Archive for the ‘Upholstery’ Category

When the time came to move our first daughter to a toddler bed, I decided to be absolutely ridiculous and insist on making one ourselves.  At nine months pregnant, my family would come over and find me furiously upholstering an insanely heavy bed frame made out furniture grade plywood.  One of my many mistakes was to only follow a handful of the directions I found in the one upholstery book that I bothered to pick up.

My super helpful father-in-law cut out the back piece according to a pattern I made out of cardboard.  My mother-in-law and I took that same pattern to UFO in San Diego to have foam cut.  Why do I always feel the blood drain from my face when they tell me the price of foam!?  While we were gone, my husband and his dad finished piecing the bed together only to have to take it apart again to transport it to our house for upholstering.

I squatted and kneeled and laid on my side on the laminate floors of our family room for weeks attempting to upholster that bed around my giant belly.  Little green flecks of velvet were everywhere.  My dad (who lived next door) came over just to shake his head at me and occasionally offer a hand.  My mom (who also lived next door) came over to watch our almost two-year-old, so that I wouldn’t have to keep moving her off the bed frame in order to get the fabric tighter.

I’m still not 100% happy with how the tufts turned out, but overall I love the piece.  It means a whole lot to me that at one point or another in the process of making this piece we had the help of both sets of grandparents.  When our last baby grows out of the bed, my plan is to add some legs and make it into a little reading sofa for the girls’ room.  This piece is here to stay!

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Quite a while ago, I found this little antique child’s barrel rocking chair on craigslist.  I think I paid $10 for it.  I have been meaning to clean it up and recover the cushion and I’ve finally gotten around to it.  Here are the photos of today’s project.  Click on any of the photos for further description of what I did.

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I have this antique table and chairs set that probably still technically belongs to my parents, but thankfully does not go with their current decor.  I’ve been using it since my college days and I still love it. They bought it when I was about 10 years old, so I’ve eaten at it for over 20 years now. Wow.

Over the years that my family has owned these pieces, the chair cushions have been dressed in many different fabrics. In the 80’s, it was a lovely floral print.  My aunt had them for a while and used a textured forest green fabric, that I miss, but it was very worn when I replaced it. After I got married I used some yellow tropical looking napkins from Anthropologie to cover them.  The Anthro napkins were just the right size in case you are looking for fabric for similarly sized seat cushions.

Today its overcast and its suppose to start raining. So, I’ve decided its time for an indoor project! It has only been 9ish months since I recovered them last, but silly me, I covered them in a solid teal fabric that shows everything. Yuck!  So, here we go.

Here is the icky chair at the beginning.

The Before Photo

To get the seat cushion off, I’ll just flip the chair over and push it out and off.  My chairs don’t have any screws holding the seat cushion frame to the chair frame, so I don’t need to bother with that.  If yours do, just figure out where the seat frames are screwed on to the frame of the chair and use the appropriate screw driver.  I have found that these screws are usually located in the corner areas.

Underneath the Chair

While the seat cushions are off, I’ve decided to use some Old English scratch cover and some Scott’s Liquid Gold (because I already had them in my cleaning supplies) on the chair frames.  Its lovely to find hidden crumbs stuck in between the chair back and where the cushion normally sits. Lovely.

Cleaning Supplies

I am also using this opportunity to push the front seat pieces together in places where the’ve been working their way apart.  Since I do not have a rubber mallet, I’m putting some rags in between the chair and the hammer.

The Separating Chair Frame

Hammering Back Together

I’m using a yard of Amy Butler fabric that I bought on Etsy.com.  And because of how hideous the last fabric became and because of how much I love this new fabric, well, I’ve decided to cover the fabric with plastic.  I know you are shocked.  Repulsed a bit maybe?  Since I couldn’t find whatever plastic they used back in the 60’s to cover fabric furniture, I bought a clear shower curtain from Walmart for $6. I know that some of my friends and family will think this is tacky, but you know, I’d rather have “easy to clean” at this point in my life (with #3 on the way). And, I don’t sit on my dining chairs naked most of the time and I am not wearing mini-skirts, so the sticky thing won’t bother me either. So there. I’m going to do it.

Amy butler Fabric & Shower Curtain

Before I can attach my pretty new fabric and lovely shower curtain plastic, I need to take off the old fabric. I don’t always do this, but because I am attaching two new fabrics I feel its necessary this time. I start with the flathead screw driver, but I end up mostly using some little pliers.

Removing the Old

Two Old Fabrics & Lots of Staples

It has only taken me 2 hours, with potty-training breaks and nap times and lunches made and eaten included, to get all the old fabric and staples off.  This is definitely the most time-consuming step.  And, I’m off to change a diaper…

You might want to use gloves when you remove the old fabrics. I have a nice little baby blister on my right ring finger from gripping the pliers.

The Baby Blister

Now on to the fun part!

I’m making sure to clean the surface on which I am cutting the fabric and shower curtain. I don’t want to get any lunch crumbs in between the two that I will have to look at for the next year or two or three.

Cutting the Fabric & Plastic

I am not bothering to iron or steam anything before attaching the fabrics to the seat frames. Pulling them tight when I staple them on should do the trick and save me a whole lot of time.

As you can see, I’m using a whole lot less staples this time around.  The amount I used last time was excessive and only made removing that fabric more of a chore.

Pulling & Stapling

Hammering down the staples helps when they aren’t as flush as you’d like.

Hammering Down the Staples

After the fabric is all stapled on, I like to trim the excess fabric and plastic. It doesn’t need to be perfect.

Trimming the Fabrics

One chair cushion covered!  Someone else is helping me admire it. She’s already blown on the plastic and made toot sounds. See how much fun covering your furniture in plastic can be!  On to the next three…

One Down, Three to Go

I’m done! Four chairs recovered and its still not raining outside. Oh well, it is windy and cold and not a great outdoors day anyway.

All Four Chairs

I wish you luck on all your rainy day projects!

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