the gregarious homebody

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Present to You, Fern, The Wonder Glider

Below is the story I sent Design Sponge for their Before and After series (thanks for the idea, Judy!)

Ever since I saw my friend Betsy’s red-painted metal glider that had belonged to her grandmother’s, I knew I had to have one.  They’re so charming and who doesn’t want to be rocked while potentially lying down?  Betsy’s was, I think, from the 40’s and solid metal with no need for cushions.  While searching and searching ebay, Craigslist, and vintage glider websites, the only ones I could find like hers were not only super-rusted (I expected that) but also $400 and up (I did NOT expect that).  And most of them were at least 3 hours away from my house.

Then, halleluiah, I found Fern.  That’s what I call this little beauty, below: 

I found her on Craiglist at a house that was right around the corner from where I work AND she was owned by fellow alumni of my grad school, AND she was $75!  I’m not sure what I love more—the Bakealite handles on the ashtrays (ASHTRAYS!) or the chrome on the sides that makes her look like a ’57 Chevy.  Though she was rusty, it was only surface rust.  And though most of the cushion covers were in good shape, they weighed a ton so we figured there was a lot of potentially moldy cotton filler in those bad boys.  Everything but the Bakealite handles had to be redone.

Renovating her was a group effort; I decided to have her professionally sandblasted and powder-coated and then I painted her with trusty Rustoleum spray paint, my husband shined her chrome accents (with wet aluminum foil) and my friend Kris who owns One Green Poppy made the cushions.  I even got over my own sewing fears by making some throw pillows for her!  Now she looks like this:

I may never get up again.

Sources:  Fabric: Richloom Wilder Cabana; foam/pillow inserts: Joann Fabrics; paint: Rustoleum Ultra Cover in Satin Eden, glider: Craigslist


The Handsome Husband said...

Looks awesome. If it wasn't so dammed hot out, I'd be lying on it, listening to vinyl.

Anne Grimaldi said...

Amazing!!!!! Fern is a BEAUTY!!!

Jordan@the2seasons said...

Really that is the same piece? I am shocked it looks great!

jen said...


FinnyKnits said...

HOLY CRAP THAT IS AWESOME. You saved an awesome piece of furniture and made it even cooler. Geez, girl, well done.

The Handsome Husband said...


Lauren said...

Gorgeous! What a transformation.I bet it is wonderful to sit on in the cooler evenings...


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