How to Reupholster Stanley Dining Chairs Part 2

Friday, April 8, 2016

In part one of this tutorial I showed you how to take a chair apart and prep it for reupholstering. Today I'm going to show you how to put it back together. 

The scoop on how I painted the table is here

I am trying to blog more purposefully lately and I keep asking myself what I'm hoping you get from this blog post. I hope that you'll come away feeling like having a nice room, with furniture that you love, is an achievable goal even on a small budget. Whether it's reupholstering chairs, painting a table, or creating a small still life, I want you to feel like you can do it! Without setting foot in Pottery Barn (unless you want to).

Of course there is nothing wrong with new furniture, but I absolutely love up-cycling old things. I love having a space that no one else has and putting my own creative stamp on my home. There is a tremendous satisfaction to be had from doing something yourself, from feathering your own nest. Plus, when it's time to get spendy I'd way rather do it on a fantastic piece of art than on a chair. 

So, if you're still with me, let's get to upholstering!

I began with the seat. I cut out the top part of the seat, inside the piping, and used this piece as a pattern for my new cover.
Pin it to the fabric and cut around it leaving about a half inch for a seam allowance.
There are a lot of chairs where you can just cut a large piece of fabric, wrap the seat and staple it to the bottom. My chairs are more structured. From here I needed to cut a six inch wide strip of fabric the length of the perimeter of the seat and sew it on. I'm calling it the "seat edge piece." Here is a diagram to help explain what I mean.
Pin the seat edge piece to the seat with a piece of piping sandwiched between them. Sew the ends of the seat edge piece together first, then sew the seat edge piece all the way around the edge of the seat piece.
When that is done you put the piece back over the wood piece with the cushion on it and staple it into place.

As you staple work back and forth stapling on opposite sides as you work around the piece. Only pull your fabric taut enough to be smooth, if you get too energetic and pull the fabric really tight the staples will rip through the fabric. You want the fabric to have enough give that when someone sits on it the fabric doesn't rip through the staples. Which we hates.
After the seat cover is stapled on, lay piping all around the bottom edge and staple that on.
This next photo shows how to hide the ends of the piping. I like this seam to be at the "back" of the seat.
 Now trim all the stray threads and screw the seat back onto the chair frame. 

It's time get a diet coke and tackle the back.

Here is your bare back.
Lay a piece of fabric over it and trim to roughly the size of the opening.
Begin stapling it to the frame working back and forth stapling opposite sides as you pull the fabric just tight enough to be smooth but not so tight that the staples rip through the fabric.
For my chair these staples needed to be on the inside of the channel. Pay attention to how the original fabric was attached on your chair and use that as your guide.
Trim the excess fabric close to the staples leaving about 1/4 inch all the way around.
Lay the foam padding on top.
And lay a piece of fabric trimmed to size over it.
Begin stapling the fabric to the chair frame. For my chair this is where I needed my long nose staple gun because I needed to get the fabric pushed into the channel and stapled there.
 The same as before, keep the fabric smooth, but not too tight or the staples will rip right through the fabric. Work around the chair doing opposite sides, so one staple at the top, then one at the bottom-one on the left side, then one on the right. Until you're done. Use lots of staples because if anyone ever tries to take this thing apart you want them to have just as many staples to remove as you did!
Cut off the excess fabric.
Now it's time to hot glue piping all around the edge to cover the staples and make it pretty!

For this you need to trim the piping as close as you can to the stitching.
And start gluing it around with the high temperature hot glue. My fingers got burned a bunch doing this. I don't know what to tell you except be better than me.
I tried to get a close up photo of how I hide the ends by tucking them straight into the seam. I do it at the bottom middle of the chair back so all the seams are "lined up" with the ones on the chair seat.

Now remember that before and after?
So satisfying! Now just trim all your stray threads and be amazed with yourself!

And as always, I would be thrilled to answer any questions you have about this project.

One Response to “How to Reupholster Stanley Dining Chairs Part 2”

  1. I love the fabric you ended up going with! This is an intense project, but I definitely agree with you about up cycling. LOVE the finished product!


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