Have you ever found a piece of upholstered furniture and wondered if you would be able to give it a makeover? I saw this chair on Craigslist a few weeks ago, and thought it would be perfect for my girls’ room, as a reading chair. I’ve upholstered furniture before, but I saw those buttons on the back, and I got a little worried. I’ve taken those buttons off furniture before, and I chose not to put them back on for ease sake, but this time I wanted to try and attach them back to the piece, and wondered if I would be able to do it. Anyway, I took a leap and bought the chair. In this post I’ll share How I Reupholstered a Reading Chair.
Taking the Chair Apart
When I got the chair home, I flipped it over to examine how everything went together. I try to figure out how a piece of upholstered furniture goes together before ripping into it.
I took the fabric off the bottom to get a better look at what I was dealing with. I also took pictures at each step when taking it apart, so if I got stuck, I could just look back to the pictures for reference.
I worked on getting the back legs off the seat first. It was a little harder than I thought it would be because of the curvature of the chair, but eventually I got one bolt free from the chair and it made it easier to get the other one free. The front legs were then taken off the seat.
I then started taking the old fabric from the seat portion using pliers, and a screwdriver.
The fabric on the seat back of the chair was then taken off. I had to cut the buttons off from the back of the chair in order to get all the fabric detached. While cutting the buttons loose I examined how they were attached in the first place, so I could reattach them.
Now the fun part, putting it all back together.
I bought this beautiful upholstery fabric at FM Stores in Springfield, MO. If you ever get a chance to drive through Springfield be sure to stop by. I highly recommend this store. They have rows and rows of curtain, upholstery and quilting fabric, and at really awesome prices!! I got this upholstery fabric for $6.99 a yard. I ended up buying 3 yards just to be sure I would have enough, and it was more than enough to cover the chair.
The fabric was stapled to the underside of the seat using a heavy duty stapler.
The curve of the back of the chair made it a little challenging to upholster, but I think I did ok on it. Once the front piece of chair back was stapled securely, I then reattached the buttons by sewing them back on the same way they were sewn on before. I stuck the needle and thread through, going from back to front, put the needle through the little loop on the back of the button, then poked the needle back through, going from front to back. I then tied it in a very tight knot at the back of the chair, to secure the button. I actually used crochet thread for this process because it was what I had on hand, and it was comparable in weight and thickness to the original thread that was used. And why I didn’t take pictures of this process is beyond me.
Before sewing the buttons on I had cut out little pieces of the new fabric and hot glued them onto the buttons to cover the old fabric. After the buttons were sewn on, I then stapled the back/last piece of fabric on the chair. I have yet to cover the staples on the back part. Right now the staples can’t be seen because they are facing a window, but I’ll eventually get some pretty ribbon to cover their unsightliness.
Once everything was reupholstered the pieces of the chair were all fastened back together. The bottom of the chair was covered with some repurposed flannel I had in my fabric stash. The legs were sanded and painted with a satin latex paint tinted to the color “Natural Tan.”
Here it is all finished. Is it perfect? No, but it’s still pretty and comfy for reading. This was also a wonderful learning piece, after all, I finally sewed on those buttons. I’m feeling more and more comfortable with upholstering, and want to keep setting goals and getting to the place where I could upholster anything and with finesse. 😉
Do you have any goals with furniture makeovers? Have you ever reupholstered a piece of furniture? Is it something that interests you? I recommend starting with a small piece of furniture and keep working your way up until you’re more and more confident with each new reupholstery piece.
This chair is perfect for reading time. I think a soft, fluffy rug would make this a more cozy reading spot, what do you think? And maybe a few throw pillows.
Thanks so much for sharing How I Reupholstered a Reading Chair!!