If you remember our living room before it was looking a little dated. And lots of our furniture was sad, sad, sad. Everything needed a facelift (see our other makeovers at the bottom of this post). But one thing that was driving me crazy was our yellow rocking chair. It was big and the slipcover did not fit the chair. We debated on making a new slipcover for the chair but decided we really wanted two different chairs in its place. So we sold the old yellow chair for $35, then found this little beauty on the classifieds for only $30. Can you see the potential? Here is how to reupholster a chair for yourself!
Let me give you an idea…
Great right! But back to the chair before because it needed some love, just look at the arm, so sad…
Eric wanted to have the chair professional redone but I told him that would not save us money and I could do it!! But he did have his doubts… After everything was said and done, he was amazed! I think this was one of the first times he was truly amazed by one of my projects.
Back to reupholstering a chair. After reading up on how to upholster a chair, here is a great tutorial on how to reupholster an armchair, I was ready to give this a try. I was a little nervous… I took lots of pictures of the chair to remind me of how everything was before.
Next, I started to remove all the old fabric and let me tell you, this was the longest part. Why do you ask? Because there were about a million staples to remove. Here all the staples I removed from the chair.
But as I was removing the fabric, I took tons of pictures to again remember how everything went together. And as I removed the fabric I would label the fabric with a marker plus I added arrows in some places to let me know which way was down.
After everything was removed I went and bought my supplies. Some links in this post are affiliate link for your convenience, click here to read our full affiliate policy.
HOW TO REUPHOLSTER A CHAIR
Everything else I had on hand or was reusing from the chair before. Now that I had my supplies I could start redoing my chair.
First, I sanded the legs of the chair and gave them a fresh coat of stain. After staining, I let the chair sit overnight then wiped the legs with a damp cloth to make sure no stain was going to get onto the fabric.
While the chair was sitting, I cut out the new fabric using the old fabric as a pattern. TIP: If you plan on adding new/more batting to the chair, make your new fabric bigger than the old fabric. I added more batting to the whole chair and wished I had more fabric in some places.
After cutting the fabric I then went to the sewing machine to sew my piping. I did use all the old cording because it was in good shape. I also sewed all the fabric pieces together that needed to be sewn before I started assembling the chair. I again sewed my cushion they same as this one with a zipper enclosure. TIP: If using upholstery thread, use upholstery thread only on the top and regular thread for the bobbin thread…
Next, I added some new batting to the arms because remember there was a hole before. I added one layer of the 1″ foam batting then a layer of 1″ quilting batting to both arms.
Now I was ready to start stapling my new fabric to the chair the same way it was removed. I used my Bostitch Air Compressor with staple gun (bought mine cheaper at Lowes). TIP: Put lots of staples back into the chair, there are places that I wish my chair has some more staples…
Along with the old batting, I added another 1″ quilting batting everywhere to make the chair feel fuller.
Here are my added buttons.
An easier way that I found to add the fabric and make it stay in place, was by using pins then stapling the fabric in place.
The cardboard tack strip is used to give the fabric a crisp line. And I really liked this stuff.
There where parts of the chair that used nail tack strips to attach the fabric. And like I said before use the metal ones… Because I found that the cardboard ones from Joann are crap and I do not say that very often. I ended up reusing the old ones because they were better.
Also an easier way, I found, to attach the nail tack strip was to staple the top than the bottom. Then add the nail tack strips to the sides.
The chair took me about 6 days from start to finish. What do you think?
Look at the updated wood…
And here is the cost breakdown:
chair – $30
fabric – $56
staples – $3.50
batting – $27 (I have extra for my other chair)
supplies – $29 (nail tack strip, cardboard tack strip, thread, zipper, & buttons)
TOTAL COST – $145.50
What do you think of my chair makeover? Does anyone else need to DIY an upholstery chair? Or do you want to?