15.

Bamboo chair makeover refresh - and how to make a new seat for a chair. By Girl in the Garage

It’s Trash to Treasure Tuesday with my friends – visit their creative projects below to be inspired!Below are the Before photos – click the blog links underneath to see the After photos and learn how they did it.Trash to Treasure Makeovers - June 20171. Prodigal Pieces
2. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
3. Artsy Chicks Rule
4. Bless’er House

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Talk soon, friend!

Jen


 photo just-paint-it-ad-border-wide_zpsmka7ckdc.jpg

18 Comments on The Bamboo Chair + How to Make a New Seat

  1. Christina in FL
    June 13, 2017 at 4:59 am (1 month ago)

    What a stunning transformation! I adore the fabric you chose and thank you for the tip about the lemon oil. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Larissa ~ Prodigal Pieces
    June 13, 2017 at 5:13 am (1 month ago)

    What an absolutely gorgeous save, Jen! I love refreshed look and that fabric is perfect. Thanks for sharing the DIY!

    Reply
  3. Marcie Lovett
    June 13, 2017 at 12:34 pm (1 month ago)

    Beautiful, Jen! It looks better than new.

    Reply
    • Jen
      June 13, 2017 at 7:09 pm (1 month ago)

      Thanks Christy! It wouldn’t have looked right painted. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Kathy
    June 13, 2017 at 3:47 pm (1 month ago)

    Love it! It’s better than new!

    Reply
  5. Ashlea
    June 13, 2017 at 4:34 pm (1 month ago)

    I love how this turned out Jen! Looks so good.

    Reply
    • Jen
      June 13, 2017 at 7:08 pm (1 month ago)

      Thanks so much Ashlea!

      Reply
  6. Mary E
    June 13, 2017 at 5:19 pm (1 month ago)

    You did an absolutely beautiful job on this chair. If you ever need to cut foam again use an electric carving knife. I picked one up at Goodwill and use it for foam and also insulation.
    I really also like our choice for the fabric. Am really glad you didn’t screw in the seat; if I were close to you I would buy the chair and re-cane the seat. Very lovely job my dear, keep it up.

    Reply
    • Jen
      June 13, 2017 at 7:08 pm (1 month ago)

      Thank you Mary! I’ll be on the lookout for a used electric knife. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Elizabeth Hook
    June 13, 2017 at 9:37 pm (1 month ago)

    Love the chair! Looks great. Helpful hint for cutting foam -Use an electric knife. Works great and so much easier to cut curves,etc.

    Reply
    • Jen
      June 14, 2017 at 12:33 pm (1 month ago)

      Thanks Elizabeth! I’ll be looking for an electric knife 🙂

      Reply
  8. Karen Marie Kedzuch
    June 14, 2017 at 12:23 am (1 month ago)

    Jen,
    This chair may be a different look for you but, you definitely hit the boho vibe with this makeover.

    Reply
  9. Rose L.
    June 14, 2017 at 12:24 am (1 month ago)

    I love the fabric you picked. It fits the chair style perfectly!
    Rose L. recently posted…THE FINAL ACTMy Profile

    Reply
    • Jen
      June 16, 2017 at 10:57 am (1 month ago)

      Thank you Marie! xo

      Reply
  10. Charlene Hansen
    June 14, 2017 at 9:53 pm (1 month ago)

    This is a stunner! Fabric is a great compliment to the bamboo. And yes, thanks for the info about restoring the bamboo with lemon oil….great tip. This will sell super quick!

    Reply

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