How To Reupholster A Chair

You can fix up an inexpensive flea market find by learning how to reupholster a chair.  Yard sales, flea markets, and even consignment shops are great places to find furniture cheap!  Yet, unless you know how to fix up the furniture to make it presentable, the great deals really don't do you much good.  In this article, you'll learn how to reupholster a chair and turn it into a one of a kind piece you can be proud of.

Materials needed to reupholster a chair:

  • Staple gun
  • Screwdriver
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Foam adhesive
  • Upholstery fabric (three yards for one chair)
  • 1" thick foam
  • Upholstery batting (three yards for one chair)
  • Cambric fabric (three yards for one chair)

How to reupholster a chair:

  1. Remove the seat.  The first step in learning how to reupholster a chair, is to take the chair apart.  Simply use a screwdriver to pry off the seat that is currently on the chair.  Then, use the screwdriver to remove any fabric and/or padding.  Set any screws aside for safekeeping.
  2. Cut the foam.  Cut the foam the same size as the seat.  Then, apply spray adhesive to one side of the foam and press it firmly in place on top of the seat. 
  3. Cut the upholstery batting.  Measure enough batting so that it will be large enough to completely wrap the top and sides of the seat.  Flip the seat foam side down, to make measuring the batting easier.  Cut the upholstery batting accordingly and flip the seat back to it's proper position.  Lay the batting on top of the seat.
  4. Mark the seat.  The next step in learning how to reupholster a seat is to properly mark the seat.  Use a pencil to mark the center point of all four sides of the seat.  Place the fabric on top of the seat, and cut a small notch in the fabric where the marks were made on the seat.
  5. Attach the fabric.  In one motion, pull both the batting and the fabric together so that they meet the pencil marks.  It is essential that you pull the fabric tightly.  There should be no gaps, puckers, or ripples in the fabric as you pull.  Now, use a staple gun to secure the fabric and batting in place at all four points of the seat.  Do not staple the corners at this point.  Leave the corner fabric hanging loose.
  6. Secure.  At this point, you should have the material in place.  Use the staple gun to staple all around the base of the seat.  At this point, it doesn't matter what the bottom of the seat looks like, as it will be covered with the cambric fabric later on. 
  7. Fasten the corners.  You're almost finished learning how to upholster a chair.  The next step is to fold the corner fabric and staple in place.  Again, remember that the fabric must be pulled very tight.  Pull the fabric diagonally, and secure in place with a staple gun.  Then, trim off the excess fabric.
  8. Attach the cambric fabric.  Attaching the cambric fabric is a completely optional step in learning how to reupholster a chair, but it will give your project a more finished look.  To attach, simply measure the fabric to the chair and cut.  Then, attach with a staple gun. 
  9. Reattach the seat.  The final step in learning how to reupholster a chair is to reattach the seat.  Use the screws you removed early to reattach the seat to the base. 
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