Taking the house my mom grew up in, the farm my grandparents shared for over fifty years and making it a home for us to grow old in.

Outdoor sun loungers DIY out of old goose hunting chairs!

Hey guys I can’t wait to share this sun lounger project with you! We have FINALLY had ourselves a weekend that almost felt like summer here! I’ve been chomping at the bit to work outside. Joe was doing a stucco job in town last week and I visited him while I was running errands for work and I, quite fervently, wished and longed to be him – outside, working with my hands. I’ve always been more of the construction type then desk jockey type and though I really needed a break after the house renovation my body has been itching in frustration to get out and do something with it! So, this weekend I had plans! Our old barn became a relative’s dumping ground for many years (decades ago) so Joe and I inherited some very strange leftovers. Especially old hunting gear and what-not. And, you know me, I’m trying to find projects and usability every where I can! These chairs my dad proclaimed to be old goose hunting chairs that once came with a blind over top of them. I nodded thinking, Well, that’s cool but now they’re mine! Mahahahahaha! I don’t know about you but my idea of the perfect thing would be a place in the sun after work for a couple of hours, good company (or just myself would be fine too…) and a bottle of wine. I had been working on sun loungers in my head for months when I had stumbled upon these old goose hunting chairs and immediately, I got excited! I pulled them out of the barn Saturday morning and I got to work.

(Hence begins the long arduous hell that was this project – come along for the ride kids and see me waste hours!!!!)


Outdoor sun loungers DIY cheap and inexpensive upcycle out of old goose hunting chairs and walmart outdoor table cloths tips and tutorials

They were GROSS!!!  Literally they were totally covered in the excrement of what seemed like hundreds of different kinds of birds and critters. EEEEWWWWW

Outdoor sun loungers DIY cheap and inexpensive upcycle out of old goose hunting chairs and walmart outdoor table cloths tips and tutorials

They actually look better in the pics then they were. (Stinky and oh so nasty.) For a moment I had the thought that I really should just try and save the old fabric and just cover it with the new stuff I had in mind. I probably should have tried to do that for real… I would have saved myself so many hours of hell and heartache. These sun loungers went from what should have been a 2 hour project to a 7 hour project and I am still SO mad at myself. The night before I tackled the frames I pulled out our bag of baling twine from the barn (left over from all the hay bales we fed our horses this winter) and started braiding it for tying the fabric in the back – I had envisioned lacing the fabric to the sun loungers like a corset – the braiding took me about two hours – and this (at the VERY beginning) is where the time wasting began . . . .

Outdoor sun loungers DIY cheap and inexpensive upcycle out of old goose hunting chairs and walmart outdoor table cloths tips and tutorials

First thing I did was cut off the nasty camouflaged fabric and then I used our garden hose and steel wool to scrub the frames as best I could. They were in surprisingly good shape, there was only one that had some rust where the paint was flaking off. I put them on a tarp in our garage and got to work spray painting the frames. One thing I was really stoked about was how BIG they were and how sturdy and heavy as well. These frames are not delicate by any means – they’re designed to support big guys in full hunting gear during really cold and wet weather – so they’re very tough.

Outdoor sun loungers DIY cheap and inexpensive upcycle out of old goose hunting chairs and walmart outdoor table cloths tips and tutorials

I spent $25 at walmart on four cans of rustoleum spray paint in the happiest colors I could find and three outdoor table cloths.

Outdoor sun loungers DIY cheap and inexpensive upcycle out of old goose hunting chairs and walmart outdoor table cloths tips and tutorials

With the frames out in the garage drying I went in the house, removed my poor boots and took a look at my fabric. I already had taken the measurements I needed. (We’re going on about hour 4 now when it comes to time spent including the braiding the night before.) I laid the fabric out and spent some time figuring out how to get as much out of each table cloth as possible. I made one good decision at this point in deciding to double the outdoor table cloth fabric so it would be twice as strong on the sun loungers.

Outdoor sun loungers DIY cheap and inexpensive upcycle out of old goose hunting chairs and walmart outdoor table cloths tips and tutorials

So, I got all of my seats and backs cut out and prepared myself for the long arduous task of putting grommets in. I already knew (just by looking at them and with a seriously sinking feeling) that I had purchased grommets that were FAR FAR FAR too small for the project at hand and I already knew that after all that braiding the night before I wouldn’t be able to use any of it because the braids would be way too big for the grommets. (NOTE: we don’t have a lot of crafty resources in town and my choice of the small grommets was a forced one as there were not enough of the larger grommets available to get the job done – I should have just given up on the grommet idea entirely at that point instead of buying the small ones but I am incredibly stubborn to sticking to a plan and it is always to my own detriment.) So I spent 2 hours putting in grommets and completely hated everything by the end of it. On top of that I wasn’t very good at putting in grommets as they were VERY little and I didn’t have a hole punch so I did what any DIYer would do: I lowered my standards and forged ahead. I can be an idiot. Que the jaws music. (I’m over 5 hours into this project at this point.)

