DIYGuest Blog. October 17th, 2012

Guest Post- Reupholstery of old Chair (Tutorial).

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reupholster old chair

A big Hello to all of you wonderful Crationary readers!  I’m so happy and flattered that Hani invited me here today.  It’s pretty cool when one of your favorite bloggers invites you to guest post!  So, here I am from messy mimi ready to share my very first re-upholstery project.  

It all started with this old chair I found at Habitat Restore.  Well, you know how sometimes you have too many unfinished projects?  That’s me, so I kept on walking.   I bought some small thing but kept thinking about the chair.  It was $10.  As I was getting in my car I realized I really wanted this chair.  The fabric was in bad shape but the chair itself was in good shape.  I bought this lovely in May and after tossing around lots of color and fabric ideas around in my head I finally “recreated” it this month.   
There were so many fabrics and colors I loved but in the end it had to be something that could work with  the cane siding.  There was a polka dot fabric and a Chevron one that I adored but, it wasn’t happening – too much pattern and I don’t want anyone getting dizzy looking at my chair!   So… I  decided to use the Waverly Button Blooms fabric I bought earlier and love so much.  It is pictured with the cotton clothes line I found cheap at Walmart to make cording for the chair.
Then on to the paint.  With this fabric there were several choices.  I chose blue and was delighted to see that Valspar makes Waverly Fabric inspired paint.  I bought a $3 sample bottle of Blue Sail – it was all I needed and still have a bit left for a smaller project.  Amazing.
I started by turning the chair over and removing the screws holding the seat in place.  I’m not quite sure why but………….
There was a board attached to another board that had a large cut out area.  Made no sense to me and if any of you out there have an explanation for this I would LOVE to hear from you.  Needless to say, all the old foam was tossed 
And I didn’t remove this tag.  Even though it is pretty scary looking!
Next up was painting this baby. (I won’t bore you with removing the old fabric or the gazillion staples that had to be removed.  🙂  What a job that was!)
Once the chair was ready I used Rustoleum 2X Satin Heirloom White as a primer just because I had it on hand.  Then painted the Valspar Blue Sail onto my chair.  One coat was pretty much all it needed except for a few spots.
This picture (above) is with the pattern I made using posterboard for the back panels.
 Now for the re-upholstery part. For most projects I use a one inch wide ruler to cut fabric strips on the bias (that means you cut diagonally across the fabric.)  It allows the cording to be more flexible.  
Here you see how to sew the cording pieces together ( front sides facing  ) Then iron the seam open.
Fold over and use your zipper foot (if you have one) to sew the fabric tight around the cord.
Usually, you would want to save the original piece to use as your pattern, but this old fabric fell apart and was pretty yucky.  So, I started from scratch.
I placed the bottom board onto the back of my fabric.   Then I drew around the board allowing 1″ extra all around for the seam allowance.  The side and front pieces were 3″ deep so I cut out one long strip 5″ wide and 54″ long.  With the seat fabric facing up I pinned the cording (raw edges matching) and the side piece (facing down.)  Stitched all around the seat with the zipper foot to get a tight fit. 
For the cushion, I used the old seat board to trace a pattern onto new 3″ deep foam and some batting.
I placed the foam on the board then added some batting to the top.  I placed the finished cover over it and started stapling all around the base.
Now, on to the back of the chair.  I had traced a pattern onto some poster board for the back fabric panels.  I cut out 2 pieces for the front and back.  I pinned the back with the right side facing out
Then I stapled around the edges.
Placed a thin layer of batting over the back piece and then two strips of jute cut to size for added strength.  I secured this with a few more staples.
Next layer was a 1″ deep piece of foam cut to fit inside the layers.  Another thin layer of batting over that and a few more staples.  
For the seat back cording I cut more bias strips but, instead of sewing this I used fabric glue.  I folded over one edge and tucked the raw edge under the folded one.  Pinned it to some cork on top of wax paper to dry.
For the finished back I took the other fabric piece and began tucking in the raw edge at the top and sides.  And more stapling again as you can (hopefully) see in this picture.   Then I used the fabric glue to attach the cording to the back.  I did use straight pins to hold this in place until it was dry. 
Then I put the seat in place and secured with screws.  It is far from perfect but I am happy with my first attempt at recovering a chair!  Hope you enjoyed this and have a wonderful creative week!Thanks so much letting me share this at Craftionary Hani!  
Thanks so much for sharing this cute re-upholstery project. I love your color and fabrics choices. 
Also check out messy mimi for lovely projects like:

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Hi, I’m Hani

I’m a mom of 2 decorating and soulfully designing our home. I love to share crafts and simple ideas for home and garden.

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  1. El Olor de Cádiz says:


  2. Grumpy Grateful Mom says:

    I love it! Great tutorial!!!I may have to try my hand at this one of these days. And your chair turned out adorable!

  3. Starting with an old chair and coming till here is a great journey must say I really like it.

  4. Lance says:

    Old uphostery once repair and remodel are better than new upholstery/

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