How do I upholster these chairs?

A professional wanted to charge me $485 EACH! I have 4.
q how do i upholster these chairs
q how do i upholster these chairs
q how do i upholster these chairs
  10 answers
  • Where I live that would be a lower end fabric price. Now you know why people do it themselves. Plus it is labor intensive.

    Carefully take apart and photograph each step. Use the old fabric as a pattern and use to determine layout and how much yardage to purchase. Pay attention to stripes and repeat of pattern on a printed fabric as you need more material to "center" for a polished professional end result.

    See if the seat and back need to be totally replaced or if it just needs new foam and quilt batting. Watch a bunch of upholstery projects on utube to perfect and pick up tips. You can do this, just expect it to take some time and even rented tools.

  • Dfm Dfm on Sep 20, 2017
    very carefully remove the fabrics from the chair. these will be your pattern. add between 2 to 4 inches extra to all sides of the fabric pieces. make notes on how deep the foam pieces are. take pictures as you go and deconstruct the upholstery. you have some cording on the seat, its a decorative detail. its made by wrapping a a pre made cord in fabric leaving a flange about an inch to sew it in place with., sew close to the cord , no need to trim as far as im concerned. it could be optional, if your not a sewing type person. if the arms/legs are wooden, strip and refinish. you want the wood pieces dry before putting the upholstery back on.

  • Sharon Sharon on Sep 20, 2017
    Here are the basic steps.... you might want to check your local community college adult education sometimes has upholstery classes.

  • Sharon Sharon on Sep 20, 2017
    Here is how to do the arms.... forgot to tell you carefully remove all fabric so you can use it as your pattern on the new fabric.

    • Melanie Roby Melanie Roby on Sep 21, 2017
      Thank you, I'm going to watch ALOT of video to determine if I am up to the task!πŸ‘πŸΎ

  • V Smith V Smith on Sep 20, 2017
    To get all of the information you need in one place go to a fabric store and buy a How-to book. You are going to need special tools and special notions. All of that will be shown and explained. That much fabric could be costly you will want to make sure you have a good idea of layout as well as the construction of repairs. It will be helpful if you have an assistant, sometimes you may need three or four hands.

    • Melanie Roby Melanie Roby on Sep 21, 2017
      I can see how much education I'm going to need for this project! Thank you for this great idea. πŸ‘πŸΎ

  • Emily Emily on Sep 20, 2017
    I upholstered this Lincoln rocker and it wasn't too difficult for a total amateur. But you have four chairs. That ups the ante! About the cord DFM mentioned, yes you wrap cord in the fabric but that fabric must be cut on the bias. Which is an additional step as the fabric must be cut for one corner to the other (kitty corner) and then sewn together to make a long run of decorative cording. You may not have any foam at present in these chairs, but Naomie is right about the photographing. I would pick out a solid color fabric. That would eliminate lots of problems. Also these chairs most likely have webbing for the bottom and that must be in good condition or must be redone. My daughter once took an upholstery class and she was taught to work in this way: If you have a foam base you put a layer of muslin over that, then a layer of cotton batting, then another layer of muslin, then the "dress" fabric. You have an ambitious project ahead of you!

  • Emily Emily on Sep 21, 2017
    Thanks, Melanie. You have a big job with four chairs but you can make yourself an assembly line!

  • Bonnie Bonnie on Sep 24, 2017
    This is more of the "what" than the "how"...If you have not yet purchased your fabric, here are some things to consider.
    If you select a tapestry type fabric, run a ring, prong side down, up down and across the fabric to make sure it does not snag. Some such fabrics have a looser weave and are susceptible to snagging on simple things like rivets on jeans, pet claws, etc.
    Pick a fabric your sewing machine will handle. Heavy upholstery fabrics often take a heavy duty machine.... you often have to sew through 4 or more layers of fabrics (i.e., when applying the piping).
    You didn't say if the retailer included replacing any of the padding. you may need to. Don't skimp on this...if you buy a low quality padding you risk it compacting and could end up with 'saggy seats'.
    I have worked on everything from boat seats, to chairs, to a 1950s daybed sofa. You can do this!!!!

  • K. Rupp K. Rupp on Sep 29, 2020

    check out my post on how to remove the fabric and create a pattern in order to re-upholster:

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Aug 23, 2021

    I just read this thread now, and although it is now 4 years since it was posted, I agree with Naomie that the $485 price quoted to reupholster each chair, even for 4 years ago, was not high. Considering that the labour involved in the job will include removal of fabric and staples, making of a custom pattern, cutting the custom pieces, sewing the pieces, cutting of new foam inside, and installation of the foam and fabric, this price quote is reasonable.