Saturday, July 30, 2011

This Chair...Take 2

Remember this chair? I bought it from a thrift store in February with high hopes of reupholstering it for the living room. I received lots of suggestions for how to tackle the project (thanks Kate your tutorial was great) and fabric ideas. However, I did not have the courage to even start my 1st upholstering project. So, the ugly chair sat in my living room creating quite the eye sore.

It sat for months and months until I added it to my get-done-before-baby-comes list. As the list dwindled I knew the project was imminent. I gathered up all my courage and began to deconstruct the chair. I decided to use the existing fabric pieces as a template for my new fabric. This approach would be helpful later, but it made taking the chair apart quite the task as I spent hours gingerly removing the fabric, piping, and using a seam ripper to take apart the cushion. And my sweet husband spent lots of time removing the million staples.

Once deconstruction was complete I was even more intimidated by all the pieces that had to be put back together again. So, again the chair sat and was even more of an eye sore.

While the chair sat I did a lot of searching for fabrics, but could never make a commitment due to the cost and my cowardness. Then one week Jo-ann's was having a huge sale on upholstery fabric so I promised myself this was the week I would purchase fabric. I found a couple fabrics that I liked, but the one I really wanted was found in the remnant section and it was not enough fabric for the project. So, I asked the sewing desk if they had the actual bolt of fabric and low and behold they did and it was 50% off. Plus the remnant pieces were 50% off of 50% off. I was sold. The upholstery grade fabric was originally $30 per yard and I ended up getting 2.5 yards for $23! Because I got such a wonderful deal I was motivated to keep going.

From the beginning I assumed I would paint the chair to help modernize it. However, after purchasing my fabric I realized that the brown wood of the chair actually complemented the fabric quite nicely. Yay, one less step for me. Now I was really on a roll.

Next I tackled the piping. I tore the old fabric off the piping material and simply recovered it with my new fabric. This cut down on the cost (I didn't have to buy piping) and I knew it was the perfect length.

Then I used the old fabric pieces as a pattern and traced them onto the new fabric. Then I cut out the pieces.

Kyle tracing the old cushion on the new fabric to create a pattern. I knew that OT textbook would come in handy some day :)

Once all the fabric was cut I sewed together the cushion. It is a removable cushion with a zipper. I used the existing foam piece. This was my first experience sewing a zipper. Not sure I did it correctly, but it works so I'm pleased. Sewing the cushion was pretty easy until I reached the final piece that included 3 sections, a turn and piping. While it certainly doesn't look professional it fits snugly and I'm happy with it.

And for the final pieces I added some new batting and used a staple gun to secure the new fabric in place.

The final step was to hot glue the piping pieces to give it a finished look.

The finished product:

This was a time consuming project and had I known all of the steps I probably would have chosen an easier chair. However, I LOVE how it turned out! And I would encourage anyone who is on the fence about reupholstering to make the jump. It's not as hard as you might think. In fact the actual job of reupholstering (stapling/hot gluing) only took about 1 hour. Just take lots of pictures of the "before" object and use the old fabric as your guide.


  1. WOW! THis looks great Kristen! I love that fabric!

  2. it DOES look great! but even though you say this is easy.... I think I'll stick with leather furniture, personally ;)

    Your crafting abilities put me to shame!

  3. I love the fabric! Great job!

  4. Thanks guys! I'm just glad it's done.