That one time I fancied myself an upholsterer…

Every single time I’ve had a piece of furniture that I thought would look great in another fabric and searched professional upholsterers I have been gobsmacked at the prices for the service. $700 to recover a side chair? I may as well go out a buy a new side chair…so I did (for cheaper).

Now I do understand that it is a labour intensive job not to mention the cost of the fabric. But still…

Naturally I decided I would try to do it myself. I did a practice run on some old stools that I had and was pleasantly pleased with the result. Honestly all I did was cut fabric and staple it to the piece (there was no skill required for that particular project) yet I still gave myself “a job well done”.

Inevitably, because I was now an “expert”, I felt compelled to take a step up and move to an ottoman. I was ambitious in my plan and included diamond tufting. Now that sh*t is hard to do. It took forever, there was swearing involved but when it was done…beautiful!

Example of diamond tufting.

Emboldened with my newfound skill, I then set out on my most intensive project yet. My mission was to reupholster a Wing Back chair 😲 But not just in any old fabric or style. I wanted to make it look like a “deconstructed” chair. Restoration Hardware had an absolutely stunning collection of “deconstructed” seating and I was determined that I too could have one without the jaw-dropping price tag that went with it.

Deconstructed seating by Restoration Hardware.

This time around I was a little smarter with my game plan. I purchased some actual Upholstery tools, I upgraded my staple/nail gun plus I took my time selecting fabrics. I googled every video I could on the process of stripping and covering furniture. I scoured online selling sites for inexpensive wing back chairs. It took me almost a year to get everything together and could not believe my luck when I scored TWO wing back chairs for $20 for the pair!! Whaaaaat? They were very ugly but had good ‘bones’.

It looks like your grandma’s old chair!

The process of stripping the chairs sounds simple enough but let me tell you it was a gruelling task. To strip one chair took me 6-7 hours of wrestling with the existing staples. These chairs were made and finished well. They certainly don’t make ’em like that anymore! My hands were turned into aching claws.

It is cool to see how all the components of the chair and how it was put together. It gave me a new understanding of the build process.

Once the chairs were fully “deconstructed” I set about painting some of the exposed wood frame. Then I draped my fabrics choices over the arms, back and seat to see how it would all work together. After a few different layouts I settled on what I liked the best. Putting fabric back on the chair was much easier than taking it off. There was a lot of pulling, tugging and stapling but all in all it fun to watch it all come together. My least favorite part was the sewing of the seat cushion. It took three tries to get it right as I am not an expert sewer by any means. Lastly some piping was added to cover up those staples and voila!

Leopard print and plaid? Oh my!

I know this isn’t a look for everyone but I love it. It reflects my personality and taste for traditional, quirky and edgy.

Plaid and skulls

This project took months to complete and I learned the art of patience. Will I do it again? Probably not…😜

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