Covering Chairs

This month has been a little like chair revitalization month.

I got these 2 red chairs from my aunt and they were in pretty rough shape – an unimaginable number of scratches (from cats), deep creases and the fake leather was flaking all over the place.

Reupholster Chair (2)They’re pretty comfortable though and since the fabric didn’t lend well to bad smells and stains they still worked pretty well.

One fit in the newly painted master bedroom next to the dresser:

DSC_0090and it was a great place to fold clothes (until I moved the furniture around).

Recently these chairs have been in the office but once again migrated all over the room depending on the furniture arrangement:

2013_02_15 (03)At the desk:

Office 2013_12_10 (01)And occasionally together like a little chaise:

2014_02_08 (04)I covered them with blankets to keep the flaking under control but it was a losing battle. So I yanked them out and came up with a plan.

The best solution I could come up with was a new chair cover instead of re-upholstering them and removing the original material. I wanted to keep it simple and something I could use in multiple rooms since these are the roaming chairs. I chose a neutral canvas by the way of a paint drop cloth. I picked these up years and and am just now starting this project.

While watching Amazon streaming video one night I unfolded the canvas and begin to pin it around the chair so I could cut a few pieces.

I found out that straight pins went in pretty smoothly (if angled correctly) to secure the canvas to the chair and that allowed me to position and cut the fabric to size without tearing apart the original chair fabric or having a template.

Each chair had 2 pieces, one up and over the back and a second down the seat and around the front/sides.

Once I had the pieces cut I started pinning the seams in place:

Reupholster Chair (1)The back piece had 2 seams going up the back and were pinned in place. The bottom piece had 2 seams along the front and then I attached the two sections together.

The most tricky part was the piece that tucked into the crease. I had to cut the sides so it would fit smoothly (it’s not perfect but I really don’t care as long as the job is done):

DSC_0371As I pinned I kept the legs on but then needed to remove them in order to get the fit tight enough. Removing them was harder than expected. Each of the 4 legs was secured with  long screws so I used the electric drill to take out the screws. A few were particularly stubborn so I pulled out the tool box and used various wrenches to unscrew it from the frame.

When it came time to sew I remembered that I have zero faith in my abilities with the machine so Ana came over to visit and I conned her into helping me sew some straight lines.

Once all the pieces were sewn together I flipped them over and tested them on the chair. Perfect fit! Seams were then trimmed to remove the extra fabric. I chose not to sew a seam along the bottom of the chair because the longer fabric was easier to tuck under and staple to the frame.

DSC_0378I considered sanding and painting the feet but in the end I was anxious to get the project finished and really liked the contrast:

DSC_0375Each chair had a piece of black fabric attached by velcro to the bottom but with the new covers most of that velcro wasn’t accessible so I left it off for now.

Here’s the finished chair in the living room:

DSC_0370And chair #2 in the office:

DSC_0373While the red fabric was fun I’m really loving these new neutrals with the fresh paint going into the house.

For those interested, the slip cover was huge and fit both chairs with room to spare! I’m using some of the remnants for pillows that I’m going to stamp and decorate before stuffing. The drop cloth came from Big Lots and was 9′ x 12′ before I hacked it up. According to the sticker I paid $15 so that means the cost for each chair was $7.50. Not too shabby for chairs that were free to begin with.


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