A fellow Instructable member 'Buck2217' has very cleverly designed and constructed a 'Pool Side Chair' covered in pebbles. Upon seeing the magnificent work he had done I was inspired to get to work! I did however tweak his design a little. With extensive research, I found the cost to buy a pebbled chair was ranging anywhere between $800-$1300 each. Seeing as I had an old single couch ready for disposal, a lot of time and a keen interest in DIY, I decided to make my own. Listed below are the equipment, materials and steps I used to transform this boring old single couch into a pool side feature.
- 2 x H/W Plywood 2400x1200x4mm $11.75ea(If measurements are provided most hardware stores will happily cut your ply for free)
- 2 x Utility Pine 110x19cm $3.27ea
- 4 x 20kg Bag of White Tuscan Pebbles 30-50mm $17.50ea (Quantity depends on your design and area of coverage)
- 6 x 1kg Bag Crushed White Pebbles 5-7mm $3.32 (Again, quantity depends on your design and area of coverage)
- 1 x 20kg Ultra Flex Tile Adhesive $22.00
- 1 x 4.5kg Kera Colour While Tiling Grout $9.50
- 1 x Softsheet Pack 25x1 Nails $6.54
- Exterior Paint/Stain (I had Grey Concrete Stain laying around from a previous DIY job)
- 2 x Silicon Spray $3.00
- 2m Waterproof Zane Canvas Print, Charcoal Pattern Fabric $35.9
- 1m Prima Homespun, Charcoal Fabric $5.99
(Prices are in AUD)
- Mitre saw
- Paint spatula
- Measuring Tape
- Sheet Sander
- Screw Driver
- Staple Gun
- 2 x Fine paint brushes
- Sewing Machine
Due to recovering from surgery this project was a slow process and done over a period of 3 weeks. It could however be completed in only a few days.
When constructing the pebbled chair, be sure that it is built in the area it is going to be placed because the chair is ridiculously heavy to move once completed. I have since added wheels.
Step 1: Stripping for Parts
After finding the piece that will play victim to your project, (excluding the backing slat) strip down all the upholstery, foam and batting until you are left with only the naked frame of the couch.
Step 2: Legless
Unscrew the legs and sand them down lightly before applying 1-2 coats of paint and set aside to dry.
Step 3: 'All About That Bass'
For extra support, measure the length of the seating base, cut your utility pine to the measurements using your mitre saw and screw them in place. I used 2 planks of utility pine spaced 30cm apart from the framing for added stability.
Step 4: Panel Out
With the sheets of plywood you have gotten cut to size, you can start panelling out the open surfaces e.g. the sides, seating base, bottom and backing. To do this I used Softsheet nails spaced 1cm apart. It is possible that I used more nails than needed but I figured there's nothing wrong with a little extra sturdiness, right? Right!
Step 5: Sanding
When you have finished panelling out your chair, treat it to a light sand. This will help remove any uneven surfaces, smooth out any rough edges and prepare it for pebbling. My chair probably didn't need to be sanded down, however I recently purchased a Ryobi 280W Sheet Sander and am always looking for reasons to use it. I love it!
Note: Before proceeding with the next step I gave the bottom of the chair a quick coat of paint, using the same colour I used on the legs. Once the paint was dry, i fit and screwed the legs back into place.
Step 6: Pebbling
Mix up the Ultra Flex Tile Adhesive, a little at a time. Spread on your mixture and start pebbling, be sure that you do a small area at a time to avoid the adhesive from drying out. After laying a few big pebbles, I went back and filled any large gaps with smaller ones. For the inner sides of the chair i used only the smaller pebbles to avoid the bigger ones digging into you whilst you slothed about in style. Due to the size and weight of the pebbles I had used, I was limited to tiling 1-2 sections a day to allow appropriate drying time.
Some would say this part is tedious and time consuming and they would be right but I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy this part the most. To help make the process more enjoyable I blasted my music, exercised my vocals and had coffee on hand . I'm almost certain my neighbours didn't appreciate the volume of noise coming from my yard, but if any of you have heard 'Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye' then you understand the need to sing it loudly whilst pelvic thrusting.
Step 7: Grouting
Due to the different sized pebbles I used, grouting was almost impossible! If you stick with the same size and flat pressed pebbles then you should be able to fly past this step. However if you are like me and let your design get the better of you then be prepared to be there for a while. What I did do was use fine paint brushes to grout over any air holes left in my tiling adhesive. Once the grouting mixture has been applied, give the chair a thorough wash down to remove any excess before the grout sets. Truth be told, I got grout everywhere; on myself, parts of the chair I wasn't working on, the fence, the ground and even on my sisters dog Gucci; everything needed a wash down.
Step 8: Silicone Spray
On completion I decided to use a tip that 'Buck2217' shared on his entry; I gave the chair a coat of silicone spray which gave it a nice finishing shine. it is possible that i also used this tip to trap in any pebble dust that I got sick of cleaning, sh.
Step 9: Upholstery
Unfortunately I haven't done much upholstery work to provide you with any clear steps, however I did find a website online that offered step by step instructions on how to upholster seating cushions. Along with the information on the website i may have also bribed my mother into helping me, like any grateful child I bribed her with my love and when that didn't work, i tried again the next day. I have provided the link below for other first timers like myself.
Note: Thank you, Mum.
Step 10: Hard Earned Beer
You're done! Sit in your pebbled chair and have yourself a hard earned beer. No, have two, you deserve it!
Paying retail price: $1300 Making it yourself: $205
The feeling of never having to tile over 2000 pebbles ever again: Priceless