Friday, September 26, 2014

DIY Back Rests for Lounging Outdoors

Pictured are some very fun back rests that we made for a Movie Under the Stars party. Summer and fall are optimal times to enjoy long evenings outdoors. Festivals, Concerts in the Park, backyard movie nights, beach bonfires, swim meets and picnics are all perfect opportunities to prop these up, lean back and enjoy the fresh air. Although I rent these versatile little "chairs", I thought I'd share DIY tips for those of you that are not local and enjoy an easy fun project.
Confession. I actually used the butterscotch colored cushions from my kitchen chairs.
I know they are comfy with the added bonus of being washable!
Ingredients and Recipe:

My TrueLove reminded me that we had to cut plywood to size at his brother's workshop with the skill saw and goggles. It is simple if you are experienced. If not, have a pro do it for you. The rest of the steps are easy and fun!

                                                         1)  (2)  18"x24" pieces of plywood per chair about 1/2" to 1" thick

Step 1: Put the hinges on. Then you can stand it up to paint to paint.
They go on the inside. We did it wrong the first time. See!
Also see the 1"x2" nailed at the bottom and inside.
2)  (2) sturdy hinges per chair- they attach on the inside peak

3)  Primer

4) Paint- I recommend deck paint. I used home      made chalk paint.

5) Drill

6) 3" nails

7) (2)  1"x2" wood pieces. You will drill holes in the wood piece for nails. The nails just slide into the holes and softly pierce the grass. They keep the chair from moving when supporting your back.

These back rests or chairs are versatile, sturdy and portable. I love them! I can't wait to take them to a concert in the park with a couple of supportive cushions and a bottle of wine. Smart and stylish.

This project actually cost about $50. I posted an update on social media asking friends if they had any plywood that they wanted to get rid of. Luckily, I had enough offers to come pick up their throw-away plywood to make (4)!

We had primer, nails and tools. The major cost was for the hinges, about $3.50 each. I also bought gray paint, but I saved a bunch because I shopped the "blooper" area. I knew that any value of gray would coordinate nicely with the color pallet we chose.

The picture on the right shows them all sitting pretty, ready for the guests to arrive and relax. Imagine the exciting possibilities for personalizing these chairs: painted gold or with chalkboard paint, stenciled with a family name or with a team logo, or even covered with glamorous wallpaper! Anything you can imagine!

This little cutie (left) and it's match were Antique Faire finds. I paid $20 for both of them. They are called "sand chairs" or "beach chairs". I wasn't sure how they would work on the grass but they work fantastic! I used them for the party as well with pillows. I also use them regularly to sit out on the lawn with my old pug dog and a book. They are adorable and the very reason I love antiquing and thrifting!

I hope this little DIY inspires you to have some fun creating and exploring possibilities. If I could do it, you can do it! (Except TrueLove really did most of it. shhh!)


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