How To Cover A Rattan Chair Seat

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How To Cover A Rattan Chair Seat – Design Director Harriet Davey goes through the process of refurbishing wicker furniture – here’s a do-it-yourself guide.

It all started at H&M Home. I walked into a second floor furniture store on Regent Street on my lunch break (if you haven’t been there, you should) and as soon as I walked in, I saw a wicker chair. I sent the picture to my boyfriend – little did he know that we would spend three hours in Cambridge looking for a similar style we found on Facebook Marketplace.

How To Cover A Rattan Chair Seat

How To Cover A Rattan Chair Seat

I’ve never used a flea market before, but I was looking for wicker furniture and after a bit of searching I found one for £5. Admittedly it took a bit of work but I can’t believe I got a great one as it cost £180 at H&M. We then went to B&Q for supplies, set up our DIY section in the living room and got to work cleaning, sanding and painting.

Salsa Rattan & Bentwood Dining Chair Natural

After seeing the results, posting them on my Instagram (@harriet.davey) and receiving so many positive comments, I instantly became obsessed with all things gemstone. Next, I have a friend who lives near the furniture that I put together myself. It may seem like a lot, but what I find is that people who have furniture to throw away want to throw it away, so you have to be quick. If you don’t message the customer and arrange collection ASAP, it’s gone.

In a few weeks, I had a chair, a side table, a chair, a coffee table and some pictures. Next, I taught myself how to crochet using a YouTube tutorial to make another chair. It also took quite a bit of dressing so I could find the perfect velvet fabric at one of my favorite houses, House of Hackney.

Do you want to know how much I spent on all my furniture? The most expensive one I bought was £45. Not cheap? free Another man’s trash is really another man’s treasure.

1. Research: Check Pinterest and homeware sites (under the homeware radar site) for the furniture you need/want first. You can search by product or style, for example for rattan, it’s best to use keywords like ‘rod,’ rattan’, ‘stick-back’ and of course, ‘rattan’.

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2. Research: Most of my furniture comes from Facebook Market but many people list similar items on eBay. It’s also a good idea to visit antique shops, flea markets, independent furniture stores or your own home to give it a new lease of life.

3. Be patient: It takes time to find what you need. Once you find the right one, you’ll be glad you took the time to change it.

I’ll start with my latest upgrade project; I packed the chair and pulled away. All my other projects have been done as a team with my boyfriend (he’s a perfect guy who definitely looks good) but solo, this is the first project I’ve done on my own.

How To Cover A Rattan Chair Seat

Note: He fixed his broken leg before we got together.

Savannah Rattan Chair

First, I wipe the second piece of furniture with an antibacterial wipe. Then I remove the old material (in one piece if possible, you will need it later) and cut off all the old stems using scissors. The back is already cut and I want to remove the sides to make it look more modern. Each hole has a ball on it so you also need a skewer to pull it out or metal (I used a kebab stick) to push it. I then sanded the entire chair (using an electric sander), sanded it and painted it with black furniture paint.

After the paint dried I learned to hammer the chair. I used a DIY kit from, an independent weaving company in Dorset. Before I ordered, I emailed the owner for a picture of the chair to make sure I got the right cane.

I used the instructions that came with the box, along with this YouTube video ‘How to make a chair using the 7-step method’ – crocheting the basics that will give you the look of wicker furniture.

I quickly learned that it was difficult. You need a lot of patience and I take a long time to think. It took me two full days to make this chair. I definitely made a few mistakes but overall, I’m very happy with the end result. You will find the complete sequence of steps on my Instagram.

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I went to lift the seat. I used the old material as a template for the new midnight Hackney Empire animal fabric from House of Hackney. Known for their unique prints, they have matching wallpaper, pillows, light bulbs and other home accessories that are often in matching prints so you can match and contrast.

I used a pen to draw on the old fabric on the back and cut out the pattern using fabric scissors (found on eBay for £7). With that, I pulled it tight into the small gap between the seat frame and the seat. With the seat facing down, I then fixed it using a spray gun (you can get it from Amazon for £7).

Another project I completed during the shutdown was restoring this old French telephone chair. To do this I use all of the above tools along with the following:

How To Cover A Rattan Chair Seat

I start by wiping down the seat with an anti-bacterial spray. Then I turn to the content. Using pliers, I removed the strips of nails and staples to attach the fabric – this took several hours as it was quite large. By doing this, I was able to write content in perfect form that I could use as a model later. Once everything was removed, I found that the foam on the back of the seat was damaged in the center, so I decided to order new foam. You can order this on eBay (here) so I measured the foam and the old seat and it was £7. I also ordered a hot glue gun from eBay for £7.99 to be able to fit the new foam.

Aluton Synthetic Rattan Chair

Once the new foam is in, I paint a black frame. However, I decided to create a two-tone effect with cream paint for the drawers: this meant using masking tape to achieve straight lines instead of freehand. Then it’s time to add new fabric.

I found this amazing velvet fabric on – they have millions of designers creating custom designs and prints on demand all in one place. I ordered a meter and a half of the ‘little dot’ style by Willow Lane Textiles.

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Using the old material as a rough example, I also measured each part with a standard scale. Flipping the material over, I traced the outline of each piece on the back, adding an extra centimeter to make sure I could fold it in an even line when assembled. The body tape (usually where the garment is attached to the skin) is used as back tape when I fold it to the correct size or when attached to the seat. Fitting each piece of paper in place, I carefully attached them in a straight line to the edges to make sure they were clean. For the back it was more difficult and I ended up just taping the bottom and then using a glue gun to attach the curved edges of the new foam.

To finish – rather than adding a new mark, which I think takes too long – I used a 3.5mm string at the top to cover any mark glue and clean up the edges. The cherry on the cake was the new cabinet – I used a simple T-bar style from Amazon.

Vintage Design Rattan Chair ⋆ Neef Louis Design Amsterdam

It takes a while because of the many tools required and the long shipping time but it’s worth it.

To raise a bench without using a stick again you need a list of materials first. This is the chair I bought after seeing the H&M series. My boyfriend and I collected it from Cambridge, gave it a good clean and sanded it with paper before investing in an electric sander which saved a lot of time.

The stick was painted cream and was hard to remove so we repainted it. To do this, we use a simple kitchen sponge and apply it, using a paint brush to get into any small crevices.

How To Cover A Rattan Chair Seat

Once the gems were dry, we used adhesive to cover the edges and painted the black frame in two layers.

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For the side table, I wanted to match my other cream and black pieces