Wicker furniture chairs are unique and comfortable pieces, suitable for a variety of indoor and outdoor settings. Although you can purchase wicker chairs from most furniture stores, a handmade wicker chair adds a personal touch to any room and makes an excellent gift as well. Fortunately, you don't have to be an expert weaver in order to make a sturdy and attractive wicker chair at home. Follow these instructions to create a basic wicker furniture chair, complete with back support.
Step 1 - Gather Your Materials
Before you begin weaving your wicker chair, visit a crafts store or an outdoor home and garden store to purchase the wicker itself. There are a number of different types of wood and other materials that may be used, but the most common and easiest to work with is rattan. Rattan, reed, bamboo and other materials also come in a variety of shapes, though the standard round shape is the most popular and also tends to work better for beginners.
Plan to purchase or gather the following materials for a standard sized chair:
- Wicker material, including the basic frame for the chair
- Household tools, including a tape measure, drill, and screws of various lengths
- Wax, stain and a paint brush
- Hammer and nails
Allow the wicker materials to soak in water for several hours before you begin your construction, as this will help to make them more flexible.
Step 2 - Lay the Primary Wicker Threads
Lay strips of rattan along the frame for the seat or back of your chair. Use small finishing nails to attach them to either end of the frame, and ensure that the threads themselves are evenly spaced and parallel. Allow a small gap in between each thread.
Step 3 - Weave Perpendicular Threads
Using an equally-sized thread, nail one end to a third side of the frame such that the new thread lies perpendicular to the ones that you've already set. Weave it through the other threads, alternating over and under. Finally, nail the other end to the inside of the frame so that the nail is inconspicuous. Continue by weaving additional threads in the same manner, the goal being that there should be as few gap spaces as possible.
Step 4 - Secure the Frame
Having wrapped the wicker pieces through the frame, ensure that each thread is properly nailed in place and is sturdy. Each piece of material should be taut, but wicker that is too tense may be more likely to break or snap under pressure. Allow several hours for the material to dry, and do not continue with the staining process until the material shows no trace of dampness.
Step 5 - Stain and Treat the Wicker
Using a paintbrush, follow the instructions by the manufacturer to apply wicker stain to the frame and threads of the chair. Allow plenty of time for the stain to dry before applying a second coat or using the chair.