My Upcycling Journey Continues: The Right Tool for the Right Job
Back in July of 2018, while my then-husband and I were getting the Toronto house ready to sell, I found these chairs on Kajiji. I posted this at the time:
I loved these chairs. I know they look a little “office-y,” but if I recover them…
I did a little poking online, and these chairs, for which I paid $10 per chair, retail today for $261.95 on sale. So the 10 chairs that cost me $100, would have cost, new, $2,619.50 + tax!!! And mine have a comfortable padded seat and wheels!
I suspect what happened is a company left in the night without paying their landlords, so the landlords, having no idea of the chairs’ value, just gave them to their employees. The office manager told me some people took a couple home, but nobody wanted the last 10. I hope they had a nice lunch for my $100. Me? I was thrilled with my chairs.
A few days later, I found a high-quality black and white striped curtain at a thrift store. It was priced at $8, but I had a $10-off coupon, so…
In preparation for recovering (how hard could that be?), I struggled with a screwdriver to remove 1 of the seats. The red fabric had been stapled right onto the heavy-duty plastic. Neither of my crafting staple guns could penetrate the plastic.
Fast forward 9 months. I’m now a brave new upcycler, and, having given tons of thought to how I was going to affix these, I started again. I removed a seat, now with an electric screwdriver. Zttt. Zttt. Times 8 and the screws practically jumped into my hands. Huh.
I tried sewing the new fabric over the old, having dug out an upholstery needle from among my mother’s sewing stuff. But alas, it wasn’t to be.
But wait… there’s a Rent-All place nearby. I popped in with one of the seats and the nice chap did have a professional level staple gun. We tried it and bang the staple was firmly seated. It would be $20 to rent the pneumatic stapler and $30 to rent a compressor. For. One. Day. Hmmm.
I go home and look up “staplers” on Canadian Tire. You’ll recall that as I retired from Canadian Tire’s head office, I have the staff discount of about 20% for life.
Sure enough, they had electric staplers. Staplers that plug in. No compressor needed. For $49.00. (Spoiler: Today, I saw they were on sale for $39.00, so I got my $10+tax refunded.)
Sure enough, it worked a treat. I cut up 10 squares of fabric (7 from the polished cotton and 3 from the stretch T-shirt material). Between the electric screwdriver and the electric stapler, I finished all 10 chairs in a matter of hours. (Spread over 2 days, TBH.) Some of the stripes go across, and some back-to-front. I love it!
Finished product looks much less office-y. Don’t you agree?
Remember my first upcycling post a few weeks ago, “Girls Don’t Need Tools.” Yeah, well. No wonder women often slook incompetent and give up. We don’t even know these tools exist, let alone how to use them. So if you need anything recovered, I’m your girl. And I won’t do it for you, I’ll teach you how.