Upholstery Basics From the ModHomeEc Archives

Since late 2008, I’ve been sharing my knowledge of upholstery by writing and photographing tutorials for you. From Curbly, to ApartmentTherapy, to Mod Home Ec, I’ve shown you the honest ins and outs of DIY upholstery.

Starting with air compressor set up, the trickiness of making double welt cord, jute webbing, foam padding and folding and stapling, I’ve tried to help you gain the confidence you need to tackle a simple or daunting upholstery project.
Not surprising, this age old craft has recently captured the curiosity of many DIY-ers. In fact, many bloggers are trying their hand at upholstery tutorials. This was unheard of three years ago.

In any case, I’m thrilled to see the interest. After all, I’ve spent over fifteen years remaking, reupholstering and repurposing old furniture. I started M.M. Leer Upholstery Studio in 1993. It was hard, physical work, my friends. I spent two different years working along side two different upholsterers in Indianapolis soaking up all the upholstery savvy that I could. When working from my home base, I spent most days in my garage or basement, alone, tearing down furniture, cutting into a client’s fabric and stapling my ever lovin’ brains out. During those years, I conjured up creative challenges to keep me from going all Jack Nicholson (in The Shining) and to overcome the monotony of carrying out other people’s ideas. I started a small spin off custom ottoman business, I designed and created children’s furniture for PoshTots.com and dabbled in creating other household furnishings to sell in local shops.

Lo and behold, three years ago I decided to shift my entire business model from doing for others, to teaching others. Everything I learned during those arduous years of working for designers, fabric stores, online furniture companies and personal clients has turned into one magnificent archive of what I’m now sharing with you. And lucky for me, there aren’t enough upholstery teachers to keep up with the current demand.

As an inspiration and reminder of the infinite upholstery projects out there, here are some valuable tutorials I’ve done over the past four years. Even if you only get one little answer to one of your upholstery frustrations, I’ll be happy.

1. Setting Up Your Air Compressor May 2009

2. Upholstery Teardown: The Real Story September 2009

3. Replacing Foam in a Lounge Chair
May 2009

4. Make Easy Double Welt Cord August 2010

5. Repurposed Kitchen ChairsMarch 2009

6. Mid Mod Upholstery ProjectJuly 2008

7. DIY ModUpholstery: Mock Tufting September 2008

8. Reupholstered Mid Century Rocket Chair April 2009

9. Three Panel Hanging Headboard June 2009

This should get started on your own upholstering journey. There are many more tutorials available on Curbly, here on ModHomeEc and over on Apartment Therapy Chicago.

Don’t be shy about sending me your photos and questions. I may answer yours right here online.

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