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Thread: DIY: A chair & foot-stool transformation

  1. #1
    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Beyond Caring, then hang a left.

    Default DIY: A chair & foot-stool transformation

    Unfortunately, she doesn't go into how to re-upholster, but they're removable cushions from the look on the chair (I really like this chair both before & after); so just cassette covers are needed.

    First Time For Everything...Right?

    So I reupholstered my first piece of furniture this past was was fun....and it was very rewarding!

    I found this chair and ottoman on craigslist for $20.00!

    Here it is un-touched:
    The poor lady I bought it from she had no idea how to reupholster ( I learned from her mistakes !) The fabric was busting at the seams and way WAY stained!

    I decided to put the chair and ottoman in our room where the color scheme is navy, white, and pops of red....we're pretty patriotic . So I painted the chair frame and ottoman in a glossy navy paint which I LOVE! I also found the most perfect sheet set at Ross to recover the chair cushions and ottoman, it worked out great!

    Here it is:

    Remember when I said HERE that using sheets can be a better cost effective solution when reupholstering? It really is great because it is WAY cheaper than buying fabric at a fabric store, since you will most likely have to purchase furniture fabric which is larger but costs more per yard. I even had fabric left over for some other projects I have in mind . Try it out for sure!

    Ready for the finished product...?

    Ready or not here it comes!!

    Ooooh la-la right? I even did all the cording all by myself...! Aren't you proud? Do you have furniture that you would like to refinish too? Have questions? Feel free to email me I would love to help! This really turned out to be easier than I thought it would be, all it took was some extra measuring and a little time. Don't be afraid of reupholstering it really is easier than it looks, and it is so rewarding in the end. So quit your belly aching and just DO IT ! I know you can, plus if I can being a totally spazz you for sure can !

    So what do you guys think? Much better right? Well thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a great day!! Love, love.
    First Time For Everything...Right? | Meet Virginia

    She also did a footstool.

    The Ottoman Remix

    I found this beat up raggedy old ottoman at the DI last week, I didn't judge it by its harsh exterior but saw its true potential, it was a diamond in the rough if you will . Without further ado (insert drum roll please)!!

    The Before:
    {Barf right?}
    The After!!!:

    Items I used to create this look are:

    1. Of Course The Ottoman
    { I found this at the DI (A local Utah thrift store) for $5.00!}

    2. Sand paper in various roughness
    {I found mine at Wal-Mart for $2.15 a pack, I decided to get one variety pack and one coarse pack for future projects.}

    3. Grey Primer
    {We had this around our house since we used it on a dresser we re-finished awhile ago, you can find this anywhere though I would opt for some in a spray can.}

    4. Terra Cotta Paint
    {I just used a acrylic craft paint for this, I found mine at Michael's 2/$1.}

    5. High Gloss Varnish
    {I purchased this at Robert's using a 40% off coupon so it ended up being $1.50.}

    6. Sponge Brushes
    {I purchase these in packs at the dollar store, which is great because I just toss them once I am finished!}

    7. White Fleece
    {I purchased this at Wal-Mart for $4.45 per yard, I purchased a yard but could have done with less than that, I guess better safe than sorry right?}

    8. Printed Sheet
    {I found this also at the DI and fell in love with the colors, I ended up buying two of them at $2.00 each since I figured I can for sure use it somewhere else too!}

    TIP: Here is a great tip for you, buying sheets or sheet sets can often save you money when re-upholstering furniture. Look at thrift store selections you can often find some really cool vintage prints, (Just wash them in super hot water before use).

    9. Various Tools
    {For this project I ended up using a flat head screwdriver, staple gun, hammer, and scissors. If you don't have access to a staple gun you can always use a hammer and nails to secure fabric.}

    Total Cost: $14.00!!!

    How I did this you ask? Let me show you!

    1. I removed the legs from the cushion so I could sand and paint them.

    2. Then on to the sanding, I used a coarse sand paper and it got the job done really quick!

    3. Primed the sanded legs.

    4. Painted the primed legs with a Terra Cotta Orange paint.

    5. After allowing several coats of paint to dry I added a high gloss varnish to the legs.

    6. Then I recovered the cushion with white fleece so the stained pink wouldn't show through. You can also remove the top fabric all together but I just thought this would be easier.

