06 October 2010

Upholstery 101- The Chair

Whew!  I've been a little overwhelmed as of late doing projects.  I don't know about you but sometimes it just happens without my permission and suddenly I blink and I have ten projects going at once.  Since I know how much you all love tutorials I am bringing a post on my very first upholstery project with entirely too many photo's I'm sure!  And don't expect them all to be perfectly staged and clear either because shooting with one hand and working with the other is just not my forte.  This was my $8 chair from goodwill that I had left in my dining room in shambles for months because I was too intimidated to reupholster it.  So shall we get on with it then?

What you'll need:

A good guesstimate of how much fabric your project will require.  I guessed about 3 yards for this chair.
A good great staple gun (I'll get into the nitty gritty on these in another post)
Hot glue gun
Trim, either braided or corded.  This project took 6.5 yards.
A staple remover or flat blade screw driver (the staple remover is a forked tongue looking thing with a screwdriver handle on it. I'll tell you more in a bit)
A pair of pliers
Exacto knife or scissors

Okay step one:  Find a chair!



Now lay the new fabric over the chair so you can see where your pattern will go.  If you have an abstract pattern that is fairly busy this will be easier to place as it wont really matter which end goes where.  But stripes are the worst to work with and everything else is kind of in the middle.

Next you want to rip it apart =)  Now listen carefully because this will save you much stress, cursing and flying objects later on.  Save all the cording you take off.  You will want to measure this later so you know how much new cording to buy.  You also want to keep each piece of fabric to use as a template to cut out your new pieces.  Take lots of pictures of the process along the way so you can refer to them later if necessary and mark your pieces with a fabric pencil to remind you which piece is from where and which ends are up and down.




Okay so yes the foam underneath might be a nasty urine yellow color.  This does not mean the old family dog peed all over it!  It also doesn't mean it came from a smokers home.  This is just what foam does after time.  Foam can be expensive so as long as it's not smelly or crumbling apart I say keep it!  As your taking the gazillion staples you may want to solicit the help of your hubby because your poor little fingers will be screaming after a while.


And while he's giving your fingers a break you can start tracing and cutting out the new pieces of fabric.  Don't forget to label!




Now we paint the frame once all the staples are out.  I painted mine a semi gloss black because it's easier to wipe down later on.  Guess what?  Time to put it back together all ready!  I wish it were that simple... the putting back together part was actually day two for me.



Okay so here is the part I tell you to get a great stapler.  I will do another post on all the nitty gritty but a manual stapler will take you a week and you'll be buffer than Hulk Hogan by the time it's over.  I started out with an electric stapler which would have worked fine on frames and woods in the garage but on the hard woods of furniture it didn't have enough guts and this is what I got...


So back to Home Depot we went and ended up leaving with a pneumatic stapler/nailer.  Pneumatic = Air.  So this hooks up to the compressor and boy does it have some gumpf!  Here is the best part.  It was only $10 more than the electric one!

So start stapling at a center point on top or bottom.  Then work to the opposite side back and forth across your canvas all the while stretching and keeping the fabric taught.  So if you think of your canvas as a clock you will start with about 4-5 staples at noon.  Then pull tight and do 4-5 more at 6.  The do 3 and 9 etc...  It will start to look like this.


Once your finished stapling you can use your knife or scissors and trim around the edges.



Okay this gets tricky... I learned you cannot use staples that are too long or this can happen.  I recommend nothing over 1/2 in.  I also learned to keep lifting the fabric and check that your staples are as close to the finished edge as you can get them because I have few showing where my trim didn't cover them.



So now finish up the rest of your chair, arms and seat.  It's coming along, see!




Now get out the glue gun.  It's time to put the finishing trim on.  I used braided trim because I knew some of my staples were too high and I had hoped it would cover them all.  I also bought fabric glue that said "fast drying".  Yeah, if your a turtle.  So I opted for the hot glue gun on low and it worked beautifully.



And 6.5 yards of trim later... Viola.



I just adore this fabric...I got it at a garage sale for $3.  It's a curtain panel =)


Hope you enjoyed the journey in my garden of upholstery today.  Check back soon for my review on the staple guns, my new dining room slip covers and a bunch of new treasures!


