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When all else fails use duct tape

Held together with spit and baling wire probably has a Mexican equivalent somewhere. I’ve certainly seen enough ingenious fixes in our Merida sojourn. I’ve even done more than my share of them. Once when my Buick blew a hose outside of Buttonwillow, my traveling companion and I used a plastic pencil case and some duct tape to make emergency repairs. The mechanic didn’t have the right hose, but he had one that worked so that’s the one we used. The mechanic said that he couldn’t charge me labor because it wasn’t the right part.  At that time Buttonwillow was just a wide spot in the road offering a couple of gas stations, a Motel 6 and your choice of burgers, my friend and I were probably the cutest things he’d seen in awhile and that may have had more to do with the discount than the suitability of the hose. That hose was still in that ‘73 Skylark in ‘79 when a spontaneous electrical fire sent it on it’s way. It was Las Vegas and cute girls weren’t as novel so the car got sold as a project car.

I still have a fondness for duct tape repairs. However, as I found with my duct tape double, duct tape doesn’t stay stuck in our climate. When one of our office chairs started to show wear and tear, I tried to repair it with duct tape. It worked okay but it wasn’t all that esthetically pleasing. I solved the problem by using electrical tape instead.This fix worked for about a year.

I found a blog post on how to “transform a not so pretty desk chair” which I pinned, then all of sudden I was seeing several versions and tutorials on the subject.

This tutorial featured a chair with arms like mine, though it was for a slipcover rather than reupholstering it’s the one that I sort of  followed.

I did have a big face palm moment when I realized that I could have removed the arms and replaced the fabric instead of winding tape around them. It took me longer to find an Allen wrench than it it did to unscrew everything.

Here is the disassembled arm and all it’s component parts. Notice the very yucky tape residue. I considered spray painting the chair but decided against it at this time.


I removed the old piping and cut off some of the bunched material but I didn’t remove the old pleather because it was bonded to  the foam.



Here is the finished chair, front view
and side view.

I had to take some tucks in the top and I didn’t shape it as much as I should have but it’s serviceable.

The fabric is definitely better to sit on than the fake leather.

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. Shannon,
    I remember watching the Red Green show! funny stuff!


  2. Canadian comedian Red Green would approve. He has a 1001 uses for duct tape. (so do I)

  3. Lee,
    There is this incrediable contest every year where kids make prom dresses (and matching suits too!) out of duct tape! It is awesome in the all the senses of the word.

    I am not in that league.

    I’ve seen a couple of project runway episodes and I enjoyed them. I am more of a craftsperson than anything else.Did you see my duct tape decorated suit case?


  4. Have you been watching Project Runway? It’s probably available online somewhere. The designers all created couture with Duck Tape (the brand of duct tape). They had all kinds of fashion colors at their disposal. Right up your alley!

  5. Barb,
    Husband is color blind, so he thinks it’s green LOL…Just kidding,he is color indifferent more than really colorblind. It’s now my chair, he wanted one without arms, when I removed the arms the back came off. So it didn’t work for him regardless of color.


  6. Oh!!! Very cool! How does Husband feel about using a pink chair? lol

  7. Calypso,
    LOL, just transfering my dressmaking skills into another venue. It’s fun trying new things.


  8. Job well done – you are a clever girl!

  9. Carol,
    I am either building a chair,making an earthbox garden, or refashioning some clothes.Then again, maybe I will do something totally different.

    Glad you enjoy coming along on my little adventures!


  10. Love it. I always love your projects, and can’t wait to see what you will tackle next.

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