    7. I then covered the fleece covered cushion with the said purchased sheet.

    8. Re-attached the dry legs to the bottom of the cushion.

    9. Marveled at my work .

    I think this turned out so so fun! I love the bright glossy orange legs, it gives the fabric a new spin! This cute ottoman will be headed to our office upstairs to go with a chair we received from hubby's Gma for our wedding. What do you guys think? How do you think it turned out? Are you in love like me?? Well I hope you enjoy and that you all are having a great Tuesday! Love, love.
    The Ottoman Remix | Meet Virginia
    Brookie likes this.
    Free Charmed.

  2. #2
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    In the "D"


    Love the new ottoman! For so little money and effort, it looks so fresh.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
    Laugh Uncontrollably. And never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile.

    - Mark Twain

  3. #3
    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
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    I'm planing to do something similar myself, but with a much smaller footstool. Its very old now & many cats have attacked it over the years.
    Free Charmed.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Tiny Pixie's Avatar
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    This forum should totally get a DIY section <3
    Fluctuat nec mergitur
    Paris, Nov 13th

  5. #5
    Elite Member Chalet's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Novice;2701124]Unfortunately, she doesn't go into how to re-upholster, but they're removable cushions from the look on the chair (I really like this chair both before & after); so just cassette covers are needed.

    Uh, excuse me what kind of covers was that?

  6. #6
    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chalet View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Novice View Post
    Unfortunately, she doesn't go into how to re-upholster, but they're removable cushions from the look on the chair (I really like this chair both before & after); so just cassette covers are needed.
    Uh, excuse me what kind of covers was that?
    Oops! Sorry I just meant that they are straight forward square covers that slide straight on. Maybe it's a term from when coats had horsehair stiffenings... I thought it was the correct term, but now you've mentioned it & I've googled.... *backs slowly out of the thread...* lol!
    Free Charmed.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Chalet's Avatar
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    May 2006


    It's not UK terminology? It's not spelled Casseoutte? It's doesn't need petrol or a brolly to go with it?

    Was that ban-able?

  8. #8
    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chalet View Post
    It's not UK terminology? It's not spelled Casseoutte? It's doesn't need petrol or a brolly to go with it?

    Was that ban-able?
    That would make it French?

    Chalet, Srly, I dunno, it's a term that my mother uses - I guess because the cushion just slots in, but I can't find it in any on-line glossary.

    You need to try harder even to get an infartion! Lol!
    Free Charmed.

  9. #9
    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    diy projects by Amanda Brown
    The last time we met, we got out our sewing machines and tackled boxed cushions. I have a feeling your pets (and you) have recently found a comfy and fashionable place to perch. So what better way to finesse our sewing skills than to try, try again. I found this stout coffee table at a thrift store and thought it would look so much better with some padding and this great geo fabric by Lulu DK. With the skills we learned last month, a little elbow grease and a staple gun, this table went from stodgy to stylish in a few short hours. — Amanda

    Read the full how-to after the jump!


    • goggles
    • high-density foam
    • permanent marker
    • carving knife
    • foam and fabric spray adhesive
    • burlap
    • Dacron
    • plywood (optional)
    • fabric
    • white or yellow chalk
    • yard stick
    • square
    • scissors
    • t-pins or straight pins
    • 5/32″ welt cord
    • sewing machine
    • single welt cord foot
    • thread
    • masking tape
    • stapler
    • 3/8″ staples
    • staple remover
    • pliers
    • cardboard tack strip
    • dustcover

    Don’t forget to check out Upholstery Basics: Tool Time to learn more about the tools we’re using today.

    When selecting a coffee table, make sure you get something sturdy enough to sit on.
    1. Let’s start by padding the table. Since the dimensions of my table are too big to fit on a standard piece of foam, I’ll glue two pieces of foam together. Stack the two pieces on top of each other with the sides that need to be glued together facing the same direction. Spray the sides with foam and fabric spray adhesive.

