Remember during lockdown everyone was decluttering their homes, putting unwanted items out for passers-by? Well, I picked up this chair just screaming out to be re-upholstered!
I deliberated for ages over the fabric and where it would go. But last week I decided to revamp my studio - giving me the perfect spot for a comfy chair corner.
I'll be using the chair in shoots styled with various props, so decided it should be a neutral colour - the perfect opportunity for a bouclé fabric project!
I can highly recommend Fabrics Galore. if you're after bouclé fabric yourselves. I did a lot of research and they had the best range/price. AND they've given me a discount to share with you! Use the code: TheMakery15% for 15% off all fabrics there! I'll list all resources at the end.
TIPS ON CHOOSING + SOURCING FURNITURE:
- Always start simple. It'll build your confidence for more complicate pieces later. This chair was great as there are only 2 elements: seat and back. Better still, start with a stool so you can practice and learn. The worst thing would be to start something complicated and lose heart/confidence.
- There are so many online sites for free/cheap furniture - you can find some gems for next to nothing. I'd recommend Marketplace
Here's the DIY how-to:
1. DISASSEMBLE your furniture item where possible. The back of this chair simply lifted from the seat, making step 2 much easier.
2. STRIP all original fabric from the chair, leaving the frame and padding. You'll need a tack lifter for this, possibly also a hammer and some scissors to help with fabric in fiddly areas. IMPORTANT: Keep each piece of fabric intact as you'll use these pieces as templates for your new fabric!
Take photos as you go
Write on each fabric piece as you remove it, labelling where it goes on your furniture
Stripping revealed an extremely poorly-made frame for me, but hey ho, it was free!
3. CUT new calico base layer pieces: These will be the lining for your reupholstered furniture.
Place the fabric pieces you removed onto calico as templates. Pin in place, draw round them and cut them out.
Make sure all your template pieces are facing the same way up
Make sure the fabric grain is matched for the calico and original fabric
Pin the calico pieces to the template pieces as you go, so you don't lose track.
4. SEW your calico layer. Refer back to your photographs to check how the pieces were constructed. Pin each piece together, right sides facing. Check the seam allowance from the original pieces and match that. I usually do a 'first go' with large stitches so they're easy to unpick if it's wrong!
5. FIT each calico piece onto the furniture to check they're correct. You want a really snug fit! If you're happy, remove the calico and re-sew with regular stitch length. There may be some seams that have to be stitched together by hand once the fabric is on your furniture - it depends on the shape. But that's fine!
I use strong linen or topstitch thread for such situations
6. SECURE the calico to the frame with a staple gun. If you're working on the seat or a stool, position the calico evenly on the furniture. Then turn the whole piece upside down and start staple-gunning the calico to the frame. You'll need to pull it quite taut, but not so taut it rips. Also the calico needs to stay even on the seat, so not pulled down one side more than another.
Staple at one side, then the opposite side - so the fabric is pulled evenly across. Then staple another side and the opposite side. Keep repeating that process to ensure an even finish.
Don't use too many staples for the calico layer; you need to leave space on the frame to staple the top fabric layer.
7. CUT new fabric top layer. You will have learned from the calico layer, so repeat steps 3-6 with the top fabric layer.
I think Bouclé fabric is brilliant for this type of project because: