January 13, 2014

How To | Reupholster A Ply Craft Lounger with Leather

If you have been around my blog for a while you have seen this chair a few times.  This chair is my all time best deal/find ever!  $10 at a garage sale just down the street from my house!  
Now before I move on with this post I will acknowledge that I KNOW this is not an ACTUAL Eames chair; I went to design school and am very aware of the difference.  This chair is a Plycraft "Eames Style" Lounger... one of a few different knock offs of the Eames.  For ease of describing this chair I have called it my Eames Lounge chair, and have been corrected in the comments on this blog... but I will continue to call it my Eames chair.  I love it and it is probably the closet I will ever get to a style chair like this.  Ok... I will get off of my soap box now, moving on!

As you had seen in previous pictures the seat had become really worn and the leather had started to rip.  Not only was it an eye sore, but my boys were starting to hide things in there!  I didn't want to ruin the foam so I finally bit the bullet and purchased a large hide of black leather.  Since this was is a Plycraft chair the screws to secure the cushions to the back are exposed {on an authentic Eames they are concealed} so it was easy to pop off the three sections.  Once they were off the hubs {yes the hubs and I did this project together... not typical when it comes to reupholstering} took out all of the staples and then I carefully ripped off the brown leather welting from a three pieces.  I wanted to reuse the piping for two reasons... 1. the brown against the black would look amazing and B. I didn't think my sewing machine would handle sewing leather welting.  

I only needed about 28 sqft of hide, but the only black leather that was local was double that.  Oh well... I will be searching for a Plycraft foot rest or maybe a different bench to use this for!  I cut out all of the pieces giving myself an extra 1/2-1" around the original.  The leather had been stretched so much I wanted to make sure I had enough to work with.
Next I reused the button and just covered them with the new leather.  I cut a small circle and snipped the edges all the way around.  Then I used fabric glue to secure and pulled the leather as tight as I could.  It took a few minutes of me holding it to dry and stay in place.  If there was any excess leather I trimmed it, but also knew that as soon as I pulled it through and it was tight it would stay.
When we had taken the original leather off there was fabric tape on the back where the tufted buttons were so I mimicked that with some fabric athletes tape.  After laying the leather piece out over the foam, I carefully eyeballed the location and poked my long upholstery needle through.  I found my in a set at Joanns.  Once the needle is through the wood bottom, pull all of the string through and staple several times in different directions as tight as possible.  The leather will create its own tufting. 
Once all of the buttons are secured pull leather around the edges and staple.  This took two people; one to hold the piece and the other to staple.  I think because the pieces are not flat it was hard to hold the leather tight and staple at the same time.  Since leather is so stretchable it was easy to pull and fold around the edges as needed, but still have a pretty smooth edge.
Once the leather was stapled we went back around with the piping.  Again one person held the piping and the other stapled it in.  This process made the entire chair no sew!  And since we were reusing the welt it was already perfectly shaped and at the perfect length!

I am so excited about the way it turned out! It seriously is a brand new chair 
Plycraft | Eames Lounge chair... I don't care what you all say!


Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door said...

That was no easy task and you did a wonderful job!! It turned out perfectly.

Donnamae said...

You did a wonderful job! Looks brand new! I'd send you my Eames look-a-like footstool...but I'm still using it! ;)

Donnamae said...

You did a wonderful job! Looks brand new! I'd send you my Eames look-a-like footstool...but I'm still using it! ;)

Amber Martin said...

The chair looks amazing. I am impressed with your upholstery skills.

dspence said...

I have the same chair and have been wanting to get it reupholstered for some time now. Thanks to your walk through, I think I;ll try it DIY!

Anna [DirectionsNotIncluded] said...

You are amazing. Not only is that one of the best finds ever, you did an great job on the reupholstering.

Katrina ChicLittleHouse said...

Looks fantastic!!!

Andrea said...

Ok, seriously impressed. You did an awesome job on this. Love this chair!

angietrue said...

Wow I was scared when I read reupholster and leather. I dont know if I could do it but you made it look good and simple. Great job.