I am here with Amy from Design Intervention and we are walking you through a reupholstering project.  Click here to see the first post in this series. I had a blast with her this past weekend redoing some antique chairs. Our husbands are lucky we live halfway across the country from one another.  We would do some major thrifting, crafting, reupholstering, sewing, gluing, sawing, cutting, decoupaging, embroidering…you get the picture.  She has some amazing talent.  I felt like an amateur in her presence.

Ok carrying on…

It was interesting to see what was inside the chair.  We found out it had been reupholstered twice already.  We found evidence of pink and red fabric.  Interesting.  We also saw the mark on the frame from the original company that constructed it.



We set the stuffing aside…IMG_1518We sanded the chair with a fine grit sandpaper and spray painted it with my favorite…Rustoleum’s Canyon Black.  I decided I loved the legs of the chair so we would not be putting the skirt back on.IMG_4348 IMG_4347 While the chair was drying we started recovering a bunch of buttons for the tufting…


Bad idea…we thought the ones you buy at any craft store would do.  Once we got started we realized that when you tighten them the button part separates and pops off.  One hour later and a trip to Joann Fabrics and we got some plain, black, shank buttons.IMG_4356 We used the old fabric as a guide to cut out the new fabric.  We marked the holes where the buttons went with a fabric pen onto the new fabric.

IMG_1519Then we placed the buttons in place and tied them off with a little of the stuffing tufts in between the knot so it would not pull out.  Using my air stapler we stapled them off onto the chair frame for more stability.

IMG_1522 IMG_1524 An upholsterer’s best friend…

IMG_1564 Then we started pulling the fabric taut and stapled it as we went.  Make sure you staple evenly.  It is best to start in the middle and then staple a little of the left side and then do the right side, then back to the left.  That way your fabric stays as straight as possible.  Also keep in mind the direction of the pattern when placing your pieces.  You don’t want any upside damask 😉


We ended up making a lot of single cording/piping for the bottom of the chair and the cushions…IMG_1528 IMG_1529 and a ton of double cording which we will hot glue around the frame covering up all the staples later.

IMG_1526 Then we had to cut the fabric all the way around the frame with some tiny sharp scissors.  You want to get as close to the frame as possible so you can cover up the staples and fabric with the double cording later.


Click here to read part 3

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  1. It already looks 100 times better! Plus, I think that those black buttons are going to look better than the fabric covered ones! You know, contrast!

  2. oh my! I can't wait to see the finished product! it's looking amazing. I am planning on changing the look of one of my chairs this weekend… but just with a slipcover 😉 hehe

  3. i'm am SO happy that you are posting these! i've had a similar chair in my garage for a few months now that i(err, that hubby)nabbed from the side of the road. i just had NO IDEA where to start LOL! thanks for sharing this!

  4. Can't wait to see the finished product. You'll be having people knocking on your door now for help on a project like this.

    Something else for your ebook. Yeah!

  5. WOW, those chairs are stinkin gorgeous! You are making them even more fantastic, I can already see it coming together! Thanks for sharing the step by step, maybe someday I will try. I am sure it is more fun with a friend, but do you think it can be done alone? Just wondering about the pulling and stretching and tying stuff. Oh, I also love that you are letting the legs show!

  6. I love the fabric you are using! I can't wait to see the finished product! It is looking so good!

  7. I'm saving this…maybe one day I'll….well I might, you never know. Nice job.

  8. First thing that came to mind at the end of the post…

    SERIOUSLY???? You're leaving us hanging? 😉

    lol – Great job Beckie! You're my hero! 😉

  9. Thanks for the great post! I haven't been brave enough to do any reupholstering yet. Can't wait to see it finished!

  10. Amy is great. I've been in awe of her talent since I met her at Fort Irwin. I'm so glad you're showing how to do this. I've been interested in doing a project like this for awhile now.

  11. Whoa. I'm way intimidated. I've never made cording or anything….you are awesome!

  12. If you've got it, flaunt it!

    Great choice on letting the legs show ~ with curves like that, it's going to look fabulous when it's finished!

  13. I just know that these are going to look spectacular…. God really gave you the gift of initiative and craftiness. : )

  14. Ooo–I'm impressed already. 🙂 Love how the fabric looks. This is a project I'd definitely need some help with!

  15. Oh how I wish this had been online when I tackled my reupholstery project… these are FAB!!

  16. I am fascinated…this is one thing I have not attempted…but may need to…oh my poor couches! I am excted to see the finished project!

  17. This looks fantastic. I love the fabric (I did a bathroom in that print!) and I can't wait to see the finished piece.

  18. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I've always wanted to learn to reupholster. It's one of those things that I've put off tackling because I wasn't sure what I was getting into. Your pictures are awesome, and I'm beginning to feel more confident about it after reading your experiences with it. And the black and white damask already looks amazing!

  19. ok, I just read through all 21 omments, and you have me sold – – -more pictures and more detailed step by step instrucitons!!! And thanks for the sweet comments at the beginning – – I know we would be a ton of trouble if we lived closer!!

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