We had visitors most of this week, but I managed to squeeze in a little chair makeover while they were here. This chair was purchased about a month earlier as part of my “you don’t spend birthday money on bills” shopping trip. It was something I liked but didn’t really need or at least I thought I didn’t. It sits up here in my sewing room/office where I thought it would get used occasionally, but my kids actually use it all the time…even before the makeover with the super saggy seat and all. Now I’m on the hunt for another one in a similar style so that I’ll have two and won’t have to force the kiddos to share it.
Here it is before…
It is in fairly rough shape, but I really just loved the shape and how comfortable it was to sit in (aside from the super saggy seat). The first part of the project is recovering the seat and eliminating the super sag.
Step One: Remove the original dust cover. My son actually helped with this step as it took a long time to remove the bazillion staples securing the dust cover to the bottom of the chair. We attempted to remove them with a staple remover, but had zero luck with that method. Next came a small flat head screw driver, hammer and some pliers. I would work the screwdriver under the staple with the hammer and then my son would pull it out with the pliers. Repeat many times over. We worked carefully and the dust cover was removed in one piece to be used again after all repairs were complete.
Step Two: Remove the seat & old fabric cover. Using a philips head screw driver I removed the 4 screws that held the seat in place and it came of easily. Hmmm, I wonder why the seat was sagging? Could the dry rotted, broken straps be a clue? That’s what it looked like when the cover was pulled back. Obviously, this guy had seen better days.
Step Three: Remove fabric from the seat. I can’t begin to tell you how many staples were used to apply this fabric to the plywood bottom and because the fabric was in such poor condition it basically tore off leaving most of those staples behind. The piping held together better and I was able to pull most of the staples out that held it in place.
Step Four: Repair the seat strapping. The original straps were useless. They were literally falling apart in my hands which made them difficult to remove completely. Using the pliers I removed as much of the originals straps as possible. Normally you would probably use jute webbing here, but because I had the polypro webbing on hand it did the trick and didn’t cost me anything. Not that jute webbing is expensive. I believe I found it at JoAnn’s for .79 cents a yard, but the polypro will hold up just as well and it was free.
The new webbing straps were stapled into place along with the original canvas cover. I created a basket weave pattern to replace the original 3 horizontal straps as I figured it would provide more support.
Step Five: Revive the original foam cushion. The original foam was still perfectly functionally with some wear on the outer edges, so to resolve the problem I just covered it with a double layer of high loft batting to revive it just a bit. While stapling this, I began to understand why there were so many staples in the seat previously. The rounded shape of the seat requires a crazy amount of staples to keep everything smooth and pulled tight.
Step Six: Create a new fabric seat cover. Using what was left of the original seat cover I was able to use it as a pattern for the new seat cover. It was really tattered, but it was still enough to give me the general shape of the pattern without me having to do any measuring.
Step Seven: Attach new seat cover. Staple, staple, staple and then staple some more. I stapled along the straight edge first and then pulled it tight to staple again at the top of the curve. Once those were in place I just worked my way (slowly) around the entire seat.
Step Eight: Create new piping. I really liked the piping detail that was part of the original seat cushion, so I knew I wanted to create new piping to replace the old. Piping can be purchased at your local fabric store. I picked mine up at JoAnn’s and used a 40% off coupon, so it was only something like .25 cents a yard. It is super easy to create & sew piping. I cut 3″ wide strips and folded them in half lengthwise. You place the piping inside along the foldline and then using a zipper foot, sew the piping into place. That’s it.
Now you repeat step seven and staple, staple and staple some more to get the piping in place. I found it helped to clip the piping at the 90 degree turns so everything would lay nice and flat. Of course, I completely forgot to take a picture after it was all stapled in place, but I’ll be sure to show an up close when I reveal the completed makeover in part two.
The new seat cushion is now ready for use. Stay tuned for part two where the rest of the chair receives a well-needed facelift as well. I’m loving the finished look.