Sylvia’s Trash-Picked Chair


On my way to work one day, I drove down a little road I rarely drive down, and the owners were clearly housecleaning. The curb was full of things they were finished with: An Exersaucer, a double stroller, stuffed animals. And this kid-sized early-American glider rocker. I snatched the rocker, with big plans to tackle it that weekend and make it a little fresher and a little more feminine for Sylvia’s room.

This was summer 2010.

For two years I was stared at by this this chair, stuffed in a corner of our too-small basement, mocking my good intentions while it was buried under 48-count V-8 packs from Costco. At some point, maybe a year ago, I sprayed it with primer, sure I’d finish it shortly. And there it sat, primed, under V-8 packs.

But this past wekeend I finally spray painted it, and a couple nights ago I used the old, pseudo-wool cushions as a pattern to make new cushions. The cushions are simply enveloped, so I can slip them off to wash them when I need to. Total, I think this took me maybe three hours. Three hours and two years.

The fabric came from my rather ponderous stash, so the only expense was new pillow stuffing and a $3 bottle of spray paint.

I snuck the finished chair into Sylvia’s room while she was sleeping. The next morning she stumbled downstairs, not noticing her new chair. When I came up later, she was sitting in it, rocking a doll. She loves it.

Maybe this will give me the confidence to tackle the yard-sale antique chair in the yard barn that I’m planning to reupholster. Ya know, one of these days.


2 thoughts on “Sylvia’s Trash-Picked Chair

  1. Uuuugh. I’m running out of reasons to not fix up my mom’s old rocking chair. Or the easy chair Sally tore up. Or the ratty basement coffee table with potential. Or that cool upholstered headboard thing I’ve always wanted to make. Or…


    • For what it’s worth, we have a recently chair-picked, marble-topped end table Sylvie spotted and wanted for her room (I have to refinish/paint it), a half-painted dresser for the boys that Phil trash-picked and started last summer, and a chair in our yard barn that has needed reupholstering for two years, but I’ve been too intimidated. It never takes as long or is as laborious as you think. I’ve been wanting to make one of those upholstered headboards, too! Or an old door. I always get stopped thinking of how I’d hang it. 🙂

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