Vintage Chair Reupholstery Project

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My husband confessed something to me tonight while sitting in my newly finished upholstered chair…

“You know, when I came home from work a few months back and saw that torn-up chair sitting in our garage, with all its stains and its fluff spilling out of it, I thought, “What in the world has she gotten herself into this time? What a piece of…” Well, I’ll let you fill in the blank!

For the record, he thinks it turned out great and he’s never going to doubt me again…ha!

I explained to him, though, about my process for seeing the potential in old, worn items: I take a look at the bones of the item and ask myself, “What cannot be changed?” If things like the construction, shape, and size are all good, then pretty much anything else can be changed – color, hardware, upholstery, and so on.

He was probably also wondering what in the world I had taken on since we have two little kids (ages 3.5 and 18 months) and reupholstering a chair is a bit of a project.

I believe that any project is doable if it’s broken down into manageable pieces.

“Manageable pieces” are whatever work for your situation. If you have tons of free time all to yourself, you may be able to redo a chair in a matter of days.

It took me weeks of intermittent work, plus a few weeks of waiting for my fabric to arrive (it never did – to make a long story short, I ended up ordering from somewhere else).

I mainly worked on this project after the kids were in bed and the kitchen was clean from dinner – generally starting at about 8:30-9:00pm and working until 10:00…or sometimes midnight…or sometimes 2:00am. Occasionally I’d work out in the garage during the day if my husband was available to watch the kids, or if the toddler was napping I’d just take my son out to play where I could watch him while I worked.

Of course, no one likes having to stop when “in the zone,” but working in small chunks, in my opinion, is better than not being able to do a project at all!

I enjoyed the process, but I’m also glad to be done and just enjoy the chair now. This project did take a little longer than it normally would have, mind you, since I was recording tutorial videos and editing them along the way. Which brings us to…

Tutorial Videos:

Part 1: Deconstruction
Part 2: Choosing Materials
Part 3: Upholstering
Part 4: Piping
Part 5: Cushion

A note about the videos:

I recommend watching the videos full screen, since they are vertical iPhone videos (sorry, it’s the best I could do!). In order to watch full screen, you will need to press the play button, then click the YouTube logo in the bottom right corner to watch it on YouTube. They won’t play full screen through WordPress for some reason. It’s not allowed or something. Oh technology…

Upholstery supplies are linked here in my Amazon Storefront

Fabric is linked here.

I hope you find these videos helpful or at least entertaining as you watch me at 20x normal speed with a pneumatic upholstery stapler or listen to me say things like I carved foam with a butter knife (mom brain!). Ha!

If you have any questions about your own upholstery projects, leave a comment below or contact me on social media. I’m no pro, but I’ve been through it a few times and would be happy to help!

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