Window Treatments and Chair Reupholstery

5 Materials
5 Days

Working on our home to add "finishing touches" to our 4 yr remodel. I really don't need curtains where we live, thank the good Lord! With 21 acres and a house well inside and away from the roads, no one can drive by and see in the windows. The bedrooms have plantation shutters (we refinished and painted white) that were on all windows and in the master bath. But as far as the other windows.....the dining room windows we replaced in December (see that project on my site) already had Levelor blinds on each picture window which we kept and reinstalled. Only the kitchen windows and living room windows/patio doors had no window treatment. I've mostly made my own window treatments over the years, but hadn't added finishing touches to the windows we replaced during the remodel. So.....back to YouTube university where Scott Weaver and Fabric Farms Interiors taught me how to build a cornice from scratch and provided a great review of how to reupholster my kitchen chairs. I had done that once 9 yrs ago, so a review was in order!

The kitchen before husband didn't like the multiple patterns in the kitchen, the cabinets have cherry blossom flowers on them, the penny backsplash had another pattern (see that project in my list of projects) the 16' runner had another pattern, and the table and chairs were a paisly type of multi brown and gold patterns. Too much! So I ordered dark brown floral Matelasse fabric (match the pennies, with an embossed cherry blossom pattern, gorgeous!) and ordered a brown sisal 20 ft carpet runner to replace the floral pattern. I watched how to videos while waiting for the material to come in and started building the cornices (one for kitchen, and 2 for the living room).

Kitchen dining table seats, another pattern!

This was a cornice I built last year to cover the blinds for the bay windows. It was a vine pattern, but I was never happy with it!

This was a before of the patio doors leading to the screened in porch.

The first thing to arrive was the curtains for the living room windows, a few day later, the rods arrived. I kept my theme going with the industrial pipes used for my violet shelf in front of the bay windows, and the shelves over the new floating desk I had built in the corner of the living room (another project for you to view!) Hard to see in this photo, but the rods are a 'mimic' industrial iron plumbing rods. Loved the look and this was actually the impetus to do the kitchen and the 2 doors in the living room. After installing, I measured and went on line to order another set of curtains to use for over the patio doors and to refinish the cornice over the bay windows.

So while waiting for the 2nd set of curtains and kitchen material/carpet to arrive, I pulled the slip seats off the chairs and started removing the fabric.....then I remembered.....I upholstered them over the old fabric at the time, 9 yrs ago.

So then I had to remove the original upholstery on the chairs, talk about a lot of staples! I used a flat screwdriver and a pair of wire cutters to ease out the staples.

My helper, and best friend, Atticus. He is constantly within an arms distance of me LOL! He supervised my work. Only 4 screws hold down the slip seats, easy to remove.

Believe it or not, this bowl holds just the staples from this one chair. The foam cushion was in fantastic shape, so all I did was add 1/2 inch dacron on top of the cushion, and some thinner batting under the wood between the cushion and the wood.

The next thing to arrive was the sisal carpet runner from Very reasonable priced as well!

I had left over plywood from the dining room shiplap wall we built last year, and used it to cut up the wood for the cornices. I measured each door and added 4 inches to the width to determine the length of the cornice. Based on the doors and the dining room window, I kept the width of the cornice to 12 inches. This allowed me to get 2 full cornices out of a pair of curtains 108" long. We used 1x4 pine for the edges (returns) and the top (dust cover). I used a finish nail gun to put the wood together. My husband had to help hold it in place to be nailed, since I have yet to purchase any large clamps for a project this big.

While waiting on the material, I lined the cornices with the 1/2 poly bonded dacron batting (54" wide). Calculating the length of all 3 cornices, plus adding 27" per chair seat had me at 6 yards of dacron batting.

The material for the curtains arrived next, so I started on the living room cornices. I went through 2 boxes of staples doing all 3 plus the seats! Thanks goodness I purchased a pneumatic staple gun last year, I don't even remember which project that was for. I actually set up the ipad in the work area and followed Scott's instructions step by step while he showed how to attach, cut, staple, and line each cornice!

Cutting away excess fabric and making neat folds at every corner was key in getting a clean look with the fabric.

I didn't have a cording foot for my sewing machine, and had not made welting cord before. A JoAnn's Fabric employee told me she used a zipper foot, and I found this worked extremely well for keeping the cord nice and taut. I used a 6 inch piece of fabric to wrap the cording. On the living room cornices the curtain fabric was thinner than most upholstery fabrics, so I tacked the welting cord down with staples prior to lining with cambric. With the kitchen cornice, the material was of sufficient weight to allow me to hot glue the welting to the edges.

The final step after installing the welting cord on the top and bottom , is to line the inside with black cambric. Adds a final touch and professional finish (so Scott said LOL).

Patio doors complete! Hanging wasn't difficult, only 2 L brackets needed, and a stud finder to locate where to put the 2 brackets. The cornices are not that heavy.

I took down the small cornices I built last year to cover the battery operated blinds in the living room. You can see my heart shaped pond in the background! These are also held up with L brackets. I didn't bother to remove the old fabric, and just nailed the curtain material right over it. Praise God I had enough material, at the end of this I had one piece that was 12" wide by 18" long left!

The material for the chairs and kitchen cornice arrived two days after finishing the living room. Here I'm cutting 27" pieces to upholster the seats with.

First seat done. I put 1/4' batting between the wood and cushion, and 1/2 inch batting over the cushion. This gave me a nice crown on the top and smooth full edges on the sides. I followed the Fabric Farm Interiors video on slip seats; pull and staple one staple on all four sides, in the middle; pull at a 45 from the left of the center staple towards you and add 3 staples; go back around and pull the other side at a 45 degree angle towards the middle, add 3 more staples; work the corners, putting all folds under the edge where they can't be seen.

Finished each seat with cambrick folded under and stapled.

I used a sharpie to number each seat as I removed it and marked the chair it belonged to so the holes on the seats would align properly when reinstalled. I moved the table to be oriented lengthwise across the window, which provided more room for the 20' long carpet runner as well. Put the fabric on the cornice, and was able to hot glue the welt cord to the top and bottom of the cornice. Project complete, multiple patterns reduced to the counter top and the penny backsplash, happy hubby, satisfied wife!

Suggested materials:
  • Matelesse fabric   (online Fashion Fabrics Club, $76)
  • Poly bonded dacron batting, 3/8 cotton cord, cardboard edging, cambric   (JoAnns Fabrics $80)
  • 3 sets of Curtains, 2 sets of rods   (Wayfaire, $141)
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