DIY: A Lesson In Reupholstering 

Hello again!

Even though it was only a few days ago, I feel like it’s been so long since I last posted. This new Tuesday/Thursday posting schedule is definitely going to take some getting used to.

I told you in my last post that I am switching from 3 posts to 2 posts a week- this is mainly so that I have the time to make some cool DIY tutorials for you guys. I have a TON of ideas in the works and I am just so excited to share them with my readers!

Today, I thought we would jump right into this new DIY series with a lesson in reupholstery.

I know, you can barely contain yourselves.

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Reupholstering can be tedious, I won’t lie to you…BUT it is also super simple and beginner friendly. So what more can you really ask for?

Today, I am going to be showing you how I reupholstered two of our dining chairs. Our dining room has white furniture with a navy rug and blue accents around the room – surprise, my whole apartment isn’t pink.

Just when ya thought you knew me.

The table I have is one I redid over the summer, just white chalk paint on the legs and a deep stain on the table top. But the chairs are being carefully curated…I had this bright idea to get 4 different dining chairs and paint them all white. So far I have 3. Been on the  lookout for #4 for quite some time now.

Although all 4 chairs are different, they are all being painted in shades of white and the cushioned ones are being reupholstered in the same fabric. I wanted all the chairs to look different but not extremely different. I am using the paint color and the fabric choice to anchor them as a set, even though each chair has come from many different sets – maybe I will do a later post on the dining table.

One of the chairs from today’s post comes from an old dining set, the chair itself was pretty ugly looking until I slapped some fresh chalk paint on it. The cushion however, still needed some tlc.

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Processed with MOLDIV

I don’t even want to know where those stains came from. But it is nothing that a little reupholstery can’t fix, trust me I have seen much worse.

The second chair, is from my bedroom set. It came with the desk, but I was never really in love with the chair…I remember being in high school and asking my dad if I could reupholster it. He denied me. Something about how he had just dropped thousands of dollars on the bedroom set and didn’t think it was necessary to take apart the brand new chair. I dunno.

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Processed with MOLDIV

The fabric on this one is not in bad shape, BUT I have been dying to reupholster this chair for like 10 years now soooo…here we are. Plus, the fabric is a little formal looking for the dining room design I have going on (aka an excuse I made to help me feel better about disappointing my dad).

Now that you have a good idea of what I am working with…

let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Fabric
  • Trim
  • Fabric Glue – I use this kind, but any will do
  • Staple Gun
  • Scissors
  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Pliers

Here’s what you do:

1. Start by deconstructing your chair – you want to remove the upholstered seat as one piece.

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Just when I thought this chair couldn’t get any grosser, I unearth some horrid 80’s fabric.

2. Once you have done that, you will want to begin removing the staples so that you can remove the existing fabric.

This part is super tedious, I won’t lie to you. I have found it is easiest to pry a flat head screwdriver under the staple to pop it up a bit, then take pliers and pull the staple out.

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Processed with MOLDIV

This is by far the longest part of the project so don’t get discouraged, I had to remove at least 100 staples ONE AT A TIME while reupholstering these two chairs.

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3. Next, you will want to cut out a piece of fabric to use for the reupholstery. I usually use the old piece of fabric and loosely trace it, although, for first timers I would advise giving yourself about a two inch border to play with.

It’s never bad to have too much, but can become problematic if you don’t have enough.

4. Now that you have your new piece of fabric cut, you want to lay it face down and put the seat cushioned side down on top of the fabric.

5. Then begin folding the edges up all the way around the seat, take your staple gun and staple it in place. The key is to pull tight, but not too tight that the fabric begins to stretch and restrict the shape of the foam cushion.

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Processed with MOLDIV

As you can see, it doesn’t have to look pretty underneath so don’t stress too much while doing this step. The main thing is that the cushion is fully covered.

6. After this you can screw the seat back to the frame of the chair.

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7. Once the chair is put back together, you can start to work the trim around the bottom on the cushion, using fabric glue to attach it. When using the fabric glue you want to work in small sections as it dries rather quickly. The trim really finishes off the look of the reupholstery so be sure not to skip this step!

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And Voila! You’re done!

Overall, reupholsting is a cheap and easy way to quickly update a space or tie together mismatched furniture. From start to finish, reupholstering these two chairs took me about 3.5 hours (that is including the break I took to eat some delicious blueberry pancakes) and cost me $17 on the supplies. Not bad in my opinion.

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Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, if you decide to give reupholstery a try be sure to send pics my way! I would love to see the results! Also I would love to hear some feedback on this post as it is one of my first tutorials…anything you guys think I can improve on?

And as always, thanks for reading xo


2 thoughts on “DIY: A Lesson In Reupholstering 

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