More Furniture Transformation

I promised I’d show you more of my furniture makeover, so for Transformation Tuesday today, I’m featuring the chair-and-a-half reupholstering re-do.
When I ordered my chair, I was really into country plaid. But several years later, I wasn’t so in love with it anymore. Here’s what it looked like, and let this be a lesson to you when you order furniture. Choose something NEUTRAL and let the pillows be the pop.
Now, I must issue a little disclaimer here, as I didn’t exactly go neutral when I chose the new fabric. However, it was cheap and it matched my color scheme and I can’t pass up a bargain.
The only sewing involved was on the chair cushion. I used the zipper from the old cushion and took apart the fabric pieces to use as a pattern for the new one. I also sewed what was basically a big pillow case for the backrest part. The rest of the project was stapling.
There are some secrets to upholstering that make it so much easier than most people think. It’s important to have strips of medium weight cardboard on hand. I know they make tack strips specifically for upholstery, but I make my own by cutting mat board into strips. What is this for,  you ask?
Check out this edge:
It’s on the back of the chair and the side where the puffy part meets the flat part. The rough edges of the puffy arm part is stapled down behind this straight edge. When I’m working on the straight edge, I flip the fabric up, leaving an inch behind my cardboard strip, and then I staple the strip to the chair. Believe it or not, there is a wood framework under most chairs. 
Once the strip is secure, I can flip the fabric back down and I have a nice neat, tight edge. Then I staple the bottom edge of the fabric under the bottom side of the chair. 
On edges that show, I use upholstery tacks where I can’t do the flip and staple technique.

Here is a helpful video from on how to do the back of a chair.You’ll see what I mean by flipping the fabric the other way and using tack strips.
And here is another video that shows a chair from start to finish. This one comes from
I’m a little lazy I guess, because I don’t always remove all of the old fabric. Often, I go right over it when I can. If the chair is too old or the cushion has an odor issue, then I consider a bigger transformation. Otherwise, I look for ways I can fold and staple to avoid sewing.

Looking for a good place to start? Try dining chairs or a footstool and see how it goes. Then move on to something a little bigger. You’ll be amazed by how reasonable it is to remake furniture instead of throwing it out and buying new.


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  1. Michelle, I can't believe this was done with hardly any sewing,,, it sounds PERFECT. I am going to check out those tutorials and when I get the nerve, give it a try. I have the most stained couches, that desperately need to be redone, or they are going to a new home. Thanks again, for another wonderful post.

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