Monday, June 7, 2010

Rocker ReDo

Close to 30 years ago, my hubby gave me a wonderful rocker to use at school.  I was recuperating from a surgery at the time.  It was such a sweet gesture and the rocker is very special to me.

I used the rocker in my classroom for years.  Then at some point I brought it home to use on our porch.

We have cats. Luckily for them, they are very loved.

Cat claws are not nice to woven seat bottoms. I tried keeping cushions on the rocker, but that didn't keep the cats from getting to the bottom and the back of the chair. It wasn't long before the rocker needed a new seat and back.  There was no point in having it rewoven with rush or cane or straw or whatever it is a professional might use.

At some point it occurred to me to weave it myself using fabric.  I had plenty of scraps and nothing to lose but a bit of time.  I tried it.  It worked and it looked great.

That was more than 10 years ago.  The cats loved to play on it, but they couldn't tear it up.  Still it was in need of a redo.  The fabric was still strong but very faded and the chair needed painting or sealing or something.

I nearly forgot to take a before shot.  In this photo, you can see that I've already begun to cut the fabric off. 

I primed and painted the wood last week.  Yesterday, I began weaving.  First, I tore lots and lots of fabric into 2 inch strips.  Lots of fabric!!!!   From, there, it's sort of like weaving a potholder. It was a big mess.

Today, I finished.    My hands are a little sore, especially a few cuticles.  But, the rocker is on the porch and ready for action.

Here it is with a comfy pillow.  The pillow is not quite right. It's a little too big and the fabric is just so-so.  I'll have to watch for something better or make a better one myself.

I interrupt this post to give myself a much needed talk.
Dang!  I think everything in our house is in need of an upgrade.  I need to adjust my attitude and enjoy what I have.  That rocker looks wonderful.  Plus, it's comfortable and the cats like it, but can't destroy it.  It's a brilliant solution.  The pillow is fine - cute, comfortable.  Redoing the rocker was a lot of work, so ENJOY IT!!! ....Ok.  I'm better now. 

I used fabric scraps and leftover paint - what I had on hand.  Pretty much, no extra money was spent to make this rocker happen.

The possibilities for similar redos are endless.  Wouldn't it be great to use only black and white toile?  Or  cranberry toile?  Mmmmm. Or different fabrics all in the same color family - for instance, many green prints. 

I'll be doing this technique some more.  I have more rockers to refinish.  I have some ladder back chairs that I was thinking of redoing as well. 

I have linked up to the following parties:

The DIY Project Parade at The DIY Showoff
Making the World Cuter Monday at Making the World Cuter
Motivate Me Monday at Keeping it Simple 
Something I Whipped Up Monday at The Girl Creative


  1. Wow, that was a labor of love for sure! So glad you got to restore your special rocker!

  2. I have a similar rocker that needs some loven too. This might be the answer!

  3. It works great. I ripped fabric into2 to 2 1/2 inch strips. I tied the pieces together in back (or bottom). Both the front and back are woven. The tied ends are tucked in between the two layers. You see some knotty spots but it doesn't look bad at all.

    I wish I had not gone quite so colorful. Oh well. I have plenty more rockers to redo.

  4. What a great redo, I love how it turned out!

  5. I have a rocker just like this that needs a new seat for the same reason. I have been studying your photos, but I am not sure how you finished this off. What did you do with the ends? Are they tied? stapled? Thanks.

  6. I am wanting to re-do 2 ladderback chairs that previously had cane bottoms, this is a great idea as I know how to loom and have lots of fabric that I have been saving for juat such a thing- love it, thanks for the idea! Is there a way to tell if I have enough fabric so If I go with one or 2 colors I won't run out in the middle?

  7. This might be a silly question....can the set be sat on?

  8. The chairs can definitely be sat on!!! They can truly take a lot of wear and tear - way, way more than I expected. I had one rocker that I didn't redo for 15 years and then, only because I wanted a color change.



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