How to Make a Woven Chair Seat
Weatherproofing your patio furniture is possible without throwing out big bills. Use your existing mesh chairs, and give them a new look with weather-resistant webbing for the seat and back.
Channel a vintage vibe in your outdoor space by crafting woven seats and seat backs for your patio chairs. Use weather-resistant polypropylene webbing for the best defense against nature. Unify mismatched chairs with the same color paint and webbing pattern.
What You Need and How to Start
- Metal-frame patio chair with mesh seating removed
- Tailor's tape measure
- Velcro Industrial Strength Tape
- 2-inch heavyweight polypropylene webbing
- Eight clamps
- Speedy Stitcher sewing awl
- Speedy Stitcher coarse waxed thread
To determine the amount of webbing needed, wrap a tape measure horizontally around the seat back to calculate the horizontal circumference. Measure the height of the seat back and the length of the seat, add together, and divide by two. Multiply that number by the horizontal circumference to determine how much webbing in inches the horizontal layers will require. Repeat the process vertically around both the seat back and front-to-back around the seat. Add the horizontal and vertical totals plus 10 percent to determine the total amount needed.
Adhere strips of Velcro tape to both the front and back of the top left- and right-hand corners of the chair seat back, the area just above each of the armrests' two connection points, and to the bottom left- and right-hand corners of the chair seat.
Secure an end of the gray webbing to the top left front Velcro strip, looping the webbing around the chair frame before crossing the width of the seat back and wrapping around the frame on the opposite side.
Give your hands a rest and keep webbing securely in place by using a clamp over all webbing-covered Velcro strips. Let sit for 24 hours until adhesive has fully cured.
Continue wrapping the webbing tautly around the seat back, spacing the layers as close together as possible without overlapping, and securing the webbing to the Velcro at the armrests.
If you plan to use two colors for webbing, fend off fraying and unraveling by melting the ends with a lighter until they harden.
For a pop of teal, wrap the tape measure to determine the amount needed. Trim the gray webbing in the desired location, and attach the trimmed ends of the gray and teal webbing using the threaded sewing awl. First overlap the ends about ½ inch, then push the awl needle through both layers of webbing.
Pull out about 8 inches of thread from the needle, then remove the needle from the webbing, making sure the 8-inch tail remains on the opposite side. Push the needle through the webbing again to create a zigzag stitch. Push the tail through the loop that formed between the awl's thread and the needle.
Pull the needle back out of the webbing to finish the stitch. Continue making zigzag stitches across the width of the webbing. For the final stitch, push the needle through the webbing and pull out the loop 2 inches, snipping the thread.
Tie a square knot to finish combining the webbings. Double-knot for extra security.
Once you've wrapped the teal webbing around the frame, attach the end to the gray webbing with the sewing awl, referring to Step 6. Then continue wrapping until the chair seat is covered. Secure the webbing by sticking the end to the Velcro, wrapping it around to the underside of the chair, and stitching the end to the backside of the webbing from underneath the seat.
Start weaving vertically by stitching the end of the webbing to a section of webbing on the underside of the chair near the frame edge. Begin weaving up the front of the chair, alternating under and over the horizontal layers. At the top of the seat back, wrap the webbing over the frame, then weave down the chair back. Add a vertical pop of teal by repeating Steps 5–9. For more visible color, wrap the colored webbing over two horizontal layers then under one as you weave.
Once the chair is covered, secure the webbing as before, stitching the end to a section of webbing on the chair underside. Then pull up a seat and relax in your completed project!