51 comments:

Barbara Jean said...

LOVE IT!!!

What a change.

blessings
barbara jean

Monika said...

Just absolutely wonderful, Sommer. I've done this myself (pre-kids) and I know the fun involved, especially the staple gun part. If you want to, you can ask me before you start something completely new as I may have done it before!

Oh and I was already waiting for your viola ... hehe ... it's voilà, sweetie :-)))) ... so Sommer ...

love
Monika

Nutbird said...

Is this your first attempt? You are good. Beautiful chair. What table did you get? Ann

Sommer said...

@ Monika.. lol I meant VOILA but my fingers got away from me. And I cannot make the accent from my laptop =) At least you know what I meant heehe!

oops! said...

I Love it! The chair had such potential, with it's beautiful lines, and now the black with the fabric - it is Gorgeous!

Shanda said...

I love what you did with this chair! I have been looking all summer for an inexpensive chair with character to turn into a beauty like this.

Suesan said...

You did an excellent job. I have a couple of remodeling projects I'm tackling this winter, one of which is very similar to your chair. I'm getting excited to do this one now.

http://froufrugal.blogspot.com

Renee said...

Simply gorgeous! You have given me courage that maybe, just maybe I could do this!

malia said...

holy cow great work! i love your little profile paragraph-- could be me except two kids instead of 3!
i'm happily following your blog + would love for you to check mine out and consider linking this up to a crafty soiree-- the weekly linky party i co-host every thursday at www.yesterdayontuesday.com
cheers! malia

Jami said...

Wonderful tutorial! I have to put this on my Tuesday to do list! The fabric is yummy! Great job!
smiles!

Chrissie said...

You would never know this was your first attempt! Great job, I love the black and white fabric~

Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

It came out beautiful! It's a terrific tutorial too. But it's still intimidating project to me. Come over and help me? ;)

Julie said...

You did a great job! All your hard work paid off.

Sommer said...

Yanet- It is indimidating! I was reluctant hence why I had such an ugly chair in my dining room the past three months lol. Here is how I thought of it. The chair was $8, the fabric was $3 and I could return the pneumatic stapler. So if I completely screwed it up I was only out $11 and some of my time. I also gained experience regardless. So maybe start with something smaller like a little stool or dinning chair seats before jumping into a larger project like this. And if you're still intimidated you send me a ticket and I'll be there! =)

Tracie said...

This turned out beautifully! Very overwhelming project for someone with limited spatial skills like me!

Maridith @ Strictly Homemade said...

Fabulous!! What a statement chair. You did a wonderful job. Thanks for the tutorial too.

Lacey said...

Beautiful job! Thanks for inspiration to finish the second chair of a pair that I started to reupholster earlier this summer!

Claire said...

What a beautiful chair-love the fabric-inspiring!

Stephanie said...

Wow you did an awesome job! I have done two of those type of chairs and will never, ever do them again. I love your fabric!

Ann said...

Thanks so much for a great tutorial. I'm still quite intimidated by the whole process but your steps make it look easy. AND that fabric is just so beautiful as is your new chair!!
Fondly,
Ann
@
The Tattered Tassel

Tru@TRU TALES FEATS said...

That is so cool. Love the fact that the fabric was a curtain panel. Sometimes the best fabrics come in the form of something other than "by the yard" and usually cheaper to boot!

Elizabeth (blue clear sky) said...

That is a very classy chair. Great job!

Sommer said...

@Ann- I never did get a table. I just couldn't decide and figured when the time was right it would be an easy decision.

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Beautiful job!!! That was one super-duper curtain panel!!!

Kim said...

Luuuurve! I have some of the same fabric but in yellow (my fav color) but not enough to do a whole chair like yours. Maybe a chair with just a bottom cushion. Definitely giving me ideas though :)

angie said...

I love that fabric! Very classy job.

The Pennington Point said...

It's fantastic! I have done these projects and they are NOT easy! I am so impressed...you did a great job. Thanks for showing us. Lisa~

Amy @ Journey Mum said...

