Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Recovering a Chair Seat

This is one of the chairs that I sit on at my studio. I have wanted to recover the seat for some time now. A couple summers ago, my husband and I found this wonderful wrought iron chair as part of a set of three. It was a great find at a little antique shop in Toronto's Roncesvalles area. Since getting the chair I have considered repainting it, but I have a difficult time departing from is shabby chic appearance and love the wonderful charm that it exudes. I did have to redo the seating when I got it, as only one of the three chairs actually had any kind of seating.

The first material I used was a great cotton print that looks very organic and I just loved the texture. However, it has been a couple years and after sitting at my desk day after day, it has become a necessity to change the seat, in the name of comfort. I have purchased several pieces of fabric for this job; including an amazing cotton print from the Designer Fabric Outlet in Toronto. However, I finally settled on something that I feel has both beauty and longevity. The colour also coordinates well with the drapery and space. I hope that this project will inspire you to make the change to a piece of your own.

What you will need:
- fabric
- batting
- foam (if needed)
- scissors
- staple gun
- spray adhesive (if replacing foam)
- pliers (to remove staples)


Step 1: Strip the seat of the old fabric. If needed replace foam and any batting. Remove any glue residue and place new foam on seat (you can use a spray adhesive to keep in place). Cover with some batting for additional cushioning.

Step 2: Reduce the bulk by trim batting along corners and staple in place.

Step 3: Cut new fabric several inches wider than the seat. You can use the old fabric as a guide. Place seat centre on wrong side of new fabric with seat side facing down.

Step 4: Start stapling at the front centre point, then turn the piece and stable on the opposite side, while pulling fabric tightly. Rotate piece and continue on other sides. Continue to pull tightly and secure with staples.

Step 5: Gather the fabric as flat as possible. In this case example the material is very tick, so it was folded and flattened tightly. Secure fabric with staples.

Step 6: Trim excess fabric and batting

Step 7: You can finish the underside of the seat by cutting a piece of fabric (e.g. cotton) a little bigger than the dimensions of your seat, turn the edges in and staple along the edges to cover the raw ends of your chair fabric.

Now you are ready to place your seat back on the chair. Have fun :-)

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