Monday, January 14, 2013

Chair Reupholstery

My first reupholstery project and it was easy!

 I thought that this chair had really cool character. The arms and legs had natural grooves similar to tree branches.
1. Remove the old fabric off the chair. This includes taking off the glued binding which hides the stapled fabric underneath. Remove all staples or as much as you can. This is the most tedious part, but the more that are removed the better. So you can staple with ease later on when you are reupholstering the chair.

2. Go fabric shopping! Measure out the old chair covers or bring them with you to decipher how much yardage you need to purchase. I bought a little over 2 yards. 

Remember to have a general theme in mind. Who is this chair for you or someone else? Make sure you can picture it in its new home. The chair needs to belong because it is a lot of work to do this project. This project is not hard at all, but it does take some time. 

I wanted to go for a Mexican American bohemian vibe. So I purchased this fabric from Michael Levine in Downtown Los Angeles. It was named Peru (Okay, so its not "Mexican").

3. Cut out the new pieces of fabric for the chair.

Decide which way you want the fabric to go. I didn't know which way to lay it out at first. horizontal didn't feel right for the zig-zag pattern. Vertical on top and horizontal zig-zags on the bottom felt to dramatic and clashing. I went with horizontal for the top and bottom of the chair. It felt more natural. Make sure you cut the fabric precisely with the pattern going exactly how you want it because at the end of this project that is the most important thing that you see. 
4. Put the new fabric on.

When you take the chair apart you will learn how to put it back together. This is how I reupholstered the top of the chair. First staple the fabric for the back of the chair. Staple one thin layer of cotton of the same measurements over that fabric. Then staple burlap pieces about five inches wide to make a T shape for back support of the chair. Next, staple the thin lining then the really thick foam+cotton piece over. Lastly, staple the front fabric over it all. Make sure the zig-zags are lined up the way you want them to be. 

The bottom of the chair piece was more tricky for me because I had to drape the fabric over the bottom seat to get the right fit for the seat cover. Once its covered with fabric cut around the seat cover until it fits then staple it to  the seat. If necessary you can stuff the sides with more cotton. I had to cut open a pillow. Its okay though the pillow won't miss the cotton much. 
5. I purchased 6 yards of piping for the perimeter detailing of the chair. I cut this fabric about 4 inches wide from selvage to selvage. Put the pipeing string in the middle of the fabric then fold in half. Sew a straight stitch on the sewing machine. Then cut the fabric in strips that are about a 1/2" wide. Lastly, tie the strips in a knot to make that fringe detail. 

6. Use a hot glue gun to glue the fringe detail to the outer parts of the chair fabric. 

 Baja California Bohemian

I had always wanted to reupholster a chair. I saw this chair at a thrift store and bought it for $20. I spent about $60 from Michael Levine. That store can be a bit pricey, but you can find fabric for much cheaper. Now its your turn to reupholster something and send me pics.  



  1. What an amazing ReVamp! I have always wanted to reupholster a chair! My next home for sure!

    1. Thank you Nicole! It was really fun to do. If you do one let me know I would love to see it. :)

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