A Reveal: Upholstery that took nearly 10 months

Today, I'm guest posting for Brittany of My. Daily. Randomness. while she's out of the country for business. Be sure to pop over there to check it out!


Last fall, I bought this chair and excitedly shared my plans to reupholster it with you.


What followed was a long drawn out saga in which I teased you all with the possibility of a finished product.

For 10 months.

  1. I ripped the whole thing apart.
  2. I called on you guys to help me pick the fabric.
  3. I gave you a peek of how far I'd gotten because I got tired of keeping it a secret.
  4. I bought a second project before finishing the first.
So, can you imagine how excited I am to show you this? 


It's finished! 

As I mentioned in this post, I was stuck on two things: the cushion and the trim, the covering-the-staples bit. I had picked up three boxes of decorative nails, but looking at them, I had no idea how I was going to get them close enough to actually hide the nail and the ugly seam along the top line of the chair. I was setting myself up for disappointment.

Last week, I stopped in at Fabricland in North York (which is closing, sadly, so everything is on sale for ridiculous prices) and found myself staring at their slim collection of trim. I pulled up my blog on my phone, found the fabric swatch post and examined my Varenna Stone fabric from Tonic Living as best I could on the tiny screen. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and snatched a trim off the shelf. 


I chose a simple silver, a cool trim to match the blue. 

Thank goodness - it worked.

And the cushion? Well, I just went for it. I had been a little uncertain about doing the cushion in the same colour; after all, it seemed like a lot of pattern in our little living room. But, I didn't have any other upholstery fabric and I really wanted to get this off my mind, out of the way, and all the ugly green fabric - which I kept to use as a template - in the garbage. 

Seeing it all together, I'm content.


It may not be as polished as what a professional upholsterer could do. There may be a few extra wrinkles and the seams may not last long. The cushion may fit slightly awkwardly in its cover. But this whole thing was an incredible learning experience. 

Will I do it again? Um... do I have much choice? Of course, I'll be doing this again, probably sooner rather than later, and armed with a whole lot more information and experience. But I think I might take a break for a while. Just a while.

-~*~-

Comments

  1. WoW! that's amazing! We were just given 2 matching wing back chairs and another similar chair to us from my in-laws. both chairs are in great condition but I hope to re-upholster them to match me décor. Did you re-upholster this one yourself??? I'm not sure if I could even do that!

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  2. It looks great! I have a few chairs that I have vowed to reupholster. I've been talking about it for months, too.

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  3. Nice! I have a chair half reupholstered because I'm stuck on a small part that actually would need me to sew something. It's been about 2 years...hopefully I remember how to put the rest together when I finally sew it!

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  4. Yes, I did! Right from ripping the John Deere green fabric off, to going crazy with a staple gun, to sewing together the cushion.

    I would not recommend doing this to a chair you care about, such as gifts from your in-laws... I went nuts on this chair partially because it only cost me $14 and if it didn't turn out, all I would have lost was approximately $70 (including the price of the chair and fabric costs) and a few hours of effort. If you're looking at reupholstering something with sentimental value or a chair you actually need in your house (we had others at the time), definitely consider a professional. Unless you have experience of course.

    That said, I would highly encourage dropping by a thrift store and finding an amazingly cheap chair to rip apart. It's a great learning experience!

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  5. Thanks Ashley! First steps is ripping the old fabric off. Do that and there's no going back!

    I'll be posting a couple tutorials over the next week or so if I can cobble them together from my MONTHS of info and photos. Hopefully, what I've learned will be able to help and inspire you!

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  6. What part is it? Perhaps I can help! Do you have a sewing machine? For the cushion - which was a b**ch to sew - I just had to go for it. There was no getting around it!

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  7. This is such an interesting project! I'm so glad that you put this up....would you be able to show us a step by step sort of deal on how to reupholster a chair like this? I saw a great piece at value village yesterday for $14.99...i really wanted to buy it but im not confident enough to try to revamp the chair. Please help! LOL

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  8. 1 more question....did you have to pay for sample fabrics from Tonic living?

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  9. a) If that chair had a shape you like and bones that seemed decent, GO BACK AND GET IT! ;) This chair cost me $14.99 at Value Village and was the perfect chair to learn on. Even if you bomb it, it's worth it!

    b) Yes! I'll be sharing all the info that's currently in my head about reupholstery over the next couple weeks. It's going to take a few posts, but yes! I am happy to help.

    c) You can email me for help too. I like emails. :)

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  10. Yes... It's $1 a swatch with a $2 shipping charge, but totally worth it. If you look really closely at my gallery wall, I framed some of the swatches I got and they look great! Worth the money so you get to feel the fabric and see it in real life too.

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  11. Oh, it's the cushion and there's a little piece at the front that needs a piece sewn. My husband is an awesome sewer but he refuses to give me any help on this one! I've tried to sew the cushion multiple times - it's a box cushion with piping around it - and end up ripping it all apart. I'll figure it out when I'm done my reno!
    Found your blog on houseblogging and I'm enjoying reading through it!

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  12. SO gorgeous. I love how you solved the problem with trim. And I love blogs for their real life timelines. I feel like it might have taken me the whole year, lol.

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  13. YES! Love this. And the exposed legs make a huge difference too!

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  14. Thanks Tanya! It's true! We get unrealistic ideas about how long things should take from all the HGTV shows. I guess my slacker timeline brings everyone back down to earth? ;)

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  15. Thanks!

    When I ripped the skirting off the original chair, I immediately loved the shape of it WAY more. I'm unlikely to get to the red one any time soon, but I think I'll at least be ripping off it's skirting. Like, maybe tonight.

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  16. Hmm... yup, just bite the bullet! You can do it! :)

    Thanks for reading! I'm glad you're enjoying it. :D

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  17. Congratulations! I can't believe this is your first upholstery job - thanks for the inspiration :)

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  18. holy crap! LOVE the chair! This seriously might be one of my favorite chair makeovers ever! Perfect fabric and your choice of trim was spot on! I need one in my house! Like they say, sometimes, things are worth the wait! Here, clearly they were!

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  19. So very impressed! I love the new fabric. And 10 months is no big deal - I have a pair of chairs that I bought last spring - as in Spring 2011 that I haven't touched yet. You're SO much better than me!

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  20. I love the reupholstery!

    I have two very similar chairs that were given to me FREE! Mine has the same T-shaped cushion bottom as yours, was it hard to sew up? I'm always working on a million different projects, so I know once I start they will be left in pieces for a little bit.

    I've also debated on just upholstering the cushion it to the bottom of the chair like this: http://www.google.com/imgres?biw=1048&bih=802&tbm=isch&tbnid=0HDvGppaQFXkZM:&imgrefurl=http://blog.timesunion.com/housethings/category/vintage/page/7/&docid=yoAIcXkDkg0o_M&imgurl=http://ny-image1.etsy.com/il_430xN.33794485.jpg&w=430&h=585&ei=-Jy2UZzVCOPB0AG02oDAAQ&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:8,s:0,i:104



    ps. definitely rip the skirting off the 2nd chair. I did it on the matching floral couches to my 2 tub chairs, and they just instantly made a difference!

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