Friday, October 1, 2021

Thrifty Thursday Upcycled Antique Rattan Chair

Thrifty Thursday Upcycled Antique Rattan Chair

Yep, it's not Thursday but this is a thrift store upcycle so I am still sharing it on a Friday, rebel child that I am.

Thrifty Thursday Upcycled Antique Rattan Chair
I found this very old (I do believe antique, meaning it is 100+ years old.), weathered, chair at our local Habitat for Humanity Restore. It was weathered, I am guessing it spent some time outdoors, and a little bit of the caning on the chair back was broken. But, because it was fairly solid and I loved its lines, the inlay on the top, and the rustic bits--rusty nails, raw wood, I bought it.
Thrifty Thursday Upcycled Antique  Boho Rattan Chair

A little care was all this antique side chair needed to update it and bring it back to life.

After a very light sanding to remove some water lines or damage, I used Wise Owl Furniture Salve to bring the oak back to life. I do not sell this or am not an affiliate for it t all, but absolutely love this furniture salve. You can get it from My friend, Tina, HERE.
Wise Owl Furniture Salve
The wood was very thirsty. I apply the salve with a larch, natural bristle brush. I let it soak in overnight and then see if there re any spots that need a little more. 
How To Bring Dry Wood Back To Life
To repair the rattan I decided to embroider the caning or rattan with a very simple backstitch. 
Thrifty Thursday Upcycled Antique Rattan Chair
It took me a minute to recall how to do a backstitch. I took an embroidery class as an elective in junior high. What a lovely class, we sat around and stitched and visited. I am not sure classes like this are offered anymore, what a shame. Using a wool yarn I came up through the bottom or back and then brought the yarn towards me, alternating between four spaces and one space.
Embroider a Rattan Chair
After the first line, I decided I wanted it thicker so I stitched a second yarn strand in the same holes. After that, I doubled my yarn and was able to stitch a double line in one shot. I hot glued the caning where it was broken and that part is hidden under the yarn. The yarn fix did make the back caning feel nice and secure. The stitching on the back part of the chair ends up looking differently, but still nice so if the chair was in the middle of the room, it would look good.
Thrifty Thursday Upcycled Antique Rattan Chair

I love the bit of inlay in the top back of the chair. I am not sure what it is, but my guess is ivory.

Antique Boho Chair
The raw, freshened wood, the rattan or caning, the wool stitching give this chair a fantastic. rustic, boho look.
Thrifty Thursday Upcycled Boho Antique Rattan Chair
Because of its age, it isn't a chair you'd want the kids crawling all over every day. But it does make a beautiful side chair for guests and occasional extra seating. It adds warmth and texture to a space.


  1. Oh yeah, I'm right there with you. I too love the inlay. Also, the wood is beautiful now that you've given it a much needed coat of salve. Great job, Becky!

  2. Thank you for this! I recently picked up a cane back chair with a minute break in it. I now have hope for it.


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