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20 May 2013


Co-pilot started solids shortly after 6 months (sort of) and when I pulled out Little Pilot's old high chair I knew it needed a makeover.  This mahogany stained Svan high chair stuck out like a sore thumb in our new light and bright dining room.
The high chair was a yard sale find that I got even before I had any kids.  I work with children in my day job and this chair was perfect for allowing little ones to sit at an adult-sized table with excellent support.  The Svan high chair is similar to the Stokke in that  it is one of those that converts all the way into an adult-sized chair (the foot rest becomes the seat).  I had thought about just buying the Stokke in a white colour and selling this one, but I really liked the option of having a tray (the Stokke doesn't have one).  So a makeover this little high chair got.

I have been getting a lot of Moomin/Muumi things for Co-pilot for some reason.  He has a Moomin sleep sack and even a Moomin mobile.  So, quite naturally, I added some Moomins to his high chair.  (P.S. can you spot Little Pilot in the photo below?)

The tray got a Moomintroll/Muumipeikko and Little My/Pikku Myy.

The footrest/seat got the Moomin Family:  Moomintroll/Muumipeikko, Snorkmaiden/Niiskuneiti, Moominmamma/Muumimamma and Moominpappa/Muumipappa.

To paint my high chair I sanded, primed (zinsser), applied three coats of Benjamin Moore Simply White,  1 coat acrylic sealer, 2 coats poly in gloss and 2 coats poly in satin.  I made my Moomin Drawings using a sharpie.  I printed off some images of Moomins and used carbon paper to transfer them onto the tray and foot rest pieces.  I then went over the carbon transfer with a black sharpie.  Super Easy!  I think painting the chair white was the most tedious since there were so many little pieces.

The acrylic sealer was a really important step as you can see below in my test spots: 
On the left I put poly straight over the sharpie heart and on the right I sprayed it first with an acrylic sealer (available at the craft store).  I am so thankful that I did the test first or otherwise my Moomin drawings would have ran all over the place!  Phew!  Disaster averted. :)  

Here are a couple of photos of the high chair in action.  Co-pilot is nearly 7 1/2 months and is still refusing solids.  At best, you can sneak a couple tiny bites into his mouth, but lately the thumb in the mouth has become his food avoidance strategy.  Look at those eyes - the only time when he's not happy.   It breaks my heart a little that he dislikes it so much. :(  At least he loves breast milk!  Hopefully we'll start succeeding with the solids soon.
Here's a picture of it inside. :)

Here's my favourite photo from our front yard high chair shoot.  Doesn't everyone take pictures of their high chair with the street in the background? :)  Little Pilot loves to play hide and seek in the front yard with all the big trees to hide behind.  Here he decided to hide behind the high chair.  I think Co-pilot found him. :)

That's Co-pilot's high chair!  Have you been painting anything lately or tried to get your baby gear to match your space better?  

P.S. this isn't my first high chair makeover - you can read about our Phil & Ted's Me Too here.


  1. Of course you have to have Moomins! :D Beautiful job! I have the Stokke. And I love it. I have it walnut color but have been thinking about painting it lighter. I think I'll let it be for now as it is and wait until the little miss stops banging it. :)

    1. Thanks Ina. It would be nice to have two of these chairs or the Stokke ones for both boys. Little Pilot is using a booster right now, but it's not as supportive as a chair with a proper foot rest - but then again he's growing so fast that I'm not sure how much use it would get. :)

  2. Adorable! I really should paint some of my furniture but I just cant decide on what colours to paint them. White is classic but part of my screams that I should have some fun with colour - yellow or red!

  3. Love this makeover and I love that you included some Moomins. That really brings back childhood memories. Aaaahhhhh.

    Love your "new" chair. It's stylin'!!

    1. Thanks Katja! We love our Moomins around here. :)

  4. Oh my goodness these photographs are beautiful Anu! XO, Aimee

  5. This turned out lovely! The white alone makes such a difference but the moomins are perfect. Well done with the sharpie.
    Now I want to try making my own stencils with a sharpie- thanks for figuring out how to do it!

    Don't worry too much about co-pilot and eating solids. These things have a way of working themselves out- it seems our littles do such things just to trigger a bit of mommy anxiety. You know that he's getting what he needs with breast milk and when he's ready for solids, there'll be no stopping him.
    I extended nursed my son and he ate very few solids for the first year. It will come in due course. Especially with his own chair at the table; it's natural for toddlers to become curious about your food and while sitting at the family, it will encourage him to participate.
    Really nice job on the high chair.

    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement. Co-pilot actually ate a little more this morning - figures, right after I post about him not eating. :) I had a similar experience with Little Pilot, but co-pilot has been even worse with solids. I'm glad that both boys nursed/are nursing well since breast milk is so good for them. Thanks again, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and help lift my anxiety. :)

  6. you know i love it :)
    what a process!! but i'm sure it's all worth it!!

    poor little guy... maybe it's time to try 'baby lead weaning'... i so highly recommend it... here's some ideas to get you started: http://www.mintinthemiddle.com/search/label/lucy%20eats...

    1. I have been thinking about your baby lead weaning. Maybe it's time for me to look into it. :)

  7. Such a cute makeover! I love that highchair. Love the drawings. If you get a chance, please share this on my linky party: http://suburbsmama.blogspot.com/2013/05/sunday-link-party-8.html

  8. love that! I'll need a highchair for Abe soon...I've been keeping my eye out for a fun one, and now I'm going to keep doing something like this in mind in case I find one that just needs a little help to make it awesome :)

  9. This is super cute! We use a stroller as a high chair, and the color's so dark you'd never see Sharpie drawings, but I love the idea.

  10. Ahh!! This highchair is so, so cute! I love the paint job and those little characters are super adorable! :)


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