If your name is Shelly Leer and you teach the upholstery classes I’m taking, stop here. Read no further.
If you’re one of Shelly’s students, stop now. This post is not for you.
As I said, if you’re Shelly or someone who cares about doing re-upholstery correctly, don’t read on.
But if you’re looking for a quick and cheap redo, check this out.
So you might remember my friend Keith and the fabulous mid-century dining set and hutch he nabbed for just $60 at a yard sale in North Webster, Ind., earlier this month.
Everything about this set was beautiful – except the horrible floral fabric on the seats.
So Keith headed out to JoAnn fabrics and picked up a beautiful black and white geometric pattern to replace it. Then he invited me and my electronic staple gun over to help.
OK. I’ve taken one of Shelly’s classes. I know that that the proper way to reupholster these chairs was to remove the fabric from each, replace the padding and maybe springs or webbing, and then attach the new fabric.
You can guess by now that we didn’t do that.
We did take apart one of the seats to get an accurate feel for how much fabric we needed for each. Unfortunately, I had underestimated what we might need, which sent Keith back to JoAnns for more fabric.
However, we had no plans to take the old fabric off all the chairs. Remember, we were going for quick and easy. So to be consistent and make sure all the chairs had the same finish, I had to actually put that old fabric back on the first chair.
Meanwhile, we’d cut four squares of fabric and started reupholstering.
This is so easy.
Lay out your fabric wrong-side up on a table. Then put your seat upside down in the middle. Make some adjustments so that your pattern will be straight.
Wrap the fabric over the front edge of the seat and then fold over the end of the fabric so you have a nice edge. Staple once in the middle and then once each toward the ends.
Spin the seat around and staple the other side in the same way. Now, turn over your seat and inspect. Is the pattern straight? Is it pulled fairly tight?
If the answers are yes, then flip the seat back over and staple the sides in the same way. Check your progress again.
If all looks good, it’s time to do the corners. This can be the trickiest part – especially when you do something silly like try to put the new fabric over heavy old fabric that wasn’t applied very well the first time.
In this case, I pulled my new fabric over the corner, creating two tiny tucks on either side of the corner.
Then I put in one staple on the backside to hold it.
Unfortunately, two of the corners on each of our seats had a little cut out that made room for the back of the chair. (See the photo above.)
Then you add some additional staples along all sides and the corners to make the fabric secure.
I finished all four seats, we screwed them back into place and – voila! – beautiful chairs.
I’m just crazy about the outcome and I think Keith likes the newly reupholstered chairs so much he thought about keeping them.
But in the end, he’s opted to put the entire set up for sale in his Midland Arts & Antiques booth.
What do you think? Can you get past our quickie re-upholstery job?