I don’t know about you, but I had a blast last week checking in with Beckie at Infarrantly Creative each day as she put into words, the entire process that she and I went through redoing her two chairs. If you missed Beckie’s posts, you can catch it all right here:
You can revisit my post about it right here!
Reupholstering is a ton of fun. It is a blast to take something old and ugly and remake it into something that you absolutely love and can get a ton of use out of. Beckie and I have been talking throughout this past week, and in reading through the comments that were left on her and my blog, most people love the idea of reupholstering something, but they are afraid to try it. Afraid they might make a mistake.
I been reupholstering things since I got married – almost 13 years ago. The best way to learn how to reupholster is to is just to try it. I bought a book on upholstering that had great pictures and got started. Most things I have learned by trial and error. When I really get stuck, I’ll ask a professional. Most of the time, if you call and tell them you are working on a project for your home and have run into a snag, they will give you some tips to help you out.
The most important thing to remember when working on a project, is to take pictures as you go, so you have a reference point when you put things back together AND remember, you are going to put your piece back together in the opposite order that you take the fabric off. For example - - on a fully upholstered chair or couch, the first piece you will take off in your deconstruction phase is the back, so when you are upholstering the piece - the last piece that you will finish with is the back.
That prompted me to do Reupholstery 101.
This week, I am going to walk you through, step by step the entire process for a simple, first time, confidence building reupholstery project!
We are going to be doing a very simple chair - - -the easiest thing there is out there, besides a kitchen chair - - to reupholster. There is very minimal sewing involved and in fact, I will show you how you can do this project without sewing at all.
So, first off…you have to pick your piece of furniture. This chair is a simple side chair, with wooden arms, an upholstered seat, and upholstered arm cushions. This is a simple chair to do because there is no separate cushion, no back that you have to worry about, and no awkward curves or angles. We will get to back, curves and cushions in a series later on - - maybe a future Reupholstery 201.
I found a set of these chairs on craigslist for $50. So, $25 each. They are covered in green. Green paint on the wood, green tone on tone fern on the seat. They were in fantastic condition, so I knew I wasn’t going to run into any surprises when I took them apart. My plan was to offer less when I went to pick them up, but once I got to the lady’s house, she was so sweet and kind, I couldn’t do it! They were worth the $50 easily, so I paid her and loaded up my chairs!! These chairs had already been reupholstered once, but unfortunately it wasn’t all done correctly - - I will point that out as we go along - -just so you know the right and wrong way to do things!
Next, you are going to have to choose you fabric. Most stores will have a decorator fabric section. You are going to want a fairly heavy fabric with just a slight bit of stretch to it. Anything too heavy and you will not be able to work with it easily and it will not be forgiving around your chairs curves. Too light of a fabric and you will have a pretty looking piece - - for the first day. A thin fabric will not have the longevity that an upholstery weight fabric will, nor will it have the weight needed to keep the form or shape of your furniture piece.
Here’s the fabric I chose - - now, I have to put a disclaimer in here…. I just told you all about what type of fabric you should use, and I did not follow the rules here (yikes!) I fell in love with this fabric when I saw it, and I knew I had to make it work. It is a 100% cotton quilting fabric. The fabric is Fresh Fusion, “Large Spring Floral” by Legacy Studio. Here’s what I did - - I didn’t take pictures of this, because honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it (I’m just not sure how long this fabric will last - -I’ll let you know in time!). I took a very heavy weight fusible interfacing and ironed it on to the back of my entire piece of fabric, so now it does have the weight of upholstery fabric.
For this project I needed just under 1 yard of fabric per chair. The easiest way to know how much fabric you need, is to use an upholstery yardage chart like this one on interiormall.com. They also are a great source for fabric - - I have worked with a lot of their fabrics and they are high quality at a fantastic price!!
The last step we are going to take today is to decide if you want to change the color of the wooden frame of your piece.
The frame of my piece is currently a grey green flecked faux finish. I knew I wanted something big and bold to go with my fabulous fabric. Most of the pieces that I have been doing lately have been white. I’ve gone through a ton of heirloom white in the past couple of months - - I love it, but I wanted something different. Something bolder, something brighter, and definitely some color!
Here’s what I chose:
Oh yeah! It is going to be a statement!!
Now that we have our fabric and decided on a color for the wooden frame, we are ready to begin! So, grab your tools and get ready for the destruction to begin! Come back tomorrow as I walk you through the start of our Reupholstery 101 project!