Since I got laid off a few months ago, I’ve had a lot of time to strengthen my talents and hobbies! Besides sewing, crafts, & jewelry, I’ve tried my hands on reupholstering. I’ve seen so many different terms to describe this: recycled, refinished, upcycled, repurposed…the list goes on. I’m not going to go through all these terms, in fact, I think I’ll just stick with reupholstered. Lol
A friend gave me some chairs that were pretty bland and heavy…
I had 7 of these chairs and took them ALL apart…
1st – I unscrewed 8 screws in each chair and then used a flat head screw driver to remove all the staples. Oh my, that’s a lot of screws in one sentence. Lol. Just in case you’re wondering, whoever makes these chairs LOVES staples & finds it necessary to put an unlimited number of staples in each chair. I wasn’t in a rush to finish this project so I took my time. Honestly, I have not idea how long it took me to remove all the staples. I would estimate that it took 3-4 nights. I spread it out so I wasn’t overwhelmed by all the staples & so my hands could rest. Lol. I removed staples while I watched TV, which helped.
2nd – I needed to decide whether I would keep them or sell them. Since I had 7, I decided to keep 3 & sell 4, as a set. Then I searched, chose, & purchased the fabric. This part is fun for me. I like looking at fabrics and envisioning the finished product. I used the old leather that covered the chairs, as pattern pieces for the new chairs & determined how much fabric I would need. I chose a cotton hawaiian print fabric and decided to use vinyl on top too.
Once I had all the materials, I cut everything out. I settled on a brown & teal fabric for my 3 chairs. Here are some pictures.
The chair back before stapling the bottom
The frame – before (L) & after (R)
And of course, you need matching screws. I just spray painted the tops.
The final product! Success!
The pictures don’t tell you how many hours were invested in this project. So, that was the chairs in a fast forward mode. I did my chairs first to work out any kinks and make mistakes so that when it came to the 4 I planned to sell, I would have some experience and they would be perfect! Well, that was my hope.
For the other 4 chairs, I liked a couple of blue fabrics. The problem was one was too bright and the other was too light. Go figure. Lol. So, I went back in search of a better fabric choice & luckily I found one. Here is how it went…
1. Reupholstered the seats and backs
2. Spray painted the frames
3. Put the screws in
4. Trimmed vinyl under the chairs
5. Ready to sell!
Actually, I did all the chairs simultaneously, one step at a time. After everything was cut out, I serged the edges of all the seats. Then I serged the backs of the chairs so I didn’t have to using my sewing machine too. Here we go!
I laid the fabric over the vinyl. The vinyl is a little difficult to see in this picture but it’s there.
I put the padding and wood piece on top then started to staple it in place.
I started with the corners and then worked my way around. I wanted it as tight as possible so I put my knee on it and pulled before stapling. Also, I stapled the material first and then did the vinyl. With one of the brown chairs, I tried to to do both at one time…didn’t like it. For me it was harder to get the smooth look I wanted so I did it separately. Just a little suggestion.
At times I had to take breaks because Nala thought it would be fun to get in on the action. Lol. Not a problem but I did use a lint roller to remove her hair, which you can see, she’s has a lot of. She’s my inspector – she smells everything that comes into our home. Lol.
Here is the finished seat! Yeah! I have to apologize, I just realized I forgot to take a picture of what it looks like underneath, after it’s all stapled. Sorry. On the plus side, you get to see the vinyl. Lol.
One thing I forgot to mention about the stapling is…make sure you buy the right staples for the task. I purchased a cheap but durable staple gun (DeWalt). It was perfect for my project and it was <$30. I say cheap because there are some very expensive staple guns available. I used 5/16″ staples which cost <$4. I got it all at Home Depot & these are Hawai’i prices. Anyways, just a note.
Now for the backs! Like I mentioned earlier, I serged the backs. Here it is.
All of the chairs had a board, padding, and a thin sheet of plastic that covered the padding. A few of the plastic sheets tore and were unusable. I didn’t want to purchase new ones so I improvised. I had some plastic bags – the ones you get from the grocery section. Like this.
I made sure it fit, which they did. Yeah! I cut out one side
and then slipped it on over the board and padding.
Now it’s ready for the material!
I slid the material on and then wondered about the vinyl. I purchased thread for upholstering so I was ready. Only one problem…I’ve never sewn vinyl before. Well, I may have attempted years before, but I don’t remember any projects at the moment. Anyways! I didn’t want to mess up my vinyl & have to cut more, so I looked for some tips on how to sew vinyl. Thankfully, I found this website:
She shares a tip that helped me…tape! I know, I couldn’t believe it. So simple but very effective! I am definitely grateful for that tip! It totally worked!
Ok, back to the chairs! Using the website, I was able to successfully sew the vinyl. I found it easier to keep the tissue in between the folded vinyl. It helped when I turned it right side out.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of that step. Next, I spray painted. That was fun!
You’ll notice just a slight difference in color. Left is before, right is after. Since all the seats and backs were completed before I spray painted, I had time to think about the frames. I liked how the blue looked on the gray frames, it just needed a little brightening up.
I used a drill to return the screws to their proper places. Once that was complete, I trimmed the vinyl under the chairs, and they were ready to sell!! Woo Hoo!
Here they all are!
& my brown chairs!
I think it took me 4-6 weeks to complete. That was quite the project! But it was SO fun! I’m glad I did it.
Up Next: Jewelry Time!