Cov'd backs for ladderback chairs

mbarstowMay 21, 2009

I just purchased 4 lovely ladderback chairs off of CL's. They are very comfortable well-constructed chairs, but the stain is extremely dark and I have med. stained cherry cabinets in our new kitchen. Has anyone ever made slip covers for the backs of chairs? I can also make cushions for the seats. I figured I could use a fabric that would blend in with our window treatments. I just need some encouragement that this will work, any opinions? Would this look too-old-ladyitis? Oh, our table and chairs are in a breakfast room, not real close to our cabinets.

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I say "go for it"! I'm planning on doing *something* with my ladderback chairs soon also. I'll post one link w/instructions but I've seen another way of doing it more easily but can't find the site I saw it on. They had used 2 strips of fabric, one running across the chair and one running from front to back floor length. Then they attached ties in several places to hold it together. I might do that, it had a casual cottagey look. I'm thinking unbleached cotton would look great altho natural linen might be my first choice except I'm probably too cheap. One could use flat sheets for the fabric if a suitable color/print can be found.

I can sew well enough to make proper slipcovers but I'm too lazy and have better things to do w/my time. So it's the easy way for me.

I don't think this style is "old-lady" at all (even tho I'm getting there!) - I"ve seen it all over the net and it can fit with many styles.

Hope you post pics when you get yours done.

Here is a link that might be useful: how to make DR chair slipcovers

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 7:44PM
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I don't think slipcovers would work for ladderback chairs. Unless your ladderback chairs are different, most have pointed tips on them. The slipcovers would not fit tight and would look saggy and wrinkled. You really need a chair with a back straight across the top so that the slipcover hangs right.

Maybe make a cushion for the seat and a separate matching cushion that can be tied to the back? Let the design of the ladderback show through. It would be more comfortable too.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 10:07PM
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Lucky Gal, that pic of the slipcovered chair is not actually what I am planning to do. My idea is to make a pattern of the back of the chair including the big "bump" most ladderbacks have on the first horizontal slat. I also only want to cover the slats and use snaps to fasten the front piece to the back piece. I was also planning on using quilt cotton in between to give them some softness and body and then have ties at the bottom and in the back where the slats end the seat begins. I am not too sure I explained this well enough. If I am successful, I'll post a picture.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 10:49PM
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I was thinking about buying ladder back chairs and using full slipcovers ever since I saw these posted and fell in love with the look - fresh white slips against the dark stained wood. I ended up going a different direction but still love these slips (and it looks like she sells them pre-made).

I'm sure I've seen chairs before with just the backs covered, although I think they were more of a french country rounded ladder back chair, and they looked very nice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Slipcovered ladder back chairs

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 11:37PM
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Juddgirl, that blogger does not know what ladderback chairs are.

She is selling very nice slipcovers on her site, but the chairs she put them on (which can be seen in the first photo) are not ladderbacks.

The backs look like ladders like this:

Ladderback chairs usually have rush seats but not always, and the legs are straight on them.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 1:08PM
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dilly - It's hard to confirm whether her side chairs (in the second photo, not the first) are ladder backs, since they're completely covered. However, she said the slip would fit either a standard ladder back or a parsons and hers appear to be a bit thinner than a parsons chair. Can't really tell if it's a rush seat, since it's completely covered.

Now, the chairs in the first photo are Windsors, which she explained she switched out with her ladder backs and didn't slipcover - just used a box cushion.

Whatever kind of chairs they are under those slips, I like them!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 9:37PM
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That woman's blog is confusing. I had to read it four times before it made any sense to me. Maybe I did not "get it".

I interpreted it to mean that the former 'kitchen chairs' (which are now slipcovered) are part of the set that appears in the background of the first photo showing the kitchen, that are set in front of the low kitchen counter. Meaning that the counter chairs and the table chairs were formerly all the same and matching. They look like the typical 'Pottery Barn' contemporary style with vertical slats on the back. It looked to me like that the counter chairs and the former kitchen table chairs were the same.

The legs of the chairs in the subsequent photos, that are peaking out from under the slipcovers, do not look like they are ladderback chairs at all. They look like the legs of the chairs that are sitting at the kitchen counter in the first photo. They do not look straight like ladderback chairs would be.

Like I said, the whole saga was confusing to me. I can't figure out why the Windsor chairs now at the kitchen table are a different style that the two Windsor chairs at the dining room and that at least one of the Windsor chairs (one is hidden) at the round table is armless and matches the dining room one.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 2:51PM
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