Thursday, June 16, 2011

Upholstery Funtimes Part 1

So, I'm not very good at this, I've done loads of renovations, of various kinds but have never blogged about them (well not really), so bear with me...

Once we had the flat confirmed and we'd check the size of the kitchen and what furniture we needed, we journeyed to the reclaim yard close to my parents house, Haynes of Challow, if you live anywhere near it, I recommend it, it's great! We went in to the final two sheds (leftover crap/house clearances, that no one else wants). JFo, Tom and I all scoured the place, JFo found a huge leather topped desk that she could have quite happily lived in/on, given a chance, and an antique rocking chair she had a mild love affair with.
Tom found many things he liked, most of which were out of our price range, although he did love a lampshade that was of the Victorian "World" map, it was lovely but he wouldn't buy it?!
I fell in love with everything but I have a love for poor, seatless, backless chairs that require some love, new seating, new legs, new backs, etc. Anyhow, we found four hapless said chairs at the back of a pile of other hapless chairs, and due to them all costing a total of £48, we could justify the £98 for the gorgeous fold out dining table, which has a hidden drawer and is just too charming for words.

Tom's choice was a leather covered chair with a bite out of the back, and a really charming chair, with holes in the seat. I chose two sorry looking chairs, one with the seat falling off and the webbing ripped, and the other with the webbing ripping but the seat, relatively in tact from hessian down.
The one with the hessian intact (see right) was easy to fix, especially as I used some gorgeous fabric from a kind friend, and I threw some new webbing in and a new cushion, for good measure. I also, put some trimming over the staples I used, yep, I totally cheated. I did however, stick the trimming on with furniture pins. I'm learning!

The other one, with ripped webbing and screwed seat didn't quite look like this, when we bought it, it was falling apart, filled with horse hair and had a rotten seat. After I threw out the seat, I ended up with this sorry looking thing (see left). The next exciting thing I did was try to get the nails out and the webbing off. It was interesting, a lot of them, I had to hammer a lot of them in more, rather than try to remove them, as many of them had rusted. I did my best with a pair of pliers, a tack hammer and a claw hammer and some determination (plus one hurting finger, due to a miss hit with the hammer, ouch).

After I'd gotten it cleared, I set about making a new seat base, I had to use curtain tape, as the haberdashery near my new pad didn't have any webbing (damn it!). Curtain tape worked very well though. I used the furniture tacks to perfection, as I totally forgot to buy carpet tacks earlier. They worked a treat and the seat works well. It looks stupid, but I can't wait to put the new cushion and cover on it! It's so exciting!

Isn't it cute!
After I'd got the seat webbing sorted, I set about finding a cushion, I totally cheated, I was going to get some foam and shape a seat accordingly, but instead, I used a cushion pad I had lying around. I was going to use two, but it seemed too poofy, so chose one big pad and shaped it (Although in hind sight, I should have used two, as it feels very thin now).

Once I'd got that sorted, I drapped the chosen material over the chair and started to staple accordingly, tucking the edges in for a crisp look. I found that stapling first, means you've more room to change and adapt. I mainly focused on getting the corners neat, as they have the most work to do. Once I was happy with the shape, I tacked it in place to secure the material.

Due to running out of upholstery pins, I glue gunned on the trim to cover the tack heads (cheating once again). It was a steady job but definitely worth it. I'm really proud of my work, even if I cut corners. Although, now I've sat on it a bit and realised I should have put two pads on the seat, I'm going to cover another cushion in the same material and use it accordingly.

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