A DIY Remake of a 1940s Classic Chair

George Nakashima (aka “the Japanese Shaker”) was an innovator in the world of architecture, craftsmanship, and design. As an homage to him, Alexa at Remodelista plans to create her own DIY version of his classic 1940s Grass-Seated Chair. This is a relatively simple and easy way to give life to an old seat. With some rope and a thrift store find, you too can recreate the look.

Above: Nakashima’s Grass-Seated Chair, which was among the earliest chairs made in the 1940s, is still in production. Some of Nakashima’s vintage pieces can be sourced via 1st Dibs.

Above: An old, rehabbed chair in Brooklyn spotted on Apiece Apart. For a similar look, measure enough cotton cord to wrap around your chair about 30 times. After you’re done wrapping, tie off the rope on the underside of the chair. Then weave through a length of natural jute at the top and bottom of the chair to keep the rope in place. Weave in the ends of the jute to create a seamless look.

Above: The Wellington Cordage 4-ply Jute Twine is an affordable rope option; $4.51 from Amazon.

For more DIY ideas, check out Remodelista’s posts Instant Vases from Milk Bottles, Upholstered Headboard, and Instant Gold Painting.



Carol B.
Carol B6 years ago

retro is in

Danuta Watola
Danuta W6 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Paula B.
Paula B6 years ago


Tim Cheung
Tim C6 years ago


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson6 years ago


Kath R.
Kath P6 years ago

Looks absolutely gorgeous.

Mary L.
Mary L6 years ago

I appreciate the info.

Sri V.
sri V6 years ago

Please remember friends, the mor you recycle furniture especially real wood furniture, you are not only saving trees and thereby the environment but also showing your respect to the craftsman who had originally made it.

Bethany Z.
Bethany Z6 years ago

Awesome! Gotta love vintage furniture.

Winn Adams
Winn A6 years ago