rustic design..............rural living...............time-worn beauty

Friday, June 17, 2011

Vintage Chair ReUpholster Before and After

I'm so excited to finally be able to say that I'm finished with the vintage chair that I showed you all awhile back! My first ever full scale upholstery job (while I was working on it I learned some helpful things by recovering these simple kitchen chairs and this cushion)!

My number one thought on doing upholstery yourself is, "It's hard, sweaty and frustrating but it's not as impossible as it looks and the rewards are worth it!"

Thanks so much to all those who encouraged me along the way and left sweet comments!!!!!!!! Also, big thanks to Sarah from Three Boys for all her great pointers and inspiration and to my mid 80's grandparents who learned how to upholster during the Great Depression (necessity is the mother of invention) and passed their tips on to me! 

I took these pictures in the unfinished upstairs of the farmhouse we rent. That is where I worked on the chair to keep little fingers and toes away from all the staples! I can't wait to finish our new house so I can show you pics of my chair in it's new home!


Before

This chair was a forgotten family cast off that was overdue to be thrown out. The frame was in good shape but as you can see, everything else was rough! 

After some googling, I decided I would give it a try! I kinda jumped in blindly, which I wouldn't recommend. I made plenty of mistakes along the way but I'm just happy that I was able to take it on at all during this crazy busy time for me!

 My husband had the tools I needed on hand, hammer, flathead screwdriver,  stapler, staples, scissors, plyers and wood stain. 

After





First, I pulled all the old fabric off taking care to label each piece in the order it came off so that I could put the new pieces back on in the opposite order. I did chang a few design things while putting it back together which goes to show that you can mix it up a bit.






I then used the old pieces as patterns for the new pieces. I would definately recommend adding some length to what you cut out, I was short in a few spots with was a pain to fix!


I pieced some batting together to replace the worn out original.


The primary sewing that I did was making the decorative welting cord (bias tape over rope I had on hand) and sewing right around the curve of the arms. I had the worst time getting these things done with my hand-me-down sewing machine and realized that I'm going to have to do something about it! 


Total cost:

Chair-free

Fabric -(which I feel lucky to have found at my closest Wal-Mart--which is 40miles away)
It was $13.75 for three yards which left me enough for a footstool or pillows. The pattern is "Ansley Park."

Staples - I used about a half a box which I'm estimating under $4, I had them on hand already from my husbands shop.

Wood stain, cord and batting I also had on hand

So, for under twenty dollars (and like a hundred hours in labor =) I have this fun and unique chair!



The back is especially unproffessional looking so I will be putting it toward a wall in my new house=)


I thought the wooden legs were pretty so I just wiped stain on them to help the really worn parts. The look is definately rustic but I'm good with that. Overall there are plenty of flaws but I'm just so happy that I have a new chair in a fabric I love, not to mention a glowing sense of accomplishment! If you're thinking of giving upholstery a try you should definately go for it!!!
~JC


Featured at...

Apartment Therapy



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Fridays For Love of Chairs





Partying at....

freckled laundry











Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special









Good Life Wednesdays

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Furniture Feature Fridays


three boys

56 comments:

  1. I think this looks great! I love the fabric you chose and think you are really brave to have chosen such a big project for your first try.

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  2. I am so in love with this transformation. And I truly love your crate turned side table. So clever!

    oxox
    Jennifer

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  3. Holy moly. You did a beautiful job transformation that chair. Such a pretty fabric too. Thank you so much for linking again and for taking a minute to leave a sweet comment today. :) You're welcome! xo

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  4. This was your first time? Seriously. I'm amazed and quite envious actually! I have a club chair that I would love to recover. Very inspiring! thanks for sharing!

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  5. What an amazing transformation!!! This chair turned out wonderful!!! And I think the back looks GREAT!!!

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  6. Wonderful job! I've been gathering my courage to tackle our sofa. I know I should probably start with something smaller, but the sofa REALLY needs some new fabric! ::Jill

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  7. Your chair turned out BEAUTIFULLY!! I really love that you just jumped in there and tackled this project :D Great photos and project info too...
    thank you for sharing!

