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How to Make a Nautical Ocean Chair

Updated on March 13, 2013
My Ocean Room Chair
My Ocean Room Chair


This article is about how I made a one-of-a-kind chair that you can easily make to impress your guests using simple things you can buy online or at a craft store!

My total cost of making this chair was probably under $30 and this chair has been featured all over the internet since I put it into my store. – This just goes to show that a little creativity goes a long way!!!

Step 1: Getting the Chair

In this case, I actually found this chair structure discarded as “trash” on the side of the road. The chair was in great condition but the paint was severely flaked off the metal arms. But since it was a nice rocking –style outdoor patio furniture chair, I thought it would be a blast to play with since it was free of charge, so I loaded it into my vehicle.

When I got the chair home, the first order of bushiness was to wash it down to remove any dirt. Being that its previous owner used it as outdoor furniture, it had a bit of dirt / dust build up in the cracks. A simple spray down with a hose and some very minor scrubbing with a brush got rid of the dirt easily. I then let it dry in the sun for a day or two.

Step 2: Easy Prep Work

Once the chair was completely dry, I took a piece of sandpaper and sanded the metal arms to get rid of the loose paint. I wasn't worried about stripping off the attached paint, I just wanted to make the flaking turn smooth. I then sprayed it down with the hose again to get rid of all the left over particles and let it dry in the sun.

Step 3: Painting

Now it was time to paint. I like to use the high quality brand spray paint that is good for plastic and metal. If you use the cheap stuff you will end up spending far more because it doesn't cover as well. In this case, since I was making a nautical chair, I chose a really brilliant blue. (Since I was using a quality spray paint, I did not prime the chair)

You can pick out the color of Krylon you like the best and purchase it online through below and save 40% - 70% off retail!

TIP: Make sure you paint outside and lay down cardboard boxes to paint on top of (unless you want giant paint spots on your grass!)

After the first coat dried, I flipped the chair upside down and made sure I painted any spots I missed, then touched up other spots. A good quality spray paint should dry in less than a hour if its in the sun.

Step 4: Get a Chair Cushion

Next it was time to find a chair cushion. I didn't care if the cushion was cheap or used because I planned to cover it. I got mine from Home Depot on clearance because I was in a time crunch, but you can get way better ones online. REMEMBER: The way it looks DOESN'T MATTER because it’s going to be wrapped.

Below is current patio chair cushions on If you get your cushion off eBay you'll save at least 50% versus buying it in stores:

Step 5: Material for Cushion

I then bought some awesome material; I opted for a bright blue sequin material that is opaque, but any material you like is fine. You could go with a cool shag blue or even a nautical print. Just avoid materials that can be snagged easily.

I recommend purchasing a few yards of material so you have extra. Its better to have more than enough than not enough. And you can always make a no-sew throw pillow with the extra!

Once again, eBay is a fantastic place to find deals on material! Check out my Top Picks below:

Step 6: How to Cover Your Cushion - NO SEW

Now it is time to wrap the chair cushion. I am lazy and don’t own a sewing machine, so I wrapped mine using nothing more than Liquid Nails POWER GRAB (in clear), binder clips to hold it in place and scissors to cut it to size. The wrapping process probably took around an hour because I really took my time (the second chair I made I was able to wrap in like 35 minutes due to experience. Lol)

My Cushion Completed

This is how my wrapped chair pad turned out - I LOVE IT!!!!
This is how my wrapped chair pad turned out - I LOVE IT!!!!

Step 6: Decor for Chair Arms

I let my chair cushion dry for a day and meanwhile I went to work on decorating the arms of my chair. For this nautical chair, I wanted it to be awesome looking but still usable, so i opted for some seashells and some glass decor that is flat-topped.

I used my same container of POWER GRAB to glue on each piece. I then chose to wrap a cool blue ribbon around one arm to give it character. A nautical rope would have been awesome as well. You could also incorporate gemstones or whatever you want, just make sure it wont cut people if you plan to actually utilize your piece.

My Chairs Decor

Shells, Flat Glass and Ribbon
Shells, Flat Glass and Ribbon

My Completed Chair - Large View

Complimenting Decor

Make sure you get some awesome decor that compliments you new Nautical Chair!

I have a sailfish, lobsters, crabs, starfish, fake seaweed and more!


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