Friday, July 8, 2011

have a seat

So, as we are getting ready to buy our first house we have been doing a lot of thinking about what furniture we are going to use, and how we want the rooms to look. We have a ton of furniture, [I'll tell you all about that later] and we are trying to figure out what pieces will work for us.
Mike's Mom gave us a great counter height table and chairs that we plan to use in the kitchen, one thing we knew for sure was that we wanted to recover the seats. 

The chair on the left has the original cover on it. The one on the right is the finished product.

The covers weren't horrible, though the upholstery was starting to show a little bit of wear. I have reupholstered quite a few seat covers and ottomans in my day so I felt confident that I would have no problem at all doing it here. 

How to Reupholster a Chair with a Detachable Seat

Time: 20 minutes for first chair and 7-10 minutes more for each additional chair
  • chair with a removable upholstered seat
  • screwdriver 
  • 1/2 a yard of the upholstery fabric of your choosing [enough for 2 chairs]
    • measure your chairs just to make sure it will be enough. If you have a standard size seat you should have just enough with the 1/2 yard. If your chair is larger bring the dimensions to the store and ask for help.
  • staple gun + staples
  • scissors [pinking shears if you have them]
  • a light colored marker 

1.) flip the chair over and figure out how the seat is attached to the frame. As you can see in the photo below ours are attached by a screw that goes through the frame and into the base of the seat. 
2.) Detach the seat from the frame. With this chair all it took was a screw driver and about 1 minute. 
tip: Put all of your screws and any other hardware into a baggie so that it is handy and not missing when you reattach the seat.
3.) Lay the seat of face down on the back side of your fabric and trace around the entire seat.

4.) Cut the fabric about 2-3 inches around the outside of your line. [you might need to cut more if you have a very thick seat]

if you have multiple chairs to recover you can use the first cut piece as a template for the others.

If the foam and fabric that are currently on your seat are in fair to good condition you can just attach the new fabric right on top. If not you can find replacement foam at a craft or upholstery store.
Another thing you want to be conscious of is whether or not you will be able to see the pattern of your previous fabric though the new one. If you had a bright print and are recovering with a light or thin fabric you can either remove the old fabric or put a neutral layer on underneath the new one as a lining. In my case the seats were an off white and in decent condition, so this was not an issue and I could just put the new fabric directly on top of the old one. 
5.) Begin by stapling the fabric in the center of the top and pull it snugly [not to tight] and staple the bottom center. Do the same thing with the sides. Leave about 3 inches on each corner unstapled.
6.) Pull the corners in and tight until it looks smooth and appealing on top. Staple as many times as necessary until the fabric is smooth and secure. 
7.) Position the seat back onto the chair and replace the screws that you took out during step 2.

TA-DA! You now have a chair that is updated, cute and 100% personalized. 

I love the way that this fabric looks with the curtains we got for the kitchen! 
This project has gotten me thinking more and more about painting the chairs. 
What do you think?
White, Gray or Yellow?

edit: Some pictures were edited and added to the post 2/25/2012

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