If you have been using rattan furniture for some time now, you might have fantasised about learning how to make rattan furniture so you can easily replace yours if it gets torn. You are not alone in this thought.
Many people want to learn how to build their furniture but most are unable to, each for different reasons. Some of the reasons I have heard include not having enough time to do that, being tired from work, not knowing where and how to start, and the process being too complicated.
Well, while those objections are valid, I don’t believe they should stand in the way of the benefit you will get when you make your rattan furniture by yourself. Some of the benefits of making your rattan furniture include:
Benefits of making your own rattan furniture
1. Personalization: This is perhaps the most significant advantage of making your rattan furniture. The ability to build it just the way you like and add more personally-suited features is just awesome. The traditional rattan furniture you likely use or encounter is built for a broad segment of users in the sense that it was built to accommodate the tastes and sensibilities of people who might be dissimilar to you. Making your custom rattan furniture gives you the much-needed freedom to have something built only to satisfy your taste. Want an extra soft lounger? Sure, go ahead and add it.
2. Cost Savings: Making your rattan furniture can save you money too. Generally, when you buy rattan furniture from a store, the payment you make accounts for several things. They include; the processing of the wood used to build it, the price for human resources used to process it, the company’s profit and your local store’s profit. Sure, these costs are spread across multiple customers, but that doesn’t mean you don’t feel the sting too. Making your own eliminates all these extra expenses and means you only get to pay for the materials used. Nothing more, nothing less!
3. Personal Enjoyment: I don’t know about you, but I derive great joy from making stuff with my own hands and then watching my family use them. Making your rattan furniture will give you that same satisfaction. And if you have a family, you can even make the building more attractive and turn it into a great bonding moment by including everyone in the activity. Learning how to make rattan furniture will also provide you with the much-needed respite from sitting at the desk all day.
If, on the other hand, you don’t want to make your rattan furniture by hand, excellent guides have been prepared on choosing the best:
- Rattan cube garden furniture
- Rattan sun loungers
- Rattan garden benches
- Rattan garden chairs
- Rattan coffee tables
Now, you know about all the benefits. You must be roaring to start your journey on how to make rattan furniture. Hop in, let’s begin.
Tools you need
- Hacksaw Blade
- Knives (should be bigger than your average kitchen knife)
- Varnish and Brush
- Blow Torch
- Power drill.
Materials you need
- Rattan wood
Making the rattan furniture
Before even starting anything, you need to inspect the quality of the rattan you’re using to make your furniture. Is it any good? Try bending it; does it bend well or does it start to scatter after a certain point? These are the tests you carry out to determine the viability of the rattan material.
Rattan furniture material should be very flexible for when you start weaving it. It should bend comfortably. But then, all things being equal, the rattan you got at the store might have been stored for a couple of months or weeks and lost some of its vitality and freshness. To regain flexibility, try leaving the rattan material in a basin of water for some time (an hour or more) to allow the water to soften it for crafting.
The next step is to clear the table you are using for the work. Make sure the table’s surface is even to avoid irregularities that may arise when you start weaving.
The third step is to take measurements. Take measurements of the furniture you are trying to make or replicate. Take measurements of it and cut out twice the length of rattan that will be enough to repeat it. Make sure to add extra 3 inches or more to the length of the rattan to compensate for when you join it.
Connect screws or nails to opposite ends of the table and loop the freshly cut rattan over them. You have set the stage for the weaving, now unto the actual work.
If you followed the steps above, then you must have the strips of rattan wood strung across the two ends of your weaving table. The next thing to do is to cut out another set of rattan strips with the same length as the previous ones.
These are the ones you will use to crisscross the other set to form the well-known rattan pattern.
Measure them to make sure they are of the same length, and if any of them exceeds the required height, you can use a knife to remove the unneeded part.
Now, choose a side (I recommend starting from the left or the most open side of the table) and then pass the new set of rattan stripes through the previous set so that they cross over one, then you loop them so that they pass under the next one and then above the next one. Get my drift? If you are confused by the process I just explained, you are not alone. It sounded like a foreign language the first time it was explained to me. Watch the video to have a better understanding
Once you loop it through to the other end, use a nail, screw, or clamp to hold everything down. Continue this process until you are done with the entire table surface.
If there are any stray rattan strands, use scissors or a knife to trim them off.
The next step is to apply varnish or any other sealant to your newly made rattan weave.
The sealant’s use is to keep it locked in place so it doesn’t start unravelling after little use. Also, bear in mind that you are not applying too much coating of sealant or varnish to it. That will remove the wooden feel of the furniture and give it a plastic feel.
Apply the sealant in 3 waves, i.e., apply the sealant to it and allow that to dry off before you apply the next one. Repeat this process three times. This will solidify the surface of your weave.
Now, you can unscrew the rattan weave from the weaving table and attach it to any frame of your choice (chair, coffee table, garden bench, etc.) pending on your purposes for it. Afterwards, you can use the holes from the screw used to hold it to the weaving table to attach the two ends together.
Make sure you tighten everything up to make sure moisture doesn’t get into it.
Congrats on making your first rattan furniture.
Note: This process is the same for every rattan furniture you are making, whether making rattan chairs, rattan coffee tables, or rattan garden benches. The only thing you have to do is to take accurate measurements for each. Ensure you have the proper dimensions of the furniture frame you are weaving for, then go ahead and follow this same process to produce excellent furniture.
Frequently asked questions
How long will my furniture last?
When built well and carefully used, rattan furniture can last up to 10 years. There are cases of them lasting longer, but those are usually store-bought ones.
Are there any safety hazards of doing this?
No, there are none. As long as you take the necessary precautions necessary when working with wood or carpentry, you should be fine.
Making rattan furniture by yourself is a quick and inexpensive way to enjoy quality furniture. You need some standard equipment to get started and also need quality rattan material but beyond that, if you have the willingness to learn, you can learn how to make rattan furniture in a short time.