Sunday, 22 September 2013

Trash to Treasure - transforming a chair and a table

As I have mentioned before in my "R is for Rubish" in the A - Z of Australia, around "Verge collection time", some people go around on their trucks collecting little treasures that people throw away.
Fortunately in Australia, it's actually fashionable to recycle and reuse old stuff, vintage is the new modern!

Last month, it was verge collection time in our neighbourhood, and on one of my walks I spotted a Papasan chair at the end of my street. 
Yes, it's called "Papasan" - I didn't know either and had to search it under images for "round cane chair", until I spotted one.

The finished Papasan chair
The chair wasn't yet on the verge, just sitting next to the rubbish bins. The reason might have been, that you're not supposed to put things out until 2 weeks before collection date begins.

I liked the chair, it was in great condition, although it had no pillow.
I asked my son and daughter in law if they would like it for their house, since they are still furnishing their place after getting married two months ago, and they had a sitting area where the chair could fit.

I kept an eye on it, until one day as I drove into the street I saw it on the verge.
I quickly jumped out of the car, opened the boot and in it went. 

A few days later my daughter in law came to spend the day, and I took her out to buy fabric to make a pillow and a few cans of black spray paint to modernize the chair.
The pillow all sewn up and ready to be stuffed
old pillows
Luckily S is very much at home with a sewing machine and a needle and she quickly cut the fabric and sewed it into a big round pillow case.
I had lots of old pillows which were going into the rubbish and she used these for the stuffing.
To finish off she started by joining the back and front through the stuffing, to put a button in, but after a few attempts it was getting quite difficult as the stuffing was very thick, so she decided to leave it plain.

trying out if the pillow stuffing would be enough
All the sewing over, it was time to lightly sand the cane chair and then spray paint it in black.
It took about 3 cans of paint to finally cover it completely, but it looks very modern and bright now in it's new home.

The newly renovated Papasan
Around the same time I also saw this little side table which I also picked up. It was a bit wonky, missing a bottom link between sides to make it stable. That was soon remedied when I screwed a piece of wood from each side. The table was black, but had many scratches, so I used the electric sander to make it look better, and then used 1 can of dark grey spray paint to bring it back to life.

In the middle of being spray-painted

Although I was the one renovating this side table, after finishing it, it would be given to my son for his house.
Since their decorating colour scheme is red, black and white, I bought some scrapbooking paper with those colours and set about decorating the table. 

It was still missing a coat of varnish when I gave it to my son and daughter in law, but as they were going to varnish the Papasan chair, I thought they might as well finish the table.

The finished table

It looks quite funky and can be used as a side-table in the bedroom or lounge.
So for very little money they got 2 new pieces of furniture for their home.

What do you think of my verge collection finds and the renovated version?
Have you ever found anything interesting enough to give it a second lease in your home?


  1. Está tudo espectacular, mas adorei a cadeira puff. Ficou linda! Parabéns!
    Também gosto muito de reciclagem.
    Beijinho e Bom Domingo!

  2. Obrigada Sandra. Tenho pena nao ter tido espaco para ela, senao era eu que ficava com ela.

  3. Aprendi uma palavra nova: Papasan. :-) E ficou bem giro.

  4. Belas reciclagens!
    Eu ando sempre a ver os "monos" que deixaam junto aos caixotes do lixo, mais ainda não encontrei nada tão interessante.

  5. I think it is great to be creative enough to see the potential of "discarded" items and give them a new life. Usually you end up with unique items that give character to your decor.

    We used to have to big papasan chairs from Indonesia but did eventually get rid of them as we had no room for them. But they are fun chairs, and with a change of fabric they're easy to change. Love your black paint!

  6. Miss Footloose - Thanks for visiting. Papasan chairs do occupy a huge space, but they are very comfy.

  7. Mara - por aqui ha tanta coisas interessante que deitam fora, por vezes penso que foram deitadas fora por engano, pois sao bons artigos.

  8. Love the Papasan chair and the little table. Well Done!!!

  9. Thanks Amy. I love doing up little bits, I already have my next project.


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