Thursday, March 29, 2012

What I Learned: Reupholstry Edition

Once upon a time, I reupholstered my office chair, and thought that made me an expert. Clearly, I could rule the world with some fabric and a staple gun. So when one of my neighbors began downsizing their stuff with a garage sale, I did not shy away from this settee.
Allison loves this seat and has called forever dibs on it.
I loved the shape of the legs and I knew it would fit perfectly on the wall in our living room that stretches into the dining area. And for $5 I was in. The Mister I proudly walked home carried my new project down the block and set it up.
Step one of my project was finding the right fabric. Because of where it was going to live in the house, I wanted something yellow and gray to match the kitchen and living room walls. Yellow and gray is hot right now so I figured it wouldn't be that hard to find something. Well, it wasn't hard, but I wasn't willing to pay $20+ a yard for a project I only kind of knew how to finish. After going to 3 different fabric stores I found a nice yellow/gray dasmask-ish print on upholstering fabric on clearance for $15/yard. Because it was President's Day (and the best way to honor the President is to buy cheap fabric) all clearance was half off. Then I had another 10% off coupon. When all was said and done, I got 3 yards for $15.
Then, I had to figure out what to do. I started by flipping him over and removing the legs and 7,000 staples.

After pulling out 45,000 staples, I got all of the fabric off the settee realized this was done in 7 pieces of fabric. Hmm. This was going to be a little trickier than recovering the chair. I decided to use the individual pieces like a pattern: I pinned it to the fabric and cut out all 7 pieces.
After cutting out the pieces, I started to put them back on the settee.  I tried to take pictures as I removed the fabric as a way to remind myself how to put it back together but they were too close to help me. After figuring out where each part went, it was a lot of pulling it tight and stapling it. However, the side pannels had these tack thingies that were a little bit more difficult. So much so, that I put down the staple gun and walked away from the project until this week.

Time away did me some good. This week, I finished up the fabric part of it, with a million more staples. Then I decided to paint the legs. Now that I am an expert with a can of spray paint, I knew some semi-gloss white is just what these legs needed. Using two pieces of styrofoam (that came out of my sewing machine box) I sat the legs up and sprayed away.
I glued a circle of felt on the bottom and screwed them back into the settee. I had some red left from the pillow I made.

And here she is flipped upright.

I'm pretty proud of this project, it is the largest crafting/DIY project I have done, but it is far from perfect. I still need to make some fabric covered button/tacks for the arms, but I will get around to it eventually. Even looking at the picture above, I see a place where the fabric is a little loose and could use some more staples.
What I learned:
1. You can't use use too many staples.
2. I am really impatient waiting for paint to dry.

3. There is a 95% percent chance that this little girl will use this more than anyone else in the house.

4. Yes, with a staple gun, fabric and a little bit of spray paint, I really can rule the world.


Jena Kay said...

Wow that looks awesome!! I am very impressed.

Kimberly said...

Wow! Great job! Love the fabric.