Chairs to Benches

Every Monday night for the past 2 years, our home fills up with people. We drink coffee, pray, share stories, laugh, and read the Bible. What joy to share our lives with friends! If the weather is nice, we prefer to sit on the patio sipping on sweet tea and smelling of citronella. It seems like we never have enough seating (a blessing!) and have to drag out folding camping chairs.

I’ve had some dysfunctional ladder back chairs setting in the studio. The cane seats were torn to pieces. Because the backs are so tall, the slightest sideways glance would cause them to tump over.

(Side note: do only West Tennesseans say ‘tump over’? Also, the past tense is ‘tumpt over’. That may be another West TN thing, to use ‘t’ rather than ‘-ed’ for past tense.)

I had temporarily covered the seats with burlap to make them semi-usable. Well, it was time something happened to these chairs.

chairs to bench upcycle


First things first: we removed the cane seats. They were reinforced with cardboard. The cardboard came from Barbasol cans, which leads me to think my grandfather probably did the re-caning. He was a barber and all-around handyman. DIY crafting is in my blood, y’all!!

recane chairs

Next we Scott sawed off the little knobby things off. They were raised up higher than the seat, and we wanted the bench to set flush on the seat.

upcycle chairs


Then it was time to build the bench seats. A few simple cuts on the table saw.

chair up cycle


Then assemble with screws.

dysfunctional chair upcycle


The bench seats were then attached very simply with screws. We used 4 planks for the benches, making them a little deeper than the original chairs were. They are also a bit wider, making them more comfortable.

chair to garden bench


Finally, it was time to PAINT!

painted bench

I love blue and green. So rather than cover the blue on the chairs, I dry brushed New Avocado over the chairs. Of course, I used the chalked paint method. A little distressing and wax, then voila. Two new benches for the patio!

chairs to bench up cycle

garden benches


I may sew have sewn some cushions out of leftover fabric from another renewal. Just so they’ll be extra comfy for Monday nights.


OR, I could find some old/used ones at a garage sale and paint them.