    2. Give the glue about 30 seconds to get tacky. Then flip the top piece over and stick the two sides together.

    3. When you have a piece of foam big enough to cover the top of your table, follow Steps 3 and 4 from Dining Chair Do-Over to cut it to size.
    4. I like to reinforce the connection in the foam with a burlap band-aid on both sides. Cut a burlap strip about four inches wide and as long as the connection. Place it adjacent to the connection and spray glue on the burlap and the foam.

    5. Once the adhesive is tacky, flip the burlap over onto the connection and press to stick. Don’t forget to flip the foam over to band-aid the other side.

    I want the entire coffee table to show beneath my upholstered top, so I cut out a piece of plywood the same size as my coffee table and am upholstering to that. You can do this too, or just upholster straight to the coffee table.
    6. Spray glue on the bottom of the foam and top of the coffee table/plywood and stick the foam down.

    7. Cut a piece of Dacron that is big enough to cover the top and all four sides of the padded top. Leave a few extra inches for wiggle room.

    8. Split the edge of the Dacron in half before stapling to the bottom edge of the table top. The top half of the Dacron will cover the dimples created by the staples so they don’t show through the fabric.

    9. It’s best to staple the Dacron into the wood at the bottom of the sides instead of underneath the table top. This keeps the bottom edge of the table top clean and free of unnecessary padding. When pulling the Dacron, smooth out the excess but don’t pull it tight enough to change the shape of the foam. Our goal is to keep the padding square for the boxed top.

    10. Trim the excess Dacron even with the bottom edge of the table top.

    11. In the corners, trim straight down to remove the excess Dacron.

    12. Now that we have the table padded, let’s cut out our fabric pieces. We’ll need a piece of fabric for the top, four side boxings and welt cord. My table is 33.5″ x 33.5″, so I need a top piece that is 35″ x 35″, four sides that are 35″ wide x 8″ tall, and about 300″ of single welt cord (enough to go around the top and underneath the table top). To determine the height of your boxing, measure the thickness of the padding (mine is 5″), add the thickness of the board underneath the padding (mine is about 1″) and add an extra 2″ for pulling and stapling. Refer to Steps 2–6 from Boxed Cushion Sewing to draw out pattern-matched pieces.
    You’ll notice that I’ve added an extra 1.5″ to the dimensions of the table top for seam allowance when the rule of thumb is adding 1″. This extra .5″ will give us just enough allowance so our boxing isn’t so tight around the wooden frame.

    13. Sew the ends of all the boxing pieces together, leaving the last two ends open.
    14. Follow Steps 9–14 of Coil Seat Finale to sew the welt cord.
    15. Follow Steps 15–22 from Boxed Cushion Sewing to attach the welt cord to the top piece of fabric.
    16. Attach the boxing all the way around the four sides, making sure to match your pattern where possible and keeping the seams in the boxing at the corners. Refer to Steps 24–26 from Boxed Cushion Sewing for tips on sewing on the boxing.
    17. Stop sewing about two inches from either side of one of the back corners. I leave this last corner open because it is nearly impossible to sew/cut so perfectly that the boxing is the exact length to extend all the way around. By closing up the boxing right at the end, we’re able to adjust the length of the boxing so we have a perfect fit.

    18. Place the ends of the boxing together.

    19. Determine where the seam should be by pinching the fabric at the corner. Using the tips of your fingers as a guide for where the seam should go, carefully place that point under the sewing machine needle.

    20. Now sew the ends of the boxings together.

    21. Once the ends are sewn together, we need to close up the last corner.

    22. Here’s what it looks like when it’s nice and tight. Sewing complete!

    23. Slip the cover over the padded table top and adjust the fit so the corners are lined up and the pattern is straight.

    24. Follow the same principles from Step 10 in Dining Chair Do-Over to attach the fabric with sub-staples.

    25. Sometimes I add a little puff of Dacron in the corners before I staple it all down. This makes the corners look full and crisp instead of deflated.

    26. After you’ve gotten your fabric in place with sub-staples, replace them with permanent staples. If you have a lot of excess fabric in the corners, cut out some of the bulk.

    27. Once the fabric is permanently attached, let’s staple welt cord to the bottom edge to finish it off. Start at the middle back and staple the welt cord on the bottom of the table top all the way around. Keep the edge of the welt cord lined up with the edge of the board as you go by using your thumb and forefinger as a guide.

