I finished my first upholstery project last weekend. A rocking chair. It took me 7 years. I could have done it in a week, but I've been busy having babies, and things like that.
I was so into this project (and it took me so long) that I didn't take many pictures of the process.
In case anybody is interested, I will list some vague instructions as to how I did this. Sorry they're not more detailed, but if you want to do an upholstery project like this, I think these instructions might help. It really was not that difficult, just kind of time consuming.
- First I pulled all the old upholstery off the chair.
- Then I stripped the old varnish/stain from the wood.
- Sanded the wood down nice and smooth.
- Stained and varnished with my choice of stain color. I like the more natural-looking colors.
- For the cushions I used a bed sheet I found at a thrift store.
- For the back cushion I just cut out a piece of the sheet, double the size I'd need to cover the back of the chair. Folded it in half, filled it with a thin layer of batting, then sewed it up.
- I was going to do some quilting to hold the batting in, but I have no confidence whatsoever in my ability to sew a straight line, and I'm not even sure if my sewing machine can do something that thick. So instead I took a needle and thread, and just sewed tiny little stitches, at random, throughout the cushion. Kind of like those little yarn ties they put on quilts (sorry, I'm SO not fluent in sewing language), only I just used thread and put the tied ends on the back side of the cushion, so you really can't even see them.
- Since there is no back support in the chair, I took a few strips of fabric and nailed them to the frame using upholstery nails. One big strip going up and down, and two smaller strips going side to side. It seems strange, but it really gives the chair the support it needs!
- Then I nailed the cushion to the front side of the chair-back, using the same upholstery nails.
- I covered the nails and ragged edging with this pretty woven fabric type ribbon I also found at a thrift store. I used 3M "Maximum Strength" glue (basically super glue) because it said it works great on wood and fabric.
- I covered the back side of the chair-back with a piece of the same sheet, folding the edges in, and nailed with decorative upholstery nails, 2.5 inches apart all the way around(I measured with my sewing tape measure to make it look nice and even).
- For the seat cushion, I found an oversized pillow at a thrift store, and took the cover off.
- I made a matching cover using that same bed sheet. I measured how much fabric I would need, and sewed up 3 sides. I wanted to make the cover removable so I could take it off and wash it, so I left one side open and added some ties using the left over material from the sheet.
Wah-Lah! Brand new rocking chair. If you'd like to see more pictures, or hear more of the story behind the chair, click here . If you know how to get super glue off fabric, please tell me because I got a tiny little smudge on the top of the chair.