Try Our Editor's Idea for Restoring a Classic Sling Chair

All you need is a linen table runner.

slingback chair DIY project material
Photo: Peter Ardito

Sitting pretty: That'll be you, once you've freshened up a classic sling chair with this quick-sew secret. An 18-inch-wide table runner is exactly the right width to replace the seat—and these crisp options conveniently come by the yard, according to Living's style editor at large Naomi deMañana, who envisioned this idea. What's more, linen table runners can be used in other summer accessories, furnishings, and everything else necessary to outfit your patio for the summer. "I love all the different color ways and have used it to make runners, tote bags, and cover other chairs," she continues. "Turn your outdoors into the south of France and purchase some espadrilles to match!"

The Method

To start, remove and measure the old fabric; cut the runner three inches longer. Turn each end under by an inch and a half, and stitch across. As for the wooden frame, it's worth noting that most lumbers used for outdoor furniture naturally resist decay and withstand the elements but sealants help preserve color and protect against wear and tear. First, clean the surface and sand off any existing finishes. Touch up with paint if needed. Apply a clear water-repellent preservative such as WoodRx Clear Water Repellent ($24.56,, which contains a penetrating semitransparent stain. (The pigment in the stain helps minimize sun damage.) Consult the manufacturer's instructions to learn how often to reapply; in general, you'll need to do so every one to three years. Slip the frame's rods into the tubes, and you're ready to recline.

The Palette

Summer calls for superneutrals. Because they're muted in tone, these colors work with all kinds of palettes. Bold stripes in earth-tone colors replaced the yellowed fabric. Any of the ones shown here complements the chair's natural wheat-colored frame.

Shop Now: Gray Lines Linen Runners, 18", $8 a yd.,; Flora Home Natural­Frame Sling Chair, $88,

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