Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Around The House - BTSH Tip Of The Week

Give that drab, out-dated chair a fresh new contemporary style!

Have you fallen victim to second hand, hand-me-down, or simply old and outdated chairs? Perhaps you have stumbled across a great find at a yard sale or flea market, but the upholstery leaves something to be desired. If your chair has good bones, but needs a bit of an update, simply recover the chair. Don’t be scared, it’s actually quite easy!


Screwdriver (if removing seat)

Measuring Tape



Staple Gun

I always recommend removing the seat, if possible. This allows for more accurate measuring and placement, and is much less awkward. Use your measuring tape to measure end to end both horizontally, and vertically, making sure to include the depth of the chair seat as well. You will then want to add 2 inches to each measurement and calculate how much material is needed from there.

Next, visit your local fabric store to choose your fabric. If you’re unsure of how the fabric will go with the rest of your decor, you can ask the sales associate to cut you a sample swatch to take home. There is usually no charge for these. Be sure to choose a fabric that is durable and will stand up to the wear.

Once you have selected, measured, and purchased your fabric, cut all the pieces that you will need. You can do this based on your measurements, or by using a pencil to trace the existing cover/seat. Be sure to add a couple of inches to each side before you cut!

Next, place the fabric on a flat surface wrong-side up (I prefer to do this on the floor as it’s the most solid surface you’ll find). Position the seat upside down on your pre-cut fabric, being sure to center it, and staple a straight line, starting from the middle and working your way out. Next, stretch the fabric to the opposite side, and staple in the same manner, being careful to smooth the fabric as you go. For corners, fold in the corner of the fabric and staple, then fold in each side over top to form a pleat, and staple each side. For round chair covers you will need to fold over a little fabric for each staple, pleating it as you go.

Take a hammer to any staples that may not have secured fully. Trim any excess fabric to give a smooth finish.

Return seat cover to the chair, and re-screw. Tip: If the screws have worn out the drilled holes in the chair, stick a couple of toothpicks in the holes and re-screw. This will give them something to catch to.

NOTE: Solid colours are easiest to work with. If using a patterned fabric, you must be sure to keep it straight, and align the edge of the chair with the pattern. If you can’t see through the fabric easily, draw a straight line of the pattern on the back to line up with the edge of the seat.

Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it? Enjoy your newly updated chairs!

Written by Shauna Lynn Simon, Beyond The Stage Homes

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