Up-cycled country farm decor…wooden chair bench.

A couple of months ago while visiting my Italian mother-in -law down the street from us, she gave me two really old chairs to redo. My mother-in -law grew up in Italy during World War two. Her home is filled with all kinds of items. She keeps things because she remembers the time when the German soldiers came to her house and stayed. That sounds so polite the way I just wrote it up but it was actually a take over. The Germans just took over their house. It was a time when there was not a lot of food available so a home with chickens came in hand when it came to those soldiers.


My mother-in-law shares stories with us about how her and her siblings would sneak upstairs where the soldiers were sleeping in their rooms and beds and while they were out they would go through their luggage, making sure to put everything back exactly the way they found it. It was where she saw her first nylon stockings, so delicate and fragile when she carefully lifted them out of their gift box. Guess one of the soldier had a gift to take back home.


I explain to my kids that their Nonna keeps everything because she remembers what it was like growing up during a time of war when it was hard. Nonna keeps everything because she knows what it is really like to be hungry and scared. She knows what is really important in the end. The person with a ton of items stored away in case of times of war knew they could use those things to barter with. That will never go away in people that grew up in those situations. So her home is filled with what ever you can think of.

Anytime we need anything and I mean just about anything, my mother-in-law has all those items and more. Half the things we have up north at Our Little Red House from pillow cases, dishes and one couch, all came from her and she still has more stored away in her home.She loves it when someone in her family needs one of her supplies because she has a bunch of fun replacing them.

So a couple of months ago she gave me two really old and beat up chairs. I told her I would fix them up and do something with them. She knows I love fixing up broken things. I too have my own personal reasons behind that.


I had some left over chalked paint from another project that was just the right amount to cover two small chairs.


I also had an old pallet to take apart and clean. I had a great idea for the chairs and couldn’t wait to start putting these two items together.


But first I had to clean up the chairs and remove the seats.


The chairs were so old, they were pretty easy to take apart.


I probably didn’t even have to use tools to remove the seats. It was so cracked and worn, I probably could have just ripped it up.


I mean, come on, look at this…it’s insanely dry. That’s the main reason I decided to paint them, otherwise I would have stained and sealed the wood instead. I love the rich colors of anything wood but these chairs needed something to help hold them together.


I love this part when up-cycling something, just tearing apart furniture knowing that at the end of it all something new and pretty will come out of it, hopefully that is. I am not ashamed to admit that I have had my share of nailed it moments.It’s a learning process.



I also had an old mosaic table to take apart as well. The legs were broken in the back and the table was water damaged. I could save parts of the glass on the table and transfer it to something else to hang in my garden but that would be a project for another day. I will have to make sure to wear my safety goggles for that tear apart.


Once the chairs were painted and the pallet boards were cleaned and sealed, my husband screwed the boards into the base of the seats, combining the two chairs together to make one seat. Kind of like a bench.


This was such a fun project. Can’t wait to show my mother-in-law what I did with her two old chairs. They make the cutest bench out front. Now I need to figure out what to do with that mosaic and that to me is also really fun. Figuring out how to turn something old into something new again. Have a great time up-cycling something yourselves.





23 Comments Add yours

  1. I had a beautiful friend who made fabulous mosaics. They were some of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I’m sad she won’t be creating more but I’m excited to see what you do with the table 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love mosaics. I remember seeing them everywhere when I was in Italy, they are so beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. webzandgutz says:

    Cool idea! Reminds me of the old wooden folding chairs I have in my basement… Been meaning to do something with them, too! Thanks for the inspiration – Upcyclers Unite!! Lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my gosh, you should see all the up-cycling projects I have to do. Every time I am out in the world I always come across something to redo and another item gets put on the list. Right now in my family we are working on an old table, school desk bench, large wooden storage box and an old wooden tool tray that I hope to turn into an herb garden. The weather forecast is predicting rain and grey weather so I better get my paint projects down at least.


  3. Wow – now that’s a transformation! Love this.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a great idea making a bench! I have never seen anything like this before….what a great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I saw something similar once in a country magazine but never had the right kind of chairs. I thought it would look good with plants on it too.


  5. krcc says:

    Everytime I see broken wooden furniture, I wonder to myself if I think I could do something with them. Then I end up just driving away. Good for you for taking up the challenge and great work!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. When ever there is pick up day in our city there are piles of wood, broken furniture and other odds and ends out waiting for the dump. That is so dangerous for me. I see so many things I can turn into something new but there are not enough hours in the day. I usually donate things once I finish them. It’s a fun hobby and it keeps things out of the dump. I have even had an up-cycled garden table and chairs stolen once from my front porch. No one else in our neighborhood had anything stolen. Our neighbors have beautiful pots and outdoor furniture out, but nope, it was just my art piece I did over that was stolen. So funny, all they had to do was ask and I would have given it to them.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dandelion B says:

    such a sad thought about your hubz nonna.’s story I cant imagine those times and all who lived it.
    My vavao ( nana in Portuguese) lived through some rough times as a window in the 50’s to a toddler ( my dad her last child) in her 50’s herself, she passed at 91 still a widow in 1994 and didn’t talk much about the times I do remember her saying how they didn’t have much due to the times,she too cherished everything she had and prolonged the life of items she had as long as she could, by means of repair or up cycle, between her and my dad I suppose I was destined to be an up cycler 🙂
    I have seen this project before with the chairs and have always wanted to make one, great job on yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It is nice that our family passed down that tradition of fixing things up. I love doing that anyway. I saw this in an old country magazine years ago and never had the right kind of chairs to do a bench, these worked out great for a bench. I might put some flowers on them.


  7. This is really neat and inspiring because we can all repurpose every now and then. Thank you! 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you and you’re welcome, glad you like it. I bet you find all kinds of wonderful old items in your country. Europe is filled with so many antique and beautiful pieces of furniture. I bet your home is filled with beautiful things as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Such an awesome transformation! I love love love making old things new again!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so much fun to me too, thank you. I love seeing the transformation of something all broken up turned into something unique.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great job on the chairs. They look so warm and inviting; to sit on the porch and have a conversation with you and maybe a glass of iced tea 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be fun and lemonade is one of my favorite drinks. We have plenty of lemons over here in Arizona for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Absolutely beautiful. There is nothing like giving new life to old furniture. I am currently working on an old metal rocking chair. It’s no easy task, so I applaud the hard work you put into this piece. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I love to see your piece once finished. I have a secret…I could look at a big book of before and afters all day long. It’s so cool what people can come up with when they are being creative.


  11. This upcycling project is very nice. You have transformed the old chair to a beautiful bench and yet managed to keep the emotions attached to that chair. Lovely and creative!! 😀 You have really inspired us, will surely try to use the trick in my home as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww…what a sweet comment, thank you so much. So glad you liked it and that you will make some cool things yourself now. Have fun being creative and have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

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