This DIYer’s Vintage Chair Redo Features a Clever Budget Upholstery Hack

published Jun 24, 2020
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Before: A vintage wooden chair with cutout swayed back, sitting in a grassy backyard.
Credit: AT Video

Experienced DIYers know: You don’t always get to work with perfect conditions. Sometimes the obstacles are budget constraints, sometimes they’re tight time frames, sometimes they’re limited materials. Sometimes they’re all three! That was especially this true this spring, when COVID-19 prompted stay-at-home guidelines in most of the country. We wanted to see how our favorite DIYers used that added new challenge to inspire their creativity, so we rolled out Megan’s Mystery Makeover season two.

The rules for this DIY makeover challenge were simple: DIYers needed to make over something they already owned using materials they already had at home. We gave them an inspiration word to get started, and then we let them loose to create (and document the process).

Our first DIYer, Elena of @thishouse5000, received “The 1960s” as her challenge word and created a punchy pendant light from an old utensil crock. Last week, designer Mikel Welch got “The 1980s”; he let his challenge word guide him to a box of old 1980s-style picture frames, which he turned into a charming terrarium.

For this week’s episode—the last of this season—we turned to Carli of Made by Carli. On her blog and Instagram, Carli’s documented the impressive DIY transformation of her 140-year-old Victorian home. With a house full of handmade accents including peg rails, coffee tables, and more, we were eager to see what Carli could create with her challenge word: The 1920s.

With the Roaring ’20s in mind, Carli pulled an old chair her husband had scored at an auction. It had been in storage waiting for a redo, and now was the time! Carli decided she’d spruce up the frame and change out the seat upholstery—which involved a super clever hack that saved her tons. Watch the video above to see the transformation and Carli’s smart upholstery hack. You’ll be inspired to use it next time you pick up an old garage sale or thrift store chair!