Chair Upholstery: My Most Badass DIY Project Yet!
Re-Upholstering An Ugly Chair
It’s been burning in the reminder list on my Iphone for a good month now. Today i got some surge of modivation to complete everything i’ve been meaning to do, so i finally went down to walmart and got upholstery fabric! The fabric is to re-upholster this hideous cherry red office chair that i had in my old bedroom. Now that my room is new and purple and white and updated, i just couldn’t bring that chair into my room until something was done about it. Finally, i can stop using a kitchen chair to do homework on in my room! I can’t completely take credit for this DIY, since i originally got the modivation from Pinterest on my DIY Board, from this exact pin http://thecraftingchicks.com/2012/02/office-chair-facelift.html. Although her advice is kind of limited, since not all of us are given the privilege to have our chair seats instantly and conveniently pop out and pop back in. This article did help me get the modivation to do it.
I’ll stop talking. Aaaaand, Cue Photos!
So First I went to Walmart and got my fabric. If you don’t know the texture of a fabric good for upholstery, ask a store associate that looks like they sew. They’ll direct you to fabric that holds better, stretches better and overall works better on furniture. If you try to get a thin fabric, chances are it will be see through, feel cheap and not look professional. At my Walmart, Upholstery fabric runs about 6-8$ A yard, and the one i purchased was $5.60, since i only got 3/4 of a yard (which is enough for my huge office chair).
This is the nasty *** chair i refused to put in my princess bedroom. I don’t care how comfy it is… it just doesn’t fit. It’s got stains, it’s itchy…and theres a foreign chocolate like smudge in the corner.
Here is the fabric pattern i purchased from Walmart. As you can see it’s black with white flowers. A huge rule to room design is you have to have something black in the room. It can even be photo frames on a wall. Black balances a room, and without it, a room will seem incomplete. Though my room was designed in violet, white and gold tones, i have a black ruffle headboard for balance purposes, and now a black and white patterned chair to match! I highly reccomend getting a patterned fabric for these projects, because were not professional chair upholsters and we make mistakes. Black and white with a crazy print masks your mistakes, and is also a bold statement without being too LOOK AT ME IM A COLORFUL PATTERNED CHAIR. This fabric makes sense.
Most websites you will read about chair upholstery is telling you to remove the cushions. In a perfect world, that would work out great! But most of us don’t know how to disassemble a computer chair…and I’m not willing to try and then be stuck with not only an ugly chair, but a broken one. I did my chair perfectly fine without removing things. I also didn’t use a pattern. I simply just cut two large enough rectangles of fabric and placed it over the chair, then started stapling until rounded edges got bulky, then i would trim to however much i needed. It turned out just fine. I was also able to tuck in fabric into the chair’s “plastic meets fabric” areas, so there was no need for 100% accurate folding.
You’re obviously going to need some supplies for this project, meaning a staple gun and staples. This is what i got at Walmart, a 3/8” 10mm box of staples (this size fits in my gun i purchased). This box was approx. $2.50
I got a staple gun from the company “Stanley” for $9.00, and it worked perfectly well. It was the cheapest one there and was said to be for “little projects”. Like i said before, were not the children of Martha Stewart and Chuck Norris, so we won’t need to spend over $10 for something we’ll probably use once. NOTE: you can’t use a regular stapler with this and especially not a mini stapler. I tried, and it didn’t work. Regular staplers don’t have the power to propel a staple into something fast enough and deep enough.
Here’s a close up shot of how i stapled the fabric to the chair. This is located on the top portion of the chair, where it’s most seen. Because of this, i tried really hard to get it to look professional. I was able to tuck some fabric underneath the plastic, which made it a lot more stable and easier to secure. Try to see if your chair has some leeway to pushing fabric into it, because it helped me a lot. To get a good angle, your’e going to need to flip your chair over, onto the floor, onto it’s back, ect. so don’t be afraid to move it around in order to get better angles to it. You absolutely will need to do this, because our arms aren’t gumby arms and if we don’t, we’ll be stuck firing all our staples into the same position watching them pop back out at us wondering why it’s doing what it is (were hitting it at the wrong angle!). Honestly, don’t worry if the bottom looks sloppy. Nobody cares, and only you will know! The only thing that matters is the top and the sides.
The whole process took me about an hour, but time flies faster when you’ve got music playing! Here’s the final product on how my chair turned out!