Monday, August 15, 2011

Reupholstering a vanity chair

How could I resist buying this dainty little gold chair for only $4.50 at the thrift store last week?! Sure, the fabric is terrible, but if you can see through that, you can see it's potential to be a great addition to my apartment.

This project is perfect for first timers! It is so simple! You will be hooked. Reupholstering is so much fun.

You will need:
  • screwdriver
  • pliers
  • fabric
  • staple gun
  • scissors
  • sewing needles
  • optional: muslin and new foam padding

Before and after.

I had some cat supervision. This isn't essential but makes it a lot more fun. : )

Start by flipping your stool upside down. Chairs like this are usually attached with phillips screws, so I was surprised to find that I needed a flat screwdriver for this project.

Remove all screws and sit hardware aside.

Using the flat screwdriver, pry off the existing staples holding the fabric onto the particle board. Use pliers to pull them off all the way so you don't hurt your fingers.

In the case of this chair, the foam and fabric beneath the gold fabric was in good condition, so I didn't bother changing them. If they are not in decent condition, you will repeat the last step, removing all the staples. Using a new piece of foam and new piece of cotton to replace the old ones. Follow the next steps to do this with liner fabric.

Take the old piece of gold fabric and pin it to the fabric you want to use. I always cut it out a little larger just in case, because the old fabric is stretched out and this upholstery fabric I will be using does not have a stretch to it. It's always easier to cut it bigger and have scraps to cut off than have something that is too small, wasting fabric.

One section at a time, staple your new piece of fabric to the cushion. Put your weight into the stapling if you have a gun like this. Otherwise you will need a small tack hammer to push the staples all the way in. I would really love a staple gun with some air pressure behind it!

The finished cushion.

Hopefully you didn't cover the holes you will need to reattach the custion! Screw it back onto it's base, and you're done.

After. It's like a new piece of furniture. You can also play with the fabric you use for the cushion. Try taking strips of different patterns and sewing them together to make a big piece. That'd make an interesting cushion. 

Hope you all enjoy your Monday!

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  1. I take it you weren't too worried about the wrinkles in the fabric as you stapled it? From the pictures it looks fine and the fabric seems to hide them pretty well anyways...

  2. Wow! This looks great! I am so impressed!