Last month, I bought a pair of antique caned chairs at an auction. It appears that someone started the job of recaning them, but never finished. I thought about trying to learn to cane them myself, but I knew the chances of that happening anytime in the near future were slim to none.
One of the chairs has a spindle that’s come loose, so I haven’t done anything with it yet, but this is what I did with the other one. I am totally thrilled with how it came out.
To get from the before to the after, my husband cut a wood piece, in the same shape as the caned area.
I traced that shape on some dense chair foam and cut it with my $3 thrift store electric carving knife.
I stapled the opposite sides first, then had my teenage son stand on the board to “squash” the foam down while I finished stapling my way around it. I wouldn’t always do this, but the foam was really thick and rather than buying thinner foam, squashing it down helped decrease the thickness a little, while still having plenty of softness.
The No. 1 typography is a replica from a late 1800’s sewing pattern, that I made a vinyl stencil of, then painted onto the fabric. I shared that image here (as well as No. 2 and No. 3 that went with it).
I briefly thought about painting the chair, but once I cleaned it well, the wood was too gorgeous and it didn’t need any help from me.
I would love to have kept it, but I have so many chairs right now, and I don’t have anywhere to use this one, so I listed it in my shop (it sold). I’ll hang onto the other chair and if I can figure out a place to use it, I’ll fix the spindle and make another one for myself, because I absolutely love how it turned out.