Sunday, January 1, 2006

Chair Reupholstering

Alright, so...some of you have said things like, "wow, I am so impressed"..." or "I want to do that, I just don't know how"....about my chair.

So, I already told you I took pictures along the way, I just never posted them. Now is the time- to unveil the really isn't as hard as it looks! I'm serious! As long as you have the right tools, which would be: a)flat head screw driver; b)staple gun; c)fabric; d)a desire to have an awesome looking chair in your living room.

Welp, let's get started!

First thing we did, was take out ALL of the decorative tacs. We did this with flat head screw drivers, like so:
If you look at the bottom left picture, of the collage above, you'll see us taking out nails...this was HARD and REALLY annoying. In all the spots they didn't have decorative tacs, which was basically the majority of the chair...were NAILS! We could've just taken hold of the fabric, and pulled...but then the fabric would rip...and we wanted to use the fabric for a pattern.

We paid VERY special attention to the detailed spots so we wouldn't forget how to put it back together. Like the following spots:
Certain spots like the legs...were done certain, folded under in one spot, tucked in know. So we had to take note to make sure we did it the same way.

So after we took out all of the tacs and nails (this seriously took at LEAST 3 hours...and that is with Lori- so if I did it by myself it'd probably be like 8 hours. Yes, I know that's MORE than double the time...but she is pretty speedy) the chair looked like this:
K- I kid you not- the inside of this chair was NASTY! It had food and toothpicks and coins CAKED on. So gross. So of course, the next step was to vaccuum out all that disgustingness.

Next, I didn't take pictures of this part (should have!), but we unpicked the piece where your back rests, so that we could get a real dimension of what those pieces are before the piping is sewn in. Then we laid out all the pieces we carefully took off, onto my beautiful fabric.
We honestly traced the pieces with a pen. I wish I had a permanent marker, but I didn't- otherwise I would've done that. It doesn't matter because all the edges are tucked in the chair- so who cares if you see markings? Not I!

Then we carefully cut out the pieces...and I sewed my piping. If you don't know how to do piping- it's super simple. Google it or something. I will do a tutorial later on that maybe when I do my second chair.

Then...we used a friggin SAWEET staple gun that Patty & Paul lent us, which is powered by air...and it was P-O-W-E-R-F-U-L! The boys (Kurt & Clay) kept saying, "Don't hurt each other", "Be Careful", "blah balhbalhlahblah". We did just fine:) Anyway, we basically put it back together like so: the LAST piece we took of the chair, was the FIRST to go back on. The FIRST piece we took of the chair, was the LAST to go on. You see? You just go backwards.

So, after we did all the stapling, it was time to put on the pieces that were held together by the decorative tacs. I didn't take pictures of this...but a tip we have is, use the same holes they came out of! Makes it so much easier. Lori pretty much did this entire job on the chair, and she found that if she pulled the fabric back, poked around the wood and found the hole, it was way easier to put through the fabric and into the chair. A few times we couldn't find a hole, so we had to nail it in- which was HARD TO DO! But, we managed.

A few things that weren't in the step by step, that I would suggest:

  • Use the batting that the chair already has
  • Fabreeze the inside of the chair if you are using that batting- I did, and could no longer smell anything:) Gross you out?
  • Use a friend- it makes it way more fun, and way easier, AND way faster
  • I spray painted the legs and arms....purple. I did this after all the old fabric was taken off, and before the new was on. I didn't even remove the didn't matter if it got some spray paint on. If you don't like the look of bright colored wood, or painted wood, re-stain it!
  • Reuse the decorative tacs. Why go spend a bum-load of money when you have perfectly good tacs from the old chair?
And with that, you'll have this gorgeous chair!
After you reupholster something, you will think of all sorts of things you want to reupholster. You will love it. DO IT!

Draw String Back-Pack

I lined the inside, and used flat-fell seams for the entire thing. That way when you look on the outside it looks nice, and you look on the inside, and it looks nice too! Perfect.

So. Here are the easy peasy steps.

1. Decide the size you want your bag. I think I did about 14 1/4 in wide...which will make it about 13 inches for the finished product . Line the selvage up with one line, and the fold with another, and then cut the width.

2. If you are adding any ribbons, buttons, trims, ruffles, etc- NOW IS THE TIME! You want to do it before you sew the lining and the outside fabric together, so that you can't see any of the seams on the inside.

3. Put wrong sides together, and then wrong sides together...again. Make sense? You want to pin it so that it looks exactly like the bag will look when it's finished.

(see how I put wrong sides together, then folded the fabric in half- how it will be when finished)

4. Sew a 5/8 " seam on one side.

5. Press both seam allowances to one side.

6. Trim lower seam allowance to about 1/8 in.

7. Press top seam allowance so that it folds around bottom seam allowance that was just cut. You may want to pin after this step. I didn't, but if you've never done this before it might make it easier when sewing.

8. Sew close to the edge of the fold. And press once finished. ***Sidenote- I didn't do this but quickly realized I should've....when you do this, make the straps before this step and insert the ends of your straps inside the seams to the bottom of the bag. This would make a way more clean and professional look. I was planning on doing this, but forgot!
This is what it should look like after you've sewn.

9. Make straps. I just cut long pieces of fabric about 2 inches thick or so. Once you cut them, press them so edges meet in the middle.

Press again in half.

Sew close to the edge.

10. Make a button hole in the top part of your bag- about 3/4 in from top. See your sewing machine manual for instructions on this. Each machine is a little different I think.

11. Fold fabric over twice and press, so that the button hole is folded in half at the top of the bag.

12. Sew close to the edge all the way around top of bag.

13. Take a safety pin, and attach it to your strap.

This part was SO FRUSTRATING! You basically have to wrap the strap all the way around so that it comes out where it started. You want to make it so that when you pull on all strings, it scrunches together at the top.

14. Then, if you're foolish (like me) and forget to attatch the straps when sewing the sides together, just fold over ends twice and stitch back and forth in two spots. It isn't the prettiest, but not the tackiest either:)
And voila!
A cute lil backpack for any five year old. Change up the colors and trims and you could definitely do this for a boy...I'm kinda thinking of doing one for myself actually:)