DIY Inspiration: Mid-Century Shell Chair Updates & Upgrades

published May 30, 2016
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(Image credit: Melodrama)

We love the classic Eames shell chairs for all their beautiful simplicity, but even the most classic and beautiful things in life can sometimes use an upgrade. Whether you’ve got an original in need of restoration or a knockoff that could use some jazzing-up, there’s a project here to suit your chair — and your style.

Decoupage Banana Leaf Chair by Melodrama (shown above)

Print out a banana leaf pattern, decoupage it to the seat, paint the legs coral, and voila—tropical chair!

This unicorn chair was created with just holographic tissue paper and Modge Podge.

(Image credit: Lovely Indeed)

This chair is totally transformed with only vinyl tape, gold tape, and an X-Acto knife.

(Image credit: Brit + Co)

This tissue paper and Modge Podge project takes a bit more patience.

(Image credit: Dream Green DIY)

Transform a chair with just two paints: pastel for the seat, metallic for the legs.

(Image credit: A Joyful Riot)

This project also only requires two spray paints, but mixes things up with a fancy swoop.

(Image credit: Shrimp Salad Circus)

Vinyl Polka Dots Tutorial by Shrimp Salad Circus

Cute dots punched out of adhesive vinyl add a playful touch to a plain shell chair.

(Image credit: Lebenslustiger)

Shell chairs are graceful and lovely but not very cushy; remedy that with these chunky pads.

(Image credit: Mox & Fodder)

If you’d rather heal your chair rather than spice it up, here’s a walkthrough of the restoration process. Warning: “To be totally honest, the whole process was a major pain.”