Shabby Chic Rocking Chair with a Twist

While trying (and I mean trying… or in honest truth, actually secretly adding while trying..ha!) to work through my stash of projects, I finally decided to empty my brain of the plans I had to create a unique piece. Enter in this vintage Bentwood shabby chic rocking chair.

Vintage Bentwood Rocking Chair Gets Embroidered Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Pretty, isn’t it?  Aaahh…my brain is now able to move on.  I’m happy with how it turned out.
Here’s the before shots: (more like oops, forgot to snap a picture before I sanded and prepped and started to work)
Vintage Bentwood Rocking Chair Gets Embroidered Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Vintage Bentwood Rocking Chair Gets Embroidered Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
This chair was in excellent shape with only some minor nicks that were easily sanded out, and the caning was firm and intact.
For some reason, the moment I got this chair, I kept seeing a cross-stitch loom in the caning. And, of course, it needed to be filled with some sort of shabby type design. Since I hadn’t done a shabby piece in a while (I’ve been a modern vibe for a bit), I thought now was the perfect time.  Especially because our weather is lacking and I’m suffering from cabin fever!!
So after a couple coats of my favorite color chalk paint on frame and cane topped with a hand-rubbed wax, I grabbed my yarn needle and set to work.
Vintage Bentwood Rocking Chair Gets Embroidered Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Let me tell you that being 6 months pregnant and trying to embroider a rocking chair is not the easiest thing to do.
Just picture me on my desk chair next to the rocker, half-kinked over trying to reach the back with needle and yarn.  My back and neck were killing me.  But… I honestly didn’t notice too much because I was having fun!
Since the stitched design was happening on the front, I needed to dress up the stitch marks on the back.  See my prego belly?
Vintage Bentwood Rocking Chair Gets Embroidered Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Vintage Bentwood Rocking Chair Gets Embroidered Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
The backing added to the overall uniqueness of the chair, don’t you?
I must say that even though this chair was available in my shop, (SOLD) I would be perfectly happy to keep it because my kids and I used it for a while before working on it and it is oh so comfortable!  It has the most wonderful rocking gait – long and smooth.
Vintage Bentwood Rocking Chair Gets Embroidered Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Vintage Bentwood Rocking Chair Gets Embroidered Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Vintage Bentwood Rocking Chair Gets Embroidered Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
  Vintage Bentwood Rocking Chair Gets Embroidered Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
Do pin and share to inspire others to look at their current or thrift store furniture differently. Making you house your home doesn’t have to break the bank.
Vintage Bentwood Shabby Chic Rocking Chair Gets Embroidered Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |
I’d love to hear what you think. On to the next piece!

blog signature


See more makeovers like this shabby chic rocking chair:

Outdated Side Table Gets a Vintage Chic Makeover Complete with Typography for Sewing Table Fun by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comCreate Your Own Repurposed Chalkboard Menu with Prodigal Pieces |

Previous Post Next Post


  • White Lace and Promises

    Who would have thought? Great job!

    February 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm Reply
  • Joan Burd

    I have a bentwood waiting to be painted … Love the embroidery idea. It would be cute to add a child’s name to it for a nursery! Love what you did!

    February 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm Reply
  • Marie Blackburn

    Larissa this is absolutely adorable – what a great idea!
    [email protected] Interior Frugalista

    February 5, 2014 at 5:58 pm Reply
  • Acorn to Oak

    Wow! What a unique idea! I have a rocker just like that and it never crossed my mind about how the caning would make a perfect cross stitch canvas. Hmmmm? You’ve got me thinking. Great job! It’s really pretty!

    February 6, 2014 at 1:48 am Reply
  • nancy carlson

    Wonderful job! I especially like the clean paint job – no sanded fake chippy finish. Oh, and the cross-stitiching is marvelous! I have a chair with caning on the sides. Maybe I’ll paint the whole thing, fabric and all, then have my husband cross-stitch something on the sides. He’s so good that the back looks like the front, so wouldn’t even need to cover the back!

    February 6, 2014 at 3:17 pm Reply
  • Jeanette

    I have that same rocking chair. My husband gave it to me for our first Christmas after our wedding in 1981!!! I love this idea and think I will just have to redo my chair too! So pretty and I’m pinning for my next furniture redo!

    February 6, 2014 at 3:31 pm Reply
  • revivedbydelia

    I LOVE this idea! It’s brilliant!

