Upholstery Basics- The Perfect First Time Project!

Dining-Chair-After-with-text

This week my sweet mother asked me to help her change the fabric on her dining room chairs.  The chairs were actually in very good shape and a pretty ivory color.  The problem was the fabric was just not practical.  Between the grand kids and a weekly game night my mother’s chairs see A LOT of action.  These chairs needed to have a bit more camouflage potential.  So my mother selected a very pretty floral fabric that coordinated quite nicely with the rest of her furnishings and the style of her chair.  Below you will see the steps to follow if you would like to reupholster a chair in your own home.  Lickity split you will have a new chair!

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The dining Room Chair in the fabric before we started.

Upholstery Supplies

Supplies you will need:

  • Fabric about 1 yard per chair
  • staple gun
  • Screw drivers both flat head and Phillips
  • Pliers
  • Spray Glue
  • Cable Cord (optional)
  • Thread

Use screw driver to remove cushion from chair

Cushion should pop off chair frame

Use flat head screw driver and pliers to remove the staples that hold the black lining fabric to cushion (save the lining)

Using a screwdriver remove the cushion from the frame of the chair. This is usually just 4 screws and the cushion will pop off!  Then use a flat head screwdriver and pliers to remove the black lining fabric from the cushion.  Save this for later.  This is what makes your project feel so professional when you are done.

As you can see the chair has a cording around the base of the cushion

The cording is stapled around the edge of the cushion

Take your pliers and twist the cording until it breaks free from the staples. Continue all the way around the cushion until all the cording is removed.

The original chair had cording around the base of the cushion. Take your pliers and twist the cording until it breaks free from the staples. Continue around the cushion until all the cording is removed.

Determine the pattern of your new fabric. Make sure it is centered on your cushion.

Pull back half of your fabric. Spray the cushion with spray glue. Smooth the fabric back down and repeat with the other side.

Now that you have the fabric glued down. You can flip it over and start stapling it to the frame. The glue with help to keep it centered as you staple.

Determine the center of your pattern.  Fold over the fabric halfway and spray the cushion with spray glue.  Smooth down your fabric and repeat on the other side.  Once you have your fabric glued down you can flip it over and start securing it with staples.  The glue will help keep your pattern centered. You will be sooo happy you did this step!

Wrap corners very tightly.

When securing the corners wrap like a gift to keep smooth edges.

As you staple put one or two in the top and then one or two in the bottom. Repeat with each side. This way your pattern will stay centered.

Cut the excess fabric after secured

When securing your fabric with staples place one or two staples on the top and then place a few on the bottom.  Next place a few staples on each side.  Keep moving around your cushion in this fashion.  This way your pattern will stay centered on your cushion.  Make sure you are pulling taught while stapling.  On your corners wrap them as if you are wrapping a gift.  When your fabric is secured to your cushion completely, cut the excess fabric away from the cushion.

Cut about 1.25 yards of fabric about 2″ wide. Place cord inside and fold in half.

Pin

Using a zipper foot, Sew along the edge of the cord.



Cording

If you decide to do cording also know as welt follow these steps.  It really can make a beautiful detail for not a lot of work.  Cut 2″ wide strips of fabric.  Our chairs required 1.25 yards in length each.  Place the cord in the center of your strip and fold in half.  Using a zipper foot, sew along the edge of the cord.  Then staple to the edge of the cushion.

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Last, re-attach the black lining fabric to the cushion with a few staples.  You might be the only one to know about this little detail until someone turns the chair over, but it really looks nice!  Then screw the cushion back on and enjoy your BEAUTIFUL new chair!  Doesn’t that cording just set it off?!

Show me what you are doing now that you are loaded with your new staple gun skills!

ps.  There was one casualty in the making of these chairs. My staple gun literally broke in half!  oh well,  It served me well for many years.

Broken Staple gun

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