    ~ Angela

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  8. Thanks SO much everyone for all your super sweet comments!!!! I'm so greatful to you all in blogland for your inspiration and encouragement!
    Bailiwick, I too have a sofa that is screaming to be recovered. I think I'm going to try to make a slipcover because it is really a gruelling process prying out the old staples--on this chair it was necessary because of the condition of the original.
    Cheers!
    ~JC

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  9. No guts no glory, so it looks like you have guts :) the chair looks incredible I really like the fabric. Nice staging too!

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  10. This is awesome! Such a great transformation!!!

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  11. Wow! That is gorgeous! The fabric is fabulous -- and from WalMart??? Amazing!

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  12. I definitely have a chair that needs to be recovered! I love the chair and would hate to part with it! Thanks for sharing this! I'm pinning it so I'll have it when I get around to that project!

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  13. That is amazing!!! I can't believe you had never done that before?! It gives me hope for the chair I have (that is not nearly as complicated as yours!! LOL!!) that I want to recover. Love the fabric too!!!!

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  14. i love the chair esp the fabric choice.
    I have a couple of chairs to recover just working up the courage to start.

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  15. wow a lovely transformation! stopping by from a beach cottage.
    cheryl x

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  16. I think you've done an amazing job! This really is a Cinderella story.

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  17. Goodness , you have done an amazing job on this chair ! Love it and your blog , You now have a new follower from Australia xx Ava

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  18. Amazing!!! Love the fabric too. (The Walmart in my town no longer sells fabric.)

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  19. What a total transformation...a great one! I'm bookmarking this for future reference...if I can ever work up the nerve to try to reupholster something like this. I love the chair style...Gainsborough I think it is. Lovely. Cute fabric too!

    Nancy

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  20. Wowee!! You've done an incredible job and I feel half completely inspired and half very envious of your incredible upholstery skills!! I've bought some books recently on how to do this so perhaps I will try to give it a go. I can't believe the before and after pictures of your chair. Awesome!

    I'm your new follower!

    Sarahx

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  21. You wouldn't think its the same chair! What a wonderful job you did. Love the fabric. Thanks for adding your link to Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays and joining the party.

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  22. I have two chairs very similar to this in my living room that are SO worn and I've been talking about needing them recovered for a couple years now. (I have throws over the arms to hide the fact that the foam and batting is oozing out) It's just so dang intimidating! Yours turned out beyond amazing. I'm 'pinning' the after pic for inspiration and motivation. Stunning.

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  23. I am inspired...I have an ugly chair I can't afford to have professionally done...yours looks AMAZING!!

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  24. Wow! You are truly a genius! You have inspired me to tackle a new project...and shop Walmart for fabric!! You have a fan in NY...

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  25. You are so brave to tackle a project like that! I am impressed. Wonderful kob and I am sure a whole lot of hart work. It looks great!

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  26. beautifully done - thanks for sharing - I'm currently sitting in a worn yellowish wing chair that is begging for new life but have yet to get my act in gear to do anything with it. Like your step by step directions. Maybe I'll start looking for fabric next - how many yards do I need to be seeking? rizamerk@cox.net

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  27. Theresa-- I'm so glad you found my chair helpful, I wish you all the best on your yellow chair!!!
    The length of your fabric depends alot on the pattern you choose and the chair size/style. I purchased the last three yards of this fabric and was really nervous about it being enough for my chair, thankfully it worked out fine. This pattern was AMAZING to work with because I didn't have to worry about matching which took much less fabric and was MUCH easier than alot of patterns!
    Here are several ideas for chosing the length of fabric needed: You could pull the chair apart and lay the pieces out to measure (make sure to add more for your cord if you will be making it) or you could drape fabric or paper over your chair to get a rough idea. If cost allows you could just over estimate by alot so that you have plenty of extra for mistakes, pillows or other projects. Hope this helps!
    ~JC

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  28. you certainly did do a nice job - looks amazingly professional! I checked out your earlier posts too and I'm inspired to maybe try to recover the seats on my dining room chairs. Their sad dark green 1980s fabric is ready to retire :) I absolutely love the youthful blue and white pattern you selected for your armchair. Must be the best seat in the house now! Happy 4th!

