Personalizing Free Finds

Shortly after I moved into this house my daughter-in-law showed up with a rocking chair for me.  She had been dropping her daughter off to pre-school when she spotted it sitting out by the dumpster.  She inquired about the chair and was told the chair was 100 years old and the arm was loose so it was being thrown out.

My daughter-in-law, quoting me, informed the teacher that the chair could be repaired but no one wanted this old chair so she asked it she could have it and brought it to me.

I didn’t have an interest in a rocking chair because the simple fact that the chair moves makes it a hazard for me to attempt to use.

For almost two  years the chair sat in the corner of my bedroom while I considered what to do with it. Should I keep it, where would I put it?  Should I sell it and if so should I refinish the frame or highlight the age? So many choices.

Turning the chair over and finding springs is one sign of how old it truly is.

Finally, I put it in the corner of the living room where I could consider whether or not it worked to keep it in my home and found it was the favorite seat by all visitors, especially the children.

I had to keep it.

I asked the adults who sat in it what they liked about the chair and what they didn’t. The one comment I received over and over was that you could feel the springs under the seat.

I didn’t want to remove the springs but wanted to make the chair super comfy so I purchased a 3 inch cushion to pad the seat and added a fun fabric.

I ran out of staples for my staple gun and bought the wrong ones which I didn’t notice until I’d removed the seat. I decided to go ahead and temporarily recover the seat until I can purchase the proper staples which is why you see a less than perfect job, notice the folds in the fabric along the front?

As visitors have stopped by the rocking chair has become quite the attraction and all agree the extra thick cushion was the best choice.

I liked the dark stain and the signs of wear over the decades so I did nothing to the frame but glue the arm in place.

What do you think of the thick cushion? Do you like the new fabric?




    Beautiful lines on this chair, and I too love the worn bits on the wood.

    Totally love the new fabric, and betting the grandkids do too.


    Smart woman to save this one from the trash….(must have been influenced by another smart woman….yourself)


    • It is such a lovely chair I have a hard time picturing why anyone would have thrown that out for trash.

      My son says I’ve been a bad influence on his wife. When possible she stops her vehicle and sticks furniture in the back to save. 🙂 I’m okay with that.


      • Grin…”of course you are okay with that…me too”, grin

        it is lovely. quality wood/design…

        very tough to figure why it was tossed..


        • It was tossed simply because they wanted something new. Tired of what they had so at the first sign it needed a repair gave them permission to throw it out. So glad my daughter-in-law saved it.


    • The original cushion was pretty skimpy and at first I thought I might have overdone it with this cushion but since everyone enjoys the comfort of it I’m guessing it’s just right.


  2. Sometimes you just have to ruminate. Well done! I like the idea of keeping all the old scaring and patina. I’d bet that is a happy chair to sit in with those bright colors. Do you have any count on the number of pieces you have saved from the dump? You are a wonder to be able to tackle those big jobs. So impressive.


    • The chair was always loved by the children who enjoy rocking but now the adults try to beat the children to the chair. 🙂

      I kept a list of the items I saved for a couple of years, you can find them under the tab at the top of the blog under Saved from Landfills, but I let it go when I got busy and forgot to jot down “new” finds. There was much more to save living in a college town than here but I’ve collected roughly 16 or so items for this house since moving plus lots of cans of paint my son collected from his properties and delivered to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a lot of saves, I’ll pop over and have another look. I’m looking for a little box to reuse. We went through my daughter’s storage 2 weekends ago and did a love it or lose it. Found some fun stuff that might have your name on it. A car load went to the thrift store, Some was sheets and clothes she thought she’d lost in a couple of moves. She’s paring down in case she can find a way to live and work outside the country. She lives a very sparse life. I imagine your son finds lots of good stuff on those properties as well as a lot of trash.


        • After I answered you I thought of a few more that I saved. There was a small plastic outdoor table I spotted one afternoon that I carried back and gave to a neighbor so I pass around the good fortune.

          I know you would miss your daughter but as one who loves travel and exploring new places I hope your daughter gets her chance to live abroad. I don’t know where you find the time to help clear out storage lockers. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jackie. That fabric was a bit outside my comfort zone but I loved it and had to use it on that chair. I hope you find a rocking chair for yourself. I miss being able to enjoy rocking in one.


    • Hi Sondra, that fabric was a quite different for me but I kept coming back to it and decided it was time to step out of my comfort zone. I’m glad I did as I love it.


  3. That’s lovely, Lois! What a nice chair, and doesn’t everyone like to rock?! I have two plain wooden rocking chairs.

    We have just shipped several of my Granny’s armchairs from England to France – they are in a sorry state and all need reupholstering next year (fun fun fun). The reason I mention it is because one is a 1920s/30s rocking armchair, the main body upholstered (a kind of s-shape) and simple rounded wooden arms. It has a mechanism to stop it rocking but that needs repair, too. It’s also uncomfortable because of the springs… so a whole project just in the one chair!! But we have found a pretty fabric to cover it with once the “inside” issues are resolved 🙂


    • I hope you will show us your granny’s chairs when you get them back from the upholsterer. I love the older pieces because of the workmanship that was put into them. If restored property they will be more comfortable than anything we can purchase made more recently.


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