Reupholstery Part II: Deconstruction

So, I know this seems like a big daunting project. You might have a piece (or pieces) of furniture you have been wanting to reupholster for years. You can do this. Seriously, you can. There is actually very little sewing involved and you get to use a Staple Gun, so that’s something. Don’t worry about all the steps, just methodically go through one step at a time and you can do it!

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Once again, I’m no expert, and truly there are TONS of great tutorials out there on the right way to upholster/reupholster furniture. I would recommend reading a few of them and even watching some YouTube videos before you start. My purpose, and what I want to leave you with, is  to show you that if I can do this project, so can you!

So, we’ve gathered out tools and materials, given ourselves a little pep talk, and it’s time to get underway. Yay!

1.  Take pictures of your chair. Every angle you can think of. Pay special attention to different seams, and connection points. When you go to reassemble your chair, you will find yourself asking, now how did “they” do that again? If you document it well, this current piece of furniture is the best tutorial you could ask for.

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2. As you take pictures of your chair, conduct a careful inspection and figure out what the last piece on was. Depending on your chair, it could be mesh on the underside, it could be the skirt (which was how mine was), or it could be the back panel. Whatever the last piece on was, will be the first piece off.

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3. Deep breath, it’s go time! Figure out how to remove that piece that you determined was the last one on. It might be stapled or “they” might have used a metal piece called Pli-Grip (see pic below). For staples, I mostly used the flathead screwdriver and sometimes the mallet and/or pliers to get these out. I kept a small Tupperware container next to me to put all the removed staples in. If they used Pli-Grip, use your screwdriver to pry it away from the chair and then screwdriver/pliers to remove the tacks or staples used to keep the Pli-Grip in place.

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4. As you remove each piece, take a Sharpie and label the crap out of it. I wrote what the piece was, right, left, top, bottom, etc. Again, the better you document now the easier it is going to be to reassemble it correctly later. IMG_2176   IMG_2171

5. Continue taking pieces off and labeling and taking pics. I also kept a list of the order I removed things, because again, the order you remove things, informs how you put it back together just in reverse. Keep everything, any little cardboard strips, piping, etc. Again, all important. Have I said that too many times?? 🙂

You will literally remove a kajillion staples. Yes, a kajillion. It may seem like the process will never end. But don’t worry, when you feel like you could build your house with number of staples you have removed, you are almost there. 🙂

–h

Reupholstery Part I: Materials

Ok, so I read a lot of blogs and watched a lot of how-to videos before I got started on my upholstery project. One of the things that felt a little overwhelming was all the different tools/materials you need to get started. Many of which I had never heard of and/or didn’t want to afford.

Well, there is a difference between what you could use vs. what you actually need. You don’t need a pneumatic staple gun, for instance, it’s great if you have one, but an electric one will do just fine.

So here’s what I found I actually needed:

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  • Electric Staple Gun and Staples (I used 1/2″ staples)
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Thimble
  • Gloves
  • Curved Needle (not pictured above)

I also found a fantastic book that was my constant companion throughout the entire process. Spruce by Amanda Brown. Not only was this book very helpful and it covers a wide range of different pieces of furniture, but it is also a beautiful book! Highly recommend it!

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And finally, my materials. I found a great neutral gray upholstery fabric at Joann’s and Ryan suggested we use white piping (which I made myself, and I’ll explain in a future post).

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So gather your materials, and we’ll cover deconstruction next time.

–h

 

Where should I start? Upholstery!

Hmmm, my first blog post…ever. Where should I start? I’m thinking I will share a recent project that was probably one of the most challenging I have ever tackled.

A few years ago, my sister-in-law and brother were getting rid of an old chair they had in their garage. It was a cute old chair with character, so I thought I would keep it and try my hand at upholstery. Since they were just going to throw the chair away, I figured I had nothing to lose. I also secretly noted that since it rocks it would be perfect for a baby’s room. 🙂

Starting pic:

Best tips for upholstery:

  1. Do not be afraid, you can do it!
  2. Take pictures and document every step of the way. Seriously, you can’t take too many pictures.
  3. Clearly label each piece as you remove it, write where the piece goes, which side is up/down, left/right.
  4. Go for it!

More to come!

–h