Thursday, July 12, 2012

Flower Chair Makeover

Ok, back to improving the curb appeal of our old house.
I thought with the age of my house, 
I might be able to pull off quaint and cottagey. 

I had an old chair and decided to make a chair planter.
I also wanted to reinforce my turquoise and lime green color scheme.
 Here's the ladder back chair that had seen better days.
Time to send that seat completely on it's way.

We got the chair from a bare wood place and stained it ourselves -- at least 26 years or so ago.  That's our oldest son, Lars sitting on it in the first picture and he looks like he's about 2?  Maybe?  On the right is Lars currently and he's going to be 28 in a couple of weeks.  Where did that time go?  Anyway, that's how old the chair is.  And no, he didn't know he was flipping the bird in the toddler picture.  Totally an accident.  By the way, are any of you Elton John fans?  If so, you might recognize what's behind toddler Lars... but I'll come back to that later.

Here's what I did:  since I wanted a rustic look,
I didn't even sand the chair to start with - just slapped
on some craft paint (color mixed to my preference.)

Made sure not to get it into every crevice.
I rubbed the "wear" points until the paint came off
to give the chair a weathered look.

Then I wanted to have words on the ladder back.  I came up with something Emerson wrote that seemed apropos, printed it out on the computer (in outline to save ink) and taped it on the chair, cutting between the letters at intervals to go with the curve of the slats.

Then I inserted graphite paper under the words.  Graphite paper is like a pencil version of carbon paper which may be an old school reference now that I think about it.  Graphite paper is a tissue that has a pencil coating on one side and when written on, leaves graphite on the surface pressed.  And it's pencil so it erases if need be.  Graphite paper is available at most craft stores, drafting supply places and artist supplies.

Then I just painted in the words with a small brush.  You may not see it in this picture, but I also added a shadow on the left side of the letters because they needed to pop a little.  When all the painting was done, I took the chair outside and sprayed several coats of marine varnish on it in hopes of helping it withstand the Wisconsin summer rains.  Ha ha -  this year we are in the middle of a drought and everything is dying or dead.  Our grass is crunchy and yellow.  We need those summer rains pretty badly right now.

It was my goal to keep the chair planter from looking like a potty chair.  Sorry, but that's what I think of when I see some of these... especially if the flower buckets are deep... and show.  I purchased a shallow yet wide wire hanging plant bowl and spray painted it turquoise.  Then I used the chain (with hooks on each end conveniently) from the hanger and connected it across the seat forming a slack chain triangle and rested the bowl on it.  It worked perfectly.  The chair looks like flowers are spilling from the seat not growing from a potty chair bowl.  Yay!  Another thing... I could not find a hanging plant that I liked - colorwise.  Good thing, because all those have those deep bucket bowls.  Anyway, I ended up planting my own because I wanted LOTS of different colors.  As it is, you cannot see the blue lobelia and the orange marigolds.  I wanted tons of color and some ivies to twine up the back - which are headed that way.  

Anyway, I hope you like my chair planter.

And the thing behind little Lars?
It's a giant (at least six foot square) replica of an Elton John
album cover that we got from the front of
a local Peaches record store back in the 80s.
(Hubby has been a huge EJ fan since high school.)

UPDATE:  Here's how the chair looked about a month later.


  1. Kathy that is adorable! Love the color you chose for the chair!

  2. Love it mom!!! and the pics of Lars. It is successfully not a potty chair! haha I approve. :)

  3. The is the prettiest flower pot chair I've found on Pinterest. Congratulations! Great idea to hang the chains below to hold up the pot. Thanks! MJB

  4. Well thank you for the congrats! Didn't think this was still floating around the internet. Ha ha. It's there forever, right? Unlike my chair -- even with marine varnish, it bit the dust after about 5-6 years in the weather. Good luck with your chair!


Lemon tree very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet-
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

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