Building Your Own Dining Chairs

June 4, 2022 0 Comments

I haven’t finished my chair yet. This one goes a little slower because I have to figure things out as I go. The next one will be faster. Fortunately, I only have two. Of course, I have six additional seats for the upholstery.

But honestly, I really enjoy this change. I’ve upholstered quite a bit over the years, but upholstery 10 chairs (two of which were built from scratch) in just a few weeks is a new challenge for me.

A few people tell me that they would never take on a project like building their own wingback chairs. That’s perfectly understandable. It’s a pretty involved project! Although on the difficulty scale from easy to difficult, I would put it somewhere around “moderate”.”If you have experience in construction / tooling, you should be able to handle it with ease.

And then a few people asked if it was really affordable to build my own chairs than just buy ready-made ones.

I had to stop and think about it, because while I’m always looking to save money by doing my own projects, building my own chairs (or doing crafts) isn’t always all about cost and inexpensive. The cost is almost always my first motivation to tinker with something, but there are other factors that are important to me.

I don’t know how much my wing seats will cost me in the end. I will list all my expenses and share them on my last dining chair post. But right now, I estimate they cost apiece. So I started looking for what I could buy in this price range.

This is an absolutely beautiful chair. But if you already know me, you can immediately see why this chair would not work for me. They had others with patterned / colorful fabrics, but none of them appealed to me at all. And per chair is a lot to pay for something that is not my style at all and would not look good in my house.

This world market chair is much more my style, with the colorful floral fabric on it, but this fabric would clash terribly with my kitchen. These would cost me for a pair, which isn’t bad just from a cost perspective. But if it’s not the right style or fabric and doesn’t fit my vision at all, it’s a waste of money.

Anyway, my point is that making my own chairs (or crafting other projects in my house) is not necessarily about making them as inexpensive as possible, although saving money is generally my original motivation and is almost always the result.

But the biggest satisfaction I get from making things like wingback chairs is that I get a fully customized look at a fraction of the cost I would pay to have this custom made item made for me. Habit is the key for me. I don’t want to make all these efforts to end up with a general-looking House.

Or maybe “generic” is the wrong word. Let’s see if I can explain it better. Have you ever walked into someone’s House and said to yourself “” this room looks like a page from The Pottery Barn catalog!” Affirmative. That. That’s exactly what I don’t want. I don’t want people to walk into my house and say, “Oh, I saw these chairs at Pier 1 the other day” or ” I have the same (place item Name Here).”

Honestly, I am very proud of the fact that there is practically nothing in my house that a person can see, like, and then rush and buy. You know how some bloggers have these” Shop our house ” pages where they fill up a page with affiliate links to the articles they used to decorate their homes? Affirmative… I would never be able to put such a page on my blog, and frankly, I love this fact.

I want my home to look like it’s specifically tailored to my personality, and no one else’s. Just me. All for me. (Matt doesn’t care what our house looks like, and he hates it when I ask for his input. He just wants me to be happy. Good for you.)

The whole idea came about because I fell in love with Schumacher’s Birds & Butterflies wallpaper and wanted to use this design somewhere in my home. But this wallpaper costs about per single roll and is sold in double rolls. To cover these panels and match the patterns perfectly (where you lose money and waste wallpaper with patterned wallpaper), it would have cost me more than and I would have left almost one and a half rolls, completely wasted.

So my first DIY motivation was to save money. There is no doubt about that. But when I turned it into a do-it-yourself project, I also had the opportunity to specifically adapt it to my personal taste.

My mom helped me by picking up my wants and desires (I wanted a less “scratchy” and harsh look on the branches and leaves, and I wanted an overall softer design) and designing a completely new branch and leaf pattern just for me, while keeping the birds and butterflies away from the wallpaper. And then, with my new custom-made design in hand, I got to work. It took me many hours to complete, but it cost me less than for a fully custom design that’s all mine.

If you want a very individual house, there are only two options: (1) to make it yourself, which will save you a lot of money, but take a lot of time, or (2) to rent out the work. I don’t know how much it would have cost to hire a local artist for the walls in my entrance, but I think it would have cost at least several few dollars.

So yes, saving money is always my first motivation for DIY projects like dining room chairs, murals, kitchen cabinets, etc. but end up with a completely custom made item that no one else has and getting it at a fraction of the cost it would cost to hire someone else to do / make / make this custom made thing…

That’s where this whole DIY thing goes from being practical to incredibly satisfying and exciting for me.

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