That is so amazing and what a bargain! I love that there is fabric on the back and arms. You did such a great job!

MaryJanes and Galoshes said...

Your chair looks amazing! I love the fabric you chose. I'm green with envy!

Kristen said...

Great tutorial. And the chair turned out amazing. I found this very helpful as I have a chair I want to red. Thank you.

Shaunna said...

Absolutely stunning...I'm SO impressed with the upholstery...fantastic job! Thanks so much for linking it to Style Feature Saturday! -shaunna :)

Janet said...

I love it. I am too intimidated to do something like this. I tried to cover a lamp shade with fabric and ended up ripping the shade in frustration. I can only imagine what I would do to an innocent chair.

I really like your blog.

Thanks for stopping by mine. You sound similar to me in your description.

Janet @ Cul-de-Sac Chic

Katie's Nesting Spot said...

Amazing, there's simply no other way to describe the makeover! Thanks for sharing with us at A Crafty Soiree! Hope you'll join us at the lastest one, that begins tomorrow!

And thanks for the tips about saving the cording, making a pattern, and taking pictures. Those are very helpful to newbies to this type of project.

Princess Danell said...

Beeeutiful! Wow! You make it look like a piece of cake, which I am sure it isn't. I'd love to find a couple of those pretty chairs and try it myself. THanks for the inspiration!

angelina said...

I love what you did with the chair. I have the same curtain panels in my 16 year old daughter's room. If anyone is looking for it, you can still find it at Target, although not at your steal of a price. Fabulous job! Now off to find my an inexpensive chair similar to that for my daughter's vanity.

Sue@Uniquely Chic said...

WOW!!! I love this chair. A lot of work but so worth it. It came out truly beautiful. The fabric is perfect. Now I have something else to add to my 2011 must try list.

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

gorgeous! i love that fabric on it- it's so glam!

Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

It looks fabulous!! The fabric is so classy. And the tutorial is even better. Thanks for sharing.

The DIY Show Off said...

Wow - it's stunning! You did a fantastic job! Great tutorial and helpful tips too! Thanks so much for sharing! ;)

Happy New Year!

Roeshel

To Sew With Love said...

I am inlove with your chair!!! so pretty! would love for you to link up at http://tosewwithlove.blogspot.com/2011/01/crafty-saturday-party-link-up-no1.html

Chrissie said...

Thanks for this tutorial, I am saving it to look back to when I start my chairs!

Jane said...

Beautiful! I love your detailed comments along the way too. Redoing a chair is a 2011 goal of mine. This was super encouraging to read.

Sami said...

So pretty. I have been poking around your blog and am now your newest follower! :)

Sami

To Sew With Love said...

Hi! we have featured your project. I hope you could grab our feature button when you have time! Can’t wait what you have for this week! ^^)

Tawny said...

Gorgeous! What an ambitious project (one that I'd be afraid to try). You did an awesome job. :)

Claire said...

Fabulous job! lol-I have 2 of these chairs but had them professionally upholstered-too bad I hadn't read your tutorial -what a wonderful job you did-I also bought these sheets and made curtains for my daughter's room! We definitely think alike!!

Court said...

I love how your chair turned out! I have been eyeing those curtains at Target for quite sometime now! You have inspired me to go get a panel and use it on something else.

Before and After Lovelies said...

I love it! thanks for the great tutorial! I've always been so intimidated by the whole process but you make it look easy! i spotlighted your chair on my "before and afters" blog.
http://beforeandafterlovelies.blogspot.com/2011/02/chandelier-chair.html

Jennifer~My Vintage Bliss said...

Hi I am a new follower ~ found you on somewhat simple. I am in love with this chair ~ such a great makeover!!

Brambleberry Cottage said...

Wow! Your chair turned out fabulous, Sommer. It has a chic, trendy look now. And I'm sure you'll get a lot of use out of that new stapler. They really do come in handy for many things.

Thanks for linking to the party. Be sure to enter the giveaway, if you haven't done so yet.

Blessings,
Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

Furnace Franklin said...

I have not tried fixing an old chair because I think its hard to think of an idea to put on. You made me realized that it's just manageable.

You might also like

Related Posts with Thumbnails