Wednesday, October 24, 2012

DIY Upholstered Chair

After lusting over a few beautiful designer linen chairs {found HERE}, I actually found a hidden gem on Craigslist that had some big potential. Given the plaid was about 20 years behind the times, and there was NO cushion... AND I had to convince my hubby to drive with me about 45 minutes to go pick it up....I had to look past all of that because I was able to grab this sucker for only $40!! Such a steal!

Unfortunately, I later found out that getting a cushion professionally made would have been over $100, so I was stuck with a big desicion. Either rack out the dough, or make it myself. Well, I decided to go with the second option. I got so excited when I found this good deal, so I couldnt bare to let myself spend $100 on JUST the cushion! That would have defeated the entire point of buying the chair in the first place! After googling a few tutorials on how to make a cushion, I had convinced myself that I could do it. I was going to commit to the cushion and never look back!

A trip or 2 later to Joanns, I found a great deal on foam. I got a little under 1 yard of 5 inch foam at HALF OFF! The whole piece only cost me $30 when it would have normally been $70/yrd. I also got my fabric half off with my handy dandy Joanns App on my iphone:) And  guess what - The cording I used was actually CLOTHESLINE! Instead of paying $4/yrd {like you would normally pay for trim or cording}, I paid $4 for 100 feet! I used this for the cording on the cushion as well as doubling it up to act as trim around the entire chair. The entire project ended up costing less than $100 including materials and the cost of the chair. Perfect!

And here is the { After }

(Scroll down for more pictures)

Now after finishing this project one might ask themselves - would I do this again? Well... I'll just say this. I would not wish to EVER do this again!! Reupholstering a piece of furniture is one thing, but putting in the time and effort to make the cushion as well? It was just exhausting. I hope to never have to do a big project like this any time soon, but hey, the outcome was totally worth it:)

I'm also not going to claim that my cushion looks perfect. Because it doesn't. And I'm not going to try and give you my tutorial on the cushion because there are some great blogs that will teach you much more than I can:) But what I will do is share the tutorials that I read and hope it helps you in your cushion making experience:) I will also give you my step by step guide to upholstering - because THAT I know how to do! 

Below are a few links that guided me along my {Cushion Making} Journey:

Little Miss Penny Wenny
Little Green Notebook
Design Sponge

And here is my basic Step by Step tutorial on upholstering a chair:

1. Start by ripping off the cording with some needle nose pliers. If you wish, you might want to keep the cording to measure out how much new trim you will need.
2. Next, carefully take off the fabric (also using needle nose pliers). Make sure to keep the fabric pieces because you will use them as a pattern to cut out your new fabric.
3. Either re-stain the wood on your chair, or sand and paint it like I did. I used multiple colors to give the chair an antiqued look.
4. Lay out your new fabric and place the old fabric pieces on top of your fabric to act as a pattern. Give yourself 1-2 inches of extra fabric around your pattern so you have room for mistakes. (you will eventually cut off the excess fabric)
5. Begin stapling the new fabric pieces in place where they now belong. I used a cheapo hand stapler, so my hands were hurting pretty bad towards the end of this step. Just a warning! :)
6. Once you are done stapling in your new fabric pieces, it's now time to trim the excess fabric and start hot gluing your trim. Make sure to have wide enough trim to hide your staples. I had to double up my cording in order to cover all my staples, but If your using normal decorative trim, you shouldn't have to do this.
7. Step back and enjoy! If you have a piece that requires reupholstering a cushion as well, visit the tutorial links above:)

And of course my sweet little Bailey helped me the whole way through! And when I say "helped" I mean pounced, chewed, and napped on the fabric and cording:) She kept me entertained to say the least!


  1. love love love. i've been wanting to tackle a reupholstery myself but am too intimidated. just sent two chairs to have them done and am now thinking maybe, just maybe, i could have done it myself. looks great! very restoration hardwareish!

    1. Thanks! But yes, it was not the best 2 days of my life I'll have to admit. Worth it in the end though! I'll show it to ya on Saturday

  2. The chair looks great and thanks for the clothesline tip! I will check that out for my projects.

    1. Thanks!! I ended up using just about all 100 feet of the clothes line for the chair. It worked out perfectly:)

  3. Love it....great transformation! I am your newest follower, thanks for sharing. Visting from No Minimalist Here.

  4. that looks like the coziest chair ever!!! i LOVE it! chic and cozy!

  5. Wow!!! your chair is so sweet. You did a wonderful job. I don't sewing or redoing large chairs and this weekend that's what I'm working on. Your chair is very lovely.

  6. You certainly have a flair for beauty!!Love this chair:)

  7. I can't see your cushion very well but what I see is beautiful. It's a gorgeous chair.......
    Over from Eliz. and Co

  8. Your chair looks wonderful! What a transformation!!

  9. Your chair is amazing! I would love to give this a try. Can you come over and help???

  10. THIS chair makeover is amazing! Thanks a million for the tutorial! I want to do one just like this! Thanks for the motivation!! xo

  11. I think it turned out fabulous!!! You did a great job.

  12. A hundred dollars?! That is a lot! I would do the same thing and make the cushion myself. But of course, I would be very careful while reupholstering the chair cushion. It is safer to have a helper hold the chair cushion in place when putting it back on the frame. Also, when removing the screws to remove the chair cushion, make sure not to remove any screws that are holding the frame of the chair together.

    Roxie Tenner

  13. Excellent Post, I like it
    Wide variety is also available

  14. I just required commenting & say maintain the quality work. I’ve bookmarked your blog just now and Ill be back to read more in the future my friend!