31 Days · DIY · Thrifts

31 Days: The Thrift Project – Day 5: Old School Office Chair

I saw this office chair from the street as I was doing a thrift store drive-by. The drive-by has been perfected by my friend Ashley – she slows down, pulls slightly off to the side, and tends to annoy all the cars behind her. But with kids in the car, it’s crucial. You’ve got to know if it’s worth unbuckling car seats or not.

When I saw this chair, I had to stop. It’s thrift store furniture at it’s finest – not cast-off IKEA shelves or stinky college-kid couches, but solid (read: HEAVY) oak and quality (if slightly rusted) steel mechanics. And it was $10. I was in love. I loaded it in the back of the car and brought it home to live with the other chairs I’ve got waiting in the garage. (Husband says I have a chair problem. He’s probably right.)

The Thrift Project is the perfect time for me to tackle at least ONE chair makeover. (And let’s be honest, Husband, there are only 3 chairs in the garage right now.)

It was a little rough around the edges. And by rough I mean it appears that someone spilled an entire can of soda underneath the genuine (pronounced “gen-you-WINE”) naugahyde seat cushion. And apparently, when the soda was spilled, there was a chemistry quiz hiding out in there.

And a red sequin.

Don’t you feel like there’s a story here? Like a student told his professor, “Yes, I WAS in class and I DID take the quiz!” and the professor just can’t find it. As for the red sequin…random.

The naugahyde was clearly disgusting, so I ripped it apart but saved the pieces to use as a pattern for a new cushion cover.

For the cushion cover, I was thinking a nice, clean white to let the character of the oak stand out. I found an old sheet in my fabric box that worked well. I measured, cut, and pinned the pieces together. I machine stitched the curves of the cover (the first curve I’ve sewn EVER!), stuffed the cushion inside, and then hand-stitched it closed. (It could be done on machine, but it was a tight fit, so it was easier to do by hand.)

Ta-da! This chair has a new home in my “studio” (garage), and I now use it every day to work on these projects.

A question, though:

The chair is a little tall for me – anybody know how to adjust it? I’ve tried a couple of things, but nothing seems to move. If you’ve got one of these chairs, I’d love some help. Thanks!


This post is part of a 31 Day series. Find all the posts in this series here.


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18 thoughts on “31 Days: The Thrift Project – Day 5: Old School Office Chair

  1. my favorite part, ther then the shoutout, is the “gen-you-wine”…I can really hear you saying this. For the record, I might have to agree with husband on this one. Hi, I am Nicole, I have a chair addiction. Sadly, I want one. I have 2 chair redo’s in mind, but no chairs. Let the drive-by’s begin!

  2. Brandon says (yep, he reads your blog), he thinks it is mounted on a threaded shaft and that you should be able to spin it down? I am guessing, you already tried that though?

    1. Thanks, Brandon. Yes, I did try that, but it wasn’t working. Apparently, the base of the shaft isn’t secure and it spins, too, so the chair just spins. BUT, when I hold the base really tightly and then spin, it does adjust. Am wondering if there’s away to secure the base a little better. That’s next on my list.

  3. I was going to ask you if you tried to spin the chair round and round to see if it would go down but I see Brandon has already come up with that. You know you are showing your Tennessee roots when you say gen-you-wine, don’t you? Long live the South!!!


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