27 June 2011

How To: Reupholster a Chair

Tools needed:
- dining room chair
- fabric
- flat head screwdriver
- pliers
- scissors
- iron
- staple gun

Time for this project: 
about one hour

First you need to remove the cushion from the chair. My cushion was simply 'popped' into place in the chair, but some cushions may be screwed into the frame.

Since this was my first attempt at reupholstering a chair, I was careful to take note of how the old fabric was stapled onto the cushion so I could mimic it.

Using a flat-head screwdriver, carefully pry the old staples out of the chair cushion.

For stubborn staples, use a pair of pliers to help pull them out.

I was careful to keep my staples together to keep bare feet safe and curious animals from stepping on them.

If your fabric is wrinkled, you want to iron it before you put it on the chair.

After I quartered my piece of fabric, each piece was still slightly longer than necessary. 
I lined up the new and old fabrics and trimmed the new fabric to size.

Now comes the wrapping and stapling.
First I folded the corners in, then folded the excess fabric on each side to create a smooth edge that would be easy to staple. I used the iron to make a smooth crease along the edge.

Starting with the corner, you want to pull the fabric pretty tight and do your first staple. 

Again, keeping the fabric as tight as possible, wrap the rest of the fabric around the corner, smoothing it out the best you can and secure with staples. 

Once the corners are secure, fold the sides up and staple along the edge, spacing each staple an inch or two apart. Again, you want to make sure that you hold the fabric tight so keep the seat cushion smooth. If necessary you can flip the cushion over to check your progress and make sure you've pulled the fabric tight enough.

Once you have stapled all around the cushion, it will look like this:

The last step is to pop or screw the seat cushions back into place, and enjoy your 'new' chairs. 

Now it's your turn to give it a try.
Good luck!

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