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Souvenir Slings




Camp chairs with sling seats are ideal for lounging by the sea, especially when they have been updated with beach-worthy prints. For this project, we backed a vintage state tablecloth with sturdy canvas. You can embellish a sling with a similarly printed fabric or, if the seat is badly worn, follow our how-tos to create one from scratch.


  • Vintage state tablecloth
  • Sturdy canvas
  • Enamel spray paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Sewing kit
  • Iron


  1. Step 1


    Start by removing the old seat, then lightly sand the frame, and apply 2 coats of enamel spray paint; let dry completely.

  2. Step 2

    Using the original seat as a template, cut 2 pieces of canvas that are 6 inches longer and 1 inch wider. Cut the tablecloth to the same width and length.

  3. Step 3

    Align the tablecloth, right side up, on one of the pieces of canvas; turn top and bottom ends of the tablecloth only 1/2 inch to give it a finished edge; machine-sew tablecloth to canvas along the folded edges.

  4. Step 4

    Place the second piece of canvas on top so the tablecloth is sandwiched between them. Sew along their long sides with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

  5. Step 5

    Turn right side out; topstitch along long sides, 1/2 inch from edges (this will keep the material flat).

  6. Step 6

    Turn short ends of fabric over 1/2 inch, and crease with an iron; turn ends over another 2 1/2 inches, pin, and stitch to create channels for the chair's dowels.

  7. Step 7

    Slip canvas onto dowels, and reassemble the chair. Read our beach bag how-to.

Martha Stewart Living, August 2006



Reviews (13)

  • Bettyt 17 Aug, 2008

    Please be careful with your in good condition vinage tablecloths especially the state ones. I have a Florida one and the Florida state vintage ones are worth $100 to $150 easily.

  • tcw61 14 Aug, 2008

    This is a great idea for any lawn chair. It makes want to pull out all those old aluminum chairs and fix them up!!

  • terivanhecke 14 Aug, 2008

    Why are only part of the comments showing?

  • terivanhecke 14 Aug, 2008

    Would a beach towel, with some kinda strong attach

  • planotx 13 Aug, 2008

    we need to know where we can find these chairs

  • Anna_Marie 13 Aug, 2008

    gstrong...I went to that site, but I think that is for another type of wooden camp chair, and would not be constructed suitably to work for this project.

  • Anna_Marie 13 Aug, 2008

    Is anyone else having trouble viewing the comments on this site? They used to come up automatically, but the only way I can get to them, now, is to submit a comment, myself.

  • Anna_Marie 13 Aug, 2008

    I have two of these chairs on the deck, and have bought fabric to recover them. I've wanted to use the existing mesh to "strengthen" the new these are great instructions on how to do that! Just in time! Thanks for the great idea.

  • katiejean 13 Aug, 2008

    I love the use of the vintage tablecloth! It's just my style!!

  • gstrong 13 Aug, 2008

    Here is a site for directions to build chair!

  • gstrong 13 Aug, 2008

    Idea's are great but it would be nice to have an idea where items can be purchased.

  • nansi 13 Aug, 2008

    What a great idea! I have 3 chairs like that and many vintage cloths. Good project to get started on right away. Thanks MSL!

  • dnehrebecky 13 Aug, 2008

    I would like to have the plans for the wooden frame part