Sunday, June 14, 2009

Met Monday - French Chairs

This is my first time participating in Metamorphosis Monday, hosted by the always engaging Susan from Between Naps on the Porch. I thought it only appropriate to share the making of the "French" slipper chairs I made from FREE, semi-broken, icecream chairs for the tablescape I did this past Thursday in honor of Joni, from Cote de Texas. First, the chair I started with:

Ugly, huh? Now, I have to confess - I took these from the garbage in hopes that I'd be able to copy a whimsical planter I saw at the Buffalo Gardenwalk last year. But, I never got around to that, and since they were sitting there ... I thought why not try to French them up. They had a great leg, and a round back - slipcovered they were bound to be a good fake.

After some consult with my very good, and oh so talented friend, Isa from The World According to Isa, the legs of the chair HAD to be painted. That brassy blonde wood tone from before just wasn't going to help give this chair that French flair. So I sprayed the chair cream - a light coat, so to act as a base and a primer for the faux finish that came next.
Once they were both painted, I grabbed my "Dove Grey" paint from Behr, and went to town. Dry brushing the chair with random strokes until:

(Make larger for better picture of the finish) I had created this French, nearing the edge of Swedish coloring that looked SO much better with the slipcovers I made to mask the chairs ugly form.

And voila! Presto-chango! It's a French Slipper Chair! Well, my interpretation of one, anyway. Now, I'm not a sewer - so I expected these to fail miserably and didn't take pictures of the process. I will tell you that it's two pieces, a skirt for the seat, and a slip for the back that tie together. It was much easier for me that way - and lent for a better match to the slips Joni uses on her own French antiques.

From the back, you can better see the ties. The hems here are stitch witchery. Love that stuff. The cushion perhaps was the most difficult of the entire process. Lots of thought went into this - and I have to admit - they were both made differently. No patterns, no true measurements. I totally flew with this one. Stuffed with a down pillow, it's a great seat cushion that believe it or not - is also very comfortable!

And when it was all said and done - here was the table, (again). Set in the garden amongst the non-flowering summer blooming perennials, and beautiful hanging basket of dragon wing begonias, purple queen, and goldie locks, the table was a hit. Thanks to everyone who came by to see the results - now you've seen the process. I hope you enjoyed, and I'm sorry I didn't get better step-by-steps. I really expected these to fail miserably.
Now, off you go to see the other Monday Metamorphis posts ... but if you have time, please, stop by and check out the gardens from this Sunday's Share a Garden Sunday. You won't be disappointed!