We were about to toss this chair. So I figured, “Why not try to reupholster it?” I considered the worst that could happen… I could end up keeping the clutter I was trying to eliminate, and I might waste some time, time that I could be using to do laundry and to tidy the house. I considered the best case scenario. I might learn a little about how to reupholster furniture and end up with a nice new chair that I can sit on when I’m working on my next project that will get me out of doing laundry and tidying the house. So…
I read a bunch of blogs like this one and this one and watched a few YouTube videos like this one and then… embracing my impulsive nature, I jumped in and got started.
This was the chair we were going to toss.
I removed the back fabric and padding.
I snipped these off to remove the buttons.
I removed the original diamond tufted fabric.
Then I removed this craziness… batting, horsehair, and other creepy stuff.
I laid it carefully on the floor like so.
I gently peeled off the gimp.
See all those nails? I removed them all and then gently removed the original seat fabric.
Here is the chair… ready to be reupholstered.
Random close up.
Here is the original seat fabric… with a little fusible interface on the back it is now ready to be used as a pattern for the new fabric.
The new seat fabric is cut and ready to use.
I stapled the seat fabric in place using a pneumatic stapler.
I hand-tacked the fabric around the arms.
The edge was rough, but I knew I’d be covering it with gimp.
I placed the old padding on the top of the chair.
I laid the new fabric on top and decided to jump in and try to do the deep button tufting.
Here are my awesome buttons that were a pain in the butt to make since the fabric was so thick.
I got a good start, but the padding kept moving around. So I undid my buttons and removed the padding.
Unfortunately, this time I did not lay it out so carefully.
To prevent the padding from slipping, I decided to use some cotton batting.
The chair had been reupholstered a few times and the burlap was full of gaps and holes.
So I decided to put some batting over it too.
Here’s what it looked like for round 2.
I was too lazy to tie all the loops in back, so I pulled all the strings tight and stapled them to the center back piece.
The tufting was coming along, though the stuffing was pretty lumpy which made it tricky.
Ta-Da…. ready for some gimp.
I hot glued the gimp around the edges.
Here’s a little close up…
Here’s a not-so close up.
The chair with an artsy filter and angle so that it looks better than it actually is.
I won’t say I’m in love with the finished product, but I am happy with it. I should have replaced the old horse hair batting instead of fiddling around with it.* I learned quite a bit about reupholstery from the process and I will definitely be trying my hand at it again. I love seeing something old come back to life for another go-round.
What about you? Any furniture collecting dust in your house that you could use to give reupholstery a try?
Materials: 1 old chair, 1 yard of upholstery fabric ($5.99 from Jo-Mar), 5 yrds of gimp ($5.00 from Marmelsteins), hot glue, staples, and pneumatic stapler
Time: Maybe 6 hours total (not including shopping for materials)
Good to know: Be sure to take photos as you disassemble so you can remember how to reassemble. Consider borrowing a pneumatic stapler if you don’t own one as it makes it a lot go a lot quicker. Using upholstery fabric to cover buttons is a pain in the butt if the fabric is thick, so patience is required.
*(Update: My friend Rebecca who actually knows what she’s doing when it comes to upholstering said it was actually a good idea to keep the horse hair, so I’m glad I didn’t toss it. Check out her awesome work! )