Last summer when Jim and I moved into the Retro Ranch and we set out on the quest for a queen sized mattress (our last house was only big enough for a full sized bed!) we stumbled across a Barcelona Style chair in the scratch and dent section of the furniture store we were in.
Now if you know anything about Barcelona Chairs you know that not only are they really cool, but they are also really expensive! So expensive in fact, that I would never be able to afford one unless I somehow won the lottery. (odds of that are slim to none) So when I saw the knock off Barcelona style chair-with hassock-in the scratch and dent area I was instantly excited. On first glance it looked like nothing was really wrong with it…until we noticed that several of the straps on the hassock were broken. The chair had originally retailed for $800 at this furniture store and since it was already marked down to $350 because of the damage, we thought it was a really good deal. However, we also had just dropped a chunk of change on a new mattress and I am one heck of a bargainer, so we figured it was worth a shot to try and get some more $$$ knocked off the sale price. Sure enough, we found the same guy who had just sold us the mattress and inquired about the chair. He was able to knock another $100 off so our grand total for the chair and the hassock was $250. Now that’s a deal!
It wasn’t until I got home that I thought, “How the heck am I going to fix this?”
I did some searching on the internet and found little to nothing about replacing the leather straps on a Barcelona chair. I was racking my brain to try and figure out what to do, or where to take the chair to have someone else fix it (and what that might cost) when a light bulb went off in my head. Sometimes the answer to the question “how to fix the leather straps on a Barcelona chair” is found by googling “how to repair a leather strap on a horse saddle.”
I did a bunch of research on saddle repair and even found a place to order the leather straps and punch tool for the repair job. I also ordered Chicago Screws to join the leather straps and secure them on the chair frame. Here are the tools and materials I used for the job:
- 1/4″ Silver Chicago Screws (package of 25)
- Silver Sharpie marker (for marking the black leather)
- Measuring tape
- Cutting mat
- Ruler or straight edge
- Box cutter
- Leather punch
- Leather straps (I just measured the existing width and length of the straps on the chair and added a little to the length to ensure I had enough to wrap around and fasten on itself (they were 1.5 inches wide) Then I used a piece of string to estimate how long of a piece I would need for each strap (plus a little more for wiggle room) I ended up ordering 3 of the Black Latigo Straps. 72 in x 1\8 in Thick.-(bls06) 1 ½ in ($17.99 ea). I ordered more than I actually ended up using so if any more of the old straps break, I can repair them right away.)
Here is what the hassock looked like before…Jim and I had taped it so it looked less broken sitting in our living room, but the functionality was not good…
Of course Leo was all over the project helping….
First I used the box cutter to remove the broken straps from the frame…
I removed as much of the old leather that I could from where it was riveted to the frame. (Notice one strap is repaired already? Well I was so excited to see if my method would work that I forgot to take pictures of the steps until I had one done already…oops!)
Step 2 Take a piece of the leather and wrap it around the chair frame…
Use the silver Sharpie marker to mark where you want to punch your holes…
Also mark a line on the side where the edge of the leather is when you fold the leather strap over the chair frame…
Step 3 Use the leather punch to punch the holes on the top of the strap where you marked them…
…This took a little time to make sure the hole went all the way through enough to get the screws in. (I had to punch it from the top and then line up the punch and punch it from the bottom before the hole would punch all the way through)
Step 4 fold the strap over and line the edge up with the line you drew to show where the edge of the strap overlaps, then use the silver Sharpie to mark through the holes that you just punched so that you know where to punch the second set of holes.
Step 5 Use the punch to make the second set of holes.
Step 6 Put the top part (not the side with the screw face) of the Chicago screws in the first set of holes…
…then put the bottom half of the Chicago screws in the other set of holes, put the leather strap around the chair frame and use a screwdriver to tighten the screws down.
Step 7 take the leather strap and pull it tightly around the other side of the chair frame (you want it to be tight so that the cushion doesn’t sag, especially as the leather stretches) and mark where to cut the strap as well as where to punch the first holes.
Step 8 use the box cutter, ruler and cutting mat to trim the leather strap. (You could always measure and cut, but for me this was easier. Also make sure the blade on your box cutter is very sharp!) Then repeat the steps above to mark and punch the holes and attach the leather strap to the chair frame with Chicago screws.
Ta-da! You have just repaired a strap!
…and again until you have replaced all the broken straps on your chair or hassock…
I also had one strap that broke on the chair itself, so I used the same steps to repair the one broken chair strap.
The whole project (tools and materials – I have leftover materials in case another one of the “fake leather” straps break) cost me about $85. Total cost for a Barcelona style chair: $335. Not bad if I do say so myself!
Update: I have just been informed of another source for replacement chair straps (in both black and white) Read my new post!
NEW UPDATE: According to some of my readers, the source for leather straps I have listed is no longer a good place to purchase them.
November 25, 2013 11:33 am
Nice blog post. I repaired my chair as well using this approach – although I wanted to warn you that despite your positive experience with eleathersupply, they are now a fraudulent company. I suggest you refrain from referring folks there – I attempted to purchase my straps there and am now in a fight to get a refund. They took my money, but won’t send me any straps (because they don’t have them! and after 2 months of waiting, still don’t!), nor refund my money.
I have filed fraud reports against them with the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Reports and the state of Texas.
Buyer beware — I didn’t have any problems with this company back when I first purchased my straps, but since then it seems that they may not be a good source due to the delivery issues listed above. Do your own research to find supplies from a reputable seller!