Upholstering 2 Chairs For My Living Room

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Blog series by MarkTheFiddler updated 02-24-2014 10:04 PM 17 parts 22716 reads 100 comments total

Part 1: My Thoughts Before Beginning.

01-25-2014 08:07 PM by MarkTheFiddler | 7 comments »

Lumberjock Friends, I’ve been thinking hard about how I can give back to all of you. One thing is for sure, I can’t give back by being your residential woodworking expert. There is not a single thing I can say about woodworking that another lumberjock can’t improve upon. I know next to nothing that I didn’t learn from you all. Even the woodworking knowledge I have is subject to refinement. In short, I am far more of a student here than I am teacher. I have seen q...

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Part 2: Fabric - What's the big deal?

01-25-2014 09:11 PM by MarkTheFiddler | 10 comments »

So what is the big Deal about upholstery fabric. What do I need to know? Is there a top, left side, right side and bottom. Is it stretchy, is it velvet, is it thin, is it thick, is it heavy, is it slippery, is it clothing fabric, is it drapery fabric, is it upholstery fabric, is it, is it and is it? In this part of the blog, I’ll answer some of those questions. I’ll focus a lot on the fabric I selected. And then I’ll just answer your questions as they come up like –...

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Part 3: Measuring the Chair Body

01-25-2014 10:48 PM by MarkTheFiddler | 5 comments »

What size do all those upholstery pieces need to be? It’s not so bad actually to determine that. It’s exactly like making a cut list. I labeled some parts of the chair for you. In case it’s hard to read, I have an inside back, Outside back, 2 inside arms, 2 outside arms, Deck and front. The rest of the parts are like trim pieces. Here is what you need to get started (aside from the chair). Yup – that’s paper, a pen (pencil, crayon, tablet e...

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Part 4: Cutting the body

01-26-2014 01:27 AM by MarkTheFiddler | 4 comments »

We have all of the body measurements. It’s a good time to pull out the scissors. Here is what you may need. Cutting list, Chalk, pen, Yardstick of straight edge, measuring tape and in most cases a carpenter square. I bought a carpenter square at a sewing supply company for $20 once. I bought the one you see for $9.00. It is far better than the one I bought at the sewing supply store. Live and learn. Here we go – let’s hurry up and pause. Before marking my cut...

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Part 5: A little body stitching.

01-26-2014 02:19 AM by MarkTheFiddler | 9 comments »

There is very little on these chairs that I need to sew on the body. Still, a little might be just enough of an example for some of you. The front of the chair and deck need a bit of sewing. Take a look at this rounded front edge and the old stiches. There are several ways to skin this cat. One is to take off the fabric, undo the stitches then trace the cutouts onto you new fabric. I have to do that sometimes. Let’s get a little adventurous. Since I have a pattern with a center...

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Part 6: Striping the old fabric and padding off

01-26-2014 02:37 PM by MarkTheFiddler | 7 comments »

I left one chair fully upholstered and I stripped one to the bone a year ago. No it doesn’t take a year ;) I just stripped it and stashed it. That means I don’t have any current pictures to show you. I’ll need to come back to this post and flesh it out later. In the meantime, I put together an incomplete blog series on home refurbers. Since we weren’t getting much readership over there, I got lazy and didn’t flesh it out like I plan on doing here. This is actu...

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Part 7: Preparing the seat.

01-26-2014 03:03 PM by MarkTheFiddler | 6 comments »

Man oh man – there are tons of ways that the seat of a piece of furniture can be prepared. I just don’t have time to go into all of them. If you have questions about yours, feel free to ask. I’ll give some pretty decent details about mine though. I’ll say something else before we go too far because we are a woodworking community, They don’t make em like they used to. However, this frame is pretty good for having been constructed in the last 10 years or so. ...

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Part 8: Upholstering the seat

01-26-2014 11:08 PM by MarkTheFiddler | 9 comments »

Finally!!! We get to do some upholstery!!! 45% preparation – 45% finishing 10% upholstery. You will need cotton which can be bought at an upholster supply company for about $30. Mine is 30 inches wide which is just right for upholstery. I walked over to my roll and literally tore off about a 25 inch length. I’m going to say my magic words again. This isn’t wood working. You measure precisely and cut with scissors. There is no benefit except for saving a few inches o...

