Reupholstering Dining Chair Seats

I am no upholstery wiz.  I leave the big stuff to the professionals.  But no-sew little seat cushions, no problem.  I showed you my neighbors new/old breakfast area dining set here.  Now, here is how we covered those seats.

This is what the chairs looked like before:


My neighbor had done her homework and bought 2 inch foam padding for the seats and cut them to size.  We glued the foam to the old woven seats.


Then we laid out the fabric and measured.  With the 2 inches of foam, the 1 inch of the original seat and at least an inch to staple, we needed to cut our squares with an additional 4 inches on each side of the seat.


I am an advocate of measuring twice and cutting once!  I am also an advocate of cutting squares, not cutting to the shape of the object being covered.  Why, you ask?  Because you can always trim excess fabric but you can’t put it back on!


That’s my neighbor, cutting away! Smile


Now, you lay the seat with the foam on top, foam side down, and pull up one side of the fabric.  Then you staple it into place.  Then you pull the fabric from the opposite side nice and tight and staple into place.  I do opposite sides so that the fabric gets pulled very tight and looks nice and smooth.


Keep the staples close together so that the fabric stays stretched.  You can replace the cushions on the chair frames and voila!  It’s just like new!




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A Neighbor’s New Breakfast Area


A couple of weeks ago, one of my fantastic neighbors asked if I would go fabric shopping with her.  Um, YES! 

She had inherited a dining set from some neighbors that were moving and she wanted to refinish it and put some cloth on the seats.  She read my blog and knew I loved decorating.  She wanted my advice on what direction to go in.  Her family all felt that it was time to brighten up their house with lighter finishes.  The new dining set was off white with a wood top.  My neighbor had been working very hard on stripping the top and repainting the legs and chairs.  She did a great job!!!

So, before we went shopping I asked her some questions about colors.  She said her favorite colors were magenta and indigo.  My first thought was that we were headed down a purple path.  Now, my neighbor has a husband and a son so I was guessing a “girly” purple wouldn’t work for them.  As we headed to the fabric store (her awesome daughter was with us too) I just figured we would be looking for a muted purple with some earthy brown or gold and cream just to keep it masculine AND feminine.  I was WRONG!

When I am assisting someone with their décor choices, I don’t like to run the show.  It is their house, not mine.  They have to live there and be happy.  I’m just there to tell them if it is ugly and what would go well with their choices.  I’m more of a color consultant, if you will. 

As we strolled aisle after aisle of fabric I noticed that my neighbor and her daughter were leaning in the blue direction.  And their pattern choices were very organic – natural pallette, free form pattern, etc.  Nothing we came across was really knocking their socks off, until we found this:


Beautiful!  That was the one!  There was no hesitation and no question about it.  This was the direction to go in.

The chairs started off like this:


Now they look like this:



( I will do a tutorial in another post so you can see how we did it!)

I also suggested this rug:

Bar Harbor Gelato Rug (8' x 10')


And these curtains:

Pair of Rod Pocket Curtains in Village Blue and Natural Chipper Ikat print

from Etsy

I thought they would really complete the space.  It is still a work in progress because all good things take time, but the hard part is done.  A color scheme has been chosen and a beautiful refinish has been done.  Don’t you love a happy ending?

(Thank you, Marisa, for being a wonderful neighbor and seeking my advice.  It made me feel wonderful!)

Reupholstering We Go!

Christmas came early for me!  I just scored BIG at the ICA Show in Charlotte.  My favorite gal, Shannon,  and I finally made it to the show.  We never seem to have a weekend where we are both in town or not busy when the show is here.  But that day finally arrived and we made it to the show.  There are fabulous vendors there.  I found some custom furniture makers, custom lighting makers, junkers, vintage textile vendors, Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint vendors (yay!), and just people with lots of stuff.  We were in heaven!

As we were walking around we spotted these:


We walked right by them at first.  They were very torn up.  There were cat scratches all over the upholstery and the cushions were thin.  So we made a lap around the outdoor area and ended up back at the chairs.  I decided to give them a shot and plunked right down in one.

WP_000766 It was comfy and I am a huge sucker for a wing chair.  Shannon asked the vendor how much he wanted for the pair.  When he said “$80 for the pair.”, we looked at each other and smiled.  Oh yes, they were leaving with us!  When the cushions were flipped up we saw the Highland House by Hickory tag.  These probably retailed for close to $1000 in their heyday. 

Right next to the vendor we bought the chairs from was a vendor selling remnant fabric.  We decided to head over and see if there was enough of a great fabric to reupholster these chairs in.  Score again!  All fabric was $5 per yard and we found a beautiful greige fabric with a slight sheen to it.  There was plenty to reupholster the 2 chairs so we paid up and loaded our treasures into the car. 

My new task is going to be refinishing the legs of the chairs and getting them over to be reupholstered.  I’m not sure if they are going to be kept or sold.  I’ll have to see them once they are complete.  But for now, here is the color story I’m going to use:


All of the fabric here is remnant fabric.  I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning!  I will post pics of the finished product.  Stay tuned!