Antique Rocking Chair ~ 1800’s Redo

I am the type of person that needs change to keep my brain alive and it’s fun to redo a piece of furniture, a room in my house, etc. and then keep the ball rolling. Sitting still very long is not an option for me, so I am always chomping at the bit. No surprise right? Here’s my latest project and antique rocking chair. To be exact, it’s an 1800’s Cochran Hand-Carved Rocking Chair.

When I first acquired this beauty she was missing her seat.  It once held a tooled leather middle and I really was planning on replacing the seat and tooling it myself. (Yes, I know how to tool a bit)

1800's Rocking Chair Makeover with Grain Sack Seat by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesBut most veg tanned leather (the thick type of leather that is suitable for tooling)is an awful orangish color.  That type of leather can be stained, but I really wanted a light, contrasting appeal.  I just couldn’t see the chair with dark on dark.  I searched and searched for a creamy colored leather to replace the seat, but couldn’t find anything I liked.

Another treasure is that there’s a partial label left under the seat stating it was made by the Cochran Chair Co. Manufacturers of Cochran, Indiana. In my research, I found that the Cochran Chair Co. was in business from 1879 to 1983, and that if the chair was marked, “Cochran, Indiana” it was produced in the 1800’s.  However, if it was marked, “Aurora, Indiana” it was produced in the 1900’s.  Mine is an 1800’s gal.
1800's Rocking Chair Makeover with Grain Sack Seat by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesSo…I decided to do a faux grain sack seat using a cotton canvas stretched across, leaving the rustic nail heads exposed.
1800's Rocking Chair Makeover with Grain Sack Seat by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesTypically, you wouldn’t need any extra support if using the leather, but I decided to reinforce the seat with webbing and added a light cover to the bottom to cover all the fancy work inside.

1800's Rocking Chair Makeover with Grain Sack Seat by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesDid you catch the hand-carved part?  Eeek!!  Oh how I wish the furniture was given the detail and attention it once was bestowed.  Now all you see if particle board junk sitting curbside.  Yick.

1800's Rocking Chair Makeover with Grain Sack Seat by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesCheck out the daintily turned spindles and the absolutely gorgeous patina.

1800's Rocking Chair Makeover with Grain Sack Seat by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

I just love how it turned out! Share it if you do too.

1800's Antique Rocking Chair Makeover with Grain Sack Seat by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comThis lovely lady has sold within a couple days in my shop. Hooray!

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More furniture DIY like my antique rocking chair:

Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesVintage Curio Cabinet Gets Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces
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  • Bridget

    so beautiful!! i hope to hit more estate sales and garage sales this new year to find treasures like this!! because you’re right, they just don’t make them like they used to 🙂

    January 2, 2014 at 2:46 pm Reply
  • Robin Johnson

    What a great find. You’ve given it a new fabulous look! love it.

    January 2, 2014 at 4:14 pm Reply
  • Marie Blackburn

    Wow, that rocker is stunning – love all the hand carved details.
    [email protected]

    January 3, 2014 at 5:41 pm Reply
  • revivedbydelia

    I absolutely adore this chair! The seat looks beautiful!

    January 3, 2014 at 6:50 pm Reply
  • Angie Church

    I actually have my great grandmothers rocker. I love it so very special with so many memories. I need to do what you did and get it redone or do it myself
    come see me at

    January 4, 2014 at 4:43 pm Reply
  • Lisa Natcharian

    Wonderful job on this lovely rocker! If you have a minute, please stop by and share your post at the Everyday Vintage link party at Helene’s Legacy. Your style is the perfect fit!

    January 8, 2014 at 4:47 pm Reply

    Hi Larissa, Just love what you did with this amazing rocker! Like you, I love the character and quality of the old wood work. You pay so dearly for it on new pieces today. But nothing is better than giving an old piece a face lift! It looks so good with the nail heads exposed!
    Thanks for joining the Blissful Whites Wednesday party!!
    Have a lovely day!

    January 9, 2014 at 1:51 pm Reply
  • Alison Agnew

    what a sweet and pretty blog you have

    and this press back rocker
    is lovely

    i adore the fabric seat you made
    and now the piece is that perfect combination
    of old and new

    would love for you to share
    at Fridays Unfolded this week!


    January 9, 2014 at 10:19 pm Reply
  • Janette Deans

    Oh the tales this sweet rocker could tell, how wonderful it made it’s way to you, so happy to see it restored and looking loved again….x

    November 8, 2017 at 9:25 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You made my day, Janette! Thank you.

      November 9, 2017 at 10:20 am Reply

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