Chair Makeover with added storage compartment under the seat

This chair makeover started last year and I honestly don’t remember why I stopped it. My guess is my tendency to scoot onto some other project idea entirely. As per usual, I picked it up at the thrift store because it was green sticker day which meant it was only $.50. You know I’m a hound for whatever color means 50 cents. It was calling for a makeover which is all I knew at that point.

I tend to miss most imperfections when buying furniture pieces which is horrible if I’m looking for a quick turnaround but, on the other hand, I’m not going to spend a lot of money on a piece of furniture because I’m never really sure what I’ll be able to sell it for. So, when I come across something for a steal, it usually means there are multiple things wrong with it.

I’m also OK with fixing things because I learn a lot each and every time. I did notice one little finial missing, the seat cushion was stained up pretty good, and flattened in a way almost like it was spilling over the frame. What I didn’t see was a big gouge missing from the back piece.

Please know this post includes some affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission with no extra cost to you. Thank you. Click here for my full disclosure.

Thrift store chair missing finial - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

Thrift store chair before - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

Thrift store chair with a disgusting cushion - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.comThrift store chair broken piece will have to be fixed - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

All I really want to know is, was it really worth $7.00? I know it isn’t a ridiculous amount of money but, c’mon now. I guess that’s why no one scooped it up, huh?

I removed the finial by just sneezing on it. Removing the seat first, I flipped it over to tackle the broken piece.Thrift store chair flipped over to even up sides - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.comWith the jigsaw, I sliced down both the broken side and the OK side to make them even with each other.

Thrift store chair - used the jigsaw to even the broken piece up - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

Removing those pieces left gaps that I filled with wood filler, let dry, and sanded down with the palm sander. At that point I sanded the entire chair alternating between palm sander, hand sanding, and using a sanding pad. I also made sure to add a little curve back to the 2 sides I’d jigsawed.

Thrift store chair after side is cut off to match the broken side - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

Thrift store chair - using wood filler after cutting the sides down - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

Thrift store chair puttied holes and sanded - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

Last year, I used the paint sprayer and got a couple coats of primer on it. Paint did bleed through so when I started working on it again this year, I went the canned spray paint route. First I used primer then gloss. Covers entirely with no problems just like with the tube TV. It was nice enough weather to get some projects done and I wanted as quick of a process as I could get before it got back down to normal, cold temps.

Thrift store chair with one coat of primer - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

You can see the bleed through before I spray painted.

Thrift store chair - Paint showing bleed through - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

I didn’t get a picture of the original wooden seat after removing the fabric but, here’s how the new one looked after I’d traced it and cut it out with the jigsaw. I’m wondering if someone had redone the seat before and that would explain why the cushion looked like it was spilling over? I knew it was too big but, I really just wanted to make sure.

Thrift store chair with oversized wooden seat - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

Now that the piece was manageable, I drew in pencil underneath to get it more in line with the chair’s frame and cut.

Thrift store chair - outlining where to cut along the new seat - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

I kept the foam as it didn’t show any signs of stains or disintegration and it didn’t have a funky smell. I did trim it though since my new seat was smaller.

Thrift store chair - cutting the foam down - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

For covering the cushion, I followed this video and it’s the best video I’ve seen on recovering a cushion and the result is the best seat cushion I’ve ever recovered!

The seat isn’t attached here, I was just checking it out. I also got this unbelievably gorgeous and shimmery fabric at the thrift store. Lots of it.Thrift store chair with a brand new recovered seat - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.comNow, the other side of the seat made me smile more than the top. Since the chair will have storage, I wanted the underside to be just as pretty as the top. I even lined up the design along the front. It wasn’t necessary but, sometimes I get an idea and have to go with.

All I did was trace out the seat onto another piece of fabric. Starting in a corner, I folded it under for a clean line, stapled, and repeated all the way around. We have this stapler and I love it. Although, I believe it may be cheaper if you happen to have a Harbor Freight by you. I also wrote a bit about how it doesn’t have safety when I posted about this chair I recovered.

Thrift store chair with a brand new covered seat - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

In order to figure out the shelf’s measurements, I measured the underside of the chair at it’s widest points which would hopefully ensure it wouldn’t be too small. I can always take away and obviously can’t add if I take out too much.

The trickiest part was the fact it was tapered. It was longest along the front at 19″ tapering back to 14 3/4″ wide at the back.

Thrift store chair - measurements for the shelf - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

I first cut out a 3/16″ piece of scrap along the 19″ lines and 17 1/8″ lines. I’d cut along the yellow line after I held it up to the chair just to make sure I was thinking correctly with the measurements.

Thrift store chair - Cutting the bottom panel for the shelf - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

Hmm, too big. At least it was near the right size and I could get a better look for how to proceed. Until I get the piece to the size I need, I won’t be able to fit it underneath which is where it’ll be attached.