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  29. Just gorgeous! And what a great fabric choice! Well done!!!

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  30. This looks amazing! I can't believe it's your first big upholstery job. You have inspired me to keep on with my current project :) I'm a new follower and can't wait to see all of the things you do in/for your home!

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  31. No guts no glory right? You did a terrific job :)
    Your newest follower stop by for a blog visit.

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  32. I absolutely LOVE it! I want to be able to do a larger project like this SO bad. I've only done a chair cushion which included re-webbing the seat (http://diyprojectsbynina.blogspot.com/search/label/Chair%20Seat) but I'm so afraid of trying a project such as this. Do you have any pointers? I have a hand-me-down sewing machine too, lol. I have yet to try welting and honestly I'm afraid of messing it up but I want to try a project like this, I just have to get up the courage. One question though, how did you attached the fabric between the seat and back cushions and between the seat cushion and the arms???

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  33. Oh and I HAVE to bookmark this and now follow your blog!

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  34. That is a stunning chair. I love it.

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  35. Here from Better After. WOW!! You did a fantastic job. I'm a Kansas gal too. I'm putting your blogs in my fav :)

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  36. That looks amazing! And I think the back looks great...I can't believe you found that fabic at wal mart! It is so dang cute and inexpensive!

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  37. Here from Better After. I love the contrast of the rustic background. I've always wanted to attempt reupholstery, but I'm scared. I'm a newer sewer, perhaps that's why.

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  38. That just look perfect...
    I am dying to start upholstery but I am afraid it at the same time. Is there any resources (such as DVD or book ) to help please..
    Thank you
    Meral

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  39. I popped over from Better After.... I think you did a FABULOUS job! No need to place it's back to a wall -seriously! Love the fabric too. You are a natural. :)

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  40. Thanks everyone for the kind words!!!
    As far a books go, I was given one after I had already finished my chair!!! and I would give you the name but it's packed under a mountain of moving boxes.
    I would say any basic upholstery book would be helpful. Visiting with someone in you area who has done upholstering would be helpful as well. Sorry I can't be more helpful. I would say that starting out on cheap and un-centimental projects is a good idea, that takes some of the fear out of the process! Best of luck!
    ~JC

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  41. Amazing job you did !!!

    Stella

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  42. I love this! I'm planning to do a a blog series on things people have transformed from old to new. Would love to include if that's ok!

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  43. This is amazing! But I REALLY love your floors!

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  44. Thanks for your sweet comments! Do you want the secret formula of how those floors(which is in the vacant upstairs of the house we rent) were achieved?
    Well, over the span of around 80yrs hire sloppy painters and drywall installers and walla, distressed floors =) They are pretty cool aren't they and very unique!
    Cheers
    ~JC

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  45. WOW. I am in awe of your talent!! And SUPER jealous. That is just beautiful and I hope that someday I can upholster something half as nice as this!

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  46. What a fabulous job for your first try, you took a chair that most would have tossed in the trash and made it look new and fresh again for just a few $$$. Thank you for sharing your beautiful chair with us.

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  47. Visiting from Megan Brook Handmade, this is an amazing, amazing piece and craftsmanship. The fabric suits it so well, too!

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  48. What an amazing transformation!! I can't believe you got that gorgeous fabric at Walmart...and for $13!

    I have a chair in my shed that I bought at a yard sale to try my hand at reupholstering...but I'm so intimidated I haven't even given it a second look thus far. You've inspired me! :)

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  49. Looks great! I've been toying with the idea of doing a similar chair myself. I'm just scared!!! Seeing what you've achieved, I think I'm gonna give it a go. Thanks!

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  50. This is seriously amazing! What a transformation and I love the fabric you chose! Visiting from Three Boys!

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  51. Oh, my gosh! YOU are completely amazing. I really admire your approach in combining rustic pieces and timeworn finishes with fresh cottage fabrics. I'm inspired!

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  52. I found an old chair on Craigslist that has great potential but needs to be upholstered. I found this on pinterest and I wanted to say thank you for making it look so simple, you have given me hope that I will be able to do this myself! Your chair looks awesome and I hope mine comes out nearly as great!!

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I really enjoy your comments!!!! Thanks so much!!!!

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