Saturday, June 20, 2009

Feeling rather proud of my staple gunning skills

"Do you know how to re-upholster furniture?" my dh asked with a dubious expression. "Nope," I replied, carrying in the large roll of upholstery fabric I had special ordered.

I don't know what I was thinking 12 years ago when I spent good money on this chair with the diamond print fabric, but I've been loathing it for at least 5 years now. Just hating the fabric, there is nothing wrong with the chair itself. Which led me to think the best thing to do was re-upholstering. How hard could it be? The answer: not that hard at all! Thank the heavens above. Because once I started pulling it apart there was no going back. My friend Melissa showed me an adorable chair she had re-done while taking a class and suggested I take a class too. I'm too impatient for that, so I just started.

I've never let the fact that I am clueless prevent me from trying anyway. Hers is better though because she did piping. I don't think piping is all that necessary, is it? Just say no. I surmised, correctly, that if I just tore everything apart, then I could use the old pieces of fabric as a pattern. What surprised me the most was how little actual sewing was involved. Its almost all just tucked in and around and stapled to death. The hardest part (three days worth) was removing the 3,141,5926 staples some maniac had driven in. My best friends were a slender flat screwdriver, a pair of needle-nosed pliers, and an ice pack for my right hand.

My greatest stroke of genius during this project (other than all-day TV marathons for my children) was to leave one arm and wing intact while I put the new fabric on the other side so I would have a reference as to how they stapled that sucker. The kids were fascinated to see the guts of a chair, wood, springs, cardboard and foam. Ds kept asking me if I was going to have any leftover wood that he could have. He was quite disappointed that I didn't.

I love my dh for buying cool tools and occasionally letting me borrow them. A pneumatic staple gun rocks my world, though I jumped every single time the thing made that crazy loud noise. Notice the full face protection. Glamorous, no? After the accident, we are a bit fanatical about our eyeballs around here. Foot protection is obviously optional.

After 4 days of my living room looking like an upholstery factory had exploded, I drove my last staple, pounded in the wicked tack strips on the back and sewed up the cushion. There was also some sneaky use of a glue gun, since I was not about to go out and buy a second set of smaller staples for the detail work. Then I replaced the legs and voila! I amazed my dh.

If you are considering doing a project like this, you can do it! You will love it. I used 4 yards of fabric for this chair. I wish I had bought a little extra for a throw pillow or two for the couch. Christine, if you are reading this, I know the wall hangings are too high. I'm working on it.

Its kind of a shinier fabric than I thought it would be. Hopefully I will love it for several years. Its going to take that long for my staple-prying hand to recover. Ouch.

I have no idea why this picture/text formatting is all wacky. I've tried for an hour to fix it.

9 comments:

justamom said...

That looks AWESOME! Good job! I would LOVE to reupholster the sectional couch we have in our family room, but if THAT took you 4 days, the couch would take me 4 months. I am way proud of you though!

Char said...

Fabulous job!

smart mama said...

wanna come do my couch??

Maxmomma said...

That looks WONDERFUL!!!! Boy, I'd be proud of my mad stapling skills if I had done that! Way to go! It's good to know I am surrounded by the talented.

Lauri said...

The chair looks great! Way to go!

Sarah H said...

Looks great, you are my homemaking hero!

beantater said...

I am so impressed! It looks great. Melissa

mindyluwho said...

I have two chairs that I'm considering slipcovering, but after seeing how beautiful your chair turned, maybe I'll try my hand at upholstery...

charlotte said...

fabulous!