Reupholstering Chairs; Intimidating For Good Reason


Does anyone remember these chairs? The last time I blogged about them was back in February. I was trying to get myself motivated to start working on them.  I believe I called them intimidating and apparently for good reason. Everything about these chairs was as hard as it looks. At times I was ready to boot them to the curb.

When I started this project, my plan was to share my step by step process. Somewhere in between stapling fabric for the third time, resewing pieces and pulling out my hair, I got a little lost in my step by step process. What I will do is share some things that worked and didn’t work along the way.

The absolute most important part of this process was to take apart the chair carefully and study each piece and how it was put together. I tried to keep every piece in tact as much as possible and I took several pictures along the way. I then used the pieces I took apart as my pattern. Even with all of the carefulness, I found myself referencing my pictures and thankfully a second chair that was still put together.

Did anyone else think memory foam looked easy to cut? Yeah, me too! Cutting memory foam was something I expected to take a few min. Unfortunately it DID NOT! I bought an electric knife to cut it like I watched on several YouTube videos. My YouTube video would have included me throwing a mini tantrum, in which I chucked the foam across the room. It felt kind of good and I now understand why my boys do it. At least foam isn’t breakable!

I learned how to sew piping back in my post bring on the piping. And I am not lying, sewing the actual piping is probably one of the easier parts if you have a piping foot. However, I quickly learned that sewing double piping is a whole other beast. I felt beast was the proper term to use as I was definitely starting to feel like one. By this point in the project I was grunting and pulling out hair! HA! I am thinking it isn’t meant for a first timer. I am hoping to get the hang of it after a few more attempts. Well I can hope anyway!!

Of course in any project there is always the unexpected element that goes wrong. I have used a staple gun probably over one hundred times. I went to staple on my fabric on the back piece and I learned this chair is made of a HARD wood! The staples didn’t want to go in all the way. I ended up purchasing a staple gun at Joanns with tension control in the upholstery section. It seemed to do the trick.

Thank goodness there are sometimes things that unexpectdly go right! Fabric covered buttons are so fun and easy. I bought mine at Joann’s Fabric. When buying fabric covered buttons, get the plastic buttons not the metal. The metal buttons kept popping apart and they didn’t hold together as well as the plastic buttons.

Now if only the tufting went as well as the fabric buttons. I think my mom got concerned for my well being at this point and offered to help. I am not kidding when I said I was turning into a beast! She ended up sewing a button on the back of the tufts to help them be deeper tufts. Moms are fantastic, aren’t they??

This project has proved to be one of the most difficult I have ever attempted. And I am so happy that it is finished and officially off my to do list. So are you ready to finally see the finished project? Drum roll please……

yellow barrel chairs 2 Barrel Chairs

Barrel Chair with pillow

These chairs are currently available in Dysart at Custom Creations by Sheri. I met Sheri at the Backroads Vintage Market. She is a professional upholsterer that does immaculate upholstery work. Maybe the next time I run into a pair of chairs like these I will just call Sheri instead of pulling my hair out!



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