As we move quickly towards winter here in Minneapolis (I have already seen snowflakes once – luckily they didn’t hang around), my dining room has quickly become my favorite room in the house. The morning sun shines on the warm yellow walls and the whole room glows. It is really quite spectacular. I can sit while drinking my coffee and checking my email and feel perfectly happy … except that is Puck has all but destroyed one of my dining room chairs in rebellion for me not letting him outside to go play in the sunshine.
As you can see my chairs have become well-used scratching posts (and damned if my cats don’t use the ACTUAL scratching post they have). I had to do something about it. It not only has been driving me crazy to see it everyday, but it is only getting more destroyed. So I headed to the fabric store found some upholstery fabric that suited my taste and budget and got to work.
There are just a few supplies you need for a task like this: fabric, a hammer and upholstery tacks and a staple gun. It didn’t require any careful measuring or sewing, just some elbow grease and a little attention to detail. I started by covering the back of the chair, tucking it into the crease between the chair seat and chair back and then stapling the fabric down on the backside of the chair.
The top corners were a little tricky, but after a little finessing, I got them worked out. Once I got the seatback of the chair recovered I moved on to the chair seat. Again, I tucked one edge of the fabric into the crease of the seat and the seatback, then I flipped the entire chair over and stapled the fabric down on the underside of the seat and folded the fabric under around the chair legs, almost like you would when making your bed.
Then all I had to do was cover the back of the chair. While it was still laying down, I stapled a piece of fabric (with the right side facing the floor) to the top of the chair, right above where I stapled the first piece of fabric. Then I could flip the chair right side up, fold the sides of the fabric under and tack them down with upholstery tacks.
Ta-da! A new and doubly improved dining room chair as it (1) no longer looks like a scratching post and 2) is now purple. All it took was a few of hours (and perhaps more than a few swear words). Now, I must admit to having some guidance. While my mother was in town last month she actually reupholstered one of my dining room chairs, showing me how to do it. It’s taken me a month to get to the second chair, mostly because I’ve been pretty swamped with work (a welcome change) and because I was hesitant to work on it by myself for fear of messing it up. Overall, I am pretty pleased with the result. I am sure there are more sophisticated and less messy ways to reupholster a chair, but I think this did the job well enough. Even the cats approve (as long as they only keep to napping and not scratching).
Next, I have my eye on a overstuffed living room chair …