Sure, it may be Groundhogs Day but I could really care less. I don’t like the movie and unless you live in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania does anyone really care? This February 2nd marks the first anniversary of the announcement of the official end of my favorite band, The White Stripes. I couldn’t think of anything to post that would be related to a stinkin’ groundhog so I went with a whole other topic.
Let me give a little background info on my favorite musician. Before Jack White became a mega rock star he was an upholsterer. I’ve always been crafty and I love furniture. I also love estate sales. I was out at my very first estate sale maybe 4 years ago and picked up an awesome and rundown wood chair. It was comfortable and had these great circle armrests. Once I brought it home I noticed some red marks on it (like blood but I don’t really want to think too hard about it). It spent years in my garage until that day that I got up enough courage to rip it apart.
About a year ago was the day. I did a tiny bit of research on how to reupholster a chair. I remembered seeing someone on a television show upholster an ottoman with shower curtains. Shower curtains repel liquid pretty well and are easy to wipe clean. After searching for the perfect fabric and having no luck I ended up going to Kmart of all old and rundown places. I found myself a classy black and off white, almost metallic gray (not so much silver) shower curtain. It was a bit pricey but I probably would have spent that much on some upholstery fabric and bought less of it. I used a gift card at Joann’s to buy some edging and my mom gave me a piece of thick foam she had lying around from one of her projects. It all worked out so perfectly.
Once I had all of my supplies together I spent one night doing decon. I don’t know what kind of material came out of that thing but it was orange and powdery. I was scared. I ripped and pulled at the old fabric, keeping track of how it was constructed so that I could possibly reassemble in a similar fashion.
So the next day came around, I spray painted the base with a light gold/metallic cream color but once it dried it was almost silver. Let it dry. I started out placing a scrap of the fabric on the inside of the top of the base and springs, then stapled it taught like a canvas. If you’ve never stretched a canvas you are supposed to start from the middle on all sides and then work your way to the outsides but keep it balanced. I stapled the first part of the fabric that would wrap the foam to the back and continued using the canvas technique. The foam happened to be the perfect shape and size. There were a lot of little spots that didn’t look that great but once it was completed with the edging it looked perfect. I glued the edging with basic hot glue. The glue is still holding up perfectly fine. Fabric on fabric with hot glue tends to hold well as long as it’s not something that needs to go into the dryer or gets warm from the sun.
The most difficult part of this project was figuring out how to do the back. During decon this part was where I paid the most attention to how it was originally built. I decided to glue some stiff cardboard to the back. I then started stapling the fabric at the bottom to make a pouch to hold fiberfill (actually filling from an old pillow that had a hole). I did not use the canvas method for this part. I basically made a little pillow directly onto the chair back and once it was completely filled to the stiffness I liked I fluffed it up and stapled it closed at the top. I glued more edging around the staples. And there I had the most beautiful chair ever!
If you can recycle some materials or get them on sale, reupholstering at home can be pretty inexpensive. I think I spent about $10 for the chair and $30 on materials (That’s the price if I didn’t use my gift card on the edging. Also keep in mind that Joann’s always has 40-50% off one item coupons.) I spent about an hour on decon and maybe 2 or 3 hours on recon.
I am so proud of my creation and even if it is not how a real upholsterer would have done it, I say it’s not bad for my first real try and it still looks as good a year later. The chair has had it’s share of butts.