How I Saved $54 on a Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair

Get tips, solutions and humor – follow us on Facebook. Also, check out my book!

With unemployment comes sticker shock. Things I used to buy without much thought require a bit of creativity now that we live on one income. I like a challenge, so it’s actually kind of fun to find ways to get what I want for less. Here’s my latest score.

The want: A second Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair. Cost $137.

$137 is a lot to spend on a chair that will eventually be smeared with peanut butter, boogers and probably worse. So, I started thinking…

The solution: Buy the slipcover and make my own foam insert.

The foam insert is the expensive part. It costs around $80 + tax + shipping. That’s a lot of money for foam. We have a foam outlet, and I was pretty sure I could just go get my own foam and do it myself. So, I did. The cost of the foam was only $43 (including tax). The slip cover is only $29 (with tax and shipping to TN its just over $40). So I spent $83 instead of $137, saving roughly $54.

Here are the materials I purchased:

  • 1 Back cushion: 25.5″ x 23″ x 5″
  • 1 Seat Cushion: 24.5″ x 15″ x 7.75″
  • 2 Arm Cushions: 16″ long cylinder, 7″ diameter (My store only had 6″ available, so I wrapped them in 1/2″ batting to fatten them up. I adhered it to the foam with a glue gun).

The foam inserts you get from Pottery Barn come with covers on them. And they have batting on them inside that cover.

They look like this.

My foam inserts are a little more basic. They look like this.

Okay, here’s the reveal…Can you tell which chair is the new one?

A few notes:

  1. The Anywhere Chair is great. I have purchased a couple of them (including foam inserts) from Pottery Barn and my kids have really enjoyed them.
  2. While I don’t have a huge budget, I do have time. It did take time (and gas) to go get the stuff. Foam really is expensive and the Pottery Barn foam inserts do come with those interior covers and batting, so I’m sure that is part of their price. The ones with the covers are a little easier to insert in the slipcover, but I still managed to make it work. (After all, I have mastered the art of wrestling my bucking bronco of a three-year-old into his clothes, so shoving inanimate foam into a slipcover was a cake walk for me).
  3. If you can’t afford the Pottery Barn inserts and you don’t want to make your own, you can buy them on eBay. However, I got scammed on eBay once, so that is not something I would  recommend.

In the end, a little ingenuity went a long way towards helping me get something I wanted for less.  How have you saved money on something you wanted for your kids?

27 Responses to How I Saved $54 on a Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair

  1. Missy August 7, 2010 at 8:09 am #

    Great Job!!! You are so crafty!

    • Heather December 5, 2011 at 10:51 am #

      I had a really good home-ec teacher…

  2. Ali August 9, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    I love that, it’s adorable!

    • Heather December 5, 2011 at 10:50 am #

      Thanks!

  3. Amanda December 5, 2011 at 12:54 am #

    Okay…so which is which? I’m guessing yours in on the right by the wrinkle in the back near Charlie’s name. If I’m wrong I want to know, ’cause I’m so doing this to save some $!

  4. Ashley April 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    Hi, thanks for the measurements! Is your foam firm, soft, or inbetween?

    • Heather April 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

      Hi Ashley, it’s kinda firm, actually. Might be good to go with a medium to firm foam. Good luck!
      Heather

  5. Kristin September 25, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    I just got scammed on eBay too and I was so upset because it was a gift for my 1 year old. I was so happy to find this and I thin I will give this a try! Thanks!

    • Heather September 25, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

      I hate the feeling you have when you get scammed. So sorry that happened to you. How hard is it to just be a decent person?!?! Anyway, good luck with your chair.
      Heather

  6. Roshni May 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    Where is the foam outlet located? I recently moved to TN and am looking for one.

    • Heather May 4, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

      Hi Roshni. It’s on Central near downtown.
      Heather

    • Ann Cox June 23, 2014 at 3:25 am #

      I happened across 5 (!) slip covers at a yard sale for $0.25 each. I wasn’t even sure what they were but figured the fabric was worth that much.
      While looking for cheaper foam at a thrift shop, I was directed to a thick foam couch cushion ($5). Then the thought struck me that Deseret Industries, a larger 2nd hand store, sell couches all the time for $10 – $50. I could buy the whole couch, just for the foam cushions.