    28. Cut out excess fabric in the corners to minimize bulk.

    29. We’ll connect the ends the same way we did in Steps 18–22 from Boxed Cushion Sewing, except we’ll staple them down instead of sewing them.

    30. If you upholstered straight to your coffee table instead of a piece of plywood, follow Steps 23–25 from Coil Seat Finale to attach the cardboard tack strip and dustcover.
    31. If you upholstered to a piece of plywood, attach it to the coffee table by screwing it in from the bottom.

    Check it out!


    • Since different fabrics may stretch, making it difficult to keep the pattern lined up, pin your fabric together before sewing.
    • Don’t worry if you don’t have a saw to cut a piece of plywood. Hardware stores like Home Depot will cut wood to the dimensions you need for a very small fee.
    • If upholstering to a piece of plywood, clamp the board to the table top and pre-drill pilot holes for your screws. Be sure to mark the front edge of the table and the plywood so you can easily line up the holes when you assemble in the end.

    Meet me back here next month for an upholstery project of large proportions! Happy V-Day!
    upholstery basics: boxed ottoman | Design*Sponge
    Free Charmed.

  10. #10
    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    out where the buses don't run


    I want to do this so bad! When I finish the ten million other things I've got started and not finished, I'm coming back to this thread.

  11. #11
    Elite Member OrangeSlice's Avatar
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    Studying with Master Grumpy Cat


    It looks very cool and very do-able, but also like tons of work.
    "Schadenfreude, hard to spell, easy to feel." ~VenusinFauxFurs

    "Scoffing is one of my main hobbies!" ~Trixie

  12. #12
    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Vintage Blossom Wingback Chair

    Last month I became obsessed with finding a nice upholstered chair to put in my new home. Long story short... I couldn't find one I loved within my price range, so I decided to rescue a junkyard wingback chair and reupholster it myself. I must confess, if I had fully realized all the time, blisters and expense that goes into reupholstering, I would not have taken on such a huge project. That being said, I'm glad I did it and I love, love, LOVE my new chair.

    Here is the chair I rescued. It was once owned by a old granny and her many cats. My husband is allergic to cats, which meant I had to strip this chair down to its bare wooden frame and replace all the foam and batting as well. Take note, new foam doubled the cost of this project. So, if you decide to rescue your own chair, it would be a bonus if the foam was still in good shape.

    Believe it or not, taking apart the chair is the most tedious, dirtiest, time-consuming part of reupholstering. You will most definitely ruin your manicure, and will potentially need to get a tetanus booster shot in the process (you may want to figure that into the cost). Using a flat-head screwdriver and needlenose pliers, you have to pull out thousands of staples, removing your fabric pieces layer by layer. I wish I would have timed this part, but I'd estimate it took me about 15 hours to get the chair down to its frame:

    Molly,the creative maven, gives an excellent tutorial that compares the chair pieces to layers of an onion. It's important to take notes on the order of your layers. She recommends numbering each piece as you remove it so you'll remember how to put it back together. And keep your old yucky pieces intact, so you can use them as your pattern. Here is my pile of pieces:

    I fell in love with the dove fabric on Crate and Barrel's Carly Chair shown here:

    This particular fabric is called Vintage Blossom, and was designed by Dwell Studio for Robert Allen Home Fabric. Although I loved the gray used in Crate and Barrel's chair, I decided to go with the jade because I think it'll survive the wrath of my children better.

    Since I am no expert on reupholstering, I'm not going to make this a full tutorial. However, let me steer you to some excellent tutorials that helped me:

    How to Reupholster a Wingback Chair by the creative maven
    Back of Chair Video by diyupholsterysupply

    Curve Ease Video by diyupholsterysupply
    Foam Video by diyupholsterysupply
    Cording Tutorial by Autum

    Additional notes that you may find helpful:

    Fabric: I used 6.5 yards of home decor fabric (fyi, carries Dwell Studio home fabric)

    Batting: 6 yards of 8 oz poly batting (about 1 inch thick)
    Cording: 12 yards
    Metal Tack Strips: 3 (1 cut to size for the outside of arm sides, 2 for back of chair)
    Cardboard Tack Strip: 3 yards

    Curve Ease: 4 feet (for outside of wings)

