When I was in my early twenties, my grandmother gave me a dining room set and buffet table that had been hers. My grandfather bought them for her when my dad was still at home, so they (at this point in time) are at least 50 years old. When she first gave them to me, the fabric was still in relatively good shape, but it was getting to the point where it was going to need replace and the chairs repadded. However, I had toddlers at home, and decided to not replace the fabric until they were older and not as prone to messes.
Fast forward 20 years, three kids, multiple moves, and lots of wear and tear, and I finally had time and motivation to recover the chairs. Since Todd and I are finally moved into the new house, I decided it was time for a fresh start for the chairs, too!
This chair was in the worst shape of all of them, by far, but the image gives a good example of the state of the fabric and padding.
At one point during a move, one of the original chairs wasn’t fastened securely enough in the back of the pick-up and took a header at 55mph. This is the chair I used to replace it, and even though the fabric is still in decent shape, it got recovered, as well.
I have never reupholstered anything before, so I did a lot of research online and found some great resources – Pinterest was a HUGE help!
Reagan helped me with the first step, which was to pull all the old fabric, staples, and padding off the chairs. I have to admit, it was kind of satisfying to destroy something. 😉 Naked chairs!
The padding I bough came in pre-cut squares that weren’t big enough to cover an entire seat (except for the one odd chair), so I had to piece together the padding.
Once I got all the padding cut and sized, putting it on the wood of the chair seats was easy. I laid out the muslin cut to size, a layer of low-loft quilt batting, and then the chair cushion. On top of that, I placed the wood seat. From there it was as simple as pulling the muslin over and stapling in an opposing pattern.
I did cover each cushion in two layers of fabric – a plain cream colored muslin underneath the actual upholstery fabric so that if I decide to recover them in the future, all I have to remove is the outer layer of fabric instead of all the padding, as well.
I followed the same process for adding the upholstery fabric. I was very careful with my corners and edges making sure the fabric wasn’t too bulky or wrinkled.
After adding the upholstery fabric, it was as easy as screwing the chair seats back into place and making sure they were secure.
I think the chairs turned out beautifully, and I love that I am able to continue to use my grandmother’s dining set.
I purchased the fabric I used to reupholster the chairs from Fabric.com, and it is absolutely beautiful, sturdy, and will be perfect for the wear it is going to get! There was only one problem with it. I tend to err on the side of generous. I figured that each chair would take 1/2-3/4 of a yard of fabric to re-cover, so I ordered 6 yards of fabric.
It is upholstery fabric.
I had in my mind that it was like a normal bolt of fabric, and it would be about 44″ wide; however, when it arrived, I had ordered 6 yards of 72″ wide fabric. I used a total of about 2-1/2 yards of fabric for the chairs, so I have A LOT left over. I am re-covering all the throw pillows on our couches, and I will have leftover fabric from those, too, so I think I will make a lap quilt and use the leftover chair fabric for the backing. I am sure both of those projects will be future blog posts.