Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Recovering my Craigslist chairs

This is the best I can do.  Some fuzzy, sparse, and possibly boring pictures of how these:
came to look like this:
Besides the obvious painting that I covered here, the recovering was the most tedious portion of this makeover.  The existing batting on the chairs was a bit too small, so me and my mom waited about ten hours at Joann fabrics for some new stuff to be cut.  I believe it was 8oz thickness.  Dear Joann - remove about 50% of your hideous fabrics to make room for more cutting counters, mkay?   We used the old yucky batting as a guide, cutting the new stuff slightly bigger - about 1/2 inch to 1 inch all around.
Using the chair seat as a guide, we trimmed any extra batting so it perfectly covered the foam without overlapping too much.  
After the batting was cut, we again used the chair seat as a guide to cut out the fabric.  Here we are checking to make sure the size is right, and that the pattern would be the same on each chair.  While it's not exact, we got pretty close - there are three full diamonds up the middle of each chair.   
We started with about two or three staples on each side of the chair, first attaching one side, then moving to the opposite one.  Pulling it tight was key!   Once the fabric was semi-attached, we cut the excess off to make the corners easier.    
The corners were totally donkey.  My mom was much better at it than me, so she can take the credit for all of them.  Obviously, this photo was taken before we cut the extra fabric off....we learned our lesson after this one!
We tried to follow a specific process for each corner, but ended up just doing whatever laid right and looked good from the top.  If you are under my chairs for some reason, well, the upholstery on my chairs is probably the least of your concerns.  Reattaching the seats was a breeze, and here is what it looks like all finished from the bottom:
I used an electric stapler with 3/8 inch staples.  It was pretty fun stapling, however I have one tip....see how far your seat overhangs the chair frame before you start.  On the front of some chairs, you can see my staples (only from the bottom, of course) because the overhang was so great.  Oh, well! 

The cost breakdown -
6 chairs from CL: $100
fabric: $50 - and there will be two yards left over
stapler: $26
staples: $3
batting: $6 with lots left over
spray adhesive: $5
Satin Impervo: $16
primer: $5
new screws for reattaching seats: $3
$214 total for 6 new chairs (I haven't done the two armchairs yet!)  Not bad, eh?


  1. The dining room is looking hot! I love how the table looks here as well.. and the curtains!

    And YESSS on what you said about JoAnn! But people actually buy these hideous fabrics. What a weird world we live in...

  2. I love how they turned out! And anyone crawling under your chairs has probably had too much wine to be able to see the staples.

  3. Ugh, what is it about the lines at JoAnn's?! Your chairs turned out great--I've got a couple here that I want to recover. Hopefully mine will turn out as good as yours!

  4. I love those chairs. So gorgeous.

  5. I love, love LOVE this. You did such a nice job with the chairs, and the entire room looks amazing. I have to admit, I really did like the before version of the room.....but I'm a convert now! As much as I liked version 1, version 2.0 is definitely an upgrade! Enjoy your new room!

  6. Good step by step tutorial! Although if I were to attempt this I'm sure my fabric would be stapled on all crooked and wonky. Especially with a pattern like that. Nice job, and thank goodness for moms!

  7. Those chairs are kick-a. And I agree- Joann's always takes forever and quite often has grumpy employees, probably because there are grumpy customers (me) because it takes forever. Vicious, man.

  8. they look great!! I feel like I'm going to explode waiting in the cutting line at Joanns...while the girl in front of my goes over and over what she needs for her effing quilt!

  9. They look wonderful ... great update on a very traditional chair ( I have the same ones)

  10. This looks amazing. I love the fabric you chose. What a transformation.

  11. Totally fantastic! I love the way the fabric plays off the drapes and the deep wood of the table top. You guys really did an amazing job, gives yourselves a pat on the back! lol

  12. I'm always scared to use such a strong pattern when recovering instead of something more forgiving in case you don't get the lines straight. Good for you, the chairs look great.

    Take care,

  13. Never boring, always inspiring! I have been wanting to do a chair makeover forever. Your after photos are seriously tempting me.

  14. These look so great Sara - you did an awesome job :) And the undersides of your seats look a million times better than mine do! I figure if you can't see it, it doesn't count ;)

  15. Love the chairs! You did a great job and the fabric is fab!


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