Chair Re-Upholstery…the easy way

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If there’s one thing I love in a living room, it’s a good accent chair.

If there’s one thing lacking in our living room, it’s a good accent chair….or two.

You’ll remember awhile ago I purchased these two beauties off a buy and sell page for pretty cheap.

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Then you’ll probably remember that I painted one with milk paint (read about it here). Well, over time the milk paint didn’t hold up as well as I wanted it to (that’s a whole other post), so it was time to try something different.

That’s when I decided to reupholster them….the easy cheater way. My poor neglected sewing machine didn’t even get a chance to remind me what she had with this project. In the closet, under a layer of dust, she still sits. Poor thing.

I found this really pretty material at our local fabric shop and lucked out when I saw it was 50% off with my membership. $38/meter dropped down to $19 just like that!

6 screws on the base of the chair held the cushion part to the frame, once those were out the chair portion popped right off. With some needle nose pliers and a good amount of elbow grease the existing material came off no problemo. Chair gone wild, right?!

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I draped my fabric over the chair, making sure it was long enough on both the ends and the sides to fold under. Using my staple gun, I stapled my fabric across the backside of the top of the chair.

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I tucked the fabric into the crease and pulled it through, making sure to keep it straight and taut. Once it was pulled through enough I stapled the fabric down so that it wouldn’t pull out when it was sat on. Disregard the moldy looking crap along the board, the backing stuck as I pulled it off.

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Once that was in place I went back to the front of the seat and stapled the material down there before moving to the side. I folded the corners much like you would when you’re wrapping a gift and stapled it down continuing to staple until I was a couple of inches from the back corner of the seat. I moved to the top of the chair back and started stapling my way down, again stopping a couple of inches from the rear corner. It was a bit tricky trying to get the bunched material to lay nicely without looking bulky but I somehow managed. And no matter how much I think of it or say it aloud, I really don’t know how the hell to explain how I did it in a way that makes sense. Hopefully the ‘after’ photo gives you a good idea!

Here’s how I avoided all the cutting and sewing. I cheated and used heat bond to sharpen my corners and make them more durable. Here’s a 3 step photo  montage to show you how it started and what I ended up with.

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It’s the Ultrabond heat bond and I had good luck with it when I made the cushion for the bench at our front entry, so here’s to hoping this works out as well! I did this to the two top corners, the front corners on the seat and the seam where the two cushions meet in the rear corners. Now, if you are a master sewer then you could probably sew a proper cover, but this girl lacks patience for that kind of thing. Me and heatbond we’re thisclose.

The chair frames were a bit beat up and needed sanding in some areas, that took all of 5 minutes. Once they were looking smooth I used Krylon’s Chalky Finish Spray paint in Paver Grey and gave them a few good coats. When they were dry I screwed the chair portion back in place and they took on a life of their own!

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I’m so in love with them I could just sit and stare all day. They are one of those projects you picture in your head but turn out 100x better than you had hoped! And it saved me a boat load considering the chairs I was checking out were $500 +….for one! What can I say, Champagne taste, beer budget.

And just because they turned out so great, here’s one last before and after!

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3 thoughts on “Chair Re-Upholstery…the easy way

  1. I must say that this is the best DI makeovers that I have come across this year. I was looking around for some ideas on how I can do something on our dining seats and I think I could steal some of those tips from this ingenious twining chair makeover. Thanks a lot for the share, I really loved it.

    Amy

  2. These are absolutely the best job I have ever seen. How much fabric did it take? 👍

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