Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Tah Dah!

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you the newly recovered 99p chair.

Just so you don't have to go scrabbling around this is what it looks like before.

It isn't perfect but I do think it is a pretty good first attempt at upholstery.

I am not going to go into how I did it as I would look a fool and there are hundreds of descriptions on more accomplished blogs out there. Suffice to say these things I learnt along the way.

1. Your hands will hurt and look pretty ugly during the process. I am not a hands and nails kind of girl at all but they did look pretty dreadful. Nail and staple scratches are not pretty.

2. Take your time and take photos as you remove the old fabric. (This works better if you don't have your phone stolen with the photos on it.)

3. Label and number the pieces of fabric as they come off. You want to put them back in reverse order.

4. Iron the old fabric and lay it out on the floor so you can work out how much fabric you need. (This is revolting but essential.)

5. Decide whether the last person who covered the chair knew what they were doing. If yes follow them if no follow them and use your commonsense to make adjustments. There are at least two parts that I really wish I'd done this.

6. You will use a lot of staples.

7. GO SLOWLY! Tack each piece of fabric in place with a few staples and check it is right before properly stapling it in place. It is a pain to take out 30 staples just because it all needs to shift 1cm to the right.

8. Doing your own upholstering is cheaper than hiring a professional but it is not really cheap. Yes you may well get the chair for a bargain  but upholstery fabric is expensive and your will need more than you imagine. I did splash out on Jorja Wilkinson fabric because I have been yearning to used her denim owl fabric for ages and as the chair had cost so little I felt I could justify it. This place will help keep fabric costs down:

9. It may well be worth giving the chair a bit of new padding. Ebay has loads of cheap sheet wadding. This also has the advantage of being fire retardant so will give you peace of mind. I didn't want to attempt removing all the old padding and springs as I know my limits and it was all in good condition. However giving it a covering of wadding freshened the whole thing up.

10. It is really addictive. "I'll just do this little bit and then I'll stop. Oooh! Look how nice it looks. I'll just do that little bit......Ooooh! Look! It's starting to look like an actual CHAIR and it's 1am and the neighbours are getting annoyed at the sound of the staple gun........"

11. A pair of long nose pliers are very handy as you tug the fabric through the slots in the frame.

12. I have a very patient Matey who came and said nice things every single time I called him upstairs to show him the new bit I'd just done. He also managed to not point out that I looked crazy as I stood looking at it with what can only described as a  bear stare while saying absently that I'd come to bed in a minute.

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