There is nothing more satisfying than stepping back and marvelling at something you created. When it’s something that was upcycled? Even better!
Reupholstering a chair is a fun weekend activity that won’t require any industry tools, just creativity and an eye for beautiful fabrics that match your home decor. Follow these simple steps and be sitting in your new chair in no time.
Get all the materials
Having to stop a project mid-way through is such a buzz-kill so make sure you have all the tools and materials ready to go so you can stay on a roll. By this stage you will have found your beautiful new upholstery fabric, as well as sourced a flathead screwdriver, a staple remover and a staple gun.
Decide on fabric
You want the tones and textures to complement your home decor and to bring a stunning cohesion to your environment. Now choosing a colour to complement is very different to choosing a colour that just matches exactly. You may not want to choose a dominant colour from the room, but instead a supporting colour to really lift it and make the chair stand out.
Remove the seat
The first thing to do is flip the chair and remove the seat from the frame. If you are thinking of conditioning the wooden chair then this is the time to do it, although allow enough drying time! You might also want to smooth our any imperfections in the wood so that your seat will really pop once reattached. Use your flathead screwdriver to unscrew the seat panelling.
Remove the old fabric and find new
Whip out your staple remover and start to remove the old fabric from the seat. Depending on the time the chair was made it will be held in place with different fastening but your staple remove should do the job.
If you get some resistance you can tear the fabric to help it along but be careful that you don’t damage the seat padding. Lay the old fabric over the new to see how much you will need in total.
Attach the new fabric to the chair
When you have cut the fabric to the shape of the old chair, place the fabric right-side down and place the seat on top, also right-side down. Choose a side and staple in the middle, and then pull the fabric so it is tight and staple the parallel side also in the middle.
Continue this step on the adjacent sides, and then start inching out with you stapling remembering to pull the fabric so it is a tight fit.
Re-attach your seat
Now it is time to re-attach the seat! Lay the seat back on the chair frame, and when you have aligned the screw holes, screw them in slightly only to hold the seat in place when you flip the chair again. Tighten the screws and turn the chair back keeping an eye out for any wobbling. When you are sure the seat is tightly fastened you can test out the new seat.
Things to remember
Make sure you are careful with your stapling so that there is no bunching or gathering, you should be able to run your hand over the seat and not feel a bump. If you have decided to go for a print over a plain fabric, make sure that are aware of the print when cutting – it would be a shame to have a chair with all these stalks and no roses because you didn’t cut that part of the fabric.
If you want great harmony in your room, choose an upholstery fabric that really complements the space as well as the wood it is sitting upon.
Like all DIY projects, the trick is just to start. When you understand how easy it is to upcycle furniture you will never buy again. It’s a great feeling breathing life into a old piece and knowing you have saved money and making a sustainable effort, that’s just a bonus!