Friday, 1 April 2011

Second Chair Make-over and Scarlett's How -To

I've finally finished the second chair make-over and as requested here's a little 'how to' so you can rescue some chairs too!

Firstly you need your chair:

Sand it and paint it your chosen colour. I used a Fired Earth paint in 'Moonlight' which is white with a hint of light green:

I did two coats of paint but I wouldn't worry too much about the finish on the top of the chair as this will be covered with the decoupage.

Next you need your napkins:

I use the Cath Kidston 3 ply napkins as they take really well to decoupage and I'm loving the prints.  You also need a pot of Mod Podge which you can get from Hobbycraft or online:

I use the Matte Mod Podge as I don't want a gloss appearance on the chair but you can buy Mod Podge Gloss (I have never tried this).  Mod Podge is a glue and a sealer so I don't need to varnish the finished chair :o)

Lightly sand the top of the paint on the chair so the mod podge has something to grip to, only needs a couple of rubs with the sand paper so don't worry about more sanding hell (yes I do hate it that much).

Now to the napkins. You only need to use the printed part of the napkin so peel away the two blank sheets (if using 3 ply):

Once you sorted the napkins let the sticking begin!  Apply a thin layer of  mod podge to the area you are working on:
Then place your napkin. As I'm using a repeating pattern I used a whole napkin to start off the seat:

I made sure the napkin overlapped the edge to give it a seamless appearance on the front of the chair. You will get air bubbles as per the picture above so I use a dry cotton cloth to flatten out the bubbles and the creases - just dab the cloth on the napkin lightly so not to tear it.  Even if you do have some creasing this is a shabby chic chair so adds to the effect (always have an excuse for any mistakes lol). 

Once the first sheet is down you can then cut and paste the remainder of the seat - like wallpapering you just cut the next napkin design so it links up to the already pasted bit.  For the gaps in the spindles i take a piece of napkin and mark where the spindles are and the cut out the spindle spaces (looks like a comb when cut) and slide the napkin in the spaces.  The seat sides can be done by using strips of napkin and fixing the seam with mod podge under the chair base.

For the spindles I cut long strips of napkin:

and apply glue to the front of the spindle and place the strip down the middle (doesn't matter is strip is not straight as demonstrated in this picture lol):
You can then fold the napkin around the back and overlap it neatly (make sure you have applied mod podge to the back when doing this). I then use a little mod-podge to seal the seam by dabbing it on lightly.  Remember to use you cloth to smooth out any bubbles or unwanted wrinkles.

For the chair back sides I also use wider strips of napkin and again wrap it around as above:
Keep going until you've covered the whole chair, by the time you've done this the base glue will be dry so you can cover the chair with the first top coat of mod podge. Give a generous covering, it will look white but dries clear. Leave this to dry and then you can do your second coat.  I do 3 coats of mod podge on top of the napkin so it will hopefully hold up to use :o)
This is the finished chair:

As for those who didnt see the other chair:

And that's it!  I've never done a 'How To' before so sorry if this is complete rubbish but if you want any help just ask :o)
I'm now on the look out for 2 more chairs like this so I've got enough to go round my dining table, I'll be checking the sales area at the tip again next time I go.

Busy weekend for me with a table top sale, a spring fair and the boot sale so hoping for lots of bargains to share with you all (hopefully no grannies will be harmed in my thrifty exploits!)  - send me your lucky thoughts.

Happy Weekend all

Scarlett x


  1. Hey lovely,

    I picked up a gorgeous farmhouse chair for £5 yesterday and now I'm wondering whether to give the napkin decoupage a go - never done it with napkins before so it could be interesting! :-) Will send you pics if I go for it!!

    Sending you masses of good luck vibes for weekend bargain hunting, I picked up something today I think might make you smile!!

    Jem xXx

  2. oo thanks for the tutorial.. its really helped me .. i have couple of old dining chairs that im storing at my sisters at the minute so am going to have a go at doing this on them.. oo am all excited now.. thanks!!!

