[DIY] Chair Makeover

Makeover an old chair by reupholstering it. It's easier than it looks. [DIY]

Makeover an old chair by reupholstering it. It’s easier than it looks. [DIY]


I knew I always liked Queen Elizabeth I. She brought stability to the kingdom, drama to the stage, and stuffing to chairs. That’s right, the first signs of comfort in chairs came during her reign, creating one of London’s oldest guilds, The Upholsterers’ Company.  Just think, those upholsterers didn’t even have a staple gun! 

My mom and I found a fantastic new “homemaker shop”  in Jacksonville called Agnes Agatha [8081 Phillips Hwy, Jacksonville, FL]. They have the most beautiful fabrics and an inspiring showroom of styled room vignettes. The fabric prices run the gamut, ranging from $12 a yard to $50+ a yard. The library of choices is the perfect size; not overwhelmingly large, yet full of enticing pieces. Walking amongst the gorgeous bolts of fabrics just makes you happy; with every print I see a possibility.   I fell in love with a luxurious pale blue velvet printed with a bronze damask. In the sale section, my mom found the remnants of a bolt (2 yards) of pale blue and brown striped heavy cotton for $5! The two patterns made a perfect marriage.

Mixing patterns and prints gives your room depth and provides you a perfect outlet to make a room yours, and not what some commercial retail conglomerate says your room should look like.

When I saw the damask against the pinstripe, I immediately thought of a chair. The back and the seat would provide the stage for this pair of prints.  I already had a chair from Goodwill that I recovered last year with white and gray chevron. However, that fabric isn’t really matching what our master bedroom is now evolving into, but this “strong meets glam” pairing does.

Don’t be afraid of recovering seats and chairs! They’ve been doing it in London since the 1600’s WITHOUT A STAPLE GUN. Staple guns make life so much easier. So grab your gun and fabric and get started.

Remove the current staples

Remove the current staples

[DIY] Chair Makeover
Step One:
Carefully remove the current fabric by removing the staples. Keep the fabric intact, you’ll need it as a guide soon.

Step Two: Use the old fabric as your cutting guide. Lay the old fabric on top of the new and pin them in order to secure them together. You are going to use the old fabric as a cutting guide for the new. Make sure you have your patterns aligned properly on your new fabric. For example, I wanted the largest part of  damask pattern in the middle of my seat, so I made sure this was in the middle before I started cutting.

Put your old fabric on top of the new and align your pattern correctly.

Put your old fabric on top of the new and align your pattern correctly.

Step Three: Position your newly cut fabric on the chair’s seat and align it the way your want it (pattern in the middle, stripes straight, etc.) Start in the front middle of the chair seat and staple the fabric to the frame. Use the old staple holes as a guide. Make sure you are stapling UNDER the frame so it wont show.

Step Four: Move to the back of the seat, pull the fabric taut, and staple again. Continue pulling and stapling, criss-crossing between the front and back, but don’t get too close to the corners yet. Those take more time.

Step Five: The corners are the trickiest part. You might need to do some additional trimming of the fabric here as your fold the fabric in and work on making the corners straight. Now, repeat steps four and five for the sides of the chair.

 

I work on the corners last. You will need to trim some of the excess fabric.

I work on the corners last. You will need to trim some of the excess fabric.

Make sure your pattern is straight. Pulling too tightly can upset the pattern.

Make sure your pattern is straight. Pulling too tightly can upset the pattern.

My Advice: 

Work slowly. This is not a race and the more careful you are, the better your end result.

Consistently pull your fabric taut. If it is not tight, it will look bad.
Don’t be afraid to take out a staple or two and re-do them.

 

The Finished Product: a chair makeover [DIY]

The Finished Product: a chair makeover [DIY]

Good luck! If I can do it, you can do it. Believe me… it is easier than it seems. Thank you, Queen Elizabeth I.
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