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Part 9: Upholstering the Seat - A bit more

01-30-2014 12:30 AM by MarkTheFiddler | 2 comments »

Howdy – it’s been a few days and I thank you all for the kind comments. Some of you doubt that you can upholster anything on the first try. I understand the sentiment. I’ve got to say that my father went into furniture manufacturing after he upholstered his first piece of furniture. It wasn’t just Old couch to 20 employees. But you can see the progression starting. He did a great job on his first couch and he said – I think I can do this. I’ve got to say...

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Part 10: Shaping the Arms

01-30-2014 01:40 AM by MarkTheFiddler | 7 comments »

Let’s upholster the arms in three stages. This stage, shaping the arms, is most often skipped or ignored especially in these days of Quick Buck furniture. There is no need for that especially if you want your chair to look really good. On top of that – it’s Easy!!! On top of that – Spend time on the foundation and the rest will be easier. That’s “Two On Top of that’s.” You can’t loose! Take a look at the bare shape of these arm...

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Part 11: Padding the Arms

01-31-2014 04:11 AM by MarkTheFiddler | 4 comments »

Howdy, The chair arms have been formed into a nice rolled shape and they are ready to accept padding. This will be fun and it’s easier than you may be thinking. It is certainly less exacting than most would expect. Lets get started. There are 3 major products you can use to pad the arms of a chair. Foam, Cotton or Dacron Polyester. Foam, 1 to 2 inches thick usually. It Gives a nice uniform shape. but it can be compressed to nothing. When Foam begins to deteriorate, it turns to...

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Part 12: The Inside Arms

02-02-2014 04:05 AM by MarkTheFiddler | 2 comments »

We have formed the arms. We have padded the arms. What’s left? Fabric! I have four cut pieces labeled IA or inside Arm.. I just threw it on top of a padded arm and started laying it out like a bedspread. It looks like there is plenty of fabric to reach under the arm but very little fabric staple down. I’m going to sew a “pull” onto it. Funny thing Is I had the opportunity to be real selective about where I wanted ‘what’ stripe on the inside ar...

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Part 13: Form and Pad the inside back.

02-09-2014 01:46 AM by MarkTheFiddler | 5 comments »

Howdy, A lot of the techniques for shaping this inside back have already been discussed at length in the inside arm Blog. I’m going to skim over a few details until I get to something different. I’ve got some loose synthetic burlap on the back of the chair. It’s happens to be the only ‘material’ I kept. I removed the staple holding the top half. I cut myself some 2”ish inch wide by 2” inch thick foam strips. I just stapled them securel...

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Part 14: 5 minute time lapse

02-09-2014 09:58 PM by MarkTheFiddler | 10 comments »

Howdy, I’ve still got a whole lot more blog to do but I felt like showing you all that it is not as time consuming to upholster furniture as it seems to be——through this blog. ;) I don’t expect that anyone to knock a chair out in a few hours (Unless that’s your job – then you need to do better than me. ;) ) Anyhow, I enjoyed making this for you. It’s the second chair. I still need cover-ups, skirt and cushion. Not finished yet. ...

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Part 15: So this is woodworking??!!

02-13-2014 02:29 AM by MarkTheFiddler | 2 comments »

Take a look at what the manufacturers allowed to pass!? I get it. It’s not woodworking – but really – I could move that board back and forth with ease. If I stretched any fabric across it, it would pull that poor construction to the center. So my problem was this. How do I fix that problem without taking the whole dang chair apart? Well I pulled out the staples then removed that bit of problem wood. I chiseled out one end then got out my cheap jigsaw. I had to take ...

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Part 16: Adding Fabric to the inside back

02-19-2014 01:43 AM by MarkTheFiddler | 6 comments »

Howdy, It’s time for a little catch-up. I added a blog about padding the inside back. It’s time to put some fabric on it. In fact, you can just toss that fabric on the back and count that step as done! You’ll notice that I sewed a scrap onto the bottom of it. That little extra won’t be seen and it will give me something to grab a hold of. You may as well mark the center of your back on the topside of the outside back. Will you’re at it, mark center a...

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Part 17: Outside Arms

02-24-2014 10:04 PM by MarkTheFiddler | 5 comments »

Howdy, We are now into the trimming stage of your upholstery. I’m going to show you how to cover the outside arms. In My case – these are the easiest arms to do. I’ll pay the price for this easy part several times over with additional trim work. In Your Case – there may be more work to do. When I do the outside back, I’ll have some information that will apply to your outside arms. Let’s take a look: I added a long horizontal line to show you that ...

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