Butterfly Chairs

I was flipping through the pictures I have stored on my phone and came across some that I had taken while making the butterfly chairs for the tent. I’m not sure I’d write a very good tutorial on how to make them. Especially since most of my technique is just eyeballing what looks right. I thought I would share them anyways, just in case someone might find some part of it helpful. 

First: lots and lots of image research. Trying to find ones that were the right era was easy. Finding links that had measurements was not that easy. 

Next: I used the thinnest dowels that came in a package at the craft store. I created the “x” in the front and back first. I had drawn out a rough sketch to act as a template so that all the angles were the same for both chairs. I used a clear plastic transparency over top of the template so that I could glue and tape the pieces down while they dried. The glue didn’t really stick to the plastic. It also made it so I could use the template again quickly.  Adding the side bars was a bit trickier. Glue, tape, and vertical surfaces to prop the chair against were essential. 

Originally I had planned on using this woven fabric, but decided it was too see through. That’s when I started working out how to make the vinyl thinner. It took a couple pattern adjustments to get the seat to sit right. 

After the chair had dried for a few days (yes, I wanted to make sure nothing was going to move), I painted it to give it a look of a warm walnut. I made the fittings and hardware from black card stock that I burnished with silver crayon.

And the first one being modeled with its inspiration. Not exactly the same and The seat could use a few more pattern tweaks, but overall I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. 

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