Friday, February 15, 2008

Diary of a Wannabee Upholsterer

I'm going for it, girlfriends! Yes, I got sick of sewing the slipcover for the wingback and I just started ripping fabric off. Actually, it was a little more deliberate than that. I have been reading upholstery books, and drooling over reupholstered furniture, and in my secret fantasy life, I do this for a living. So what do I have to lose, after all, it's just a cheapo thrift store chair?

A little bit of skin, actually. All this prying of staples is a little rough on the hands. And what happened to my beautiful 20-year old hands?!! 10,000 hand washes after having children, that's what. I digress.
So I started this project by taking off the old fabric. I began with the piece under the chair, then did the back, and now I'm working on the sides and wings. I'm saving the old fabric to use as a pattern for the new fabric. I was taking pictures of every step so I could see how to put everything back on. My memory isn't so hot these days. And while I was snapping off pictures, I thought maybe I should share this with you as I go instead of at the end of the project (which really, knowing me, could take another year).

Ok, so as I take these pieces off, I make sure to label what piece it is, what direction it goes in, and what side it goes on. That way I won't get confused if I forget about this project for a while.

So that's it for now. I'll keep you posted as I go.

And if you have a furniture fetish like me (that will get all kinds of great Google hits, I'm sure), go drool at Basiques Boutique blog. Just click on the "Upholstered Furniture" section on the right side. Check out the Painted Furniture section too. That Miss Heather and her momma are so very creative!


The Feathered Nest said...

What a great idea to actually write on the old fabric!! I worked for a drapery and upholstery shop for awhile and that is exactly what they would do is use the old fabric for a pattern to cut the new! I love that you've written on the old and also taken photos. I can't wait to see your progress!! Maybe you'll make me brave...I have a few wingbacks that I'd love to recover! xxoo, Dawn

Anonymous said...

Oooooh so inspirational!

I have some furniture needing major attention... sanding, staining, a new cushion, etc etc etc. I really should see to it this summer. Hopefully you'll be finished by then so I can follow your tutorial!! I love staining but I've never tried reupholstering, but not for lack of an interest!

I'm glad you decided to share!

Martha said...

Ohmygoshohmygosh OH MY GOSH!@!!!!!

I just looked at those photos! That wing chair with the animal print and the flowers!!!!!!!!!! I think I NEED that in my life!

You go ON with your bad self, girl!!!


Martha said...


Now I just went and looked at the rest of the upholstered pieces!!!! I'm in LOVE! Heath, you always find the coolest stuff!

I can't wait to see your chair - I've got one (I lied. There are 5)in the basement right now that I want to have done (I really don't care to do them myself, but I may have to because, well.....ka CHING :)

Thanks for the eyecandy! said...

My mom was an uphosterer when I was in my teens (long time ago) way back in the days before hot glue guns. It is easier to finish a chair now, if you hot glue the trim on over seams instead of using tack strips like she used to. As much as I hate to sew, I have been able to tacle a piece here and there with the help of a staple gun and glue gun. Good luck with it!!

Vintage Hunter said...

Good luck! I *wish* I had decided to try reupholstering the two chairs I'm making slipcovers for. I've been working on them (slowly bit by bit) for over a month now and they are still not done. What a pain! Next time (if there ever is a next time) I'll go the upholstery route for sure!

Hillcrest Acres said...

I can't wait to see the finished project. You just might give me the inspiration and "kick in the butt" to try and tackle our wing chair.

Chris Kauffman said...

wow good for you for going for it, can't wait to see it done.

Tracey said...

I admit to being a wannabee upholsterer too. I took the first stab at it yesterday with a teeny tiny project of a footstool. Come by and check it out. Happy weekend!

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