Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How to Reupholster Kitchen Chairs {with Optional Piping}

I showed you the make-over of my "Craig's List" Dining set earlier this week. Here's the 2nd part of the tutorial I promised. If you want to learn to reupholster, then kitchen chairs are the PERFECT place to start!!!  It's easy, just beware of all those staples you're going to have to pull out {... grr!}  Thankfully, it's a satisfying project. The chairs make me happy every time I look at them :)!

Supplies: Upholstery fabric (2/3 yard per 2 chairs), staples and staple gun, upholstery backing, 
                regular or electric screwdriver,  flat head screw driver, disinfecting spray
               optional: upholstery fabric for piping, heavy duty thread, cardboard tacking, cording- if sewing new piping

1. Take the seat off the chair aka- unscrew the screws :).

2. Turn the seat over and start taking out the staples with the flat head screwdriver.

3. After you've neatly taken ONE chair apart (to later use as a pattern), let your husband, or whoever is willing, rip and pull the fabric off.

4. Keep the foam and batting. Spray some disinfecting spray all over it. Optional: cover with one more layer of batting... I did not do that in this project.

5. Again, make sure to keep one seat covering as nice as possible!

6. If your chair had piping, keep the piping strip!!

7. Put the fabric from the chair on your new fabric as a pattern, and cut out as closely as possible.

8. Lay down new fabric. Put seat upside down on that fabric, making lines or patterns as straight as possible. Pull fabric tight and staple hard all around. Pull and tuck especially tight around the corners. It really helps to have someone assist you in this part!!!

9. It should look like this: If you are not adding piping, then just trace the preexisting black upholstery backing, and staple in on the back. You're done!
If you are adding piping, keep on going!!!

10. Unpick 10 to 20 stitches, and then pull out the old cord. Keep the cord! Throw away the fabric.

11. Lay the cord down on the fabric. The length of the cord should be similar to the width of the upholstery fabric. { If not, cut strips on the bias to make the fabric as long as the cord.}

Eyeball how much width the preexisting cord was, and cut fabric as close to the same width as possible. You should have long strips of this fabric.

12. Test little pieces of the fabric on your machine before sewing the piping. It took me about 10 tries before I found the right tension and thread combination for this particular fabric.
What finally worked: I used upholstery thread on the bobbin, and all purpose thread on the top. Then turned by tension knob between a 7 and an 8.

Put the cord that you took out of the old piping in the middle of a fabric strip. Use the zipper foot attachment on your sewing machine. Make sure the needle is all the way over to the right or left- whichever you are sewing on. Keep the cord sandwiched in there and keep the needle as close to the cord as possible without sewing over it.

13. Sew all the way down.
I didn't get a picture of my finished piping... darn!!!

14. Staple the piping around the chair on the back, on top of the first layer of fabric. Again, tuck and fold around the corners!

15. Cut black upholstery backing the same shape as the preexisting backing. Lay down over the back of the cushion. Optionally put cardboard tacking strip on the top- it hold the tacking in place, and gives things an ironed or finished look. Staple it all in place!

16. Put the cushion back on the frame of the chair, and screw it in.

You are done!!! Hooray!

Now go admire your work :),

P.S. For tips on painting wood furniture go HERE to the Dining Table and Chairs tutorial.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this! I just got a patio set from my mom who passed away and although the seats are fine, I don't want pink on my patio! I was going to re do the seats and back and I know I can do it, just put it off as I dont' "want" to do it! But you have inspired me and I will keep these instructions and I will do it...hopefully soon!


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