February 2, 2012

How To: Reupholster A Club Chair

Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments about my chair!  The color catches my eye every time I walk into my room and the pillows just make me smile!

So many of your have told me I have given them the courage to tackle a reupholstering project they have been hesitant to try; so I thought I would help out with a few pictures and my step by step process.  Even my dad decided to take on reupholstering my mom couch after he saw my wingback chair make over!

These chairs were my grandmothers.  After talking to my mom for a bit she purchased these chairs from a model home sale way back in the late 60's!  Sometimes I think about all of the furniture my grandparents had that I thought was so outdated.  But now I would pay lots of money to have it!  

As I had stated before, these are the tools of choice for me.  Sam from Leave The Next Up To Me sent me a link to a upholstery staple remover that she likes!
  One was ordered and I will do a review when I tear into the next chair! Thanks Sam!

For the most part you can look at the piece and see how it was put together.  It is important to remove the items as they were installed... everything is layered over each other!  This chair had a skirt on it so that came off first.

Then the back panel was next.  This was the same for my wing backs... so I am going to guess this is standard in most upholstery pieces.

An ode to the 60's original fabric!

Once the back was off it was time to take the ouside right and left pieces off.  Remember to label each piece as your remove it and even label where that weird piece {you will see when I show you how to cut out the pattern} was stapled to.  It will REALLY help when you get to putting the chair back together!

Once all of the fabric pieces are removed you are left with the shell.  I try my best to reuse any and all pieces I can from the original.  Fortunately for me I have not had to replace anything major for any of my projects. 

To cut out the pattern pieces in the new fabric I work with laying out the new fabric face down and then laying the old piece face down on the new. See the weird little tale... that is where I am suggesting you label where it was stapled to... after a few days you will start to forget!  To get the most out of the fabric I like to lay all of the pieces out first before I cut.  That way I might be able to squeeze a small arm piece in between two larger pieces and not waist any fabric. 

If you see where the old stitch is {this is the cushion that I ripped apart} it was made with just a quarter of an inch seam allowance.  I need more that that!  So I eyeballed another 1/4" to give myself an full 1/2" seam allowance.

Since I have two chairs to redo, I folded my fabric and created two layers of fabric to cut through.  Because of this linen weave material I used pinking sheers.  Wow my hand hurt when I was done, but it was needed so the fabric would not fray when I worked with it.  

I thought I was going to need a lot more fabric for these chairs then I actually did.  I estimated about 6 yards for one chair!  But it turns out I only needed 7 for both!! I still have to make some more welt for then next chair.. there is 16 yards of welt on just one chair!  But that doesn't take a lot of fabric to make.  I wish I could tell you a super simple way to estimate fabric needed, but I just guestimate.  I am sure there are guidelines to be found on the internet!

There is not much sewing when it come to reupholstering.  The cushions will have to be sewn, and it will a slight knowledge off sewing and working with welt and zippers.  I still don't think my cushions turn out as good I would like them... but they are getting better!  The actually chair only has this little part sewn and the a little bit of welt to the arm.

Again labeling is important!  You will assemble the chair in the reverse of how you removed it starting with the last piece first.  So for this chair it was the seat then the right and left inside arms.  You can see me using my super professional tool to get the fabric through the seams!

Next is the outside.  To create this seamless look it takes a few tools.  Cardboard and scary nail strips.  The cardboard is never useable after you rip off the old fabric, so I just cut some from what I have laying around the garage.  First the top is stapled.  
{Sorry for the glare in the pics... it was late and the only light was the obnoxious fluorescent in the garage}

Then I reused the scary nail strips.  they are inserted at the edge of the fabric facing you and then the fabric gets folded under and the nails get hammered into the wood frame.  

The bottom and the back then get stapled to the frame.  Repeat on the other side.

Then the back panel {the last piece}.  It attached by the same card board method that was used on the side up top and then two nail strips on each side.

The last step is to apply a welting on the bottom to finish it off. I just staple this to the bottom of the frame.

As you can see there was a skirt on the original chairs that I had stapled up at one point so you wouldn't see the blue poking underneath the slipcover.  I opted to leave the skirt off since I think it made the chair look too fussy!

Ok... now take the blankets and slipcovers off of your old chairs and get to work!


modern jane said...

You did it a gain Tiffany! Awesome! I swear, I think you can do anything!:)

Lauren said...

Great job! I love that you used a spatula in this process :)

pam {simple details} said...

Amazing job, Tiffany! Perfect spot for your beautiful pillow!

Judy said...

Very impressive. Great tutorial as well. I am looking for a chair on Craigslist to reupholster.

Sam, Leave The Nest Up To Me said...

Great job! Love the texture of the fabric.

And I was the one who recommended the Berry Staple Remover:

Your hands will thank you later, I promise!

navy and orange said...

I'm VERY impressed!

xoxo navy & orange

Andrea said...

Love this tutorial. I have tried my hand at upholstering once and it was a massive failure. Maybe I'm ready for round two now!

Lisa - A Room with A View said...

Amazing job, Tiffany, and the color is perfect and so fresh. Did you use new batting for the chair? I am inspired.

{Hi Sugarplum!} said...

That is amazing!!!! I love the fabric choice, and you make it seem so easy and doable...but I don't think I'm ready for something like this! :)

Rebecca said...

(Breath in, breath out...)

I started following you after your rehopolstered (sp?) wingback chair awhile back from Addicts Anonymous-and LOVE your blog...this second chair and all the detail pics of 'how-to-...well...you're giving me the guns to get ready to do MY wingback chair pretty soon!.....EEEEEKK! :D

I'll let you know if I ever get a moments breath to do it-but, seriously-thanks for the step by step advice, as well as the 'reality' of the 'wingin' it you do-as that's truly the kinda decorator I am too...flyin' by the seat of my pants and prayin it all turns out-AWESOME!

Anonymous said...

I was looking at my chair today and its really getting worse for the wear....... Really tempted to do this but it seems like quite the daunting task... hmm.

jeanettemattioni said...

I've had a few chairs reupholstered professionally, and they always say 7 or 8 yards of fabric! Obviously they are not trying to be conservative--great job on the chair!

Anonymous said...

Wow, very cool. Thanks for sharing.

Callie said...

Thanks for this post! It helped me finish my club chair reupholstery so I gave your blog a shout out in my post! :) http://house-capades.blogspot.com/2012/08/ringo-club-chair.html

Tanya said...

Great step-by-step. I think I will take pictures at every step of the way when I disassemble my $5 chair to reupholster it. I'm so excited. Now to find the perfect fabric!