Project 4: Rock and Swivel

As promised, we’ve finally turned my $10 chair find into a comfy, rocking, swiveling chair to rival all chairs (okay, so maybe it would lose in the Chair Olympics to some newer models, but in the low-cost events, it would totally clean up).  If you recall, this is what Big Bird looked like when I brought her home . . .

And although she looks essentially the same now, trust me–there’s a lot more going on under that skirt . . .

Before I give you a somewhat not-so-detailed explanation of how we converted Big Bird into a rocking swivel chair (I was, after all, on baby duty during much of the process), I first have to give credit where credit is due . . . so here’s the tutorial from Honey & Fitz that inspired me and informed our decisions along the way:

Step 1: Buy a rocking, swiveling base.  I got mine at Swivel-Chair-Parts.com for ~$85.

Step 2: Flip your chair over and remove the netting from the bottom of your chair by removing the staples attached to the wooden base.

Step 3: Remove the chairs legs.  Now, a lot of chairs just have legs that unscrew from the base–oh, to be so lucky, right?  Of course it wasn’t going to be that easy.  Nope, these legs were solid wood and extended all the way into the chair base.

So we had to saw them off.  And by we, I mean Mr. Bunches and our very own Bachelor-in-Residence, MO (they moved the whole operation out to the front patio at this point–the garage door was broken at the time, so they went full white-trash style and did the work where all could see). . .

Two down, two to go . . .

Step 5: Attach a wooden base for the rocker/swivel base.  Mr. Bunches and MO picked out some wood at Home Depot to use–the original plan was to have one solid piece of 3/4″ plywood cut to size, but after they found out that the cutters at both Lowe’s and Home Depot were broken, they switched to plan B: two pieces of 3/4″ thick lumber that they could cut to size themselves.

Step 6: Mark and pre-drill holes to attach wood slats to base.  We did two-three holes on each board.

Step 7: Attach slats to base with wood screws.

Step 8: Position rocking base–the base should not be positioned in the center of the chair, but more towards the back of the chair.  Once positioned, mark holes to drill in order to attach the base with bolts and nuts.  The base identifies which part is the front, so make sure you position it correctly.  I don’t have pictures really of this step, but trust me–it happened.

Step 9: Attach rocking base with nuts and bolts.  Tighten.

Step 10: Turn chair over and enjoy.  And by enjoy, apparently that means asking your wife who just birthed your baby to get you and your friend a couple of beers so you can complete the white trash picture on the front lawn.  Classic, eh?

So there you have it–how to convert an upholstered chair into a swivel rocker!  Now that we’ve had it a couple weeks, I have to say that we love it.  It hasn’t migrated to the nursery yet since I tend to nurse Mini Bunches in front of the boob tube (haha–get it–boob tube?), but I’m sure someday it will end up there.  Of course, Mr. Bunches and MO thought it should stay on the front lawn.  Clearly, they were vetoed.

Once it was back inside, of course we had to see how Mini Bunches liked it.  Her first impression?  Loved it.

Of course, 2 seconds later was a different story.  Not sure if it was MO or the chair she was reacting to . . . :)

Thanks to our Bachelor-in-Residence for all his help!!  We’ve been rocking almost non-stop these days (mainly to avoid that sad face above).

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