Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tutorial: Upholstery My Way

Well here's a little tutorial for you all. This is a one up from just wrapping a seat. I think it's kinda fun to add fabric to a plain wooden chair--even when you can't just pop off the seat and wrap it in fabric. 

So, are you with me?? This is a bit long . . .

Supply List:
Dacron or 10 oz.+ batting
1" or 2" foam
Electric staple gun
Needle nose pliers
Several sharp razors
French gimp trim or other decorator 1/2" or wider trim
Hot glue gun and glue.

1:  Cut your foam to size--I used 2" for a cushy seat. 1" will give you a trimmer, sleeker looking seat.

2:  Loosely staple your dacron in place. No need to be exact or pull hard--you just want to keep things from sliding around on you as you pull your fabric.

Note: Dacron is the padding you'll find at your upholstery stores. It's more crush resistant than regular fabric store batting you'd put in a blanket and will hold up longer.

3: Trim your corners of any extra bulk by pinching them and trimming the wedge.
4: Like this:
5:  Place your fabric on your chair with your pattern straight and centered. Loosely cut or rip your fabric to size so it's easy to work with.  Remember you need enough to wrap around the bottom edges.
6:  We interrupt this regularly scheduled tutorial to show off how stinkin' cute my kids are cleaning my store to earn quarters for the candy machine.
7: Back to work. You have a few choices for finishing the bottom edge. If you don't want to use french gimp trim (will show you this later) then you can nicely finish your edge by folding it over and stapling it along the edge.  Option 2: which I will use the rest of the time--is to simply staple and cut the excess with a razor.  I will cover my ugly edge with french gimp trim at the end.  Once you decide your method, secure the complete front edge to each corner, leaving the sides of the seat loose for now.
8:  Still facing your seat front, pull your fabric back firmly on each side, making sure your pattern is square. Place a temporary staple on each side to hold your fabric square while you work on the back side. A temporary staple is placed by angling your staple gun so that one edge of the staple sticks out.  Picassa was being funny and it wouldn't let me add a nice big arrow pointing to my temp staple in the picture below, but hopefully you get the idea.

Close up of temp staple.
9: Folding your fabric forward from each corner, snip diagonally to each corner. This will allow you to wrap the fabric around each side. CAUTION: Snip slowly. You can always snip more, but you can't unsnip what has been snipped!!

10: Pull your fabric through the back. Pulling tight and evenly--gripping with your whole hand, not just your fingers--staple your fabric into the crevice. Always work from the center to each edge when stapling. Fold the fabric over at each edge so you have a nice finished corner.
11: Using a SHARP razor trim very close to the staples.
12: Next remove the temporary staple from one side.  Since you didn't place your staple tight, these will usually just pull out, but if you have delicate fabric use your pliers.  While pulling the fabric BACK and DOWN with your full hand grip, staple the fabric under the edge of the chair.
13: After you finish each side, you should have a little pocket of fabric at the front corner on each side. We will use this to make our pleats. Take this pocket and pull it straight out.  This will help you center your pleat evenly.
14: Now pull it down. You should have a nice two-sided pleat.
15: Holding the fabric in place staple your pleat under the lip of the chair.
16: Using your uber sharp razor, trim closely to the staples.
 17: Hide all those ugly edges by hot gluing french gimp cord over the top!
 18:  Voila! Beautiful upholstered chairs!!

Thanks for visiting!


Sharing Here: Furniture Feature Fridays


  1. What a great tutorial Jessica~just found your blog from seeing this post on the stockist FB page~I will be opening an annie sloan shop in Boston mass. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Love this Jessica! I have a whole set of dining room chairs that I am needing to recover, but was dreading it. This is such an easy method!

    Thanks for sharing
    Janet xox
    The Empty Nest

  3. love the cheap labor!!! your kids are precious!!~Brandy

  4. Very nice restyle! Love your fabric choice and thanks for taking the time to share your tips!

  5. Jessica, you are awesome!!!! What a great tutorial!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. they look beautiful! i love the backing on them- the details are so pretty.

  7. I have been wanting to do this to my chairs, thanks for the tutorial :)

  8. Great tutorial! I'm glad to know how to pleat the corners. I was just kind of wadding the fabric all up. :o Thank you!

  9. Hi Jessica, you probably know this anyway but thought I'd point it ou in case you don' just got a shout out from Annie herself in an is the link :)

    xx Karen

  10. That's the fabric I chose when I took your class! Still can't believe how easy it was (and how patient you were!) and I'll definitely be doing more chairs. I have a whole dining room set I want to do.

    Your method is so easy and doable that it makes us feel like pros when we're done!

  11. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted
    to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!
    Visit my web-site -

  12. I just could not leave your website prior to suggesting that I extremely loved the standard
    information an individual provide to your guests?
    Is going to be again incessantly in order to investigate
    cross-check new posts
    Here is my web-site ...

  13. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I'm trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it's the
    blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.
    Feel free to visit my webpage :

  14. Thanks so much for the post! I have been wanting to do this for a long time to make some inexpensive IKEA chairs look more vintage. I found some adorable ones at a consignment store but for $80 a piece! This will be much cheaper and I can pick exactly how I want them to look :)So thank you very much for the tutorial. :)

  15. This is the first time I've been to your website. Thank you for providing more details.

    Feel free to visit my weblog ... commercial carpet cleaning melbourne

  16. The first step in upholstery cleaning is identifying the material. I will just go over the basic types of material in this article and not go too in depth. First you will snip a piece of material from a hidden location.

    Mattress Cleaning Brisbane | Upholstery Cleaning Brisbane

  17. This is a nice start! Just looking at the photos, I think it's a real easy task to do upholstery.

  18. Wow, that couch almost looks brand new! That spill looks nasty.Such great advice.

    Carpet cleaning Brisbane & Flood Restoration Brisbane

  19. chanel bags online for cheap
    It's very effortless to find out any matter on net as compared to books, as I found this post at this web page.

  20. People usually seem to supplement you just before they present
    their newest request to you. IOS 4.1 intended for
    iPhone and iPod Effect has been introduced by
    Apple. The protection collection might not function or might

    my weblog :: download Redsn0w ()

  21. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on penis pump.


  22. I was suggested this website by my cousin. I'm not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else
    know such detailed about my problem. You are incredible!

    Feel free to surf to my weblog ... attorneys auto accidents

  23. Baby of Turtle: Mother turtle lays about hundred round eggs.
    When a dolphin gives birth, another female dolphin is present through the entire birth process.
    Their menstrual cycle is about 30 days, and they menstruate for three
    to four days.

  24. Hello are using Wordpress for your blog platform?
    I'm new too tthe blog world but I'm trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require aany coding
    knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

    my page ... acne scars treatment at home