Have you ever wanted to create something that’s a little “out there”, but you had absolutely no clue how you were going to do it? It seems to happen to me all the time 😀 For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this slightly wacky idea of repurposing something boring and making a mermaid chair for my daughter.
She’s an amazing young lady and has been working her butt off to qualify for the South African Swimming team. I swear she was a mermaid in a previous life. So I really wanted to celebrate her unique spirit and passion for the water by making her THAT chair.
While wandering around the local thrift store a few weeks ago, I found this rather sad and boring office chair. I’m not sure if it had been standing in the rain for way too long or if someone threw the wildest, wettest party ever. But this poor thing had definitely seen better days. The hubby thought I was completely bonkers when I brought it home.
EeeeeDeeee didn’t seem to mind, though 😉 and it was the perfect starting point for that mermaid chair.
What You Need to Make a Mermaid Chair:
- old second-hand wood chair with a straight back
- mattress foam
- quilt batting or a thin foam
- dust cover fabric
- spray Adhesive
- fabric (velvet or velour)
- Fabric stapler
- Fabric scissors
- Bread knife
- Needle nose pliers
Dismantling the Boring Chair
The first thing I needed to do was get rid of that old yucky fabric.
There were soooooo many staples. UGH!! They’re not too difficult to remove, though. Just a little tedious. All you need to do is pry them upwards with a small flat screwdriver and then pull them out with some pliers.
I did think twice before sharing this photo. Look at all that gunky stuff that was hiding in that chair. Eeeeeewww. From now on, I’m going to be very careful where I park this butt of mine.
Even the foam was yucky. Everything that couldn’t be cleaned had to go until I was left with just the bare bones.
I wanted the seat to be a little higher. Apparently, land-bound mermaids have sensitive feet, so it’s best to have a chair where their feet can swing free when they’re sitting. After adding a dust cover and drawing a template of the seat portion, I cut a new piece of foam with my handy bread knife. I learnt that trick when I built a window seat last year for my daughter. 😉
And our sweet little EeeeeDeeee got to test it out, too 😀
The foam was covered with quilt batting. I found it easier to start in the middle and staple it onto the underside of the chair every few inches, tightening the batting as I went along. The next thing to go were those oh, so boring wooden legs. I just cut them off with my trusty jigsaw.
Alrighty then. Time to add a little of that mermaid X factor.
That wacky idea I had in my head involved a big, oversized back that looks throne-ish and oh-so regal.
Making the Back of the Mermaid Chair
I cut a whole bunch of templates from old cardboard boxes and taped them onto the back until I had the look I was going for. The template was used to create a frame from 1x2s, which was glued and screwed onto the top back portion of the chair.
I used that same cardboard template to cut two back pieces from some plywood. These were stapled onto the frame. That trusty jigsaw of mine made quick work of shaping the frame by cutting away the excess bits, as shown below.
Finishing Off the Mermaid Chair
And I finally understand why people use soooooo many staples when they upholster something. If anyone brings a huge ass magnet within 100 meters of that chair, it will go flying across the room. Guaranteed 😀 Suffice it to say; I finally got her all covered up with the most gorgeous stretchy valour fabric in a sea green, turquoise color.
The only thing the mermaid chair was missing were some legs. As luck would have it, I spotted these lovelies at an online auction on Facebook. I believe they were initially part of a table or something like that. And you know what? I almost lost that auction too. It was nail-biting stuff.
We cleaned them off, sprayed them silver and screwed them onto a piece of wood.
Then the new legs were screwed onto the mermaid chair.
Don’t you just love them? They were such a perfect match for the whole wacky mermaid look I had going on inside my head.
Pssssttt, if you want to see another wacky, one-of-a-kind chair makeover, then you’ve got to see how we made this gorgeous “no drama, llama” chair. You’ll love it 🙂
And here she is in all her glory. So happy with how she turned out.
Remember I mentioned about adding a mermaid surprise on the back of the chair? Tada!!!!
The back has been covered with that freaky cool sequin material that flip-flops and changes color when you run your hands over it.
I would love to know what you think of the mermaid chair. Is it something you would ad to your decor?
If you like the idea don’t forget to pin it for later.
Oh, before I forget, if you’d like to make something similar, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more unique DIY and craft ideas for you 😉
Until next time, hope you have a beautiful, love-filled week.