    February 7, 2014 at 3:24 am Reply
  • Craftberry Bush

    gah! LOVE everything about this…My grandma had a rocking chair just like this one. Beautiful…:)

    February 7, 2014 at 1:55 pm Reply
  • Vickie @ Ranger 911

    Your rocking chair with the cross stitch design is genius! I love everything about it, from the color, to the fabric on the back, to the gorgeous rose you cross-stitched on the caning!! Visiting from FFF.

    February 7, 2014 at 8:38 pm Reply
  • Linda Bouffard


    February 7, 2014 at 8:58 pm Reply
  • Momofmoms4

    Absolutely Gorgeous!

    February 9, 2014 at 5:57 pm Reply
  • lauren @ West Furniture Revival

    the rocker turned out gorgeous! I would love to feature it, if that would be ok please let me know,

    February 10, 2014 at 1:44 am Reply
  • Lori Rowe

    That is absolutely gorgeous! What a fantastic idea!

    February 10, 2014 at 12:08 pm Reply
  • Cathy Wall

    That is just darling and oh so clever. Nicely done as well!

    February 21, 2014 at 1:35 pm Reply
  • Brynne Delerson

    Oh my goodness – that is so creative! And so lovely! I have such a soft-spot for floral embroidery 🙂 I always pass up caned pieces where the caning is damaged, but I bet this embroidery idea could also work to hide small holes or tears! Pinning to my “Great Furniture Redos” board 🙂

    February 21, 2014 at 3:19 pm Reply
  • Sanditerese

    That is awesome! I never would have thought to add the cross stitch.

    February 21, 2014 at 4:44 pm Reply
  • jude3944

    this is beautiful I love it

    March 17, 2014 at 7:19 pm Reply
  • jude3944


    March 17, 2014 at 7:20 pm Reply
  • Little Treasures

    I just came upon this today and had to leave a comment saying it is the most amazing freshening up I’ve seen!

    March 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm Reply
  • Tracee

    I love this! I would like to have the pattern you cross stitched onto the rocker! is there a way to get it?

    March 24, 2014 at 6:15 am Reply
  • Tracee

    I LOVE this! I have this exact chair too… is there a way to get the cross stitch pattern from you that you used? I want to do this!

    March 24, 2014 at 6:16 am Reply
  • Sarah Ayad

    Absolutely beautiful!

    March 24, 2014 at 2:38 pm Reply
  • Sarah Ayad

    Absolutely beautiful!

    March 24, 2014 at 2:38 pm Reply
  • Jeanne Williams

    I love it! Wish I had talent like that

    March 24, 2014 at 10:38 pm Reply
  • Jeanne Williams

    I love it! Wish I had talent like that

    March 24, 2014 at 10:40 pm Reply
  • Andre Dittrich

    Great Job! What kind of wax did you use for the cane?

    April 3, 2014 at 6:07 am Reply
  • Andre Dittrich

    Very beautiful work! I also got a rocker. Please can you tell me, which kind of wax you used for cane? Regards from germany

    April 3, 2014 at 6:11 am Reply
  • Rebekah @ Charming Imperfections

    Oh my, Larissa, this is my absolute favorite of your projects! Its so creative and shabby and beautiful! I could go on, but seriously, great job on this one 🙂

    April 29, 2015 at 10:09 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Love your enthusiasm!! Thank you so much, Rebekah. It felt so good to get that off my brain! Now I know what I’ll do if I find another rocker. 😉

      April 29, 2015 at 5:19 pm Reply
  • Sherry Fram

    Beautiful! Love the color and the stitching! I have an afghan that my mother made me in 1980 that has the same rose pattern on it. I hangs on my quilt ladder in my bedroom. My aunt bought the kit and gave it to my mother because she couldn’t figure out to use the afghan needle. She gave to me for graduation from nursing school.

    April 29, 2015 at 7:42 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      How fantastic is that story and that you still have it! Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

      April 29, 2015 at 8:21 pm Reply
  • Karen @ Dogs Don't Eat Pizza

    That is beautiful! I’m not really a shabby chic kind of girl, but that chair re-do is so creative and really beautiful! How did you know what kind of yard would work? Great idea for a cane chair!

    April 30, 2015 at 6:01 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Karen! I knew that a wool blend would be the best choice based on my experience with yarn in my clothing/crafting experience. So glad you liked it! 🙂

      April 30, 2015 at 7:32 am Reply
  • 19 Faux Cross-Stitch Projects - The Scrap Shoppe

    […] Cross-Stitch Cane Chair from Prodigal Pieces […]

    May 18, 2015 at 6:01 am Reply
  • Loretta

    I am definitely going to do this with mine! What a great idea and a great look!

