While walking down the street a few weeks back, I found a rusted old folding chair in a trash pile. Its PVC banded seat was busted, but the frame (minus the rust) was in functional condition. I decided to rescue it from a future at the landfill and carried it home. A few weeks later, I tripped over a muddied and retired "road work ahead" sign. Though it needed some serious cleaning, I decided the reflective vinyl would be an ideal material for the chair's new seat back.
So, over the course of a few hours (spread over two days), I turned two scavenged items, landfill bound, into a one-of-a-kind outdoor furnishing that glows at night. It's as comfortable as it is attractive and that makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
- Scavenging: varies
- (RE)Construction: 4-8 hours depending on the grunginess of your find
- chair frame + material for seat back
- hot water, vinegar and a rag
- sand paper + fine steel wool (001)
- measuring tape
- hot glue
- needle and thread
- spray paint (for customizing vinyl mesh and/or chair handles)
Step 1: Scavenge
Go dumpster diving! I see rusted frames like these left on the side of the road often. If you don't feel like waiting and just wanna make a custom beach chair, you can also buy them for pretty cheap at hardware stores, dollar stores, bodegas, etc. However, this route defeats the purpose of saving something from the landfill…
If you are having difficulty finding a road work sign, you can find vinyl mesh at hardware stores at inexpensive prices. You can customize it with spray paint or just keep it simple - it won't be reflective but does that really matter? This sign measured 48" x 48" and after looking online, I have found that they are VERY expensive - around $125-$150.
Finally, gather the necessary materials!
- spray paint
- glue gun
- measuring tape
- sand paper (100 grit)
- steel wool (#00 grade)