Asked on Jan 11, 2019

How do I reupholster?

MaryDoreen JacobsonElissa Anushko Wolf
+14

Answered

Is there a guide to re-upholstering and can a beginner do this.I have found to have this done professionally is cost prohibitive.An overstuffed chair and ottoman and the are in good condition, but dated. I’m wanting to change fabric to coordinate with my new sofa.Maybe biting off more the I can chew.

q how to re upholster
14 answers
  • Oliva
    on Jan 11, 2019

    Unless you have advanced sewing skills, pay the cost for a professional. You can save some cash if you locate an upholsterer who will let you find your own fabric (they'll calculate needed yardage), but this is a rare occurance. For the money involved, select a long wearing fabric.

    • Shirley Pope
      7 days ago

      I was a beginner, but I bought an old treadle sewing machine that took only one size needle, the machine was once used to do car interior. Before that I used my reg sewing machine, I removed all material being careful not to tear as the material removed was used for a pattern. I made notion as to what I removed first which meant that was the last piece to go back on then I would press each piece so there were no wrinkles. Making sure ALL staples were removed I then checked for any loose springs on the seats and back and the condition of the foam and cotton used. Materials needed, small cording for the edging on cushions, tack strips for the sides and back, NYLON thread heavy duty, for the cushion, after I got the cushion sewed together I put the foam in a plastic bag and using a vacuum, I removed all the air from the bag, placed the bag in the cover then cut away the bag and positioned the foam. Lots of thinking and labor, Take your time making sure when you cut your material, the pattern (if any) will be matching, with the arms and so forth, GOOD LUCK


  • I agree with Olivia, it can be done, but you need a bit of experience under your belt before you attempt such an endeavor. Start small with an inexpensive thrift store item to practice on. There are literally hundreds of tutorials on Google and You Tube. Once you do a piece, you can appreciate the craftsmanship and will understand why they charge so much. The supplies alone are not cheap. My mom and grandmother were aces at this, I have never attempted anything of this magnitude myself yet. Maybe when I retire. If you have time, take a class at an adult education extension. In the interim, you can make a throw or two to toss over the chair and ottoman until you can save up to have it done professionally. Or take the plunge and attempt yourself. If you do decide to try, start on the ottoman as that would be an easier piece to try and you could perfect your skills.

  • Trixie
    on Jan 11, 2019

    You can do it yourself but you won't get professional results without spending money on equipment and maybe a class or two. I personally am OK with slightly more amateurish results for less money. :)

  • Ellis
    on Jan 11, 2019

    Why not see if you can find a slipcover for the chair and ottoman?

  • GLenda Macemore
    on Jan 12, 2019

    You can make a slipcover for the chair and ottoman. I made a sofa cover that fit so well you could barely tell it was a slipcover. Inexperienced and still came out great. I am sure you can find a how-to online to help you. I used mine for many years!

  • Alex
    on Jan 12, 2019

    Take a reupholstery class from your local adult ed school. They generally want you to bring your own project. Voila! You will have an expert guiding you and wind up with a beautiful piece of furniture. AND, a new DIY skill.

  • Sandy
    on Jan 12, 2019

    Go to Pinterest and look up how to reupholster a chair Sailrite. The have an excellent YouTube step by step video.

  • Candi
    on Jan 12, 2019

    Slipcover.............to reupholster this you really need some experience in sewing and basic upholstery..........

  • Carol westcott
    on Jan 12, 2019

    Consider painting it with chalk paint

  • Jacquelyne May
    on Jan 12, 2019

    Don't be afraid to try it! Just put it together the same way you took it apart :) .

    Here's my first attempt.

    Store told me how much fabric to buy based on my description.

    Get a good staple gun, too.

    You might want to skip the piping, that is a challenge. If youre updating it you don't want dirt catching piping anyway!.

    Good luck.


  • Jeanne Martin
    on Jan 12, 2019

    I’ve done it with great results. I carefully removed each section and used that as a pattern for my new fabric cuts. I simply staple gunned it back into the place I took the original piece from. Sometimes you have to staple from the back of the fabric and then pull the right side down over the staples to cover them. Just pull fairly tight. You will need to be able to sew to make the cover for the seat cushion and the skirt (depending on what you do you may not have to sew...or if legs are nice leave it off). I did not make my own welting (those rolled lines that define the different sections like around the front of the arms and around the ottoman). I used premade welting that complimented my material. It's a ton easier this way, although if you sew and have a zipper foot it is pretty easy to make your own. I would certainly recommend you, at the least, watch some tutorials on YouTube. If you take a class you should be able to take your chair and redo it in the class. Much cheaper than hiring a professional but you would have a professional with you during class! Good luck!

  • Elissa Anushko Wolf
    on Jan 13, 2019

    You guys are making me feel like I really accomplished something spectacular! We had a cat that destroyed our sofa, and no money to redecorate, so I got books from the library to learn how to reupholster. Like Jeanne says above, use the original pieces as patterns to cut out the new pieces. The back is usually the first piece to take off. As each piece comes off, you will see which piece needs to come off next. Lay them down, each piece on top of the last, and keep them in order. I started with a $12 ugly-as-sin gold brocade chair from an estate sale. I bought a 4 yard remnant of upholstery for $25. I figured if I screwed it up, I was out $50. I have reupholstered a lot of things since then, but that chair is still my favorite. It has lived in every room in the house. It currently lives in the guest room, where I snuggle with my grandson to read a story before his nap.🥰

  • Doreen Jacobson
    on Jan 13, 2019

    Thank you all for the suggestions. Because I am not in a hurry I could start a new educational project and if it doesn’t work I can still afford a new chair and ottoman at half the cost of professionally covering for just the chair.

  • Mary
    7 days ago

    Video yourself pulling the fabrics off, be sure to keep fabrics to use as pattern pieces for new materials and narrate every step then use as refferal.

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