Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mr. Modtomic Procures A Mr. Chair. Serendipity? Fate? Coincidence? ::Shrugg:: Status: Mr. Modtomic To Become Mr. Upholstery...tomic, or Mod-pholsterer?


Yup, another craigslist snatching. Again, offered more than asking to ensure acquisition. I've been pining for an Eames (or great knock-off!) lounger for sooooo long. I think....I Think...this Mr. Chair qualifies. You?

But, does need a little attention. A little love actually! I think I might be the one to give

it! There are three advantages to re-upholstering this chair as apposed to an actual Herman

Miller unit. One...I can use whatever uphostery fabric / vinyl I feel like without suffering the

purist's wrath and rancor. Two...No Buttons!!! I've read that upholstering the buttons is best left

to professionals. I hate paying for the work of others when I think (how ever wrongly) that I

could do it myself. Three...damn wine. I'm having a glass (or three...and I'm a lightweight!) of

Chardonnay and I've already forgotten what number three was. I think it might have to do with

the construction between the seat and the backrest and the fact the REAL Eames lounge chair

occasionally suffers from catastrophic failure in this area. I don't know. If I think of it

and it's something else I promise I'll leave a comment letting you know.


Sadly the ottoman is in Great condition and doesn't need any upholstery work at all! But It'll

have to match the chair when finished so It'll get the Modtomic treatment as well. Sad thing

is...the original vinyl feels kinda cheap. I guess that's a blessing as well since it means I can't

really go wrong with a replacement choice.


I'm kinda on the fence about what kind of upholstery material to use. Black vinyl is kind of the

obvious choice. I do have a "stash" upholstery material to choose from and I still check through

what's available at Old Time Pottery and Garden Ridge. I even spotted some "Chrome" vinyl at

Garden Ridge a while back. Chrome!


The biggest challenge will likely be the armrests. I found a great video at The Pink Of

Perfection on re-upholstering chromecraft type chairs with vinyl
and I'm sure it's gonna be a

great help whether I go with vinyl or fabric. I had no idea how the "Piping" was created until I

watched the above video. They almost make it look easy!


Above you can see some of the detail differences in this chair as compared to the Eames

lounge chair. The backrest here on the Plycraft Mr. Chair is actually physically connected to

the seat section where as on the Eames chair it is not. Also note the base legs are covered in

bent wood.


Here are the labels. It's pretty amazing that they have survived intact this long! "Designed by

George Mulhauser"! Luckily I found a great blog with a "how to" Eames lounge chair upholstery

to help me along called Red Jet Whistle.


  1. WOW!!! What a great find! I hope that I can find and Eames Chair or a wonderful knockoff like this one someday! I can only hope right? But good score! I cant wait to see how you re-upholster it!

  2. I keep saying I'm going to take an upholstery class. I'm eager to see how your project goes!

  3. wow! amazing find. my husband has a special place reserved in the tiny apartment and wants to put the chair there when we buy it :)

  4. I found my plycraft eames knock-off chair out by the trash when i was driving around one day. I've been reupholstering it for awhile (I'm lazy); It's pretty easy, but takes time to do it right. I replaced the foam because I wanted a more firm cushion and that really good foam cost a pretty penny (you can not get really good foam at Jo Ann's fabric). The buttons are also pretty easy; there are kits and the buttons snap together. I am going to have the arm rests done. I'm going to have someone make the piping for the rest of the chair, because I made a hash of my first batch of piping.

  5. Have fun! I have a Plycraft chair that I thought was a Mr. Chair but it's not like yours, so maybe it was called something different? It's just as comfy as the Eames lounger so who cares. :)

  6. I've really got to find one of these - looking forward to seeing what you do to spiff it up!