Thursday, July 8, 2010

Easy Upholstery Projects

It makes me want to cringe when I think about the number of gorgeous and under appreciated chairs I have passed up in my time because I wasn't sure what to do with them. I would always go straight to the solid wood chairs and steer clear of anything that required the use of fabric. Well, no more. About a year ago I picked up an old metal chair for $2.25, sure I could spruce it up somehow. After discovering I could remove the seat and back of the chair with just a little old screw driver, I was hooked. You cannot imagine the joy I have had browsing fabric aisles and searching for just he perfect easy chairs for upholstery.

So, moving on, this tutorial is for those of you out there who were like me. You underestimated your ability to make furniture beautiful again. Follow along and you will see just how easy and addicting upholstery can be! (That is if you aren't already far more educated in sewing and upholstery than I am, which certainly wouldn't take much!)

1) Buy a mildly atrocious chair from a thrift store for $5.oo or less.

2) Locate the screws on the bottom of the cushion and remove them.

3) Rip off scary pre-existing fabric to expose foam and seat core.

4) Cut fabric to size.

5) Use staple gun to attach new fabric. Start in the middle pull as tight as you can. After the securing the middle, staple the far corners and work your way back in, being sure to pull the fabric as tight as your go.

6) Cut off excess fabric.

7) Paint or stain your chair an awesome color to make it interesting!

8) Place upholstered seat back on chair and reattach with screws.

9) Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your effort, and vow to never pass up an ugly chair again.

The possibilities are endless! Just remember the more interesting fabric and paint choice the better. I am a little bummed about how 'burnt' orange my fabric looks playing against the wood floors, but no worries. I can change it on even the slightest whim since it's just THAT easy!

Oh, and here is the chair that started it all!

Stop back by in the next few weeks to see a couple of other chair projects we've been working on around the house. And, in the meantime, check out these great parties.

Happy Thursday!


Madigan at madiganmade July 8, 2010 at 5:43 AM  

I love the fabric choices on both of them. So fun!

Jessica July 8, 2010 at 6:45 AM  

It turned out fabulous! I'm inspired! Thanks for sharing Patrice!

pinar July 8, 2010 at 8:17 AM  

hey you just remebered me a chair I have forgotten =)..
thanks for the inspiration.. it came out very beautiful.. enjoy..

Kari July 8, 2010 at 8:20 AM  

These look great! I really love the chair that started it all :) Do you go to the salvage place off Southland Drive for your findings?

Amy @ Keep'n The SunnySide July 8, 2010 at 8:35 AM  

I have been recovering chairs for years. My problem... I keep finding cute new fabrics. Luv your fabric choices.

Erin A July 8, 2010 at 8:36 AM  

Oh I love that color blue on that first chair! The white peeking out is perfect, it looks so good! And I love the original chair too-I always pass those kinds of chairs up but that one looks adorable!!

Amy July 8, 2010 at 9:09 AM  

So cute! Love the fabric choice! Great even I can do one! :)

Julie Kay July 8, 2010 at 12:31 PM  

I was so excited to see you posting about chair makeovers! I have been calling this summer "the summer of chairs" for myself. I have purchased two chairs at estate sales that have incredible age and character and sturdiness, but terrible fabric choices. And, each sale I go to I am tempted to buy more, but there's only 1500 square feet in my house, so I can only do so many.... haha! I've gone as far as purchasing the fabric for the chairs, but haven't gotten around to replacing it with the old stuff. Your post gives me hope that someday I can manage to get it done and with a fair amount of ease!

Maria July 8, 2010 at 12:42 PM  

It's amazing how simple things are if you just take a little time to look at things huh? Love the redos! Especially the first one you did, it would look great in my daughters room!

Su-sieee! Mac July 9, 2010 at 2:14 AM  

Your instructions and photos do make it seem not so scary to do. Now I need to find me a chair! Thanks a lot!

Rose :: July 9, 2010 at 7:07 AM  

you are just so amazing.
i cant believe you can even make this look SO SIMPLE

ok. come show my readers,
they love to learn all about it

(ps a new diy/craft tutorial party opens up every wednesday... so you can come again and again and again...)

Donna July 9, 2010 at 7:30 AM  

This is so inspiring! I've got to try it but I've been a complete chicken about it! I'm re-decorating my bedroom (it's the spring bedroom link #196 on Shabby Chic) and I have an English writing desk chair whose upholstery has just had it! I know I can do this--thanks to you! I know just what fabric to use!

Thanks so much!
Donna @ Comin' Home

Dayle ~ A Collection of Days July 9, 2010 at 2:22 PM  

I'm loving this. I really want to re-do my dining room chairs. Now I think I'm brave enough. :)

Kathryn July 9, 2010 at 2:25 PM  

I love a good chair redo! Now that I've figured how to recover cushions like this one...I'm on the hunt for a wing back chair to recover...Yikes! :)

Karie July 9, 2010 at 10:02 PM  

Love your blog. I follow it all the time. Thanks for the information and directions to re-do a chair. Someday I will try it.

Unknown July 10, 2010 at 5:13 PM  

I LOVE the chair redo! I have been searching for a long while for the "perfect" cheap chair to redo for my home office/craft room!

Check out my new blog!

Amanda @ Healthy House on the Block July 12, 2010 at 4:46 PM  

GREAT tutorial! Thank you!! :)

LOVE LOVE LOVE that fabric (well, both actually). :)

You did a wonderful job!!

Pam Kessler July 12, 2010 at 5:00 PM  

Love the metal chair. I was just looking for new fabric for my dining room chairs today. I change up the fabric every few years to give the dining room a new look.

Jane Gianoutsos July 12, 2010 at 5:50 PM  

Nice job! I just did our very shredded kitchen stool during the weekend - the cats like to sit there and had taken their toll on it! Love re-covering things, and it's so easy!

Kaysi @ Keeping it Simple July 12, 2010 at 9:34 PM  

Great job!!

BLJ Graves Studio July 13, 2010 at 1:58 PM  

Great job! LOVE your fabric choice.

anne maskell July 14, 2010 at 6:10 PM  

What a difference! Thanks for the idea! I'm visiting you from Life in the Pitts.

Michelle L. July 14, 2010 at 10:09 PM  

Really great tutorial! I esp. love the chair that started it all. and I LOVE the phrase 'mildly atrocious.' Hee-larious!

Taylor at July 16, 2010 at 9:01 AM  

Wow! What great results. I guess I have always been too scared to try to do this, but if you buy a chair really cheap like you suggest and some fabric, I guess you really don't have too much invested in it if it doesn't turn out well.

Thanks for the tutorial!

Helena July 16, 2010 at 9:04 AM  

I had no idea it was that easy! This is an awesome tutorial. Thank you Patrice!

Helena July 16, 2010 at 10:14 AM  

Hey Patrice! I loved this tutorial so much, I featured it today.

Mad in Crafts July 17, 2010 at 10:52 AM  

Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

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