Monday, August 24, 2020

Art Chair

A friend approached me asking "Would you be interested in decorating a chair?" The town of Morris, IL was trying something new; an "arts festival." The idea was to gather local artist, musicians, actors...really anyone creative and art lovers and celebrate the arts in the first ever "Liberty Days Arts Festival." The cumulating activity would be a auction of decorated chairs with the proceeds going to the charity.

Stores in town were encouraged to sponsor the decorating of a chair which would be displayed at their store during the festival and then auctioned off for the charity of the stores choice. The charity chosen for the chair I was creating was the Christian Youth Center of Morris. I volunteer at the Youth Center couple of days per week and was excited to help them raise money.  I immediately said "yes" but with a bit of "fear and trembling." I had an idea in my head and hoped it turned out as well in real life.

The first step was finding the perfect chair to paint. For this feat, I visited our local Habitat of Humanity ReStore. I love this store. Not only can you find fun furniture pieces and building materials on the cheap. All proceeds go to help Habitat for Humanity build houses for our neighbors in need!

Finding a fun chair with some character at the store, I set out to sand it down, and tighten some joints with wood glue and prime it for painting. I decided that my theme was "It's about time" and wanted the chair to allude to the inner workings of a clock, with gears, cogs, and springs, and numbers.

Priming with black, I planned on having a graphic mosaic design, so I used tape and vinyl number stickers from Elmer's to mask off areas that would then remain black when I removed them after painting. I used Liquitex professional paints, both heavy and soft body, because I didn't want to have to repeatedly add layers to my design. After the  colors dried, I then stenciled gears and cogs onto the yellow paint using stencils from Deco Arts' "Americana-Mixed Media" Collection.

Painting and sealing complete, the only thing left to finish was the decorative touches. I  love the look of the coiled watch springs, so I created some with flat jewelry wire from "On-a-Wire," coiling it around at first a dowel rod, then itself. These springs I glued along the bottom of the back. Drilling a hole in the upper part, I installed a battery operated clock movement on the back of the chair.

Supplies used: Chair-(ReStore), Liquitex paints-professional heavy body and soft body, DecoArt Stencils-Americana Mixed media; gears and cogs, timeless treasure, Minwax- PolyAcrylic, Elmer's -Board Mate Vinyl Letter and Numbers, Art Minds (Michaels)-Clock Movement Kit 5/8", On-A-Wire(Hobby Lobby)-5mm flat aluminum wire, Scotch-3M fine line tape, drill, dowel rod.

I love the way it turned out....(and it brought in $170 at the auction! woo hoo!)


  1. It's SO COOL! Super creative and so much fun. I'm glad to hear it brought in good money for an organization you love.


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