Friday, September 30, 2011

Reupholstering our parsons chairs: part two

Whew!  My hands hurt!  Removing all the staples from the parsons chair was bad enough, but I have a blister from re-stapling the new fabric onto my chair {yes, i am still only working on one.  i need to see the finished product to be motivated to put myself through the pain of working on the second one!}.

I didn't take pictures of each step {sorry for the bad quality. i worked on these after the baby was in bed, so it was dark!}, but I kind of used this basic youtube tutorial to guide me through the process-- some of what I did I just had to come up with {with some advice from Mama} because my chair was a bit different.

First, I used the old cover as a pattern and cut out the pieces of fabric I wanted.  I bought just enough for both chairs so I couldn't be picky about exactly how the pattern would end up.  Then I started working on the seat back.  Don't you just love the fabric?  LOVE it. 

If you reupholster anything, take my mama's advice and PULL TIGHT--like REALLY tight.  The last thing you want is for it too look baggy!

I started stapling across the top first.  Yes, my staples are not straight.  No, it doesn't matter because you will never see them!  By the way, did i mention that stapling is REALLY hard?  My poor, poor hands.

Next I stapled down the sides, pulling VERY tightly as i went {see a theme?}.  I stapled the bottom flap of the back to the wrong piece of wood {glitch number one} and when i went to pull the fabric through from the bottom cushion, i couldn't!  Oops.  Then I had to remove the staples and fix it.  Luckily, I am now a pro at staple removing and it didn't take long. 
{see mistake below}

After the back was done, i worked on the seat.  You can look up the tutorial above if you want to know the exact steps.  Doesn't it look beautiful already?

And when the seat was all done, I hit my second glitch.  I was planning to attach the back using upholstery tacks.  I ran into two problems here.  Firstly, the back of my seat had a layer of foam and the tacks weren't long enough to get into the wood well through the foam.  Secondly, they are SUPER hard to make a straight line with!  Seriously, it was ridiculous.  And when one tack is just a teeny, tiny bit off, it looks weird.  Oh well.  So, I had to come up with a plan B.  I decided to sew the back onto the chair use a very thin trim to cover the stitching.  

By the way, I used this beautiful yellow chevron fabric for the back.  I like the mixture of the two fabrics and I think it will look awesome when I am completely finished!

So, that's the progress.  I'm pretty proud of the transformation so far.

The chair is completed minus the trim that i still have to buy.  I even sprayed it with Scotch Guard today to protect it from potential little finger disasters!  When I am all the way done, I will try to take some awesome pictures in the daylight and give you a good comparison before and after shot!  What do you think so far??  



  1. I love it so far! But my hands hurt just reading about it. :) You are doing a great job!

  2. Have you seen YoungHouseLove's post on reupholstering their rocking chair? She used the tacks but spaced them out and it came out really nice. Here's the link:

    Another option is to buy what they call "alligator teeth". It comes in a strip and you nail it on to the back of the chair. Then your fabric gets pulled tight by pressing down on the teeth and there are no seams or tacks to deal with.

    good luck!

  3. Lisa: Thanks for the link! I just checked it out and it does look really nice! I might just have to try that!

  4. Rebekah, did you hand-sew the back onto the chair frame?

  5. Rebekah, did you hand-sew the back onto the chair frame?