Postal Chair ~ My New Chair Makeover

Hi you guys, aren’t you all very nice making me feel that I am not crazy, split-personality and all. I guess when it comes to not being able to make up my mind as regards to my style of preference, I am in good company.

But enough about that, today I want to share a project that is finally finished. Really finished as in tie a ribbon around it and call it DONE!

I turned an old chair of my parents into a postal bag chair.



It was kind of a giant project and that part I finished during my summer break. But then, inspired by Just Jeanette’s postal chairs I had it in my head I wanted to make a bag to go along with the chair. And that took me until today to finish.

But he it looks cute doesn’t it.

Well this is how the chair started out:


Chair Before Makeover


It belonged to the dining room set of my parents. They have had this from the day they were married back in 1953. I remember when we moved my father into his retirement apartment, he took the table and three of the chairs with him, but his apartment was too small for the full set. So as nobody wanted them the remaining three chairs were put into the van to be taken to the dumpster.

And as soon as my brothers drove out of the street, I got this big lump in my throat and a stone in my stomach. That was my mother’s beloved furniture that she loved so much and took care of every day. I couldn’t stand the thought of those pieces ending up at the landfill. So my sister and I raced after my brothers and I was able to catch up with them at the exact moment my brother was lifting the first of the chairs into the dumpster.

I have never seen more surprised faces…

And I guess I am a really sentimental twit…

Anyway the chairs came home with me and were later reunited with the ones my father used.

And now the first one got a makeover.


Postal Chair Makeover 8


I used postal bags my friendly postman left at my door. ‘Eigendom’ means property of. PTT stood for Post Telephone and Telegraph and used to be the States postal service. These days we have TNT just like the rest of the world.


Postal Chair Makeover 5


The chair got a fresh coat of white paint (of course) and I distressed all the edges and the wood carvings. And I used a really big and kind of rustic rope to frame the edges.

And then there is the added touch of the bag.


Postal Chair Makeover 11


I used leftovers to sew it together, added a little pocket and freehanded a postal stamp on it. I think it turned out really cute.


Postal Chair Makeover 10


I would leave little love-notes for My Love in this pocket if I thought there was any chance in the world that he would ever remember to look for them there.

I really like how these hooks look. They are the original hooks that were on the bag. They are used to hang the bag on the post-box so that the postman can empty the box with his hands free. The strip is a seam I cut of and attached to the chair with Velcro. This way I can easily take the bag off.


Postal Chair Makeover 3


This makeover project definitely was a challenge. I had never done anything like this. I took pictures all the way through the project though, so just let me know if you would like to know the how-to and I could do a follow-up post showing you how I did it (edited: I made the post with the how to, you can find it here).


Postal Chair Makeover 4


PS Isn’t it great that roses just keep blooming until the frost really kicks in.


Postal Chair Makeover 9


Yep, another corner of my bedroom finished. This bedroom makeover is taking forever but as long as I keep trudging on one project at a time, it all will get done (although I am not holding my breath that I will be done before 2011 is here, just saying).

Oh and did you see that lovely book wreath.


Paper Bookpage Wreath 2


I originally made if for the guest bed room. But when it was finished is was so big and luscious that it was way too big for that small room, so I repurposed it for my bed room.

I used Lindsay’s (from the blog Living with Lindsay) tutorial for her book page wreath , and following her lead it was easy peasy to make (except for a few glue gun burns).


Paper Bookpage Wreath


So how do you like my postal chair? And are you happy I am back at blogging about makeovers? Yeah me too.


Added: I did a full tutorial on how I reupholstered the chair.



Postal Chair Makeover 1

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  1. banananutmeg says

    I'm in love with this.
    WHAT is a postal bag? I want some! They look darling! Does your mail come in a burlap colored linen bag???
    I want some, where can I get the bags? (since I live in a place where the post man drives a beat up stationwagon and my mail consists of junk ads and bills?

  2. Wanda says

    I LOVE the chair, but mostly I LOVE the story behind it!!! As I was reding it my eyes were moist and I have a smile on my face thinking of your mother!!!

    I also think the little pocket in your bag it is lovely touch that your family will cherished as much as the chair.
    thank you for sharing with us the beautiful story as well!!!
    best regards,

  3. Laura @ 52 FLEA says

    Fabulous! I love this look and everything about it…you did a wonderful job! So glad you rescued your Mom's chairs!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Haley@ says

    I saw your beautiful chair over at Miss Mustardseed's party. I love it! So creative. And freehand painting as well… too cool.


