Office Chair Reupholster

The Tribe household has been in a tragic chair famine. Just ask my poor sewing students–they’ve suffered more than anyone. I’m ASHAMED to admit that they’ve spent some time on their knees because there wasn’t a free chair.

I found this office chair at DI for $8, and this fabric from Ikea for $6 a yard. It looks pretty fresh, don’t you agree? Too bad I really hate re-upholstering stuff. It’s so dirty and grimy and my mind always wanders and I end up imagining what kind of nasty history the furniture might have that I’m now touching. Ughgh. And really, I can’t think of a worse project to do with kids around. All the staples and dirty old upholstery. I can only do it with my husband around to coral the kids. And it really hurts my hands! Pulling out all those staples!

BUT, in the end I’m usually so thrilled with the final result, that I forget the pain and suffering involved, and buy more furniture that needs reupholstering. Like my maybe a set of retro dining chairs. You know, in a way, it’s a lot like childbirth.

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So, for those of us that have never reupholstered, What is the basic process? Teach me.


Well, the BASIC process, is that you disassemble the piece of furniture, remove the current upholstery along with all staples/nails (taking detailed note of how it’s attached and put together), and then use the old upholstery as a template to make your new covering, and then assemble it the same way. It’s one of those things that you can’t really figure out until you START, but as you do you figure out how to do it. It’s not really that difficult as it is TEDIOUS. Truthfully, when I did my first project (my couch) I checked out a book–was super intimidated–tossed the book, and just started taking it all apart. Since the couch was given to me, I felt free to just give it my best shot. It turned out great, so my suggestion is that if you find a good deal on a piece that you love, just have at it. And let me know if you have questions! I’m FAR from the expert, but I’d be happy to help:)

Here is a good online resource with tutorials etc:


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