    July 17, 2015 at 11:04 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yay! Show me when you do, I’d love to see. 😉

      July 18, 2015 at 8:54 am Reply
  • Rockin' Rocking Chair Makeover - DIY Furniture Makeovers

    […] Larissa knew that her old rocking chair deserved a shabby chic makeover.  But how could she update it while keeping its vintage charm?  She painted it in soft pastel colors and then embroidered a pretty pink flower on it.  For more details on this rocking chair makeover and to see how she finished the back side, visit Larissa’s blog Prodigal Pieces. […]

    October 8, 2015 at 4:14 am Reply
  • Cate

    Hi Larissa: I’m new here, as of today, and I’m seeing your gorgeous embroidered rocking chair for the first time and it really spoke to me. How did you get the rose design? Roses are one of my favorite flowers as are pansies and JohnnyJump-Ups.. Would a stencil work?
    Congratulations on all you do for your family and keeping life meaningful. That makes you a star!

    October 14, 2015 at 9:02 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Welcome to my blog, Cate! So happy to hear you like my rocker. It was fun and I’m excited to have gotten the idea out of my head and into fruition. I honestly just kinda of winged the design, but I do think a stencil would work to help guide you too. Thank you for the love! 😀

      October 16, 2015 at 6:36 am Reply
  • Brandi

    Oh my goodness! I absolutely love how this turned out!!! I just bought this same style of chair today at a garage sale for $5 I will be trying this! Thank you so much for the idea!

    October 17, 2015 at 10:47 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Wahoo! So glad you enjoyed and are going to give it a try. I’d love to see what you do!

      October 19, 2015 at 10:04 am Reply
  • Dacil

    Hi Larissa!
    I love the colour, the cross-stitch, all your work!
    Definitely I´m going to try with my old rocking chair.
    Many thanks!!

    April 5, 2016 at 5:05 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Good for you and thank you for your kinds words. 🙂

      April 6, 2016 at 10:19 am Reply
  • Jane Windham

    Larissa, I am always impressed every time I see a piece of your awesome work, and this is no exception! You are so crazy talented, girl!

    April 8, 2016 at 3:33 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You are the sweetest, Jane. Thank you for making my day!

      April 11, 2016 at 5:18 am Reply
  • Lesley - England

    Oh my that’s divine! You’re so talented!!!!

    April 30, 2016 at 8:42 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, girl! 😀

      May 2, 2016 at 5:54 am Reply
  • Karen

    Fabulous piece!! Exquisite.. You are very talented!!

    May 20, 2016 at 6:34 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Karen. I certainly had fun!

      May 23, 2016 at 6:58 am Reply
  • Nancy

    So talented! Beautiful work! Thanks for posting although I doubt I could ever match that!

    July 2, 2016 at 4:17 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You are so sweet. Thank you for the love!

      July 4, 2016 at 5:56 am Reply
  • Diana

    Love the chair. I am in search of yarn to do a similar chair. What did you use and where did you find it? I would think wool would be best? Any help would be so appreciated. Thank you.

    July 15, 2016 at 8:56 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Diana. I used Wool-Ease from JoAnn. I hope you have fun!

      July 16, 2016 at 2:25 pm Reply
  • Ivory

    As always, beautiful! Congratulation on your pregnancy

    August 2, 2016 at 3:46 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Ivory. 🙂 My little girl is now two years old…I can’t believe it!

      August 4, 2016 at 8:15 am Reply
  • Nicole Soi

    Love this! I just found an old bentwood rocker curbside and am hoping to do something similar to yours, it’s so beautiful and unique. What brand/color paint did you use?

    October 8, 2016 at 12:01 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Score for you! I used a seconds paint from Home Depot. 🙂

      October 8, 2016 at 8:46 pm Reply
  • Rosaly Henriques

    I love this chair! Such a great idea. It turned out just amazing.

    June 3, 2017 at 12:56 am Reply
  • jaime

    Apartment Therapy has an article on cross-stitched DIYs. I hope you don’t mind, but I commented about your bentwood rocking chair on the site and linked to this post. Your chair is absolutely gorgeous.

    October 19, 2017 at 4:18 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      How sweet of you to think of me. Thank you, Jaime. 😉

      October 23, 2017 at 5:34 am Reply
  • Sheri

    This is so pretty! I have this rocker and never thought of doing something like this. Can you tell me what you used for the canning to make it lighter? I’m not sure I can stitch so it would be presentable.

    November 16, 2019 at 2:22 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Sheri. I just used a white paint and dry brushed it. 🙂

      November 17, 2019 at 6:17 am Reply

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    You may also like

    This site utilizes cookies to offer you the best experience possible. more information

    The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.