Friday, August 23, 2013

How to reupholster a chair seat when it won't come off

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I belong to a yard sale Facebook group. Yes, one of those that completely clutters your news feed with a lot of junk :) ...well, every once in awhile there is gem hidden in that junk. I found these awesome chairs for $5 each. There were four, but two were already called for, so I grabbed the other two as quickly as I could. I had the hubs at their house 10 minutes after I saw the post. Serious. These deals don't last long :) ....well that and I really wanted the chairs lol.
reupholster a chair
I was so excited to get them....and well, they have been sitting in my garage ever since. And it's been like 3 months, at least. See. I have this problem. I don't have any place to put them :) That and the other 10 chairs I have in the basement. But luckily a vacancy opened up in my front room after switching the furniture in there around with the furniture in the living room. 

I was told these were from Scandinavia. I don't know how old. There are no marks on them. So, I figure I might as well just redo them already. I didn't realize what a beast something so quaint could become though.

The seat covering...practically like burber carpet...did not want to come off without a fight, and when I finally got some of it off, well, all the innards just started falling out. Like dirt, I swear there was horse hair, and twigs...and well, just weirdness. I'm sure this chair was really old after I saw all of that lol. My initial plan was to take off the red fabric, trace it on my new fabric, cut it out, place the new fabric back on in it's place. Well, that didn't happen. So I had to start thinking because this red carpet was staying on for the long haul.

In the mist of my thoughts, I figured I might as well start on the rest of the chair. I initially covered the cushion with some plastic wrap and tape....and then on the second one I bypassed the plastic and for some reason still did the tape. I don't know why I did any of this. It didn't matter lol

I then primed and spraypainted the two chairs.

Next was to figure out how to put the new fabric on. I decided to take the bull by the horns and just do it. So I cut out a piece, laid it out on the chair and started tucking and stapling...then realizing I had to start cutting...and well, my cuts were not on mark. They missed it by like two football fields. It was a complete fail.

Then I remember watching Project Runway. Yes. This plays a part in reupholstering. They always do their patterns in paper or muslin first. So, I ran upstairs and grabbed the cheapest fabric I could find and started 'creating' a pattern. And some how by some miracle, my cuts this time were pretty close to the mark. So, once I had this pattern (I use the word pattern lightly...because as you can see, it's quite a mess), I just laid it onto my fabric and cut it out.

I then placed the new fabric on the seat. Learning from my lesson before, I started on the back forward this time. Working on the folds and tucks first on the arms and the back. Once I got the folds in place, I then folded the fabric under (I purposely left about an inch allowance around the whole thing for the fold), and used a staple gun to secure the fabric to the chair over the existing red carpet.

I did this around the whole chair, tucking, folding and stapling.

For the parts under the arms, fold a piece of fabric, and secure it underneath before securing the top fabric over it.(do this part first, unlike me)

Once the fabric was secure on the chair, I then had to do some finishing touches. I decided to go a super easy route with this one. I have done double welt cording before, and single. But I liked the idea of just having some white rope as the cording.

I took some rope, doubled it, and then went around the chair and secured it using hot glue.
reupholster a chair
This is how the ends meet:
reupholster a chair

It totally finished the piece off. I love how these turned out. So much better than the red carpet lol.
reupholster a chair
I also distressed it using sandpaper and my furniture pens.
reupholster a chair

And with these chairs, my front room is almost done....again!
reupholster a chair

Now to add some color :)
reupholster a chair
The fabric for this was about $3 a yard, and I used 2 yards. It's a beautiful linen fabric, I love it. It's the perfect neutral :) And the chairs were $5. The cord I think is about $4 for a whole slew of it, which I barely used much of. So the total cost per chair was around $8. Not bad.
Here's a side by side before and after pic.
reupholster a chair

I'm sure the hubs will be happy to see them out of the garage....if he even notices ;)