Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tutorial: DIY Seat Re-cover

Yesterday I alluded to a little project I snuck in this past weekend while the hubs & babygirl took an afternoon nap.  It's been on my to-do list forever, and though it's still not done, I thought I'd share...

I have this lovely little chair that used to be my great-grandmothers!  My parents gave it to me probably close to two years ago, and it's been sitting in our house with that green fabric folded on the seat waiting for someone to re-cover it the whole time.  Shameful!

It actually looks like this, which isn't bad, just a little too blah for me: 

I got ambitious one day and ripped off all the trim (which was just glued on), but then quickly realized there were about 1,001 tiny little rusty furniture tacks holding on the fabric.  When they didn't easily give way, I just replaced that trusty square of fabric and let it sit a while longer!

This Saturday was a gorgeous day and I wanted to spend some time on the porch, so I gathered the chair and some materials and got to work.

I used some needle nose pliers and a tiny flathead screwdriver, because if you can't tell, those tacks were pretty small!  I also grabbed one of babygirl's bibs (it was the closest piece of cloth around!) to use as a buffer between the screwdriver and the wood so I wouldn't damage it.  As I pulled out the tacks, I just dropped them in an empty plastic bottle.

On a side note, those tacks were so sharp and so rusty, and after what happened to Jenny over at Little Green Notebook, I was SO paranoid about getting cut!!  Even though I just had my TDap last year after babygirl was born, I was nervous.  So if you're doing a project like this, be smart & be careful!!!

You can see how may of those darn tacks are in the fabric.  They were spaced about 1/4" apart!  But I just used patience and enjoyed the breeze.  And before you know it, I had this:

Although there were a million holes in the wood, likely from other fabrics that used to cover the seat, I'm pretty certain that's the original cushioning.  Even more certain when I lifted it up and saw what I am 99% sure was horse hair (that black stuff near my thumb) and straw!!  You could barely see the hand-tied springs under the burlap- so cool!!!  It was all in great shape, so I just decided to leave it be.  Honestly, why mess with something that's worked for ages??

I used the old fabric as a template, and centered it over the part of the design I wanted to use on the new seat cushion.  I cut around, leaving a couple inches so I'd have room to get the fabric just right, and then trim the excess.

I just centered the fabric, pulled it taut, and tacked it with an electric staple gun.  And here's where I ran into trouble...See those spindles along the sides of the chair?  It was impossible to get in there with the staple gun, especially the one I have- it's super temperamental.  So, I just did my best, and am thinking about a solution to get into the sides & the corners.  But for now the fabric isn't going anywhere, so I brought it back inside.

And here it is back in the corner.  I love it!!  I still need to finish it off with more staples/tacks/something, and then trim it out, but I'd say it's an improvement, wouldn't you??