  3. I thought mod podge was just your wording for glue lol,oh how little i know!
    Wishing you best of luck with your bargain hunting this weekend,i'm sure you'll come back with lots of prettys we can all drool over.

  4. I love the effect but just KNOW I would mess it up! I have 2 similar chairs rotting away in my shed, you'd be welcome to them if you lived nearer.

  5. Thanks for that! Sounds easy.............sure its not though! I could have done that to my daughters screen.......which I still haven't finished!

  6. Thanks for the tutorial Scarlett! I think I get you....but when you said I need to sand it a little?.....Do I HAVE to? Really? Cuz I'm pretty sure I hate sanding even more than you! *winks* Vanna

  7. Wow those chairs look amazing! How clever are you. You did a great job of explaining what to do, I don't think though I would be brave enough to do a chair, you have got me thinking though about doing it on something smaller, just not sure what yet though.

    I'll let you know if I come up with anything. :-) x

  8. Hey thats great and they both look fab ;-) Napkins as well what a great idea. Good luck with your hunting im sending you lucky thoughts ;-))) dee x

  9. HAIL, SCARLETT!! for the tutorial and you did a great job too on the 2nd chair!! it looks totally gorgeous! Now that i know the detail on how to do it, I'll definitely will try this once i found a chair and a mod podge hehe, I'm transferring you lots and lots of lucky thoughts for your boot sale and other bargain sale but then again you dont need that coz i know you'll find treasures!! xx Susan

  10. Fabulous Scarlett. I'm very tempted to get going on my chair with my flower catalogues! Positive vibes coming your way for this weekend's bargain hunt! Byeeee xxxx

  11. Oh my god! They're beautiful!!! A great idea for my uglies! Thanks for tis great idea...stealing, but will give you credit of course ;)Alyssa of Boston

  12. Right, that's it, the chairs in the shed are coming out and are having the c**p decoupaged out of them! Thank you so much for this "how to". I've never used mod podge before and I was a bit confused by it all. Happy car-booting and table top sale-ing! Looking forward to seeing your finds. Em x

  13. What a pro "How To" Scarlett...very impressive (and easy to understand)

    Good hunting at the car boot,spring fair AND table top sale (Phew!) I'm looking forward to seeing your new treasures x

  14. What a great idea, I love it! Where do you buy Cath Kidston napkins I love her prints? I am thinking of projects i could use this on, I am going to have to book mark this one,.....The biggest compliment a blogger can get!!


  15. I absolutely adore this idea, I am really inspired to try this out and your 'how to guide' was great. I've got a set of drawers I'm in the middle of giving a make-over so this might be the perfect finish! xx

  16. Oh my goodness this is fantastic I soooo wish I hadnt left 6 chairs like this in the garden over winter, I am now thinking of all the things I could have done, boo hooo!!!

    Gorgeous makes off to have a scout around your gorgeous blog now!

  17. This is a great idea, never heard of using napkins to cover a chair! Plus Cath Kidston chairs, fabby! :)

  18. That is an amazing make over! Well done it looks gorgeous! When I come back to the UK I will want to commission you to decorate my shop-be warned!

  19. This is such a fun idea! A great post as the chair looks wonderful!
    Thanks for this makeover post.

  20. that chair is turned out so lovely,thanks for this amor.

  21. It looks fab Scarlett and the instructions were great! Hope you've had a great weekend!

    Bee happy x

  22. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY my dear Scarlett!! xx I hope you had a fab day!! Susan

  23. Yours look great! You have done yours different to mine. I also should have painted them all over first. I have 3 more chairs to do. I am a bit decoupage obsessed now!

  24. You make it look so easy I'm ready to get napkins and modge and glue on anything that can't get away!!!

    I'm definitely on the look out for dining chairs I can do this too now!

    Victoria xx

  25. Oh my word, these are AMAZING! I never thought about using napkins as decoupage, what a fabulously inexpensive way to Cath Kidston up your stuff! Definitely giving this a go! x


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