Picture of Poorman's design chair
Have you ever walked into one of these awesome design webstores? You can find some furniture by famous designers and stuff that look pretty cool. Then you finally reach the price page, and plan to come back in a few years, when you have collected enough money to get that simple chair XD.

In this instructable, you'll find how to transform an old broken chair into a stylish customized design chair, using a bunch of newspaper, some glue and iron wire.
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Step 1: Undressing the chair

Picture of Undressing the chair
First step is to find the main material for this instructable...a chair!
I found this one on the street, standing all alone near garbages, and decided to give it a new life. It looks quite correct on the picture, but the tissue was seriously ripped and the (holy stinky) foam allready turning into dust.
Of course, any old chair from your grand parents that you don't use anymore will also do the trick.
I simply used a pair of scissors to rip off the fabric, with the help of a plier to get rid of some staples.

Step 2: Design

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Once you end up with the structure of the chair, it's time to take a few pictures and try some simple curves and designs above it with your favorite image program.

Step 3: The tools

Picture of The tools
You'll need very few equipment to make this chair, the ones at the bottom have only been used to get rid of the fabric.
The main element is the newspapers, you can easily find unsold ones at your local store. A solid chair needs a lot of paper, so take at least a dozen of pieces. If you choose not to paint the chair at the end, the choice of the paper (color, typography) is important and will determine the final overall look.
The glue can be found at any DIY store, it's the powder glue for wallpapers.
You'll need also a wire roll to set the shape of your design, choose a hard one that can stand straight, but not too large, to be manipulated easily.
Eventually you can get a brush if you want to paint it afterwards.

Step 4: Shaping and paperwork

Picture of Shaping and paperwork
Now just start from the structure to draw your design around in space with the iron wire. You may use some remaining staples, screws or holes in the chair to pass the wire into, it should stand right with an hard enough wire.
You can use paperboard in additon to wires to create surfaces when you need it.

Next step is the big part of this instructable: paperwork.
Cover the whole chair with glued paper sraps as you will do with paper mache. I won't detail the technique, since much websites allready explain it and because you probably did that allready when you were five :p.
In the case of such a big structure, you'll need quite a big amount of layers (around ten) to get a resistant chair. This is gonna take MUCH time, because you have to wait almost 24h between each layer (or 2-3 layers) for the glue to dry ;). Good luck.

Step 5: Result

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The finished chair with its paper cover.

Step 6: Finishing

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If you like the paper look, you can keep it this way, maybe with a layer of varnish.

To paint it, you'll first have to smooth the surface, wich is probably full of waves and asperities. This is done with a coating, that fill the holes and smooth the surface.
Then just paint and sit on your revived design chair.
uncle frogy6 years ago
Just found this project nice work it really gives me inspiration well done. I have only one question I am rather found of hammers could you please tell me what kind of hammer that is I have never seen one like that before.
looks like this: http://www.uncommongoods.com/item/item.jsp?itemId=15306

i did a google search for "bottle opener hammer"
i really like this drawing-on-picture thing.  it hadn't occurred to me to do this for design.  very nice end result, also.
Neat idea--though for once, I actually liked the wooden form underneath all the padding! Nice instructable!
Wow! I can't think of a good word, awesome and wow are used so much. How about cowabunga dude! I would love to try this, but the woodworking part is beyond my abilities. Your chair is truly a work of art and ingenuity. Thanks for sharing!!
Spananierin6 years ago
I love the paper look! It should look awesome with some old comics!
mg0930mg6 years ago
This is really cool, I like how it looks after it is painted. Good Luck on more instructables.
good instructable but wont the paper rip?
Lemo (author)  lookatmygrlyfont8 years ago
With a decent amount of layers (and avoiding to customize direct contact parts), the paper and dried glue get really strong together. This chair won't be as resistant as a metal one, but with a little care, it should last very long. Actually, I'm writing this a month after the chair was finished. The last picture has been taken this week end, and as you can see, it's still in one piece ;).
you could always use paper mache which would make it even stronger right?
They are basically using paper mache, just with glue instead of flower paste; which makes it considerably harder and more resistant to water damage etc. Although it would be very interesting to try and make one out of traditional paper mache materials.
I covered a coffee table with newspaper (comics)...I posted pictures above. I used an acrylic clear spray to "seal" it. It looks nice and it is shinny now!
Grey_Wolfe7 years ago
This is excellent. Did you paint it white, or is that just the smoothing coat? Just wondering. Great Intructable, favorited.
Grey_Wolfe7 years ago
The chair actually looks kind of cool nude. Only kind of though, and not nearly as much as the finished product.
lemonie8 years ago
Nice work. Having sent quite a bit of time with paper and PVA myself, what did you use to smooth the surface. You mention a 'coating', what is the final surface? L
Lemo (author)  lemonie8 years ago
I'm not that good in technical terms in english, it's probably simply called "smoothing coating", I used the second one in the list there
then I just painted the whole stuff
in french ;)
Grey_Wolfe Lemo7 years ago
It translates directly as Coating of Smoothing. So yeah, it's just smoothing coat. Wish Americans were so direct in their product names. lol
camp6ell Lemo7 years ago
maybe it's the same stuff you use to fill holes and smooth walls? plaster? nice instructable, i really like it.
Shifrin7 years ago
Hey, This gave me an Awesome Idea, Yeah newspapers make it look cool and all, but why not try comics!
srcskier7 years ago
I did this same thing to an old coffee table...here are some pictures of how it turned out. I love it!
C:\Documents and Settings\Sarah Renee\My Documents\My Pictures\pics\pics 008.jpgC:\Documents and Settings\Sarah Renee\My Documents\My Pictures\pics\pics 007.jpg
Ah, I inherited a countertop that was done with old dagwood comics and clear packing tape... It's been there so long that we couldn't actually pull it off, it had to be sanded and refinished...
Remote Man8 years ago
Im so doing this to my old TV!! good jobbb
wombat78 years ago
super cool!
Ora8 years ago
That's amazing!!! This is a much better use for the newspaper, and it creates a functional thing too.