Today, I just wanted to share this sweet little rocking chair that has been passed down through generations. My mom recently updated it to match Caroline's nursery and I'm so in love with the little makeover! Since Caroline is sitting she can get in it with help, and she loves rocking and playing while in it.I am somewhat of a sentimental fool and this chair means so much to me because of its history within my family. As you scroll through the pictures you will see the underside of the chair, something that will never be covered up, is a message from my grandparents (my mother's parents). They gave this to me right before I turned two, for Christmas in 1989. It was my mother's first, she was given it in 1963. Although there is not another message on the bottom yet, my mother has now made it her grandparents gift for Caroline, her grand-daughter, a gift that was once Caroline's mother's is now hers in 2019.
I remember being little and loving this chair so much. I would sit it in to play Pretty Pretty Princess with my friends, stand in it when I sang my Big Rock Candy Mountain solos, and I remember the day my older brother and I were playing and somehow one of the arms broke off from the back frame. The arm had been a little loose, but that day it finally broke out from the peg hole on the back frame and I was devastated. I remember thinking I was going to be in so much trouble. We tried to put it back into place frantically but the frayed, broken wood was too much to fit back into the hole.
Mom had been saving all of my old items she knew I wanted my kids to have and I was so excited when she told me she was going to prepare this piece for Caroline. I know most of the steps it took to complete, but the hardest and most beautiful part is definitely the sewing. I will share the steps I know and have her edit this later with tips on sewing the cushions!
First she stripped the rocking chair down to nothing but the wood. She sanded the chair completely and re-tightened the arms using wood glue to ensure the chair was like new again. Once that dried overnight, she resanded around those areas to get any excess glue off, and used a cheese cloth on the whole chair to clean it up.
She used a light wood stain to bring the natural pine color back to life.
As you look at the pictures below you can see the before rocker, which is the same material from when mom was a little girl on the cushions. She took the seams out of the old backrest and seat and reused the foam while adding some batting around the foam to give it more fluff. She cut it to match the size of the foam and began cutting and sewing the new fabric against the old fabric to make sure it was the perfect size. I just think that is so genius too and something I probably would not have thought to do. How many times have you tried to reupholster something and just threw out the old once you stripped it? Taking it apart carefully can really help with measuring the new fabric faster and more accurately.
So she sewed the back rest and the new seat, used upholstery glue on the seat cushion to keep it in place and completed the area around each wood peg once it was in place. Even looking at it in person I feel like it's one of those mind boggling magic tricks that no matter how long I look at it I still don't understand how she did it. But I am happy and blessed that she did as Caroline now has this beautiful rocker in her nursery that she will play with and use for years and maybe someday pass down to her little one.