  5. Kolein says

    Marianne, your chair, its history and its new life are gorgeous! Simply gorgeous!

    I LOVE mail bags. If I ever get my act (the other one) together I'd like to start making these and selling them. In NYC the messengers carry them. When I lived there I was in love with these bags. At the time, they were not IN. So no store ever carried them. Now they are sort of IN. I've actually spotted them in Target.

    Yours has more personality and style!


  6. Allison says

    What a touching story. I'm a sentimental person myself so I would have done the same thing. I love your chair and the postal bag! You did a beautiful job. That is a chair to be treasured! I'm new to your blog from seeing your chair on Miss Mustard Seed.

  7. Jenni says

    It turned out really cute. Rescuing them was a good thing, though I don't envy the task of doing six of them. I made a slipcover for a dinning chair last November and the remaining seven chairs still need covers made. I did, however, just make over a dinning chair that started out velvet also. And my decorating is a VERY slow, always in progress kind of transformation too. Good luck!

    House of White

  8. Marianne says

    Wat mooi! Ik vind vooral de tas het einde.
    Ik weet niet wat voor werk je doet, maar volgens mij heb je toch de verkeerde baan 😉
    Prettig weekend!

  9. All That Jazz says

    Wonderful makeover on the chair! Seriously, one of the coolest I've seen!:) I wish I had the guts to tackle projects like that, LOL!!

  10. marga says

    Wauwwwwwwwww…………wat is ie mooi geworden. En dat voor een eerste keer, petje af hoor!
    Vind die zak eraan ook prachtig.
    Die krans heb ik ooit eens op een amerikaanse blog gezien…….mooi hoor.
    Fijn weekend, liefs Marga

  11. LiLi M. says

    Wat is-tie leuk geworden en met het verhaal erachter nog mooier! Ik vond dat destijds zo'n vondst van Jeanette (de gestoffeerde stoel zagen we natuurlijk al langer) die tas, leuk dat jij die ook gemaakt hebt, ik vind dat wel echt nog iets extra's aan de stoel geven. Die oude foto's erin en die grote stempel erop geven het geheel dan weer een eigen touch. Je moeder kan heeeeel trots op je zijn! Fijn weekend!

  12. Mayflower says

    Wat een prachtige metamorfose Marianne, de stoel is echt prachtig geworden en zo leuk ook met het tasje voor tijdschriften en-of de afstandbediening.
    Ik heb hier ook nog een oude postzak liggen, in mijn tuinhuisje doet hij nu NOG dienst om allerlei spulletjes in op te bergen, maar ik krijg hier wel inspiratie van.
    Fijn weekend.
    Lieve groet, Mea

  13. Claudia says

    Marianne, that chair is simply gorgeous! I love what you did with it and the addition of the bag is perfect. I don't think we have postal bags like that here – but I would snap one up if we did!


  14. The Pleasures of Homemaking says

    Love it! You did an absolutely fabulous job! I like takling things that are a bit difficult or that I've never done before – it's always such a good learning experience!


  15. Saving Grace says

    I seriously love this!!!! So clever! How did you get the post man to leave those super cute bags for you??? And where can I find something like that? Great idea! Great job!!

  16. Weerspiegeling says

    Wauw, wat is die stoel geweldig mooi geworden!! Super dat een stoel met zulke fijne herinneringen op zo'n mooie manier nog weer jaaaaaren mee kan. Een 'how to'? Ja graag!
    fijn weekend Marianne!
    groetjes, Anita

  17. Jeanette says

    Wauww!!…ik zie dat het je gelukt is, mooi hoor! Die tas aan de stoel maak het helemaal af, leuk nog even dat extra zakje erop. Fijn dat ik je heb kunnen inspireren, je moeder kan trots op je zijn:-)

    Fijne zondag, liefs Jeanette

  18. Morgane @ Bear,Dolly and Moi says

    your chair is really nice, it is hard to believe it is the same chair! the fabric looks amazing!
    the wreath is also really cool, I have seen a few around, I like them all!

  19. Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming says

    Wow simply gorgeous. I love the history and memories it carries along. Lovely transformation and the postal bag is fabulous – amazing job! Hope you are enjoying your weekend! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  20. Stephanie says

    Loved reading your history behind the chairs, memories are what makes a home, I am glad you had a pit in your stomach and went after them. It looks wonderful.

