With a new house we were in need of a lot of new furniture. However, we also needed to save some money after such a large purchase. After looking around at some furniture stores we found a few things we liked, but not much we could afford.
My husband explained our search to his dad. Not too long after we got a call saying he had found two very nice, albeit outdated, wingback chairs sitting out to the curb and asked if we wanted them. Of course we were thrilled at the find and were excited to add two classic chairs to our home.
When they arrived, we were both really surprised at the condition they were in. Despite having a dated fabric, the set looked awesome.
To look at a wingback chair you may think, “There is no way I could reupholster that, it looks way to hard. There are so many angles and pieces..” I know I thought the same. But, like so many other things, deciding top make the attempt is half the battle. Plus, since the chairs were totally free and the fabric we bought was forty percent off, there wasn’t much to lose.
Come to find out, if you have some time and patience, it is actually a very doable diy project.
Step one: MEASURE
Measure the dimensions of your chair to find out how much fabric you need. We bought six yards I believe, but over estimated by about a yard and a half.
Section main parts of the chair into rectangles as best you can. Then you can break out your trusty sixth grade math skills to calculate area: area equals length times height. Add up all of your calculations in feet and divide by three to get the number of yards of fabric you will need.
Step two: FABRIC
Buy fabric. Pick a pattern you like in a durable fabric. If it is a chair that is likely to be sat in frequently, using upholstery fabric is highly recommended.
Step three: DECONSTRUCTION
Take your time, if your chair is like mine, there will be approximately 18 zillion staples in it.
A few useful tools: a flathead screw driver, a pair of needlenose pliers, a butter knife, teeth, nails and anything else you find that fits under the pesky little staple that wants to hold on for dear life.
This was the most challenging part, and, as you can see, it’s not beyond anyone’s skill level. It’s just time consuming.
Try to keep the pieces intact as best you can (refraining from just tearing the fabric as you inevitably get frustrated with pulling out the 59 bajillion staples) as these pieces will become your pattern. Label them as you take them off and keep any spare pieces with that piece so it doesn’t get lost or confused with another.
Step four: CUTTING
Lay out your fabric right side down. Lay your chair pieces on top, also right side down. You can pin, or trace, or as I do just make sure it’s flat and cut. Keep the old piece and new together.
Note: if you use a fabric with a directional pattern like this one make sure all your pieces are facing the same direction.
Step five: SEWING
Once all the pieces have been cut out they can be detached from the facing (the liner material you will be reusing in your new version of the old chair) so it can be sewn onto the new fabric and the cushion can be sewn back together.
Step six: STAPLING
Using your notes and labels, work backwards. The last piece you took off is the first piece you will put back on.
It is really worth it to have a nice electric staple gun at this point. It will save your hands and your sanity.
Step seven: ENJOY
Take a step back and enjoy how your hard work paid off and how fabulous your new chair looks. Then have a seat you earned it!
Here are my two newly updated chairs!