Friday, July 1, 2011
How to Re-upholster a Chair When You Have No Idea What You are Doing
When I first started this project, my hopes were to convert the chair into a tufted back chair. After careful consideration, I decided the best thing to do this time around was to recover the chair as is. However, by the time I made this decision, the old chair pieces were on their way to the dump. Always keep the old fabric pieces to use as patterns. Up to this point, I read several books about upholstery until I was cross eyed. Can you say boring? I googled channel back chairs and came up with very little. So I decided to just make a move.
double welt cording later.
This next part is where I wanted to take my toys and go home. The channel back detail had me stumped and because I had thrown away the old pieces, I wasn't sure where to go from here. Finally I decided to try treating it like dress making. I laid the fabric on the chair and pinned the tucks in place following the existing channels in the chair. Hindsight - I would have made them wider to allow for more padding. Next time. After the pins were in place I carefully stitched along those lines creating the channels. Now this piece was ready to be stapled to the chair. There is an opening between the bottom of the back and the back of the seat. I just stuff the extra fabric into that opening and stapled it to the bottom of the chair to secure it. Are you with me?
This next step is really not the way to upholster the back, but by the time I realized that I didn't have the tacking strip that I needed, I decided to come up with a plan b.
Now for the back. I held up the fabric to the back of the chair and cut the amount that it would take to cover it - a big square. I stapled about five staples on the center top first, then the center bottom, then the center sides. I find that you get a tighter fit if you work your way from the center points first. After the center points were secure, I began working my way outward all the way around. Once finished stapling, I trimmed the excess fabric. Does this make sense?
Technically the back should look like this if you use the tacking strip and single cording, but I was in crisis mode and just trudged forward.
The final step was applying the cording to cover the uglies. Go here for the cording tutorial.
Here is the final chair. Do you see the one over to the left? It's next :)