Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chairs reupholstering tutorial

My poor dinette has seen better days. It's been with us for 12 years now, through 4 moves and still going. It was in dire need for a makeover and today I gave it one! I found the fabric at JoAnn's for 50% off of $19.99 a yard. It's outdoor fabric so it should take well to wear and tear.

Here is a shot of the old cushions. The fabric was still nice, it just didn't go with the colors we chose for this kitchen. So off goes the old, in comes the new.

First off I unscrewed the chair pad from the frames.

Then I carefully removed all the old staples and fabric. You can skip this step if you like, but since this is the 4th time I reupholster these chairs, I always take off the old fabric so I don't build up too much. Next I laid the old fabric on my new fabric, and cut a piece about 1 inch or 2 larger than my old ones (you can always trim but you can't add fabric!). I trimmed off a bit too much last time ;)

Then I laid my cushion over the fabric (wrong side up). If you have a directional pattern, like I did, you need to make sure that the pattern is also going the correct way (or my birds would have ended up upside down LOL).

From now on it was a whole lot of making sure the fabric is taught and stapling it in place.

I like to staple two opposite sides, before I move on to the 3rd and 4th side. Here I started with the front and the back of the cushion, but then I realized it was better to start with the sides, since they are a bit slanted.

Once the first two sides were stapled nicely, I moved over to the corners. I made regular pleats (3 per corner), gathered the fabric to make it taught and stapled in place. If you are new to this, you can staple down each pleat as you fold. I try to avoid over-stapling since I know that, sooner or later, I will be removing those staples and cursing along ;)

Once all your cushion is done you can trim the excess fabric.

At this point I cut some slits or holes where the screws would fit into. You can usually 'feel' the holes with your fingertips. If you don't do it, and the fabric you have is not super thick, you may end up getting snags in the fabric (screws pulling the weave). 

And that's all folks. I repeated the process 4 times and this is the final product. Same sad dinette, cuter seats! I am planning to use this fabric to sew a table runner, a window valance and possibly lengthening my current sliding doors curtain panels. I will keep you posted on the progress.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Happy reupholstering!

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