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BellaOnline's Creativity Editor


Creating New Furniture by Re-Upholstering

Guest Author - Deb Bonam

One day I had guests over to eat dinner and I noticed that my white upholstered dinning room chairs were all stained with greasy food stains making the chairs look hideously worn and very unattractive. I grabbed up some upholstering cleaner and scrubbed the stains to no avail. The stains remained and so did my embarrassment.

After my guests left I vowed to re-upholster the dinning room chairs no matter what it took. To my surprise my chair cushions, as well as most dinning room cushions were affixed to the frame with 4 simple screws underneath. I got a Phillips screwdriver and loosen all the screws and removed my unsightly stained cushions. With a tape measure I measured how far the existing fabric covered the seats. I took my measurements up to my local fabric store for a size reference for the new fabric. The best kind of replacement fabric to use is heavy-duty upholstery fabric. Don’t use thin, silky fabric because it will wrinkle easily and will pick up stains easier than the original.

I found fabric to match fabric that I used in an earlier project to make couch throw pillows. (That worked out well because it tied into the theme to the adjacent room.) Get at least an extra 3 inches all the way around to tuck and cut. It’s better to have too much then to run short. The only thing you will need for the chairs is a staple gun with staples that have at least ˝ inch teeth on them. Electric staple guns work the best, but they are not necessary. You’re simply going to stretch the new material over the old fabric and staple the new fabric down under the cushion. Note: It’s your choice if you decide to take off the old fabric. This is what the underside of the chair looks like…

Personally I kept the old fabric on because it held the existing cushion in place. Once the new fabric is stapled in place you flip the cushions back over and screw the cushions back in place through the frame hole and through the cushion. Then you’re done and have new re-upholstered chairs. This is what my finished chair looks like…

I was so pleased with the finished project that I went ahead and took fabric off on old piano bench and put lots of new billowing batting on it for soft cushioning and covered it with the same fabric. This time I used special flat-head upholstery tack nails because I was nailing through a thin sheet of wood. They pound right through both the wood and the fabric that you are wrapping around from the topside. This is what the underside looks like…

This is what the finished piece looks like…

I had an old flea market special (foot stool) that was also in need of new fabric so it got a new look as well. I used the same technique on it as I did the piano bench only I added a burgundy trimming all the way around this bench affixed ever so often with decorative upholstery tacks. This is what my flea market special looks like…

Lastly I revamped an antique footstool that used to have straw inside it by putting sheets of batting over it and stretching the same fabric on it. I was able to staple the fabric underneath, like I did with the chairs, but added a burgundy border to this footstool like the one above. I have to say, that my smallest footstool is my favorite piece. This is what it looks like…

Upholstering is easy and takes little time to do. And yet the effects are so dramatic. You can really bring to life an old piece and match your décor in literary minutes. I did all the furniture items in this article with no experience and got the fabric on clearance so the cost was minimal. You don’t have to do everything in your house in one design like I did. The best way to be creative with a project like this is to get all different sorts of fabrics in a variety of patterns for an eclectic, one-of-a kind creative statement.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Deb Bonam. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Deb Bonam. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


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