Upholstery Addiction is a Good Thing

A few years back, when I wrote for Curbly, I used to show a basic upholstery project and try to convince DIY readers that they could really do this. Then, I would tell readers of the pitfalls they would encounter. A common misconception is that you can roll through an upholstery project with NO mistakes or complications. Don’t delude yourself. There are always unforeseen challenges and mistakes, it’s just part of the deal.

When I worked for Paul Howard, the jolly upholsterer/furniture designer/brit, I watched and learned how to get yourself out of trouble once there was trouble. I tell my classes that the BEST OF THE BEST make mistakes or have to redo certain areas. It’s not a bad thing. It’s a normal thing.

Now that I’m finished pontificating about self forgiveness, let’s take a look at this DIY upholstery project I found over on Girl v. The World.

In three posts, Joy takes us through her chair reupholstering journey (husband out of town is the best time to do these type of things). Armed with make-do tools, plenty of wine and a library of Harry Potter movies, she managed to turn an old tired chair into a light, fresh little french number.

You know why I’m so impressed with her project? Because it’s one tough job to get an inside back like this one sewn, pulled and attached as well as she did. This inside back is one of the hardest techniques to master. In fact, that’s why they are usually tufted (which this one was in a previous life, as you can see here), or at least a few buttons are attached to tighten that inside back fabric, as seen in below.

Joy points out that the most time consuming part of this project was removing the staples. I would have to agree. Look closer to notice how the cording is glued into a groove and that groove is just loaded with staples. So, not only are you taking out staples, you’re digging staples out of a groove, which is a wood damaging nightmare. Oh! Also very hard on the hands.

I’m tickled that Joy is so pleased with her job that she has let herself slip into full blown, chair-saving addiction and has already found two more chairs she’s going to rescue.
Heads up: Bergere chair is another groovy, staple nightmare.

I gotta’ hand it to her, she didn’t overthink it, she just jumped in and made it happen.
See her entire three post saga right here.


Posted in chair, diy, furniture, how-to, makeover, modhomeecteacher, repurposed, repurposed-furniture, restyle, reupholstery, tutorials, Uncategorized, upholstery, vintage | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

5 Responses to Upholstery Addiction is a Good Thing

  1. Kestrel says:

    I am in the process of refinishing a dinning room set. I would like to know your painting technique. I love the french look.

  2. shellyleer says:

    Hi. That wasn’t my chair, it was one done by Joy at Girl v. The World. I’m not so handy at painting furniture. I usually just spray it. Haha.

  3. Marian Snow says:

    I am a beginner upholsterer and this weekend struggled and struggled with a chair similar to this. To make matters worse, on the chair I was doing the seam where the inside arm and the inside back join had to also wrap around the top of the arm. Also I had to totally strip the chair down to the webbing and build it back up as it was in horrible shape. Because the chair had a new and improved shape to it (new foam, cotton batting and dacron), I couldn’t use the old pieces as good patterns to get that seam correct. I have sent this horrible evil bad chair to my Public Storage (so I don’t have to look at her) and plan to attempt her at a later date. Was glad to read in your post that this is a hard thing to master. I don’t feel as “defeated” as I did this weekend. Thanks for all your helpful information and tutorials. I have been spending a great deal of time on your site.

  4. shellyleer says:

    Thanks Marian.
    It always helps to walk away for a bit and then come back to it later. If you need help, send me photos, etc.

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