- Arts and Design
How to Reupholster a Chair Upcycle Chair Projects
How to re-vamp a tired looking Occasional Chair
So you want to reupholster an old occasional chair to fit in with your color scheme of your newly decorated living space? I always wanted to recover chairs and was not sure if it would be easy difficult or not worth the bother. I had always spotted old and worn furniture and though what beautiful features they would make, If only I knew how to upholster a chair.
I was at a local car boot sale and saw 2 small chairs, which would look lovely in my living room, but the color was horrendous.
The little occasional chairs were in desperate need of a makeover. And were crying out for some TLC.
So armed with material I bought to match my color scheme, a staple gun, and some serious looking Fabric scissors.
I decided to make over these chairs.
All photos on this page unless otherwise specified belong to LisaAuch.com And should not be used without specific written permission from owner
Recover a Chair Before and After - Planning your work
It actually takes a professional re-upholsterer two to three days to strip down and rebuild a fully padded chair. This is why re-covering and re-upholstary is so expensive.
You will need some good space to work in where you can also leave the project for a few days without it getting iin the way of day to day living.
It is easier to work with your chair at a good level from the ground where you can easily move around it. We Used my craft table, but woodworking trestles will be fine too.
Preparing your chair.
We decided to cover completely over the old material, after we gave it a good wash down with fabric cleaner it really was in good condition.
If you are taking all the old fabric off this is indeed a more complex job.
The Grain of the material and how to get your tension right
How to find the Grain of fabirc and the tension
GrainThe grain must always be square on the frame or seat. with the warp threads running perpendicular to the floor at the center of the relevant section
Easiest way to find the grain is to pull a thread! (obviously one near the end of your material or a waste piece. .
Tension / Tautness is essential on each section. Keeping the same tension around will also help shape your chair too.
Each piece of added material must be pulled as smooth as possible.(without OVER pulling)
An easy test to whether you have pulled it tight enough is to run the palm of your hand over the surface - there should be no wrinkles.
Top Tip: Always pull the fabric with the grain, if you pull on the bias it will stretch the fabric.
Cutting the material:
Always cut too big, (then we can trim to shape, you will be surprised at how much extra give you need for movement when stapling the fabric into position.
To fit the fabric around upright sections, and get neat folds:
Fold the material and all the "extra" material neatly fold and tuck, under the main fold. This creates a beautiful finish.
Materials needed for a simple Chair upholstery Project
The choice of fabric these days is amazing, by clicking on the featured fabric you will be taken to amazon where I find the BEST prices for fabric to use online,
Always use sharp scissors, the fabric will be delicate, so you want nice sharp edges and no catches or pulls as you cut into the fabric.
I use pins to secure the fabric with large colored pin heads, this ensures I can see and remove them once I am finished. Every home should have a staple gun, I love it, from furniture to tidying wires, as always Adults should keep these out of childs reach.
Find beautiful fabrics online at great prices
Working with any fabric or material you must have good fabric scissors
Heavy Duty Staple Gun a must for every household
These are needed for pinning your material in place, and the large pin heads make excellent markers so as not to lose them
Order of Work for Re-upholstering a traditional Chair - Start with the Back of The Chair
Generally the best way to start is to complete the seat first. Then the back followed by the wings if any.
Our chair had a round underneath so this was fantastic as all the ends could be hidden and tucked in .
Although covering a chair like this may seem complicated its actually more time consuming than difficult.
The most likely mistakes in re-upholstering are:
Incorrect alignment of the grain
Incomplete pulling of the sections over the stuffed areas to make the cover smooth and taut.
and inaccurate cutting around upright parts (like our chairs Back - make sure you have plenty of spare material around these areas)
You May Need Some Help - Sometimes you need an extra pair of hands too
I will admit there are little fiddly bits to really keep you on your toes, so having an extra pair of hands around is useful.
Finishing off Your Chair Underneath - just as important a the bits you can see
Of course not many will see the underneath but finishing this part correctly IS important.
Lots of staples are required around the bottom of your work to make sure that the material is flush to the chair. So It will not wrinkle or move.
Evenly space the staples, this also eliminates the risk of the material tearing.
And creates a good even tension Around.
Creating Neat Finishes To Your Chair - Finishing the Back of your Chair.
The last part of the project is fiddly, and is tucking in and making sure all your creases and tension is correct. Before you commit to the final fixing.
I used large headed colour pins (so I could easily find them too) to secure all the excess material.
I also found I could cut away some of the excess material inside some of the folds, this just made the cover neater and smoother)
Ta-Dah The Finished Covered Chair
We are very happy at how this chair turned out.
Design your own fabric
I had to share this site with you. Over at Spoonflower.com you can upload your image and get it printed onto your choice of fabric
- Spoonflower: Shop, design custom fabric, wallpaper, gift wrap & decals
Design, print and sell custom fabric, wallpaper, gift wrap & decals on-demand. Or shop from the largest marketplace of independent surface designs.
Beautiful Fabric and Material for all your Re Upholstary Projects - I love the beautiful high quaity selection availabe online
You can search for any colour and type of fabric right here. And get started on your own Chair Make over Projects.
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