  7. Roshni May 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    Thanks Heather!

  8. Kate Nash October 25, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Hi. I’m planning on doing exactly this as shipping the whole chair to England is VERY expensive. I was wondering whether you knew the dimensions for the oversize chair inserts? Thanks in advance. Kate

    • Heather October 25, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      Hiya Kate! Unfortunately, I only have measurements for the chairs I have – and that’s the middle/regular size. BUT, I bet you could order the covers for the oversized ones, use my measurements as a ballpark, and then measure the cover to come up with the pieces you need. If you get the back and bottom worked out, the arms should be pretty easy.

      Hope you are able to make it work and that you save some money doing it!
      Heather

  9. Heather October 28, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    I was about to buy three of these at Pottery Barn and decided to see if I could save some $ in the process. This brought on a few questions for me to clarify my vision :)

    1.) the slip cover- is it just a dining room chair slip cover or is it the slip cover for the chair you just purchased through Pottery Barn? If you bought one thats a general slip cover, could you give me a better description of the slip cover style or dimensions, etc?
    Also, did you do any sewing to make this fit better? cut it down? etc? Any detailed instructions on how you retro fitted it would benefit me tremendously.
    2.) the foam- is this something you can buy at a store like JoAnn’s? I live in Nashville area and was curious if this was the area you were describing you bought yours or if it was another town.

    Thank you tons :)

    • Heather October 30, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

      Hi! Three chairs? I don’t blame you for DIYing the inserts.

      I bought an anywhere chair and the pottery barn insert first. Then I realized what we had already (I have two kids) was a my first anywhere chair. So it was a smaller size and I wanted another big one, but was low on funds. So I just bought a second cover (didn’t modify it in anyway) and used the actual pottery barn official insert from my original/other chair to duplicate it.

      I went to a foam rubber outlet here in Knoxville. Surely, Nashville has one somewhere. Can’t remember why I didn’t use JoAnn’s – either they didn’t have what I needed or the cost was such that it didn’t save me anything. It was a really long time ago that I did this project.

      So, look for a foam outlet – an upholster would be a great person to ask where they get their materials.

      Good luck! And I hope it works out and you save some money -
      Heather

      • Heather December 8, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

        Thank you so much for the information. Very much appreciated.

  10. Liz December 18, 2014 at 11:38 pm #

    So smart! Any chance you’re selling either of your chair inserts? I live in Nashville! Also, what foam store did you go to to purchase these pieces?

    Thanks!

    Liz

    • Heather January 22, 2015 at 11:52 am #

      Knoxville Foam Rubber Outlet.

  11. Julie December 30, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    Hey! I bought a used anywhere chair but the foam coverings are worn down so the arm rests on the chair are lose. How did you get your foam pieces to stay in place without the coverings? Does that make sense?

    • Heather January 22, 2015 at 11:53 am #

      My foam pieces are really snug in there so they don’t move. I bet you could find a tube of circular foam and just cut it to length and just replace the arms. Good luck!

  12. AP September 14, 2015 at 1:21 am #

    Just wondering what type of foam you used- I’ve looked up a couple of foam stores near my home and they all have dozens of different kinds. I’m confused where to start.

    • Heather September 14, 2015 at 7:50 am #

      I used a firmer one, if that helps. The place I got it from has bins and bins of open foam and the guy that helped me asked what I needed it for and then picked a piece and cut it. Sorry I can’t be more specific. Good luck with your project. I did this 3 or 4 years ago and that chair is still going strong!

  13. Lulu June 15, 2016 at 12:46 am #

    Amazing!! I am so impressed by this! Quick question. Are the PB arms cylinders as well? I thought they were cylinders cut in half. Or are they full cylinders like yours?

  14. Sass Junquera February 12, 2019 at 8:57 am #

    Did you just wing the sewing pattern or did you have a pattern to go off of?
    I’m trying to find a pattern to make a new cover because mine is absolutely covered in peanut butter, boogers and probably worse…. hahah!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My First Anywhere Chair — Recycled « - August 22, 2010

    [...] And if you missed it, here is a link to a post on how to make your own foam insert for an anywhere chair. [...]

Leave a Reply