Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Do-it-yourself upholstery

On the small budget that Derek and Vanessa had, it was imperative to think outside the box- and one way was attempting to re-upholster furniture myself. Caution- this is not a project for the faint of heart, I practiced several times before I was happy with the result, but it did save me several hundreds of dollars!

Another note of caution: while I love to reclaim, I think it is important to invest in show stopper pieces. Going to a professional upholsterer may be an investment, but you will be extremely happy with the results. A transformed piece of furniture is a great way to secure originality in your home and create a cohesive colour scheme!

But for a temporary or price conscious alternative for the brave, read on!

Step 1- Find your furniture. I purchased tub chairs from Goodwill for $5 each! They were a maroon colour and very badly stained.

Step 2- Purchase desired fabric. At Designer Fabrics (perhaps one of the greatest fabric stores in Toronto) the knowledgeable and courteous staff help you determine how much fabric to buy as long as you have rough measurements of your piece. Keep in mind that it has to be a durable fabric if it is for something with high traffic like a sofa or chair. Save the silks for decorative pillows.

Step 3: Use the original fabric on the chair as your pattern. Carefully remove the pieces from your furniture. They are most likely stapled and glued securely. My chair came apart in 6 clearly defined pieces, plus the seat cushion.

Lay the original fabric pieces on your new fabric and trace a generous seam allowance of 2-3". Cut our your pieces and sew together, following the pattern of your original pieces.

Step 4: Staple and sew. You should now have large pieces that resemble the old fabric that you removed. If you're lucky, you may be able to just fit the fabric over like a traditional slipcover (kind of like a tight fitting pillow case). In my case, I had to push the fabric into crevices in the chair and using a heavy duty staple gun, secure them in place.

This is the trial and error portion. I had to fidget with the seam allowance and with stapling until I was happy with the outcome- but it was very manageable, it just required a little patience.

Step 5: Piping and decorative details. My chair originally came with piping, which covered the staple marks. Covering the piping in my new fabric, using an industrial glue gun I glued the piping in place.

Upholstery gives any piece of furniture a face lift! If you are interested in learning how to re-upholster yourself, there are classes you can take where they provide you with all the tools- you just bring your furniture and creative spirit along with you.


  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008

Back to TOP