    Staples: a lot, a lot, a lot

    Medium or High Density Foam: 1 3/4 yard of 4-inch thick foam (24 inch wide) and 2 yards of 1-inch thick foam (24 inches wide)
    Paint for the chair legs: Valspar high gloss latex enamel paint (Black)
    If you're smarter than me, you would have found a chair with the foam intact and this would be your starting point (not to mention, saving yourself $100). OH! and springs... make sure none of the springs are broken. Bad springs or bad foam... just walk away. This picture also shows the new seat bottom and front. I cushioned the front with 1" foam and a layer of batting before putting on the front piece as shown. The seat cover sits directly on the springs and is composed of a layer of wool felt, a layer of batting, and the gray wool you see on top. Why did I use wool? Because that's what I happened to have in my fabric stash. Muslin would work equally as well.
    *Note: The inside wings, inside arm and bottom front got 1" foam and the chair back and seat cushion got 4" foam.

    Even if your foam is good, I recommend replacing your batting. The batting will add about $25 to your costs, but it gives your foam a nicer finished look and adds a flattering loft to your chair. At this stage, I put the batting everywhere except the back. Do not staple the batting on the outside arm piece to the bottom of your chair yet.

    Here is my seat cushion, layered with batting on each side. Have you ever tried cutting 4-inch foam? Do yourself a favor and use an electric knife (yes, the one you use to carve the Thanksgiving Turkey).

    After layering the batting on each side, I wrapped my cushion with another layer of batting. There is a special adhesive that you can use to apply the batting to the foam, but since this is my first and last reupholstering project, I decided to save the $10 and do a quick hand-stitching along the edges. Voila:

    Next I prepped my cording using this fantastic tutorial. I almost had an aneurysm trying to wrap my brain around this concept, but once I figured it out, it changed my life forever. It takes the tediousness out of making bias tape and I'm very excited about that. Please refer to the same tutorial for guidance on making your seat cushion cover.

    Each chair is a little different, but on my chair, the inside wing piece was sewed to the inside arm piece. The original chair covered the front of the arm as a separate piece, which was nailed in place. I opted to sew my arm front to my inside arm piece beforehand because I liked the look of it better. Use your old pieces as a pattern (you'll have to seam rip them apart first in this case). Once you have your new inside arm/wing pieces sewn together, center the arm/wing seam (mine has cording there) and start attaching from that point.

    If you look at the wooden frame picture above, then you'll notice openings at the back, bottom and sides of the frame. This is where everything slides through. Tuck your excess fabric through those openings and those will be pulled taut and stapled last. First do the inside arm/wing sides and next do the chair back.

    See all the excess fabric hanging out the back and side? Pull the heck out of it and staple them in place after you've stapled around everywhere else as shown.

    After you've stapled the fabric to the back, bottom and sides of the frame, feel free to trim away the excess.
    Next I stapled on my cording in one continuous strip along the sides and back.

    And more cording along the front:

    Next, watch this Curve Ease tutorial and use this technique to put on the outside wings. Staple your curve ease snug against your cording. I applied more batting as shown in the video (so my outside wings had double batting), crimped the curve ease along the wing, then stapled the sides to the back of the chair taut.

    I didn't take a picture of applying the outside arm piece because at this point I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and I was too dang excited to take pictures. I used cardboard tack strip along the top of the outside arm (snug against the underarm rest). Then watch this video and use the same principle to apply a metal tack strip to the front arm side and staple along bottom and chair back. I had to cut my metal tack strip to size for this part.

    Refer to the same video to put on your chair back. Turn your chair upside down and staple on a dust cover (really, you can use any fabric for this... muslin would work fine).

    And there you have it... my total cost of reupholstering this wingback chair was about $225, plus 25 hours of hard labor (my poor blistered hands... it's a miracle they're not marred by staple holes). If I were to take this in to be professionally done, it would have cost at least $400 PLUS cost of fabric ($100) so $500 total. Before taking on this project, I would have thought that price was ridiculously high. Now it seems a bit low. Kudos to professional upholsterers.

    Posted by Jodell at 9:30 PM

    Modest Maven: Vintage Blossom Wingback Chair
    Free Charmed.

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