Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Reupholstery 101 – Day 3


Welcome back to Reupholstery 101!  It’s day three and today we are getting to the fun stuff!  Putting the fabric on our chair!
If you missed Day 1 and 2, you can check them out here!

After your chair has dried overnight, your paint should be cured enough for you to easily work on your piece.

Remember the old pieces of upholstery that we took off yesterday?  The ones from the arms and the seat?  Yup, now it’s time to use those to get our fabric cut to size.

It’s easiest just to lay the old pieces on top of your new fabric and cut around the pieces.  Do not cut them the exact same size!!!  Give them an extra 2-3 inches on all sides - - this will allow for plenty of fabric on all sides.  It would be horrible if you cut your piece exactly, then found out it didn’t fit!

Cut slits where the arm and leg supports are.  I start by just cutting one slit down the center and then two slits - one to the right and the left – forming a little triangle.  Do not cut these slits all the way to the original slit. 

Once we start putting the piece on, we will cut it more and give it a perfect fit.
Remember, if you click on the picture, you will get a larger image which may help in understanding what I am saying here.
IMG_4517 IMG_4518

Once your pieces are cut out, it’s time to lay the fabric on the cushion and start making it the perfect fit.  Lay the fabric out and match up the arm and leg slits so that they are as closely centered on the leg as possible.  Smooth the fabric out over the cushion.

Next, is the tricky part and the most important part!!  Remember that slit we made just a few minutes ago for the arms and legs?  Let’s start with the arms. 
Remember the “triangles” that we cut in earlier?  Now it’s time to custom fit these to each arm.

Take your scissors and extend those sides of the triangles to the edge of the arm on each side.  You will have a triangle with the base where the chair and the arm meet.

Next, we are going to fold that triangle under so you have a perfectly folded line of fabric along the arm.

Now, fold the side fabric under in the same way so that you have a finished edge all the way around the arm.  Don’t worry, this does not have to be perfect - - we will be covering it up later!

IMG_4528 IMG_4529 
Alright, now it’s time to pull out the power tools!!  Don’t worry, if you don’t have a staple gun that hooks up to your air compressor, you are not out of luck!  Up until just a few weeks ago, I only had an electric staple gun and that works just fine!  You can even do it with a manual staple gun, just be aware that your arms are going to be tired!

I use half inch staples.  For this project, you don’t need overly long staples - - when we move on to harder projects where more fabric is layered on top of each other, you will want longer staples.


It’s time to staple the fabric down.  Start in the center of the front of the chair, then move over 6”-8” making sure that you smooth the fabric as you go.  Stop about 4” from the corner of the chair.

IMG_4530 IMG_4542
Now, we are going to jump to the back of the chair.
You are going to do the exact same thing to the two back supports that you did to the arms.  Cut the triangle and fold it under.

IMG_4539 IMG_4540
Fold the sides under also.  Then take you staple gun and staple the entire back down - -making sure you smooth the fabric as you go along!

Now, we need to jump back to the front corners and finish those up.  Notice that there is a little point poking out.


Fold that point toward under toward the center of the chair, as if you were wrapping a present.


Then fold the top flap down so you have a clean and fitted corner.  Staple around both of your corners.
Now we have finished stapling down all the fabric on the seat cushion!  Make sure everything is smooth and that there isn’t more than a 1/4” gap between staples.  This will make a huge difference when we work on our chair tomorrow!


Join me tomorrow as I show you how to do the arm cushions, clean things up and give you a complete tutorial on making your own double cording!


Sarah AKA The Thriftress said...

Can't wait till tomorrow. I have the chair in this post (actually 2 of them) to recover and this is so helpful!

Autumn said...

You MUST read my blog...


Infarrantly Creative said...

You are doing great with this Amy. I love watching the process.

Unknown said...

I just recently started following your blog. How good is my timing. I love all of your upholstered pieces and I am so glad you are doing this series. I have two chairs that I will be attempting to redo soon so this is so helpful. I have yet to get to all of your posts but I am loving your site.
Thanks for the inspiration.

May G said...

I have visited your site several times and LOVES everything you do - the chairs, pillows, and the bags! I love your tutorial. It is so precise and easy to follow. I have an armchair that I was going to have it reupholst professionally but now I may actually do it myself, if I can find time after taking care of my four little ones!

Heidi Pocketbook said...

I found my way over here from Infarrantly Creative and am so glad I did! I'm getting ready to tackle my first reupholstering project so this series is so timely!

Please tell me about the fabric you are using--pattern and where to buy. I am looking for a retro fabric such as this for using in my newly redecorated kitchen.

MJWhipps said...

Hello! I am not sure how to send you and e-mail. I am DESPERATELY looking for 1 yard of this fabric for a project I am working on, is there ANY chance you have a yard of the Large Spring Floral to sell??

Mel said...

Oh my, that chair is scrumptious.

Your instructions are spot on. I won't be attempting them any time soon but I will definitely follow so that I can refer to it later.

Thanks for your hard work.

Lori said...

Hi, I just found this post (via Pinterest). I have a fabric just like this, and it's pretty light-weight (not upholstery fabric). Is that the case for yours? If so, may I ask how well it has held up? Thank you in advance.

Anonymous said...

You didn’t show doing the arm pads. And I would also like information on the double corded trim. How do I sew this and do I apply tacks or staples in between the cords. Would appreciate your reply. Thanks Barbara S.

Related Posts with Thumbnails