$1 Thrift Store Chair Makeover!

April is here, and you know what that means: blizzards  garage sales!
( although, yeah. I guess blizzards come with April showers, too. -_- )

This week's treasure was more of a diamond in the rough: sponge bob square pants and a few layers of dirt.

(Even *if* in pristine condition: ew. What a disgusting chair. Of course, Ella could care less since anything she can sit on is pretty awesome...)

I hate Sponge Bob with a passion, which is probably why I felt the inexplicable urge to save this piece of furniture that was inevitably going to end up in the trash. The fabric was in awful condition, but the frame looked fantastic for .99 cents - SO HERE WE GO.
SUPPLIES I USED: Leftover Rose Gold Spray Paint ($0) | Muslin for the binding ($0) | Yellow Canvas Scraps ($0) | $1 Hideous Lawn Chair = a whopping $1
Can you tell I'm absolutely thrilled that I spent literally nothing on this project? Hoarding all your fabric scraps and paint really pays off in the end. :)

I started off by using a seam ripper to take off the original fabric. It was nasty as heck. Ew.

Just beautiful. You'll need to hang on to these for later.


Probably the most tedious part of the project was spray painting the chair frame. We live in an apartment complex with our garage being at a considerable distance, so I had to set up a bunch of plastic garbage bags and cardboard on the deck in order to spray paint this. Pretty sure it's breaking the lease somehow, so I just prayed my neighbors weren't too nosy. ;) I would recommend spray painting it while it's open to get all those nooks and crannies!

Using the yucky original fabric as a pattern, I cut out a whole new chair from some leftover canvas I had in my stash. It'd be way easier to use pre-made bias tape, but since I had nothing on hand, I made my own out of an ivory muslin and finished all my edges with a zig-zag.

(the curves are a little tricky!)

Now for the fun part - putting it all together! I pinned everything on and then tightened each section so the chair was taught. It took a little bit of maneuvering, but you get there eventually.

I'm not sure if there's any better way to do this, but I ended up hand stitching everything together using the frame as a guide. It turned out okay, and holds up fantastic! Super tedious, but worth it.

The original chair also had this back flap, which is too complicated to explain how I put on there.
(if you must know, I sewed on one side of the flap with the machine before I pinned the chair together. Then hand stitched it around the metal bar after everything was pinned on. Make sense? Yep. Didn't think so. I think it gives the chair more of a square shape, but isn't necessary for support.)

There it is! It turned out just like I envisioned, and was worth all the trial and error to get there. The perfect portable reading chair for Ella! (and it matched her color scheme perfectly!)

As you can see, she loves it!

With a little creativity and patience, I think this would be a pretty easy DIY to try - so keep your eyes peeled at those garage sales!

What's your best garage sale / thrift store find? 
Are you currently stuck inside from this insane winter storm?!?


P.s. Someone please take note of that adorable toddler bed I grabbed for a whopping $10. I almost died hauling it home, but IT IS SO CUTE!

P.P.S. If you're looking for fun garage sale makeovers, check out the play kitchen I made from a $5 nightstand!


  1. You are amazing! I love it. And thank you for saving humanity from that horrid Sponge Bob fabric. Ella looks like she’s enjoying both her bed AND her chair!

    1. @ Mama - Oh, Ella adores her bed. I wish she loved it that much for actual *sleeping*, but it makes the best fort for all our seasame street monsters!

  2. Ok, first of all, Ella is so cute it makes me want to cry. Second- girl I wish I had your diy skills. I'm way too impatient. Seriously though, the chair looks adorable! All the heart eyes <3

    1. @ Jana - Thanks, girl! I occasionally shed a tear myself over my adorable child. ;)

  3. I Love it! Ella’s chair turned out so nice!!(sponge bob IS horrible) And yes, I’m trapped inside my house for the most part.... it’s been great...

    1. @ Misty - I'm glad we agree on Sponge Bob - ew! I heard your area of Wisconsin got a lot of snow. CRAZY!?!

  4. nice with the chair! it's super cute, not as cute as Ella though:)
    and yup, when I live we have about 3 feet of snow:D ( don't you just love WI )

    1. @ Jane - Well, how perfectly lovely! Everyone wants an extra three feet of snow in April, right?

  5. The thought of getting this to turn out makes my brain hurt. YOU ARE AMAZING!! It turned out so beautifully!!

    1. @ Anna - Oh, stop. I'm sure you're just as capable of whipping something up like this. Thanks, though! ♥

  6. This is literally the cutest chair ever! I'm still in shock that you were about to convert a sponge bob chair into something so beautiful. Little Ella looks so adorable sitting in. She's growing up so fast. <3

  7. This is wonderful. So creative and very inspiring. Well done!


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Maira Gall