Thursday, March 11, 2010

Re-upholstery 101 - - - double cording tutorial - - - Day 4


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Welcome back!  It’s day four of Re-upholstery 101.  Are you seeing it?  Are you beginning to get a glimpse of what the chair is going to look like finished?  Fabulous isn’t it?!!!!


Yesterday we got the seat fabric all fitted and stapled down.

Today we are going to finish our chair!


Let’s go back to the arm cushions.  These are going to be covered exactly the same way as the seat cushion.  The biggest thing to remember is to center the same pattern on both cushions!

Take the two arm cushions that you took off and center them over the design that you want centered on your arm cushion.  Then cut out the oval shapes making sure to cut them larger than your pattern pieces.


Go ahead and place your piece over the arm cushion - - again making sure you center your design both vertically and horizontally.


Take your staple gun and staple the sides of your fabric down.  Make sure that the fabric is smooth over the top and still straight.


To do the top of the arm cushions, you will make little tucks and folds fitting the fabric around the shape of the cushion.


Then staple these edges down.  Sometimes you can only do one fold, staple it, and then do the next fold.  This sounds a little complicated, but it is actually very forgiving, so don’t be afraid of it.  Remember, we will be going back and covering up all the staples.


Next, you are going to go back with your scissors and trim close to the staples all the way around - - just like you did with the seat cushion.


Now, you can really see what your finished chair is going to look like.  We are almost done - - all we have left now is to cover up all those staples!


It’s looking good, but the edges are really messy!!


Remember all that cording that we pulled off on the first day?  This is your no-sew option.  You can buy a coordinating braided cording and use that instead of making your own cording.  Just measure the cording you took off and buy the same amount (plus a little more just to be on the safe side!)


Remember how I said I would point out things that were not done correctly on this chair?  Here is one of the big areas.  The cording that you put on, will wrap around the legs and arms to cover up the gap between the fabric and the frame.  It should not go over the leg as it does in the picture above.


Making Your Own Double Welted Self-Cording

This may look involved or complicated, but really it is quite easy - - I will attempt to explain it as easily as possible!

1.  cut 2” strips of your fabricIMG_4552

Cut enough to equal the length of the cording you took off -  plus a bit extra.


This foot for your sewing machine is a life saver.  It is a double welting foot.  You may have to search a bit for one - - but without it, I’m not sure if/how it would be possible to make double welting.  This is the bottom side of the foot.  You can see that it has two channels for the cording to slide through.  The needle will hit perfectly in the center of the two pieces of cording.


2.  Measure out two pieces of cording the length of the cording you took off.


3.  Take your first piece of cording and set it about 3/4” in on the left side of your fabric – on the wrong side of the fabric.  Wrap the fabric around the cording - -you should have about 1/4” of fabric laying past the cording.


4.  Place your second piece of cording snugly against your first piece, on top of the overlapping fabric.


5.  Wrap the remainder of your fabric around the exposed cord.


6.  Flip the entire piece over and set it under your double welting foot, making sure the pieces of cording are in the channels.


7.  Start sewing and continue wrapping as you go.  I can usually do about 6”-8” at a time and then I have to wrap the next section.  It takes awhile, but it is well worth the effort!


8.  Trim the excess fabric off the back of your sewn cording.  You don’t want this hanging out when you put it on your piece.  I’ve found that working with a piece that is larger is much easier than trying to fit it perfectly the first time.



Alright!  Now that you have all your cording made it’s time to finish your chair!  Pull out your hot glue gun and plug it in.  Make sure you have extra glue sticks easily accessible because you don’t want to have to go searching for them once you get started!


Cut a clean edge on your cording - - this will be your starting point.


Choose a starting point that isn’t too close to the front - - a place where you can hide your seam.  Put some hot glue on your piece of cording and start placing the cording right along the edge of your fabric covering up your staples.


You are going to go completely around the seat of your chair – wrapping up and around the leg and arm supports.  Make sure you use plenty of glue and tuck the cording tight to the fabric and the frame.


Once you make it all the way around your chair, back to your starting point, cut a clean edge again so that your finished edge will tuck right next to your starting point.


That was easy – huh?  Now all we have left is to do the same thing to the arm cushions.  Start under the arm cushion – wrapping and gluing as you go around and once you get back to the starting point, make a clean cut so that the two edges but evenly and neatly together.


Notice how the cording finishes the chair?  It gives it a very custom look.


IMG_4571 IMG_4572 IMG_4574


Well, what do you think?  Not so scary is it?


Have you gained enough confidence to give it a try yourself?


Now I just have one problem - - -where to put this fantastically cute chair!!!  I love it so much, but I have not found a home for it yet in my house - - I know what Handsome Hubby is going to say….”sell it!”  We’ll see! 

I’ve tried to answer all your questions as you have left them, but if I missed one, please ask again!  I’ve had a ton of fun doing this.  I have some more complicated chairs that are just dying for a re-upholstery makeover.  Maybe I will do them and have a Re-upholstery 201 week!!


