Not-So-Easy Chair

Remember when I said that Scott was going to reupholster our Plycraft Lounger himself? I bet you guys thought I was lying because then I never showed you the finished product.   But we did actually do it!   (Again WE in these situations is Scott, although I held the staples.)   A little back story:

Grandpa Barry (Delilah’s Grandpa, not our Grandpa) gave us this Plycraft Lounger a few years back.   Here’s a before picture:

So, not a bad looking chair, considering it’s age.   It’s a pretty decent knockoff of the Eames Lounge except it rocks.   No, literally, it rocks.   And when putting together Dee’s modern nursery, we thought maybe instead of investing in a glider we should look into giving our trusty old Plycraft the new upholstery job it deserved.    But then we started shopping around, and found that people charge kind of a lot of money to reupholster these bad boys…  And then we stumbled across THIS BLOG via Apartment Therapy and found pretty much step by step instructions on how to go about doing it ourselves, and we [I] thought it would be an excellent idea for us [Scott] to do ours ourselves, too.

Fate intervened, and when Scott’s Mom and Barry moved into a new house over the summer, they found a few sides of vintage white [snakeskin embossed, it’s subtle, and it’s awesome] leather just sitting in the garage.   They offered it to us for the chair, and when we laid out the sides and discovered that we had six pieces amounting to almost exactly what we needed for the chair (but still with enough for a safety margin) Scott couldn’t fight it [me] any longer and he finally agreed to give it [the chair] a go.

Following Amanda’s [if you didn’t click that link above, she’s the lovely lady who’s chair inspired us] lead, we opted to have the buttons done professionally, but with the baby on the way, and the crib still a work-in-progress (yes, that’s how long ago we actually did this project) we decided to leave the welting and the armrests to the professionals as well.    Scott had the idea to bulk up the padding on the armrests and add welting to mimic the Eames version more closely.   [Unfortunately they only sort of did what we asked, and kind of botched the armrests anyway, but we have enough leather left to give it one more try one day]   Scott managed to reupholster the damn thing in about a week’s worth of evenings, and while we left the refinishing of the wood for a later date, he did buff up the chrome legs with some steel wool, and they cleaned up really nicely.

Okay, so all in, since the chair was free, and the leather was free (woot!) we paid $60 for the welting/buttons/armrests job, and about 11$ for the jumbo box of heavy-duty staples.   That’s it.   We already had the steel wool, and we used the original stuffing.   (Price-wise, it should be noted that the upholsterer gave us a discount on the armrests because it took them freakin’ forever, they did an admittedly sub-par job, and, well, we had no choice but to take them, ’cause you can’t feed your newborn baby in a chair with jagged metal brackets for arm rests.)   Anyway, SCOTT DID AN AWESOME JOB, and the chair is working out great as our rocker in the nursery.   It’s so comfy that Dee and I spend most of our nights in it.   (Actually, that’s not why.   But being cozy certainly helps cushion the sleep-deprived blow.)

Feed Me Seymour

  18 comments for “Not-So-Easy Chair

  1. April 2, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Oh Brother …What would we do without you? …and I mean that literally, Scott. I need you to hang my tv wall mount please and my round black mirror. lol

    Also, ladies and gents, please know that while this photo is FANTASTIC …the chair in person is unbelievably awesome {as is Dee’s nursery in general} …I so want to steal it.
    .-= …love Maegan´s last blog ..Completely Gratuitous Outfit Post =-.

  2. April 3, 2010 at 4:40 am

    Wow – what an awesome job you guys (Scott) did on that chair!
    .-= CrossedxFingers´s last blog ..April =-.

  3. April 3, 2010 at 7:53 am

    That is so groovy. Yep, groovy. I love it! Looks chic and comfortable!

  4. April 3, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Great job. My wife and I were thinking of this kind of classic lounger as an alternative to the standard glider. I, of course, had my hopes on an Eames, but apparently that is not in the budget.
    .-= Artsipop´s last blog ..There Will Be No Teddy Bears & Rainbows =-.

    • Morgan
      April 4, 2010 at 7:40 am

      See…the nice thing about the Plycraft is that it’s NOT an Eames, so tearing the upholstery apart in the name of DIY doesn’t feel so naughty. Also, I didn’t feel guilty straying from Eames’ mandated black leather, since it wasn’t *really* their design I was decimating anyway.

      • April 4, 2010 at 11:56 am

        The Eames Office collaborated to create a white chair for Vitra…they would approve :)

        • Morgan
          April 5, 2010 at 11:31 am


  5. April 3, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    I need an address and a U-haul. I adore the chair!

  6. April 4, 2010 at 7:05 am

    that is incredibly impressive! I remember my mom reupholstering a chair for my grandma. It was hell to watch as a kid.

    stopping by from SITS!


  7. April 4, 2010 at 7:40 am

    The chair looks fabulous! I would have never guessed that it was reupholstered. Kudos to both of you!
    .-= browneyes_24b´s last blog ..Books books books! =-.

  8. April 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    I’m so happy my blog could help! Way to go on the chair – looks super crisp and snazzy in white. Really nice job – it’s so satisfying to sit in a chair you’ve made your own isn’t it?

    Cheers, Amanda.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Darling Dexter {The Jet’s Desk} =-.

  9. January 4, 2013 at 12:22 am

    I have a similar chair I’m trying to get reupholstered in leather, but the upholsterer is telling me that the leather is too thick for the button forms. His suggestion was to match a vinyl to the leather for the buttons, which seams like a cheap (as in crappy, not inexpensive) solution. Did you run into this problem as well? Or is this guy just ill-informed? Certainly they make a button form for heavier fabrics?

    • Morgan
      January 4, 2013 at 8:29 am

      I didn’t have that problem — our buttons were done to match in vintage, very rigid leather, so that seems fishy to me. We did however let the upholsterer who did our armrests talk us in to using vinyl piping there and I could throttle him the difference was so glaring. Good luck!

  10. Franchesca S.
    July 2, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Just discovered this site by happy accident. I have had an Eames knockoff sitting my bedroom for years and was thinking of throwing it away. But the wood is in good shape and after reading this, (and, I may take a stab at upholstering it.



    • Morgan
      July 2, 2014 at 10:30 am

      Good luck! It’s a fun project!

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