Monday, April 26, 2010

Reupholstering - Not my new hobby

DIY Baby Schlotty continued over the weekend with Project #2: Reupholstering the Rocking Chair.

We were very lucky to get all of our furniture for the room from some friends, including one of those wooden glider rockers with ottoman. The chair was in great shape, however, the cushions and fabric had seen better days. I had always wanted to try re-upholstering so I thought this was a good first project.

If you don't want to read the long version, the short version of the story is: I don't think I will be taking up re-upholstery as a new hobby.

It started early Saturday morning when my mom picked me up and we headed to some fabric stores. I had no idea what I was doing and my mom had done this before so she was going to help find some appropriate fabric. I brought along the curtain fabric and the measurements for the cushions and ottoman. We focused a lot on finding something to match the curtains exactly. We found a contender and got a sample piece cut off to take home. In the Milwaukee area, I highly recommend Manhattan Textiles and Bazaar Home Fabrics.

When I got home with the sample and we put it on the chair it was blah. It blended in too much with the wood and the paint. We needed some pizazz. So I consulted these Martha Stewart animal alphabet cards that were my original inspiration for the room and the orange curtains. There is a lot of green in the cards so we though green might just be the punch the chair needed. My mom headed home and Nate & I headed to Jo-Ann fabrics to see what they had since our JAF has a large upholstery section.

We found this crazy lime green fabric. Woah. Lime green fabric with orange curtains? Is this the 70s?!

We set out to work. Here is the ottoman with a close up of the previous blue fabric.

We started with the ottoman since that really only required stapling fabric to wood. Here Nate works to get the old fabric off.

Then basically we used the old fabric as a pattern to cut out the size we needed from the new fabric. Voila - the ottoman was done! (you also get a quasi-sneak peak of the rug in these pics)

Now the hard part - the cushions. We started with the seat and seam ripped the old fabric off of the cushion, again using it as our "pattern" on the new fabric. We saved the ties that were sewn on the fabric to attach it to the chair and used the old cushion foam since it was still in good shape. Then, we basically made a pillow case with the new fabric to put the foam into. Of course, that sounds easy. We really had to put the fabric on and off a few times to get it where it wasn't wrinkling.

The next day, we decided to tackle the back rest piece. Again, seam ripped the old fabric off the chair and used it as a pattern. The back piece was challenging because there were 3 indentations that had to go through the foam. Since I do not have an industrial sewing machine, these were definitely going to have to be hand sewn. BLAH. Again, we started making a sort of pillow case for the cushion. This cushion had fabric straps coming off the top with velcro to attach it to the chair. We made new straps out of the fabric, but re-used the old velcro. Once we got the pillowcase to fit over the foam, Nate started handsewing. YES. That is not a typo. My husband stepped up to the plate to hand sew. I don't know why but he is really good at hand sewing - far better than I. Then I found out that he had to take home ec in middle school where he learned this craft ;). Anyway, he did a great job, even if he did utter some cuss words in the process. (Did I say that reupholstering is a pain in the a**?!)

Voila - the chair in front of the curtains:

The chair also came with padded armrests that snap into place. I don't know if we are going to make those or not.

You might still think the color combo is a little crazy, but I promise once you see the entire room, it works. Once we start on these room projects, we have a hard time stopping so we went and hung up the animal cards right away to see how it would look with everything and we totally love it. But that is another post for another day ;)


chacha said...

This is not giving me warm-fuzzies about my reupholstery project (I just bought a pneuamatic staple gun in preparation for the ordeal). It looks great though. I'm not sure my husband would hand sew like yours!

I am still loving your Amy Butler curtains. Seems like if one can get over the fear or using orange, it turns out great.

BrookeK said...

love it! the colors work great the sneak peak of the rug!