On one of my frequent trips to the landfill I saw this guy throwing out a perfectly good outdoor rattan set. Sure it needed some love but I always got plenty of that for furniture. It was a vintage set the kind that was popular in the 60s and 70s. Vintage furniture from that time period holds a particularly large spot in my heart, and seeing this set in the back of this man's truck made me think of how many amazing cocktail parties must have surrounded its now faded frame (back in the day). For those of you that don't know, rattan back then was the straight up business. Wicker furniture has been around since the beginning of time it seems and originated in, you guessed it, China. It wasn't until Wakefield (a furniture making company in the good old USA) got their hands on it and basically cornered the market. The stuff got real popular in the days of flower power and Mad Men (who doesn't love that show?), and that is what drove me to approach this man like a crazy person and harvest the furniture out of his truck and into mine. So began my weekend project.
This is what I started with. It had no seat to it at all and the wood was in kind of rough shape. I wanted to keep it light and bright so I opted to spray paint the whole thing white. I just used regular matte white spray paint that was made for going over wood. No need to get too fancy considering this set will be outdoors.
I went to Home Depot with my measurements and got this particle board cut to fit for the seat of the outdoor sofa and two chairs that came with the set. Particle board is cheaper than plywood and holds up fine for this application. They will cut it for free at Home Depot all you have to do is buy the whole sheet of particle board which cost me roughly $11.
Here you can see I have my priorities straight in terms of the supplies needed to do the job correctly. I also had a mini boombox going which got rather silly later when my neighbor and her cute two year old son decided to have a outdoor dance party with me...which I loved!
I already had these outdoor cushions but they were really dirty and not the right size for my rattan set.
Since the stuffing inside the cushions was made to be rained on thousands of times I decided to re-purpose it by taking it out of the dirty cushion covers and laying it out in the appropriate thickness onto my particle board seats I had cut.
I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money on this project but I needed some outdoor fabric to cover the seats with so I went with drop cloth canvas. It is way cheaper than buying outdoor fabric. It holds up well in outdoor weather and is easy to maintain. I also really like the look of it. I spent $9 on this for the seats.
I upholstered the particle board seats that had the foam I re-purposed, and did the old pull and tuck method to get a smooth seat.
I don't know what I did before I owned this staple gun. I actually got it for free at a Ron Paul rally during the last presidential election. I was going though a political activist phase. As you can see it was worth it.
Ok, so this is my back deck now and I love it! I need to get a few more pillows for the back of the seats but I can worry about that later. For now these are a really nice addition to the outdoor space. My dogs think they are little kings because these are the only seats they are allowed to lay on so you can imagine the little egos that have been developing around here.
I think every outdoor space needs a little Christmas light romance. This is a sweet LED rope light that puts off the best warm light. I swear they are getting so good with these LEDs.
Come on over to my back yard!
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