Tuesday, February 10, 2009

All Decked Out!

As a complete contrast to my last couple of snowy posts, I thought I would just tell you about a project I have been working on this morning...

Set up outside my little shop, it was usual to find several re-covered wooden deckchairs for sale, arranged in the sunshine amongst galvanised watering cans and terracotta pots. I used to use bright vintage floral curtain fabrics, as they usually gave me a large length of very strong cotton or linen. A friend of mine bought several of them from me during that time and asked a while ago if I could make her two more.

I suggested if she could source the old frames, then I would remake the fabric slings for her...She arrived at my door a few days ago with two frames (so I no longer had an excuse not to do the job! ;-))
Now normally I would paint the frames in white gloss paint or use watered down emulsion to give a summery driftwood look. Her husband however had decided to stain and varnish the frames a dark mahogany. ;-))
I chose two vibrant Sanderson fabrics for their new look...if you've ever tried this, then you will know that you need large pieces - I always have to be very brave parting with so much lovely vintage fabric! I stitched two long rectangles down the side seams, then turned the tube through and ironed it flat. The top and bottom are then folded over for neatness and attached to the wooden frame with upholstery tacks approx: 1" apart along the width.
(The double thickness of fabric should mean that the sling can take quite a bit of weight :))
For extra comfort, I liked to add a feather filled cushion as a headrest. (Saves a clonked head on the wooden bar at the top! And is perfect for comfy summer snoozes too!)
Loops of elastic stitched into the seams of the cushion, hold it over the ends of the frame.
My friend asked for frilly cushions, so I added frills in the contrasting Sanderson chintz.
One down, one to go...

Within a few hours the job was done. They aren't my favourite thing to make, but it is always satisfying to have a job completed. And it's an added bonus to have recycled the old frames and fabrics.
They now await collection - I hope that she will be pleased with them.
There is still snow here on the hills - I'm hoping that this 'proper' winter will mean a proper summer too...with floral deckchairs taking centre stage in the garden, of course!
Niki x


  1. Niki those are FABULOUS! And with cushions, too! The colors are beautiful (I'm partial to blue, and the touches of red and white on the blue panel are lovely)! How brave of you to use all that old fabric!!!

  2. Anonymous2:54 pm

    I love them, I found 2 old deckchairs last summer which need recovering....Im going to have a go. Wish me luck because boy I will need it!

  3. i love the blue fabric...but couldn't have cut into either without a stiff drink first! that's why my stash is huge and so is my project list!! wielding a scissors is a scary business! well done you!

  4. ooh Niki I feel really sad I stupidly got rid of two deck chairs with little fringed cannopys..you do such silly things sometimes or at least I do ...I cant tell you what I have got rid of over the years....they look fab..

  5. They are really lovely - I'm sure she will be thrilled.

    I might try and track some frames down myself for this wonderful summer we are being promised.


  6. Wow, they look stunning! If your friend doesn't like them I'm sure there are plenty of others who would be! I think it's always way scarier making something for somebody in particular than just making something and it not mattering so much how it turns out!

    Mel xxx

  7. Hi Niki! I have seen those in books for years, dreaming of being able to do one someday... I hadn't realized it was so simple! (Well, if you are a crafter, obviously!)... I always think someone could fall down if i don't sew them well :(((
    You did a GREAT job! And those fabrics are stunning (your pillows too! So lovely a touch!)
    Hope to find an old deckchair soon!!
    Monica x.

  8. Hi Niki, the chairs look great! I like the use of 2 contrasting fabrics, and your friend's husband did a good job of choosing the dark colour for the frames as it really sets of the floral fabrics. Good for you!

  9. Anonymous4:54 pm

    I would be utterly thrilled if a friend of mine had done such a beautiful job. Well done! They're gorgeous.

  10. Anonymous5:12 pm

    They are just gorgeous!

  11. Anonymous5:12 pm

    They look lovely Niki, ...roll on spring and summer!! Sue x

  12. They are so beautiful! Your friend will be so happy!

  13. Anonymous6:19 pm

    The deck chairs are just beautiful!

  14. What!!! Not your favorite thing to do?? My gosh..you're a magical genie! Girl, is there anything that you can't do? You never cease to amaze me. If your friend never comes for her treasure...call me. I'll be on the next boat out!

    Deanna :D

  15. Very pretty! If your friend does not like them, I will be right over. Never mind, there is an ocean between here and there.:)

  16. Wonderful! I shall be keeping my eyes peeled for some frames. What a brilliant idea. Thanks so much for sharing it! I am sure you will do really well with them. Lois x

  17. Love those deckchairs ,what lucky friends you have,i bet they can not wait for some sunny days so they can use them. Best wishes Pat

  18. Oh Niki, you make it look so easy. I wish I'd done the 2 I couldn't sell last summer at DH!!! I shall certainly be brave now though, just not sure when!!

    Sue x

  19. The chairs turned out wonderful. The fabric is so beautiful. I am sure she will love them as much as I do.
    Have a wonderful evening.
    Jean in Virginia

  20. Great job, so pretty with that fabric and the pillows too.

  21. What beautiful fabric for your chairs! You'll be so happy they are ready when the weather turns warm!

  22. Hello Niki!
    I am sure she will love them they are so beautiful-good job!
    I like the contrast of the dark wood with the fabric.

  23. Anonymous9:50 am

    They came out very well Niki. These are not an easy job. I make these too but I always find it so difficult to hammer the "tacks" in when the fabric needs to go around the wood several times. I put the tacks underneath the top layer of fabric so they dont show but what a nightmare that is! I like the idea of the elastic holding the cushions in place too.

  24. Anonymous11:03 am

    Wow, you are amazing! Those chairs look divine!

  25. I don't know where you get the time or energy Niki, but you always come up with cracking and beautiful ideas.

    So you had better pop over to my blog and pick up your deserved award!...You know I think your Blog Rocks!

    Love Happy xx

  26. These are lovely! (although not sure about the frills!) those pink roses are so pretty. We have a bunch of old deckchairs in the barn -but I think it would take more than a couple of lengths of fabric to hold them together! The woodworm have had a feast! t.x

  27. My first visit here and it is such a delight.
    Love the chairs, they share the promise of spring.

  28. Anonymous2:33 pm

    Well !!! talk about inspired I am off to the shed now to revamp my old deck chairs, you have made such a lovely job, their so pretty and the cushion for a head rest makes them really special....well done niki,
    Maggie x

  29. Gosh, how strange - I spent yesterday painting old deck chair frames ready for their new floral seats. Your make-overs look lovely, I am sure your friend will be delighted with them.

  30. The chairs turned out adorable!!! I made one of these last summer, but I like the idea of adding a pillow! Thanks for the inspiration!

  31. Those are fabulous! I love them...great job!


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx