Before & After: Butterfly Chair


It is finished!! I can’t tell you how elated I am that I finally got around to recovering our nasty butterfly chair. My sister so kindly gifted this lovely chair to me when my parents moved & they were just going to donate it to D.I. or throw it out. Come on. I remember seeing a leather butterfly chair at Urban Outfitters for somewhere around $250, so naturally thought I’d better hold on to this chair – purple fuzz & all – because I may actually recover it in leather someday.

I was incredibly tempted to do a hair-on calf skin, or some sort of antiqued leather, but I kept wussing out because I dreaded sewing the thing. Nearly a year later, I bought some rad striped fabric from Ikea & just did it! It didn’t take me nearly as long to sew it as I had anticipated, but deconstructing the purple fuzzy cover for the pattern took 3 times as long as I thought it would. From start to finish, it took about 2 days worth of Penelope’s naps (about 6-8 hours). Now, if I have to do it again, I’d venture it’d take me under two, since I now have the pattern already made.

I’m really happy with how it turned out, and I’m so excited to show you the results! I feel like it’s much better constructed with much higher quality materials than the last cover, but for some reason, I just don’t feel like Chris should sit in it (yet). Maybe it’s because I don’t trust my own craftsmanship.

For now the legs are going to remain silver. I think it’d really pop with white legs (or perhaps bright yellow?!), but I’m not about to open up the garage & spray paint something in 20º weather. NO thanks. That’ll be a job for next spring or summer.

Here’s what I spent for my chair makeover:

  • Ikea striped fabric: $5
  • black backing: leftover from a previous project, like $2-3?
  • The grand total: Somewhere around $7

NICE. That makes me happy. The best part about this chair is that it’s perfect for my studio. It folds up tightly so I can have it out of the way, but if Penelope’s hanging around while I’m crafting, or I need to take a little break, BOOM! I can just pull it out. I love the portability! So, what do you think? Do you like it?

You can purchase the butterfly chair pattern here.

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    1. Emily says:

      It looks great! I like the silver legs, considering the weather, but it would be fun with yellow or white legs too.

    2. Linn says:

      Yes I like it!! But, it has been over a year might I add. :)

    3. This is amazing!! I love the color :)

    4. Melissa, it looks great!

    5. Erin says:

      Looks awesome Melissa. Well done!!

    6. melissa says:

      hA! At first I thought the purple one was your FINISHED one! I was like, “Oh no! Really??” hAA!
      I love it. You are the bomb. Good work, girl.

    7. Tamara says:

      Love it! It fits in perfectly with the rooms color palette.

    8. Ana says:

      I love it! I have a butterfly chair waiting for a new cover… it’s been waiting for a looooong while. Any tips on deconstructing the pattern?

    9. Stephanie says:

      Great makeover! Much better than fuzzy, sparkly, purple! I agree the legs would look better in another color. I think white would be more versatile if you wanted to make some different covers in the future though.

    10. Wendy says:

      i love, love it! :)

    11. Monica says:

      It is LOVELY. I wish I had half of your sewing talent!

    12. kawtar says:

      i thought that the purple one was the finished thing and i was like “euuuhh what the…”
      then “oh ok i see” !

      it looks just great, love the strips
      how long did it take you to do it?

    13. simplyblythe says:

      this looks terrific. i want one!

    14. JeannieD says:

      I am contacting you for the pattern! I have had my husband’s office butterfly chair for 3 years and your beautiful makeover has given me the kick in the butt I’ve been needing! By the way, call me crazy but I like the way the chrome legs pick up the dark stripes in the fabric. Good Job! :^)

    15. Amy Lou says:

      I absolutely love it! The fabric choice couldn’t have been better. Great job!

    16. Libby says:

      I think the purple one was better.

      Er, totally kidding. Love the new one! I think I’d be too intimidated to attempt such a project. Kudos!

    17. […] couple weeks ago when I finished the butterfly chair, I had a little extra sewing motivation left over, so I used that to make this pillow. I’ve […]

    18. Emily says:

      Cool. Need I say more

    19. Jen says:

      Thank you for the pattern, however you need a disclaimer: THIS DOES NOT FIT THE VINTAGE size frame. Made it this past weekend and although I can get it over the frame, it is just way too small.

    20. Gemma says:

      Hi, what a GREAT job you did. Any chance you still have the pattern? My great grandmother left us two chair frames and it would be brilliant to be able to make a cover for them.

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