How To: Reupholster Furniture

Reupholstering furniture is an idea that seems impossible to most to do by themselves. The mere thought of it is daunting and frightening. However, with some simple sewing skills and tools, it is a very manageable task.

When choosing to reupholster a piece of furniture, start by examining it thoroughly. Take note of all the parts like the skirt, seams, and buttons. Are the seams sewn into their place, or are the stapled or tacked? It is important to take note of all of the construction involvedso that you can try to replicate it as best as possible. Take off the back or bottom first, and make a mental note or place a sticky note with a number 1 on it. Continue taking off pieces and labeling them so that you can reconstruct the piece the right way. Be careful when removing not to rip the pieces of fabric. All of these pieces that you take off of the piece of furniture become your patterns. Do not, however take the batting or stuffing out of the furniture. Once your chair is stripped of old fabric, take a look at the disaster in front of you. Yes, it is supposed to look that bad. Do not panic, it will all get better very shortly.

The next step is to pick the fabric. Get as imaginative as you’d like! Pick a fabric that is sturdy to withstand wear, but not too sturdy that you can’t work with it. A medium toughness should do just fine. Order more cloth than you measured from your pattern pieces just in case of a mismeasurement or mistake. Lay out all of your pieces on your new fabric and trace them, leaving an inch extra around each piece. When putting the pieces back on the piece of furniture, apply the pieces in the opposite order in which you removed them. The piece you took off last should be the piece replaced first. Using your staple gun, secure the piece of fabric on one side, then gently but firmly pull across to stretch the fabric to the opposite side. Repeat this process until the chair is recovered. The good thing is, if you make a mistake, just try again. Mistakes are easily fixed when reupholstering furniture.

This is a great way to challenge yourself, learn a new skill, and save tons of money on the cost of new furniture. It makes the possibility of remodeling a room much more doable when all you have to purchase is new fabric and decorations, not new statement furniture pieces. Try reupholstering! You may even find that you can do it like a professional.