Somehow during my two years of high school Latin, I missed an important lesson . . . caveat emptor or "buyer beware." I should have known better. I should have checked things out more thoroughly, but my enthusiasm clouded my judgment.

Remember this table and chairs . . .
I bought them several weeks ago at the Habitat for Humanity store. I looked them over, noticed some fretwork missing, some scratches and wear, but nothing that would prevent me from buying them. My big mistake? Not sitting in the chairs. I didn't think I needed to . . . they felt solid. I pushed on them. They weren't wobbly. Plus, they had plywood seats with rusty, jagged holes where the screws had been attached. Who would want to sit on that? I might tear my clothes.

So, I got the table and chairs home, put them in the garage until I could get my husband to help me move the table upstairs. Then got to work on sanding and painting the chairs. This was quite the process. I finally got them to the point where I thought they looked just right. But I was still on the hunt for the perfect fabric. Remember this post, where I obsessed over my options?

After ordering swatches online, getting my sister to bring me some from Memphis, and hitting every fabric store in town, I still didn't feel like I had found "the one."
I felt I needed a fabric that had the color of the chairs in it as well as other colors. I wasn't willing to change the chair color, so I kept searching. Then, I remembered a tablecloth and some curtains I had seen at World Market.
So, I bought a couple of curtains to use as my seat fabric. I love a good Tree of Life pattern, and I really thought the vivid colors of this one worked well with my chairs.
So, I cut the fabric, draped it on top of some foam and sat down to test the height of the chair with the cushion. Then I heard the crack. 
That's right, the fretwork on the back of the chairs was broken in two places. And not just on one chair, but on three out of the four chairs! Nice. And, it's not even wood. The fretwork is composite or plastic, if you will. The outside frame of the chair is wood, but not the backs. 

So, I'm trying to make lemonade out of lemons. My friend Becky had this stuff in her garage:
I glued and clamped and let the chairs harden for 24 hours, then repainted the patched area. The result? Only time will tell. They're holding for now, but I don't have much confidence that they can take much wear and tear.  I need to put signs on the chairs that read "lean back gently."
I think they look nice . . . pretty much what I envisioned. I just hate that they might snap at any moment. Not a good feeling. I haven't attached the seats to the chair yet. Still need to find the right screws. Now, I just need to buy or have a banquette made for the other side of the table, but that has its own set of issues. By the way, I sold the old chairs on Craigslist, so those are no longer an option either. Way to burn my design bridges, huh?

In some ways, I feel like this was a DIY disaster. Do you have any projects that did not turn out the way you planned?

Editor's Note: I'm so sorry I've been gone for two weeks now! I was sick for the first week with some mysterious illness that basically made me feel like hell with the vague symptoms of a headache and nausea. And, no, I'm not pregnant. Then my husband was out of town for 10 days on a scuba diving excursion with his dad, and I just didn't have the energy at the end of the day to write a blog post. I so admire single parents. I endeavor to be better about blogging once my son finally starts back to pre-K on Friday!