Simple Guide on How to Upholster a Chair

The upholstery of any furniture wears out over time, and this is why you need to learn how to upholster a chair. Frequent cleaning tends to make the fabric lose its lustre and fade its colour. You probably think that it is time to purchase a new furniture and get rid of the older one, but you are also well aware that it can get expensive. If so, you can think about reupholstering and giving your old pieces of furniture a whole new look.

Choosing the right Fabric

There are many ways of obtaining fabric for upholstery. You can try online via eBay, or you can even try searching for an online store that sells upholstery fabrics. You’ll need to ensure the store allows you to obtain samples of the material before you purchase, which some stores will send you for free. If you’re in the UK, you could try buying upholstery fabric from Selby Soft Furnishings. They have an excellent selection and decent pricing to boot. Alternatively, you could try searching on eBay.

One other consideration is the sewing. If you’re using a domestic sewing machine, you’ll want to be sure that your machine will be capable of stitching the fabric. Thick upholstery fabrics such as chenille or velvet can be quite tricky to sew on a light machine. If you ordered a free sample, you could use it to test whether or not your machine is capable of sewing the fabric.

Steps on How to Upholster a Chair

  1. The first thing you need to do when learning how to upholster a chair is to get rid of all the worn out cushion, fabric, nails, and tacks from the old chair. Make use of needle nose pliers when doing this task. Do not to tear the old fabric while removing it, as you can use it when taking measurements for the new upholstery.
  1. While doing so, make sure that the frame of your chair is in excellent condition. For chairs that are already worn out or damaged, reupholstering may not be the best choice as the chair might not last for a long time.
  1. Using chalk, use the old fabric from the seat to measure your new material. Next, cut the new fabric with scissors by following the markings. Keep an extra three inches on the sides to help you wrap it around the edges. Put the new material on the existing chair cushion and staple it with the use of a staple gun.
  1. Now, it is time for smoothing the sides. You may also need to fold the fabric into pleats to cover the cushion correctly. It is essential to seam the edges appropriately. Keep a check so that there will be no creases and the pattern is put in the right way.
  1. Use nails and screws to keep the cushion in place on the chair. A rubber mallet may come in handy when hammering in the nails and tacks. When you want to be useful in learning how to upholster a chair, you need to follow the same procedure when covering the backrest, arms, and all parts that need to be cushioned separately.

Advantages of Reupholstering Your Chair

  • When reupholstering, you can select the colour, pattern, and design of the fabric for your chair that can complement your interior decor. By choosing all these based on your personality, you save a lot of time that you would have spent in researching for the best matching furniture.

Learning the ropes in how to upholster a chair is not as complicated as it seems. You merely need to understand and follow the correct steps. Also, it will be faster and more comfortable if you can manage to get some help. Once you get good at upholstering, you may want to remodel all of the furniture pieces in your home.

If this project is a little too much to handle for you, you could try one of the easier projects. Making decorative pillows is a great place to start if you’re new to crafting. Alternatively, you could try quilting, which is ideal for sewing practice.

Happy Crafting! 🙂

How to Make a Decorative Pillow

Do you have a hard time finding a decorative pillow you love? I have a simple solution for you, make it yourself! It may take a little time and patience on your part (depending on your sewing skills), in the end, you will love it even more. So check out your local fabric store and see if you can find a, to die for fabric. Then follow this tutorial. Happy Sewing!

The materials you will need are:

  • Fabric for the front of the pillow
  • Fabric for the back of the pillow
  • Scissors
  • Pillow insert
  • Measuring tape
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine

Step One

Measure the pillow insert even though the size may be listed. I have found that they are sometimes off by an inch or so. Add an extra 2 inches to your measurements.

Step Two

Cut the fabric to the size of your measurements. It can sometimes help to cut the fabric square if you make a pattern with cardboard or thicker paper. You could also use a square ruler.

Step Three

Cut the fabric for the back of the pillow. Do it the same way that you did for the front side.

Step Four

Place the front and back fabric on top of each other. You will want the right side of the fabric facing in.

Step Five

Pin all of the edges together. Pinning will keep your fabrics aligned while sewing.

Step Six

Sew the fabrics together. While doing so, you should leave a 1-inch seam allowance. On one of the sides, you should leave about an opening. You want the opening to be just big enough to squeeze your pillow insert inside.

Step Seven

Next, you will need to trim the seams, Leave one fabric just slightly larger than the other. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Cut close to the corners so that the corners will be clean.

Step Eight

Flip the fabric so that the rights sides are facing out. Then iron the fabric, the seams in particular.

Step Nine

Squeeze the pillow insert into the opening in the fabrics. Make sure the pillow insert lies flat and isn’t bunched or wrinkled.

Step Ten

The last step is to hand stitch the opening shut. The smaller your stitches are, the less noticeable the opening will be.

And, that is how you make an easy decorative pillow. Why not compliment your room with other handmade crafts such as a rag rug or if it’s the bedroom, a patchwork quilt?


As always, Happy Crafting! 🙂