As a mother of two children, aged 2 and 5, Marilize Spies longed for an heirloom she could pass on to them one day. ‘They’re not even in school yet and I’m already planning how I’m going to help them decorate their first apartments,’ she enthuses. An heirloom isn’t simply an expensive piece of furniture, she says, but something that holds sentiment – much like the two old armchairs of her grandmother’s that she transformed, bringing old memories back to life.
Create your own memory chairs
What you need
1 Choose a colour for the arms of the chair and apply at least two coats of paint (Marilize used Plascon’s French Jewel), leaving each coat to dry before proceeding.
2 Seal the paint; Harlequin’s Satin Sealer was used here.
3 Preserve your selected photos by printing copies onto photo paper.
4 Apply podge to the back of your first photo, place it in the centre of the chair on the existing fabric, then apply a coat of podge on the face of the photo.
5 Position your second photo to slightly overlap the first, then work your way from the centre of the chair towards the edges.
6 Choose slightly bigger photos for the sides of the chair, allowing you to staple them to the bottom and cover the upper edge. You might have to cut photos to make them fit around corners. Repeat until you have covered the entire chair.
7 Apply at least four coats of podge over the finished product, allowing each coat to dry completely.
8 Finally, seal with a fabric sealer, available from selected arts and crafts shops.
TIP To create a specific colour theme to suit your interior, you can scan your selected photos, use computer software to alter the colours, then print them onto photo paper.
Photographs: Ed O’Riley, for Home magazine
Styling: Simone Borcherding, Home magazine