Upcycled Furniture

Danish Cord Chair Makeover

We love a good DIY project! Not only is it fun to give new life to old things, it is a great way to keep items out of the landfill. Part of a sustainability mindset is finding ways to use what we already have and therefore purchase less.

The DIY Project: Creating new woven Danish cord seats

Why I Loved It

I had been looking for reasonably priced but sturdy and beautiful chairs when I came across a set of four chairs and table on Craigslist for $200.  They were a beautiful aged teak with glowing grain and beautiful construction details, truly timeless items! 

The Plan

The wood of the table and chairs didn’t require any refinishing however the paper Danish cord seats were stained and smelled of smoke. I priced out professional replacement of the seats and it came out to about $1,200 for the set – more than the whole set was worth. After watching a few weaving tutorials online I decided to try replacing the seats myself. 

Supplies List

  • Teak oil
  • Canvas work gloves

The Process

I used teak oil to clean and polish the wood of the chairs as they were in very good condition.

The best piece of advice I can give is to purchase a piece that has all of the nails used to hold the cord intact.  It helped immensely that the nails on these chairs were still solid and in good shape as I was able to use the example chair to copy the old wrap pattern.  YouTube has some great tutorial videos as well.

It took a few days (approximately four hours per chair) but the results were nothing short of amazing -it was hard to believe that a beginner effort could look this good!

I found that the cord would self-tension itself quite effectively so it wasn’t hard to keep the row spacing and seat tension consistent throughout each seat and all of the chairs.  My biggest fear was saggy seats, but it really wasn’t an issue. 

The Finished Product

The chairs were used with a tulip table from IKEA, a turned wooden bowl I found at the thrift store and an amazing West Elm chandelier, courtesy of Craigslist.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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