Thrift store chair - Testing out the shelf piece - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

Originally I thought I would attach this shelf piece to the bottom edges of the frame but, changed my mind to instead attach it to the 4 diagonal pieces on the bottom and since the seat won’t be screwed down permanently, it wasn’t a big deal to cover up the screw holes in the middle of those diagonals. From underneath, I sloppily traced onto the wood, along the angles from all 4 corners.

Thrift store chair - outlining where to cut along the diagonal supports - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

Thrift store chair - diagonal supports outlined - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

Almost there. I’ll trim it a bit more until it rests within the chair’s frame.

Thrift store chair - shelf cut - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

I spray painted the bottom of the shelf piece just because. On the side that will show when the seat is lifted off, I’ll mod podge the same fabric onto it.

Thrift store chair - shelf being covered - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.comThrift store chair - using mod podge on the shelf - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

I foundΒ  after I’d glued the fabric down, I still needed to trim the wood. I sliced off some fabric and put it through the band saw. Do you see that little dark spot in the lower left corner below? That’s a glob of mod podge I didn’t catch before it had dried. I ended up mod podging the top and now it’s all as dark as that spot.

Thrift store chair - trimming the chair shelf - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

Drat, there’s a gap in the back and a little in the front. I made some cording using the same fabric and hot glued around. This video shows you how to make cording even though it goes into more detail than what I needed for this project.

Thrift store chair - Shelf in place - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

Thrift store chair - Cording trimmed shelf - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

Since the chair seat will not be attached, I added some “stoppers” so that the seat wouldn’t easily slide off which I really don’t think it would have. I painted them white after I knew where they’d go.

This also gives me an excuse to show you our baby. He’s 5 years old and scared of everything which is why I had to take a pic of him sitting so close to me while I was drilling. More importantly he’s sleeping while I’m drilling!! You’re witnessing something we rarely see.

Thrift store chair - little helper - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com

Once those were done, I sprayed the cushion with some Scotchgard and that was it. Alice in Wonderland was my favorite book when I was young and I still have it. It’s been through a lot, covered in water damage and doodles. I think I would have loved to have a chair like this as a kid. A chair made especially for me. What do you think of it?!

Chair makeover with storage to hold a book under the seat - ambientwares.com

Thrift store chair - Finished compartment - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com Thrift store chair - Alice in Wonderland book in chair compartment - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com Thrift store chair - Alice in Wonderland book on chair shelf - Chair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.comChair makeover with added storage compartment under the seat - ambientwares.com Chair makeover with added storage to hold a book under the seat - ambientwares.com

 


Thrift Store Chair Makeover with Added Storage Under Seat - ambientwares.com

Related ambient wares posts:

44 thoughts on “Chair Makeover with added storage compartment under the seat

  1. Did you read my mind? This is exactly what I’ve been planning on doing with a chair I have, adding storage to it! I keep telling my husband he can’t throw it out because I will do it one day! Thanks for linking up to #HomeMattersParty

  2. Love the chair and love your baby! Excited to try it myself on a chair where I have been planning on recovering the seat. One question, did you put three or four stoppers on the top seat. Wouldn’t the seat still slide with only three stoppers. Thanks.

    1. Hi Debby! I only put 3 stoppers in and didn’t worry about the back side at all. I figured the weight of a person big or small would hold it still enough but, definitely throw a 4th one in there if you’d like! Let’s just say when I sit on it, it doesn’t shift any which way πŸ˜€ Thank you so much and I’d love to see what you decide!

  3. Wow. I’m super impressed with this whole project! I love the creativity of adding storage to it. I’ve never been brave enough to do anything that required fabric – recovering/reupholster/etc. Yours turned out great though, and I will definitely have to check out the video you linked to. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh my gosh, Amy, I’m usually not that great at recovering and I always want it “perfect”. Watching this video really pointed out the corners which is the hardest part for me. It was a whole different outcome having watched it. Thank you so much and I hope you find the video as helpful as I did πŸ˜€

  4. This is SUCH a good idea! I did a couple thrift chair makeovers but never thought to add storage under the seat! Great work – I’ll have to try this out very soon πŸ™‚ {Coming in from #ccblogparty}

  5. Wow! I would never have thought of putting storage in a chair like that! That is so neat, my granddaughters would love a secret place like that to hide treasures in. Thank you for sharing with us at Create and Celebrate!!

    1. Oh my gosh, every time I think about it, it makes me smile. Now, I don’t know what to do with it πŸ˜€ I think I’ll gift it to one of the kiddos in the fam

  6. The finished chair is gorgeous, unrecognisable from the before pictures! I love the secret storage, if we had a chair like this I know my 4 year old would stash all sorts of things in there!
    Lianne | Makes, Bakes and Decor

    1. Thanks Michelle πŸ™‚ He looks mostly lab but, he’s on the small side. Sometimes he has the look of a pit bull in his face. We really have no idea! πŸ˜€

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *