I love unusual chairs.  I love this hand carved chair and I so wish I knew its history.  We acquired it from my husband’s uncle’s estate.  Because of the hand carved features and the style, I think it is 19th century. Here is the before.

Button Chair Before











Well, this is not actually the before.  The before was the back/arm rest in a couple of pieces and one of the side pieces unattached.  I brought all the pieces home, glued them together, and had this.   I also removed some metal bars that had been attached to the seat bottom to hold a cushion.  It really wasn’t working.

My next step was to make a new seat.  I took a newspaper and traced around the inside of the seat.  You can see there is a lip and I wanted the seat to nestle right inside and have that lip hold up the seat.  I used 1/2 inch plywood and traced my template on it.  Here I would suggest taking your paper template and trace it to cardboard and pre-fitting it to the seat area.  This would have saved me a lot of time.  The paper is very flimsy and so it really was not an accurate template, so I ended up having to truck my piece of plywood up and down the stairs trimming off a little here, a little there until it was just right!

My next step was to use the same template and trace the shape onto the cushion.  I wanted a real thick, cushy cushion so, even though I still had some of my free foam cushion left, I broke down and bought a 4 inch cushion from JoAnn’s Fabric.  Wait until a 50% off one item coupon comes up because this stuff is $$$$!  I actually went to the store where they will sell it by the yard.  I bought a 24 x 24 inch square.

I made a grid on the paper template to determine where I would want my buttons to be on the cushion.  I transferred where the buttons should be placed to the plywood cutout and drill holes in the plywood, smaller sized bit since they only need to be large enough to get a needle through, but large enough to find!.  I didn’t do step by step instructions on making a tufted cushion because it is done so well by Brooke at All Things Thrifty.  I used the same buttons to cover which are available at most sewing supply stores.  Again, I bought mine at JoAnn’s.  The only thing that didn’t work well for me was drilling the foam.  I ended up using my scissors and snipping the holes in the foam which worked out fine.

Here is a picture of the buttons in place, ready to be tufted.









And here is what the back looked like after I finished the tufting, stapling and trimming.

Buttons Back








Kind of funky looking, but look at the top!  Love it!

Buttons Tufted








When I’m done a project like this, I like to finish off the bottom of the seat like professionals do.  Only I don’t want to buy the black dust cloth off the web, so I buy the black weed guard fabric at the home improvement center.  It is very much the same thickness and consistency.  It is a lot in a roll, but not expensive. Just place on the back, staple in place, and trim close to the staples.

I also cleaned up the wood.  There were numerous recommendations from members of a Facebook Group called Your Funky Junk for the product, Howard Restor-a-Finish.  I think the wood is maple and I didn’t find a Howard in maple, so I used the Walnut.  I also used the accompanying  wax, Howard Feed-n-Wax.  These two products worked very well to clean up and shine the wood without changing the finish or removing the lovely, aged patina that I didn’t want to lose.  Perfect!

So here it is.  The comparison of the foot really shows the improvement on the finish.

Button Chair Collage












I’m so happy with the makeover.

Buttons Makeover










(Just disregard the plywood floors, please!  Still a work in progress!)