No matter the occasion or indeed the reason, but it does seem that when people get together, there are never enough chairs.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a dinner at home, getting away to the mountains or spending time at the lake or the beach; wooden folding chairs are a perfect solution to the seating problem.
Wooden folding chairs are great to have around the house. They are light, handy to carry to the patio or the garden, and set up for garden parties or barbecues. Some designs are meant for lounging in on the patio or by the pool. Simply varnished and unpainted, they make beautiful rustic pieces of furniture in a natural setting. Or they can be painted or upholstered to make unique statement pieces to fit in with your home decor.
Decorate or Re-purpose Wooden Folding Chairs
If you are a little handy with tools, then here are a few exciting DIY projects you can get inspired by to create your own inexpensive custom-designed wood folding chairs. These are also great ideas that can turn drab, retro chairs from the basement of your (or your parents’) home into something wow. Let your imagination run wild and find ways to get creative!
Updating and Recycle Ideas for Your Wooden Folding Chairs
1. Upholster Chairs With Fun Fabrics
A good way to update a folding chair and make an old boring one as good (if not better) as new is to upholster the seat and/or the back with a fun fabric. Design and home decor brand Anthropologie came up with a lovely Bohemian patchwork-style series of upholstered folding chairs that cost a little below $200.
It is possible to make these for as little as $20 with a few items you may have around the house.
This design works best on chairs with slatted backs but it should not be hard to find a workaround for chairs without slats. You will need some fabric scraps, foam for the seat and some 1 inch foam for the back, some Dacron to cover the foam, hot glue gun, spray adhesive, staples and stapler, some gimp or double welt cord, pliers and scissors.
- Measure foam for the back of the chair and staple it in place by folding the edges around the top and bottom rungs.
- Repeat this with the Dacron which you are using as padding.
- Cut about a 1 or 2 inch piece of foam to fit the seat. Bevel the edges with scissors. Use the spray adhesive to fix the padding to the seat.
- Again cut some Dacron padding to go over the seat and tuck the ends through the side slats to the chair bottom and staple. You should do this both at the top and below the seat.
- Next, place the fabric of your choice on the seat and begin smoothing and folding around the edges, stapling in place at brief intervals around the edges. You can cover the staples with trim later. Make sure the staples and folding are even.
- When it is done, you can use welt cord – hot glue into place as trim along the edges and over the staples. Repeat the process for the back and you are done!
You can use matching fabrics or have fun using mismatched printed fabrics for an eclectic feel. You probably already have some fabric lying around so you can save some money there.
2. Paint Folding Chairs in Ombre or Colors of Your Choice
Painting adds color and life to any old chair, and it can be one of the easiest ways to bring your old chairs back to life or jazz up a new one to suit your decor.
An ombre chair looks great and is easy to recreate on your own without spending hundreds of dollars. Select your color palette, buy some spray paint primer, spray paints of your choice and some spray gloss. You will also need some sandpaper or steel wool that is paint-removal grade.
- Sand the chair (be sure to wear gloves) and prime in thin, even coats. Make sure to do this outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
- Wait about half an hour until it dries (when it’s not sticky anymore) and plan your color coats. It helps to mentally split your chair into three sections vertically.
- Paint in thin coats with the top coat color. You do not have to bother about a perfectly even line. Ombre allows some water-color like bleeding across colors. However, you should make sure the color heights are more or less even. Do up the rest of the chair in the same way and let dry.
- That is all there is to it!
3. Folding Chair Nightstands For Indoor Accent
Wooden folding chairs make great, inexpensive yet pretty nightstands. You can paint one to suit your bedroom decor or leave it as is.
Drape a crocheted doily on it for a romantic, vintage look and keep a lamp and your current favorite book next to.
Place a jar of flowers and you will have a lovely and lightweight nightstand with character.
4. Accent for Outdoor Weddings and Events
Folding chairs make great seating options for outdoor events and weddings.
You can make the seating a little special by having a symbolic typographical accent of an Ampersand or some other appropriate symbol.
Dress them up with fabrics, bows and colorful covers for a special event to add class.
These chairs are inexpensive and versatile, so you can create elegant seating arrangements for large groups of people, and work right in with any theme.
5. Wooden Folding Chair Signboard/Store Menu
Fold the chair up, paint a sign on the back of the seat and hang a little planter or storage box from the
spindles like in this image from smallhouse.com.
If you are thinking of opening up your own little food stall at fairs or even a permanent outdoor stall, use the chair in a similar way as a menu board.
It will have to be large enough to be able to hold your entire menu of course. You can also replace the seat of an old chair with a chalkboard (better still, use a chair that has lost its seat) and turn it into a cool, vintage sidewalk chalkboard.
6. Folding Chair Storage Ideas
If you want to make the best use of space in your home and have a few wooden folding chairs lying around, paint them to fit your decor and simply hang them from pegs like this unique Pinterest pin.
Then pull open the chair and use the seats to store boxes of storage items.
You can put up hangars of clothes from the spindles, if your chair has them. Or perhaps add your own spindles in the workshop and create your own DIY space-saving, inexpensive closet from folding repurposed folding chairs!
Do you have other ideas on how you can update or repurpose your wooden folding chairs?