Oh Snap

Friday, April 29, 2011

OK, I need your help friends.  For about a month now, we have had a half upholstered chair sitting in our sun-room.  The plan is for me to recover it.  Do I know anything about upholstery?  No, but that never stops us does it?  The problem was removing the old fabric.  I have spent countless hours working on the removal and was still less than half way.

So the other evening, I told Mr. that if I could get the fabric off, I could easily recover the chair myself.  What was I thinking?

He reached for his heavy pliers and in ten minutes the fabric was off.

Crud.  What do I do now?  Have you upholstered a chair before?  This one has a channel back.  Can I change it to tufted?  Help.me.please.


In other news, congratulations to Janell 
and all of the incredibly talented
bloggers behind House of Fifty.

Also, congratulations to
my blogging friend Sherry
  for her feature in this months
Better Home & Gardens.

Enjoy your weekend!


  1. You need to talk to my friend, Shelley, stat:



  2. miss mustard seed has a viedo on this

  3. Husbands ARE good for something . j/k haha! I have the same chair sitting in my storage building, also naked. I'm not quite sure what to do with it either!

  4. I agree. Go to Miss Mustard Seed. She has terrific step by step videos. Yes you can change a channel back to a tufted. You need some more padding to smooth it out, and a really long needle. Can't wait to see you work your magic. Thanks for sharing.

    PS. I've had a half upholstered wing-back chair sitting in a corner of my living room for far too long, too.

  5. Three Boys....just did a post on her chair and she listed books she used....I'll email you the link....I have done some small upholstry jobs, nothing this big though! I am sure you can figure it out!! My best advice is take your time....Rome was not built in one day!!! I personally am looking forward to seeing the outcome of this!!!

  6. Honestly, I know nothing. I would take it to a pro:) Happy weekend!

    Amy R.

  7. That is exactly what my husband does best....demolition! Wow, I wouldn't even know where to start. I did hear that you are supposed to take the removed fabric and use it as your pattern. Also seems like you should be able to tuft it by placing the placing the padding where you want and need it to be. Good luck on this one Rene. You can do it!!

  8. Oh, dear friend. I am of no help but I know you can pull this off. Can't wait to see. Happy Weekend!

  9. oooh this is a good project Rene. Can't wait to see what you do with this one! I'm sure you'll make it beautiful!

  10. Thanks for your votes of confidence everybody! I'm thinking Amy might have the best suggestion, but I really want to at least try it. Neavostitch & Vintage Vine, thanks for the links! I'm sure they will come in handy.


  11. I'm pretty confident that you have the ability to do this, Rene. I've heard a lot of people recommend this book:


    Once you master upholstering, can I send some pieces down your way? :)

  12. Oh my, can I relate to your post today, Rene! I spent hours and hours trying to get staples and tacks and glue off of old upholstery on a chair. My hands ached! I still wan't done. My husband walked by and said, "let me help". He also was done in 10 minutes, too. I bet you'll do a fabulous job on your chair!

  13. Uh Oh.....problema.......that is way beyond my DIY skills....but I do know that a professional can take out the channels...whether you can is a whole nother story :) . Maybe a six pack and a tutorial....after that fun take it to a pro.

  14. oooh, I do not know but I am hoping that once you do yours, you can help me with mine. :)
    I know it will turn out great my friend. :) That was so nice of hubby to help. Mine would do that as well. :)
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  15. Oh my goodness - what a job! But I'm sure - after the resurrection, this chair will look fantastic!!!


  16. Ok, you know me, I can't even sew a straight line, so I'm no help. I would be secretly packing it into my car and driving it to the nearest upholstery shop! But I know you, and you'll have it looking amazing in no time!

    Kat :)

  17. Sending you support! You'll get lots of great answers (none from me, unfortunately) and I know that chair is going to be looking good soon!


  18. My advice is to save all the pieces and mark them with a marker where they went on the chair. You will use these pieces as a pattern of where to cut on your new fabric. My daughter and I recently recovered her sofa (we had never done that before) The demolition was the most time consuming project ever!! You can see the before and after on my blog here http://thestylesisters.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-to-recover-settee-sofa.html Go slow and steady and you will get it done and it will be amazing! Can't wait to see it completed.

  19. check out my "other" favorite blogger, besides you of course, miss mustard seed. she can definitely help!

  20. I've been surfing for tips on the same thing, I have 3 chairs I'm eyeing and sizing up the challenge of reupholstering them myself.

    I came across this fabric dot com blog and she shares a couple of good resources in the page.

    Now, I'm going to see what MM says too!


  21. I am loving reading the advice in the comments...like take your time ...get a six pack. :) Bravo to you for the undertaking.

  22. Oh I am so happy to find this..I have 2 beautiful chairs with channeled backs..please let us know how you make out....I for sure want to do my own.))

  23. I took three upholstery classes at my local community college. I did two armchairs and learned that i never want to do it again. you have to have a lot of upper body strength to pull the fabric and keep it taunt while you staple it. better do it while hubby is home and in the mood to be helpful.

  24. Hmmm...I've done some upholstery, but nothing this complicated. If you have some scrap fabric you can play around with it and see what happens. Good for you for trying!!
    Hope you're having a great weekend!

  25. I have a similar chair, which had a channeled back and seat. I had it professionally redone and changed the seat to a solid surface,so I know it can be done...but i would never try it myself!

  26. I reupholstered two chairs with a very similar style. I actually took a continuing ed class at a local vocational tech school to do them. Did you KEEP the fabric you tore off the channels and the seats? That's my biggest piece of advice. Keep those pieces! You'll want them to use as a template to cut the new pieces of fabric. If you've NEVER reupholstered anything before, there are some good videos on youtube that might help. Other than plygrip, you should be able to find everything you need at a Joanns. Check out my finished project at http://tallgrassdesign.blogspot.com/2010/12/hearth-room-mini-makeover-part-2.html. Good luck!!

  27. You can totally do this. I just finished an upholstered chair that was way beyond my comfort zone, lots of hand sewing and making my trim. When I was finished, I truly learned, any good DIY gal can really learn any good home decor skill. I have a few good Upholstery books, the ones I used the most: "So Simple Upholstery, and "The Complete Guide to Upholstery". Good luck, can't wait to see the finished result. You CAN do this!

  28. Oh my, this looks challenging, but I'm sure you can do it! There must be some tutorials out there, no? With patience and determination I am confident you will make it happen!


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