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How I Helped My Sister Re-Upholster Her Dining Chairs

10 September 2013

I spent ten minutes trying hard to come up with a creative, clever, witty title for this post–something about two sisters who are clever and resourceful and make things to make one sister’s house more like a home–but, I got nothing. Hence the straightforward title above. Let me know if you can think of anything better!

chairs_before

Dining room chairs: the “before”

My little sister and her fiancé bought their first house a few months ago, and are slowly making it their home. Recently they bought dining table with chairs that they found on Craigslist. The wooden table and chair frames are in very good condition, but the chair seats were worn and faded. We headed to Jo Ann Fabrics one Saturday morning and spent the next hour poring over upholstery fabrics.

A tip for others who are planning to reupholster furniture: have at least some sort of idea in mind what color/pattern/theme you want in the room your furniture is going!

My sister knew she wanted to add some color, and she knew she “might” want some green. But then again, she really liked this one black and yellow floral pattern. But then again, she also really liked a brightly-colored paisley pattern, a red and orange floral pattern, and a black and white and brown swirly pattern…

We slowly but surely narrowed down the selection, in part by my sister sending photos of three of her favorites to her fiancé to “yea” or “nay.”

Dining chairs: a "before" and "after" pair

Dining chairs: a “before” and “after” pair

Once back at home with the chosen fabric, we set to work. Did you know that reupholstering dining chairs is really, really easy? It takes some time, but does not require specialty skills or a knowledge of how furniture is made, like I expected.

The seat of the chair simply unscrews from the frame, lifts off, and you can staple-gun your new fabric right over the existing! (Of course, if you are pickier, you are welcome to tear off the old fabric and padding, put your new padding on the seat, cover it with your new fabric, and then use the staple-gun, but these seats were well-padded already so why waste some good cushioning?)

The project took us about 2 1/2 hours from start to finish, including measuring and cutting the fabric into pieces, staple-gunning the fabric on each seat, and screwing the seats back onto the chair frames. And look at the end result!

 

Dining chairs: the "after"

Dining chairs: the “after”

 

Dining chairs and table

Dining chairs and table

 

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