Reupholstering a chair is not for the faint of heart. The most time intensive part of this project is the deconstruction. Not real hard but laborious. You will sweat, get filthy dirty, and probably go through a box of band aids by the time you are through. It is also the most rewarding DIY project that I have ever done.
Part 1: Taking it apart
To take off the current fabric you will need:
-A thin flat head screwdriver
- A pair of pliers
- A cup to contain the copious amount of staples you will remove (or just toss them on the ground and ask dh to sweep up later)
- Tons and I mean tons of patience (now would be a great time to listen to a book on tape)
So lets begin:
As you remove the pieces of fabric, either take pictures or label where and what each piece is, The fabric of a wing back chair is applied in layers. Pay attention to how they came off. This will make the process much easier when you are putting your new pieces on.
You are going to use the old pieces of fabric as your pattern. Lay them on top of your new fabric, trace, and cut, leaving an extra inch or 2 all the way around.
Part 2: Putting it back together
You will need:
- Staple gun (I used an electric one)
- Staples ( the longer ones worked better)
- Rubber Mallet
-About 10 yards of fabric
- New batting ( unless the existing is in good shape)
Now its time to put it back together.
Basically, you reverse the order of how you took it apart. I started with the under the cushion piece. I reused the piece of fabric that was already there as it was in good shape.
Next was the piece on the lower front of the chair. This front piece is a little tricky because you do have to sew it the the under the cushion piece. (If I can do it so can you)
The arms came next. This part was pretty easy, you just wrap the fabric and then staple. When you get to the front of the arm pieces, just gather the fabric evenly and staple. This will be covered up later.
The next part is the inside wings. Cut, wrap, staple. Use the deconstruction process as your guide on where to staple.
Once the inner wings were added, I had to make some piping. Time to break out the sewing machine. I went online and found a tutorial for making the cording (Piping). I stapled the cording alongside the outer wing.
Then came something called Ply Grip or (scary metal teeth). Its kinda a pain to work with but it gives your chair amazing results. I stapled my Ply Grip down the outer curve of my wing as close to the cording as possible.
Next I added the fabric. I used a screw driver to push the fabric into the teeth. You then need to use the rubber mallet to pound the teeth closed. Again, I educated myself on how to use the ply grip on line.
Then it was time for the sides. You will need some cardboard strips to make a perfectly straight line with the fabric. Its kinda tricky and I need some extra hands to staple down these pieces
Now its time for the back. Again, refer to the deconstruction to know where the ply grip is applied. Staple, staple, staple.
The frame is done!
For the seat cushion, I took it apart with my seam ripper, layer the pieces out and traced them onto my fabric. I watched a tutorial on recovering a seat cushion. which thoroughly confused me. So i just reconstructed the cushion according to how it came apart. Nothing to it.
So here is the BEFORE: (or during)
Note: the seat cushion on my chair is a different color than the rest because the fabric was a remnant piece from Paris and I did not have enough.
Thank you SO MUCH Jen for this great example how to re-upholster a chair the DIY way! It’s gorgeous. Has anyone been inspired to do their own?