This fairy tale began a couple of months ago when we got a pair of hideous slipper thrift store chairs at Salvation Army for a steal (only $10 each).
Sure they were ugly ducklings but we would transform them into beautiful swans. My plan was to strip them down to the wood, shorten the backs and the bases, so we could put some 6″ legs on them. Basically reinvent them into Target slippers chairs….kinda like this:
The fair maiden (that would be me) and the charming prince (hubby) took these
beauties uglies into the magical forest (our yard) so that the glorious transformation could begin.
But, not so fast.
As soon as we started taking them apart I was transported back from my beautiful chair fantasy land straight back to reality. And it wasn’t a pretty one. It was a perfect storm of FAILS, one right after the other.
Chapter#1 The Tale of Filthy and Moldy
Here’s how they sat in the living room for two months. I covered the seats with plastic bags so the cat wouldn’t lay on the dirty cushions.
The chairs are filthy and stained down through the foam, with what I’m guessing is pee. I seriously think they came from a nursing home.
The cushions had an extra layer of padding which the stains had penetrated, so that had to be removed. I was going to try to salvage the rest of the seat foam, even though it was completely grossing me out.
And yes, we are wearing gloves to do this.
Now that we beat the filthy horse to death, it’s on to the moldy part of this story.
When we removed the chair back fabric we found it was covered with a thin plastic sheet. Why they didn’t cover the seat cushion also is anyone’s guess.
And wouldn’t you know it, the plastic had some small tears at the top of the seat back and the mold was right there waiting for us on the foam.
Of course this had penetrated the wood frame too. In fact the whole thing was full of moldy spots all over. I don’t know how we were going to get rid of that.
Chapter#2 The Land of Technical Difficulties
Shortening the top, I think would have been easy. Just saw a section off and install a piece at the top, done. The base was the problem. When we bought them and way before I had seen the inner workings of the chairs, I thought it would relatively easy to take the base apart and make it shorter. But the way it was constructed was going to make that very difficult.
The base was one solid piece which would be kinda difficult to cut and we would have to get new wood, which was an added expense I hadn’t planned on.
Oh and did I mention we would actually have to buy a saw to be able to cut the wood?
Chapter#3 The Cost
The biggest mistake I made was getting blinded by the super low price. I didn’t factor the price of the fabric, foam and all the other supplies needed. I started searching online and found that I was going to need between 4-7 yards for each chair. Here’s a nifty chart I found:
I also found a few more charts, here.
And even if I would be able to find a cheap fabric, that I liked, it was going to cost more than the Target chair in fabric alone.
Then I added in the cost of the legs, can’t forget those. The cheapest that I found were on Amazon, plastic and $20. Which is not bad at all, except when you add it in to the cost of everything else.
Chapter 4. The Pot of Gold
You didn’t think this was going to be a tragedy, did you. Don’t you know every good fairy tale has a happy ending, as well as a lesson?
Well obviously the lesson here is: not to get blinded by the price and consider all the other variables. Sometimes the price is ridiculously low for a reason. Because no one else wants it!
And now onto the pot of gold stuff…
The casters at the bottom of the chairs were in perfect shape, and I happened to need some for another project I’m working on. Considering they would have cost $12 for a set of four at Home Depot, we actually made money ($4) on these chairs!!!
So the maiden and her prince shall wait, till the time they are able to find the perfect chairs for their living room….
Oh and they lived happily ever after, of course.