#16 – Chair Caning

Publicity photo for the production of "Grease".  This was such a fun night in the parking lot of the Olmos Pharmacy with the local car club. Yes, I played the obnoxious cheerleader Patty Simcox!

I was 16 and this was a publicity photo for the production of “Grease”. This was such a fun night in the parking lot of the Olmos Pharmacy with the local car club. Yes, I played the obnoxious cheerleader Patty Simcox!  No surprise there!


Many of you know that I have another blog flipbyphipps.com where I talk about and show the pieces of furniture that I flip and sell at a flea market or to friends.  It’s a hobby I started last summer to have some sort of creative outlet, but it grew and I knew I needed to start selling all those cute little pieces of unloved furniture that I was picking up.  I don’t pretend to be highly skilled, a carpenter or furniture repair expert. If minor repairs are needed I can often do that, but mostly I just refinish and paint them so that they can have new lives and new homes!

Last summer I took an into upholstery class so that I can do minor re-upholstery projects.  Seat covers are easy, but if I can ever get to my mom’s old sewing machine, which is buried under paint brushes, stencils, fabric, etc.,  and try to remember how to run it, I could do more.  But I also find a lot of chairs with cane seating that needs to be replaced.  We’ve all seen them in thrift shops, yard sales and the side of the road because no one knows how to repair them.  Well, now I do!!

I took a class on chair caning but we’re learning much more than that.    I wish I had remembered to take a picture of it before with the old torn cane.  Oh well, trust me.  Here’s what steps 1-3 look like.  I know, it doesn’t look like much, but wait!

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It’s complicated, but not impossible…obviously.  There is also something very calming about sitting and just focusing on the process.  Oh yeah, and Mia thinks it’s great fun too!!  She is sure that the long strands of cane are toys for her!!

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Here’s an action shot.

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It looks pretty good I think! and then…..  TA DAAAAA!!!

Here I am posing with the chair and my fabulous instructor Ron!!  And yes, you can sit on the chair!

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But wait!!  There’s more!

Not only have I learned how to cane a chair, but I can also do Shaker weave. Now Ron will be the first to tell you that he HATES painted furniture!  LOL!  I get it.  I have a decorative arts background and I absolutely love unpainted wood. But with my little furniture flipping business, I’ve discovered that some pieces just need a new life and appeal, and sometimes that does mean paint.  I promised him that I am going to work on learning how to properly strip and refinish wood without paint.  BUT, just look at this cute chair that I brought to class.  Check out the before and after.

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I convinced Ron, at least I think I did, that it’s cute and someone will definitely want this chair.  Did I mention that Ron HATES painted furniture!  I think it’s adorable!

So this 50for50 was a two-fold event.  Not only does it count as something I’ve never done, but I can definitely use this new skill for my flips!!  I still have two weeks in the class, I’m not sure what the next project will be.  Check out the other blog!!

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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One thought on “#16 – Chair Caning

  1. Averil Svahn

    My Mom took a caning class, what I remember most is the caning strips soaking in the bathtub. The chair looks great!

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