Outdoor sun loungers DIY cheap and inexpensive upcycle out of old goose hunting chairs and walmart outdoor table cloths tips and tutorials

2 hours of retched grommeting later and they ripped out without a moments hesitation. I had a little melt down and I sat there staring at it with that sinking feeling telling me, “I told you so!” If nothing else however, I am resourceful and like all DIYers before me Never Give Up! Never Surrender! I believe I used several four letter words and then changed my game plan. If the fabric wasn’t going to be strong enough then FINE IT DOESN’T NEED TO BE!!! I grabbed my bag of baling twine and wrapped it around the back and the seats lots of times and created a support structure to be hidden under the fabric.

Outdoor sun loungers DIY cheap and inexpensive upcycle out of old goose hunting chairs and walmart outdoor table cloths tips and tutorials

From there I cut new big holes (completely bypassing all of my hours of putting in grommets) and laced my fabric over the twine seat and back I had created and VIOLA! It worked!!

Takeaways:

I doubt outdoor table cloths from walmart would have been strong enough to support a person anyway but with REAL outdoor cloth that’s tough and meant for actual use the grommet idea would have worked great but with MUCH bigger grommets! So, it wasn’t a bad idea – I just executed it horribly.

7 hours later (and by some miracle) I actually managed to produce the sun loungers I had envisioned all along.

Outdoor sun loungers DIY cheap and inexpensive upcycle out of old goose hunting chairs and walmart outdoor table cloths tips and tutorials Outdoor sun loungers DIY cheap and inexpensive upcycle out of old goose hunting chairs and walmart outdoor table cloths tips and tutorials Outdoor sun loungers DIY cheap and inexpensive upcycle out of old goose hunting chairs and walmart outdoor table cloths tips and tutorials

If you can’t find me you know where I’ll be this summer!

So, if you do happen upon some of these goose hunting chairs and you DON’T make my same mistakes this is actually an easy and quick project that produced outdoor sun loungers that cost me only about $25 . . . and my sanity. Here is to the hope that my other summer projects will go a little bit better then this one!

Outdoor sun loungers DIY cheap and inexpensive upcycle out of old goose hunting chairs and walmart outdoor table cloths tips and tutorials

UPDATE: As requested here is a picture of the back of the chair completely finished! You can see there are no grommets, I just poked holes through the doubled up outdoor table cloth and laced it up the back. Hope that helps guys!

Outdoor sun loungers DIY cheap and inexpensive upcycle out of old goose hunting chairs and walmart outdoor table cloths tips and tutorials
Sun loungers created diy do it yourself makeover before and after out of old goose hunting chairs with spray paint and outdoor table cloths

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48 Comments

  1. Granny Scott
    May 3, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Great job! And a big ole Atta Girl for sticking with it!

    • May 3, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      Thank you! It was worth it but I’ll admit to feeling quite beat up by the end of that day! lol

  2. GG
    May 3, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I started on HomeTalk with you on this project and came to the blog to be greatly amused by your hilarious sense of humor describing the sun loungers. Great job. The whole grommet thing is just a lesson learned. Omigosh…you remind me of me as far as being stubborn and pushing through ‘just be sure’ you weren’t right all along.

    • May 3, 2016 at 3:06 pm

      lol I’m just so glad I didn’t have any witnesses! I guess alls well that ends well, but this one really left me feeling like I had gone ten rounds in a boxing ring by the end of the day and it wasn’t even warm enough outside then that I could use them! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 We DIYers gotta stick together!

      • GG
        May 3, 2016 at 3:11 pm

        Will do, time permitting. Word Press wants my other email in order to follow, but I don’t seem to be able to change it here. We’ll see how it goes. Anyway, thanks for the morning laugh!!!

        • May 3, 2016 at 8:54 pm

          Thanks for stopping by!! 🙂

  3. Dee Bell
    May 4, 2016 at 6:57 am

    Saw this on Hometalk. Had to read the entire tutorial. These are beautiful and I would sacrifice seven or more hours for this result. I think it is well worth it. The colors are so cheerful and vibrant. With those sturdy frames, when that cloth wears out you can always reolace it. Nice of you to share. Thank you.

    • May 5, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      Thank you so much! Yes, after all that, I’m still very happy with them 🙂

  4. May 5, 2016 at 10:33 am

    What a big difference Tarah! I love how bright and happy the loungers are! How exactly did you tie them in the back? I am a bit confused. But they look fantastic! A job very well done.

    • May 5, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      I just cut big holes farther from the edge (skipping and going beyond my little grommets) and then laced them with twine like a corset, just didn’t do it too tight. Thank you for coming by!!

  5. Denise
    July 13, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    As many readers I started at hometalk and had to go to your blog to read more!!!
    I could picture very well the situation, because it could have been me!! LOL

    Coul you take apicture of the back of the chairs. I still can’t figure out how it looks like…
    Thanks and congrats

    • July 14, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Hi Denise! Thank you so much for coming by! I took a pic of the back of one of the chairs this morning and added it to the end of the post if you want to come back and have a look! Thanks!

