Beginner Upholstery Projects That Anyone Can Tackle

While restoring an antique Chesterfield sofa to its former calls for the expertise, skills and knowledge of a professional, there are plenty of restoration and upholstery projects that most amateurs can tackle. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some simple upholstery projects that let you get creative without the need for specialist tools and years of experience.

Chair seat upholstery
When looking for an upholstery project they don’t get much easier than the humble wooden chair with a leather or fabric seat. The great thing about this type of chair is that the seat pad can be removed which means it is much easier to work on compared to other types of chairs. The only things you’ll need to tackle this project are a staple gun, sharp fabric scissors and the fabric of your choice.

Start by removing the seat pad from the chair and laying this upside down on your fabric. Next, mark out and cut your fabric leaving a good 3 – 4 inches around the seat cushion, remember to check your pattern in-case it needs to be centred prior to cutting. Once you’re happy, wrap one edge of the fabric over the edge of your cushion and staple into place if the fabric is too long then trim it to size prior to fixing in place.

When you have done one edge continue with the opposite edge pulling the fabric taut while checking that your pattern is straight. Next move on to the two remaining sides stapling the fabric in place as you go, for the corners leave these loose for now as you will want to trim these for a more professional finish.

Barstool upholstery
Similar to a chair seat the only real difference between a bar stool and a chair seat is that you will not be able to remove the seat prior to being upholstered. A wooden bar stool can be turned into an upholstered stool with a few simple steps. Tools you’ll need are foam seat pad, batting, staple gun, fabric scissors and a staple gun.

Begin by placing the stool upside down on your foam and tracing around the seat before cutting out your foam, its okay if this isn’t perfect as it will be covered up. Next wrap one or two layers of batting around the foam seat pad and stool and begin stapling into place. You want to staple this around 1cm inside the bottom edge of the stool before trimming off any excess batting fabric.

Your next step is to add a piece of lining fabric on top of the batting, stapling this in place just past the layer of staples holding the batting in place, remembering to pull the fabric tight as you go. Once you have trimmed off the excess fabric you can then begin adding your fabric covering. Cut this out so it is 3 – 4 inches larger than your stool seat before wrapping your stool and stapling in place. Check the pattern is in the correct position before fixing your first staple and work around the outside pulling the fabric taut as you staple it into place. Finally, trim off any excess fabric and turn your stool the right way up to enjoy your new upholstered stool.

Chair covers, bed skirts and headboards
Once you have built your confidence you can start working on larger projects such as sewing a chair cover, creating a bed skirt or upholstering a headboard for your bed. There are plenty of fun upholstery projects that you can tackle around the home so get creative and start having a go.

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