  21. Allie et Cie says

    Your chair is wonderful! I'm sure your mother would be happy to see her chair given new life and so much attention! You did a fabulous job!

  22. Bonjade says

    Wat is ie mooi geworden zeg!!!
    Super gelukt, nou je hebt echt eer van je werk.
    Een stoel om van te houden.
    En je krans ook al zo mooi
    Oh ik wil workshops!!! 😉
    Fijne zondag

  23. says

    Aren't the makeovers of something sentimental even more wonderful than the bargain junk ones?? I'm so glad you saved your mom's chair!! Its breath taking now.

  24. Cori says

    Just LOVING this project So much!!

    What a fanatic job you did on this girl!!! You should be very tickled with yourself.

    So pretty…sigh…


  25. Jane says

    Hi Marianne,
    Your chair makeover is fabulous! I was so glad to read that you saved those chairs before they made it to the dump. Love the postal bag fabric and the wonderful bag you made and added….a perfect touch.
    I'm your newest follower.

  26. Michelle @Shellsshabbyshack says

    What a great service you did for this chair. Good thing it didn't find it's way to the landfill. Looks beautiful! The mail bag couldn't be anymore perfect! Found your blog on Cottage Instincts… following along.

  27. cindy @ cottage instincts says

    Girlfriend, you nailed it! This is sooooo beautiful. Great idea for the bag too…how original! Going over to read the tute!

  28. Green Willow Pond says

    Love, love, love your chair and the story behind it. I have some furniture that was my grandmother's. I don't care for the style, but could never part with it. Eventually I want to change it up with paint somehow.

    You did a fabulous job. As far as I know, we don't have postal bags around here, but I'll bet one could use canvas, linen or even denim and stencils to get the look.

  29. Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia says

    This is an increadible makeover! You did a fabulous job and the transformation!
    Love your blog!
    Take care

  30. Anonymous says

    The chair looks lovely. But the first thought in my head, before I even saw the redo was (and pardon my virtual yelling here) WHY ARE THEY THROWING CHAIRS IN THE DUMPSTER??? Seriously, I'm baffled by this. Why would you throw a solid piece of vintage furniture in the dumpster? Why not at least donate them to Goodwill or another charity to sell? Or at least leave them on the curb (presuming you aren't living in the middle of nowhere) so that someone else can claim them and put them to good use? I have never been able to understand why people treat as garbage items that others could well find useful. Such a waste! And look at what a lovely thing you made with it! (Though I also think it was lovely before the redo).

  31. Meredith @ Welcome to Heardmont says

    What a beautiful furniture makeover! I found you via Better After, and I have to say, not many re-dos actually make me click over to the original blog to comment, but this one did! Amazing job. I especially like how you brought the edges of the upholstery in to show off more of the wood frame. Thanks for being an inspiration!

  32. Marianne@Songbird says

    Dear Anonymous.
    Yes it is baffling isn't it to think that we almost threw out these chairs. Except we didn't have many other options.
    First I live in the Netherlands, a small and somewhat crowded country. Leaving anything out on the curb is strictly forbidden (except for your trash packed up in the official sacks or containers and only on trash pick up day).
    So just leaving them for someone to find was not an option.
    Second, anything you bring to the dump, you'll have to pay for, rather big time. And it gets recycled from there. The cost of bringing something to the dump has led a lot of people to bringing their trash to the goodwill/recycle center. They are now very picky in what they take in. Especially with furniture. It should be sellable 'as-is' or they won't take it. And they are especially strict on upholstered furniture. These dining room chairs had been heavily used and the upholstery was not looking good but rather icky. Goodwill would not have taken them.
    I hope I have redeemed myself and my siblings a bit here.
    And thank you for your compliments on my chair.

  33. Emily says

    That's beautiful! You did an amazing job with it – I would love one of these in my dining room. Would you come visit sunny Florida and make one for me – pretty please? :)

  34. Amy Kinser says

    Ok, that chair is not cute, that chair is AMAZING! You did a fantastic job and I think your mama would LOVE it!

    I am a sentimental twit also. :)

  35. Shelly says

    Your chair is wonderful!!! What a great story too!
    I would love to get some of the postal bags to try to
    redo my mom’s old chair. Would you know where I might
    get them?
    Thank you,