DIY: Reupholstering a thrift store find

Reupholstering seems like one of those heady jobs reserved for the designers on HGTV, but it doesn’t have to be. And you can do it with simple tools you most likely already have at home.

—Cassandra Sturos

DIY thrift store.
Photo by Mike Ramm.

Tools: Screwdriver, Power screwdriver, Hot glue gun, Plenty of hot glue, Scissors, Permanent Marker and Wooden Utensil.

Photo by Mike Ramm.

First find a chair you want to reupholster. Local thrift stores can be hubs for great finds. Measure the length and width of the cushion so you can purchase the new fabric you desire. I also added a fresh coat of paint to the chair first to bring it into this decade.

 

Photo by Mike Ramm.

Next tip the chair over and unscrew the cushion from the chair. Usually the fabric is stapled in around the edges and can easily be ripped off from around the wood behind the cushion.

 

Photo by Mike Ramm.

Once the old fabric is removed, lay out your new fabric smoothly and aligned the way you wish it to look on the front of the cushion. Place the cushion with wooden back (wood facing up to you) in the center of the fabric.

 

Photo by Mike Ramm.

Slowly pull up an edge of the new fabric and hold down tightly to the back where you will hot glue it to the wood. I use an old wooden utensil to then press down on the hot glue, so as not to get burnt and make sure the fabric adheres to the wood.

 

Photo by Mike Ramm.

 Pull up a little piece of fabric at a time, tightly so there’s no loose fabric, but not so tight that the cushion looks pinched. Slowly glue around the edges of the fabric around the whole wooden base of the cushion.

 

Photo by Mike Ramm.

If you cover the screw holes, which you might, mark with a permanent marker to easily locate when you screw it back to the chair.

 

Photo by Mike Ramm.

Once you have applied ample glue around the edges to hold the fabric down, trim the excess pieces.

 

Photo by Mike Ramm.

Flip the cushion over and voila, it has a fresh new fabric.

 

Photo by Mike Ramm.

Screw it back into the base of the chair. I use a power screwdriver for this, that way I can also screw through the fabric that I had previously marked with marker, so not only the glue holds the fabric on, but the screws will also now hold it tight to the chair.

(March 2014)

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