Allisha said...

What brand of sewing machine do you have? I have a Bernina and they make a double cording foot, but not sure if they would work or not! The chair looks awesome!

1 Funky Woman said...

I am in awe of you and this chair. I love the fabric and the color of the chair is fabulous. Do you want to come over and help me recover a chair? lol!

Julie B. said...

The chair is awesome!! Thanks so much for sharing! Now to search craigslist for one I can do...

j said...

You make it look so easy! I have dining room chairs shaped similar to yours. When we settle on our permanent residence, I will be recovering the chairs. I'm going to bookmark these posts so I will know what on earth I'm doing!

Unknown said...

It's a fantastic work, thanks for the "step by step" your phots explain very well, it's an excellent tutorial.


Desiree said...

Love it! The cording foot will be on my look-out list for sure. Great tutorial, thank you!!!

Larissa@Just Another Day in Paradise said...

Pretty fan-freakin'tastic, is what all this is. I really want to learn how to reupholster and your how-tos have given me a little jump start of confidence that maybe, JUST maybe I can figure it out.

I have some friends who also have been wanting to learn how. On Fridays on my blog I shout out to other fabulous blogs out there, and tomorrow I am going to feature you and your mad reupholstering skills.

Come and check it out!

Just Another Day in Paradise

Infarrantly Creative said...

You rock Amy. I will say it for J.."Sell it" Someone would pay big bucks for that beauty. Thanks for doing this it has been fantastic.

Karman said...

Love your tutorial. I can't wait to see reupholstery 201. Thanks for the info on the double cording foot. I've never seen one, but will definitely be looking for one. Thanks so much

May G said...

The chair is beautiful and elegant! Thanks again for the wonderful informative tutorial. You have a great artistic eye for color and pattern. I would have never dreamed or dare to pick such a lovely fabric! You are very talented!!

René said...

OK, now that I have picked myself up from the floor, this is the cutest chair I have ever seen!!!

I love the color, the fabric, the double did such a great job! I found your blog through Destination Seaborn and now must go have a look around.

Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

You have inspired me! I am attempting my first DIY project this rainy new england weekend! Thanks for the great tutorial :)

Dreams of Perfection said...

Your chair came out beautifully! Thanks so much for sharing your expertise on upholstery. :o)

Janell @ House of Fifty said...

I was just refered to this post after posting a "chair challenge" I will be doing on a very similar chair. I am so excited to have found this tutorial...I'm bookmarking it and will refer to it and include it in my posts when I get to this project. Thanks!! Janell

Morgan said...

Thank you so much for all of the pictures and tips! You make it look so easy! I think that a Re-upholstery 201 would be a wonderful idea. I'm even hoping for a 301 and you'll show us how to do a couch! My husband and I just moved and were given a (practically) brand new couch and loveseat set and I would love to re-upholster them in fabric that will match my decor, but I've never re-upholstered anything! Thanks again for all the help!

The Single Nester said...

This is fantastic! I love the fabric and the turquoise. I host a Turquoise Tuesday party. You may want to link this project to the party. Great job!

The Brick Cottage said...

That chair is absolutely amazing! I just found your blog and I'm looking forward to perusing your archives.

The Smith Hotel said...

Wow! I am very impressed! Love the colors you picked out!


Tracy Wills said...

Wow, I love, love, love that chair!
You did a wonderful job, it's fabulous!

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a little bit of everything said...

Great job on the chair. It looks fabulous!

Anonymous said...

I just found you today! This is a marvelous tutorial, very clear and easy to follow. I have done all this before except the double welting -- too chicken. Now I have no excuse, do I? I'll have to see if they make a foot like that for my Elna.

日月神教-向左使 said...


PS~Erin said...

I so want to try this. I've got the perfect project waiting to be done. I need some sewing skills though!

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

I just wanted to thank you!! I have had a bench that has been giving me a heck of a time. A reader suggested your sight and things are coming together! Thank you so much!!!
Take care

The Misty Journey said...

you make this look so easy...I have a chair in the works, maybe it will be simplier than I thought!

Katie Olthoff said...

hhhmmm...I definitely need one of those little feet! That would be the finishing touch for the denim chair I recovered here:

Rose by Any Other Name said...

That's AMAZING. Thank you so much for sharing this - I always thought that finishing furniture was magic voodoo that only professionals could do. Now there's another presser foot I gotta go buy!

Suzy said...

Beautiful! Your tutorial gave me the courage to try to reupholster 2 antique chairs that I have had for over 13 years but I have been nervous to try anything in the past. Thank you!!

Vidya @ Whats Ur Home Story said...

So glad to have found your site. I was googling how to reupholster a chair. Can't wait to work on my Craigslist find this weekend.

Carrie said...

So pretty! Now that you've lived with it for a few has the fabric held up? I have also fallen in love with a lighter cotton print and am hesitant to use it on a bench. Thank you!!

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