Over labor day weekend my parents came for a visit to celebrate my birthday and help me with some home projects. For the project I'm sharing this week the only credit I can take is choosing the fabric for these chairs. The upholstery work was all done with my moms craft knowhow. My mom has taught me a lot of crafting skills over the years and I'm still learning from her!
My mom always has her eyes out for quality furniture. Knowing I'm always seeking an improved dining room table she found the mid century style table and chairs in these pictures at her local consignment shop. She was confident we could easily cover them with new fabric. The only information we have about the pieces are that they were built for a furniture show. They have no labels and we don't know if they were ever in production. There is also a matching credenza now living at my parents house.
Upholstering is not as difficult as it looks. It just takes some time and patience and watching a lot of youtube videos. My moms best guess was that these were professionally upholstered in the 80s. The padding wasn't so bad and didn't smell weird so we opted to just cover over the old material. It would have been too much labor to remove all the staples holding the old fabric on.
The seat cushions were the easiest. Basically just wrap and staple with a staple gun. Some additional hammering was needed on the staples as well. We used black interfacing to finish the bottoms.
The top side of the chair backs are actually stapled as well. The chair back uses two pieces of fabric. You staple the two pieces as though you were sewing an inside seem. When you pull the two pieces of fabric in opposite directions it looks as though it was sewn. The staples are hiding on the inside.
The staples on the underside of the back are exposed. This doesn't deter from the looks because you can't actually see them unless you're laying on the floor taking a picture like I was.
The old upholstery used stapes on the sides of the chair backs. If you have an electric staple gun that may be a way to go but we found hand whip stitching with an upholstery needle to be a better look. Again these stitches are a testament to all my mom has sewn over the years. I tried to sew one corner and my stitches were more uneven and my fingers were left numb.
The wooden buttons on the back of the chair are the last part of upholstery trickery. These buttons hide screws underneath that hold the back to the frame. They are readily available at the hardware store and a drop of wood glue holds them in place. They come in oak which means they did not immediately match the rest of the wood stain. I pulled out my Prisma Color pen set and found a near perfect match to hand color each button. Ten years after college I'm still finding uses for that pen set.
Tac has been thoroughly enjoying the chairs. When he's not napping next to me while I work at the table he's hunting me and batting at my hands.
The chair project took a full exhausting day to complete. While my mom toiled away in the dining room my dad and I were painting and working on a couple projects for my bedroom. I'll be sharing those next week.
Besides the cost of the furniture the project was very affordable. The bulk of the cost was fabric which we spent $36 on. And I have fabric left over to make something else. So if you see a piece of well loved furniture with good bones take a chance on it. Take it apart and find some youtube videos to help you out.