  6. CeeJay
    July 13, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Hi Tarah, What a great story! You tell it well. Your method of making a layer of support with twine was a good one. Here’s an idea that will reinforce things even more.
    Next time you need to put a chair in a “corset”, try this. On the edge where you put the grommets you will usually have a hem or doubled fabric. Sew that “hem” down along the long edge leaving the short ends open. In that hem area insert a length of straightened clothes hanger wire or a 1/4-1/2″ wood dowel – something stiff that won’t bend easily. Do this on both “corset” folded edges. Then thread your rope or twine back and forth inserting BEHIND the wire. Grommets aren’t needed, you can either cut a small slit to insert rope or pierce a hole and thread rope through. The fabric won’t tear through (and it won’t matter if it does) because the wire or dowel is spreading the “pull” along the whole edge of the new cover. Hope this is clear… it’s a bit difficult to “describe” this without any images. If this is totally confusing, email me. I’ll send back some photos to explain. Keep up the good work, I enjoy your posts.

    • July 14, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      Ceejay, I totally get it! That’s a fantastic idea, it would be SO much stronger then anything else I had tried! Later I also had the thought of wondering if I would have been better off just buying “clips” of some kind, I know they make inexpensive ones for tarps. Then it would eliminate any cutting of the fabric or anything I would just pull it tight and clip it together like a chip bag. lol more experimenting is in order! Thank you for your idea and for commenting!

      • CeeJay
        July 15, 2016 at 2:05 am

        Hi Tarah, glad you could make sense of it! I’ll have to check out “tarp clips” – sounds like they could be interesting. Have a great weekend!

        • July 15, 2016 at 2:32 pm

          Thanks! Have a good weekend too!

  7. linda
    July 13, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Question…could you show a pic of the back of chairs after done? Like to see what you mean by lacing. Please…thank you!

    • July 14, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Hi Linda, no problem! I took a pic of the back of one of the chairs this morning and added it to the end of the post if you want to come back and have a look! Thanks!

  8. August 18, 2016 at 1:14 am

    Aren’t you clever, Tarah?! Love the print on the tablecloths you chose 🙂 Thanks for linking up your project with us at Vintage Charm–

  9. October 11, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Great job!! These look fabulous! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party!

  10. October 13, 2016 at 12:04 am

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful post at #OverTheMoon. I look forward to what you will share next week! Do something special. Give yourself a standing ovation today! We hope you’ll come back again next Sunday when we open our doors at 6:00 PM EST.

    • October 13, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      I’ll be there! Thanks for the great link party every week!

  11. October 15, 2016 at 12:42 am

    Wow, in the end, the chairs came out great. Sometimes it is a trial and error process when we create but it always turns out great. I think we are a determined group of people and we make it work.

    • October 17, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      Thank you and for sure! We are definitely stubborn lol but it is usually worth it!

  12. October 18, 2016 at 4:10 am

    I love the way these turned out…and thanks for sharing your “problem” with us. It’s humbling to know others encounter issues when completing their projects too lol. Oh, and thank you for sharing your story! I’m very close to my grandmas, there’s so much love there. #HomeMattersParty

  13. October 26, 2016 at 1:01 am

    OH gosh…cannot believe how cute these are! 🙂

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

    • October 26, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      Thank you Jess, I was so relieved when they turned out!

  14. Jann Olson
    October 26, 2016 at 2:07 am

    What a great transformation! Love the fun colors!! Thanks for sharing them with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

  15. November 1, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Oh my goodness, you are amazing. I would have given up at the first sign of a problem, but you just soldiered on and the end result is brilliant. Well done and I hope you’ve had the chance to relax on the finished product #happynowlinkup x

    • November 2, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Thank you Lisa, so glad they ended up turning out ok!

  16. November 3, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    This is adorable! Lounging chairs can be expensive, so well done! Plus yours are a heck of a lot cuter than the ones you pick up at Walmart :)Thanks for sharing this at the #happynowlinkup

  17. November 7, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    I can’t tell you how many projects I’ve had that went this way. But I love that you pushed through and found a way to make it work. They are so bright and fun!

    • November 7, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      Thank you Leslie, it was a hard day lol but so worth it!

  18. November 7, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    They look amazing! I wish I had found this post before I tossed my old moldy chairs. Pinned for next time.
    Mother of 3 recently posted…Art Project # 48 ; Beginner PhotographyMy Profile

  19. November 9, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    What a great idea! I would have never thought to use outdoor tablecloths! I have a couple of beach chairs that need some sprucing up. I’ll have to use your tutorial when the time comes. xo

    • November 10, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      They lasted really great this summer too, I just wish I had thought to turn them over when we weren’t using them because the sun bleached them out a bit!

  20. Bettyelane Chambliss-Kosarek
    March 30, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Love them. The colors are bright and Sprng like. Great job.

  21. May 15, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    I love the story of how you made them Tarah and I totally get the grommet thing – tried them once and it didn’t work 🙂 They look great now though

  22. May 16, 2017 at 5:01 am

    These are wonderful, what a difference. I did something similar with my dining room chairs when I wanted to change them into cushioned backs. I used wide banding and wrapped it around the wood chairs and then sewed everything to the binding. It worked quite well, I got a couple more years out of the chairs that way.

    Pinning this as it is a fantastic makeover.

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Making a shoe rack and closet storage out an old ladder

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