Friday, 26 May 2017

Deckchair Makeover

This year I really needed to revamp our traditional deckchairs and this beautiful UK weather brought it to mind. I accidentally left one under our Portuguese Laurel tree last September and an unfortunate event occurred involving purple berries, pigeons and an idly misplaced deckchair. The before pictures are actually too disgusting to show you but even the one that was not in the firing line was very worn out and dirty.

Minerva's range of deckchair canvas helped me out. I chose 'Mablethorpe' (for a reason dear aunt and uncle!) which comes in exactly the right width to recover a deckchair. You need about one and a half metres per deckchair

Firstly bloke and I painted each chair with a coat of Danish oil. We had some in the shed, it soaks in quickly and you can keep topping it up through the Summer without having to remove the previous layer. It also has a lovely natural finish.

It is no exaggeration to say it took 15 minutes to make each one. All I had to do was make a casing on each end to slide the wooden baton through. Two rows of stitching for each one.

The fabric has a bound edge so there will be no stretching, ripping or going out of shape. It is not the cheapest of fabrics but it is the right one for the job so that the chair can live another five years. I am sorry it is such a drab photo but there is not another inch of our garden which has not been ransacked by the dog! 

If you like to care for your items, there was an interesting program on Radio 4 about how things are not built to last in our throw away society. There is a movement of people trying to counter this by sharing their skills of fixing electricals or sewing skills for clothes repairs.

'How long do you reasonably expect your electrical gadgets and clothes to last? Has the cheapening of products meant we're too ready to let them go when they break and buy new? Jheni Osman is sick of things breaking and the energy and resources that went into making them going to waste. She meets those who are fighting back and lengthening the lifecycle of their goods. Some products are now being built so they are difficult or too costly to repair. She meets campaigners who are calling for companies to be upfront about the life expectancy of a product alongside the price tag.' 

Food for thought. Enjoy the weather.

Thank you for such useful fabric Minerva which does exactly the job I wanted it to. Jo :)


  1. Great result for the chairs :) A rewarding project as getting rid of the chair frames as well as finding new chairs and taking delivery of them might possibly have seemed just as much work, and all a bit of a nuisance.

    I believe I came across a website a while ago that sources long lasting 'life-time' products (as sturdy as they could find). The drawback being that they were simply too expensive for most people to purchase at the onset, with basics costing hundreds of pounds (manufacturers will get their money somehow).

    Case in point; I have got through numerous sets of saucepans because I have a low budget with no room to manoeuvre and save up. Even the one more expensive set I did have, got the handles burnt off on a gas cooker, the others have buckled, lost their bottoms or non stick coating if they had it.

    Often it is simply replacement parts required but they prove impossible to get or are simply prohibitive in cost. I remember recently reading too from a 'sleep expert'that expensive is not always better with regard to mattresses and that people hang on to expensive ones for many years longer than they should, when they should buy cheaper and replace more often for health and hygiene reasons.

  2. The chairs look great! Especially in electronic gear I get caught in the trends of our throw away society, which fuels my desire to recycle and live simply...but enjoy the advances in communication and use the internet and electronic gear responsibly. Challenging! xx

  3. These look fabulous and the garden looks amazing too. I live in London so only have a few pots and a balcony so I'm very jealous right now!

  4. They look amazing, a great job. I am a great fan of recycling as much as possible and they have a great vintage look taking me back to deckchairs for hire on the beach. Great memories.

  5. After my appliance he** the last few weeks I have to agree. To many things are way too expensive to fix, it is almost cheaper to get new, but that does not help our environment at all. I did fix my fridge, but had to get a new dishwasher and garage door opener, although that last one was 16 years old. Love your new chairs Jo, you did a great job on the redo.

  6. I did our deckchairs last year. Great believer in mending rather than buying new. Not as hard as people think to get hold of spare parts for appliances and there seems to be a video to show you how to fix most things. In the last two years, we've saved the dishwasher, fridge and tumble dryer, to name but a few, with no need to call out an engineer. Is it cheaper than buying new? It has been each time for us.

  7. Lovely job and they look so inviting will be trying them out soon I hope.

  8. A promise of things to come. I see a lot of long, lazy afternoons in your future.

  9. Wonderful post Jo. So many just throw away and buy new without a thought for what becomes of our discarded items. I love to revamp and makeover old items so this makeover was a real treat. well done. xx

  10. Food for thought indeed. I can't bear the amount of waste that goes on these days, though I'm not sure what the answer is, as technology moves so fast. There's a lot to be said for the good old days. * she says while using wifi on her iPhone to type this from bed ....
    Anyway fab deckchairs, and I feel your pain regarding dogs ransacking gardens, ours is a right mess of holes that Pixie has dug!