So, when my friend Alison mentioned her pair of 30+ year old armchairs that needed to be re-done, I, naturally, jumped at the opportunity. The chairs are really nice size and are structurally in perfect shape, just really, really worn. And white. Rather, they were white once, but with a houseful of kids (3 boys!) and at least 15 years of wear, they're now sort of a whitish grey.
A cute chair in desperate need of new fabric if ever I've seen one. Alison picked out a lovely, dark (3 boys, remember) colored floral brocade to re-cover them, and I got to work.
One interesting thing about re-upholstering old furniture is what you find underneath the fabric. Most older pieces will have cotton batting inside which looks like this--
A little sad looking, but padding gets flattened out over time. So, what I like to do, is add some new polyester batting to the chair in order to add some extra padding. Then the chair looks like this--
It already looks better, doesn't it? Then, I just begin the re-upholstery process. Starting with the seat--
Now, on this chair, the inner parts of the arms and the back are all one piece. So, after sewing them together, they all go on as one big piece like this--
Once that was done, I added the buttons. 16 per chair in all. Then I finished the sides--
And the back--
Then I sewed a new cushion for the seat and put the whole thing back together--
Quite an improvement, I'd say! I'm loving this fabric on this style of chair, and the colors are much better for a house with children. And the best part is that it's still a favorite piece of furniture, re-done and made "new" again. A perfect upcycle.
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