Well, after three and a half-ish long years, it’s time to part ways with one of the most beloved pieces of the house, M’s highchair. Everyone went crazy for it when I first pictured it forever long— before the days of pinterest, before I knew what I was even doing on this blog, and before I ever thought, hey, maybe people would like the steps I took to get here. Well, here we go again… highchair re-do round two. Because now, instead of a baby round two in the ohdeardrea home or just handing our used highchair off to goodwill (where I found it for a big bad 13$), we get to pass it down to my favorite baby: baby trudy….. but not without a proper fixer-up first 😉 She deserves a nice new-to-her chair with brand new cushions (that match her home!).
First things first: paint! You’re going to want something as safe and kid (human) friendly as possible. I mean, you’re going to practically be eating off the thing. So, something non toxic, with no odor, no VOC’s, safe safe safe is what you want. It’s your (or someone else’s) kid after all! I had a good bit of leftover paint from a gallon I used for our bathroom. It was a custom color I requested from quiet home paints to match the wall in my old home (you can see it below). “Light mint” say’s the bucket. I like quiet home paints a lot. Our whole house is painted in it. It’s one of the safest (and most beautiful) paints I’ve found… you can stick your head in the bucket and not smell anything. A satin would be best— not velvet, maybe not shell, but yes to satin finish.
Before anything, remove the hardware. I mean, you don’t have to, but I recommend it so you don’t have to worry about painting it. It’s one extra step that makes the whole process easier. Also, there’s probably gunk under there that you’re gonna want to clean out. After, lightly sand your chair, wipe it down a little bit… you actually want a bit of residue/dust leftover after sanding it, it’ll help the paint stick! Then paint. I recommend painting from the bottom up, because you will get drips that you’re going to have to work through. Two coats and you should be good. Three if you’re feeling like an overachiever.
Once your chair is dry as can be, grab a large piece of paper and tape it up, and trace the shape of the chair back and bottom, for your cushions…. leaving a little room leftover for a one inch sewing space. (I’m sure there’s a technical term for “sewing space”, but I don’t know it). Pin your paper onto you fabrics, and cut out two backs and two bottoms. I really like to use an outdoor canvas fabric. I typically find nice patterns &they’re nice and sturdy and easy to clean.
Place two bottom pieces together, with print on the inside. Pin your strap fabric into back corners (or whenever your best tie spot would be) and fold straps inside. I just used one (20 inch or so) ribbon/lace strip, folded in half. Pin fabric closed. Sew, leaving about a 4 inch space for reversing and stuffing…. then do that, you know, reversing and stuffing. So closed.
Do the same with the top (back) pieces. I like to hold the fabric up to the chair to line up where I want my straps to go too. Leave your stuffing hole at the bottom. Reverse, stuff, and then just go ahead and sew your pillows closed on the bottom. Contrasting thread can be fun! Tie pillows on, drill hardware back on, and plop your favorite baby in.
I’m pretty excited about this thing. I’m also super happy that Marlowe is so okay with giving up her chair. She’s having a hard time in the “no, this is mine phase”… which is well, not fun, but she’s three, so I can’t fault her (or myself) too much. But when I offered the option of sitting like a big girl and giving the chair to her much loved baby niece, she agreed it was a good idea 😉
I searched high and low and found the pictures of the first time I painted this thing. Marlowe was pretty excited and was mostly concerned where the cushions were in the picture. Also, when painting this thing, I looked up at Alex and asked, “how did I do this when I was pregnant? I’m so f’in stubborn.” He replied, “well what was harder, painting it pregnant or painting it with a 3 year old?” Both are hard, but pretty cool to have done this so long ago with a Marlowe in my belly and then three and a half years later with her help 😉
*also for safety reasons, check and double check your high chairs hardware. also, most highchairs need straps of some sort. this one had one safety strap that hardly worked. I eventually took it off which is why you don’t see it in the pictures… it worked more than fine for us, we were super careful and never had her alone,not even for thirty seconds, but I would not recommend doing this yourself. safety first!
*see old photos of my old home here.