Animal print chair

Updated: Apr 23

There are all kinds of animal prints, zebra, cheetah, leopard...and this cute fabric I found a few weeks ago. I found it on clearance at Hobby Lobby. It's a heavy, canvas weight fabric. Perfect for upholstery. I bought the remainder of the roll. Now that I have used part of it, I am going to see if I can find more.

I had a chair at home I had in mind to use it, but then another chair came my way via a Facebook selling group.

Someone on Facebook offered up this dirty old child's rocking chair. It is from the 70s and has definitely seen better days. I could just picture the animal print fabric on this.


I did a makeover on a chair just like this a couple of years ago. You can see it here.

I began by ripping off all of the old upholstery—every bit of it.

As someone that has allergies to dust, old upholstery and foam have to go!

Next, I used a whisk broom to remove all the "barn goo". That's what I call all the dust and cobwebs.

I cleaned the entire piece with Krud Kutter. It is amazing at getting all the gunk off of items—and believe me, this rag was filthy when I was finished.

Originally, I had planned to paint this white or mint green to match the fabric. Then I noticed all the outline detail on the fabric was black, so I decided to paint it black.

I used Rust-oleum Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover in Satin Canyon Black.

I painted the underside of the chair first, let it completely dry and then flipped it over and covered the top side of the chair. This paint covered really well in just one coat. I let it dry almost 48 hours before I attempted to reupholster it.

I cut a new piece of foam for the seat of the chair, making sure I cut out space for the spindles.

I always use batting to cover the foam. I think it adds an extra bit of cushion. I tacked the batting down in one place on the front, back and both sides to hold it in place. I pick up bags of quilt batting at garage sales all the time. I just picked up this bag last week!

I trimmed the remainder of the batting and tacked it down in a few more places.

I decided I wanted to have the fox as the center of the seat. People often ask me how much fabric to buy for various projects. It completely depends on the project. This particular fabric has several challenges. There are different animals in frames. They are all different sized and scattered sporadically on the fabric. It also has stripes. I measured the amount of fabric needed and cut out the fox allowing ample room on each side to wrap around to the bottom of the chair. The mistake I made was assuming the nose on the fox was the center of the image. It isn't. You will see in a minute that I am off a bit with the centering.


It began to sprinkle as I was tacking this down so I don't have any photos. I had to wrap it up quickly and pull everything inside.

I needed to make a cushion/pillow for the backrest of the chair. Again, I wanted one of the animals to be center stage. I cut out two panels and sewed them together.

I added some black grosgrain ribbon to the top corners so it could be tied to the chair.

I stuffed the pillow with some of the quilt batting and sewed the bottom shut.

I simply tied the ribbon to the corners of the chair to hold the cushion in place.

And the chair was finished. This chair only took about two hours total. It was over a couple of days only because I wanted the paint to cure completely before I reupholstered the chair. I am really happy with the way it turned out. As I mentioned the before, The fox isn't completely centered, but I won't mention it if you all don't!

What a difference a good cleaning, new paint and upholstery can make! This chair was ready for the trash. I am happy it was saved from a landfill. I hope it gets years of additional use now.


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Whether my junk is from a garage sale, estate or farm auction, flea market or the side of the road, I love to find it, fix it, clean it, sell it or keep it. So come along the backroads of Indiana with Junk is My Life (me), let's find something vintage and do something cool with it! Formerly Junk Journal.