A few weeks ago Pippa from BuzzFeed asked me if I would like to do a DIY project for their site – a folding chair to be precise. Hell, yeah! Although I thought it’s a little strange that she asked specifically for a folding chair. But whom am I complaining about a challenge?! Your wish is my command!

However it was a real challenge – not the DIY project but finding a decent folding chair for a reasonable price that was in need for a revamp. Luckily I found one at my parents home and I visited them anyway.

This little folding chair has a very sad story how it came into my family: my mum was once at a flea market and at the end, this little chair was left over. The owner wanted to throw it away but my mum saved it and took it home. It‘s been in our family for years now and from the fabric and the way the chair looks it can be dated back about 50 years. So it‘s a really old folding stool. My siblings and I used it to pick berries but besides that it didn’t have any specific purpose.

However I thought the stool deserves more. It‘s a really nice one and if you look closely you can see little shell details on its legs. This gave me the idea to make a nautical inspired redecoration project.


First of all I have to say that I come from a family of interiour decorators from my mothers side. My grandpa had his own business and my uncle is still a interiour decorator. What sounds like a fun and creative job is actually hard work. I can tell after doing this little folding chair. My grandpa would laugh at me if he read this because he really reupholstered arm chairs, sofas, put countless wallpapers on walls and laid carpet. This project is a walk in the park for him – so it‘s perfect for me (with his help of course!).


All you need is:

–  a folding chair
–  fabric (it‘s an old fabric to make matresses that I found in my grandparent‘s cellar)
–  a stamp with an ankor (I had to crave one from an old potato, if you find a fitting stamp, good for you!)
–  textile paint (dark blue)
–  a brush
–  a lever (my grandpa had – of course – a professional one but anyone would do)
–  a hammer
–  a scissor
–  nails (little ones with big heads!


1. Take the old fabric of the trestle of the chair. For this you will need the lever. Put it underneath the fabric, pound the lever to the nail and lever the nail out. Repeat until the fabric is loose.


2. The old piece of fabric can be used to measure the size of the new fabric. Cut a piece that‘s about 3 cms (1 inch) bigger on all sides. Fold it 2 times on the length and sew the hem, so that it has the same width as the old fabric. Now we can print: Take the stamp, paint some of the textile colour onto the stamp with the brush and press it onto the fabric. Once you‘re done, wait for the paint to dry. Press it under another cotton fabric with a very hot iron for 3 mins. This should seal the paint. This is how my fabric looks like after the printing and fixing:


3. Now we need to attach the fabric to the trestle. Fold the fabric at the width length 2 times to the outside. This is very important as my grandpa told me. If you fold it to the inside it will tear once you sit down. If you fold it to the outside, the weight will be better distributed. Good thinking, grandpa! Nothing can beat the experience of an 80-year-old expert. Then nail the fabric to the wood with the little nails. I made a chevron pattern to make it even more stable.


4. First I wanted to paint the legs as well but the shell pattern looks so nice and I like the rustic look. So now you are done! Just find a nice place in the garden or your balcony and enjoy your new nautical folding chair!


How do you like the new design? With the update this chair will be used much more – berry picking season is over for you, little guy! Enjoy our new life!

If you are interested 2 fellow bloggers did also a DIY folding chair project. It’s so interesting what others come up with in my opinion. It really pushes me to be more creative.


Now. Carry on!